The Athens Group team possesses a depth of talent, expertise and experience—as well as a true passion for luxury resort and urban development. We invite you to learn more about these committed professionals.
Kim Richards founded The Athens Group in 1988 and has been President & Chief Executive Officer since the company's inception. Under his leadership for over three decades The Athens Group is recognized as the premier developer of luxury hotels, resorts and mixed use recreational and urban properties in the U.S.
Kim's real estate development career began in 1977 when he was named Vice President and General Counsel of The Estes Co., a Tucson, Arizona homebuilder and developer of commercial and residential communities.
After his 1983 appointment as President of Estes Properties, he was responsible for the successful acquisition, planning and development of several large-scale master planned communities including Tucson's award-winning Ventana Canyon. Kim acquired Estes Properties from The Estes Co. in 1988 and the company was renamed The Athens Group. In 1992, Kim and The Athens Group executives formed Hualalai Development Company and led the development of the Four Seasons Hualalai Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. The project, completed in 1996, quickly gained a reputation as Hawaii's most exclusive resort community.
Since 1997, Kim has led The Athens Group through a period of significant growth including the development of six luxury mixed use hotel and residential properties for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Montage Hotels & Resorts in the U.S.
Kim received his undergraduate degree in political science from Western Michigan University in 1970 and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1973. He was involved in private practice until 1977 when he joined The Estes Co. He is a past Trustee of the Urban Land Institute. Kim and his family reside in Santa Barbara, California.
Jeff Mongan has been a partner with Kim Richards in The Athens Group since the company was founded in 1988. As Senior Vice President, Jeff has overseen the development of a number of The Athens Group resort properties including Montage Deer Valley in Utah; The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in Colorado; The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay in California; and the Four Seasons Hualalai Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Jeff joined Kim Richards at The Estes Co. in 1983 where he held various project management and asset management positions. His responsibilities included the construction and development of the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort and Ventana Canyon Golf & Racquet Club in Tucson, Arizona. In 1986, Jeff's responsibilities expanded to include the acquisition and planning of new resort development opportunities. When Kim Richards acquired Estes Properties from The Estes Co. in 1988 and the firm was renamed The Athens Group, Jeff became a partner and assumed the role of Vice President of The Athens Group. He coordinated the planning and entitlement process for various Athens Group projects and ultimately provided leadership and management for the various development teams hired to execute the development plans for all projects.
In 1992, Jeff became Vice President of Hualalai Development Co. (HDC), the development entity responsible for the 800-acre Hualalai Resort community on the Big Island of Hawaii. In 1996, Jeff was named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of HDC as the company commenced resort operations and continued the residential community development at Hualalai Resort. In 1998, after the initial phase of the Hualalai Resort development was complete, Jeff relocated back to the mainland to establish The Athens Group's offices in Phoenix, Arizona and Half Moon Bay, California. From 1998 through 2011, Jeff was involved in more than $1 billion of Athens Group development projects in California, Colorado and Utah.
Jeff has been a member of the Urban Land Institute for more than twenty-five years. As an active ULI participant, he has held various leadership positions with the Recreational Development Council (Red Flight) and the Arizona District Council. Jeff was one of the original members on the Arizona District Council's Urban Plan committee and participates in Urban Plan at several Phoenix, Arizona-area high schools each year. Jeff and his family reside in Scottsdale, Arizona.
John has been with The Athens Group since 1992 and in his capacity as Vice President he has been actively involved in managing numerous acquisitions and developments, including the development of Hualalai Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii, Montage Laguna Beach in California and Montage Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina. After successfully entitling and completing Montage Laguna Beach, John managed the marketing and sales effort for the Residences in Laguna and then turned his focus to serve as the owner's representative in charge of residential marketing and sales at Montage Beverly Hills. John has overseen nearly $300 million in residential sales to date.
After three years in commercial real estate in Chicago, John joined The Athens Group in 1992 and spent five years on the Big Island of Hawaii as a Project Manager of the 625-acre Hualalai Resort. Following the project's completion, John moved back to Phoenix to open Athens corporate headquarters from 1998-2000 with a focus on new business development. After establishing the home office, John moved to Laguna Beach to act as Project Principal in charge of the Montage Laguna Beach. Most recently, John spent five years engaged in the design and development of the expansion of the Montage Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina which opened in October of 2016.
John received his undergraduate degree in Biology (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Arizona in 1987, and then attended the University of Illinois, College of Medicine. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute and has served in a leadership capacity for RDC Gold Council. John is active with a number of community and philanthropic organizations in Laguna Beach where he resides with his family.
Jay Newman joined The Athens Group in 2000 as Chief Operating Officer where he focuses on the company’s financial affairs and development opportunities. He has more than 32 years of experience in commercial real estate including development along with entitlements and design, acquisitions, joint ventures, finance and dispositions. Jay is primarily responsible for managing the acquisition and financing of many of The Athens Group's projects including the raising of equity capital. In addition, Jay was primarily responsible for the development and financing of the mixed-use Montage Beverly Hills in California and the acquisition, re-entitlement and redesign of the West Hollywood mixed-use Edition project and is currently engaged in the planning and entitlement for the re-development of the Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica.
In 1993, Jay was one of the founding members of the national real estate law firm of Pircher, Nichols & Meeks based in Los Angeles where he was a managing partner and a real estate transactional attorney. In 1995, he joined Highridge Partners in Los Angeles as Senior Vice President of the Summit Commercial Properties Division, where he focused on the purchasing, repositioning, leasing, management and sale of shopping centers and office buildings on both a one-off and portfolio basis. Jay was one of the founders of Lend Lease Development (US) in 1996, where he focused on the development of resorts (including The Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, California), shopping centers and office buildings. As Senior Vice President of Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, Inc., and a member of the Lend Lease Lodging Group, he focused on the development of new hotels and resorts throughout the United States and was primarily responsible for the creation of the Resort Development Program.
Jay received his undergraduate degree in applied economics (summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of California at Berkeley in 1978, and his MBA and Juris Doctorate degree from Stanford University in 1982. He is a guest lecturer at the UCLA School of Public Policy and Planning and a frequent speaker at ULI, Meet the Money, Bisnow, the Southern California Development Forum and CLE International. Jay sits on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors of the Beverly Hills Conference and Visitors Bureau, and the Board of Directors of Beverly Hills Rotary. Jay is also actively involved in Imagine LA. Jay and his family reside in Los Angeles, California.
Rob McIver joined The Athens Group in 1998 and is responsible for all capital markets, acquisitions, corporate accounting and asset management activity. Since joining the company, Rob has been responsible for more than $1.5 billion in project financing, including both the debt and equity capital markets. In addition, Rob leads the due diligence and structuring activities for new acquisitions and development opportunities.
Prior to joining The Athens Group, Rob worked for KPMG Peat Marwick in Phoenix, Arizona and later joined Del Webb Corporation as the controller for Coventry Homes, Del Webb's conventional homebuilding division, which had operations in Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, Southern California and North-Central Arizona. Rob graduated with honors with degrees in finance and accounting from the University of Arizona in 1993. He is a founding Director of Pinnacle Bank in Scottsdale, Arizona and currently serves on its Board of Directors. Rob and his family reside in Phoenix, Arizona.
Since joining The Athens Group in 1998, Dustin has been actively involved in managing and overseeing the design, construction and development of the following four major mixed-use luxury resort and hotel development projects with a combined cost of more than one billion dollars: The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California; The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, Colorado, the Montage Resort & Spa, Laguna Beach, California and the Montage Beverly Hills.
In 2003, Dustin also helped lead the successful entitlement process for the Montage Beverly Hills. Following the opening of Montage Beverly Hills, Dustin was promoted to Vice President and Partner in The Athens Group and helped manage the residential sales and marketing efforts at Montage Beverly Hills that resulted in over $165 Million dollars in residential sales. Dustin is currently leading the entitlement efforts on the redevelopment of the Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica.
Dustin received his undergraduate degree in hospitality administration from Cornell University in 1997 where he also played on the varsity men's soccer team. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute. Dustin and his wife and three children reside in Los Angeles, California.
With over twenty-five years of experience, David Zimmerman is an accomplished design and construction executive with a proven record for successfully delivering complex resort hospitality projects on time and within budget.
Since joining The Athens Group in 2000, David has been responsible for developing high performing project teams to execute design and construction objectives on multiple projects including Montage Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina; Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah and Ritz-Carlton Club in Bachelor Gulch, Colorado. Prior to joining The Athens Group, David was the owner of a custom home building company based in Vail, Colorado. David has also held positions for G.E. Johnson Construction Company and The Whiting Turner Contracting Company. He received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering at Drexel University. David and his family reside in Park City, Utah.
Martyn Hoffmann joined the Athens Group in 2005 and currently serves as the Vice President of International Development. He has conducted resort, golf, and residential planning, entitlement, and business development activities for luxury resort projects throughout the United States and parts of Latin America for the past 15 years.
Based in Costa Rica since 2009, he has specialized in navigating the bureaucracy, culture, and business climate in Central America and has successfully entitled and managed the pre-development and planning activities for multiple large scale, multi-use resort projects in the Guanacaste region.
Prior to joining The Athens Group, Martyn worked for DMB/Highlands Group, a recreational-residential community developer based in North Lake Tahoe, California. Here he conducted planning, entitlement, and execution activities in the development of Martis Camp and Lahontan, two residential golf communities ranging from 900 to 2,200 acres in size.
Born in Zimbabwe, he was raised in South Africa and the United States and is fluent in English and Spanish.
With more than twenty-five years of hospitality industry experience, Kyle Lott brings a unique combination of design sensibility, operational experience and passion to each hotel project developed by The Athens Group.
Kyle has been involved with design and project management on four of The Athens Group’s completed projects including Montage Palmetto Bluff, Montage Deer Valley, Montage Laguna Beach and Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch. On each of these projects Kyle worked closely with the hotel operator, design team, contractors, consultants and vendors to take the project from vision to execution. Kyle has also overseen the FF&E/OS&E design, specifications, procurement and installation process on each of these projects including numerous trips to Southeast Asia working with suppliers and vendors to assure quality control and schedule compliance.
Prior to joining The Athens Group, Kyle worked with Harrah’s Entertainment at the Las Vegas corporate office working with Hotel Operations as well as Design and Construction. His hospitality career began with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, working at five hotels in various management positions.
Kyle earned a degree in Marketing at The University of Texas and currently resides in Savannah, Georgia.
Matt Driscoll joined The Athens Group in 2015 as a Project Manager where he is responsible for the analysis and management of development opportunities and projects. He has more than five years of experience in commercial real estate including expertise in development, acquisitions, financing and accounting. Matt helped lead the planning and re-entitlement for the One Beverly Hills project on the 8-acre former Robinsons-May site. Matt is currently engaged in the planning process for the re-development of two hotels; the Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, California and the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club in Naples, Florida.
Prior to joining Athens, Matt was responsible for the managing the entitlement and feasibility analysis of a more than two million square foot mixed-use development in Downtown Los Angeles, as well as other urban infill sites around Southern California.
Matt received his Bachelors of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Japanese from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2010, and his MBA and Master in Real Estate Development degrees from the University of Southern California in 2015. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, NAIOP and the International Council of Shopping Centers. Matt resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Mark Sanford joined The Athens Group in 2014 and is responsible for various hotel and mixed-use projects including management of design, planning, entitlement, community and government relations activities. He has previously played a leading role in underwriting and acquisition activities for the company.
Prior to joining The Athens Group, Mark worked for Parkway Properties, Inc. (Cousins Properties, NYSE: CUZ) where he managed the day-to-day operations, leasing, construction, design and development activity for an award-winning Class A office portfolio. During his time with Parkway, he also managed the acquisition, disposition and development of over 1.5 million square feet of office properties valued in excess of $300 million.
Mark received his undergraduate degree in finance from Delta State University. He also holds an active Arizona real estate sales license and is an FAA licensed pilot. Mark is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and has served in various leadership positions with the Arizona District Council. Mark and his family reside in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Jose Lopezlira is responsible for all corporate accounting operations and project financial needs. Prior to joining The Athens Group in 2005, Jose served as Senior Manager of Opus West Corporation, a multi-use commercial real estate development subsidiary of Opus Corporation. In addition, he spent seven years as a Senior Accountant with Kitchell Corporation, one of the largest construction and development firms in the Southwest. Jose is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Jose received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Arizona State University in 1993. He and his family reside in Peoria, Arizona.