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.

Management Profiles


Kim Richards founded The Athens Group in 1988. His 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, which was 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 five major resort properties for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Montage Hotels & Resorts in the western United States.

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 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 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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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 multiuse 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.


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 Bluffton, South Carolina.

The Athens Group | 2200 E. Camelback Road, Suite 220 Phoenix, Arizona 85016 | (602) 648-6520