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2022 Summer Alumni Profiles

Robert Adams
Director of Acquisitions and Developments
Frisco Investment Group Inc., Commercial Division
2022 Summer Class Alumni
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Robert J. Adams is a recent, 2022 college graduate from Augsburg University with a degree in Business Management. Robert has accepted a position as Director of Acquisitions and Developments with Frisco Investment Group Inc. Commercial Division.

As Robert is starting his career and journey in pursuing his passion for real estate, he is eager to gain as much knowledge and experience as he can in the Ross Minority Program. He is also looking forward to increasing his network by connecting with his peers and all that he meets.

Living in Minnesota his whole life, Robert has transitioned and now resides in Los Angeles. In his free time, he will be settling in with the plans to discover and experience the area of Los Angeles.


Karen M. Esparza
Vice President of Asset Management
BLDG Partners
2022 Summer Class Alumni
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Mrs. Esparza is Vice President responsible for BLDG Partners LLC property management portfolio in operationalizing the firm's strategic plan to ensure the organization meets and exceeds its objective goals. From A+ to B and C projects, conventional, commercial mixed-use development, mixed-income and affordable housing, she has been responsible for numerous activities including portfolio operations, asset preservation, revenue management, finance, development, marketing, due diligence, asset rehabilitation/repositioning, acquisition and resyndication activities with an emphasis on strategic direction, process, and increased efficiency through data analysis.

Holding nearly two decades of real estate experience, Mrs. Esparza's previous professional history includes leadership positions with notable Multifamily-Oriented organizations as Sequoia Equities and Owner/Developer Highridge Costa, LLC. In her tenure, she has contributed to the development and oversight of more than 10,000 multifamily residential units yielding more than $1B of real estate investment throughout the nation.

With her experience garnered in the affordable sector, Mrs. Esparza has a concrete understanding of complicated local, city, state and federal agencies regulatory agreements and nuances therein, year-15 disposition issues and LIHTC property compliance testing. She received an Executive Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics, serving on several industry boards; to include Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and Marketing/Resident Services Advisory Boards. Mrs. Esparza is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, Institute of Real Estate Management, The National Affordable Housing Management Association, a CPM candidate while holding active NPCC, ARM, HCCP, SHCM designations and real estate license in the State of California.


Ricardo Fosado
Chief Executive Officer
Foxtrot Construction, Inc.
2022 Summer Class Alumni

Ricardo Fosado is a successful small business owner with over 18 years of industry experience. Ricardo joined the military right after high school in November 2001 as a patriotic call to duty after one of the deadliest attacks on US soil since Pearl Harbor. After serving 4 years and two tours, Ricardo was honorably discharged from the US Navy as an AD3 (Petty officer Third Class).

After his military service, Ricardo joined the labor force in the gas station industry replacing card readers, printers and nozzles. A great work ethics and positive thinking in the workplace is how Ricardo continue to climb up the corporate ladder assuming different positions and promotions within the company.

Striving to always better himself and continue a path of lifelong learning, Ricardo enrolled in community college at the age of 26 at Cerritos College where he took every possible course offered in Real Estate and Business. He attended school for 3 years but never received a degree since he followed his own curriculum and classes that drew his attention.

At the age of 31, Ricardo purchased his first income property. Ricardo sacrificed the comfort of his home in Downey to live in a triplex in South Central in order to be able to make the mortgage payment. After 1 year of saving and living in South Central, Ricardo was able to purchase a primary residence in Bellflower with a 6,000 sf lot. At this point the mortgage in South Central paid the mortgage of both properties. Ricardo proceeded to save the extra income and save enough cash to build a 1,130sf ADU in the back yard.

His drive, motivation and work ethics have helped Ricardo transition into the investor / developer / business owner he now is. With 12 doors, 8 residential units, and 2 commercial units, Ricardo is looking for guidance and knowledge to better allocate his assets and continue to grow in real estate and business exponentially during different markets. 


Matthew Frisco
Vice President of Operations
Matticus Hospitality Group
2022 Summer Class Alumni
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Matthew Frisco is VP of Operations (In Training) at Matticus Hospitality Group. He began his career as an apprentice, learning under his father, in 2018, focusing more on the development and management of rental units and contracted construction projects.

Matthew is an excellent intermediary who needs very little outside input once given his instructions. Matthew is an Honor Roll scholar whose high marks and dedication to excellence have gained him entrance to The Collins College of Hospitality at Cal Poly Pomona, where he will focus on the operational side of the business.

He is certified in PowerPoint and is currently a novice in Word and Excel. Matthew expects to be able to use the knowledge he gains from this program to propel both himself and his company further and onto new business ventures. Matthew Frisco lives in Hawthorne.


Denise Gertmenian
California Real Estate Agent
Major Properties
2022 Summer Class Alumni
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Denise Gertmenian is a licensed California Real Estate Agent at a brokerage called Major Properties in downtown Los Angeles. She specializes in commercial, industrial, and multi-family properties in the greater Los Angeles area.

Denise brings 20+ years of experience in apparel manufacturing, business development, and sales to the real estate market. She is excited to work with her clients as they scale their brands toward a Direct to Consumer (D2C) business model, and the demand for warehouse and distribution space increases.

Denise is a native of Pasadena and graduated from Wake Forest University. She credits her work ethic, tenacity, and make-it-happen approach to the 10 years that she spent living and working in New York City. Denise volunteers with the Junior League of Los Angeles, a non- profit organization that is dedicated to the well-being of women and children, where she recently served as Development Vice President.


Christopher James
Business Development Manager
Holmes US
2022 Summer Class Alumni
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Christopher James is the Business Development Manager for the international engineering firm Holmes.

Raised in Southern California, Christopher’s career has been influenced by the history of the local region. With 8+ years of experience managing marketing and business development initiatives in the AEC community, he’s developed an expertise in strengthening narratives around value systems within architecture. Driven by his passion for sustainable systems, he helps others sharpen their message in advocating for the growth of the green economy.

As the Business Development Manager of Holmes, Christopher is helping shepherd its growth as one of the leading voices in best practices of sustainable design. As leaders in the effort to reduce embodied carbon in new construction, Holmes has distinguished itself as a major champion of mass timber construction, throughout the Pacific Rim. Having secured over 50 mass timber projects in the last ten years, Holmes provides a unique advantage to owners and architects in navigating building codes across jurisdictions to bring these projects to life.

Christopher is a graduate of the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), where he earned his Bachelor of Architecture in 2013.


Shelley Johnson
Mortgage Loan Originator
NEXA Mortgage, LLC
2022 Summer Class Alumni
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Shelley Johnson is licensed as a Mortgage Loan Originator with NEXA Mortgage, LLC, (“NEXA”) the largest mortgage broker in the nation.  With access exceeding 140 different lenders and various loan products in 47 states, Shelley is able to offer a diverse range of loan options for purchase, refinance, investment, fix and flip, construction, commercial, Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR), Apartment, AirBNB, investment and land development.  Prior to joining NEXA in March of 2021, Shelley originated loans through Radiant Mortgage Bank, a local lender located in Orange County, California from December 2017 until January 2021.

Shelley also holds a real estate broker’s license.  She was originally licensed as an agent in 1998 and as a Real Estate Broker in 2006.  She is currently a broker associate affiliated with West Shores Realty in Rolling Hills Estates.  Prior to that Shelley was affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, California Properties from April 2012 until June 2021.  During the course of her real estate career, Shelley has also been affiliated with First Team Real Estate the Re/Max brand.

As a believer in the real estate product, Shelley owns a multi-unit apartment building. She holds a passion for affordable housing and is involved in providing shelter for Section 8 Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (“VASH”) and Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHV). 

Prior to working full-time in the Real Estate and Mortgage business, Shelley worked in the legal field working for such firms as Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, Christie, Parker & Hale, LLP and other firms as a Legal Secretary and Word Processor in a supportive role to attorneys and paralegals in business, real estate, patent and trademark law. 

In her spare time, Shelley likes to spend time with family and friends.


Tony M. June
Connoisseurs Property Development
2022 Summer Class Alumni
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Tony M. June is a sharp commercial real estate finance and development professional. Prior to transitioning to the commercial real estate industry in 2021, Tony gave 10 years of active-duty service to the US Navy as a Nuclear Propulsion Plant Supervisor. 

His passions now drive him to cultivate his dream child, Life Connoisseurs Management & Enterprise, a syndication firm that will focus on the development, finance, and investment of middle market, mixed-use, and blended-use projects across the Greater Los Angeles area.  

Tony recently received his Master of Science degree in Real Estate, with an Investment & Finance concentration from Pepperdine University. As a fun-loving, hardworking, dedicated leader, Tony is on the hunt for phenomenal like-minded people who are willing to execute and support his vision. Mr. June believes things happen by grace in a perfect way, so he remains grateful for the experiences and opportunities the universe sends his direction.

Currently, Tony is focused on closing his first development project and learning more about the emerging proptech industry. He is seeking new business opportunities and a high-quality development mentor. Tony lives in Los Angeles.


Jonathan Lopez
Open Access Fellow
Genesis LA
2022 Summer Class Alumni
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Jonathan Lopez manages Genesis LA’s impact monitoring and reporting across all investment platforms, gathering comprehensive impact data on Genesis LA’s current and historical investments. He also manages Genesis LA’s public communications to external stakeholders and social media sites. Jonathan also assists with compliance, lending activities, research and grant applications.

Jonathan joined Genesis LA in early-2022, bringing prior experience in multifamily market research and zoning knowledge. Jonathan first came to Genesis LA as an Open Access fellow, facilitating and streamlining internal processes and developing a market scan of underserved communities across LA County.

Prior to joining Genesis LA, Jonathan worked at Skanska as a Development intern, co-developing a multifamily feasibility report, and assisting acquisitions with initial analyses of potential project sites. He has also held multiple roles across industries including investment banking, higher education and career services.

Jonathan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from UC Riverside and is a Real Estate Associate Program fellow from Project REAP. Jonathan is deeply engaged in supporting equitable development of underserved communities and improving the diversity and inclusion of tomorrow’s workforce.


Socorro Mercado
Associate Broker
eXp Commercial
2022 Summer Class Alumni
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Socorro Mercado’s career in real estate is a natural culmination of a lifetime spent as an entrepreneur. Socorro considers herself diligent like a turtle.  She realizes once a student, always a student. She is a firm believer that ‘Knowledge is power in finding the angle.”

Socorro attended CSU Fresno as a dual major in Spanish and Linguistics. At CSU Fresno, Socorro discovered her true passion, which involves helping others. In Spanish, ‘Socorro’ means help and ‘mercado’ means market. The two combined means, “Help the market!”

Socorro has owned a few small businesses from legal services, immigration consultant, notary public, tax preparer, a kettle corn business to a trucking company. She obtained her California real estate brokers license in 2006. She holds a NMLS loan license, as well. She joined Exp Commercial in April 2022. She is a member of California Association of Business Brokers, International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), and Kiwanis International.

Today, she combines all her skills garnered to providing nothing less than exceptional quality to her clientele with her business and real estate expertise. Socorro is keen to detail and communication in business. She has three adult children. She understands the importance of wearing many hats from raising a family to running a business simultaneously.

Socorro enjoys trading Forex, reading, traveling, and is currently working on her CBI designation for business brokering and securities license.

Socorro Mercado lives in Tulare, California.


Jeffrey A. Murray
Senior Managing Consultant
2022 Summer Class Alumni
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Jeffrey A. Murray is an IBM Client Executive focused on Retail strategy and Omni-channel technology across the globe.  A recognized Subject Matter Expert in Order Management for the Retail industry, Jeff focuses on Technology and Innovation for his clients as they balance traditional brick and mortar and the growth of ecommerce. He has continuously been a strong business partner in leading transformational projects across multiple functions and geographic areas. Jeff is also a consulting advisor on Retail Real Estate “placemaking” initiatives which is an effort to draw people to a place by creating compelling reasons for them to visit. As the Atlanta region and its retail corridors evolve from Grayfield areas to Boulevards, he is actively involved in conversations on how Retail placemaking can deliver “experiences” along with functionality as Managing Director of Pantheon Capital which focuses on CRE Development in the SouthEast Region.

Before joining IBM, Jeff held executive program management positions with multinational companies Accenture, The Home Depot and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. While at Accenture, he led several business development initiatives around practice area strategy which resulted in significant revenue and headcount growth from the project execution and M&A agreements.

Jeff has a passion for community service, civic engagement, and mentoring. He currently serves in multiple organizations in Atlanta and is a youth mentor for middle and high school students through 100 Black Men of North Metro.

Based on his father’s 22 year military career, Jeff is an “Army Brat” from continuous moves around the globe.  Moving to Ft. McPherson and subsequently SouthWest Atlanta, Jeff has seen the growth and evolution of the Atlanta region firsthand and is passionate about having a voice and impact on its future development.

He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech.


Pablo C. Naranjo
Principal Engineer/Owner
Engineering Services & Design of SoCal Inc.
2022 Summer Class Alumni
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Pablo is a Geotechnical Engineer originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, but has lived in the US for more than 25 yrs. He is a licensed Engineer in Arizona, Nevada, California, and Mexico. Engineering Services & Design of SoCal Inc. is a small engineering company that focuses on engineering for foundations repairs and Geotechnical for new houses.

He has worked in many places in the US and Mexico, and loves Southern California for its weather, dynamism, diversity, outdoors, and many more things.  He has been married to Leticia for 17 years, and has a ten-year-old son (Esteban) and a one-year-old Husky called Rocky.  Pablo remains busy with his son participating in school activities such as baseball, track, and other activities. He looks forward to learning and meeting everyone at the Lusk Ross Program in Real Estate.


Tamar Saunders
Project Developer
Eden Housing
2022 Summer Class Alumni
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Tamar Saunders is an LA native with a passion for energy efficiency within the built environment and housing equity. She is currently working as a Project Developer at Eden Housing, Inc concentrating her efforts on increasing Eden’s affordable housing portfolio in the Southern California region. She presently has a 67-unit affordable senior housing development under construction and a 209-unit family and senior affordable housing project in predevelopment.

Prior to this, she worked in short-term bridge financing and was consulting on zero energy building design while in graduate school. She has a Masters in Development Practice from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, M.A. from 上智大学 (Sophia University) in Tokyo, Japan, and a B.A. from Princeton University. She also is a LEED Green Associate and holds a California Real Estate license. On her free time you can find her at the pool doing Masters synchronized swimming or making handcrafted herbal products in her kitchen.


Jasmin Shupper
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Greenline Housing Foundation
2022 Summer Class Alumni
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Jasmin Shupper is the Founder and CEO of Greenline Housing Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to close the racial wealth gap by granting access to homeownership for people of color and providing financial education, to ultimately reverse the effects of systemic racism in housing.

Prior to starting Greenline, Jasmin worked as the Business Director at Fellowship Church in Monrovia for four years, were she managed a multi-million dollar budget. She holds a BS in International Business from Pepperdine University, as well as a California Real Estate Salesperson's license.

Upon graduating from college Jasmin worked as a corporate credit risk underwriter and financial analyst for 10 years, underwriting large contractors, developers and fortune 500 companies. Jasmin loves real estate and has from an early age, and her background in finance gave her insight into the generational opportunities that property ownership affords. However, along with that knowledge came a deep sense of sadness at what generations of discrimination in housing has meant for the economic legacy of people of color.

She is interested in the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate because she seeks to gain a holistic understanding of real estate development from financing to building to community engagement, so that she can attack systemic racism in housing in practical and effective ways. With her knowledge, Jasmin seeks to implement creative solutions to housing injustice, by way of community ownership and wealth restoration models, and by integrating these learnings into the efforts currently underway at Greenline, she ultimately aims to impact people and communities of color for good, and equip them to build lasting economic legacies. Jasmin also serves on the Board of Directors of the San Gabriel Valley Community Land Trust.

In her spare time she enjoys traveling with her husband and two girls, speaking French, cooking, and eating at new and exciting restaurants. She can also be found at the beach with a good book or watching HGTV. 


Ana Soulriver
Senior Associate
NAI Capital Commercial
2022 Summer Class Alumni
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Ana Soulriver is a licensed real estate broker and Senior Associate with NAI Capital Commercial in the Pasadena office. Ms. Soulriver specializes in investment sales and commercial real estate transactions. She utilizes both analytical skill and market knowledge to identify good investment opportunities, both short term and long term that go beyond the traditional negotiated deal points, in order to meet and exceed her client's investment goals. Working with both buyers and sellers, Ms. Soulriver is adept at effectively communicating the story of an investment to her clients providing meaningfully and complete information in order for them to evaluate the transaction. In 2021, Ana was named NAI’s rookie of the year based upon her strong sales performance and client reviews.

Before joining NAI Capital, Ms. Soulriver managed operations for a top one percent real estate group at Berkshire Hathaway, where she handled budgets, marketing strategies, underwriting, and client relations. As a former small business owner/operator herself, Ms. Soulriver understands the importance of the economics of a real estate transaction to a business owner. Ana also has extensive experience in entrepreneurship, retail management, event planning, and staging interiors.

Ana graduated with Cum Laude status while earning a B.Sc in Business Administration with Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas in San Antonio. Ana has a wide range of real estate experience fueled by her passion for architecture and entrepreneurship. In her spare time, Ana volunteers as a docent for Pasadena Heritage where she shares her deep knowledge and appreciation for architecture and development. She also acts as a docent at the historic Hollyhock House, located in Barnsdall Art Park, Los Angeles educating the public on the significance of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture and the benefits of public art and development. Ana also holds an affinity for New Urbanism - an approach where human principals are shaped with design to support the values and needs of a community.

Ana is fluent in Spanish having been raised in Colombia and values the expression and exposure to her native culture. She is intrigued with people, cultures, and other nationalities and brings that love and passion to every interaction.