President & Chief Operating Officer
Kevin Wiser has over 40 years of experience in the hospitality and multifamily housing industries. He began his career as the President and CEO of the Pritikin Longevity Center from 1978 to 2001. During this period, he developed, constructed, and managed three full-service resort hotels and 11 upscale health and fitness centers. Mr. Wiser facilitated the sale of Pritikin to the Quaker Oats Company in 1998, and served as Vice President of the Pritikin subsidiary of Quaker Oats until 2001. Thereafter, he applied his extensive industry experience to focus on the preservation of affordable housing through the use of low income housing tax credits, which includes the development, rehabilitation, and management of over 10,000 units of affordable housing located throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico.
Mr. Wiser received his undergraduate degree in business and economics from the University of California at Davis. He is a retired member of the Young Presidents Organization and a proud Eagle Scout.
Vice President of Operations & Construction
Scott Mason brings over thirty years of experience in multifamily operations, development and construction expertise to 21 Alpha Group companies. He currently oversees operations, construction, maintenance, and purchasing for Alpha's extensive scattered site portfolio in the Los Angeles area. Mr. Mason is a licensed general contractor and his expertise is critical to the development and repositioning of our growing national portfolio.
Vice President of Multifamily Housing
Ann Syms has over 40 years of experience in commercial, multifamily, and residential real estate development and management. She began her real estate career in finance and accounting and has served as the Controller for several large real estate development and management companies, including the the Westfield Group and the Roberts Companies. During this time, she became responsible for loss prevention and claims management when several risk management departments were created and placed under her supervision. In 2007 she became the National Director of Multifamily Housing and transitioned into operations, at which time she reorganized the division to promote long-term management of 21 Alpha Group's extensive multifamily housing portfolio.
Ms. Syms has consulted as a forensic accountant by providing real estate valuations and testimony as an expert witness during litigation. She received her undergraduate degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting and finance.
Sheldon P. Berger
Since 1974 and in addition to his work with 21 Alpha Group companies, Mr. Berger has practiced law with a specialty in real estate, including acquisitions, sales, private placement and syndication, construction transactions, joint ventures, financing, leasing, and subdivision. He has extensive expertise with respect to the development, financing, leasing, operation, acquisition, and disposition of affordable and conventional multifamily housing, mobile home parks, office buildings, hotels, and shopping centers. In addition, Mr. Berger has represented a number of other business enterprises in their organization and general corporate matters, including acquisitions, sales, and mergers.
Mr. Berger received his undergraduate education from the University of Pittsburgh in 1971, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh (cum laude) in 1974, where he earned the distinction of Order of the Coif. Mr. Berger is a member of the Beverly Hills, Century City, Los Angeles County (Real Property Section) and American Bar Associations (Real Property Section; Financing Subcommittee), and is admitted to the State Bar of California.
Deputy General Counsel
Mr. Costas identifies the legal issues of 21 Alpha Group companies and provides expert and strategic legal advice on corporate, compliance, litigation, development, financing, leasing, operation, acquisition and disposition matters. Before 21 Alpha Group, Mr. Costas extensively defended corporate, commercial, insurance coverage, and unfair competition actions, including class actions, at the trial and appellate levels on behalf of local and national businesses in state and federal courts. During law school, he worked for two federal judges and received multiple best oralist and writer awards from national and international moot court competitions, including from the University of Oxford, England.
Mr. Costas received his undergraduate education from Boston College, his Juris Doctor from Southwestern Law School, and a Robert Traurig-Greenberg Traurig Master of Laws in Real Property Development from the University of Miami School of Law, where he received Director’s Awards in the Land Securities and Finance, Real Estate Transactions, Planning and Zoning, Developing Affordable Housing, and Construction Law courses. He is admitted to the State Bars of California and Nevada and related federal courts.
National Director of Asset Management
Ms. Ernst has worked in the multifamily housing industry for over 45 years, and brings a broad and deep affordable housing knowledge base to 21 Alpha Group. She began her career working in direct property management for a small developer. Through ever-increasingly complex and challenging opportunities, she became responsible in 1984 for a property management department that, at its peak, held 18,000 units under contract. Her focus gradually shifted to asset management by 1988. In 1994, Ms. Ernst, along with several partners, founded Housing Preservation Associates, Inc. (“HPAI”), a business venture that offered various levels of asset management and oversight to general and limited partners. At its height, HPAI had asset management responsibilities for 50,000 apartment units.
Ms. Ernst joined the 21 Alpha Group network of companies in early 2012 as the National Director of Asset Management, a position that she continues to hold today and that calls on her skills as a critical player in the acquisition and disposition of properties and in the refinancing and re-positioning of assets in 21 Alpha Group's combined portfolio.
Ms. Ernst received her undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University, cum laude.
National Director of Development
Franklin Hess, through his professional corporation, provides consulting support on all aspects of affordable housing development for 21 Alpha Group companies and has worked in affordable housing development since 2010. He began his professional career as an associate in the Manhattan-based Capital Markets Group of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, where he represented issuers of commercial mortgage-backed securities and similar financial products. Prior to transitioning into affordable housing, Mr. Hess was a finance associate in the Los Angeles office of DLA Piper LLP (US) where he structured commercial real estate investment funds.
Mr. Hess received his undergraduate degree in economics from Tufts University and his Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt University Law School. He is admitted to the State Bars of California and New York.
Ernie Pilpil has been a member of senior management for over 25 years. He brings a broad and diverse range of expertise to corporate administration and previously directed national operations, administration, and accounting for 21 Alpha Group's combined portfolio.
Mr. Pilpil received his undergraduate degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting and finance from California State University at Northridge. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Affordable Housing Management Association.