Leadership Team

Making experience Matter.

“The beauty of development is the sheer delight of walking around in the results of your hard work.”

Matt Root

partner

Matt Root
“The beauty of development is the sheer delight of walking around in the results of your hard work.”

Matt Root

partner

Matt has a nose for the smart risks. Though he followed his entrepreneurial instincts from an early point in his career, Matt’s approach was to spot sound opportunities while organizing contingent coping strategies. For 30 years, it’s paid off. Having directed the acquisition of over 20 million square feet of real estate assets valued in excess of $4 billion, Matt is also responsible for arranging and structuring over $2 billion in equity and debt positions. His insight into how to best create value and mitigate risk has resulted in ventures with GE Capital, Starwood Capital, Allstate, Invesco, and other industry leaders. His momentum carries on to the next generation, as all three Root children are leaders in equestrian riding and auto racing.

“This industry has been part of civilization ever since two blocks were stacked. It’s magical and humbling to be part of it.”

Jim Stuart

partner

Jim Stuart
“This industry has been part of civilization ever since two blocks were stacked. It’s magical and humbling to be part of it.”

Jim Stuart

partner

Jim became an entrepreneur because working for someone else just wasn’t working. Cursed by seeing all the ways commercial development could be done better and burdened by proving he knew how, he had to follow his vision. Ever since, he’s led hundreds of transactions and over $2 billion in development during a 30-year tenure in real estate. After co-founding Pirch and receiving a string of accolades, including Southern California Entrepreneur of the year from Ernst and Young, Jim and his future partners formulated the idea of Matter while on a seven-day bike tour down the California coast. Whether it’s in sports, business or belting out an 80s tune without knowing the lyrics, Jim is always looking for the next challenge and encouraging his colleagues to do the same.

“It’s more than just storytelling—the engine has to run. The mechanics are pretty important to the process.”

Kevin Burke

partner

Kevin Burke
“It’s more than just storytelling—the engine has to run. The mechanics are pretty important to the process.”

Kevin Burke

partner

Kevin is an engineer first, and in the Matter leadership, he sees three components that form a powerful machine. Sheer circumstance had assembled a business visionary, a financial ace, and himself: an expert in comprehensive construction management known for devising customized building solutions across the U.S for over 30 years. Now, he has access to a network of talent that can bridge the usual process gaps, allowing him to build upon an already impressive portfolio that includes Walmart, MGM Resorts, and Howard Hughes Corporation. Kevin believes he can always do the job a little better than last time. Except on the dance floor, where he’s convinced it’s everyone else who’s wrong about his moves.

“I just want our tenants to love where they work.”

Tom van Betten

vice president of strategic partnerships

Tom van Betten
“I just want our tenants to love where they work.”

Tom van Betten

vice president of strategic partnerships

Landlord or tenant. Broker or builder. Tom speaks your language. With over 25 years of commercial real estate experience, covering every corner of the business, he knows how to bridge the people gaps in every transaction. Tom’s role is to make everyone, on all sides of the deal, feel like partners in the process. As a former top broker himself, he's honed his skills guiding some of North America’s leading companies into new facilities. He now brings that extensive talent to businesses of every size, because the tenant is always the heartbeat of the project. And Tom knows about keeping the beat from drumming his heart out in a Pearl Jam cover band.

“A problem is actually a gift, because it builds creativity and learning.”

Michael Burer

chief financial officer

Michael Burer
“A problem is actually a gift, because it builds creativity and learning.”

Michael Burer

chief financial officer

Michael looks forward to the unknowns. With over 20 years of financial management experience, he already knows most of the knowns. But the unexpected challenges that show up with every new deal satisfy his entrepreneurial spirit. He has the MBA—and a JD from University of San Diego School of Law—but challenging variations are what keep his education alive. He counts commercial real estate, debt and equity capitalization strategy, and acquisition underwriting among his areas of expertise. He’d like to add singing to the list, but his wife and daughters will confirm he can’t.

“Construction is challenging. The collective effort of many that it takes to meet those challenges is what makes it a great industry to be a part of.”

Bob Gittings

vice president of finance

Bob Gittings
“Construction is challenging. The collective effort of many that it takes to meet those challenges is what makes it a great industry to be a part of.”

Bob Gittings

vice president of finance

Bob is here to change your preconceptions that finance and accounting people are too serious—he even laughs at his own jokes to prove it. While his personality beams laughter and joy, Bob is no stranger to the serious work that goes behind making sure the numbers line up. With an extensive background in the construction industry and over 12 years at Burke Construction Group, Bob is diving in, headfirst, to the world of development by joining the Matter team. He demonstrates consistent success in linking accounting with general operations to provide hands-on financial leadership for strategic planning, sales and marketing, purchasing, inventory, production, and distribution.

“It’s a different adventure every day. ”

Debbie Schmitt

director of finance

Debbie Schmitt
“It’s a different adventure every day. ”

Debbie Schmitt

director of finance

With 15 years of experience in financial management, Debbie is results-focused and always ready for the next project. When she's not being a proactive leader in the workplace, she's hitting the ski slopes and maybe attempting a run that was a bit too ambitious. However, a challenge has never stopped her.  Debbie brings with her an extensive history of leading accounting teams and advising executives on financial, budget and audit-related issues. She may be cracking down on our spending and keeping us all in line, but her contagious laugh can fill any room and will make anyone happy to be in her presence.

“From pure passion and relentless pursuit comes success.”

Thad Lawrence

director of pre-construction

Thad Lawrence
“From pure passion and relentless pursuit comes success.”

Thad Lawrence

director of pre-construction

Thad’s role at Matter is to get the job done right. Long before the cement starts mixing, he blends plans, policies, and procedures with his 18 years of estimating and construction experience to ensure the project starts with a realistic budget and timeline. His expertise are backed up by a surplus of credentials: B-100 Limited Commercial Building, LEED® Accredited, and an OSHA 30-Hour Certified Professional. Powered by his favorite energy drink, he overcomes pressure to ensure excellence—an everyday feat for a Construction Quality Management specialist certified by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

“Connecting with people, building a team you trust, working together towards a common goal…these are my favorite parts of real estate.”

Kelly Lawson

director of real estate

Kelly Lawson
“Connecting with people, building a team you trust, working together towards a common goal…these are my favorite parts of real estate.”

Kelly Lawson

director of real estate

Kelly lives by the list. Finding the right piece of land takes a high level of detail coordination, and Kelly has been developing hers since she started in real estate at age 17. No stranger to uncharted territory, she was the first female broker at Colliers International Las Vegas. She’s closed brokerage deals for Lewis Homes, KB Homes, Molasky families, and Mirage Resorts. In development, she’s closed over $100 million in industrial, office and mixed-use assemblages. Property due diligence. Escrow and title management. Market knowledge. Closings. With everything she accomplishes, you’ll forgive her for talking at an iced coffee-fueled one million words a minute.

“Real estate can be bought, but value can only be created with creativity, integrity, and passion.”

Jenny Butte

senior analyst

Jenny Butte
“Real estate can be bought, but value can only be created with creativity, integrity, and passion.”

Jenny Butte

senior analyst

Jenny is a radar for lucrative investments. The acquisition and development opportunities that pop up on her scope have all passed through the rigorous analysis method she honed at Duff & Phelps, a leading global valuation and corporate finance advisor. She adds further value by assisting with due diligence and underwriting for disposition and financing activities. Even after building is complete, her analytical support continues to magnify opportunities for leasing and asset management teams. Jenny provides the complete market strategy from before the start to beyond the finish. Opportunities spring up all around her. Unfortunately, this talent for growth hasn’t helped her gardening.

“Constructing a building is the means, not the end. It is the means of creating value to all users and stakeholders.”

Dimitri Mihaloliakos

director of estimating

Dimitri Mihaloliakos
“Constructing a building is the means, not the end. It is the means of creating value to all users and stakeholders.”

Dimitri Mihaloliakos

director of estimating

Dimitri does the math that makes the vision possible. A 20-year building veteran, he made his reputation on mastering the art and science of estimating, working with customers to deliver construction that lives up to conception. Active in the commercial development community, Dimitri is a member of the Nevada Contractors Association (NCA), NAIOP and the leadership organization, Vistage. In 2010, he was recognized by In Business Magazine as one of their “40 under 40” honorees. Dimitri always has something cooking. He may even invite you for dinner, since his traditional Greek upbringing taught him to always make enough for a small army.

“Building strong credible relationships and working with a team that utilizes everyone's strengths are the reason I love my job.”

Nicole Williams

construction manager

Nicole Williams
“Building strong credible relationships and working with a team that utilizes everyone's strengths are the reason I love my job.”

Nicole Williams

construction manager

With over 10 years of experience in Las Vegas, Nicole has supported a diverse group of clients and brought numerous projects to life. Her experience in operations and tenant coordination make her well suited for project and construction management. After her first cup of coffee in the morning, she is ready to tackle any challenge you throw her way. When she is not working diligently, you can find her exploring the outdoors for long walks, but don’t ask her to run, that’s just something she hasn’t mastered.

“Building a community is not just a job; it’s my passion. I care about promoting the human experience and doing it honestly. Seeing the voices that are never elevated take on great heights is why I love what I do.”

Amalie Zinsser

UnCommons community director

Amalie Zinsser
“Building a community is not just a job; it’s my passion. I care about promoting the human experience and doing it honestly. Seeing the voices that are never elevated take on great heights is why I love what I do.”

Amalie Zinsser

UnCommons community director

Leading with the heart and connecting with people is how Amalie approaches every aspect of her life. Her extensive experience in management and community partnerships at WeWork makes her a strategic partner for cultivating connection at UnCommons. From her signature hats to a full-of-life personality, Amalie is someone that knows how to create a deeper meaning to everything she does. Driven by purpose and the human experience, Amalie is up early to get the job done and ready to craft the perfect old-fashioned cocktail for you at happy hour.

“To see a company grow from the ground up is beyond inspirational. To be a part of this journey and do my part to help spread our message is incredibly rewarding.”

Savanah Stuart

marketing manager

Savanah Stuart
“To see a company grow from the ground up is beyond inspirational. To be a part of this journey and do my part to help spread our message is incredibly rewarding.”

Savanah Stuart

marketing manager

Savanah knows communications can be a tricky animal. There’s getting the story right, and getting it to the right audience. But if there’s two things she knows, it’s storytelling and animals. Early in her career, she took her marketing talents from interning at the San Diego Mayor’s Office to running her own agency that specialized in the equine community she’d been close to her whole life. Today, she tames the wild task of ensuring everyone from the tenant to the neighbors knows how the latest Matter project can improve their lives. But only when she isn’t rescuing every animal she can.

Conversations Matter.

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