John combines his training as an architect with his 25 years of experience in real estate development to contribute to ECB a broad range of expertise in all phases of the development process. John has particularly strong skills in complex financing structures combining conventional financing, investor equity and funding secured through New Markets and Historic Tax Credits. John’s work in communities throughout Northern California has garnered ECB recognition for its expertise in delivering well-designed, complex projects that make an important contribution to their community.
Prior to ECB, John was a regional vice president of a national development advisory firm specializing in urban mixed use and redevelopment. John earned a Master’s Degree from the MIT Center for Real Estate Development in 1985 and a Bachelor of Architecture from Arizona State University in 1981. John serves on the Board of Trustees for the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts and Lick-Wilmerding High School and formerly served on the boards of Marin Country Day School and The Bay School of San Francisco. John is a longtime resident of San Francisco with his family and occasionally they escape the city to enjoy skiing and travel.
Ben possesses decades of experience in managing all aspects of residential and mixed-use developments. His work in affordable housing includes leadership in rebuilding public housing projects critical to neighborhood revitalization. Ben’s capacity for community and team building is evident in his long-standing relationships and his reputation for integrity across public, private and non-profit sectors.
Ben has served on the Boards of the Northern California Association for Non-Profit Housing, Chinatown Community Development Center, and San Francisco Housing Development Corporation. He received a Bachelor of Arts from UC Santa Cruz and his Masters degree in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley.
Suzanne joined our team in 2005 as a Project Manager and became a Principal in 2014. Suzanne’s energy and passion for the community is evident in her work and personal life. She brings comprehensive knowledge of the development process, design and project management, construction management, and sustainable building practices. As an advocate for sustainable design and construction, she has managed numerous LEED projects including two LEED Platinum buildings.
Suzanne received her B.S in Civil Engineering with a minor in Architecture in 1992 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and her Masters in Structural Engineering in 1997 from Georgia Tech in Atlanta. She holds both Professional Engineer and Structural Engineer licenses in California.
Ted joined our team as Project Manager in 2001 and became a Principal in 2014. His commitment and passion for the environment and community fuel his focus on environmental sustainability and historic rehabilitation. Ted’s responsibilities include business development, development management, and finance consulting, in San Francisco and Marin.
Ted earned his J.D. in 1995 from Golden Gate University School of Law, specializing in environmental law and policy, and his B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He serves on the board of the California Heritage Council, and is a member of SPUR and ULI. Ted’s interests in music, arts, and the environment are shared with his family who live in Marin.
Tom is a developer and planner who has spent three decades working on innovative community-oriented projects that bring to life underutilized urban areas. As a Founding Partner of ECB, he helped build the firm from its conception, utilizing his skills in project management and development learned at Project for Public Spaces, Halcyon, and ROMA Design Group. He led the development and ongoing management of such projects as the Thoreau Center for Sustainability, Building 38 in the Presidio, Cavallo Point Lodge, and the Historic Central Building. Tom was instrumental in the development of the Ed Roberts Campus, the conversion of the historic Shriners Hospital into an assisted care facility, and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Tom participates actively as an advisor to the non-profit sector and believes that an integrated capital approach often provides the best opportunity for solving significant problems. He is on the board of many non-profits working domestically and internationally including the New Field Foundation, (which supports rural African women and sustainable agriculture initiatives), Tamalpais Trust, which works globally with Indigenous-led organizations, Commonweal, Point Reyes National Seashore Association, and Environmental Defenders Legal Center.
Associates and Staff
Kim joined our team in 2014, returning to development after four years across the road in the real estate finance world. Before realizing how much she would miss design meetings and wearing a hard hat, Kim was at Aegon USA Realty Advisors, LLC structuring investments in affordable housing. Prior to Aegon, Kim managed development projects at BRIDGE Housing Corporation in San Francisco. Even before she moved west, Kim had real estate in her blood, having managed market-rate development projects in New York City at The Hudson Companies, Inc.
She began her career in real estate at the New York State Housing Finance Agency as an underwriter. Kim did her undergraduate studies at Washington University in St. Louis and completed an MPP at the Harvard Kennedy School. With two small children at home, Kim dreams of the time when her kids are old enough for her to return to international travel and more hiking and biking in northern California.
Jim joined our team in February 2017 as Construction Manager bringing with him deep experience in construction and sustainability, and added experience in residential and infrastructure development. He brings cost, constructability and sustainability to all ECB projects, while specifically leading selected projects from implementation to occupancy. Jim is committed to delivering quality, highly sustainable buildings for a responsible value. As a senior manager with a large commercial construction company, Jim has managed many LEED Platinum projects, and three Net Zero Energy Projects including a Living Building Challenge NZE certified project. He has been involved with many innovative delivery methods, including the first multi-story modular residential project in San Francisco. Prior to ECB, he managed a team with a developer working on the largest entitled residential project in California.
Jim has served on the boards of Construction Specifications Institute SF, the USGBC Northern California, and most recently, the Health Product Declaration. He is a LEED AP, and CSI CDT. He received a B.S. in Construction Management from California State University at Chico. Jim calls Lafayette home and shares a passion for the outdoors and natural world with his family, and enjoys running, biking, camping and climbing.
Tracy joined our team in 2014 to fulfill a dream of working within the real estate development world. She comes to this field having managed two construction projects and multiple facility negotiations for nonprofit organizations and schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to joining ECB, Tracy worked in the education and nonprofit sector for 13 years, and was most recently the Chief Operating Officer of a start-up charter school network where she built and managed the network’s operations, including finance, human resources, facilities, technology, marketing, and new school development. She currently sits on the Board of a charter school in Oakland, and spends her free time training in martial arts and enjoying all that the Bay Area has to offer.
Melissa joined our team in 2002. Currently, the Controller and Operations Manager, she manages the day-to-day operations of the organization which include bookkeeping, insurance, human resources, and technology management. She is a California Notary Public and the Property Manager for our development project Building 38.
As a San Francisco native, Melissa likes to give back to her community. She has delivered meals to homebound seniors, was a licensed foster care provider, a teen mentor, and has served as an Advisory Board Member of Oasis For Girls. Other interests include traveling, cooking, writing, and experiencing San Francisco’s diverse and ever changing restaurant scene.
Mel Watson joined our team in 1996. Originally staffed at the Thoreau Center for Sustainability as the onsite maintenance person, Mel was integral in establishing maintenance protocols for the historic Letterman Hospital Complex at the Presidio in San Francisco. Mel has since developed a wealth of institutional knowledge by living and working in the Presidio. Mel is especially adept at cultivating collegial relationships with tenants, vendors, and staff. Mel continues his role as Facilities Manager for the Tides Foundation in addition to facilities management at Building 38
Originally from Texas, he now calls San Francisco home. As a longtime resident of San Francisco, where he raised his family of five, he enjoys spending time with his large extended family. Mel is also an avid angler and volunteers with various youth groups in his spare time.