Our Team

Encore’s management team has a unique combination of skills and experience which differentiates Encore from other opportunistic residential real estate funds. Encore is led by Art Falcone, Tony Avila, and Bill Powers, and staffed by a team of seasoned real estate and investment professionals.

Fund OperationsAcquisitions & Asset Management

John Chiste
Oscar Vasquez
Jared Bouskila
Jeff Gardner
Michael “Bernie” Bernstein
John Schnabel
Penny Lozano
Cora DiFiore
Caily Percy
Cara Newman
Michael Martinez

Joe DiCristina
Julian Nan
Matt Fausett
Ryan Williams
James Hancock
Peter Brown
David Hardy
Zach Legge
Samir Yajnik


Fund Operations

John Chiste
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer

Based in South Florida, Mr. Chiste oversees all financial aspects of the fund, including maintaining compliance procedures.

Prior to Encore, Mr. Chiste was the Chief Financial Officer for the Falcone Group and its affiliates. For 10 years prior to joining the Falcone Group, Mr. Chiste was the Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of Bluegreen Corporation, a publicly-held timeshare and residential land developer. Mr. Chiste was also named Senior Vice President at Bluegreen Corporation. Earlier in his career, Mr. Chiste was the Chief Financial Officer of Comscript, Inc., a pharmaceutical services company. Before that Mr. Chiste served as Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer of Computer Integration Corporation, a publicly held distribution company. Mr. Chiste also held various positions at Ernst and Young LLP.

Chiste holds a BBA in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant.


Oscar Vasquez
Chief Operating Officer

Based in San Francisco, Mr. Vasquez oversees back office operations and investor relations.

Prior to Encore, Mr. Vasquez led the Management Consulting organization in California for EMC, one of the world’s largest technology companies. In this role he had full operational, profit/loss, and business development responsibility for the unit, and presided over 30% year-on-year growth of revenue. Prior to EMC, he worked for Accenture/Andersen Consulting and Deloitte Touche.

Mr. Vasquez earned his BS in Computer Engineering from U.C. San Diego.


Jared Bouskila
Chief Accounting Officer

Based in South Florida, Mr. Bouskila serves as a project controller and fund accountant.

Prior to Encore, Mr. Bouskila worked with Lennar Homes for five years as Controller and Vice President. He oversaw the completion of monthly financial statements, reviewed land purchase agreements, and evaluated proformae on potential land purchases. Prior to joining Lennar, Mr. Bouskila was an audit senior with PricewaterhouseCoopers with a focus on homebuilding.

Mr. Bouskila is a graduate from the University of Florida and is a Certified Public Accountant.


Jeff Gardner

Mr. Gardner joined Encore in 2018 as a Senior Director of Investor Relations. He is based in New York City and is responsible for investor coverage and business development initiatives. Prior to joining Encore, Mr. Gardner was a Director at Invesco Real Estate where he was responsible for fundraising, as well as overseeing the fund formation and capital raising process for Invesco’s Asia-Pacific, European and U.S. value-add, opportunistic and credit funds. Mr. Gardner began his real estate career at the Carlyle Group where he was on the real estate solutions team (Metropolitan Real Estate), a private equity real estate fund-of funds sponsor. In this role he worked alongside the CFO supporting a variety of functions across the firm’s business, including: manager due diligence, legal and tax structuring, marketing, product development and strategic business initiatives. Mr. Gardner graduated with a BA in History from Boston College.


Michael “Bernie” Bernstein
Director of Financial Reporting

Based in South Florida, Mr. Bernstein serves as Director of Financial Reporting.

Prior to Encore, Mr. Bernstein worked at Ernst & Young for seven years, most recently as an Assurance Manager spending time in both the Financial Services Office and Real Estate Practice.

Mr. Bernstein holds a Master’s in Accounting from the University of Alabama, a Bachelor’s in Accounting and Finance from Florida State University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.


John Schnabel
Controller

Based in South Florida, Mr. Schnabel serves as a project and fund accountant.

Prior to Encore, Mr. Schnabel worked for 17 years at Forest City Ratner Companies (“FCRC”) which is a large real estate developer, owner/operator and New York subsidiary of a publicly held Company; Forest City Enterprises.

As Director of Financial Reporting, Mr. Schnabel was responsible for all financial reporting of the development projects. Including, GAAP research for complex transactions; internal control documentation in accordance with Sarbanes Oxley act and overseeing tax return preparations.

Prior to FCRC, John worked in Public Accounting for approximately 5 years, where he earned his CPA.

Mr. Schnabel is a Graduate of the College of Staten Island which is part of the City University of New York.


Penny Lozano
Regional Controller

Based in Orlando, FL Ms. Lozano serves as the Regional Controller for our Margaritaville Resort Orlando project.

Prior to Encore, Ms Lozano worked in the Construction and Development industry for over 20 years serving either as a Controller, Vice President or Chief Financial Officer for various companies.

Ms Lozano holds a MBA from the University of Central Florida, a BSBA from the University of Louisiana, and is a Certified Public Accountant.


Cora DiFiore
Administration

Based in South Florida, Ms. DiFiore is an administrative assistant.

Prior to joining Encore, Ms. DiFiore served as a Vice President with Falcone Group. She was charged with overseeing all employee benefits, corporate insurance programs, and managing day-to-day administration and operations of the group.

Ms. DiFiore graduated from Stony Brook University in New York State.


Caily Percy
VP Investor Relations

Based in San Francisco, Ms. Percy manages investor relations and fund operations.

Ms. Percy graduated from California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo.


Cara Newman
Administration

Based in San Francisco/Marin County, Cara manages the office operations and is Executive Assistant to Tony Avila. Cara has worked as an assistant for Mr. Avila since 2004.

Cara graduated from San Diego State University. She resides in Sonoma County with husband and two girls.


Michael Martinez
Accounting Manager

Based in South Florida, Mr. Martinez serves as the Accounting Manager focused primarily on the Company’s multifamily portfolio.

Prior to Encore, Mr. Martinez worked as an Audit Senior at Deloitte & Touché, where he spent time working on both REIT’s and homebuilding clients.

Mr. Martinez is a combat Army veteran who served a 12 month deployment to Afghanistan in 2009 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Mr. Martinez holds a Master of Accounting degree from Florida Atlantic University and is a Certified Public Accountant.


Acquisitions & Asset Management

Joe DiCristina
President – Multifamily

Based in South Florida, Mr. DiCristina heads Encore’s multifamily acquisition and asset management team, which is primarily focused on expanding the firm's position in the major California, Florida and Texas markets.

Prior to Encore, Mr. DiCristina was Managing Principal of American Group Advisors, LLC, providing real estate workout, turn around and restructuring services to public and privately held financial institutions through court appointed receiverships and REO asset management. Prior to forming AGA, Mr. DiCristina founded DiCristina and Associates, Inc, providing advisory services to publicly traded and privately held companies on the creation and execution of real estate investment strategies. Concurrent to his work at DiCristina and Associates, Mr. DiCristina became a principal in Atlantis Development, LLC. Prior thereto, Mr. DiCristina was Managing Director of the Cornerstone Group, where he was recruited to create a market rate apartment development company. In addition, Mr. DiCristina was also employed by Archstone as Senior Vice President of Investments for the Central Region of the United States.

Mr. DiCristina holds a BS from Arizona State University and a Master’s Degree in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania where he also attended the Wharton School.


Julian Nan

Prior to Encore, Mr. Nan was the Director of Land Acquisition for Shea Homes, a national residential home builder and developer. He was responsible for sourcing, underwriting, and negotiating land transactions in Southern California, as well as entitling or repurposing land for residential use. Before Shea Homes, he worked for Pulte Group and KB Home, and has collectively acquired 1,100+ residential lots.

Mr. Nan received his BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Cal Poly Pomona and a Master of Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California.


Matt Fausett

Matt identifies, evaluates, and acquires investment opportunities for Encore in various markets in the United States. He started his career in real estate working for Centex Homes as a Strategic Market Analyst. He spent over 7 years at Centex eventually becoming the Director of Strategic Marketing for the West Coast Region. Following Centex, Mr. Fausett began working at Shapell Homes in a finance role reporting directly to the CFO; eventually transferring to the forward planning department of Shapell to assist with the entitlements throughout Southern California. After Shapell, Mr. Fausett was the Vice President of Finance for Duc Housing and related entities with responsibility for not only finances but land acquisition and forward planning as well. His diverse background in strategy, finance, land acquisition, marketing, and forward planning make him uniquely qualified in all facets of real estate development.

Mr. Fausett holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Finance from Brigham Young University and an MBA from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.


Ryan Williams
Analyst

Based in South Florida, Mr. Williams is a financial analyst focused on development and acquisition opportunities.

Prior to joining Encore in 2013, Ryan received his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University.


James Hancock
Asset Manager

Based in South Florida, Mr. Hancock is responsible for execution of daily business affairs for Encore's multifamily development portfolio, including contracts, budgets, and project management / oversight.

Prior to Encore, Mr. Hancock served as Vice President of Acquisitions and Development for Eastview Development, where he was involved in acquisitions, overseeing the investment due diligence process, asset financial reporting and structuring equity and debt investments. Prior to that, Mr. Hancock worked for Jack Nicklaus Companies and oversaw acquisition, asset management and business development.

Mr. Hancock holds a BSM in Finance and Marketing from Tulane University.


Peter Brown
Executive Director – Operations and Asset Management

Based in South Florida, Mr. Brown is focused on operations and asset management in Central Florida.

Prior to Encore, Mr. Brown was President of Four Seasons Group, Inc. a regional land development, homebuilding, hospitality, and real estate brokerage organization. Prior to Four Seasons, Mr. Brown worked for LNR as a financial analyst on the West Coast.

Mr. Brown is a member of the Urban Land Institute and the National Association of Homebuilders. Mr. Brown earned a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan, as well as a Master of Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California. Mr. Brown is also an AMDP alumnus from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.


David Hardy
Associate

Based in Los Angeles, Mr. Hardy is an acquisition and project management associate in Southern California.

Prior to Encore, Mr. Hardy was a Project Manager for KB Home where he oversaw the development and management of over 900 single family lots and $100mm in assets for projects in Southern California. Before KB Home, Mr. Hardy was a Planner for the City of El Cajon.

Mr. Hardy earned a BS in Geography with an emphasis in Geographic Information Systems from Cal Poly Pomona, as well as a Master of City Planning from San Diego State University.


Zach Legge
Analyst

Zach Legge is a financial analyst in the San Francisco office. He focuses on the underwriting and financial modeling and monitoring of our real estate investments.

He graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Finance from California State University, Chico in 2019


Samir Yajnik
Senior Vice President

Based in South Florida, Mr. Yajnik is responsible for deal structuring and capitalization, project level underwriting and fund level asset management across the portfolio.

Prior to Encore, Mr. Yajnik served as Managing Director for DeBartolo Development where he led the acquisition process from deal sourcing through closing, was responsible for the coordination and completion of project due diligence, and managed the origination of debt and equity across hospitality, multifamily and retail value-add and distressed investment opportunities. Also, he played a key role in two opportunity funds in terms of initial fund raising presentations, ongoing analytics and fund reporting, asset management and ongoing client interaction. Prior to DeBartolo, he was with SetPoint Partners, a private investment group and a direct affiliate of The Swerdlow Group, focused on sourcing and underwriting distressed and value-add real estate investment opportunities. Prior to SetPoint, Mr. Yajnik was with NewStar Financial, a publicly traded commercial finance company focused on senior, second lien and subordinated debt financing to private equity-backed companies and alternative asset management for institutional investors. Mr. Yajnik also spent six years with General Electric Capital Services where he held domestic and international positions in areas of corporate finance, structured finance, risk management and operations analysis.

Mr. Yajnik is a graduate of the GE Capital Financial Management Program and holds a BBA in Finance and a Computer Science Engineering Minor from University of Kentucky as well as an MS in Real Estate from University of Florida Warrington College of Business.