Our highly experienced team brings a wealth of invaluable knowledge and expertise in retail property acquisitions and management. Vintage maintains a strong track record of renovating and repositioning retail properties.
Dr. Carla Sands is Chairman of Vintage Real Estate, LLC, an investment firm founded in 2000 in partnership with her husband, Fred Sands. Vintage Real Estate, LLC is a firm specializing in the acquisition and redevelopment of underperforming regional malls and shopping centers across the country. Dr. Sands brings a broad range of experience and interests to her position as Chairman. She shared her husband’s deep interest in real estate and architecture as demonstrated by her seat on the Board of Visitors of the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture.
In addition to real estate, Dr. Sands also has a passion for the Arts and is dedicated to making the Arts accessible to all. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Dr. Sands to the Board of the California Cultural and Historical Endowment, which disburses monies from Proposition 40 to support cultural treasures, historical buildings, museums and learning centers in California.
Dr. Sands is also the Chairman of The Blue Ribbon, an organization of five hundred women that supports the Los Angeles Music Center, its resident companies and produces the Children’s Festival each spring. She was an eight year member of the Board of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, which oversees Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, and served as a member of the Los Angeles Music Center Board from 2012 to 2015.
Dr. Sands has chaired and co-chaired events and galas to benefit the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Kennedy Center, Los Angeles Police Foundation and many other philanthropic organizations raising millions of dollars to benefit the greater Los Angeles and California community. In 2010, Dr. Sands and Fred were the Honorees of Walk on the Wildside/L.A. Alive! for their contributions to the arts of Los Angeles and the Music Center.
Robert Licht serves as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Vintage Capital Group and is responsible for the financial, operational and administrative affairs of the organization.
Prior to joining Vintage Capital Group, Mr. Licht held the position of Vice President and Controller at Thor Equities, a New York City based real estate investment, development and management firm with a $1.2 billion portfolio of retail, mixed-use and hospitality holdings. Prior to that, he held senior financial positions at a variety of real estate firms, including Archon Group, a division of Goldman Sachs, and The O’Connor Group, a $1 billion shopping center REIT sponsor. He began his career in 1989 with Deloitte, an international accounting and professional services firm.
Mr. Licht received his Bachelor of Science from the Rutgers University. He is a certified public accountant and an active member of ICSC.
Ken Hocker is responsible for all real estate development, property acquisitions and real estate investment activities for Vintage. With over 25 years in the real estate industry, his depth of experience encompasses retail, office and multifamily properties and includes all facets of the development process, property acquisition, investment capital, investment analysis, debt & equity placements, transaction structuring and leasing. Mr. Hocker has been responsible over $1.2 billion in retail and multifamily acquisitions, ground-up development projects and re-positioning value added properties.
Mr. Hocker was most recently with Weingarten Realty Investors and served as Regional Director of Acquisitions and Development. Weingarten is a $7.5 billion public-traded REIT active in the acquisition and development of mixed-use, multi-family and retail projects. Mr. Hocker previously held senior executive positions as President of Watermark Development and Sr. Vice President at Equitable Real Estate / Lend Lease.
Mr. Hocker has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Texas in Austin.
John Desco is responsible for the asset management and operations of the Vintage Real Estate portfolio. For over 26 years, he has been involved in the ownership and operation of enclosed regional malls, open-air centers, as well as other real estate assets. Before joining Vintage, John was employed for over 15 years by Coyote Management, L.P., where he served as Senior Vice President, Asset Management, overseeing the acquisition, operation, value-enhancement and ultimate disposition of its regional malls and open-air centers. Prior to that, Mr. Desco was employed by Marathon, a subsidiary of Canadian Pacific Railroad, as the asset manager for its portfolio of regional malls and retail centers located in the southern United States.
Mr. Desco received both his Bachelor of Business Administration degree and later, his Master of Business Administration degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He is an active member of ICSC, and has served on its CSM Committee. In addition, he holds ICSC’s Certified Shopping Center Manager (CSM), Certified Leasing Specialist (CLS) and Certified Retail Property Executive (CRX) designations.
Jerry Garner is responsible for the oversight and administration of all construction activities including tenant coordination. He is experienced in analyzing existing and proposed retail/real estate projects and building from the ground up or repositioning the projects to successfully compete. Mr. Garner works with local project area governments in conjunction with special consultants to gain entitlement approvals. He develops solutions and strategy planning for redevelopment projects including initial site and project analysis, planning to support the preliminary tenant mix and development of optimum site and project development layouts and budgets.
Prior to Vintage, he served for 11 years as Vice President of Development for The Festival Companies developing community, destination, big box and mall retail projects including both in‐fill redevelopment and new construction. He has overseen and directed new development and redevelopment of projects totaling over $1.25 billion ranging in size from $25,000 to $450 million.
Mr. Garner is a licensed architect. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Oklahoma State University and his Master of Business Administration from UCLA.
Betsy Penson coordinates and directs the strategic marketing and branding programs for Vintage Real Estate and its portfolio of regional malls and neighborhood shopping centers. With over 30 years’ experience in marketing shopping centers, Ms. Penson has held positions as Marketing Director, General Manager, Regional Marketing Director and the dual role of Marketing Director and General Manager. Her focus is the development and implementation of comprehensive marketing programs that increase tenant traffic and sales and enhance Vintage’s property values.
Prior to joining Vintage Real Estate in 2012, she worked for CenterCal Properties, CE John Company, Continental Real Estate, Urban Retail Properties, Mall Management Associates and Allied Shopping Centers, NW. Ms. Penson has experience in a variety of markets across the country. That experience has helped prepare her to guide the marketing efforts of the diverse locations in the Vintage portfolio. She has produced award-winning advertising campaigns, has grand opening and renovation experience and has developed and executed property events that continue to attract thousands of shoppers.
Ms. Penson holds ICSC’s Certified Shopping Center Manager (CSM) and Certified Marketing Director (CMD) designations.
Adam Bitahoun is responsible for identifying real estate opportunities, underwriting, creating detailed financial analysis/strategies, and providing in-depth market research for each potential investment.
Prior to joining Vintage Real Estate, Bitahoun served as the lead Senior Financial Analyst for the Westfield Group’s Los Angeles Region. He was the head analyst on all Los Angeles area shopping malls during pre-development/acquisition, development, redevelopment and post-stabilization phases. Most notably, he worked on the Century City Mall Phase I and II redevelopment, Culver City Mall repositioning and redevelopment, and the Village at Topanga feasibility and entitlements. Bitahoun began his career at CBRE’s Financial Consulting Group where he underwrote and valued over 30 million square feet of retail, office, industrial and multi–family real estate valued at over $4 billion.
Bitahoun earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Real Estate Finance) from the University of Southern California and his MBA from Tel Aviv University.