Meet Dakota Partners

Dakota Partners was founded in 2006 when Roberto Arista and Marc Daigle merged their individual real estate development businesses. Shortly thereafter Steve Kominski joined Dakota, bringing substantial experience in financing projects with low income housing tax credits (LIHTC), historic tax credits (HTC), and other federal, state and local programs. Since then, Dakota Partners has assembled an exceptional team that has decades of experience designing, developing, and building residential and commercial projects. This extraordinary group of professionals is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of quality.

Marc Daigle

Principal

As Principal and CEO, Marc oversees all of Dakota’s acquisition, entitlement, design and construction activities. Prior to co-founding Dakota, Marc was founder and President of Emerald Development Group where he developed two dozen projects with a value of more than $70 million. These projects ranged from luxury single-family residences to multi-family new and rehabilitated buildings. Before starting Emerald, Marc founded Architectural Partners where he designed more than 60 residential projects totaling almost 900 units of residential infill housing projects for other developers. Marc received a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture and Engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Roberto Arista

Principal

Dakota’s co-founder and President, Roberto is responsible for the development, project financing, and asset management activities of the firm. Roberto brings over 20 years of project planning, budgeting, development and financing experience, and has successfully managed over $100 million in capital projects. Previously, Roberto was co-founder of Austin Development where he was involved in multi-family condominium projects. Roberto holds a BS in Engineering from Northeastern, an MBA from Boston College, and an MS in Real Estate Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Judi Hilton

Chief Operating Officer

Judi oversees Dakota’s day-to-day administrative and operational functions. With more than 25 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry, Judi is a strategic and innovative executive who is motivated to improve organizations, lead complex change, and deliver successful outcomes. Before joining Dakota, she served as an independent management consultant, guiding various clients to achieve their organizational goals through operational improvement. Prior to that, she worked for Cresa Partners, LLC in Boston for fourteen years, rising from Vice President of Operations to Chief Operating Officer. Judi holds a BS in Architectural Engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology and completed the MBA program at Suffolk University while working full time. Over the past decade, she has served on several Corporate and non-profit boards.

Alan Regan

Chief Financial Officer

Alan oversees Dakota’s financial and administrative operations, including accounting, cash and risk management, financial reporting and human resources. Based in West Henrietta, New York, Alan Regan has extensive experience in real estate management, development, and finance. Over his successful career, he has fulfilled the roles of Controller, CFO, COO, and Regional Property Manager in the affordable housing and commercial industries. Prior to arriving at Dakota, Alan was an outsource Controller and CFO at various companies with a need to fill these positions on a short-term basis.

Cheryl Stulpin

Executive Vice President of Acquisitions & Development

Cheryl oversees the development team for New York and the Mid-Atlantic states. An experienced real estate executive with more than 30 years of experience in Development, Construction, and Asset/Property Management, Cheryl has a strong background in structuring complex development and financial transactions, and portfolio management. As the Executive Vice President of Acquisitions & Development, Cheryl focuses on strengthening Dakota’s portfolio while also expanding into new states. Cheryl attended St. John Fisher College where she studied Liberal Arts. Active in her community, Chery is a former Board Member/Executive Committee Member of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing and Emeritus Member and Co-Founder of the Pennsylvania Developers Council.

Stephen Kominski

Vice President of Acquisitions and Development

Steve directs all acquisition and financing activities for Dakota Partners, with responsibility for identifying, analyzing, securing and structuring the financing of sites and buildings appropriate for multi-family housing and historic conversion. Steve has more than 30 years of experience in real estate development, construction and asset management, including substantial experience developing properties that utilize state and federal tax credit incentives. Steve earned a BA in Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MBA from Suffolk University.

Mark Pilotte

Vice President of Development

As Vice President of Development, Mark plays an integral role in growing Dakota’s portfolio. He is responsible for all aspects of the real estate development and permitting process. Mark brings more than 25 years of both national and international real estate development expertise, with a background in residential, office, industrial, retail and hotel development. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Roger Williams College and is a member of the Board of Directors on the Greater Hartford Arts Council.

Brian Donato

Vice President of Acquisitions and Development

A strong leader with a keen eye for detail, Brian leads a team of Development Directors and Project Managers in his role as Vice President of Acquisitions and Development. Prior to joining Dakota, Brian spent ten years working for a nationally-recognized, full-service real estate company that specializes in the development, construction, management, and ownership of high-quality affordable housing communities. In that time, he progressively gained increased responsibility and experience in all phases of real estate development and recently executed the largest real estate closing in the firm’s history, over $100 million in development costs. Brian holds a B.S.B.A. in Finance with a concentration in Accounting from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

Jim Peys

Vice President Business Development

As Director of Acquisitions, Jim identifies potential development sites in New England, New York and the Mid-Atlantic states. His responsibilities include site identification, feasibility analysis, and due diligence. Jim is a results-driven professional, operation director, and real estate broker with a diverse career in management, sales, operations, project management and executive leadership in the construction, investments, real estate and development industries. A licensed real estate broker, Jim also holds a JD from the Whittier Law School and a BA in Business Administration from St. Michael’s College.

 

Evan Fink

Development Design Director

Evan brings over 15 years of industry experience to the Dakota team. A licensed architect in Massachusetts and a member of the American Institute of Architects, Evan oversees and coordinates the design and pre-development phases of all projects. He also manages the team’s architects, engineers and other design consultants. Evan graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. He takes pride in providing quality housing that focuses on quality design and community for it’s residents, and has designed and funded Passive House Certified (PHIUS) multi-family housing projects.

Eric Kuczarski

Sr. Development Director

Eric oversees and manages all aspects of the development process, including the closing, construction and/or renovation and lease-up of Dakota’s active projects. Eric brings over 15 years of project management experience in multi-family and mixed use development projects. He earned a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, an MS in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Certificate in Real Estate Design and Development from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Muammar Hermanstyne

Development Director

Muammar is a senior planner and project manager for Dakota Partners in his role as Development Director. With more than 13 years of experience working in the housing industry, Muammar has experience with the development, community interface and funding applications for affordable housing projects in the Central District of Seattle. He is also a licensed real estate agent in Massachusetts. Muammar earned a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from New York University and holds a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science from Long Island University.

Jeremy Vieira

Development Director

Jeremy is a real estate development professional with more than a decade of financial modeling, analytics, and project management experience. In his role as Development Project Manager, Jeremy is responsible for the day-to-day progression of all aspects of the development process. Jeremy holds a Master’s of Science degree in Real Estate Development from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from Bridgewater State University.

Dan Montanaro

Development Director

Dan has a decade of experience overseeing development of multi-phased affordable housing projects. In his previous role overseeing initiatives from inception through stabilization, Dan raised over $200MM in capital through LIHTC awards and other private/public funding sources to build approximately 600 units of new construction. Prior to working in real estate development, Dan worked in project management for a CT based general contractor after earning his B.S. in Construction Management from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. Dan is currently earning his M.S. in Real Estate Development from Georgetown University.

Jennifer Linton

Development Closing Manager

As Development Closing Manager, Jenn manages the intricate and complicated process of closing Dakota’s projects with extreme organization and a keen eye for detail. For the last 14 years, Jennifer has worked in various development roles for a large affordable housing developer. The majority of her time was spent as a Finance Coordinator but most recently as a Sr. Project Coordinator. Jennifer is knowledgeable in all aspects of development, from acquisition to permanent conversion. She received her BIS from Arizona State University with concentrations in Public Administration and Justice Studies.

Gary Williams

Director of Construction

As Director of Construction, Gary oversees construction operations, onsite safety and the financial well-being of all projects. Over his 20+ year career, Gary Williams has a well-earned reputation for excellence in the Mid-Atlantic area. Based in Virginia, he has managed a wide range of projects as a subcontractor, general contractor, and design-builder. Most of the projects he has managed have been in Virginia, Maryland, and District of Columbia with one noteworthy remote assignment in Cincinnati, Ohio for a repeat client. His background as a subcontractor has given him a unique perspective and has significantly shaped his day-to-day interactions and approach to conflict resolution.

Drew Bourne

Director of Preconstruction

As Director of Preconstruction, Drew oversees the daily management and coordination of the preconstruction phase of our projects. Drew and his team ensure that our projects meet their objectives with respect to estimating, bidding, contract negotiation, purchasing, scheduling and permitting. Prior to joining Dakota Partners, Drew gained extensive experience as a development manager while working for a large privately held construction and real estate development firm. He also has experience as a general contractor building and renovating custom and historic homes in the Rhode Island area, in addition to retail construction and fit-outs. Drew joined Dakota Partners in 2018 and is a Certified Passive House Builder (CPHB®) and holds a OSHA 30 license.