Officers & Directors

Officers & Directors

Management

Stephane De Baets
Stephane De Baets
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President
Stephane De Baets

Stephane De Baets has served as the president and chief executive officer of our company and the chairman of our board of directors since our company’s inception. Mr. De Baets has approximately 20 years of experience in asset management, financial structuring, and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. De Baets has advised companies in both Asia and the United States and has significant experience and professional networks in both real estate and hospitality. Mr. De Baets founded Elevated Returns LLC, which is the majority owner of our Manager, and has served as its chief executive officer and president since its formation in April 2014. Since April 2008, Mr. De Baets has been Managing Partner at OptAsia Capital Co., Ltd., a professional financial advisory firm located in Bangkok, Thailand, which is focused on Asian-based transactions and outbound investments for Thai nationals. From February 2003 to April 2008, Mr. De Baets served as head of corporate finance in Bangkok at Grant Thornton LLP, where he advised listed and unlisted companies in their mergers and acquisitions and capital-raising strategies. From February 1999 to March 2001, Mr. De Baets served as director at Devonshire Capital, a boutique investment. Mr. De Baets also assisted in structuring and executing several takeovers of listed and unlisted companies. Mr. De Baets received a master’s degree in management sciences, finance and marketing from Universit´e Libre de Bruxelle, Solvay Business School, and received a bachelor of arts degree in business administration from Solvay Business School of Management.

Michael Wirth
Michael Wirth
Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer
Michael Wirth

Michael Wirth has served as the chief financial officer, secretary and treasurer of our company since its inception and has been a C-suite executive for over 16 years. During his career he has led and executed five initial public offerings of newly organized or start-up companies. Mr. Wirth has over 32 years of experience in the financial services and real estate sectors. Since April 2016, Mr. Wirth has been the chief financial officer and chief operating officer for Cape Advisors, Inc., a real estate development company in New York City, Long Island and New Jersey. In addition, Mr. Wirth currently serves as lead independent director on the board of Quontic Bank, a community bank, and serves as the chairman of its executive committee and the audit committee. From January 2014 to March 2016, Mr. Wirth served as the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors at Maiden Lane Jewelry, Ltd., a wholesaler and manufacturer of jewelry with sales to independent jewelry retailers. From August 2012 to February 2014, Mr. Wirth was the founding principal of Quiddity Group LLC, a corporate advisory firm, providing real estate and regulatory advisory services to real estate and hospitality entities and financial services enterprises. From November 2006 to July 2012, Mr. Wirth served as the chief financial officer, executive vice president and chief compliance officer at KCAP Financial, Inc. (formerly Kohlberg Capital Corporation), a NASDAQ-listed business development company (‘‘KCAP’’) that makes debt and equity investments in middle-market companies, and the chief financial officer of Katonah Debt Advisors, its wholly owned asset manager. From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Wirth was a co-founder, chief financial officer and executive vice president of New York Mortgage Trust, Inc., a mortgage REIT that completed its initial public offering in 2004, and is listed as NYMT on NASDAQ. From 2002 to 2003, Mr. Wirth served as the chief financial officer of Newcastle Investment Corp. (now known as Drive Shack Inc.), a mortgage REIT; Mr. Wirth also served as a senior vice president of Fortress Investment Group LLC, the external advisor of Newcastle, from 2002 to 2003. From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Wirth served as the senior vice president and chief financial officer of Charter Municipal Mortgage Acceptance Company (now known as Centerline Holding Company), a multi-family residential finance company, American Mortgage Acceptance Company, a mortgage REIT, and Aegis Realty Inc., a retail property REIT; Mr. Wirth also served as a senior vice president of Related Capital Company, which externally managed each of the foregoing companies, from 2000 to 2002. From 1997 to 2000, Mr. Wirth served as a vice president at CGA Investment Management, Inc., a monoline insurer of structured debt and an investor in real estate and asset-backed securities. From 1983 to 1997, Mr. Wirth was a senior manager with Deloitte & Touche LLP, a multinational professional services firm, and specialized in transaction, valuation and consulting services to the real estate and financial services industries. Mr. Wirth received a bachelor of business administration degree from Georgia State University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Board of Directors

Scott Alper
Scott Alper
Director Nominee
Scott Alper

Scott Alper currently serves as the President and Chief Investment Officer as well as a partner at Witkoff Group LLC (''Witkoff'') a privately held, global real estate development and investment firm headquartered in New York City. Mr. Alper is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Witkoff's investments, operations, leasing, development, and financings. Since joining Witkoff in September of 1997, Mr. Alper has overseen both equity and structured investments predominately in residential, hospitality, and office asset classes. Mr. Alper holds a bachelor of sciences degree from the New York University Stern School of Business and currently is on the Board of Governors of the Real Estate Board of New York and the Board of the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Stephen K. Orr
Stephen K. Orr
Director Nominee
Stephen K. Orr

Mr. Orr co-founded Orr Associates, Inc., a consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City that supports operations and fundraising for nonprofits, in May 1991, and currently serves as managing partner and board member. He is responsible for coordinating strategy and execution for capital campaigns and fundraising events. Mr. Orr has served on the board of CariClub Inc. since June 2015, and has been Managing Member of Project 5A LLC since October 2009, Orr Family Aspen LLC since December 2016, and Keala Ranch #5 LLC since February 2017. Mr. Orr holds a masters degree in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University and a bachelor of arts degree in finance and marketing from Michigan State University.

Allan Grafman
Allan Grafman
Director Nominee
Allan Grafman

Mr. Grafman has served as an officer and/or director of a number of companies over the past 35 years. Since January 1996, Mr. Grafman has served as the chief executive officer of All Media Ventures, which he founded and which assists companies with raising capital, identifying market opportunities, licensing brands and developing business. From September 2005 to September 2013, he served as operating partner of Mercury Capital Partners, a private equity investment fund. From 2002 to 2005, Mr. Grafman served as president of Archie Comics. Mr. Grafman also served as president and chief executive officer of Modelwire from 2000 to 2001. Earlier in his career, Mr. Grafman served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Hallmark Entertainment, vice president and managing director of Tribune Company and vice president and general manager of Disney/ABC/Capital Cities Cable Television. Mr. Grafman served as chairman of the board of Majesco from May 2007 to December 2014. Mr. Grafman is also active in a number of corporate governance advisory boards, including the National Association of Corporate Directors. Mr. Grafman holds masters degrees in finance and economics from Columbia University, and a bachelor of arts degree from Indiana University in Russian language and literature.

ER-REITS, LLC – Aspen REIT's External Manager, a majority-owned subsidiary of Elevated Returns

Stephane De Baets
Stephane De Baets
Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President
Michael Wirth
Michael Wirth
Chief Financial Officer
Jason Kirschenbaum
Jason Kirschenbaum
Managing Director of Elevated Returns
Alex Ho
Comptroller of Elevated Returns