A diverse, cycle-tested executive team lead by Lee Zieben.
Lee Zieben is Founder and President of Zieben Group (ZG). Mr. Zieben serves as the visionary for all of ZG’s investments and is heavily involved in all aspects of project site selection, design coordination and implementation, project financing, and asset management. His experience includes almost two decades as an award-winning residential developer of projects with a cumulative value of over $800 million.
A strong advocate for his community, Mr. Zieben currently serves as an active Board Member of the Houston Museum of Health and the Silicon Valley Venture Fund. He previously served in the following board positions: Board Co-Chair for Texas Southern University’s Jones School of Business, Board Member of the University of Houston’s College of Technology, Advisory Board Member for Teach For America, and was appointed by Governor Perry to the Texas Online Authority.
Founder & President
Charisse Harris is Vice President of Multifamily Development for Zieben Group and serves as the Asset Manager for ZG Management’s Real Estate portfolio. She has over 16 years of affordable housing and commercial real estate development experience. She previously worked as a Vice President for the Chaparral Group, a company, which specializes in Commercial Real Estate Development of Affordable Housing properties. Charisse’s portfolio experience is valued in excess of $300M.
In her current role with the Zieben Group, she specializes in Development, Acquisitions, Financial Analysis, Asset Management and all Regulatory Compliance for the company’s Tax Credit and HUD projects.
Charisse attended the University of Southern Mississippi and later transferred to the University of Phoenix in Houston where she received her B.A. in Business Administrative and Finance. She is a licensed Texas Real Estate Agent and is also a member of the Houston Association of Realtors, Texas Association of Realtors, and National Association of Realtors. She has received compliance certifications with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Development and HUD.
Vice President of Multifamily Development
Lee Orr brings 30 years of institutional industrial development experience to the Zieben Group team. Lee has in-depth experience in entering new markets, underwriting industrial development strategies, structuring and negotiating joint ventures and public-private partnerships, and on-the-ground execution of all aspects of the design, permitting, infrastructure, earthworks, construction, lease-up and sales elements.
Lee started his career as a broker with CBRE and transitioned to the land and building development side of the business with Hines Interests in the 1990’s, where he co-lead the acquisition and development of two world-class industrial parks in Mexico. He later joined Hillwood (a Perot company), and co-lead the company’s expansion into Southern California, culminating in the development of Alliance, California, a highly successful 2,000-acre logistics park in the Inland Empire market. Lee then returned to his roots in Mexico as the owner-operator of RIO International Property Company, where he executed two industrial park developments in equity partnerships with Clarion Partners and Kimco Realty.
In all, Lee has been responsible for over 6.5M sf of building developments from inception through lease-up, and the acquisition and development of more than 2,000 acres of land.
Vice President of Industrial & Land Development
Alexander vonFischer is the Controller for the Zieben Group and brings 10+ years of accounting and finance experience to the Zieben Group with extensive experience in budgeting, cash flow forecasting and analysis, and financial modeling across multiple industries. Alex holds an active CPA and Real Estate license, and completed his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Bryant University.
As Controller of the Zieben Group, Alex is responsible for developing and implementing all accounting policies and procedures, coordinating and reviewing annual tax returns and audits, and maintaining company compliance with applicable tax rules and regulations. He is tasked with managing capital project finances, which includes performing reserve analysis, identifying funding options, determining optimal draw and payment schedules, and managing intercompany transactions. Alex also provides monthly budgeting reports with cost analysis and develops models for timely cash flow analysis used for potential growth opportunities.
Alexander vonFischer, CPA
Eric DeVelasco is the Director of Operations and Asset Management for the Zieben Group. During his tenure at the Zieben Group, Eric has overseen the rehabilitation of approximately 1,000 apartment units across (5) properties in both Texas and Arkansas and has implemented a cloud-based document management solution and asset management software.
Eric is responsible for creating the annual budgets which are utilized to identify value-add rehabilitation projects. He is responsible for supervising and/or executing capital projects. Additionally, he monitors daily operations to achieve monthly and yearly objectives, develops new and preserves current vendor and supplier relations, monitors city, state and federal regulatory statues to ensure compliance across the portfolio and works directly with the properties’ management staff as their point of contact.
Eric attended the University of Texas at Austin where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration with degrees in Finance and Accounting.
Director of Operations & Asset Management
Mr. Neal Rackleff is the former U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development. He oversaw approximately $7.9 billion in annual funding for affordable housing, economic development, revitalization and serving the nation’s homeless population. Additionally, he directly managed $35 billion in long-term disaster recovery funding (CDBG-DR and MIT) following the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. At the request of members of the US Congress, he provided technical assistance in crafting the appropriation statutes providing such CDBG-DR and MIT funding.
Before his work at HUD, Mr. Rackleff served as Director of the Housing and Community Development Department for the City of Houston where he oversaw the city’s community development projects and led the financing and production of over 7,800 multifamily housing units and assisted 1,700 single-family homeowners with reconstruction of hurricane damaged homes, financial assistance to low-income buyers and emergency home repairs. In this role he also directly managed and turned around a troubled CDBG-DR program. The turnaround involved finding common ground with Fair Housing Advocates that allowed the City and GLO to successfully deploy over $200 million in CDBG-DR IKE funding.
Affordable Housing Outside General Counsel