Our Team



Ebbie K. Nakhjavani

Founder, President, Chief Executive Officer

Ebbie K. Nakhjavani is founder, CEO, and President of EKN Development and N Consulting Engineers, formerly EKN Engineering Inc, founded in 1990.

Ebbie is nationally recognized as an expert in retail and commercial engineering with over $7 billion in total built project valuation. He served as Manager of Engineering in the Western Region for Simon Properties Group, and previously co-founded and served as President and CEO of York Capital, a real estate development company which help exclusive rights to develop all related real estate in connection with the Las Vegas Monorail. Ebbie was also Co-Founder and member of Transit Real Estate Development (“TRED”) and served as the Managing Director. While at TRED, Ebbie secured $100 million Line of Credit from First Interstate Bank and spearheaded the master planning, acquisition and development of Desert Gateway, a 50,000- acre master planned community in Southern California, including 1,200 acres of commercial and mixed uses and 60,000 residential units.

Ebbie holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from San Diego State University and is registered as a Professional Engineer with the National Civil Engineer Examiners. 

Jason Bass, CFA, CPA

SVP of Finance
Jason has over 25 years of real estate and natural resource asset management, accounting, economic, financial and market research and analysis experience. He been designated an economic expert on numerous occasions for which he has provided written expert opinions and affidavits, been deposed, and testified in mediation, arbitration, and in court. He is a designated economic expert for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Jason’s work has included financial feasibility analysis, investment deal structuring and capital aggregation for a wide range of hotel and resort developments in the United State, Caribbean, Mexico and South America; economic and fiscal impact evaluation in support of public investment in real estate and natural resource development programs; valuation, accounting, economic and monetary damages assessment in support of expert witness testimony in commercial litigation matters and market and supply/demand evaluations to support of real estate development planning and programming.

Jason graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.Sc. degree in Resource Economics. He completed his M.Sc. degree in Resource Economics at the University of California at Davis with an emphasis in quantitative methods. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation from the CFA Institute, and is a Certified Public Account (CPA) licensed in California.

Andrew Davies, ESQ.

Vice President and Corporate Counsel

Andrew Davies is a California licensed attorney and serves as Corporate Counsel for EKN Development Group. In this capacity, Andrew directs all legal aspects of EKN’s acquisitions, transactional processes, and entitlement efforts. Andrew’s areas of expertise include land use, Association law, hospitality, mixed-use and commercial and multifamily residential real estate transactions. Andrew also has an extensive background and expertise in entitlement and governmental representation for all stages of real estate-related zoning and permitting, including California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) processing and LEED certification.

Andrew’s depth of experience and leadership enables EKN to efficiently and swiftly evaluate site development opportunities, execute on complex real estate transactions, and entitle and develop projects in desirable, high barrier-to entry locations. Andrew’s skills and knowledge of state, county, and municipal laws allow EKN to streamline the entitlement process thereby minimizing entitlement risk for EKN and its capital partners.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from University of California, Irvine and a Juris Doctorate Degree from Chapman University School of Law.

Arya K. Nakhjavani

Chief Financial Officer and VP, Strategic Planning

Arya is a project lead for EKN and specializes in financial underwriting, analysis, and research. In addition to managing project development and capital structure underwriting, Arya heads the firm’s macroeconomic outlook research. This research uses working models to forecast hotel performance in recessionary cycles.


Prior to joining EKN, Arya worked as a financial analyst for a mid-market investment bank in New York City.  Arya also worked for the Financial-Economic Institute as a financial research analyst specializing in equity research and portfolio and asset management. In addition to this, Arya is a published author for Seeking Alpha and continues to publish papers specializing in macroeconomic analysis, real estate economics, and company valuation analysis. Arya has been ranked on Seeking Alpha as a top 100 author in the world in the categories of Initial Public Offerings (19th), Cryptocurrencies (42nd), Commodities and Other Derivatives (47th), Short Ideas (83rd), and Technology (97th).

​​​​​​Arya graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance. Arya’s thesis involved the development of a geo-political risk-augmented capital asset pricing model and used a Fama-Macbeth regression with Newly-West standard errors to analyze the model’s effect on long-term security returns.

​​​​​​​During his time at Claremont McKenna, Arya served as the CEO of the Claremont McKenna College Student Investment Fund, which actively manages over $2.8 million of the Claremont McKenna College endowment and is one of the largest undergraduate student investment funds in the world. Under Arya’s leadership, the Fund saw an asset under management increase of over $1 million.

Mike Jolly

SVP of Construction

Mike serves as EKN’s SVP of Entitlement and Construction. He assembles our design teams and construction teams, develops and manages all construction budgets, and oversees construction, design and our FF&E teams.



Prior to joining EKN, Mike served as SVP of Construction and Entitlements for Crown Acquisitions, an Orange County Real Estate Development firm. Previously, Mike worked for a large multi-family developer, RW Selby. While working for RW Selby, Mike ran the construction and entitlement division. Mike’s projects have earned several Architectural awards from nation publications.

Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with Minors in Speech and Geography from University of California, Los Angeles.

Mike has been building and developing real estate since he graduated UCLA in 1983. His experience includes developing hotels, restaurants, commercial buildings, apartments, condominiums, multi-use developments and custom homes. Highlights from his career include renovating an entire city block in Southern California’s community of Venice where he mixed in modern architecture while restoring buildings built in the early 19th century, and several awards from the City of Santa Monica for completing projects ahead of schedule and under budget. Mike’s lengthy track record has guided him to deliver high quality projects and has significantly streamlined EKN’s entitlement and construction processes since joining the company.

Tom Jacobson

SVP of Development

 Tom has spent his career developing real estate throughout the United States. Withover 25 years in the development business, he has substantial experience and success inmanaging people, vendors, and projects. He has a strong hospitality background, significant realestate development experience–with an emphasis on resort destinations that cater to asophisticated market, and he has orchestrated commercial/residential mixed-use projects


His early employment as a development manager with Marriott made him familiar with responsibilities ranging from asset acquisition to project management through the design and construction phases. With his work as the regional vice president of Intrawest Corporation, Tom realized his interest in and love for community development and has since honed his skill set to continue that work. Throughout his acquisition and development career, he has been responsible for managing hundreds of millions of dollars. He has been integral in the successful inception and completion of several mix-use projects. As the SVP of Development for EKN Development Group, Tom will continue to take the initiative to move projects forward. 

Tom takes responsibility and oversight for the delivery of large complex projects.  In this role, he provides senior oversight across the end-to-end project lifecycle (e.g. Planning thru Occupancy). He works closely with internal clients, and key stakeholder groups to gather inputs to the project’s goals and manages this plan throughout the process.  Tom provides leadership and direction to the teams to ensure projects are effectively and efficiently organized and delivered on time, on budget, with high-quality outcomes and high customer satisfaction. 

Balancing confidence with humility to transform sites into places, is a skill that Tom has honed over his career.  Real estate development can be a complex tapestry of connections and negotiations, filings, and approvals. Tom understands first hand the challenges and opportunities that are faced to transform ideas into realities. Collective insights in design, construction, real estate ownership, and management allow him to work through complexities and manage every aspect of a project.  From site analysis and acquisitions to economic incentive structuring and negotiations, he has this covered. 

Tom earned a Bachelors and MBA with an emphasis in Finance from Brigham Young University.  

Austin Bergquist

Project Manager

Austin serves as a project manager responsible throughout project lifecycles. He oversees all management, submittals, and entitlements with development teams, consultants, and public officials. Austin also manages the flow of project information between our teams, investors, and the development communities with the goal of fostering positive community relationships at every step.



Previously, Austin was the Director of Asset Management at the Cusumano Real Estate Group where he oversaw the management of the entire residential and commercial property portfolio. Austin evaluated asset performance, conducted analysis of development opportunities, and entitled mixed-use projects. He also worked as a Development Analyst at CREDE working on land acquisitions, due diligence & entitlement for various real estate asset classes.

Austin attended the University of Southern California, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Evan Pauletich

Associate, Finance and Construction

Before joining EKN Development Group, Evan Pauletich worked for Salesforce as an Associate Sales Development Representative. During his time there, he was able to streamline certain sales processes as well as strategize new ways to target the high-tech industry. 


Evan graduated from Claremont Mckenna College with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Applied Mathematics. In his time there he was able to co-author a paper in the mathematical field of knot theory.

While at CMC, Evan co-founded the Blockchain Investment Group, a club focused on sifting through and investing in the ICO and cryptocurrency space.

Sydney Ruff, ESQ.

Associate Attorney

As legal counsel at EKN Development, Sydney Ruff is a California Licensed Attorney specializing in real estate acquisitions, transaction processes, and contracts for development efforts from inception to completion.


Prior to EKN, Sydney served as an Associate Attorney at Litchfield Law PC representing design professionals and engineering firms in professional liability litigation and contract review. Throughout law school, Sydney supported senior corporate counsel and relevant business departments at Christie Digital Systems and USHIO America, two international manufacturing corporations. There, Sydney took part in divestments and mergers, transactional contract review and drafting, and in-depth legislative research and analysis. Sydney received her Juris Doctor at Chapman University Fowler School of Law after graduating UCLA with a BA in Political Science.

Ronald Waters


Ronald Waters head’s the accounting department at EKN Development. He is responsible for all day-to-day accounting functions, implementation of improvements to the accounting processes, financial reporting & analysis, while also lending support to a variety of finance activities.


With more than 10 years of full cycle accounting experience, Ronald has lead and supported organizations that specialize in manufacturing, retail/e-commerce, technology, and engineering/construction. Before EKN Development, he oversaw the accounting and finance department at XG Inc, which under his tenure deployed more than 300 of the first 5G constructions for markets in Northern California and Missouri. There he created models and budget forecast to control cost and monitor performance. Accounting and finance has not been his only specialties but also has helped firms create and administer HR services for employees like company handbooks, health benefits, profit-sharing, retirement savings, and other retention programs. At the University of California, Riverside, he majored in U.S. History and minored in Accounting.

Edward Narvaez Jr. 

Designer Manager

Edward Narvaez heads the design team at EKN Development Group. Edward leverages his deep proficiency in multiple design software programs to direct all of the firm’s site development suitability evaluations. In addition, Edward’s expansive knowledge of brand standards and ability to quickly develop conceptual development visions for sites under consideration provides EKN the agility to quickly and efficiently make decisions to pursue development opportunities.


Furthermore, Edward works in collaboration with EKN’s finance team to balance high design and engineering standards with the economics of projects, while working with brand partners to achieve optimal programs and underwriting.

Edward is a Senior Civil Designer and CAD Project Manager with over eighteen years of experience in engineering design and project management. He has overseen the conceptual design and implementation planning of many commercial real estate development projects from the construction phase through the completion of the project.

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