Mike, the founder and principal of ACD, has successfully created and managed several construction sites and real estate development firms since 1980. Because of his passion for charter schools, he pioneered the idea of the “facility lease-back” for charter schools. This bridged his real-world, business knowledge of leasing a “build to suit” facility, with his desire for schools to obtain their permanent facility in year one. He has been personally investing in education ever since.
Now, Mike has participated in the financing of over $400 million dollars of educational space, consisting of more than 2.6 million square feet in charter school facility projects, impacting the lives of tens of thousands of students across the country. This experience has given him considerable expertise in project development and has provided Mike with a myriad of capital sources capable of financing charter schools. Mike’s long history of successful management of construction projects, including educational facilities, numbering in the hundreds, has allowed him to assemble a highly skilled team that is knowledgeable in all aspects of charter school development.
Mike was an elected by Utah State legislator for 10 years. While serving, he was recognized by the National Republican Party as Businessman of the Year and Utah Republican of the Year. Mike served in various capacities and on numerous committees including the Education, Law Enforcement, Appropriations committees and chairman of the Higher Education Appropriations Committee. Mike speaks at national and state charter school conferences and is an internationally recognized authority on charter facility development and financing. Mike attended BYU studying civil engineering and construction management. He speaks Italian, is an Eagle Scout and has been married to his wife for more than 35 years and has nine children and several grandchildren.
Senior VP of Real Estate Devel
Packer works intimately with the school and oversees the site selection, due diligence, acquisition, and entitlement stages of the development process. With over a decade of experience as a licensed professional in the real estate industry, Packer has been involved in providing over 1.5 million square feet and over $220 million of educational space to students across this county. Working with Packer you will find a personable and knowledgeable professional that approaches each deal with a wealth of experience and insight. Packer’s degree in nursing has taught him to pay great attention to detail and he is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and go to work. Packer is an Eagle Scout.
Taft graduated as valedictorian from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He has worked for the past 13 years in the real estate and construction industry, the last four serving as COO of American Charter Development. At ACD he employs his expertise in all areas of charter school development from finance to construction. During his tenure, he has managed and underwritten in some capacity the development or financing of over $275 million dollars, consisting of almost 1.9 million square feet in charter school facility projects.
Taft has built strong relationships with banks and other financial firms, giving him access to various sources of capital to facilitate the financing of charter schools. He has also underwritten hundreds of charters across the country. This experience allows him the unique expertise of properly evaluating a charter. In short, Taft knows what it takes to create a successful charter school and he has the relationships to make it happen. Taft speaks Spanish and is an Eagle Scout.
Senior VP of Marketing
Russell, a graduate of Utah Valley University, comes to us with a marketing and finance background, working in southern California as Financial Advisor. He and his team managed over half a billion in investments for individuals, families, and businesses. Russell helped grow their assets under management significantly through various marketing campaigns. He has also served for four years on the budget and allocations committee for The United Way of the Desert in Palm Springs, CA. Russell is responsible for marketing programs, brand management, and connecting schools with ACD. He is in charge of the initial project assessment and he assists in securing project financing. Russell speaks Spanish and is an Eagle Scout.
Senior VP of Business Development
Robert has been involved in the charter school movement since its early years. He works with leading national charter school management organizations, state and national charter school policy leaders, and authorizers to shape the landscape for market growth. In addition to his national strategic effort, Robert supports our clients to strengthen their governance, oversight and policy work. When you work with Robert, you have the opportunity to work with a 20 year plus national veteran of our movement who has started and helped turnaround charter schools across our nation. He is a passionate charter advocate for children, who brings significant experience to the table. Because of is his more than 34 years of military leadership, you will find Robert to be candid, professional, with an outside of the box, thoughtful approach to getting things done.
Director of Asset Management
Hunter oversees the risk and asset management division of ACD. When working with Hunter you will find that he takes pride in managing the charter school facilities while simultaneously assisting the schools with any maintenance and warranty items. He reviews facility and financial reports, creates and analyzes demographic studies, and ensures the proper billing of clients’ monthly lease payments. Hunter volunteered abroad in Brazil, for his church, for two years managing assets and 30 other missionaries where he was responsible for their welfare, training, and success. Hunter currently is attending school at Utah Valley University in the Business Management program where he served as a Presidential Ambassador. Hunter speaks Portuguese and is an Eagle Scout.
Cassi joined ACD after running a pediatric doctor’s office as a medical billing specialist and office manager for nine years. She graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. As controller she is responsible for recording and maintaining all financial data for our client schools. Cassi is in charge of accounts payable and puts together construction draws to make sure payments are timely. She is the bridge between the development and financing side of charter school facilities and the actual construction of the building. Cassi keeps track of the budgets and expenses to contain costs. She also coordinates between ACD and the charter school for their startup costs.
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