Irvine Company Chairman Donald Bren has assembled a team of the real estate industry’s most experienced and proven executives. Each brings vast expertise and tireless dedication to the continual pursuit of excellence across the company’s wide-reaching best-in-class investment portfolio.
Donald Bren, Chairman of the Board of Irvine Company, has been deeply involved in California real estate as a master planner and a master builder for over 50 years.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Bren earned a degree in economics and business administration from the University of Washington. Following his education, he served three years as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Bren joined the Mission Viejo Company in 1963 as president, initiating the master planning and master building of the 11,000-acre new community of Mission Viejo, California. In 1967, Bren sold his interest in the Mission Viejo Company to expand his activities in new master-planned communities within Southern California including Westlake Village and Newhall Ranch, and Foster City in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 1977, Bren became a member of the investment group that purchased Irvine Company from the Irvine Foundation. Bren was elected Chairman of the Board in 1983 and later became the sole shareholder.
During the last 40 years, under Bren’s leadership and vision, the Irvine Company has professionally planned and master built the all-new City of Irvine and the Newport Coast, creating one of America’s most desirable regions. The City of Irvine currently has a population of 270,000, growing to an estimated 325,000 people over the next 10 years, with an equal number of employment positions.
Bren maintains a long tradition of philanthropy and environmental stewardship, supporting causes ranging from environmental preservation to education and scientific research.
Business Week recognized Bren’s philanthropic giving to be in excess of $1.3 Billion. The European London Times recognized him as one of the top 10 people in the world for his vision and contributions to green and environmental causes.
- Endowed over 50 permanent distinguished professor chairs at the University of California and California Institute of Technology.
- Contributed research funding to Caltech for Space Solar Power Project, seeking to provide mankind with a worldwide continuous electrical power source from space.
- Founded one of the nation’s first graduate-level environmental schools, the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California, Santa Barbara.
- Initiated the University of California’s first dedicated school of computer science, the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at University of California, Irvine.
- Gifted more than 57,500 acres for permanently preserved open space and parklands network in the United States. It is the only land in California to receive both the California State and United States National Natural Landmark designation.
- University of California Presidential Medal
- California Institute of Technology Robert A. Millikan Medal
- Marine Corps University Foundation’s General Leonard F. Chapman Jr. Medal
- American Academy of Arts & Sciences Fellow
Executive Management Committee
Charles (Chip) Fedalen Jr.
President & Chief Financial Officer
Executive VP, Real Estate Operations
Charles (Chip) Fedalen Jr. is President and Chief Financial Officer of Irvine Company. In his role as President, he works closely with the Chairman on strategy, organization and the long term focus of the company. As Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Fedalen oversees all of the finance, accounting and corporate support functions of the company. Mr. Fedalen, who serves on the company’s Executive Management Committee, joined the company in 2014.
Previously, Mr. Fedalen served as Executive Vice President and Group Head for Wells Fargo Commercial Real Estate’s institutional lending platform in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. He also served on Wells Fargo’s Management Committee.
Mr. Fedalen is a past trustee of the Urban Land Institute. Mr. Fedalen also served as a Captain in the United States Army Reserve.
Mr. Fedalen holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a double major in Scandinavian Languages and Political Science. He also attended the University of Lund in Sweden. Mr. Fedalen received his Law degree from the University of Southern California.
Frank Abeling is Executive Vice President, Real Estate Operations for Irvine Company. He also serves on the company’s Executive Management Committee. In his role, Mr. Abeling is responsible for supporting and guiding the company’s real estate activities.
Mr. Abeling joined the company in 2010 and previously served as Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning and Analysis, where he was responsible for the company’s financial planning, investment analysis, and strategic research functions.
Prior to joining Irvine Company, Mr. Abeling was with Chicago-based M3 Capital Partners, where he specialized in real estate private equity advisory and capital raising. Earlier in his career, Mr. Abeling analyzed and originated commercial mortgage investments for Prudential Mortgage Capital Company in San Francisco.
Mr. Abeling holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.
Executive VP & Chief Investment Officer
Marc Ley is Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of Irvine Company. He joined the company in 1999, initially serving as Senior Vice President of capital markets, and was promoted to Group SVP and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in 2001.
As CFO, Mr. Ley was responsible for Irvine Company’s capital markets, corporate finance, project finance, banking, public finance, treasury and investment activities.
In 2014, Mr. Ley became Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, leading the company’s Investment Division, which is responsible for managing the company’s investment portfolios and seeking new investment opportunities.
Prior to joining Irvine Company, Mr. Ley was employed by Pacific Life Insurance Company in Newport Beach, California, where he established its Real Estate Capital Markets division.
Mr. Ley is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and has served on the advisory boards of three local nonprofit organizations.
Mr. Ley holds bachelor degrees in finance and in real estate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and earned a master’s degree in real estate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he was mentored by the late Dr. James A. Graaskamp.
President, Land Sales & Home Building
President, Retail Properties
President, Apartment Operations
President, Apartment Development
President, Resort Properties
Dan Hedigan is President of Land Sales and Home Building for Irvine Company. In this position, he oversees the design, building and sales of new homes in the master-planned villages of The Irvine Ranch in Orange County, California.
Mr. Hedigan is President of Irvine Pacific. Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice President of Irvine Pacific, beginning in 2011.
From 2009 to 2011, Mr. Hedigan served as Senior Vice President, Residential Land Sales for Irvine Company Community Development, an Irvine Company affiliate responsible for residential development on The Irvine Ranch. In 2003, he was named Senior Vice President of Land Sales and Management.
Mr. Hedigan joined Irvine Company in 1984 as Division Counsel for Legal Affairs and served as general counsel from 1996 to 2003.
He earned his Law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Mr. Hedigan also holds a master’s degree in Economics from UCLA and a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of California, Irvine.
Butch Knerr is President of Retail Properties for Irvine Company. He is responsible for the group’s portfolio of 43 regional, community and neighborhood centers as well as retail space at Irvine Company’s apartment communities. The Retail Properties group operates nearly 10 million square feet of retail across California, including Fashion Island in Newport Beach, Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine, and The Market Place in Irvine and Tustin, California. He joined the company in 2017.
Mr. Knerr served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Washington Prime Group from September 2014 through October 2017. WPG is a public REIT with 110 properties, 63M SF operating in 29 states. In his role, he was responsible for directing the Leasing, Development, Construction and Operations teams.
Prior to joining Washington Prime Group, Mr. Knerr spent 26 years at Simon Property Group where his last position was Executive Vice President of Leasing overseeing activity for their Central, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic portfolio’s which consisted of 52 projects and over 65M SF of retail space.
Mr. Knerr is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).
Mr. Knerr received a bachelor’s degree in Management from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
Jim Krohn is President of Apartment Operations for Irvine Company. In that role, Mr. Krohn is responsible for the management and operation of the Company’s portfolio of apartment communities throughout California, including the property management, leasing, marketing, maintenance, and customer service functions. He joined Irvine Company in 2018.
Previously, Mr. Krohn served as Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of the Management Division for Alliance Residential. At Alliance, he was responsible for growth of the company’s management platform and management oversight for over 100,000 apartment units nationwide, including 30,000 units in California.
Prior to that, Mr. Krohn worked for Lincoln Property Company, where he was involved in the management, development, and acquisition of apartments in the Southwest and Southern California regions over his eight-year tenure.
Mr. Krohn is a member of the Urban Land Institute, National Multifamily Housing Council Executive Committee, and an alumnus of the University of Arizona.
Chris Marsh is President of Irvine Company Apartment Development division. Mr. Marsh is responsible for leading the company’s apartment development growth plan, including land acquisitions, due diligence, entitlements, product development, design, construction and delivery.
Since joining the company in 2003, Mr. Marsh over time has been responsible for overseeing all aspects of development for commercial and residential projects for the company, including office, resort, retail and apartment properties. His achievements include The Resort at Pelican Hill, where he acted as Project Executive in delivering the world-class resort.
Mr. Marsh has practiced in the field of commercial and multifamily real estate development for 25 years and has represented developers in the United States, United Kingdom and Spain. In a consultancy capacity, he also acted as third party adviser to several blue chip and institutional investors, including Société Générale, Scottish Widows and Pearl Assurance.
He received a bachelor’s degree with first-class honors in quantity surveying from the University of Central England, Birmingham, UK, and earned a master’s degree in construction management from the University of Reading, UK.
Roger Ploum is President of Resort Properties for Irvine Company. In his role, Mr. Ploum is responsible for the overall performance and leading all aspects of the group’s portfolio consisting of world-renowned The Resort at Pelican Hill, two hotels, three golf courses and five marinas.
Prior to joining Irvine Company, Mr. Ploum served as the Vice President of Hotels & Business Solutions for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts where he held a 16-year tenure leading hotels and resort operations in the U.S., France, and Japan.
Prior to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Mr. Ploum held roles with Sun International, Sonesta Hotels, and The Kessler Collection.
Mr. Ploum holds an MBA from Stetson University and a BA in Hospitality Management from the Hotelschool The Hague in the Netherlands.
Senior VP, Tax Counsel
Senior VP, General Counsel & Secretary
Group Senior VP, Financial Services
Senior VP, Corporate Affairs
Senior VP, Corporate Finance & Treasurer
Senior VP, Human Resources
Senior VP, Chief Technology Officer
Gino J. Bianchini is Senior Vice President, Tax Counsel for Irvine Company. As head of the company’s Tax Department, Mr. Bianchini is responsible for three interrelated functions: tax planning, tax compliance and property tax. He joined the company in 2013.
Previously, Mr. Bianchini was a Shareholder in Tax Practice at Greenberg Traurig, and Principal in the Federal Tax Services Group at Ernst & Young.
Mr. Bianchini holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of San Diego and earned his law degree and Master of Laws degree in taxation from Golden Gate University.
Clay Halvorsen is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for Irvine Company. In this role, he leads the company’s Legal, Risk Management and Records Management groups. He joined the company in 2010.
Previously, Mr. Halvorsen served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Standard Pacific Homes, a former Fortune 500 homebuilder.
Prior to that, Mr. Halvorsen was a corporate finance partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a leading international law firm.
Mr. Halvorsen holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from California State University, Northridge. He earned his law degree with honors from the University of Southern California.
Mark Henigan is Group Senior Vice President, Financial Services, and Chief Accounting Officer. In this position, Mr. Henigan directs Irvine Company’s comprehensive accounting, payroll and internal audit operations.
Mr. Henigan joined Irvine Company as Senior Vice President of Financial and Information Services in 2006 and was promoted to his current position in 2009. From 2006 to 2012, Mr. Henigan was also responsible for the company’s Information Technology department. Prior to Irvine Company, he was an audit partner with the Real Estate Group of the international accounting firm Ernst & Young.
Mr. Henigan is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, among other professional associations and organizations. He currently serves on the board of Families Forward, a local nonprofit organization serving families that are homeless or at risk of homelessness. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received a degree in business economics with an emphasis in accounting.
Paul Hernandez is Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Irvine Company, a 150-year old privately held company that master plans, master builds and manages a best-in-class portfolio throughout coastal California. He is responsible for corporate communications, corporate marketing, government relations, real estate entitlement and environmental affairs.
Prior to leading Corporate Affairs, Mr. Hernandez served as Vice President of Government Affairs for Irvine Company.
Before joining Irvine Company in 2003, Mr. Hernandez was the West Coast government relations manager for Lockheed Martin IMS. Previously, he also served as Chief of Staff for an elected member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Hernandez is a past Executive Committee member of the California Building Industry Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is also a graduate of the CORO Fellows Foundation.
Bryan Stevens is a Senior Vice President and Treasurer for Irvine Company. He leads Corporate Finance, which includes corporate and project level finance, interest rate risk management and treasury for the company. Mr. Stevens joined Irvine Company in 2014.
Previously, Mr. Stevens worked at Wells Fargo Bank for over 12 years in the Commercial Real Estate Group as a Senior Vice President and Team Leader. He originated debt for the bank’s balance sheet with real estate customers along with managing the overall bank relationship with these companies.
Mr. Stevens holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance with an emphasis in real estate and investments from the University of Southern California.
Darren Thomas is Senior Vice President and head of Human Resources for Irvine Company. He is responsible for leading the company’s Human Resources strategy and oversees all aspects of the function, including talent acquisition, leadership development, training, compensation and benefits, HR information systems, and internal communications. Mr. Thomas joined Irvine Company in 2008.
During his career of more than 30 years, he has held leadership positions with several companies. Previously, he was Managing Director of Global Human Resources for Lehman Brothers Mortgage Banking Business. Earlier in his career, he held positions as Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Citigroup, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Associates First Capital, and Senior Vice President for Alliance Data Systems, where he directed the firm’s global HR function.
Mr. Thomas has also worked with several nonprofits throughout his career, serving on boards for March of Dimes, YMCA and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He currently serves on the Board for United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Colorado State University and earned an MBA from Southern Methodist University.
Abe Wong is Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Irvine Company. In his role, Mr. Wong is responsible for overseeing the strategy, innovation and execution for all aspects of the Company’s technology functions including: customer and workforce solutions, corporate applications and analytics, IT portfolio management and service delivery, and digital customer solutions.
Prior to joining Irvine Company, Mr. Wong served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Viacom Media Networks & Paramount Pictures. He oversaw Viacom’s advanced marketing and advertising technologies to drive more efficient and effective campaigns. Mr. Wong also led successful efforts to enhance client and media services, marketing and sales systems, media content systems and technology solutions to support data and business intelligence and analytics.
Prior to Viacom & Paramount Pictures, Mr. Wong held roles including Head of Information Technology with Dreamworks SKG, Principal at Pittiglio, Rabin, Todd & McGrath consulting firm, and Regional Vice President with Divine, Inc. (formerly USWeb / CKS).
Mr. Wong holds a B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California.