Who We Are


Meet Our Team

Laconia Development is a diversified real estate investment and development firm dedicated to creating value from untapped potential. Laconia employs an experienced and credentialed team of specialists in the areas of site selection, project underwriting, project design, finance, construction management, marketing and sales.


Paul Menzies

Paul Menzies has 43 years of experience in all aspects of real estate investment and development including underwriting, finance, workouts, design, construction, management and marketing of both residential and commercial projects. Unlike many CEOs, Paul is directly involved in every facet of every project, from strategic decision-making to design detail. Paul began his undergraduate degree at the London School of Economics, and completed it at the University of California at Berkeley. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in real estate and finance from the University of California at Berkeley.


Bob Kagan

During his 42-year career in real estate, lending, development and deal-making, Bob Kagan has had primary responsibilities for acquisitions, entitlements, financing, development, construction management and marketing for all types of real estate properties. Bob holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley. He has taught real estate finance at the College of Business at San Francisco State University, and has been a Senior Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School of Business Administration at Golden Gate University in San Francisco for 30 years.


Kathleen Ragot

Kathleen Ragot has 27 years of real estate accounting experience. Kathleen oversees all accounting functions including forensic accounting, strategic tax planning, financing, lender compliance, cash flow forecasting, commercial asset management and draw processing. Kathleen is a Certified Public Accountant and received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Gettysburg College. Kathleen came to Laconia from Pricewaterhouse Coopers where her clients included various U.S. and international real estate companies.


Steve Heaton

Steve Heaton has 17 years of experience in all aspects of real estate development including sourcing new opportunities, raising equity and debt, obtaining project entitlements, negotiating debt and equity financing, and managing development teams from acquisition to disposition. Tailoring each project to respond to shifting market demands, Steve determines the highest and best use of infill sites in urban communities. Steve graduated from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado with a major in business and a minor in economics, and completed the certificate program in Construction Management at the University of California at Berkeley.


Eric Tessem

With over 35 years of construction experience, Eric Tessem brings a broad range of expertise to his projects. Eric’s experience includes founding his own Seattle-based general construction company, assuming a Vice President of Operations role with Ledcor, and leading the Hawaii region of DCK Pacific as its Senior Vice President and General Manager. Eric balances hands-on experience as a self-performing contractor with executive level leadership skills including field operations, new business procurement, cost estimation and budgeting, and union relationships. Eric has successfully developed commercial, retail, hospitality and residential properties. Eric earned a B.S. in Construction Management at Washington State University and holds both a General Building and Civil License in Hawaii.


Jan Newbegin

Jan Newbegin has 33 years of experience in management of complex sales and marketing functions including market research, branding, public relations, advertising, social media and outreach efforts utilizing web and technology-based platforms. In addition to supervising sales, closing coordination and customer care, she is responsible for managing programs necessary to comply with specific jurisdictional requirements. Jan has experience across several management and development departments; as a result she is skilled at synthesizing and coordinating the activities of different disciplines to achieve desired outcomes. Jan attended Michigan State University as a National Merit Scholar and subsequently transferred to the University of Cincinnati.


Joji Sayo

Joji Sayo has 21 years of experience in banking, real estate accounting and finance. Her responsibilities include participating in pencil draws, processing of multi-million dollar general contractor invoices and processing construction loan draws. Joji manages accounts payable and receivable, maintains financial records, reconciles accounts, manages cash flow, and monitors compliance of complex insurance requirements at both the corporate and property level. Joji works directly with lenders and investors on compliance and reporting requirements. Joji was awarded a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management Engineering from Negros Occidental Recoletos in the Philippines.


Cleve Livingston

A practicing attorney, Cleve Livingston has 40 years of experience with extraordinarily complex entitlement and land use issues. He acts as a project advocate with respect to general plan amendments, zoning, subdivision/parcel maps, use permits, variances, design review, lot line adjustments, easements, annexations, environmental impact review and reporting, resource management and conservation, wetlands and special status species permitting, traffic impact analysis and mitigation, infrastructure design and construction, development phasing, fiscal and economic impact analysis, public and private financing, affordable housing planning, risk assessment and management, market analysis, project labor agreements, CC&Rs, and public/private partnerships. Cleve’s educational credentials include: B.A., cum laude, from Harvard College; J.D., Antioch School of Law; M.P.A., Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.


Michael Brody

Michael Brody has been counsel to Laconia and its affiliates for 25 years, representing the company in real property acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, mortgage and mezzanine financing for development and construction, and leasing, as well as entity formation and general corporate matters. He publishes and teaches regularly on real property topics. Previously, Michael practiced as a partner in the Ellman Burke real estate law firm and at Murphy Weir & Butler, where he was vice-chair of the real estate finance group. Michael is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley.

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