When I’m conducting market reports in Guanacaste, I always check in with Jim and Julian, as they have their fingers on the pulse of the latest developments in the area. I have come to rely on them as a critical local resource. Andrew Cohen, MAI, Managing Director, Horwath HTL
Meet the Team
A managing partner and founder of CR Development Group (CRDG). He has been an active investor in real estate for 25 years and the past 10 years has focused exclusively on Costa Rica, leading the acquisition and development of several leading projects including Coco Bay Estates, Segovia, The Club at Coco Bay, Vista Ocotal, La Punta and Diamante Eco Adventure Park to name a few. Jim is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and holds a double major in finance and marketing. Prior to moving to Costa Rica, Jim was a Senior Vice President for Harte-Hanks (NYSE:HHS), one of the world’s largest targeted marketing companies, and served on the board of directors for Q Interactive-a Landmark Company. Jim enjoys dual-citizenship from the United States and Costa Rica and he and his family split their time between the two.
A managing partner and founder of CR Development Group (CRDG). Julian has led the acquisition of multi-million dollar land developments in Costa Rica for over 10 years and originally established CRDG’s footprint. When it comes to knowing the local market – no one has more knowledge of “who’s – who”. Julian led key projects within CRDG including Coco Verde Hotel Casino, La Montana, Vista Ocotal, The Club at Coco Bay and initiated the vision for CRDG’s Diamante Eco Adventure Park. Prior to Costa Rica, Julian has invested in and managed real estate for over two decades. He founded and sold North State Appraisal, based out of North Carolina. Julian is a graduate of Presbyterian College in South Carolina. He majored in Business and received both full football and academic scholarship.
Gina operates the CRDG Services vacation rental business working closely with the Costa Rica team to deliver one of kind, high touch experiences for hundreds of clients, friends and family. She is also responsible for marketing and investor communications for CRDG. She has an extensive background with over 25 years in sales, marketing and client services. Gina has served as a vice president for Fortune 500 companies such as Equifax, ADVO and Symphony Services. A graduate of the University of Redlands, Gina majored in Business and minored in Spanish.
Responsible for our Tennis program and events. For 13 years she served as the tennis director for the North Hills Club in Raleigh, North Carolina. During her tenure there, the club grew into one of the largest in the south, and was honored by the United States Tennis Association with a Facility of the Year award. An award-winning tennis professional, Karen is an outstanding instructor who has enjoyed many successes with all ages and levels.
A native of Costa Rica and serves as CRDG’s finance manager and CRDG’s first employee. Mauricio served as CEO and Branch Manager for Banco Cuscatlan before it was acquire by Citi. He has over a decade of experience helping businesses and customers with a wide range of financial products, and has worked directly with key international real estate investment clients. A graduate of the University of Costa Rica in Business Administration, Mauricio is certified in several English-language technology courses.
General Manager, Diamante Eco Adventure Park. A Hospitality leader, certified in Public Accounting with over 30 years of experience. Over the past 16 years has held several General Manager positions for some of the most prestigious hotel brands in the World; including: Camino Real México, Radisson, InterContinental Hotel Group and Marriott International, being the biggest one with over 700 rooms. Jesús holds many degrees in companies and corporate strategies on INCAE, Cornell and Tec de Monterrey. He likes to read and watch football games, is married and has 2 daughters and 1 son.
Finance Manager for CRDG, Manuel Canella works with owners and investors with an emphasis on investment modeling, merger & acquisitions, valuations, US/Costa Rica compliance and owner/investor communications. Prior to joining CRDG, Mr. Canella worked in European multinational companies as product manager and sales manager for EMEA markets. He received his MBA degree from the University of Iowa, where he graduated with Honors, as well as a Master of Science in Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy.