| October 11, 2020 | People
Scottsdale is pleased to present a selection of extraordinary men who are leaders in their field. These men of distinction are truly accomplished and stand out as some of the best influencers and contributors to our community.
THE BROKERY FOUNDERS
The Brokery is a local residential real estate company that is relentlessly focused on serving residents in Phoenix, Paradise Valley, and Scottsdale neighborhoods. Founded in 2012 by Tucker Blalock and Oleg Bortman, The Brokery has quickly risen to the top and is now one of the most successful boutique real estate companies in Arizona, selling $190 million in 2019 alone. Their proprietary marketing platform, extensive market insight, and boutique approach allow them to curate an unparalleled experience for each and every client.
What sets The Brokery apart in the real estate industry? While everyone else is running to low cost online models, we continue to invest in brick and mortar locations. Our brokerage locations are centerpoints of the community and open 7 days a week to help local residents with their real estate needs which allows us to be there every step of the way with our clients.
What motivates you guys to grow your business? Family and Fun. We both have two kids and loving wives who support us at home and want to provide the best lifestyle for them and ensure they are taken care of forever. Additionally, we both love what we do and can’t imagine doing anything else.
What is The Brokery slogan? Relentlessly Local. Our company is synonymous with a local, boutique experience. We want to be ingrained in the community not only through real estate but also through service, charity, and friendship.
4546 N 40th St.
CANDELARIA DESIGN ASSOCIATES, LLC FOUNDING PRINCIPAL
It’s never too late to start living your best life!
Mark Candelaria founded Candelaria Design and is proudly celebrating 21 years this year. Mark apprenticed with his architecture professor, the late George W. Christensen, FAIA, starting in 1982 and became his partner in 1987 working with CCBG Architects for 18 years. In 1999 he started Candelaria Design and has grown it to a 20-person firm and has added three wonderful and talented partners, Vivian Ayala, Meredith Thomson and Evelyn Jung.
What makes you a Modern Man? I am always reinventing myself, my style, and the direction of our company.
Can you tell me more about your background? I have been drawing homes since I was 4 years old. I love the process of designing a home and tapping into the dream of my clients and where they want to go.
What do you like to do for fun outside of work? Cooking! It’s faster than architecture. Also, painting, playing my keyboards, and love to travel and be inspired!
What is your best interior design tip? Hire a talented interior designer—I married mine—my Isabel!
Tell us about your philanthropic efforts. We have a number of our team members on the boards of several Charities including pro bono design projects for Habitat For Humanity, Gigi’s Playhouse, and the Colten Cowell Foundation.
6900 East Camelback Rd. #400
FOUNDER OF BALLSFEST MERRILL LYNCH WEALTH MANAGEMENT SVP
Elegance is not about being noticed, it’s about being remembered.” —Giorgio Armani
A Merrill Lynch financial advisor by day, and philanthropist in all hours, this former New Yorker loves living in Arizona. But moreso, making a difference here. Ever since his testicular cancer battle 13 years ago, he’s been committed to lifting the spirits of children and young adults battling cancer through his non-profit organization, Ballsfest, where he serves “Ballers”, not “Patients”. Whether he’s gifting a new car, education costs, or the chance to meet Guy Fieri, DeBlasi takes the time to build relationships with each Baller and their family. In addition to its annual fundraiser held at Mountain Shadows, the Foundation holds multiple events throughout the year, including therapeutic activities for the Ballers in treatment at PHX Children’s, Banner Cardons, and Banner Thunderbird.
How does your background bring a unique perspective to your work? Being the grandson of Italian immigrants, and the son of a doctor/ nurse, my motor is always going, with an endless dedication to care-taking.
When you think of the ultimate Modern Man, what do you think of? Dependable and steady character, always there for his family, friends, and even a stranger in need. Displays sympathy and empathy, and utilizes whatever resources or skills he has to better the lives of other people. However, not hesitant to embrace and practice some old-world tendencies such as writing a handwritten note, and leaving a voicemail!
WALT DANLEY CHRISTIE’S INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATE BROKER
The secret to success is going above and beyond the crowd.
Mike Domer’s stats in the luxury home market are impressive. For years Mike has been ranked in the top 1% of real estate agents nationwide with his personal sales exceeding $65 million per year. Until recently, Mike sold the highest price home ever to sell in Arizona at $17.5 million. Mike has lived in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley for over 40 years and is still married to his college sweetheart, Peggy.
What are the reasons for your success? Beyond God blessing my steps with success, I would have to say my secret is always putting my client’s needs ahead of mine and always going above and beyond the crowd. I spend significantly and wisely on marketing and my connections and relationships make my contact list invaluable in marketing luxury homes in Arizona.
Can you give an example of when you went above and beyond? I started my real estate career during the Jimmy Carter era when mortgage rates exceeded 20%. I was doing short sales before they were called that, and I put together wrap around mortgages to get the interest rate low enough to allow people to buy a home. I found ways to make sales happen when other agents failed.
Why did you align yourself with Walt Danley Christie’s? Two years ago, I joined the Valley’s premier luxury brokerage firm of Walt Danley Christie’s international Real Estate. Like the Christie’s brand itself, the name Walt Danley—and Mike Domer as well—symbolize the highest standards.
FRANCINE RESTAURANT OWNER & FOUNDER
'Cuisine of the Sun’ is the name of the style of cuisine created by Roger Verge in Mougins in the 70s, which modernized the French cuisine.
Laurent Halasz grew up in the South of France in a culinary town of Mougins, the birthplace of the French nouvelle cuisine, which is a lighter, olive oil and vegetable centered cuisine. His mother taught him this cuisine, the search of the perfect ingredients, and the art of setting beautiful tables. He is passionate about continuing this legacy and welcoming guests every day at his Scottsdale restaurant FRANCINE, which he named after his mother.
What initially drew you to the restaurant industry? What drew me to the restaurant industry is and has always been about taking care of friends and family around a nice table, with great food, good wine and sharing a moment together.
What sets FRANCINE apart from the restaurant industry? At FRANCINE we feature clean and modern lines throughout the décor while exuding traditional materials and design of the South of France. When you step into my restaurant you feel welcomed and surrounded by elegance and harmony.
Tell us about your philanthropic efforts. I’ve worked both in New York and Los Angeles with local law enforcement to take care of our underprivileged kids. As part of the program we took the children to the nearby farms to discover great ingredients, then we would cook together and share an incredible meal together. It was a way to use my passions and skill sets to give back to the children in the community.
4710 N Goldwater Blvd.
FOUR PEAKS ENDODONTICS OWNER
No one does better what we do best.
Dr. Trond U. Hegle is the owner of North Scottsdale’s premier root canal specialty practice, Four Peaks Endodontics. Dr. Hegle grew up in Scandinavia and speaks six languages fluently. He is also the Honorary Consul for the Republic of Namibia to Arizona. Dr. Hegle lives with his wife Cristin, their daughter Mackenzie, and their five dogs and a tortoise in Paradise Valley.
What sets you apart in the dental (and endodontic) industry? When Cristin and I decided to start Four Peaks Endodontics, our vision was to create the most elegant and comfortable dental specialty office in the US. We understand that nobody wants a root canal, but if you need one, Four Peaks Endodontics is the place you want to go. We have been open for only 30 months but have already gained a nationwide reputation for integrity, honesty, and for delivering the absolute highest quality.
Tell us about your passion for endodontics. I treat every patient the way I would treat my wife, should she need a root canal. “Good enough” is never good enough at Four Peaks Endodontics. Being the best endodontist, to me, doesn’t mean delivering the quickest and cheapest root canal treatment. It means putting my patients’ needs first; listening, learning, diagnosing, and exceeding their expectations.
Tell us about your philanthropic efforts. Cristin and I are very involved in the Catholic Church: in the Diocese of Phoenix, as well as nationally and internationally. We support St. Vincent de Paul, the Catholic Community Foundation, Brighter Way Dental Clinic and Hope Kids.
6930 E Chauncey Lane
A FINER TOUCH CONSTRUCTION PRESIDENT & FOUNDER
A Finer Touch Construction saves marriages one house at a time.
Brad Leavitt is President and Founder of A Finer Touch Construction, an award-winning luxury residential and commercial builder and construction firm based in Scottsdale. Brad has worked on notable projects around Phoenix, including the Omni Montelucia in Paradise Valley. AFT has continued to exceed industry standards and creates strong client relationships based on integrity, reliability and quality. Brad is married to Ashley Leavitt. Together, they have 6 children, 5 girls and 1 boy.
How do you define leadership? One of my favorite quotes about leadership is by Warren Bennis, “Leadership is the ability to translate vision into reality”. Building a vision, uplifting company culture and road map for our team, training them to succeed, and then giving them the tools, resources and empowerment to do so.
What sets us apart? Communication, quality, clean job sites and a positive team culture separate us from the rest. Our clients often tell us how enjoyable it was working with our team on their project. And, they love that they can “eat off the floor” during construction, which they say, shows we care about what we do.
What is the best advice you can share? When I work with our team and also council other construction employees, I always tell them to chase experience and not money. Their career experience will allow them to expedite their career growth and will open doors that otherwise would not be open.
15270 N 83rd Place, #200
GUARANTEED RATE SENIOR VP OF RESIDENTIAL LENDING
We have implemented systems that allow us to provide a service faster and with more ease than most of our competition. ... We are decades ahead of the standards.
Since his college days swimming on scholarship at Northern Illinois University and running a 15-hour daily schedule, Anthony Marinaccio has been going nonstop. He’s no different today, having worked his way up the ladder to become a well-known name in the mortgage industry. “I align mortgage capital with anyone in need of funding,” he says. “With my bank relationships, I have hundreds of financing options.” He works with clients on everything from the standard mortgage loan for their primary homes to vacation homes in Aspen to multi-unit developments—and he harnesses the power of technology to stand out in the field.
“We have implemented systems that allow us to provide a service faster and with more ease than most of our competition,” he says. “We do so in a way that continues evolution in tech, and we are decades [ahead of] the standards.” In fact, tech is becoming inherent to how Marinaccio’s brain works. “The more I act like a computer taking a loan for a consumer, the faster I align with what’s to come: AI mortgage lending.” And speaking of the future, Marinaccio has big plans: He’s making his way into the development world, starting with a stunning modern farmhouse in Hinsdale, Illinois that sold last year; follow along on his next project @AZBuild2020.
LANDMARK LUXURY GROUP, LLC ARCHITECTURE I DESIGN I CONSTRUCTION PRESIDENT
They say that if you choose a career that you love, you will never have to work a day in your life.
Zoran Mijatovic has always felt that the most important thing with work is to find something that you are passionate about, and then the success will follow. When he launched Landmark Luxury Group, he set out to differentiate his business model compared to others, ensuring that the design-build experience was a compelling one with a more personable approach.
How do you define being a Modern Man? I feel that being a modern man is someone who strives to better themselves and those close to them on a regular basis. Whether it’s business or personal, the goal is growth.
What sets you apart in the design-build industry? I launched Landmark Luxury Group in 2005 as a design-build firm and found myself in a unique position of being able to bridge the communication gap that frequently arises between builders and designers. The result ultimately is a superior product. Having one group handling the architecture, design, and construction ensures flow, cohesiveness, and consistency.
What do you consider to be the keys of your success? A lifelong passion for architecture and construction, coupled with a determined work ethic was the blueprint for success. Our ongoing relationships with our clients is one of the major keys to our success.
Chicago, IL | 847.573.9677
Scottsdale,AZ | 480.686.4560
PETER THOMAS DESIGNS OWNER
My goal is to get uncomfortable every day. It is the best way I know to increase my comfort zone.
Creativity, competition and entrepreneurship are themes that have been woven throughout Peter Moosbrugger’s life. In high school he competed in judo, in college he ran track, and after graduation competed in the bobsled in Europe. He still competes in indoor rowing and Masters track/field. He’s always loved to sketch, design, dream and create and most of his life he has been in business for himself. It wasn’t until 12 years ago that these themes all came together in Peter Thomas Designs.
Tell us about your passion for building custom furniture. I am passionate about creating furniture that makes a statement about the person it is designed for. Our pieces are conversation starters and visually dramatic.
What sets you apart in the custom furniture industry? Business is about competition. My competitive spirit plays out in that our goal is to make every piece absolutely perfect. Every day we reinvent the wheel, so to speak, so it is not an easy road to success.
What do you consider to be the keys of your success? In this line of work you have to be tenacious, realizing that there is always a solution to a challenge...we just have to find it! Another key is having the right people. I love working with my daughter and son-in-law and an amazing team of talented craftsmen. Together, we build incredible furniture which makes a positive difference in peoples lives.
4610 S. 35th St., Suite 4
NANKE SIGNATURE GROUP CEO
The world is but a canvas to our imagination. —Henry David Thoreau
Jared Nanke is the CEO of Nanke Signature Group—a fourth generation family-owned and -operated architecture, engineering, and construction firm specializing in luxury, residential real estate development in Arizona for more than 70 years. Prior to joining the family business, he studied and worked in Los Angeles and New York. It was in these cities where he honed his design knowledge and experience, feeding his passion for how we visually engage in mediums, spaces, and forms. Since joining the company, Jared has been instrumental in developing innovative processes and introducing new technologies that will revolutionize his company and the industry.
What initially drew you to architecture, engineering, and construction? As a designer and businessman, I’m a problem solver by nature. I saw the opportunity in this industry to better our product and the way it’s delivered. I noticed a chance to innovate in a way that was exciting and compelling to me.
How does your background bring a unique perspective to your work? I started out in the fashion industry and still do some fashion design. In our company, I’ve implemented the fashion industry’s competitive nature and extremely high standards, which strikes a chord with our esteemed clientele, who appreciate the level of detail and sophistication this brings.
What is next up on the horizon for you and your team? I’m always looking for new markets to expand to and ways to better our service. Most notably is the expansion of our design division that will be releasing an exclusive line of furniture and home decor.
7272 E Indian School Rd.
ALPHA OCEAN CAPITAL, LLC AND GRAND CANYON HOME SUPPLY FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR
Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”—Napoleon Hill
Dan Peden, originally from the Philadelphia area, was a Captain in the US Air Force, before transitioning into medical device sales and real estate. He is now the Founder and Managing Director of two businesses: Alpha Ocean Capital, LLC, a real estate private equity firm, and Grand Canyon Home Supply, a home renovation source providing cabinetry, countertops, and flooring for real estate investment and personal home renovations. When he’s not conquering the business world, he’s outdoors exercising, doing yoga, snowboarding, or playing golf. He’s a father to his 14-year-old son, Julian, and is the true definition of a Modern Man.
How do you define being a Modern Man? For me, it’s about being well- rounded, setting your own goals for success, and going after them. It’s someone that lives with the “Anything is Possible” mindset and strives to excel in all areas of life. They’re a leader in the community because they help others succeed and reach their dreams, too.
Tell us about your philanthropic efforts. I’ve been on the Scottsdale Unified School District Foundation Board for 6 years and am Past Chair. I’m passionate about the local public school district and have a son that attends Chaparral High School. The Foundation’s mission is to provide every student and educator with the opportunity to achieve educational excellence.
15855 N. Greenway Hayden Loop
POETZL ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN OWNER/ARCHITECT
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.—Pablo Picasso
Jon Poetzl, an architect and the owner of a full-service architectural firm, built his brand on a rich history and focus dedicated to high-end custom residential and boutique commercial architecture. He approaches the highest level of design and service by closely working with builders, interior designers, landscape architects and engineers. Poetzl A+D offers a wide range of talents that are represented in designing styles ranging from cutting-edge contemporary to historically accurate. They tailor each project around the clients’ needs and desires, while integrating climatic and site-specific ideas to create a blended harmony between the architecture and its surroundings.
How do you define being a Modern Man? A modern man is someone who is up for wearing multiple hats in life. Being someone who can be at a jobsite concrete pour in the morning, a design meeting on a new hillside project in the afternoon, and a bedtime story with the kids in the evening.
How does your background bring a unique perspective to your work? Having been born and raised in Phoenix, I have been able to absorb what it means to inhabit the desert. The changes in the urban sprawl, seasons, the light, the vegetation, etc. all add to my design tool box.
5070 N. 40th St., Ste. 130
Photography by: Carrie Evans