My Story – I grew up in Orange County, California, and learned about real estate investing from my family at an early age as I watched my father save every penny he could to purchase real estate. There were times in our household when my mom had to do garage sales in order to pay the bills. However, my parents would always seem to find a way to invest in real estate if they could. In the early 90s, my father discovered attractive real estate opportunities in central Texas. On his first trip to Austin, he purchased 3 duplexes that were all REOs from a bank. Eventually, this passion for real estate moved our entire family to the Austin area that same decade.
Following in my father’s footsteps, I started purchasing investment properties as well. In fact, while purchasing my third investment property is how I met my soon-to-be wife, Kayla, who was the sales manager for DR Horton homes. Soon after, we were married and started raising a family. During this time I opened a mortgage lending company. I always liked the mortgage business, especially the creative side of lending. As our lending operation continued to grow, I noticed a growing demand for individuals who needed creative financing to purchase distressed properties in order to fix them up and sell them for a profit.
After many months of researching the demand in this unserved lending space, we gradually steered our entire mortgage lending operation towards this unique industry of what we call private lending aka hard money lending that now caters to renovation, new construction, and commercial development loans. We started with our own capital first, and then it grew organically as other investors wanted to participate with us. Not only do we love being part of our client’s success and creating better communities, but this passion grew into the business model we have today at Capstone. Through the Capstone lending model, we are building better communities, creating greater relationships, and making attractive returns together.
Ray’s Bio – Before founding Capstone Capital Partners in 2012, Ray started out with conventional lending in 1998 and eventually became a Licensed Texas Mortgage Broker. Over time Ray moved out of the conventional lending space altogether and focused primarily on Private Lending (his passion) and helping to establish other private lending companies in the Austin area (one of which is the debt portfolio of Thrive FP).
In 2007, Ray founded Capstone Servicing Corp, a servicing company that services loans originated by private lenders. Capstone Servicing has serviced more than $200M in private loans since 2007 and currently has $30M of loans in the pipeline. Through many hardship lessons, especially during the credit crisis of 2008, Ray has learned the value of staying prudent while maintaining and keeping a common-sense approach to lending.
Ray focuses on creating positive lasting relationships with both borrowers and lenders to create a win-win scenario on every transaction. Ray has funded more than $250M in lending transactions in his entire career of 24 years in mortgage lending. Ray and his wife, Kayla, live in the Orange County, California area with their three children.
John joined Capstone in early 2020 with a strong background in business development and extensive management experience at companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. He takes great pleasure in serving clients personally. His responsibilities at Capstone include client relationship management, capital raising, marketing, fund management, corporate communications, and business management.
Raised in Turkey by Turkish parents, John loves Texas and the United States. He came here at the age of 23 and fell in love with its people; the constitution, Bill of Rights, and political system; and its history, values, and culture. He likes to say that he received two of the most important gifts in his life here: His faith in Jesus Christ and his wife, Rachel.
Besides spending time with his wife, Rachel, John’s greatest passion is driving his old sports cars and sharing his passion for driving with other like-minded enthusiasts by organizing esoteric driving tours in the hill country. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.B.A. from Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
With a background and education in real estate, home building, interior design, architecture, and new home consulting, Kayla is a great fit for this role. During her formative years, Kayla had the pleasure of helping her parents grow and build an interior design and home furnishings company. She went on to graduate from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interior Design.
After working in residential and commercial design, Kayla branched off into real estate in 2000. She enjoyed the privilege of working for Newmark Homes and then DR Horton Homes as a new home sales consultant.
Kayla’s passion is her family, and she also works closely with Ray Walter (her husband) on important decisions for the business. She skillfully divides her time between her family including three children in elementary school and serving in church related ministry roles.
Jeremy Pate, our Senior Loan Processor, started with Capstone in 2014 and brings with him more than 20 years of experience in the mortgage lending industry. Jeremy graduated from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas with a degree in Mass Communication and a minor in Business. Jeremy is a great asset to Capstone with his amazing people skills and his mortgage experience developed over the years making him a valuable contribution to our Capstone Team.
He works with borrowers to obtain necessary items and oversees the closing process for the lenders. Creatively meeting the needs of our clients is what Jeremy likes best in his role at Capstone. Jeremy is actively involved with his church as he serves in many different ministries.
Dorothy Horton has been with the Capstone companies since 2005. She oversees the daily business operations including loan servicing, bookkeeping, human resources, payroll and office management. Dorothy is a real gem and has worked in several departments bringing a very thorough knowledge to all sides of the business.
After very successfully working her way up through the company, Dorothy took on the operations manager role at Capstone Servicing and has been a true asset. Dorothy has worked closely with borrowers and private lenders over the years and works very efficiently handling a majority of the operations of Capstone Servicing.
Prior to moving to Austin, Dorothy gained experience in Loan Processing. Her background includes banking, human resources, benefits administration, payroll, and executive administrative work. She attended the University of New Mexico and University of Phoenix majoring in Business Administration.
Melanie originally started with the Capstone Companies in 2006 and over the years Melanie has helped build the growth of Capstone to what it is today. Melanie handles many aspects of loan servicing including, but not limited to construction draws, borrower and lender payments and overall support to our clients. Melanie began her career in banking specializing in credit and lending eventually becoming Executive Secretary to the VP.
Melanie has also managed large multi-family complexes and was an Assistant Manager for one of the southwest region’s largest real estate offices in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Melanie has diverse experience and a wide range of knowledge in banking, real estate investing, retail management, realtor, and executive administrative work.
Laszlo is a first-generation American. Raised in Texas by his Hungarian father and German-Hungarian mother, he grew up in a household where retaining his family’s heritage and languages was important. Laszlo graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree and has pursued dual careers in information technology and construction for the past 25 years. His interests in real estate and construction began in the 80s when his father guided him through his first real estate investment.
In 1998, Laszlo and his wife Dianne moved to the Austin area where he continued his IT career as an International IT Project Manager working overseas and across the US. Laszlo also started and managed a successful construction company and built multiple custom homes. He has been a student of building construction technologies, real estate management, and project management holding a current Project Management Professional Certification.
While in Austin, Laszlo has invested in real estate projects as a lender of capital but has also contributed to his investments through providing his skills in architectural design, new and renovated construction, strategy and planning, project management, ongoing multi-family facility and tenant management, communication specific to builders, lenders, contractors, realtors, attorneys and city officials culminating in many successful residential and multi-family project exits.
In his free time Laszlo enjoys the outdoors, road and mountain biking, hiking, and gardening.
As of March 2022 Laszlo has joined the Capstone team as a contractor to work across all departments to improve business processes, standards of operations, technology, and communications as it applies to all stakeholders.
Ashley Hester joined the Capstone team in August 2022. She handles many aspects of loan servicing and borrower communications and support. Her diverse background in finance and construction are invaluable to Capstone’s mission.
Ashley came to Capstone with 10 years of business experience in finance and accounting, audit, risk management, business development, construction, and project management. Throughout her career, she has worked for premier design-build developers and contractors in Texas. She believes that the construction industry is a phenomenal industry to be a part of as it is one of constant change, incredible results, and an opportunity to positively impact the community.
Curtis joined Capstone in 2017 with more than 30 years of experience in business-building, venture capital, investor relations, real estate, sales & marketing, construction, business development, public speaking, and operations management. He leads Capstone’s growth through loan originations, asset valuation, due diligence, asset performance, forecasting, and investment diversity. He utilizes high-value relationships to make connections, structure deals, develop solutions, and create “win-win” scenarios to achieve optimal results.
In addition to a degree in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin, Curtis is proud to be a small part of the fraternity of Texas Longhorn football players as a former QB. He has served on the Board of Directors at companies in the real estate, restaurant, finance, technology, and broadcasting industries.
Nicole Southerland is an Austin native and serves as Capstone’s Vice President of Lending Operations. She ensures that all lending operations are aligned, organized, processed, and closed efficiently while also assisting with loan origination. Aspiring to put 10+ years of commercial and mortgage lending experience to use in private lending, Nicole joined the Capstone team in 2019.
Nicole is passionate about cultivating clear and timely communication with Capstone’s borrowers and takes pride in creating seamless closing experiences. Nicole lives in Cedar Park with her husband of 17 years along with three adorable, yet very energetic boys.
She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, reading, and cheering on her sons’ baseball teams. She attends Expression Church in Cedar Park where she and her husband actively serve in kids ministry. Nicole has B.S. from Texas State University.
Mindy Walter has been in the real estate sales, leasing, and property management industry for more than 25 years. She holds an active Texas Real Estate Broker’s License and serves as our Asset Manager. Mindy is responsible for overseeing asset management in Capstone’s loan portfolio across the state of Texas. She appreciates working directly with lenders and borrowers while bringing her decades of diversified property management experience and skills to our team.
As part of her duties, Mindy regularly conducts site visits and meets with contractors, builders, and vendors. In addition, she oversees the collection of payments from borrowers. She is also responsible for managing the proper disposition of foreclosed properties when they occur. Mindy purchased her first rental property in 2003 and has been an active landlord since.
Mindy moved to Austin in 1994 to go to school and entered the real estate and lending sectors at the young age of 17. Outside of work, her passions are camping, RV traveling, and hiking with her black lab.
Paul comes to Capstone with nearly 20 years of experience in consumer mortgage lending, real estate sales, home building, project management, and asset management including foreclosure management. Paul’s primary responsibilities at Capstone will include managing the timely disposition of foreclosed projects including securing properties, initial property assessments, make-ready project planning, labor and contractor management, arranging local real estate representation, and marketing the properties for sale.
Paul will also occasionally assist the loan origination team with on-site reviews and borrower screenings for new loan applications. In addition, Paul will meet with current borrowers and their projects to monitor progress and compliance with construction plans.
Born and raised in Canada, Paul has resided in Texas for 11 years. Paul is married to his lovely wife Brenda of 24 years and has three children and two rescue dogs. They enjoy staying active and fit and love to visit the west coast.