The Lake Havasu Independent Living’s project team include its developer and owner Sumerlin Desert, LLC and the Desert Land Group, LLC, its architect REES Associates, Inc., Civitas Senior Living as its operator and Consolidated Construction Company as its general contractor. Let me introduce the team members one by one.

James Stepanian, President of Summerlin Desert, LLC, is an expert in the management, resale, and servicing of performing and non-performing real estate assets. His extensive experience totaling 17 years in corporate management led to the rapid growth of SAM.

Together with him in forming SAM back in 2008 are Pete and Adam Pakes. Pete Pakes graduated with a bachelor degree in International Finance from the Ball State University in Indiana. He is SAM’s CFO since it started in 2008. He makes sure that all models of project development are built and maintained, and that SAM along with its borrowers and investors won’t have any issues with debt acquisitions and equitable dispositions.

Adam Pakes, on the other hand, is the COO of SAM. He graduated with a bachelor degree in Human Resource Management at the California State University. He has a broker’s license in 4 states: California, Arizona, Florida and Washington. Adam makes sure that all nonperforming and performing mortgages are either acquired or disposed of.

SAM’s partner in the Lake Havasu Independent Living is Desert Land Group headed by Mychal Gorden and Luke Still. Mychal is a landscape architect and planner. He works closely with the team to ensure that the project is on track while maintaining its creative vision. Desert Land Group’s other partner is Luke Still who is a general certified appraiser. His experience in valuation and consulting experience enables him to make sure project completions are on time without hurting the budget. Their combined 30 years of experience enabled the development of projects like the Refuge Golf Course, Havasu Foothills Estates, Beachcomber Resort Redevelopment, Park Creek Independent Living, among others.

The architect chosen by Jim Stepanian and partners for the Lake Havasu Independent Living is REES Associates, Inc. headed by Dr. Frank Rees. They have extensive experience in senior housing. In fact, they have finished projects in 42 states and 38 countries in the span of their 40-year practice.


The operator of the team is Civitas Senior Living headed by Wayne Powell, CEO, and Founder. They are experts in all facets of the senior living operations and his extensive knowledge and passion for senior healthcare is second to none.

The general contractor of Lake Havasu Independent Living is Consolidated Construction Company, Inc. They are the same contractors of SAM’s Park Creek Independent Living in Cypress, Texas. They are the best candidate because of their extensive experience in multifamily and senior housing construction.

When the project is complete, it aims to answer the demands for independent living rooms for seniors with assisted living and memory care options for those who can afford it.