Our Team

Craig Smith – Chief Executive Officer/Founder


As founder of Fountainhead Development, Craig Smith brings over 30 years of retail shopping center and commercial real estate knowledge, expertise, and experience to bear on each Fountainhead Development project.

Initially, Craig was responsible for all aspects of Fountainhead’s development process including business development, site acquisition, marketing, entitlements, title issues, lease negotiations, signage programs, environmental issues, financing, construction supervision, and the liquidation of completed product on over 70 projects.

Craig currently focuses on strategic planning, business development, and managing Fountainhead Development. Craig has developed, leased, and managed in excess of one hundred retail projects and shopping centers. Craig has successfully managed Fountainhead through three market changes over the past 16 years and has succeeded in accurately identifying each change, its impact of market direction, and positioned Fountainhead for continued success. A few notable accomplishments for Fountainhead Development are: i) the development of the first drive-thru Starbucks in Southern California; ii) the #1 buyer of excess properties from Arco in the State of California for several years running; and iii) the recent completion of the first ground up Fresh & Easy in the United States.

Prior to founding Fountainhead Development, Craig joined Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Group in 1984 in the commercial group-training program. Over the next two years he gained experience in various specialties including appraisal, consulting services, marketing research, and brokerage services. Upon his completion of basic training, he spent the next year learning his specialty; retail brokerage. Craig eventually went on to become a Senior Associate at CB Commercial. During his tenure, he generated and completed real estate transactions in the millions of square feet with a market value in the hundreds of millions. Craig left CB Commercial in 1995 to start Fountainhead Development.

Craig graduated in 1983 from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in investment finance. Craig speaks regularly at the University of Southern California Masters of Business Administration program and industry related events.

Craig is a devoted outdoorsman.

Tom Swieca – Partner

As a Partner at Fountainhead Development, Tom Swieca is responsible for generating and tracking opportunities for new development projects. Primary responsibilities include site identification and acquisition, as well as maintaining relationships with national / regional tenants through strategic analysis that best suits the particular tenant’s needs. To ensure that the “Tenant’s Needs” are best served; Tom pursues positive relationships with the brokerage community, city and county officials, as well as property owners to create “added value” to all involved.

Tom joined Fountainhead Development in 2014 after a 30 year career in the sales and leasing of commercial real estate. Joining Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Group in 1983; Tom specialized in the leasing and development of retail properties; shopping centers from 1 acre in size to power centers in excess of 800,000 square feet. In addition to Landlord representation and development, tenant representation became an integral part of Tom’s business plan. He exclusively represented many national and regional retailers from 1,000 to 100,000 square feet in size with the responsibility of maximizing market penetration and competitive advantages. As Coldwell Banker Commercial became CB Richard Ellis, a team was built around Tom as Senior Vice President that focused on new retail development, tenant representation, shopping center marketing, investment sales, strategic analysis in support of tenant expansion, and consulting services for governmental agencies.

Tom graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. He is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

Tom enjoys slowing his golf swing down, tailgating at UCLA football games, and following kids to their water polo games at UC Irvine and Riverside Poly High School.

Vasanthi Okuma – Director of Development

Vasanthi Okuma’s primary focus at Fountainhead Development, is land development, planning, entitlements, design, due diligence, project management, and construction administration.  Her knowledge base and technical expertise stems from over 20 years of experience in all phases of commercial architecture and development services for large retail centers as well as Tenant-driven expansions.   Her long list of clientele includes national anchors such as IKEA, Home Depot, In-n-Out, Family Dollar, CVS and Target.

Prior to working at Fountainhead Development, Vasanthi was a Development Manager at a national development company, managing numerous ground-up projects from site selection to grand opening. Her career portfolio included the west coast and Washington, Arizona , Nevada, New Mexico, with special focus in Southern California, and the City of Los Angeles. Vasanthi enjoys challenges and has completed controversial projects requiring multi-layer, multi-agency approvals, EIRs and Superfund sites.

Vasanthi first attended school in Bangalore, India, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree.   Later, she moved to Dallas, Texas to attain her associate degree in Interior Architecture & Design. She completed over 12 years in architecture and construction before transitioning to land development, where she found her true passion.

Aside from her professional life, Vasanthi enjoys reading, visiting big cities, watching her son’s water polo games, playing tennis, walks on the beach, cooking & entertaining.

Sheri Franco – Asset and Operations Manager

Sheri Franco joined the Fountainhead Team in 2007 and brings over 20 years of real estate experience with her. Sheri successfully served Fountainhead in the capacity of Project Manager for a number of ground-up construction projects, and she currently fills the role of the company’s Asset and Operations Manager.  She oversees the general corporate and project accounting, financial analysis, asset management including tenant coordination, and property management.

Prior to joining Fountainhead, Sheri was employed by a general contracting firm specializing in multi-family reconstruction projects, as the Business Administrator and Human Resource Manager. Her responsibilities included managing and directing the course of the general business operation.

Sheri’s prior experience also includes working with a national, publicly-traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) which specializes in developing, redeveloping, acquiring, and managing luxury apartment communities throughout the United States. She was a member of the development and acquisitions department, and served as a project coordinator and construction administrator.

Additionally, Sheri’s experience includes employment with a Southern California based homeowners association (HOA) management company. This Southern California based HOA Management Company represented over 136 HOAs.

Sheri enjoys spending time in nature, creating colorful art projects, reading, and has a passion for writing.

 

 


Watch This Video: Craig Smith,
CEO of Fountainhead Development