Owais Khanani is an entrepreneur based in Orlando, Florida. With over 30 years of experience, he has founded and managed multiple successful businesses specializing in finance, renewable energy, media, and real estate development.
Mr. Khanani’s expertise lies in defining business models and creating a solid foundation by hand picking key management to support growth and strategically identifying opportunities for successful implementation.
Mr. Khanani is the founder and managing partner of Elevation Development, LLC (“Elevation Development”) which is involved in several projects including residential, multifamily, and mixed-use / commercial developments in Florida.
For his entire professional career, Mike has been involved in the development and construction of a variety of commercial and residential projects. Upon graduation from the University of Florida School of Building Construction, Mike joined his family’s development business where he oversaw the horizontal and vertical construction of single-family subdivisions and office buildings. In 1989 he joined a Texas-based development firm and headed the Orlando operations in the development of a 100-acre mixed-use tourist-oriented project in Osceola County, Florida. The project included hotels, a shopping center, time-share and apartments.
In 1999 he joined a Winter Park, Florida based development firm. While there he was responsible for design, entitlement and construction of shopping centers, eventually becoming Chief Operating Officer. More recently, Mike has been involved in the development of single tenant properties, hotels, and mixed-use developments. He intends to continue the pursuit of quality multi-family, hospitality, and retail projects throughout the United States.
Mike has been an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Maria E. Rust, CPA is the controller for Elevation Development, LLC and has over 12 years of experience in the accounting profession. She has enjoyed a wide range of professional roles in both publicly traded and privately held corporations, including extensive experience as a successful small business owner in both the accounting and real estate industries. Maria has been elected to serve a three-year term as a board of trustee member for the Florida Institute of CPAs Scholarship Foundation from 2021-2024.
Marcelo Rodrigues has over 20 years of experience as financial executive. His career started in the financial industry (Bank of Brazil and Citibank) where he worked for 9 years.
In 2008, he joined the Pharmaceutical Industry (Animal Health’s third largest company in Brazil) where he built the path for the company to get the IPO in 2014, becoming a publicly traded company. More recently, he joined an Orlando-based Real Estate Development firm and headed the development of a vacation homes community and property management. Mr. Rodrigues’ expertise lies in developing capital structure and financial business models to support investments and revenue growth beyond driving and implementing financial/operation management and corporate governance processes.
As a 4th generation native from Orlando, James grew up in the Citrus Business that developed into the Construction business. His father went from selling oranges to building and selling houses. James graduated in Business Administration/Economics at UCF and received his Juris Doctor from Roger Williams University School of Law in Rhode Island.
After Law School he moved to Atlanta to raise his only son and began working for several law firms in Atlanta, GA. He then opened his solo litigation practice office and operated that for the last 15 years, helping clients with their specific Real Estate Issues.
He has since moved back to Orlando and came on board with Elevation Development this year.
Jeff Garno is a real estate developer with over 22 years of experience in all phases of real estate development with concentration in Market rate and Workforce housing. He has developed, owned, and operated over 2,000 rental units in 7 different states.
Prior to joining Elevation Development, Mr. Garno was a principal with an Orlando-based development company and prior to that, he was Vice President of Development with nationally recognized firms such as Picerne, and The Related Group of Florida.
Mr. Garno graduated From Alma College with a double major in Economics and Business.
Jawaad Khanani is the Investment Analyst at Elevation Development, LLC. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Rollins College with concentrations in International Business and Finance. He joins the team with various internship experience in Real Estate Development, Private Equity and Non-Profit work.
George Kraljevich has been involved in commercial, mixed-use, and residential land development since 1998. He has been primarily responsible for locating and qualifying suitable land positions for various developers, both as broker and as principal representative. In 2004, George joined with Landtec Companies out of Michigan to manage land acquisitions for their newly opened Florida division. In addition, George has been involved in brokering most all commercial product types, including Super-Fund sites, industrial facilities, and specialty use properties.
Fernanda Loza is the Accountant Assistant at Elevation Development, LLC. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and more than 20 years of experience in accounting in the USA and in Ecuador, her country of origin. Fernanda is bilingual in English and Spanish and has worked in different industries such as hospitality, flower’s exporter, manufacturing, financial services, and non-profit organizations.
She loves to work with numbers and accounts reconciliation is a challenge and motivation for her. She has certifications in Digital Photography, Web Development, and Accounting Operations. For many years she volunteered at her church in the AWANA program. Her hobbies are photography and traveling, and during her free time she enjoys sharing activities with her husband and daughter.
Hanoi Mijares has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and over 15 years of experience in accounting and financial roles in the US and Venezuela with companies such as Nestle, Revlon and Kraft Foods. Hanoi is a focused person who loves collaborating with people, helping to resolve problems, and having the opportunity to bring improvements to processes or activities that may need it.