About Us

Communities Southwest is a diversified real estate investment and development firm focused primarily on residential land, both improved and unimproved, in Arizona and the Southwestern United States. Our mission is to provide wealth-building investment opportunities for our stakeholders which can deliver “alpha” and “asymmetric returns” while managing risk to avoid permanent impairment of capital and to deliver best in class products and services to our customers, and rewarding careers for our employees.

For over 40 years, Communities Southwest has acquired, entitled, developed, and/or sold more than 40,000 single-family residential homesites in over 45 land and community development projects, 5 retail development projects, and 2 golf courses. We value integrity, loyalty, and performance. We understand that the most successful companies are flexible and adaptable, so we constantly evolve our strategies to take advantage of the opportunity. We believe that our goals will be accomplished by hard work, respect for others, and by honest, ethical behavior. We each will lead by example and we always will “walk the talk.”

Number of Projects

Arizona: 36
Total: 48

Number of SF Homesites

Arizona: 33,405
California: 9,210
Total: 43,615


Successful execution of a mission requires a great team of employees working together to make it happen.


Mike Kern

Mr. Kern is responsible for the management of our company’s daily operations, all aspects of land acquisition, entitlement, development, marketing, and sales. Mr. Kern has extensive knowledge and experience in the real estate industry and a detailed understanding of the Phoenix metro residential real estate market.

Luka Vignjevic
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Vignjevic is responsible for investor relations, project financing, treasury, accounting, and financial reporting functions for Communities Southwest. Mr. Vignjevic has also been involved in the company’s strategic business plan development and has been responsible for the underwriting for most of the company’s projects in Arizona and California.

Greg Lehmann
Executive Vice President

Mr. Lehmann is responsible for identifying and managing capital market relationships for Communities Southwest. He is also involved in investigating and developing new types of investment opportunities outside the current target asset class.

Michelle Yerger
Vice President

Ms. Yerger is responsible for entitlement and development of new acquisitions as well as project management, marketing, and sales of existing residential assets. Ms. Yerger has been involved in various aspects of market research and construction management during her time with the company.

Michael Markakis
Vice President

Mr. Markakis is responsible for sourcing and evaluating new acquisition opportunities. In addition, he is responsible for the entitlement and development of new projects as well as project management, marketing, and sales of existing residential assets.

Board of Directors

Dennis Knight – CEO/Founder

Mr. Knight is involved in all strategic decisions for Communities Southwest. He has owned and operated Communities Southwest and its predecessors since 1980 and has developed residential planned communities, business parks, shopping centers, office buildings, golf courses, and apartments in Arizona, California, and western Canada.

Bryan R. Saba – Director

Mr. Saba has 25+ years of business operating experience and over 10 years of real estate investing and management expertise. Mr. Saba was a Senior Executive with Accenture, having responsibility for significant practice areas ($100M + annual revenues) and client relationships.

F. Wesley Clelland, III – Director

Mr. Clelland is the founder and president of Acacia Capital Corporation as well as a member of Acacia’s internal investment committee. Prior to joining Acacia, he served as the president of a real estate investment firm and was the founder of SunVen Partners, an Arizona-based venture capital fund.

Doug Young – Director

Mr. Young is a consultant specializing in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, financial analysis, turnarounds, and strategy. He has worked on several hundred assignments in over 50 industries. Mr. Young has previously served as vice president of Lehman Brothers as well as president of Sunbelt Holdings, a real estate management and land development firm.

Stephen Evans – Director

Mr. Evans is a private real estate investor. Mr. Evans was an executive committee member and trustee of Equity Residential, a company focused on the acquisition, development, and management of multifamily properties. Prior to its merger with Equity Residential, Mr. Evans was the chairman and CEO of Evans Withycombe Residential, a publicly traded real estate investment trust with a market capitalization of $1.2B.

Richard J. Lehmann – Director

Mr. Lehmann founded The Biltmore Bank of Arizona and was president and CEO at Bank Capital Corporation. His previous experience includes serving as chairman and CEO of Valley National Corporation and president and COO of Bank One Corporation. Prior to that, he spent 23 years with Citi Group in a variety of senior-level global positions.