PERSONAL: He and Jonathan Jaffe (see related entry) named Business People of the Year by Business Journal after leading $1 billion buy of former El Toro base in 2005—biggest local real estate deal in recent memory in the past 20 years. On board of Children’s Hospital of Orange County, University of California, Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business, University of Southern California’s Lusk Center for Real Estate. Civil engineering degree from American University of Beirut; California licenses in engineering, contracting. Member of Urban Land Institute. Left troubled Lebanon with fiancée, now wife, Dina. Daughter, son.

—Mark Mueller


Chief operating officer

Lennar Corp., Miami

Born in New York

Age: 53

Lives in Laguna Beach (Emerald Bay)

WHY: Local head of housing giant, whose day-to-day operations are largely run out of Aliso Viejo, major investor in former El Toro Marine base.

HOW: No. 3 at Miami-based Lennar, third-lar-gest U.S. homebuilder by revenue, yearly sales of $4.4 billion. Runs much of Lennar’s daily operations from Aliso Viejo. Miami-based headquarters handles Wall Street. Joined with Emile Haddad (see related entry) in 2005 to lead $1 billion buy of former El Toro base. Among deals that propelled Lennar alongside Irvine Co., Rancho Mission Viejo as one of largest developers here.

RECENT: Lennar-backed FivePoint Com-munities, led by Haddad, now preparing for first 720 homes to be built at Great Park Neighborhoods after years of economy-driven delays. Lennar part of first phase of home construction.

PERSONAL: Led Lennar’s charge into California in 1995. Had to buy way into OC’s tight-knit homebuilding club, where big landowners, home-grown builders dominate. On national advisory board of HomeAid America. Undergraduate degree from University of Florida, graduate studies in architecture at Georgia Tech. Joined Lennar out of college. Wife, Karen, three sons. Karen and Jon Jaffe recently honored by Human Options Inc. with the Spirit of Philanthropy award, which recognizes an individual’s or business’ commitment to end the domestic violence cycle.

—Mark Mueller


Founder, chief executive

Mobilitie LLC, Newport Beach

Born in Baldwin Park

Age: 51

Lives in Newport Beach

WHY: Telecom and wireless exec now making waves in OC’s residential, commercial real estate markets.

HOW: Former partner at Deloitte’s telecommunications infrastructure practice, started Mobilitie in 2005. Privately held company quickly grew into one of country’s largest owners of cellphone towers. Scored $1.1 billion from last year’s sale of 2,300 cellphone towers, representing a “portion” of Mobilitie’s assets. Now using proceeds from the deal to buy real estate, primarily in OC, while rolling out business lines for his telecom company.