Executive Leadership

Over the decades, Rancho Mission Viejo has often been recognized throughout the state and across the nation as a leader in the planning and development of successful large-scale, mixed-use master-planned communities as well as in its ranching, farming and other land use and lease operations. The basis of this success and recognition is the family’s commitment to the same values and beliefs which have guided them since 1882. Today, the senior members of the Ranch family are joined by a management team consisting of proven experts in their respective fields. Together, the long-term dedication of the Ranch family combined with the multi-disciplined and highly integrated experience, knowledge and integrity of each Rancho Mission Viejo management team member creates a company which is focused, prepared and motivated to, once again, achieve great success.

Meet the members of the Rancho Mission Viejo Executive Leadership Team:

Anthony R. Moiso, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Anthony R. MoisoAnthony R. Moiso isChairmanand Chief Executive Officer of Rancho Mission Viejo. He is responsible for the ranching, farming, planning, development, and financial management of all Rancho Mission Viejo business entities.

An Army veteran, Mr. Moiso is a graduate of Stanford University. He and his wife, Melinda, live in Newport Beach. The Moisos have four married daughters and thirteen grandchildren.

Donald L. Vodra, President and Chief Operating Officer

Don L. VodraDonald L. Vodra is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC, a fully integrated real estate development and management operation where he is responsible for managing all financial, operational, development, and strategic planning requirements for Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC and its affiliates.

Mr. Vodra’s extensive real estate experience has been established over 40 years of executive management, lending and investment experience within the real estate and banking industries.

    Mr. Vodra’s career includes tenures with:

  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. – Senior Vice President and Deputy Group Head, Real Estate Industries Group
  • Crocker National Bank, N.A. – Executive Vice President and Group Head, Real Estate Industries Group; President and Chief Executive Officer, Crocker Mortgage Company
  • Bracton Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Midland Bank, Plc, London; President, Chief Executive Officer and Board Director
  • Security Pacific National Bank, N.A. – Executive Vice President, Special Assets Group
  • Western National Group – Managing Partner and Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Vodra’s professional affiliations include the Urban Land Institute, Lambda Alpha National Honorary Real Estate Land Use Society, and Policy Advisory Board Member of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California, Berkley. In addition, Mr. Vodra has served as Chairman of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of the United Way of Orange County, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Laura’s House, a Director of the United Way of Orange County, and Chairman of the March of Dimes of Southern California.

Mr. Vodra is a graduate of the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.

Elise Millington, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Elise MillingtonElise Millington is responsible for the financing, financial planning, accounting and reporting, and the property and income tax management of various Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC real estate development and operating entities.

Prior to joining Rancho Mission Viejo in 2004, Ms. Millington served in various financial management capacities for the Irvine Company where she led the Corporate Finance and Accounting department as well as served as a Divisional Controller for the Land Development Group. Since joining Rancho Mission Viejo, Ms. Millington has led the Real Estate Finance and Accounting group primarily responsible for the financial planning and reporting, budgeting, analysis, and financing for real estate development projects and operating properties.

A native of Southern California, she also serves as Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Capistrano Valley. She received her undergraduate degree in Accounting from California State University, Fullerton and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of California, Irvine. Ms. Millington resides in Ladera Ranch.

Gilbert G. Aguirre, Executive Vice President of Ranch Operations

Gilbert G. AguirreGilbert G. Aguirre is responsible for all ranching, farming, agricultural and industrial lease operations as well as the daily management of all Ranch-related ranching interests. Mr. Aguirre joined the Ranch family in March, 1967.

A native of Tucson, AZ, Mr. Aguirre is widely recognized as a leader in the ranching industry. Mr. Aguirre has been the Managing Partner of the North Fork Cattle Company for four decades during which he also was an owner and General Manager of the historic PX Ranch in North Fork, NV for three decades.

A member of the National Cattlemen’s Association and the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, Mr. Aguirre is a member, Past Officer and Past Chairman of the Long Range Planning Committee for the California Cattlemen’s Association. He also is a Past President of the Producers Livestock Marketing Association of Salt Lake City, UT, Past Director of the Board of the Producers Livestock Loan Corporation in Salt Lake City, UT, Past Director of National Livestock Marketing in Denver, CO, Past Director of the National Livestock and Meat Board in Chicago, IL, and a former member of the California Beef Council. Mr. Aguirre is a Board Member of Rancheros Visitadores and is affiliated with the Western Heritage Association.

In addition, Mr. Aguirre serves as President of the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo, acclaimed as “the richest two-day rodeo in America.” In 2008, Mr. Aguirre was elected to the California Rodeo Hall of Fame. Locally, Mr. Aguirre is Past President of the Donna and Richard O’Neill Conservancy, a Board member of the J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center, and a Founder-Director of Capital Bank, both in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

A graduate of the University of Arizona where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science, Mr. Aguirre resides at Rancho Mission Viejo’s historic Cow Camp.

Paul Johnson, Executive Vice President of Community Development

Paul Johnson, Sr.For more than 35 years, Paul Johnson has been enthusiastically engaged in the planning, design and development of award-winning communities in South Orange County, CA. Paul’s creative mark is seen throughout the neighborhoods, commercial centers and recreational amenities of Rancho Santa Margarita, Ladera Ranch,and now –the 23,000-acre Rancho Mission Viejo (The Ranch) community, the largest, new master-planned community in California.

Today, as Senior Vice President –Community Development for Rancho Mission Viejo, Paul is responsible for all aspects of community development on The Ranch including urban planning and design,development, builder land sales, construction and administration as well as the formation and operation of the community master maintenance corporation and community services organization.

Over the next decades, The Ranch is destined to become a landmark community of mixed-use, inter-generational villages, collectively encompassing 6,000 acres and hosting more than 14,000 homes and up to five million sq. ft. of non-residential uses. Ultimately surrounding the villages on The Ranch will be the 17,000-acre Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo –a place of habitat preservation/study and educational enrichment.

Paul attributes his achievements to the stewardship of the O’Neill-Moiso family, owners and managers of the historic Rancho Mission Viejo since 1882. His admiration for Tony Moiso and family has been a constant, even when Paul served as Project Manager for The Fieldstone Company where he was responsible for project-specific land acquisition, entitlement, product development, marketing, construction, and homebuyer warranty.

Paul received his B.A. in urban studies/engineering from California State University, Northridge and a M.B.A. from California State University, San Bernardino. He holds a B-1 General Building Contractor’s license. He is a Past President of the Building Industry Association-Orange County (BIA-OC) and has served on the Executive Board for the Building Industry Association -Southern California(BIA-SC). In 2013, Paul was named “Person of the Year” by BIA-SC’s SAGE Council.

An outdoor enthusiast who is a runner, backpacker, hiker and mountain biker, Paul enjoys spending time with his wife Roylene, their three daughters and four grandchildren.

Mike Balsamo, Sr. Vice President of Governmental Relations

Mike Balsamo, Sr.Michael E. Balsamo serves as the Senior Vice President of Governmental Relations for Rancho Mission Viejo LLC, stewards of the historic Rancho Mission Viejo cattle ranch and master planner/developer of the Rancho Mission Viejo community. Mike is responsible for interfacing with various local and regional jurisdictions to oversee the planning and entitlement for community development and major infrastructure including schools, public safety facilities, transportation, water and other vital facilities and services.

Prior to joining Rancho Mission Viejo, he was the Chief Executive Officer for the Building Industry Association of Southern California. In this role, Mike led BIASC in advancing its mission to be the single voice of building and development in Southern California, championing the interests of its more than 1,100-member companies encompassing four regional chapters including Orange County, Los Angeles/Ventura, Riverside/Imperial, and San Bernardino Counties.

He has committed his career to balancing development needs and environmental considerations, with more than 25 years of experience in land use planning and real estate development in both the public and private sectors, including serving as a land planner for the cities of Irvine and Lake Forest and for the County of Orange as well as a contract role with the Irvine Company and a project management position with Lennar Homes.

Mike is a long-time resident of Orange County and graduate of UC Irvine where he studied both Political Science and Environmental Science. He is married with 4 children. He and his family reside in San Juan Capistrano.

Lissa Freese, Sr. Vice President/Operations

Melissa M. FreeseLissa Freese is responsible for Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC’s day-to-day operations, insurance, staffing and multiple agency interaction for Rancho Mission Viejo’s related commercial lease, ranching and for-sale agricultural activities.

A native of Tucson, AZ, Ms. Freese has been a member of the Ranch family since 1967. She sits on the Board of Directors and serves as an Officer of The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo and is a member of the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo Committee. Ms. Freese also is a member of the Orange County Sherriff’s Advisory Council and volunteers at the J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

Ms. Freese is a graduate of the University of Southern California where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.

Jeff Thompson, Sr. Vice President of Capital Projects

Jeff Thompson, Sr.Jeff R. Thompson is Senior Vice President of Capital Projects for Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC. Over the past 14 years, Jeff has supported the implementation of The Ranch Plan, a unique land management plan which details the development of the community of Rancho Mission Viejo. As a member of the senior leadership team, Jeff focuses on procuring and enhancing land entitlements and facilitating design for construction of capital projects for infrastructure and development, including watershed management.

Jeff’s 20 years prior experience includes Walt Disney Company for the Disneyland Resort expansion, CH2M Hill for the Design/Build team of the Eastern Transportation Corridor, and consulting to governmental municipalities, districts, and schools.He is licensed as a Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor in California. He is also a licensed Civil Engineer in Arizona and Washington.

Jeff is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Program for Leadership Development. He has also earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from USC and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from CSU Long Beach. He serves as a member of the Citizens Advisory and Environmental Allocation Clean-up Committees for Orange County Transportation Authority and Planning Commission for the City of Tustin, his home town. He is also adjunct professor at Cal Poly Pomona for a business-law class for the College of Engineering.

Jeff and his wife have celebrated 33 years of marriage. They have four children, which Jeff believes provides great qualifications for management while multi-tasking and prioritizing important resources.

Jack Morales, Sr. Vice President of Community Development Construction

Jack Morales, Sr.Jack Morales is Senior Vice President of Community Development Construction for Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC, responsible for coordinating, communicating and collaborating with The Ranch Finance Team, Planning Team, Design Team, Construction Team as well as Consultants and Contractors on the design and construction of the multiple mixed-use and residential villages on The Ranch.

After coming to The Ranch in 2002, Jack played an instrumental role in The Ranch’s Land Development Construction efforts for the village of Sendero on The Ranch (which celebrated its grand opening in 2013) and of the planning and design efforts to launch the village of Esencia (which opened in a series of grand openings in 2015, 2016 and 2017). Currently, Jack is working with a multi-faceted project team on the vision for Planning Area 3, the largest planning area of the 23,000-acre master-planned community of Rancho Mission Viejo.

Jack began his career in land surveying in 1988, and gained experience with three civil engineering firms. In 1999, he was named Project Surveyor for the highly successful Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC community of Ladera Ranch.

Jack is a self-proclaimed baseball fanatic and serves his community as president of Costa Mesa Pony Baseball. He enjoys attending church, playing golf and spending quality time with family and friends.

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