Steele is the founder and Chairman of Aston. Under his leadership, the firm has grown into a full-service retail development and management company operating in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. Prior to forming Aston in 1980, he served as a U.S. Army officer.
Steele graduated from The Citadel with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He has served on the National Board of the YMCA, Chairman of the Metropolitan Board of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, Chairman of the YMCA Herring Ridge / Camp Harrison Board and Chairman of the Board of Dewey Brothers Foundry, the Board of Trustees of The McCallie School, the Board of Goodwill Industries.
George is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Aston, where he oversees the firm’s operations, including property acquisitions and property developments. Since joining Aston in 1997, he has been involved in the acquisition and development of projects valued in excess of $400 million. Prior to joining Aston, George was with Charlotte, NC based developer, The Bissell Companies.
His passion is working with a group of talented professionals to develop and acquire strategically located retail properties. This includes the enjoyment of being a part of an Aston Team whose goals are to execute on a well thought out leasing and development plan for each project. George believes the ultimate outcome of this effort is to enhance the retail landscape and the quality of life of the neighborhoods and communities our properties serve.
George earned a bachelor degree from Hampden-Sydney College with a double major in economics and Spanish. George currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the John M. Belk Endowment, the Levine Children’s Hospital Board of Ambassadors, Hampden-Sydney College Board of Trustees, Charlotte Country Day School Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors for the Trail of History, a founding board member of The May 20th Society and is a past board member of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. George has been an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and served as a panelist at several of ICSC’s Carolinas Idea Exchange conferences.
Randy is a Senior Vice President of Aston with more than 25 years of retail leasing experience throughout the southeast. Randy oversees the firm’s leasing and asset management activities. Prior to joining Aston in 2003, Green established the Charlotte office for Kimco Realty, the nation’s largest strip shopping center REIT.
Green earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Kentucky. He is a licensed Real Estate Broker in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. He has served as a committee member of the Carolinas Idea Exchange and is an active member of ICSC.
Steve is the Chief Financial Officer of Aston and has served in that role since joining the company in 1999. Townley has a varied background in finance, tax and accounting. Prior to joining Aston, he was the Tax Director for Bovis Lend Lease, a $2 billion construction services company. He began his career in in the tax department of public accounting firm Ernst & Young.
Steve enjoys putting complex deals together and being a member of the Aston team. He has closed over $350 million in commercial real estate loans during his tenure at Aston and has valued relationships with banks, life insurance companies and securitized lenders.
Steve graduated from Northeastern University with a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting. Steve serves on the board of The Learning Help Center (LHCC).
Karen is a Vice President of Aston where she leads the firm’s construction and development services department. Karen has been with Aston since 1987 and is responsible for coordinating all facets of entitlement, design and construction for both new developments and acquisitions as well as handling renovations and major tenant upfits within Aston’s existing portfolio. She has successfully rezoned over 1.93 million square feet of retail space and has been involved in the development of over 3.9 million square feet. In 2013, Karen earned the Certified Development, Design and Construction Professional (CDP) through ICSC, a designation held by less than 50 women worldwide at that time. Prior to joining Aston, she was with Clark Tribble Harris & Li Architects.
Karen attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is active in her church as well as mission and service organizations.
Jamie is the Director of Acquisitions and Dispositions at Aston Properties and is responsible for all aspects of new asset acquisitions including deal sourcing, underwriting, structuring, capital raising, asset management and disposition. Jamie joined Aston in July of 2005 and has been involved in over $250,000,000 of commercial real estate transactions during his time with the company. Prior to joining Aston, Jamie started his career with Wachovia Securities on their commercial mortgage backed securities desk, he also spent two years with the Cato Corporation, leading new store development throughout the western United States.
Jamie earned a BA from Middlebury College (2002) and MBA from Babson College (2013).
Jackson M. Smith is a Development Manager at Aston Properties who specializes in the development of multi-tenant and single-tenant retail projects. Mr. Smith began his professional career in 1995 with Tribek Properties where he served as a commercial broker. Prior to joining Aston in 2007, he was a founding partner at Crossroads Real Estate Group, which he specialized in single-tenant, net leased development.
Mr. Smith is a native of Charlotte and he graduated from Davidson College with a bachelor’s degree in History. He is licensed real estate broker in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia and an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers. Mr. Smith is also an active member of First Presbyterian Church and is married with 3 children.
Lauren serves as Vice President of Leasing and currently oversees approximately 3 million square feet of retail shop space. She is responsible for both Aston portfolio leasing as well as third party listings throughout the southeast. Starting her career in 2003 at Tribek Properties, she has always been focused on client and broker relationships in all facets of the deal. In the over 10 years at Aston, Hansen has been responsible for implementing leasing strategies to create an effective lasting tenant mix as well as manage other brokers with a common goal.
Lauren attended the University of Delaware with a double major in management and marketing. She is licensed in Virginia, North and South Carolina and actively involved in the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Eric J. Gibson joined Aston Properties in 2013, focusing on the development of multi-tenant and single-tenant projects throughout the Southeast. Prior to Aston, he served as Director of Development, focused on market strategy/site development for client rollout initiatives. Eric believes in long-term trusted business relationships that have lasting reach and create value.
Eric earned a B.A. in Public Relations from UNC – Charlotte. He is a licensed Real Estate Broker in North Carolina and member of ICSC. Eric volunteers his time to the Boys and Girls Club of Gaston County, Thompson Child and Family Focus.
“I have had the great pleasure of knowing and working with Eric Gibson since 2009. I remember well the persistence and drive Eric displayed in pursuing his first meeting with me. At the time Delhaize America was not looking for additional developers. Eric was not deterred and ultimately gained an opportunity to discuss what he and his firm had to offer.
As a developer for our company, Eric has consistently provided new real estate opportunities for us to consider. He has also proven effective on special assignments in new territories. He took the time to truly understand our company and our goals. Eric evaluated new markets quickly, presented options, and executed thoroughly to assist us on attaining our company objectives. We have completed multiple deals together over the last five years. One specific deal comes to mind where I believe Eric’s tenacity is the only reason we were able to complete a deal and open a successful store. If a problem or issue arises, he keeps me well informed and works diligently to assist in solving the issue.
I would give Eric my highest recommendation. Eric is positive and upbeat and working with him is a pleasure. I have seen firsthand how his talents have benefited us. The persistence and drive he displayed to get the initial meeting with me has never wavered.”
Jeff Smith, Director of Real Estate South – Delhaize America