CenterCal People

The executives of CenterCal Properties have held key positions in many different aspects of the retail development industry, including the creation and implementation of growth strategies for one of California's largest, Real Estate Investment Trusts. The diverse backgrounds of the executives enable CenterCal Properties to understand the requirements of the tenants, to formulate a successful development plan, to communicate that plan to the tenants and municipal agencies involved and to present a solid financial plan to the financial partners for each project.

Fred Bruning, CEO

Fred Bruning began his real estate career as legal counsel for Sears, Roebuck and Company in 1977. After only three years, he was promoted to Territorial Real Estate Director and was given the responsibility of formulating and implementing the strategic real estate growth plan for the western United States. Mr. Bruning was also responsible for Sears' real estate portfolio in the west, which consisted of over 500 assets. After leaving Sears in 1983, Mr. Bruning served as Vice President of Development for the Torrance Company in Torrance, California, and as Vice President of Development for the John Price Development Company in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In 1985, Mr. Bruning joined the Alexander Haagen Company as a development partner. In his 13 years at the Haagen Company, Mr. Bruning was the key executive in charge of the acquisition and development of over 40 retail projects. Mr. Bruning was also instrumental in taking the company public in 1993, serving as its Wall Street spokesperson. In 1998, Mr. Bruning formed his own development company, CenterOak Properties, LLC., and in 2004 formed CenterCal Properties, LLC. In his career, he has been actively involved in over 150 major retail developments in the western United States.

Mr. Bruning's close personal contacts with major retail tenants throughout the United States, combined with his unique perspective of the development industry from both the public and private development sectors, give CenterCal Properties a strategic advantage in the competitive retail development industry. Mr. Bruning is a member of the California Bar Association, the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Urban Land Institute. Mr. Bruning was also inducted as a member of Lambda Alpha, an honorary real estate organization. In addition to serving on numerous committees, Mr. Bruning serves on the Board of Directors of MBank, and is an honorary life member of the Mount Hood College Foundation Board. He received his Juris Doctor from Loyola University in Los Angeles and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Pomona College in Claremont, California. His hobbies include travel, archaeology, and flying his antique Stearman biplane.

Jean Paul Wardy, President

Jean Paul Wardy began his real estate career while attending the University of Southern California. He joined the Alexander Haagen Company in 1990, and by 1993 had been promoted to Vice President, Acquisitions, having successfully mastered numerous specialties including construction management, property management, leasing and finance. From 1993 until his departure in 1998, Mr. Wardy was the executive primarily responsible for the successful acquisition of over 20 shopping centers.

In 1998, Mr. Wardy co-founded CenterOak Properties with Fred Bruning, and CenterCal Properties in 2004. Since that time, Mr. Wardy has committed his efforts towards creating excellent retail driven projects that enhance and elevate the communities they serve, while providing a unique venue in which their respective retailers can be successful. Together, Mr. Bruning and Mr. Wardy are committed towards providing a work environment, where a devoted team of people can achieve extraordinary results.


In pursuing his real estate career, Mr. Wardy built upon the solid foundation of his family’s successful retail background in the Amen Wardy Store and Amen Wardy Home Stores. Mr. Wardy is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Urban Land Institute, and is a devoted husband and father.

Jenny Martin, CFO

Jenny Martin has more than 25 years of experience in real estate, finance and accounting. Mrs. Martin joined CenterCal Properties in March 2013 as Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for all finance, accounting and risk management functions. Prior to joining CenterCal, Mrs. Martin held the position of CFO for Brookfield Playa Management Inc. and Vice President of Finance/Controller for Playa Capital Company, the developers of the Playa Vista master planned community - one of the major innovative communities in Los Angeles. Mrs. Martin spent more than 15 years at Playa Vista where she was also in charge of finance, accounting and risk management functions.


Mrs. Martin previously worked as a Consulting Manager for Ernst & Young, LLP (EY-Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group), a public accounting firm where she handled a broad range of audit, tax and consulting duties pertaining to real estate including various master planned communities, commercial, and residential projects.


Mrs. Martin earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Commerce from Simon Fraser University in Canada and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of AICPA and CSCPA. Mrs. Martin is married with two daughters.

Steven C. Hanna, Senior Vice President, Construction

Steven C. Hanna holds the position of Senior Vice President of Construction with CenterCal Properties.  Mr. Hanna brings nearly three decades of construction experience to the CenterCal team and has worked on both the general contractor and the developer side on some of the finest mixed-use projects in the industry.


Prior to joining CenterCal, Mr. Hanna worked for Caruso Affiliated, a Los Angeles based retail developer, as Senior Vice President of Construction where his responsibilities included all aspects of the project delivery including estimating, design collaboration, team selection, contract negotiations and project execution. During this tenure, The Americana at Brand, a 1.2M square foot mixed-use development, including 238 rentals with 100 luxury condominiums and 8500 Burton Way – a mixed-use development with 88 luxury condominiums above retail were completed.


Prior to joining Caruso Affiliated in 2007, Mr. Hanna worked for Steiner & Associates, an Ohio-based retail development company as Project Executive/ Preconstruction Executive. During this tenure, Easton Towne Center, Newport on the Levee, The Greene Towne Center, Bayshore Towne Center and Zona Rosa were completed. Mr. Hanna’s earliest career experiences included Senior Project Manager for Corna Kokosing Construction Co. and Project Engineer for Turner Construction.


Mr. Hanna is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and is also on the Board of Trustees at The St. Sophia Cathedral Foundation, an LA based religious non-profit organization. Under Mr. Hanna’s direction and leadership, the Huffington Center at St. Sophia was completed in 2012.


Mr. Hanna received his Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management and an Associates Degree in Civil Engineering & Architectural Technologies from the University of Cincinnati.

Chris Byers, Senior Vice President, Leasing

Chris C. Byers is Senior Vice President, Leasing with CenterCal Properties, LLC and leads the leasing efforts of the company’s portfolio of Open Air, Community, and Town Centers as well as a seasoned team of leasing professionals.  With over 20 years of retail leasing experience, Ms. Byers is passionate about her work and contributions to commercial real estate.


Ms. Byers is highly respected in the industry and has been employed with CenterCal since 2010. Prior to joining the CenterCal team, Ms. Byers was responsible for the strategic development and growth of many national retailers; some of which included Chico’s, White House Black Market, Soma, and Coldwater Creek.   Ms. Byers brings very valuable retail relationships to CenterCal and has been able to execute powerful merchandising strategies across the CenterCal portfolio. Ms. Byers is dedicated to the development and leasing of best in class projects.


Ms. Byers attended the University of Utah and has been an active member of ICSC for over 20 years.  She lives in the Salt Lake City area with her two children. 

Peter Houck, Senior Vice President, Properties

Peter Houck is Senior Vice President of Properties for CenterCal Properties, LLC.  Mr. Houck oversees the company’s portfolio of retail and mixed-use operating properties consisting of 5M square feet of space across 12 assets.  Mr. Houck is responsible for overall asset management, property operations, and financial results for the portfolio.  Mr. Houck joined CenterCal in September 2012 as General Manager at The Collection at Riverpark.  


Mr. Houck previously worked for Related Urban in several management roles at numerous premier mixed-use properties including Time Warner Center in Manhattan, CityCenter of CityNorth in Phoenix and Anaheim GardenWalk in Orange County, CA.  He was responsible for complete asset management of the various projects including maintaining community and partner relationships, managing all aspects of property operations, and overseeing all administrative functions of the property including accounting and marketing functions. 


Prior to joining Related, Mr. Houck held the role of Property Manager with Brookfield Properties at 75 State Street, a trophy high rise office building located in Boston’s Financial District.  Also with Brookfield Properties, he was General Manager of 700 North Michigan Avenue, an eight-level vertical shopping center in Chicago. With Urban Retail Properties, Mr. Houck held management positions at Louis Joliet Mall, Fox Valley Mall, 730 North Michigan Avenue and Water Tower Place in the Chicagoland area.  


Mr. Houck received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from University of Iowa.  He also holds a CSM designation from ICSC, an organization with which he is actively involved and a RPA designation from BOMA.  Mr. Houck is married with two children.

Ruben Perez, Executive Vice President, Leasing

Ruben Perez is Executive Vice President, Leasing with CenterCal Properties, LLC and oversees the organization’s entire Leasing team.  Mr. Perez has more than 25 years of industry experience and takes pride in the relationships he has established over the years.

Prior to joining CenterCal in early 2017, Mr. Perez spent over 22 years with Westfield LLC where he worked in various finance and leasing roles.  During his tenure at Westfield, he was responsible for the creation of the company’s Leasing Finance Division. He merchandised and leased several major developments in Los Angeles, and led the Regional Leasing teams in Los Angeles, San Diego, Florida and the Northeast. Mr. Perez gained additional international experience by accepting a two year leasing assignment in Sydney, Australia.

Mr. Perez received his Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Southern California. In addition, he has completed Leadership Development programs at USC Marshall School of Business and UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management.  He is also a longtime member of ICSC.  Mr. Perez lives in Orange County with his wife and three children.