Jim Walter, President
Jim founded the first Crystal Creek Capital entity in January of 2009. Prior to forming Crystal Creek Capital, Jim co-managed the real estate strategies for Nevada Pacific Consulting (“NPC”). Mr. Walter also served as the Executive Director of The TVRC Education Foundation located in Jackson, WY. During his tenure, Jim acquired a 2,300 acre ranch located in Dubois, WY and oversaw the development of a world class ranch camp facility. The TVRC Education Foundation and Teton Valley Ranch Camp have been recognized as leaders in the camp industry.
Jim received a Bachelor of Arts from St. Lawrence University and was a grant recipient from the School for Social Innovation at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. He serves as a trustee of the Antonio V. Glassberg Educational Foundation.
Thomas J. Saylak, Chairman
Thomas J. Saylak is the president of Teewinot Holdings, the private investment holding company for the Saylak family interests, which invests in a broad array of traditional and alternative asset classes. In turn, Teewinot Holdings is a primary investor in Crystal Creek Capital Fund I.
Prior to forming Teewinot Holdings, Mr. Saylak spent over 27 years as an investor focusing on distressed and underperforming commercial real estate assets around the world. Following graduate school, Tom served as a Principal in Trammell Crow Ventures (“TCV”), the firm’s opportunistic real estate investment arm, where he was responsible for completing over $5 billion of investments between 1987 and 1992.
Following Trammell Crow, Mr. Saylak co-founded and for over 9 years was co-head of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, one of the largest and most successful real estate managers in the world. During his tenure at Blackstone, he and his partners created four real estate investment partnerships with more than $4 billion in total equity commitments, and completed over $13 billion of real estate investments, financings and restructurings. The completed investments comprised over 30 million square feet of office space, 35,000 hotel rooms, 15 million square feet of industrial warehouse space and 30,000 apartment units. Investment structures included direct asset purchases, privatizations of real estate operating companies, acquisitions of impaired debt positions leading to asset control and newly-originated high-yield structured financings.
Over the nine year period from the inception of Blackstone’s real estate investment activities in 1993 through his withdrawal in 2001, Mr. Saylak and his partners invested $2.8 billion of equity capital in 110 transactions and generated returns on realized investments of 45% with an equity multiple of 2.4 times. Blackstone and its investors harvested over $2 billion of realized investment profits during Mr. Saylak’s tenure. Mr. Saylak was responsible for all aspects of the Blackstone’s activities, including day to day operational management of the 60-person professional and support staff, fundraising initiatives, investor relations, financial reporting and asset management.
Following Blackstone, Mr. Saylak served as President of Merrill Lynch Global Commercial Real Estate (“GCRE”), the fully-integrated commercial real estate division of Merrill Lynch which at the time had over $1.6 billion in annual revenue, 500 employees, and operations in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. He retired from Merrill Lynch in 2006 to form Teewinot Holdings.
Mr. Saylak has served as a Director of three NYSE-listed companies: Cadillac Fairview Corporation (then the largest owner and operator of retail centers in Canada), Interstate Hotel Corporation and Prime Group Realty Trust. He is a Trustee of the Grand Teton National Park Foundation, and a Trustee of WETA, the PBS affiliate in Washington, D.C . He is also past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Texas A&M University Foundation, and formerly served as Chairman of the Foundation’s investment committee.
Mr. Saylak received a BBA in 1982 from Texas A&M University (magna cum laude) and an MBA in 1987 from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, where he graduated with high distinction and was designated a Baker Scholar.
Nick Fouts, Partner
Nick Fouts is a Partner in Crystal Creek Capital. Mr. Fouts joined the firm at its inception and is involved in the underwriting, structuring and managing of investments. Before joining Crystal Creek Capital, Mr. Fouts oversaw the underwriting activities of a local community bank in Jackson Hole, WY, and was responsible for managing and reporting on the credit risk profile to the Board of Directors. Mr. Fouts earned a BS from Kent State University and a Graduate Certificate Applied Finance from Colorado State University.
Jeanne Carruth, Office Manager and Assistant to the President
Jeanne Carruth has been with Crystal Creek Capital since 2017 as the Office Manager. Ms. Carruth plays a key role in the entitlement process for Crystal Creek Capital, she assists with managing current assets and the research of potential projects. Prior to Crystal Creek Capital Ms. Carruth worked for The Town of Jackson in the Planning & Building Department and also has experience with a local architect firm. Ms. Carruth earned a BA from Gustavus Adolphus College.