Home   |   Contact Us


About Us

Stephen B. Jaeger, Michael Karasik, Jon Lefferts, Joe Laughlin, Lisa Travaglini, Hongyi Yang, Jan L. Harder, Erinne Mickle, Kimberly Wiedermann

Stephen B. Jaeger, Founder and Managing Partner of Argonaut Investments. Responsible for all day to day operations of the firm, Steve brings significant experience in all phases of real estate investment management including acquisitions, leasing, finance, development, dispositions, and investor relations. Since 1992, he has acquired and managed over $350M in real estate assets for himself and high net worth investors. Through a patient and focused investment approach, Steve has grown a portfolio of shopping centers and manufactured housing communities which has produced considerable and above market returns for all of his partners.

Together with Preston Cook, his business partner of 20 years, Steve has built a fully integrated investment and property management firm prepared to handle significant growth in the years ahead. Prior to forming Argonaut, Steve began his career in real estate in 1988 at TRI Commercial Brokerage in San Francisco where he completed over 100 sale and lease transactions. He is active in several San Francisco athletic and social clubs and a variety of local and national charitable organizations. Steve received his BA in Economics in 1987 from the University of California, Santa Barbara.




Michael Karasik, Managing Partner. Michael was born in Peoria, Il., and spent his formative years there and attended college at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana campus. In 1977 he received his BS degree in Accountancy, having achieved highest honors (Bronze Tablet) and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1977. From 1977-1979, Mr. Karasik lived in Dallas, Texas and worked in the public accounting arena for both Haskins and Sells and Alexander Grant & Company, fulfilling his experience requirement for his CPA license. In 1979 he moved to San Francisco, California, where he attended night school and received his Masters in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco in 1981. Mr. Karasik is also a licensed California real estate broker.

As an auditor in the late 1970's, Michael had a real estate investor/developer as a client and became fascinated with the real estate business. Upon arrival in San Francisco, the position of Controller for Marathon US Realty, Inc. was accepted. Marathon was a division of Canadian Pacific Railway, a publicly held Canadian real estate developer. He held this position until 1983, when he married Cynthia Bolton, a marriage that has lasted 26 years to date. They currently reside in Piedmont, California with their 2 daughters, 16 year old Alexandra and 12 year old Nicola.

After leaving Marathon, Michael accepted a position as Chief Financial Officer at General Atlantic Development Company (GADCO), the real estate division of General Atlantic Partners, a New York based venture capital company. In 1990, Michael and his co-worker started GA Properties, an independent development and property management firm devoted to developing, managing, leasing, operating, refinancing, and ultimately selling all of GADCO's real estate assets, except for Bayside Village Apartments. Bayside Village is still in existence, and Mr. Karasik oversees the management of this $225 million asset, as well as maintaining his small ownership interest in the apartment complex.

In 1998 Michael started ROK Properties, primarily a property management company located in San Francisco, California. Over the course of the next ten years, he and his then partner developed, leased, financed, operated, and managed eight projects totaling 1 million square feet. These projects were primarily office buildings, but also included a retail component as well as residential for sale condominiums. This portfolio was liquidated by mid-2008, prior to the economic downturn.

Mr. Karasik is currently investing with Stephen Jaeger in neighborhood and community based shopping centers. The first of these is Court Street Plaza in Pasco, Washington. Additionally, he is partnering with Stephen Jaeger in the asset and property management venture named JK Capital Management, LLC. The partners will operate their investment assets going forward based upon the collective 50+ years of experience in the real estate business.


Jonathan Lefferts, Chief Financial Officer. Jon joined Argonaut in September 2010 and oversees all financial aspects of the company including debt and equity financing, accounting, financial reporting and investor and lender relations. Jon is also involved in the underwriting of new acquisitions for the company.

Prior to joining Argonaut, Jon was the Chief Financial Officer for Basin Street Properties, a regional commercial real estate investment and development company, where he was responsible for the financial management of a $500 million diversified real estate portfolio that included various property types as well as land development projects. Among Jon's accomplishments at Basin Street were the sale of a $275 million office portfolio to Equity Office Properties in 2005 and the financing of a $100 million mixed-use re-development project located in downtown Petaluma, California. Prior to joining Basin Street, Jon was a vice president in the Real Estate Merchant Banking Group at Wells Fargo Bank. Jon holds an MBA degree in Finance and Real Estate from the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business and a BA degree in Economics from Tufts University.


Joe Laughlin, General Manager. Joe joined Argonaut in September 2010 and manages all aspects of the day-to-day operations and is the primary point of contact for A/R, A/P, Human Resources and Insurance. He works closely with the on-site managers at the retail centers and is responsible for all of the mobile home park properties.

Prior to joining Argonaut, Joe spent 11 years as the Controller and Chief Operations Officer of Nankai, USA, an international pearl import company. He was also a top sales agent for Coldwell Banker in San Rafael, specializing in commercial real estate.

Joe is a lifelong Marin County resident who graduated from Terra Linda High School before obtaining a Bachelor's Degree from Chico State University in 1990.


Lisa Travaglini, General Counsel. Lisa Travaglini joined Argonaut Investments in November, 2012 as our In-House Counsel.

Lisa is responsible for drafting and negotiating Shopping Center leases, assisting on financing matters and resolving general legal matters in the day to day operations of Argonautís portfolio of investments. Lisa has been an attorney licensed in California for 20 years. Starting her career in litigation for a San Francisco law firm representing plaintiffs in personal injury matters before transitioning into commercial real estate law while at Bartko, Zankel,Tarrant and Miller in San Francisco.

While at BZTM, Lisa drafted and negotiated complex commercial real estate leases on the tenant side, primarily for Ross Stores, Inc. Lisa also drafted various corporate organizational documents such as Operating Agreements and corporate bylaws. After being at BZTM for five years, Lisa took a break from the corporate world for several years in order to raise her two young daughters.

Once her girls were of school age, Lisa returned back to work at DLA Piperís San Francisco office with their commercial real estate group, this time on the landlord side. While at DLA Piper, Lisa drafted and negotiated commercial retail leases for Jones Lang Lasalle, among other national retail owners. Following her experience at DLA Piper, Lisa set up her own office in Marin County doing contract work for former clients such as Ross Stores and various commercial property owners in San Francisco.

Lisa is a native San Franciscan and currently lives in Marin County where she enjoys spending time with her daughters and running on the trails of Mt. Tamalpais. She received her bachelorís degree from St. Maryís College and her Juris Doctorate degree from University of San Francisco.


Hongyi Yang, Controller. Hongyi joined Argonaut Investments in April 2013 and is responsible for all aspects of accounting as well as financial reporting for the company.

Prior to joining Argonaut, Hongyi was the Regional Controller at Larkspur Hotels & Restaurants in charge of financial reporting for its Pacific Northwest regional hotels. She spent 8 and one-half years with Larkspur, where she started as Manager of Hotel Accounting in 2004. Soon she took over corporate consolidations and then took charge of the Payroll & Accounts Payable Department, which served 23 hotels/restaurants in California, Oregon and Washington with over one thousand employees. Prior to Larkspur, Hongyi spent four years with Joir de Vivre Hospitality as Assistant General Manager for the Nob Hill Lambourne Hotel in San Francisco.

Hongyi received her MS degree in accounting from Golden Gate University with honors. She also holds a BA degree in Hotel Management from San Francisco State University.


Jan L. Harder, Property Manager. Jan Harder is the newest real estate professional to join Argonaut Investments as Senior Manager responsible for management oversight of recent acquisitions, most notably, the Tiburon California portfolio of properties. Jan has 25 years of commercial property and asset management backgrounds having started her career in asset management in San Francisco analyzing and overseeing large institutional investment portfolios with GE Capital, MacFarlane Partners, and Mellon/McMahan Real Estate Advisors et al. After leaving the City, she worked in Marin for Maier & Siebel for two years as Vice President overseeing a large industrial, retail and office portfolio located all over the western United States. Following that stint, she spent the next ten years as Senior Manager at Shelter Bay Retail Group managing and redeveloping a retail shopping center portfolio located all over the Greater Bay Area, specifically in Marin.

Jan is an avid golfer, horsewoman and snow and water sports enthusiast and has lived and hiked all over Marin for 25 years.


Erinne Mickle, Senior Property Manager, joined Argonaut in November 2013. Erinne is responsible for all aspects of managing the retail portfolio in California, Washington and Oregon.

Erinne has worked in real estate for over 15 years managing office and retail properties in San Francisco, Marin and Sonoma County. Her first job after college was with Cushman & Wakefield and from there she has been with well known named companies such as Hines and Basin Street Properties managing multiple assets up and down the 101 corridor.

Along with her Bachelorís Degree from UC Santa Barbara, she is a licensed real estate salesperson and holds the dual designation of RPA/FMA from Building Owners and Managers Institute International.

Erinne is a lifelong Marin resident who is an avid outdoor enthusiast and during her free time she enjoys all water sports, running and skiing.


Kimberly Wiedermann, Lease Administration.

Kimberly Graduated from California State University, Chico in 2007 with a degree in Recreation Administration. Since then, she has continued to be accountable and consistent recognized for her strategic and creative thinking, effective team playing skills and adding complimentary skills and valuable contributions to her previous employers.

Kimberly began her residential Real-estate career in 2013 where she held the Assistant Manager position with Riverstone Residential. She worked on an array of Multi-family properties throughout the Bay Area. While with Riverstone Residental, Kimberly was given the opportunity to work closely with the Property Management staff on a brand new MacFarlane Partners, development in San Francisco. It was there that Kimberly exceled in her Leasing Skills, creating a 100% Lease up in a little over six months. In Spring 2014, the MacFarlane Partners Development was nominated and won, as Riverstone Residentialí s Lease up of the Year.

Kimberly joined Argonaut Investments in April 2014.





770 Tamalpais Drive, Suite 401-B     Corte Madera, CA 94925     T: 415.945.2470   F: 415.945.2460