Donald Kipnis, Founder and CEO of DSS (Development Service Solutions) and DSS Condo, has established himself as a leader and innovator in the construction profession throughout a nearly 30-year career. Beginning his road to his current role, Mr. Kipnis discovered a passion for his craft in the form of success as the top-ranked Building Construction graduate and President of the Building Construction Honor Society at the University of Florida. From there, it was difficult to ignore his calling as a no-nonsense determined leader and pragmatic construction visionary. Previously, as CEO of Miller & Solomon General Contractors (M&S), Mr. Kipnis successfully grew business from $12 million to $175 million, making M&S a leading industry name that served as a symbol for integrity, quality and timeliness throughout the state of Florida. The industry found it hard to ignore Kipnis’ branded credo, "No Excuses" and struggled to keep up with the precedent set by a company that expanded from 20 employees to more than 200 under his direction.
After Miller & Solomon, Kipnis utilized his sharp business acumen as a problem solving Partner and Executive Vice President of Construction for the Trump Group. Here he supervised design of the Luxuria project in Boca Raton as well as Acqualina II in Sunny Isles Beach while simultaneously completing water damage remediation and construction of the first Acqualina Resort tower. It was here that Kipnis expanded upon his immense portfolio of experience. Kipnis parlayed his negotiating skills into a favorable settlement with the builder’s risk and other insurance carrier to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation–a true example of his foresight and skill for delivering results with solutions.
Prior to joining Koniver Stern, Mr. Fox worked on tax and white-collar criminal cases at Black Srebnick Kornspan Stumpf for five years. With his strong financial and accounting background, he is able to skilfully analyse and interpret complex financial data which helps him structure creative commercial deals for his clients.
He has negotiated both national retail tenant and restaurant deals representing both the landlord and tenant. In addition, he serves as the Vice-Chair of the Miami Beach Zoning Board of Adjustment, where he serves as the Real Estate Development Seat. This experience has given him a better understanding of the municipal issues that tenants face with the build-out of their potential spaces and how to efficiently resolve those issues.
Charlo is a seasoned Project Manager with a military background and an impressive track record of success in the fields of construction management and real estate development.
Prior to joining DSS, Charlo worked as a Project manager for Bazbaz Development, where he worked to entitle, permit and bid a 242 unit luxury multifamily/hotel building in the trendy neighborhood of Wynwood. In this role, he was directly responsible for coordinating architects, engineers, design consultants, contractors and all other professionals involved with each project. He was also involved in underwriting and sourcing new deals in the Miami market.
He was also a Senior Investment Analyst for Advenir Real Estate Investment Company, where he sourced, screened and underwrote the acquisition of over 4,200 multifamily units worth more than $550 million, as well as a Project Manager for Smoot Construction in Columbus, Ohio, where he supervised multiple lump-sum and construction management projects.
Charlo proudly served in the U.S. Navy where he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for leadership and training during Operation Enduring Freedom. He holds a M.S. in Real Estate Development and Urbanism from the University of Miami’s School of Architecture, and enjoys traveling and conquering new foodie adventures.
Born into the construction trade, James began working for his father’s general contracting company at an early age. His love for building and creating with his own two hands has led him down a long and exciting path within the business. By the age of 30, James was running his own construction design/management company, Creative Concepts, LLC. His exceptional work ethic, along with his attention to detail, helped him build a reputation as someone who holds his work, and the work of his employees, to the highest standard. In recent years, he has made the move from his home town, New York City, to the City of Miami where he has decided seek out a formal education obtaining a Master of Architecture degree from Florida International University, consequently teaching Structural Systems.
Greg or, “Monte” as he known by his friends, is a 25-year veteran of the construction industry and a certified project manager. As an experienced construction executive with a passion for structure, he is relentless in his pursuit of his client’s vision and a detailed, strategic thinker. Greg has a diverse construction background that consists of new construction and major historic restorations from NYC’s Fifth Avenue to Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road as well as high-end retail, restaurants, condominium and commercial projects for national and international Fortune 500 companies. Greg and his wife Erika are proud New Yorker’s that moved to Florida in 1999 and never left. They reside in Coral Springs with their boys Nicholas & Matthew since 2001.
Nick “The Greek” is a licensed Architect and has been with DSS since its inception. A Miami native, Nick attended the University of Miami School of Architecture and has since spent most of his career working directly in the field—a rarity for most Architects. Like a true Greek, thinking philosophically allows Nick to view projects from all angles. He has spent years offering his expertise in design and planning to Condominium Projects, including: Flamingo, Mirador, Acqualina, Yacht Harbour and Bal Harbour 101, among others.
Nick is a perfectionist, skilled in visualizing effective and beautiful design, communicating that vision to the client and implementing this design in the most efficient and cost-effective ways. His vision, paired with years of experience coordinating projects in the field, delightful sense of humor and excellent interpersonal a skills make Nick a unique and valued asset to the DSS team.
Jennifer (Jenn) has a BS in Interior Design from the Art Institute in Fort Lauderdale and a Masters in Architecture from Florida International University. As she worked toward her Master’s degree, Jenn was able to combine her passions for food, travel and design while studying abroad in Genoa, Italy. There, she was able to indulge in Italian Culture, History, Arts, and Architecture helping her gain a greater appreciation for the built environment by means of timeless design. Jenn also has a passion for sustainable architecture which drives her thoughtful design process and sensitivity to the environmental impacts common in this line of work. Throughout her studies, she acted as Co-Chair of the Broward Chapter of USGBC Emerging Green Builders — an organization dedicated to educating young professionals in LEED technology, green building and sustainable community initiatives.
Before joining the DSS team, Jenn held the position of Design Director for Selina Hostels, designing and building a series of boutique hostels in Central and South America, intended to promote affordable, sustainable, and community-based travel throughout the region. Her knack for creative problem-solving, attention to detail, and ability to communicate with all trades has proven her to be an asset in the complicated process of design and construction.
Born in Cuba and raised in Miami, the daughter of an architecture professor and a mechanical engineer, design and engineering run in Claudia’s family. Graduating at the top of her class with a Master’s in Architecture from FIU, Claudia has always possessed a passion for design and how it can affect and transform our homes and communities. This passion, coupled with her meticulous skill and detailed nature make her a tremendous asset to the DSS team in the process of designing, planning and executing projects. Claudia is skillful at understanding spaces, and how a space can be transformed to maximize its value to the end user. In addition to working as a Project Manager for DSS, Claudia is a part-time a Graduate Assistant at the FIU School of Architecture and along with her brother, runs a non-profit organization, “Pari Passu” (“equal footing”) which is dedicated to raising funds for impoverished families in Haiti.
Jennifer (Jenny) Luis holds a Masters of Architecture from Florida International University and is currently studying for the Architect Registration Examination to become a licensed architect. Prior to joining DSS, Jenny worked with McKenzie Construction, consulting on the team’s various design and build projects while also working independently, developing architectural drawings for various residential projects. Jenny has an eye for simple, efficient design as well as a passion for how design relates to the natural environment. For the past three years, Jenny has applied these interests as well as her organizational and project management skills to her role as a partner, organizer and curator of the annual Eco Couture Recycling Fashion show at Florida International University, a fashion competition promoting recycling and sustainability. Jenny is driven, highly personable and adept at handling multiple projects simultaneously.