Building enduring communities is the driving force behind Harvard Investments; forging a name in the Valley’s development community with key acquisitions and ground-up development.
The real estate investment and development firm has now announced the promotion of Tim Brislin to President. Brislin, a strategic leader and development industry expert for more than 20 years, has been at the forefront of Harvard’s growth.
“I’ve been watching Tim develop, and I felt like it was time for him to continue that growth and be elevated to that (President) level,” said Craig Krumwiede, who previously held the title of President and CEO of Harvard Investments and will continue his role as CEO.
“This has been an evolution. For a number of years Tim and I have discussed that this is an open track for him. He deserves this promotion — he has been taking on more responsibility the past number of years. I am super excited for him. I will remain in the role of CEO, but less involved in the day-to-day operations,” Krumwiede said.
Brislin was promoted from Senior Vice President, a position he has held since 2022. Brislin has been instrumental in several key company initiatives for Harvard Investments including the development of thousands of residential lots in Harvard’s master-planned communities in Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico, the launch of Harvard’s new FirstStreet division, a platform creating build-to-rent communities throughout Arizona and the Southwest, and numerous new acquisitions.
Harvard Investments recently acquired King Ranch in Goodyear, Arizona, an 1,864-acre master plan. King Ranch borders Estrella, one of the Valley’s largest master-planned residential communities and part of the Harvard Investments portfolio. Estrella is owned in a joint venture among Värde Partners, Toll Brothers Homes, and Harvard.
Harvard Investments, in partnership with Lincoln Property Company, is developing Goodyear AirPark, a 7-million-square-foot industrial development on 565 acres adjacent to Phoenix-Goodyear Airport. Harvard is also developing FirstStreet at the Ballpark in Goodyear, a 251-unit BTR community.
“This has been an 8- to 10-year process,” said Brislin, who joined Harvard Investments in 2007. “Craig early on told me there’s a potential here to have a leadership role at Harvard. He really gave me the space and time to get there. You can’t hurry these things up.
“It takes extensive experience working on a variety of different projects to prepare for this role. I still have more learning to do to get to where Craig is now. Craig made a key point; he’s not going anywhere. He’s remaining as CEO and his continued leadership and vision for the company are as critical now as ever,” Brislin said.
As Senior Vice President, Brislin ran Harvard Communities, overseeing the planning and execution for Harvard’s master-planned portfolio. As part of the senior leadership team, Brislin was also engaged with senior management in the execution of the over-arching company business plan. His strategic leadership has made Harvard Investments a “real go-to developer” for landowners in multiple markets.
“It’s definitely been a period of growth for Harvard. We expanded our team, most recently adding our new CFO Kathleen Nidiffer, and now operate two product divisions. The company is focused on expansion through high quality opportunities that we continue to find and create. In my role as President, I am focused on our operations and ensuring that we are open to growth and effectively execute our communities,” Brislin said.
“Harvard’s mission is building enduring communities where our residents can create lasting, positive experiences. This can be a large masterplan, or an intimate rental home community. We also embrace our role in working to solve Arizona’s key development issues. Craig and I, along with Harvard Senior Vice President Chris Cacheris, are deeply engaged with our peers on multiple fronts helping to find solutions.
“With our build-to-rent division, we have just scratched the surface on our vision for its future expansion. We want to be a national leader in this new housing solution and Harvard has an excellent division leader in Harvard’s VP of FirstStreet, Robert Trujillo, to get there. We are developing in Arizona and Nevada and have growth plans in markets outside the Southwest. There is massive potential there,” Brislin said.
A native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, Brislin moved to Arizona in 2002 and worked at national brokerage firm Grubb & Ellis. He joined Meritage Homes in 2005 as the director of acquisitions, covering the Southwest market for the active adult division.
Brislin is active within the Valley’s commercial real estate industry. A long-time member of Valley Partnership, he serves on its Board of Directors and was Board Chair in 2020. He is a full member of the Urban Land Institute and serves on a national Community Development Council. Brislin is also a member of the Arizona ULI Community and Residential Development (CaRD) Council serving as Chair in 2021-2023.
Brislin was also involved with the Luke Air Force Base Honorary Commanders Program and is a member of Pinal Partnership. This year he was named a member of the Executive Leadership Team for the inaugural West Valley Heart Walk on Dec. 2, in Goodyear. Tim and his wife, Anne, are active in their support of Brophy College Prep, where their sons attend school.
Krumwiede said Brislin’s philanthropy is exemplary.
“Giving back to the community is an important part of our company culture,” Krumwiede said. “I’m a firm believer in paying if forward. This Valley has been so good to everyone in this company. Tim knows the importance of building and supporting our community.”
Brislin said that culture starts with The Hill Companies, the 120-year-old, family-run business based in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, which owns a diverse portfolio of companies. Harvard Investments operates as the U.S. development arm.
“The Hills have built their legacy through giving back in a variety of ways to their community,” Brislin said. “Craig continues this practice of giving through his involvement in a number of civic groups, and by ingraining it in the Harvard culture.”
Brislin graduated from Villanova University in Philadelphia in 1999 with a bachelor of science degree in biology and completed post baccalaureate studies at the University of Washington and the University of Arizona. He was a varsity collegiate rower at Villanova and the University of Washington. Brislin was on the USA Under-23 National Rowing Team that competed at the 1999 World Championships in Hamburg, Germany.
Krumwiede said he is confident in having Brislin oversee the overall growth of Harvard Investments.
“We will continue to grow as the opportunities allow us to grow,” Krumwiede said. “That’s a big reason we’ve been blessed with so much success. If there is an opportunity, the team finds a way to get it done. The entire team is supportive of this new transition for Tim and I expect Harvard will find a number of exciting communities in the next five years with Tim leading the way.”