Every year, AZ Big Media, which publishes both PTK and AZRE magazines selects Arizona’s top people and projects to showcase in its premier commercial real estate magazine — PTK — from an impressive and competitive nomination pool. Each day we will highlight 20 different categories of People to Know. Here are the developers to know in Arizona for 2024: 

LEARN MORE: Read last year’s edition of PTK magazine

Alex Boles

Alex Boles

Senior vice president, investment and development        

ViaWest Group

Recently promoted to Senior Vice President at ViaWest Group, Boles’s responsibilities include sourcing investments, due diligence, acquisition and creation and execution of development business plans. During his time at ViaWest, he has developed over 3.4 million square feet of industrial product, one retail build-to-suit, and played a crucial role in approximately 1.5 million square feet of value-added office and industrial projects. In addition, he has a background in multifamily and single-family residential projects with 11-plus years of real estate investment, development, and construction management experience. 

Surprising fact: “I grew up in Kentucky and Tennessee and love hunting and fishing. I moved [to Arizona] with my wife a few weeks after we got married without knowing a single person in the state.”

Shelby Duplessis

Shelby Duplessis

Founder and managing member

Diversified Future

During her career, Duplessis has managed teams of more than 50 and manages multiple development projects at any given time. In spring 2023, she resigned from her position as president of Land Development to build Diversified Future. Duplessis is an active member of the community that donates her time to multiple organizations. She was named Alumni of the Year by Leadership West and she’s a past Honorary Commander and current Blue Blazer at Luke Air Force Base.

Surprising fact: “I think people will be surprised to learn I was a co-pilot in an F16 and flew in a full combat training mission with four F16s and two F35s. It was with Luke Airforce Base this spring — an amazing experience that was definitely like nothing else I’ve ever done.”

George Forristall

George Forristall

Vice president of real estate development


As part of Mortenson’s Phoenix leadership team, Forristall provides comprehensive turnkey solutions including site identification, tenant procurement, financial feasibility, debt and equity financing, government entitlements and design and construction oversight for Mortenson clients. Forristall’s most recent Arizona projects include the Hyatt Place Phoenix Downtown, The Beam on Farmer and Pursuit Park.

Stand-out fact: Forristall played a critical role in bringing Arizona State University’s Mullett Arena to life. Delivered seven weeks early, this 185,000-square-foot, 5,000-seat multi-purpose arena is home to Sun Devil men’s hockey, the NHL’s Coyotes hockey, and Sun Devil men’s wrestling, in addition to community concerts and events. 

Surprising fact: “In high school, I started my first business designing, developing and building tree houses (high-end, multi-room tree houses).”

Austin Gottsacker

Austin Gottsacker

Director of acquisitions and leasing


As director of acquisitions and leasing, Gottsacker works with the CEO, tenants, and brokers to execute client requirements as well as manage the in-house outreach and due diligence for the company’s projects. He is also responsible for the site investigation, underwriting, budgeting, site planning, and managing relationships for the company’s vendors and consultants. 

Stand-out fact: Gottsacker has procured and closed on more than 45 ground-up developments during his career, totaling more than $115 million in value. He actively manages client relationships with numerous national retailers and has worked on projects in more than 10 states throughout the country.

No. 1 on the commercial real estate bucket list: “Do a deal with In-N-Out Burger so I can justify eating there every day!”

Heath Melton

Heath A. Melton

President, Phoenix region

The Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC)

Melton brings a unique blend of Arizona roots and military experience, as a West Point graduate and decorated combat veteran, to his role as the president of the Phoenix Region at The Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC). His leadership style is characterized by discipline, determination and a passion for thoughtful and sustainable master-planned communities (MPC). 

Biggest career accomplishment: “While overseeing HHC’s three highly acclaimed MPCs in Texas (The Woodlands, Bridgeland and The Woodlands Hills), I led Bridgeland to become a top 10 selling master-planned community in the nation, and The Woodlands Hills a top 20 selling community in the Houston market by its fourth year of home sales.”