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THE NATIVE CREATORS

Tess Ferguson

Principal
Creative Direction, Marketing, & Content Production

Tess started her professional career in the TV, film, and commercial entertainment industry. Given her versatility and talent, she successfully worked many aspects ranging from creation and ideation to pre and post-production. Having experienced these various stages, she realized her forte for organizing the often disparate and unaligned creative and analytical departments and rapidly rose to becoming an Assistant Director, a critical role within the industry. Fortuitously landing as a project manager of a 14-bedroom home renovation, which she successfully completed on time and under budget in the Hollywood Hills, opened Tess’ eyes to the excitement, energy, and complexity in real estate.

Tess’ greatest strength has been her ability to focus the creative mania present in an artistic endeavor into a unified whole such that its function and fashion are seamless, whether it be ensuring that Disney commercials are being produced smoothly and on budget, or corresponding with A-list celebrities on set such that they feel their needs are understood and met, or working hand in hand with indie directors who are for the first time trying to bring their vision to life. She brings to bear a rigorous ethic coupled with an open mind that are matched by her keen eye and artistic sensibility, grounded in the commercial and financial realities of any given project.

She studied Psychology and Art History at the University of Arizona while attending on a full academic scholarship. Tess lives in West Hollywood, loves outdoor, intense athletic activities, is a managing member on the board of SkullTec, and likes to attend visual and performance art exhibits around Los Angeles.

Mauri Waneka

Principal
Strategy, Acquisitions, Development, & Investments

Mauri began her career in the equity derivatives group at BNP Paribas in New York, where she distinguished herself and was exposed to the realities of the daily challenges faced by its many actors and the unique skills required to solve complex problems. And while BNP gave her insight and experience at honing her financial analytical skills, she quickly discovered that she craved more tangible and creative work. Finding positive role models lacking for millennial urban women, she raised money to produce a TV pilot aimed at that demographic. Still feeling unfulfilled, she found her way back into real estate development; back into because her grandfather studied under Walter Gropius and her parents had developed high-end modern homes.

Yet, it was her time working for an established, successful boutique real estate firm in Los Angeles that confirmed her chosen path. Her initial analyst role quickly expanded because of her aptitude for the field, and she gained tangible experience in comparable market research, mapping home prices, sketching designs for new properties, and underwriting financial pro formas.

Mauri is an idea generator and a vision executer. She is able to tease out stories and bring to life the potential in each and every project to enrich and enliven people whether that be a home, a short-term rental estate, or an office building.

She earned a Masters in Real Estate Development from USC and holds a B.A. in Mathematics, Economics, and Philosophy from Drury University. A West Hollywood resident, she is a self-taught chef who loves hosting elaborate dinner parties complete with après dinner dancing, visiting new boutique hotels and restaurants, and is an aficionado of wine, coffee, and tequila.