Our Story

Heartwood is committed to helping Austin face the challenges of the city’s housing crisis through creative development.

Like many fast-growing cities, Austin faces a major housing crisis. We founded Heartwood to be a part of the solution—by thoughtfully repurposing sites into beautiful, durable housing for Austin residents.

Our team is small, and we feel this gives us an edge. We are nimble, driven, and free to think creatively. We have developed close relationships with our consultants and partners—and we have intimate, local knowledge of Austin’s housing market and the intricacies of the city’s development process. We tackle complex projects that others tend to overlook. We build a variety of housing types, from affordable apartment buildings to luxury townhome communities and high-end custom-designed single-family homes. Fifty percent of our developments include substantial affordable housing components.

At Heartwood, we believe that Austin’s growth will require various types of housing to meet the challenges we face as a city. We intend to help make Austin both affordable and beautiful as it grows.

Our Values

Quality

We develop homes with integrity and durability.

Giving Back

We’re invested in giving back to our community by improving the neighborhoods around us.

Collaboration

We seek to challenge the system by working collaboratively with our team.

Innovation

We stay curious and drive innovation in everything we do.

Meet the Team

Chris Affinito

Chris Affinito

PRESIDENT & FOUNDER

Chris Affinito is the president and founder of Heartwood Real Estate Group, which develops and builds uniquely designed homes and communities in Central Austin. With over 10 years of experience in a variety of real estate and development sectors, including acquisitions, land planning, structured finance, valuation and sales, Chris brings in-depth expertise to his leadership role. Chris has nurtured and managed several thriving communities of single-family homes, townhouses, condos, and more, across Central Austin, providing more unique and sustainable living options for Austinites.

Chris began his career as an economic and valuation services associate at KPMG LLP, where he appraised commercial real estate. He left to work for Vision Real Estate Partners, a New Jersey based commercial real estate developer, where he was responsible for sourcing new acquisitions and raising capital. In this role, Chris was directly involved in over $500 million of office, retail and industrial real estate. In 2014, he made the move from New Jersey to Austin, entering a completely new and growing real estate market. Chris grew up in New Jersey and received his bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate from Villanova University in the greater Philadelphia area.

Isabel Affinito

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
INVESTOR RELATIONS

Isabel Affinito oversees operations and investor relations at Heartwood Real Estate Group.  In her role, Isabel works closely with Heartwood team members to develop systems and processes that support the team and help Heartwood deliver consistent results for investors. Isabel joined her husband, Chris Affinito, at Heartwood in 2022, bringing with her over a decade of experience in real estate sales, team building and small business management and operations. During her years of selling residential real estate, then building and managing an all-female sales team in Austin, Isabel enjoyed working closely with her team members on a daily and weekly basis. She found great professional satisfaction in understanding the challenges team members faced, and problem solving collaboratively to help each member thrive in their role. She continues to enjoy this rewarding work with the Heartwood team.

Isabel took an unlikely path into real estate, graduating from Villanova University with double majors in History and Theology and double minors in Humanities and Peace and Justice. She briefly considered a career in academia as an avenue to satisfy her love of learning, exchanging ideas and teaching. Instead, she met her husband, Chris, at Villanova, who introduced her to some wonderful administrators and alumni at the DiLella Center for Real Estate at Villanova. These relationships inspired her to try out a career in real estate before pursuing a possible academic career, and over a decade later she still enjoys the industry. Someday, she may return to school or teach, but for now real estate offers plenty of opportunities to stay curious, continue learning, and mentor others. These days, she is interested in developing a deeper understanding of architecture, design, land planning, urban planning, building science, natural building materials, permaculture, regenerative real estate principles and real estate financing. She is currently pursuing her Living Future Accreditation through the International Living Future Institute, an organization with a beautiful vision for creating the greenest buildings in the world.

Born and raised in Oklahoma, with family in Texas, Isabel is happy to be closer to home and family in the great city of Austin which she and Chris have called home since 2014.

Mackenzie McCauley

Development Manager, Co-Founder

As Director of Operations, Mackenzie wears many hats in order to keep Heartwood organized and running smoothly. She oversees projects from cradle to grave, starting from acquisitions and pre-development, to design and pre-construction, and all the way through the marketing and sales of Heartwood’s projects. Mackenzie has a colorful background in real estate, beginning in a boutique surf town in Costa Rica managing luxury rentals after college. She then managed multiple portfolios ranging from luxury high-rise buildings in San Francisco to small-scale buildings in the Berkeley and Oakland area before pivoting to the development side of the industry.

At Heartwood, Mackenzie is excited for the opportunity to continually learn more about the development of not just homes, but neighborhoods and cities—the places where people call home, share memories, grow up, grow old, and go to work every day. For Mackenzie, it’s incredibly motivating and exciting to play an active role in Austin’s growth by developing homes for people of every class. When she isn’t working to build the Austin community, Mackenzie loves taking her dog hiking and swimming around town, paddleboarding with friends, dragging her boyfriend to way too many concerts, and enjoying a good book by the pool—along with quick trips to Costa Rica for a little surf break of course!

Drew Fineberg

Director of Development

Drew Fineberg is the Director of Development of Heartwood Real Estate Group and leads all multifamily and commercial projects. With more than eight years in commercial construction, Drew brings experience in development, project management, pre-construction management, and budget development, as well as local experience and knowledge of the Austin commercial construction market. Prior to entering the Austin market, he worked as a project manager for a specialty MEP contractor, primarily focusing on federal work around the Pacific Rim. Drew entered the Austin market in 2017, working for Austin Commercial as a project manager on the Music Lane and City View projects located on South Congress. After shifting his focus to preconstruction management, Drew worked for both Austin Commercial and Flintco, LLC on various commercial project types, including transportation, hotel, core and shell office, high-rise luxury condominium multifamily, high-rise luxury apartment multifamily, tenant improvement, and public works. Prior to joining Heartwood Real Estate Group, Drew led the successful pre-construction delivery of the Modern — a 56-story, 850,000 BGSF downtown high-rise luxury condominium tower. Drew grew up in New York City and received his bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his master’s degree in Construction Engineering and Project Management from the University of Texas at Austin.

Alyson Galus

Chief Financial Officer

Alyson Galus is the Chief Financial Officer of Heartwood Real Estate Group responsible for the company’s finance operations – including accounting, treasury, tax, risk management, financial planning and reporting and financial systems. Alyson has over 20 years of finance and accounting experience. Previously Alyson was Senior Director at InvestRes and oversaw finance and accounting for private equity multifamily real estate funds, joint ventures, and direct high net worth investments with $1.5B+ in assets under management. Prior to InvestRes, she was a Senior Director at American Campus Communities with $6.7B in assets under management and a Senior Manager in the assurance practice at PwC. Alyson spent time in PwC’s Boston, Austin, and Netherlands practices with an Industry focus on technology, pharmaceutical and life science companies, ranging from multinational Fortune 500 to high-growth development stage. Alyson is an entrepreneur (Farmer’s Choice Co-founder) that began her career in real estate development and investment in 2004 at Fairfield Residential.

Alyson received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Michael Bradshaw

Michael Bradshaw

VP of Construction

As VP of Construction, Michael Bradshaw oversees all construction, sets up vendors, and bids out plans. His job demands constant analysis of costs and timeframes throughout the building process to keep all projects running smoothly, on time, and according to budget. Michael got his start in residential construction in 2006, and he has since worked his way up the construction ladder from the warranty department all the way to Director of Construction in 2018.

In his new position as VP of Construction, Michael looks forward to building and working on new and challenging projects, learning more about developing land, and supporting the Heartwood mission. Outside of work, Michael enjoys spending time with his family as well as golfing, fishing, and spending time on the lake.

Matthew Madden

Matt Madden

Director of Construction

Matt Madden has been in construction for 18 years, working in multiple trades before finding his true calling as a builder 10 years ago. Matt coordinates and leads both vendors and trades through the entire construction process, ensuring homes are designed intentionally, delivered on time, and show exceptional quality. Matt’s natural attraction to figuring out challenging designs matched with his unyielding work ethic and high energy makes him invaluable to our team.

Brian Hackney

Brian Hackney

Purchasing Manager

As Purchasing Manager, Brian is responsible for sending out plans and specifications, reviewing estimates, and adjusting take-offs accordingly. Brian’s eight years of purchasing experience have taught him how to think on his feet in the ever-changing landscape of real estate, and he’s always prepared for the next project that lies just around the corner. Brian takes joy in meeting each day’s new challenges, and he’s eager to apply the lessons learned from every new project to the next one, helping to build better relationships among our construction team and trade partners that will carry Heartwood forward in achieving our mission.

Emma Martinez

Emma Martinez

Development Administrator

Emma Martinez is the Development Administrator of Heartwood Real Estate Group, a role that sees her manage varying responsibilities including contract administration, real estate transactions, coordinating contract to close, and managing Human Resources for Heartwood. Emma has been in the real estate industry for 20 years, and she has a passion for helping people achieve homeownership and start building wealth.

Emma has a strong interest in houses and architecture, as well as in planning the best use for a piece of property or raw land that will enhance the area’s sense of place and community. In her current role, Emma hopes to hone her collaboration skills and see Heartwood emerge as one of Austin’s most prominent real estate developers. In her free time, Emma enjoys hiking around Austin greenbelts, long strolls through neighborhoods, traveling, and staying connected with God, family, and friends.

Careers

If you’re passionate about building a better Austin community and have an interest in real estate development, we’d love to meet you! Check out our open positions below.

Open Positions

Pre-Construction Manager

Feel free to email us at info@heartwoodre.com with career questions.