Akiva J. Kurland
Founder & CEO

Akiva J. Kurland, CPA is the founding partner and CEO of Yellow Jacket Ventures.


Akiva is responsible for the management, investment and property development functions at YJV.  

Before founding YJV, Akiva was the CFO of KG Funds Management, an event driven/special situations hedge fund. Akiva also was a manager at Blackstone in their credit group and was the CFO at Palladium Capital Advisors, a boutique investment bank. Akiva began his career as a CPA in Ernst & Young’s asset management practice.

Throughout his years on Wall Street, Akiva maintained a passion for real estate, and he actively invested in the NYC real estate market for more than a decade until he formally launched Yellow Jacket Ventures in 2012. 

Akiva graduated with honors with a B.S. in accounting from Brooklyn College, CUNY, is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of New York and is a member of the AICPA. He holds a Series 7, Series 27 and Series 63 license with FINRA and is a licensed real estate broker with the state of NY. 

Akiva enjoys traveling, closing deals, cycling and skiing when he is not closing deals.

Melissa Sierra

Melissa Sierra is the Controller at Yellow Jacket Ventures and is responsible for the management of the accounting, tax and finance functions at the firm.

Before joining YJV, Melissa was a Managing Director and head of operations at Fort Amsterdam Capital. Prior to that she was the head of property management accounting at Sugar Hill Capital Partners.

Melissa earned a masters degree in management from the University of Maryland, University College and graduated with a B.A. in economics from Binghamton University, SUNY.

Melissa ensures that we all get paid so we have to be nice to her.

Leeza Ospina

Leeza Ospina is a Paralegal at Yellow Jacket Ventures and is responsible to do just about everything in our office since no one else really does much.

Leeza graduated with honors with a B.A. in international studies from the University of New Haven and is in the process of obtaining a paralegal certificate.


Leeza loves to read spy thrillers and aspires to become a polyglot for fun (not a polygamist). She is currently learning her fifth language. 

Devendra Durham
Accounting Associate

Devendra Durham is an Accounting Associate at Yellow Jacket Ventures and assists with the accounting, finance and operations of the Firm's real estate portfolio and lending fund.


Devendra graduated with a B.A. in accounting from Queens College, CUNY.


Dev keeps our office running smoothly so we can have fun while he works. He enjoys swishing 3's and praying for the Knicks during his spare time.

Letticia S. Barnes
Property Manager

Letticia S. Barnes is a Property Manager at Yellow Jacket Ventures and oversees the property management, maintenance and construction functions at the firm.

Letticia graduated with a B.A. in business management from South Nova University is a licensed real estate salesperson in the state of New York.


Letticia loves to work whenever she is not traveling, shopping or decorating and prefers a martini over coffee.

Albert Falcon
Maintenance Engineer

Albert is a Maintenance Engineer at Yellow Jacket Ventures and is responsible for the repair and servicing of the Firm's real estate assets. Albert fixes cars and munches on chips and soda whenever he is not drinking beer.