MCM Group Senior Management

Michael C. Mitchell

Founder & CEO

An internationally recognized destination, lifestyle and community planner and designer, Mr. Mitchell has contributed to more than 2,000 projects in 59 countries over his nearly 40-year career. Among his most well-known successes was serving as Group Vice President of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, where he was responsible for the planning and support operations of the Games and its 56 Olympic venues.

Mr. Mitchell has served as a senior planning consultant to six other Olympic Games, four World Fairs, and has worked with many of the largest leisure, recreation and property development companies in the world, as well as dozens of national and city governments. His feasibility and planning work focuses on four primary practices: Leisure & Tourism (resorts, hotels, theme parks, water parks and attractions); Cultural & Heritage (museums, cultural and heritage sites and performance theaters); Lifestyle & Entertainment (mixed-use facilities, residential communities, golf resorts, children’s centers and entertainment facilities); and Sustainable Design (LEED building design, sustainable communities and eco-resorts).

Mr. Mitchell has been a leader in green initiatives throughout his career from work in the early 1970′s planning the first residential community with a fully recycled gray water system to his current work on self-sustaining communities in Europe and China.

Mr. Mitchell is a frequent guest lecturer at leading U.S. and Chinese universities and has written extensively on destination planning, economic real estate modeling and experiential lifestyle developments.

Yue “Claudia” Zhang

General Manager China

Yue “Claudia” Zhang Yue is a civil engineer and landscape architect, with a wide variety of experiences in both disciplines. She earned her Civil Engineering Degree from Tianjin Institute of Urban Construction and a graduate Landscape Architect Degree from Beijing Forestry University. Ms Zhang has been working with MCM Group International for the past five years.

Ms. Zhang has managed over fifty client projects for MCM Group International in China and in addition has provided the planning and landscape design direction for several prominent projects in China including the Haihe Waterfront Landscape Project and the Sino-Italian Park in Tianjin, to name just two. She has proven highly proficient in coordinating project development with clients through her straightforward, open-minded, and ethical approach to projects.

In addition to managing the Beijing office, she oversees MCM Group International’s regional representative offices in China and nine field reps.

Jeffrey Benjamin

Vice-President Feasibility

Mr. Benjamin has more than 30 years experience as a financial analyst and financial officer. He received his MBA at the University of Michigan and moved to Los Angeles to join the global accounting and consulting firm Arthur Young & Co. He was recruited by the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee where he worked for the founder of MCM Group International, Mr. Mitchell, serving as a Planning Manager and Controller during the 1984 Olympic Games.

He joined Mr. Mitchell after the Games and has worked throughout the world on MCM Group International projects as a financial analyst conducting market research, facility planning, financial feasibility studies, and project accounting. Over the last five years he has supervised numerous feasibility studies on major development projects throughout China.

Tina Gu, LEED AP
Vice-President Architectural Services

Ms. Gu received her Bachelor of Architecture from the Beijing Polytechnic University and her Master’s of Architecture at the University of Arizona. She has over a decade of both U.S. and Chinese architectural experience, beginning her career in China as a project architect for five years.

After furthering her education in the United States she has worked an additional seven years as job captain and associate architect on such notable projects as the California Latino Museum, the Pacific Amphitheater, the Georgia Aquarium and the LA Live luxury hotel and Conference Center.

Ms. Gu supervises the CAD team’s work on Schematic Design through Construction Documents. Additionally she coordinates all work with MEP and structural consultants.

John Wells

Design Director in China

Mr. Wells is a highly regarded design professional with extensive experience in the creation and delivery of prominent hospitality, gaming and themed entertainment projects world-wide. Mr. Wells began his illustrious career as a lead creative designer for Forrec for five years . His work there was predominantly resort master planning, themed concept creation and themed façade design.

Over his twenty-five year professional career he has worked on many internationally renowned projects as a master planner, designer, or project manager. A few of the U.S. projects include the Fontainebleau Resort Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada where he was Senior Project Manager of Design for the $2.9 billion resort development; Universal Studios, Orlando Resort, Orlando, Florida; Countdown to Extinction, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Orlando, Florida; Disney’s Board Walk Re-Development, Orlando, Florida; Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Key West, Florida; J.W. Marriott – Grand Lakes Resort, Orlando, Florida; and Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal Escape, Orlando, Florida to name just a few.

Mr. Well’s international experience includes such notable projects as Sandals – Royal Bahamian Resort, Nassau, Bahamas; Lulu Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE; Sky-Dome Re-Development Plan, Toronto, Canada; Bracebridge Downtown Re-Development Plan, Bracebridge, Canada; Curious George Goes to the Beach Water Park, Dubai, UAE; Deira City Center – Themed Attraction, Dubai, UAE; Doha – Grand Park, Doha, Qatar; Leo-land, Central City, Bangkok, Thailand; and Viveros Resort, Pearl Islands, Panama.

Since joining MCM as Design Director in China, John has worked on several projects including resorts, theme parks and city planning.

In addition to his planning and design expertise, John has been an avid advocate and practitioner of green design and building practices for over 20 years.

John received his undergraduate degree in Landscape architecture from the University of Guelph, Toronto, Canada and M.L.A. Design Study Exchange (1 Year program) from California State Polytechnic Pomona, USA.



Daniel Shirk, AIA, LEED AP

Senior Designer

Daniel Shirk brings over 25 years of senior design experience on a wide variety of projects including office, hotel, residential, mixed-use, institutional, recreational and civic both in the U.S. and in China.

Mr. Shirk has been the lead designer on such significant projects as the $1 billion Wilshire Grand Hotel and office complex in Los Angeles, featuring a 700 room luxury hotel and a 60 story office tower; the North Hollywood Transit Development in Los Angeles which is a 200,000 SM mixed-use center that includes four office towers, an arts complex, a childcare facility, retail and entertainment facilities and a variety of multi-family residential communities.

Mr. Shirk has been a senior designer on projects in China for over fifteen years. They include such notable projects as the Fu-Tien Sports Center in Shenzhen, an 80,000 SM community sports center featuring a 5,000 seat stadium, two gymnasiums, a swimming hall, athletic buildings, hotel, retail and entertainment facilities. Other developments in China include a 1.2 square km urban plan for Tianjin; a 50,000 SM Bank of China office tower in Dalian; a 25 story Fu-Yuan residential tower; a 25 story residential tower in Shenzhen; a master plan for the Dalian Central Business District; and the Furama Hotel in Tianjin to name but a few.

Daniel has been honored numerous times by the Society of American Registered architects including several Awards for Design excellence and Honor Awards. He serves as the lead designer for MCM.