Braintree Co-Founders Ryan Van Alfen and Jason Kotter are Idaho natives that have a passion for building businesses and communities. The partners understood the impact that early childhood education has on a person’s life and the power of school choice. In 2006, after discovering that one of the biggest challenges to a new charter school opening was obtaining a facility, Kotter and Van Alfen left their successful, independent businesses to form Athlos Academies, a charter school development firm. Their goal was to help solve the problem charter schools were facing in obtaining first class facilities and increase access to better education through curriculum development. Their entrepreneurial grit and determination led them to successfully develop 45 charter schools in 6 states across the country. They guided a team of highly skilled development professionals that excel at site selection, pre-development, entitlement, and construction.
After more than a decade of developing charter schools, Van Alfen and Kotter founded Braintree Group in 2017, and diversified into hospitality, multifamily and self-storage development. Braintree Group also acquired an existing hotel management company in 2017. The hotel management company was rebranded as Resolute Road Hospitality and expanded into third-party management in 2023.
In 2022, Eric Danziger joined the firm as CEO, allowing Kotter and Van Alfen to pursue personal and professional goals outside of Braintree Group, while remaining heavily involved in strategic decisions and vision of the firm. Van Alfen and Kotter continue to fulfill their passion for growing businesses as seed investors and advisors for companies across a range of industries including education, technology, healthcare and more. Both are incredibly proud of Braintree Group, Resolute Road, and the family of companies they have been involved with to date.
Kotter and Van Alfen are dedicated husbands, fathers, and active members in their communities. Both are fitness-enthusiasts, travelers, and sports fans.
Jason Kotter was born and raised in Nampa, Idaho. Kotter is proud to be a native Idahoan.
A former owner of a local development firm, Kotter has worked in the real estate industry for most of his career. While helping a charter school obtain real estate, he became impressed by the idea of parental choice in education yet realized that obtaining facilities was a major challenge for these organizations.
This was one of the many reasons Kotter and Van Alfen focused on starting Athlos Academies— to continue working in an industry he is comfortable with, real estate development while contributing to reforming America’s educational system. Kotter is grateful for the chance to make a positive impact on the early education of any student.
Kotter remains involved with the strategic vision and investment decisions at Braintree Group.
Kotter is an avid bicyclist and enjoys spending time with his wife and children.
Ryan Van Alfen
Ryan Van Alfen, born and raised in Bountiful, Utah, was introduced to the world of education at a young age. His father, a financial advisor for charter schools, shared his knowledge about the charter school system with Van Alfen as a child.
Prior to founding Athlos Academies with his partner, Van Alfen was a successful dentist in Eagle, Idaho. When presented with the opportunity to return to the industry he grew up learning about, charter schools, he decided to follow his passion for education.
Kotter and Van Alfen now apply the lessons and traits learned through the development of Athlos Academies to successfully help grow the portfolio of companies and investments at Braintree Group.
Van Alfen remains involved with the strategic vision and investment decisions at Braintree Group.
Van Alfen lives the ideal Idahoan lifestyle by remaining active and enjoying spending time with his wife and children in the outdoors.