David C. Hovey, Sr.


David Hovey Sr. founded Optima in 1978 with the goal to reinvent residential housing by optimizing development, design and construction within a single company. He recognized an opportunity to raise the design standard by building architecturally ambitious housing that elevates the sense of home for modern-style enthusiasts with contemporary lifestyles. His artistic sensibility and skilled training have given him a unique architectural philosophy that centers around preserving the integrity of materials; interconnecting quality, design and efficiency; pushing prefabrication to its highest architectural potential; valuing sustainability as essential; and pursuing new technologies to facilitate it all. These ideas remain fundamental to Optima. David Sr. is a Fellow of The American Institute of Architects (FAIA) – the highest membership honor for AIA members. He, as well as Optima, have won numerous awards for excellence in architecture, planning and green design. David Sr.’s work also has been widely exhibited and published, and is featured in the book, The Nature of Dwellings, The Architecture of David Hovey.

Tara Hovey

President and COO

Tara Hovey has always viewed the concept of home as a place where people find themselves, feel supported and connect with their family and community. She believes a home should not only inspire people to live their most authentic lives, but also stimulate the senses and foster well-being. Tara’s outlook is reflected in the ways she creates Optima’s strategic vision, shapes internal culture and cultivates partnerships. At the helm of the company, Tara drives Optima’s growth and evolution across all business and market sectors by optimizing how teams can operate most efficiently, collaboratively and responsively. Renowned for forging a new path for women in commercial real estate –Tara began in the industry as a construction superintendent for the award-winning Optima Old Orchard Woods project in Skokie, Ill. – she empowers the organization to continually adapt to an ever-changing marketplace. Tara has led the capitalization and financing of over $1 billion in real estate, including construction financing for new developments, recapitalizations and building dispositions. She is a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago Guild Board, Young Presidents Organization’s Chicago Chapter, The Chicago Network and Chicago Media Project. Tara earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with honors from Boston College.

David Hovey Jr.

President and Principal Architect

David Hovey Jr. is always looking for the ways in which a home, as a living space and sense of place, can better interrelate, be more modular, and, as a result, become more personalized, as well as functional. He pushes the envelope of prefabrication innovation and technology to keep the company at the cutting edge in contemporary building methods. He invented and holds a patent for a standardized building system, receiving awards from National AIA Housing, AIA Distinguished Buildings, AIA Honor Awards, AIA Divine Detail and the AIA Innovation. In 2016, a judge for the Chicago AIA Innovation Award referred to the system as “the future of housing.” David Jr. also has forged innovative Optima partnerships, such as its collaboration with the Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) at Stanford University, as well as its commitment to Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Strategic Building Innovation (SBI). A member of The American Institute of Architects (AIA), which showcased his work in its Houses for all Regions: CRAN Residential Collection book on international residential design, he has lectured worldwide on virtual design, construction and managing sustainable building projects. His work also was featured in City House, Country House, a book featuring New Zealand architecture. David Jr. is a member of YPO Scottsdale, Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Cornell’s Sphinx Head society. He earned a master of architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a bachelor of science in city and regional planning from Cornell University.

Eileen Hovey

President, Optima Real Estate Inc. and Optima Realty Inc.

Eileen Hovey has been Optima’s eye on tomorrow since day one – when she proved to be instrumental in scouting and acquiring the land for Optima’s first project in 1978. From the moment she chose the name Optima, she has been leading its sales and marketing efforts. Her passion in that endeavor is her wholehearted belief and personal testament to what she is marketing: homes designed for an audience that appreciates the meaningfulness that art and architecture can have in our lives. Through her deep expertise as a successful managing broker in both Illinois and Arizona, she has shaped and directed Optima’s successful real estate brokerage business. Since founding the company with her husband David Sr., Eileen has successfully sold and leased more than 5,300 units spanning 30 multifamily projects.