Former Bison Football Players Band Together to Create Optima

Written by: Josiah Kopp
L to R: Alex LaVoy, Anthony LaVoy, Cole Jirik, and Tony Paul standing in front of one of Optima's newly completed twin homes in Dilworth, MN.

Optima, a dynamic and full-service real estate firm, was founded by cousins Alex LaVoy and Anthony LaVoy along with Tony Paul in January 2022 with a vision to transform the landscape of property management, construction, and real estate services. Initially established as a construction and land development entity, Optima rapidly evolved to encompass a broader range of services. By April 2023, the company had expanded to include property management, and by June of the same year, it had successfully launched its Realty division. I sat down with the team to learn more about their story and take a deep dive into what Optima is all about.

Rail 10 Apartments | Dilworth, MN

photos during the construction phase

Meet The Optima Team

Cole Jirik

Property Management

Northfield, MN, native Cole Jirik first came to Fargo to play football for NDSU in 2009 and ended up starring for the green and gold in a career that included three national championships. Since ending his athletic career, Cole has been heavily involved in the local real estate market and, in April of 2023, he joined the Optima team as a managing partner. Cole runs the day-to-day operations of managing properties, finances, leasing, tenant issues, maintenance, work orders, and more. Outside the office, Cole enjoys sports and repping his Vikings gear.

Tony Paul

Commercial Agent

With an existing background in commercial real estate, Warren, MN, native Tony Paul joined forces with Anthony LaVoy in 2015, and later helped bring the dream of Optima to life. Like the other guys, Paul played football at NDSU, with the values of teamwork and dedication still at the core of Optima. Outside work, Tony is passionate about hunting and spending time with his children.

Alex Lavoy


Alex LaVoy is the managing partner at Optima Development, a firm he co-founded in January 2022. The Mahnomen, MN, native also moved to Fargo to play football for the NDSU Bison from 2011 to 2013. LaVoy specializes in overseeing construction and land development, focusing on the planning and design phases, and collaborating closely with city planning departments to bring projects from concept to reality. Alongside his professional commitments, LaVoy values spending time with friends and family and enjoying outdoor activities.

Anthony Lavoy


Mahnomen, MN, native Anthony LaVoy moved to Fargo in 2009 to play football at NDSU, where he played alongside Cole from 2010 to 2013. Today, Anthony is both a broker and co-owner of Optima, overseeing a team of real estate agents, specializing in leasing and sales transactions in commercial and residential real estate. He supports Cole, acting as a liaison between tenants and the company for various properties, while also managing leasing terms and extensions. LaVoy is also a co-owner of Optimal Development, where he primarily focuses on securing land and preparing it for development, ensuring it meets financial feasibility criteria. Outside work, Anthony places high importance on spending time with friends and family and enjoys hunting.

Solutions Behavioral Healthcare Professionals

Sartell, MN

At the end of the day, we’re down-to-earth guys that you can call up for anything.” Alex Lavoy

With Alex having a background in commercial construction and Anthony having a background in real estate, the two cousins recognized a unique opportunity to combine their expertise. Their decision to collaborate, along with the involvement of friends and fellow NDSU Bison football teammates Tony Paul and Cole Jirik, was pivotal in setting the foundation for Optima.

Despite facing market challenges such as fluctuating interest rates and construction costs, the Optima team’s adaptability and resilience have proven to be building blocks for success. While the construction landscape is always changing, the Optima team’s vision has remained consistent: addressing the needs of the communities they serve.

What Optima Specializes Today

Optima functions in three main divisions: residential, commercial, and development. In the commercial division, Optima specializes in commercial properties, including offices, retail space, and warehouse space. In the residential division, Optima manages duplexes, single-family homes, and apartments, with their largest complex comprising 72 units.

In the development division, Optima functions in two ways; they either initiate projects based on perceived needs in specific areas or the Optima team works with clients who approach them with specific requests. “No project is really out of the equation,” Alex said. “We don’t necessarily have a specific niche; we focus on building for the need.”

What Optima Can Offer To New Clients

The major strengths that the Optima team brings to the table is their diverse expertise, versatile experience, and ability to collaborate. “We all feed off of each other’s experiences to achieve a common goal and deliver the product our clients are looking for,” Alex said.

Anthony believes their shared background in football is also a foundational element for their work ethic, punctuality, and commitment to clients. “We’re very transparent and honest, which is key in representing our brand,” Anthony said.

But it’s not just about the skillsets and values football was able to offer to the Optima guys that have led them to where they are today. It’s about the networks created, relationships built, and giving back to a community that supported them and their journeys. Because of this, their ultimate priority is to pour back into the Fargo-Moorhead community out of gratitude.

Shop Condos | Hawley, MN

Rendering Provided by Optima

Did You Know?
Optima is licensed and insured for both commercial and residential construction in North Dakota and Minnesota.

“We all came here to play football for NDSU. The community really supported us here, and we want to give back and support the community in every way possible. One of the best ways we can utilize our skills is to build affordable apartments, homes, and office or rental spaces [for the community],” Jirik said.

One of the gaps the Optima team noticed in the industry that they wanted to capitalize on were transparency and reliability. “When you call Optima, you’ll have direct access to a decision maker, which is why we pride ourselves in quick responses and getting things done for our clients,” Jirik said. “So that’s a niche we saw that we could fill with our specialties.”

Did You Know?
In total, Optima Property Management supervises around 550 units, extending from Fargo, ND to Warroad, MN.

Heading into 2024, the Optima team is excited to continue investing in the community through new projects and exploring new avenues of development. “Don’t hesitate to give us a call and tell us what you’re looking for,” Alex said. “If it’s any development questions… if you have land you want to sell or things you’re interested in possibly purchasing, or if you need help with commercial leasing. We’re an open book and we’re willing to dabble into other markets and help people.”

One of Optima’s Newest Twin Homes | Dilworth, MN

To connect with an Optima Team member or learn more about what Optima can offer, Visit their newly launched website at

Other ways to connect:

5490 51st Ave S Fargo, ND
Facebook | /optimacompaniesnd
LinkedIn | /company/optima-companies-llc

Share This Article
Josiah is an Editor and Photographer at Spotlight Media in Fargo.