+1 254 618 5140 Shawn@soldiersofrealestate.com

Meet The Staff

Steve Darden
Broker/Owner

Steve Darden has over 26 years of real estate experience. Between 1990 and 1997, while still serving on active duty, Steve became a landlord by acquiring 5 rental home properties. He retired from the military as an 1SG/E8 (First Sergeant) in 1997. In 2000, he began working with the late Joe Buford of Joe Buford Real Estate. At the same time, Steve owned two small businesses – a home repair business called “Hammer and Nail” and a windshield repair business called Windshield Wizards. Steve excelled in real estate very quickly. In his first year with Joe Buford, he became the 2nd bestselling agent in the firm. In his second year, he became the #1 bestselling agent, outselling all other agents in the firm by both dollar amount and volume sold. It was during this time that Steve became known as the “Soldier of Real Estate”.
With aspirations of owning his own real estate firm, Steve took night classes in Austin, Texas in order to obtain his broker license. In 2003, he founded Soldiers of Real Estate. Though Steve started as an owner operated small business, in 2004 he added two staff members and six realtors – two of which have since started their own real estate firms. The number of realtors on staff has increased and decreased over the years, but the reputation and success of Soldiers of Real Estate has remained steady. As of October 2015, the number of properties managed by Soldiers of Real Estate has increased from 7 to 378 units. All the while, Steve has been the heart and soul of the company. He’s a respected business owner, an excellent broker and a trusted property manager. - Steve Darden

Shawn Darden
Co/Owner

Shawn is a graduate of Copperas Cove High School. After graduating; he pursued his passion to become a Chef by attending the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin, TX. Though Shawn continued to live and work in Austin, deep down he always had an interest in Real Estate. He soon attended the Allied Business School for Real Estate and Post University where he obtained his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Shawn has been working in the Real Estate Field for nearly 13 years.
With my combination of education and experience, I have become an efficient multi-tasker, an expert in managing stressful situations, and I enjoy providing superior customer service. Additionally, I am well organized, adaptable, and autonomous. In all my endeavors, I strive to position myself as a valuable resource.
In my spare time; I enjoy watching sports, traveling and going to networking events and being involved in the community. - Shawn Darden

Youa Vue
Accountant/Office Manager

Youa Vue is from Saint Paul, Minnesota. She loves trying new restaurants, traveling, and learning. She holds a Master of Business Administration from 2017. She also has over 10 years of experience in Healthcare Administration and Customer Service and more recently in Finance.
“In order to grow and improve, I always welcome feedback on my performance.” - Youa Vue

Amber Roman
Leasing Agent

Amber Roman is from Moca, Puerto Rico, and a dedicated mother who is a proficient communicator in English and Spanish. She has five years of experience in customer service and translating. As the Leasing Consultant here at Soldiers of Real Estate, she is passionate about matching the perfect house to the perfect family or individual. She looks forward to serving you! "People with great passion can make the impossible happen."- Amber Roman
Amber Roman, de Moca Puerto Rico es una madre dedicada que es una comunicadora competente en inglés y español. Ella tiene años de experiencia en el servicio al cliente. Como consultora de arrendamiento aquí en Soldiers of Real Estate, ella siente pasión por hacer coincidir la casa perfecta con la familia o persona perfecta. Ella espera poder servirte! - "Las personas con gran pasión pueden hacer que lo imposible suceda".
- Amber Roman

Jon Burton
Realtor

Jonathan Burton is a Realtor with Soldiers of Real Estate and a active member of the National Association of Realtors. Jon is originally from Sierra Vista, Arizona however; was raised in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Jon has a strong Military background. With years of customer service experience, Jon is determined and highly motivated to put his client’s first.
After completing his Associate’s Degree in Business Administration; Jon is currently pursuing his BA in Finance which he will incorporate in the Real Estate domain. Jon will not only provide value but he will meet the satisfactory of his client home buying and or selling needs. - Jon Burton

Troy Rickabaugh
Realtor

“Troy Rickabaugh graduated from Del Valle High school in 1985. Troy attended the champion of real estate school obtaining one of his goals in getting his real estate license. He considers Austin Texas the town that shaped him into the businessman he his today. Troy has been a part of the Schlotzsky’s brand since June of 1985. He mastered the art of a duel role and customer satisfaction while successfully climbing the corporate ladder through the past 33 years. Troy and his wife Jessica have been married for 26 years, they met at Schlotzsky’s and had a full circle moment in 1997 when they came franchisees of two locations, one of the stores was the store they met at. Troy and his family moved to Temple, Texas in 2006 where he took on another duel role for the local high volume Schlotzsky’s. Troy also became part of a small elite group to become a patent inventor “Food storage bowl with strainer” Troy has an eye for detail and a laser like focus and the passion to see things through in order to help others achieve greatness in the American dream of owning a home.”
- Troy Rickabaugh

Lacee Cruz
Realtor

“I am a REALTOR with the Soldiers of Real Estate. I am a true Austinite. I have lived in the Austin area my whole life. I now live in San Marcos with my husband, three boys, beautiful daughters, and our new therapy dog Paisley. My husband was born and raised in San Marcos. Our whole family has strong ties to Austin and San Marcos areas. I love that I have had the great opportunity to be able to see these two beautiful areas grow and blossom. My husband and I are very involved in the community.
I have even served my community as a team mom and also as softball coach. As a member of Soldiers of Real Estate, I have some of the best tools available. Furthermore, Soldiers of Real Estate has over 20 years of combined real estate experience. I leverage this deep experience and understanding to help you get the most out of selling your home or helping you find the perfect one. I am excited to help you accomplish your real estate dreams”
- Lacee Cruz

Ali Kanu
Realtor

“I go by the name "ALI". I was born In Sierra Leone, West Africa and I immigrated to the United States in 2010. Am currently serving in the military while pursuing my bachelor’s in business management at Texas A&M University Central-Texas ROTC program. Upon graduation, I will be commissioning as an officer in the United States Army. My passion for real estate started 3 yrs ago when I acquired my first rental property. Today I own multiple rental units which I manage myself. I decided to broaden my knowledge in real estate by acquiring my Realtor license in order to serve my community in their real estate needs.”
- Ali Kanu