The World Asset Exchange Founders are among the world’s premier exchangers and deal makers. Certainly, they are among the most honored. In the Society of Exchange Counselors, a national real estate organization, all three gentlemen have been named Counselors of the Year. Based on the their long-term contributions to the organization, Mr. Allen and Mr. Steele have been designated as Legends. The Founders have written and published books, have authored and conducted seminars, and closed numerous multiple party transactions nationally and internationally.
Chester W. “Chet” Allen, CCIM, SEC, EMS, Chairman, World Asset Exchange.
Chet Allen, a Stanford economics graduate, is experienced in all areas of exchanging. He has closed in excess of $110,000,000 in transactions, mostly in real estate, involving individuals, corporations, lenders and foreign investors in locations from coast to coast and border to border. As a broker, Mr. Allen is the only winner of both of the nation’s two highest commercial real estate awards, Most Creative Commercial-Investment Transaction and Most Creative Exchange (64 properties, 35 principals, 14 agents, and 12 lenders).
Other honors include four times winner of Most Outstanding Commercial/Investment or Exchange Transaction, California; Counselor of the Year, Society of Exchange Counselors; and induction into Exchangor’s Hall of Fame. He has exchanged regional shopping centers, office buildings, condo projects, bank foreclosures, notes, boats, trade credits, land, apartment complexes, horses, retail centers, and self-storage projects.
Allen is a member and past president of the Society of Exchange Counselors (SEC), who has designated him a Life Member, and declared him a Legend. Mr. Allen has been, on three occasions, a guest lecturer at Stanford University. He has authored and conducted nationally accredited seminars including The Secrets of Successful Exchanging and Exchanging from A to S. His books, The Guide to Becoming Real Estate Rich and Boom, Bust and Beyond, are available online at iUniverse.com and amazon.com.
Robert W. Steele, CAE, SEC, S300W.
Bob Steele has won numerous local and national awards, including the national Society of Exchange Counselors’ Counselor of the Year award. He was awarded Lifetime Membership, the Society’s highest honor in 2001, and in 2008 he was selected as one of six people as a Legend of the Society. Bob was also inducted into the Real Estate Exchangor’s Hall of Fame.
Bob has lived in places many of us only dream of or read about in National Geographic Magazine. Places like Oaxaca, Mexico; Costa del Sol in Spain; London and Marlow, England, and Panama. Bob has personally taught over 100 seminars on the subject of real estate exchanging and related fields throughout the United States and other countries for his own seminar company and for the Reno and the Chatham Educational Foundations. He has educated in this field for over 40 years and firmly believes that “with a knowledgeable and counseled client any problem can be resolved.” Two magazines were started by Bob; the Real Estate News Observer (in concert with Richard Reno and Cliff Weaver) which is now Creative Real Estate; and Global Wealth, published from Spain. With partners Reno and Weaver, Bob originated and ran Real Estate Expo, the largest private enterprise real estate exchange convention in the United States. The Real Estate Expo convention, held annually in Las Vegas grew to approximately 3,000 attendees.
He has authored over ten books including the classic: 400-page tome “300 Ways to Buy, Sell or Exchange Real Estate.” Plans are being made to also publish this book in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. The world is rapidly changing to a global market and Bob believes that in order to solve many issues, you have to expand outside of one country, one political arena, or a single asset category.
W. Virgil Opfer, Jr., SEC
Virgil Opfer brings to World Asset Exchange a long history of finding solutions to complex issues. In resolving a wide range of business challenges, he draws upon his overlapping careers of 20 years as an aerospace engineer and 39 years as a real estate broker, investor, and developer.
Mr. Opfer has served as a consultant to investors, business owners, and to other real estate professionals. He is currently serving as a consultant to a successful for-profit nursing college and is an active member of their Board of Directors. As a consultant, the business strategies generated by Mr. Opfer have deferred millions of dollars in tax liabilities for the college.
Mr. Opfer’s problem solving skills were honed during his 20 years as an employee of Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical Company, a San Diego based aerospace firm. While employed at Teledyne Ryan, he attended San Diego State University and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering – With Distinction. After graduating with a BS degree, he continued his education at San Diego State and completed all courses for his MBA in Real Estate.
His real estate career awards include being named “Exchangor of the Year in 1986” by the National Counsel of Exchangors (NCE). He received NCE’s award, “1996 Exchange of the Year,” for the year’s most creative transaction. He has been inducted into NCE’s Exchangors’ Hall of Fame.
Mr. Opfer is a long-term member of the nationally recognized Society of Exchange Counselors (S.E.C.), and served as its President during 2004. For the year 2010, Mr. Opfer received S.E.C.’s most coveted award, “Counselor of the Year.”
WAE Senior Associates
In structuring complex transactions that include a wide range of asset types, World Asset Exchange often draws upon the skills, experience, and unique expertise of its associates. WAE has affiliated itself with top professionals possessing a wide range of talent. Our Senior Associates are those affiliates who possess those skills that are most often utilized as part of World Asset Exchange’s team concept of developing creative solutions.
Nancy Priestly, CIPS, GRI, CRS, CRB, CN, CMS, EMS
Nancy Priestly brings a wealth of creativity and practical business experience to the World Asset Exchange team. Among her numerous achievements, Nancy has been recognized as being the number one woman in new home sales in the Chicago area. During her nine-year term as Director of Sales and Marketing for Sundance Homes in Chicago, she co-created unique marketing programs that are still being used in the market today. She has also been a top producer for a major international real estate company and a director of its private client division. Because of her reputation for getting the job done, financial institutions and real estate developers have engaged her as a consultant for their real estate portfolios and new home sales projects.
Her entrepreneurial background includes developing restaurants and nightclubs in New York City and Chicago. As the creator of the successful Computer Country Expo, a monthly computer show, Nancy developed an event that routinely attracted 3,000 attendees and over 200 vendors.
As an example of Nancy’s diverse interests, she is a nutritional products innovator with products such as “The Back 9 Bar” marketed through Neiman Marcus, Golfsmith, and health food stores. She also developed the Planet X Bar, the Doggie Superfood Bar, as well as other related products. She is the owner of Priestly Nature Farm, which is an organic farm selling produce to Whole Foods, Country Clubs, and health food stores.
Because of her extraordinary marketing programs and successful sales achievements in real estate, as well as other markets, Nancy has been a frequent guest on TV business channels, including the Stock Market Channel.
She was a co-owner of the “American Experimental Cinema” in NYC. She has worked on both sides of the camera in the film industry here and abroad. While working in the film industry in Rome, Italy she developed associations with Dino De Laurentis Studios, Cinecitta, and the DePaolis Studios, as well as with numerous Italian and American film luminaries
Nancy is a science fiction fantasy hobby writer and animal and nature lover. She is Vice President of the Laughing Pony Rescue Charity in Rancho Santa Fe, California, a charity that she helped develop. To assist a variety of charities in the Santa Ynez Valley, Nancy created the “Charity Give Back Program.”
Nancy can be reached at 805 245-1915 in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
Gary M. Koeppel, BS, BA, MFA
Gary M. Koeppel is an entrepreneur who has led several careers during his eclectic professional life, from an English professor to an American artisan, from an art gallery owner and art dealer, to an publisher and art licensing agent, from founding a Fire Department and Chamber of Commerce to founding a newspaper and a charitable foundation for placing patriotic artworks in public places, and from authoring two novels and two coffee table books to writing a television series screenplay.
Koeppel has owned and operated six Coast Galleries in California and Hawaii, the artworks for each were individually curated to serve each distinctive market: American Crafts in Big Sur, modern art in Pebble Beach, contemporary art in Carmel, Marine art in Wailea and Hawaiian Arts in Kaanapali and Hana in Maui, Hawaii.
As a special event art producer, Koeppel founded Global Art Expos and produced thirty annual Expos events from 1984 through 2014 in Tokyo, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Paris and numerous locations in the United States. These unique 60-day, special event exhibitions drew some 50,000 visitors to the host property and are believed to be the original event templates for what has become the increasingly popular “pop up” events wherein, rather than bringing art clients to a permanent gallery location, the Art Expo brings art to the client at a temporary location for a short time.
As founder of the Enduring Freedom Foundation, Koeppel has commissioned and donated the original Enduring Freedom Tribute sculpture to the Pentagon in Washington, DC, where it is the first exhibit seen by all visitors entering the main Metro Entrance. Additional donations to date include providing all thirty Veteran’s Administration Hospitals throughout the United States with replica Enduring Freedom Tribute sculpture maquettes for display as patriotic artworks conveying appreciation forvggrt5rtt5r the veterans who have served and sacrificed for America.
Koeppel is excited to contribute to the World Asset Exchange, a unique and timely concept at a time and in a culture where unused and unproductive assets lay fallow, assets that can be profitably liquidated through the creative methodologies of strategic exchanging. Contact: 831-625-8688 in Carmel, California.
Gregory M. Cook, BA & EMS
As an experienced exchanger, Gregory Cook owns a toolbox of solutions, discovered through principled pursuit of knowledge and specialization, honed by more than a decade of diligent effort and careful craftsmanship on behalf of his clients. Greg has an unshakeable belief in possibilities, a love of solutions, persistence, adaptability, imagination, and an immense capacity for challenge.
Greg is adventurous and comfortable in the deep end of any pool. His sailing lessons at age eight led to Olympic Tornedo Campaigns at age fifteen, Teen Sailing Regattas, the UF Sailing Team, Open Water Diving, and certifications as US Sailing Instructor. He also took to the air with ultra-light flight and paragliding.
Science Fair success, a weekly rotation of friendly competitors and thousands of solo miles with sailboats, led Greg to the University Florida, and the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. His summers were spent conducting cross-country tours for foreign visitors. Even as an overscheduled Political Science Major, he was unanimously voted Lobbyist for NASHE to Washington, DC. While this work earned him a postgraduate staff position on the House Ways & Means Committee; he found that the process of lawmaking held little long-term appeal and he left his position on the Committee for more attractive endeavors.
He was hired by United States Gypsum as Inside Sales for the Architectural Assistance and Exterior Structures Division, and then moving into Wholesale Commercial Sales. He was later recruited by LaFarge Corporation as Compounds Product Manager for their new US Gypsum Division. His assigned territory was defined as “East of the Mississippi, from Nova Scotia to Florida.” Naturally, this huge territory demanded that the great majority of the next two years was spent on the road.
Deciding to sell his underutilized home, he discovered that, despite a six-figure income, in those two years on the road, his home had grown more in value than his LaFarge earnings for the same period. He also realized he was long overdue for a vacation. Therefore, he left LaFarge, sold his home and, while considering his options, he became a ski instructor. He realized that every property he had purchased since college had been profitable, so he started acquiring fixer properties and rental properties through agents associated with Remcor Real Estate. He noted that these agents practiced very differently than other real estate agents. At the end of the ski season, he decided to investigate Remcor.
He learned that Remcor was the only US brokerage firm dedicated solely to developing professional exchangers. Greg had no intention of becoming a real estate agent; but the training at Remcor was conditioned upon having a license; so he got one. What he learned during this specialized training changed his mind, his life, and for more than a decade, has changed the lives of every client he has served. Greg is expert at finding and executing solutions. He has found the challenge, pleasure, and reward of equity marketing is contained in the following principles:
- True Value is Never in Inventory, it is Always in Ideas.
- Every Properly Constructed Transaction Should Deliver Win-Win-Win.
- If You are Unwilling to Play Any Hand Dealt at Your Table, Deal Again, or Walk Away.
- You are Prospered to the Extent That and in the Fashion That You Prosper Others.
Gregory Cook can be reached at Gregcook@equitymarketor.com and (775) 771-9838