James A. Gwerder, Vice President, Consulting

Jim was born in Tracy in 1963. He attended Banta School and went to high school at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose. He graduated from high school in 1980, when he enlisted in the United States Air Force.

During Jim's five and a half year tour of duty, he spent four years inspecting, installing, maintaining and troubleshooting integrated avionics systems on F-16 fighter jets, and supervising avionics systems activities and personnel. He also spent one and a half years in the Air Force directing and controlling maintenance efforts on a fleet of F-16 jets, where he coordinated with support agencies to ensure all mission requirements were met. During Jim's tour of duty, he lived in Texas, Colorado, Florida, West Germany, and Las Vegas.

While Jim was in the Air Force, he worked toward attaining his Associate of Arts degree. Jim was able to complete many of the classes he needed while traveling the world and raising a family. In 1989, he received his AA degree in Business (with Honors) from San Joaquin Delta College. Further night classes at California State University, Stanislaus yielded Jim a Bachelor of Science Degree (cum laude) in Business Administration 1995.

Jim started working at Souza's in 1987 as a ranch hand (i.e. cowboy) on the family cattle ranch. 25 years later, his experiences have taken him from property rights battles to conservation plans and from eminent domain litigation consulting for landowners to working with government agencies to acquire property from willing sellers.

Jim has been a member of the Central Valley Association of REALTORS, the California and National Association of REALTORS, The National Association of REALTORS Real Estate Appraisal Section, and the Urban Land Institute. In 1994 he received the ULI Real Estate Development Certificate after attending intensive classes offered by the ULI Real Estate School.

He regularly attends classes sponsored by the American Legal Institute, the American Bar Association and CLE International (Continuing Legal Education) regarding eminent domain and endangered species issues. To bolster his knowledge regarding land use planning he has attended workshops sponsored by the American Planning Association, and regarding land valuation he attended a suite of appraisal courses offered by the California Association of Realtors. In addition, Jim has participated in many seminars on habitat conservation planning sponsored by various government and non-profit agencies, at times acting as an invited guest panelist.

Jim was a member of the 1989 Tracy Tomorrow Transportation Task Force, was Chairman of the 1990 Tracy Area Urban Growth Management Plan's Circulation Task Force, and was a member of the Tracy Tomorrow 2000 Land Use Planning, Agriculture and Open Space Transportation Task Force. Jim was also a member of the Tracy Kiwanis Club, where he served on the Board of Directors as the Newsletter Editor and as Membership Chairman. Jim also accepted the volunteer position of Federal Election Campaign Treasurer for a local successful congressional campaign.

In addition, Jim serves on the Board of Directors of the Contra Costa County Citizens Land Alliance (a property rights advocacy group), and is a member of the American Legion Post 1000, a member of the Land Use Task Force of the Contra Costa Council (a public policy advocacy organization that promotes the economic vitality and quality of life of Contra Costa County and the San Francisco Bay Area region), a member of the Building Industry Association of Central California and a member of the National Association of Homebuilders.

Jim represented property owner interests in the three year, three county Biodiversity Study (East County Pilot Study Task Force) which concluded in 1999. Jim also represented property owner interests in the multi-year East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Communities Conservation Plan (ECCHPC/NCCP) process which culminated in a final document in 2007. Since that time, Jim has been a member of the Public Advisory Committee for the ECCHCP/NCCP, making recommendations to the Executive Governing Committee responsible for administering the conservation plan.

Jim is a real estate broker with extensive experience in mitigation and conservation properties, easements and credit sales. At last count, he has been instrumental in the sale of at least 7,500 acres of land for conservation purposes, in addition to thousands of acres of land used for agriculture and other purposes. He coordinates our valuation projects, and provides land use consulting services to property owners and developers for a variety of projects in the region which includes San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. The types of projects Jim has been involved with range from large scale master planned mixed-use projects to wind powered and gas-fired power plants. In addition, he has consulted for both landowners and government agencies regarding eminent domain and land acquisition.  

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672 W 11th Street, Suite 110, Tracy, CA 95376
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