The Reorganization of the National Council of Exchangors

William Jones, S.E.C., EMS
NCE President 2012 & 2013


The National Council of Exchangors is a non-profit trade association that promotes education in creative real estate and sponsors effective marketing forums biannually for the benefit of its members and others in the real estate industry.

In early 2012, the National Council Exchangors (“NCE”) initiated a complete reorganization of the association. The fact that NCE was totally transformed after more than thirty years of operation created considerable speculation and curiosity among the members of NCE, as well as among other real estate professionals. This article is intended to provide a narrative of the dramatic organizational changes from early 2012 through the fall of 2013. The writer served as President of NCE for the years 2012 and 2013.

This article, written for the S.E.C. Observer, also affords the writer the opportunity to publicly acknowledge and to personally thank those many S.E.C. Members who, in a difficult time, so generously agreed to lend their support to a brother organization. Please accept my apology if I am unable to include all of those names in this article. However, it’s important to mention special contributions from certain people who helped push through some of the difficulties in 2012: S.E.C. Members Ted Blank, Ron Bowden, Virgil Opfer and Lance Warner, as well as the following exchangers: John Stavely and Thomas Powell of Colorado, Michael Kauffman and John Weaver of Arizona, and Debbie Ferrari of California.

The Tipping Point

NCE was formed in December 1981, when President Nancy Cassube and Vice-President Jim Brondino incorporated NCE as a California corporation and established it as a not-for-profit organization. Bylaws and Policies & Procedures were created to govern NCE. Over the intervening years the changes in the industry and the evolution in the manner in which NCE operated called for updating its governing documents.

In early 2012, NCE’s President and Executive Committee were prevented by the association’s Executive Administrators from being able to present to NCE’s Board of Directors certain recommended bylaws and policy changes. After a series of unsuccessful efforts, it became clear that the association members were no longer in control of their own organization. Therefore, it became necessary to take actions to restore the association to being fully accountable to its members.

On April 2, 2012, despite considerable resistance, the President was able to finally convene a Board of Directors meeting. At that meeting, the Board passed a motion, unanimously, to remove NCE’s Executive Administrators.

New Beginnings

The Board of Directors found itself without assets or member information. The President, with the approval of the Board, decided that NCE would form a new organizational structure and recreate its assets and member information. That meant, as a start, creating a new website and building a new database. After some debate, NCE decided to keep its time-honored name, but everything else would be newly created.

Despite the obvious challenges, it was decided to hold a traditional NCE two-day Marketing Conference, preceded by a special meeting of NCE’s Officers and Directors. The date for these events was set a mere seven weeks from the momentous April 2nd Board meeting. The self-imposed deadline created a race against time to deliver a quality meeting by the advertised dates. The Board’s goal was to show that, even with the absence of membership and guest information, without a website, and having no meeting organization team, the association would display its vitality to its members and garner support for NCE’s reorganization.

In April 2012, as one of the initial tasks, a great amount of effort went into identifying the names, phone numbers, and emails for a new NCE database. Fabienne Jones accepted the challenge of rebuilding this essential database.

In that same month, Jackie Hellingson, Executive Director for the Society of Exchange Counselors, agreed to lend her expertise and experience to various administrative areas that needed to be developed and, in most cases, were created from scratch. Jackie worked closely with a website developer to create the new NCE website.

In May 2012, immediately before its first reformatted marketing conference, NCE’s Directors approved a new set of Bylaws and decided to replace the old California entity with a new Nevada not-for-profit entity.

By the October 2012 meeting, an effective system of democratic member involvement was established, which, every year, would empower new Directors to serve on their association’s Board of Directors. Online improvements were continuously being made to the website, including the ability for members to participate in electing representatives to the Board. After online ballots were sent out, new Directors were voted onto 2013’s Board of Directors. From within the Board, the executive officers were then elected.

With the termination of the California entity, the new Nevada entity presented some administrative challenges to NCE’s new operations, including the need to apply for IRS 501(c)6 tax-exempt status. By the end of 2013, NCE’s Practices & Procedures document was approved. In January 2014, the required steps to terminate the former NCE California entity were complete.

Reaching Out to Exchange Groups & Exchangers throughout the USA

Although S.E.C. meetings are by invitation only, NCE meetings require only a real estate license and a desire to incorporate equity marketing as a way to network and create transactions. However, many exchangers and groups were not aware of NCE’s education and marketing efforts. With an open invitation policy, and minimal attendance requirements, the challenge became how NCE would spread its message and invitation to many exchange groups throughout the USA.

In 2012, the President catalogued all existing exchange groups throughout the USA and listed them on NCE’s website. We encourage the reader to visit By clicking on “Other Exchange Groups” within the Menu, one may see a summary of ongoing exchange meetings throughout the country. While in NCE’s website, click on “NCE Marketing Conferences” within the menu and see information regarding the KREE marketing event in Louisville at the end of April 2014, and NCE’s national marketing event in Las Vegas in mid October 2014.

Using this list, invitations were sent to the leadership of each exchange group to attend an Exchange Group Leadership Conference. In October of 2012 and 2013, exchange group leaders from throughout the country gathered in Las Vegas. Results from these meetings included several suggestions for marketing and organizational improvement. Moreover, a major idea was born in late 2012:

The creation of a National Exchange Database (NED), with participation coming largely from local and regional exchange groups. Because there were technical requirements to be able to integrate with NCE’s website, the local exchange groups needed to create their own NCE-sponsored website. A local exchange group with their own website tied into the NCE system is referred to as a Group Affiliate.

NCE also created the Individual Affiliate designation for those professionals who were not yet NCE members, but who desired to participate in NCE’s exchange inventory platform.


2012 began as another seemingly uneventful administrative year in NCE. However, a desire of its members to control their association resulted in a realization of a more accountable and self-aware NCE. By revitalizing a history of client counseling, creative problem solving, and client benefit-oriented exchanges, NCE’s members have demonstrated their gratitude to various industry instructors and colleagues from past decades. While this article does not recognize by name the efforts of so many people who deserve recognition, it is appropriate to recognize a spirit within the association’s membership. A huge effort over the last two years is strong evidence of a collective desire to recognize NCE’s past, and pay forward its legacy to future members.


  1. Will:

    Again, Thank you for your tireless devotion and dedication to the N.C.E. turn around while in service as President.

    Michael Libster

  2. The dedication, hard work and efforts of all involved is greatly appreciated. Your Indelible
    mark will be felt by all who choose to participate for the next 30 years, and beyond.

    Thank you!

  3. I am so impressed with NCE and the members from across the Nation.
    Thanks to Will and all who helped pull this group together.
    Stuart Watkins from Tucson

  4. Will:

    Without your leadership and tireless efforts this change would not have been possible.

    Thanks for all you have done and continue to do.

    John Spinola