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"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it." 

- Henry David Thoreau

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Real Estate Experience Summary

President/CEO Sierra Dorado, Inc., D.M. Semas & Company, American Realty Advisors and SEM Development Company

January 1974  -  Present (42 years))

Over the course of a widely diversified career I have held senior management positions in the real estate industry including companies involved with office, commercial, industrial, retail, hotel/resort, multi-family, residential and speciality uses such as marinas, golf courses and gaming. I have overseen  zoning and entitlements, land and building acquisitions, construction, real estate development, off-site improvements, construction lending, debt and equity financing, REO asset disposition, real estate syndications, property management, resort hotel management and real estate pension fund and private equity investor advisory services.

Beginning in 1999, I master planned, developed and built a 34-acre agricultural estate located 400 feet above the Carson Valley in Gardnerville, Nevada and 15-miles east of Lake Tahoe.



















Chairman/CEO Metalast International, Inc.

January 1993  -  2013  (20 years)

Founder of METALAST® International, Inc. ("METALAST"), the Manager of a specialty chemical company that sold a line of products to the global metal finishing and coatings industry. The registered METALAST® trademark was issued by the United States Patent Office to METALAST International, Inc. in 1996. Under a license agreement with the United States Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the rust preventative METALAST TCP-HF chemical offered an environmentally friendly alternative to the toxic hexavalent chromium made infamous in the movie "Erin Brockovich."

Additional relationships included: Pratt & Whitney, Chemetall North America, Visteon Automotive and United Technologies Corporation,  Apple, Bath Iron Works, BAE Systems (British Aerospace), Daimler Chrysler, Delphi Automotive, Dow Chemical, FLIR Systems, Ford Motors, GE Healthcare, General Dynamics, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Sherwin- Williams, Sikorsky Aircraft, U.S. Marine Corps. Logistics Command, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and a host of Fortune 500 companies.


President and CEO Institutional Capital Marketing & American Realty Advisors

November 1984  -  April 1993  (8+ years)

Owned and operated several resort hotels including the celebrity famous Canyon Hotel Golf and Tennis Resort, a 500-room property located in Palm Springs, California. The Canyon Hotel was the training camp for several top ranked sports boxing champions.


Subject to a ground lease with the William Wrigley, Jr. family of Chicago, First Wellington Group (an affilated partnership) owned the Santa Catalina Island, an Avalon harbor boutique resort hotel, Las Casitas, and the nearby 15-acre Descanso Beach Club. .


In 1988 I formed a joint venture partnership with PMRealty Advisors, a wholly owned subsidiary of the $100 billion Pacific Mutual Insurance Company,  responsible for marketing their U.S. asset management services to Japanese banks and Trust banks.


Executive Vice President Shearson/American Express Mortgage and Development Corporations

January 1980  -  October 1984  (4+ years)

Responsible for management of the Shearson/American Express Development Corporation construction lending department with hands-on management and  oversight for joint venture development projects and the REO group for this division of a New York Stock Exchange publicly traded member of the Fortune 500 and one of the Dow 30 at the time. Directly responsible for  management of more than 72 real estate joint venture developments located throughout the United States with an asset value exceeding $1 Billion.


The real estate projects included residential single family detached homes, hillside estate developments, condominiums, apartment complexes, garden and high-rise office buildings, industrial buildings, shopping centers, hotels, golf resorts, historic restoration projects, residential lots, unimproved land, a boat marina and agricultural property. My duties included project review, due diligence, feasibility analysis and construction and development advisory services for the Shearson/American Express Mortgage Corporation Real Estate Syndication department concerning its REO and Asset Management of 10 projects located in the Pacific Northwest. 

President SEM Development Company

1973  -  1980  (7 years)

President/CEO for a Silicon Valley based real estate development and construction company that master planned, designed and built garden office buildings, townhouse projects and custom homes and land developments in the greater Santa Clara County area.


A signature project was a master planned golf course project, Stonebrook Estates of Los Altos Hills. I was responsible for designing, master planning, zoning and petitioning land use entitlement from nine (9) different municipalities for more than 1,000 acres of projects located throughout Santa Clara County.


Carpenter, Foreman, Superintendent and Construction Manager with: Oliver Rousseau Homes, McKeon

Construction, Duc & Elliot, Heritage Homes and American Housing Guild

1967  -  1973  (6 years)

I began career in the residential construction industry as a teenager through the summer months in the San Francisco Bay Area. After graduating from high school in 1967 and attending night classes at San Jose City College, I began full-time employment as an apprentice carpenter. Within the six months, I challenged all four years of carpenters apprenticeship examinations and became a journeyman carpenter. I progressed rapidly to  Head Layout Man and then Framing Foreman for a major housing development. 


At the age of 19, I was hired as Tract Foreman then promoted to Tract Superintendent for a national development company and subsequently, Vice President of Operations for a 120,000 square foot modular home factory. I continued to advance to positions as Northern California Construction Manager, and Vice President of Operations with P&L and construction responsibility for 13-subdivisions (6,500 homes) and 3-large apartment complexes. I Studied Critical Path Management (CPM) and Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT), as I honed both my technical and management skills. 


Santa Clara County Planning Commission

County Planning Commissioner

March 1974 to October 1976

As a County Planning Commissioner in the 1970s, I was involved in the expansive growth years of Northern California and the rise to global prominence of Silicon Valley. I participated in  new legislation in the areas of urban studies, environmental planning and applied land use, earthquake preparedness, pollution control and transportation planning. I was active in the City of Santa Clara industrial complex including the approval for Marriott's Great America Theme Park in 1974.


Santa Clara Valley Youth Village - Santa Clara University

Board of Directors

1973 to 1979

I served with many outstanding civic leaders of Santa Clara County including  Father Walter E. Schmidt, the founder. I was active in fundraising with Santa Clara University's Golden Circle Theatre Party. The annual gala featured famous celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Bob Newhart, Don Rickles, Dionne Warwick and others to raise funds for the SCU Louis B. Mayer Theatre.


National Rifle Association

Benefactor - Life Time Member

1973 to Present


FEAT of the Carson Valley

Board Advisor

2004 to 2012

FEAT is a Northern Nevada grass roots organization providing financial and community support for families whose children are affected by ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).  For six years I held an annual 500-person dinner concert featuring David John and the Comstock Cowboys.  During the same period, with many volunteers, I sponsored the Buffalo Creek Invitational Golf Tournament and conducted numerous other successful fund raisers. For me, it's personal - my grandson is affected by autism. 



Balboa Bay Club, Newport Beach, California

Center Club, Costa Mesa, California (Associated Clubs of America)

Genoa Lakes Golf and Country Club, Genoa, Nevada


Genoa Cowboy Poetry Festival - Genoa Nevada

Heritage Club Founding Member

Genoa Candy Dance (This arts and crafts festival helps preserve the cowboy way of life. The annual event hosts more than 50,000 attendees over a weekend in this quaint town of less than 1,000, Nevada's oldest permanent settlement founded in 1851)

Reno Rodeo Association and Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive (main sponsor for 9 years)


San Jose City College

Construction Management, 1968 - 1970



Anchor 1
Anchor 2
Anchor 3
Buffalo Creek Ranch
BCR Bridge
BCR Vinyard
BCR Train Station

David and wife, Susan, enjoying the annual Reno Rodeo

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."


–Calvin Coolidge

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