OWEN GWYN: CHAIRPERSON
Owen Gwyn, as Founder and Chairman of GEOCORP and President of North Carolina Estates, has served the global real estate community since 1976. He has brokered transactions as diverse as the rich land from which they spring. It’s a land stretching from the mountains to the sea. This is a land so rich in natural beauty that the state’s Constitution mandates him to “conserve and protect all lands and water and…to preserve as a part of the common heritage… its forests, wetlands, estuaries, beaches, historical sites, open lands, and places of beauty.” Striving to meet this challenge he served as a Founding Member of the State of North Carolina Travel & Tourism Board. Owen’s pro-activism in this regard led him to become a Charter Member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Real Estate Program as a Certified Historic Property Specialist. The National Trust is the leader of America’s historic preservation movement in the private sector and was chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1949. Art is indeed, a skill acquired by experience, and his broad based experience includes service as World President of The International Real Estate Federation. Founded in Paris in 1948, this prestigious real estate network boasts members from over sixty countries, and provides potential international contacts from within all real property sectors. His extensive involvement with United Nations Non-Governmental Organizations has fostered his advocacy and support of the Millennium Development Goals. In addition to his work as Chairman of the Global Housing Foundation which partners with UN Habitat, he serves as a Trustee of KIAsia which has offered development assistance for the past 16 years in the Greater Mekong Delta Region of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Owen’s appreciation of the diverse cultures among our global partners explains his belief that experience is achieved in the global classroom. The multinational nature of financial markets and communication has shown us that our target markets are more identifiable by preferences than by nationality. Possessing the ability to successfully articulate this extraordinary value proposition, a true “World Citizen,” he was awarded the International Property Consultant designation from the Federation, and his accreditation as a Certified International Property Specialist from the National Association of Realtors furthered his expertise which enables him to provide a full spectrum of real estate consulting, assistance and support.
SHARON K. YOUNG: PRESIDENT/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND TREASURER Sharon K. Young is Founder of S. K. Young & Associates, a personal service consulting firm for both large and small projects. She is a speaker and teacher at conferences and universities throughout the world and has been quoted by numerous global publications including the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. A complete chapter of a published career book was devoted to her accomplishments. She has served for several years as NGO Delegate to the United Nations for FIABCI and for Global Housing Foundation. She is President of FIABCI-USA. Her background spans the gamut of successful endeavors including heading the personnel department of an international manufacturing company, acting as manager for an international, New York Stock Exchange listed, oil & gas company, managing a foundry for the largest independent jobbing foundry company in the US, establishing a successful real estate company in the midst of the worst real estate depression since the 1930s, serving as CEO of Associations of Realtors®, and creating a multiple listing service company for Realtors® and the public that grew from nothing to a multi-million dollar (in assets) company in less than 5 years.
She has many real estate industry designations (Certified International Property Specialist, Certified Real Estate Broker Manager, Certified Residential Specialist, and Graduate, Realtor® Institute). In addition, education includes an MBA, BA, post graduated hours and a non-profit management certification. She is a member of numerous professional organizations, including National Home Builders Association.
ROBYN FRANK Youngest daughter of Global Housing Foundation’s founder, Robyn Frank has been involved in the foundations activities since its inception in 1999. Ms. Frank started her professional career in finance. After successfully establishing a risk management department in the 1980’s in order to comply with the regulatory authorities’ requirements of the time, Robyn returned to her roots and, harnessing her deep knowledge of real estate and finance, has been an accomplished transactional broker at The Corcoran Group since 2000, assisting individuals and investors navigate the complex Manhattan real estate markets.
Robyn graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in psychology, has an MBA in Finance from Fordham University and is fluent in French, English and possesses good working knowledge of Spanish and Italian. Aside from being a published author, assisting her clientele with their real estate projects, it is Robyn’s most fervent wish to see her father’s legacy thrive.
DEBBIE FRANK PETERSEN Debbie Frank Petersen has extensive experience in the real estate and non-profit sectors. Under the tutelage of her father, E. René Frank, Mrs. Petersen learned the intricacies of the international real estate industry. She has practiced in the profession since 1970, initially in Spain and then in the United States. Mrs. Petersen was a Founder and Principal of Mid-America Realty, Inc., developing several major commercial projects in the Midwest. Additionally, she assisted her father as Vice-President of Marketing for Properties At Auction, Inc. In her non-profit experience, Mrs. Petersen was Director of Development for the Center for Independent Living in Michigan, served on the Detroit Council of the Arts, and served on the boards of the Grand Circus Development Foundation, Programs for Alternative Creative Education (Pace) and the Maryland classical youth orchestras. Currently, Debbie Petersen is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of Wildlife Art and serves as the Director of its collections/acquisitions committee. She is dedicated to preserving and insuring the success of her father’s vision for the Global Housing Foundation.
NARELLE TOWNSEND Narelle Townsend is an architect and development planner engaged in training, research and information exchange re: affordable housing and livable cities. She has worked with major architectural and planning firms in Australia, the U.K. and USA on projects including housing developments, office buildings, hotels and resort planning, hospitals and design of urban amenities including neighborhood health centers and community parks. Her work with the United Nations over 18 years, at duty stations in NY, Nairobi and Bangkok included projects of slum and squatter upgrading, housing finance, construction standards, building materials and technologies for local implementation and training programs. She returned to NY as Chief of Planning and Design for the UN/DAM/Buildings Management Service.
Narelle has participated in the organization of major international conferences and contributed to many reports, statements and studies and is representative to the UN for the Commonwealth Human Ecology Council, and a Board member of the Global Housing Foundation since its inception. She has degrees in Urban Planning (MSc) and International Affairs (African Studies) both from Columbia University, New York and Dipl. Architecture, U. of NSW, Sydney, Australia. She has complementary studies from Spain and Italy, and speaks French, Spanish and Arabic.
Frank K. Young
Frank K. Young heads several companies, including Young Properties and Knight Resources.
His undergraduate University education includes studies in engineering, geology, and business. Graduate work includes a law degree and post graduate work in business.
He has a broad background in International law, Business, Real Estate, Engineering, Geology, Mining and Energy. He has addressed or presented papers in many forums including the Southwest Legal Institute, and is recipient of numerous awards, commendations and citations from national and international professional energy and real estate organizations.
He has contributed time and resources to many industry and professional organizations and is:
Vice President Finance Committee for FIABCI, the International Real Estate Federation
Former Director for FIABCI-USA
Former National Association of Realtors President's Liaison to Norway
Past Director and Past Vice President of the American Association of Professional Landmen
Past regional board member for Independent Petroleum Association of America
Founding member Oklahoma Wildcatter’s Club
Charter member of National Association of Division Order Analysts
Current or past member of many Professional and Industry organizations, including among others:
International Oil Scouts Association
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
American Petroleum Institute
Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States
Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association
Specialties include broad knowledge of real estate development, investment, and sales. Complete knowledge of all aspects and forms of energy, including fossil fuel, bio-fuel, hydro-electric, wind and solar energy, together with knowledge of transportation, distribution and conversion from one form to another.
He is also experienced as President and/or CEO of Real Estate, Oil & Gas, and Investment companies, both public and private.