James M. DeFrancia, Principal, Lowe Enterprises
Mr. DeFrancia is a Principal of Lowe Enterprises, Inc., a national real estate development company engaged in residential, commercial and resort development activities and President of that company’s national Community Development division. He is also the President of Weston Capital Corporation, a privately held firm engaged in real estate asset management and development on behalf of private investors, banks, government agencies and insurance companies. Earlier, he held several positions with ITT Corp., including President of its Levitt home building subsidiary in Puerto Rico and responsibility for the restructuring and sale of ITT/Levitt’s international land assets. Before joining ITT, he held executive positions with an international investment group in Venezuela. Prior to his private sector experience, Mr. DeFrancia served as an Officer in the U.S. Navy. Posts included Naval Headquarters, Saigon; Aide to the commanding Rear Admiral at NSC San Diego; Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; and the U.S. Embassy, Caracas, Venezuela.
He recently served as the Receiver of the Dancing Bear project in Aspen, is currently the Receiver of the Mountain Sage Townhomes in Carbondale, Beaver Run Ranch in Pitkin County, and a Managing Director for the corporate Receiver of Base Village in Snowmass, CO. He also served by British court appointment as the Receiver & Manager of Shanghai Links Executive Community Inc, a British company holding land use rights in China and actively engaged in community development in Shanghai. He held a Resident Visa in China.
Mr. DeFrancia is a Life Trustee of the Urban Land Institute and a Director of Wynne/Jackson, Inc. He is a past Director of National Association of Homebuilders, former Virginia representative to the Southern Growth Policies Board and former member of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board. He earlier served on Defense Department’s Marsh Panel, and was appointed by the Secretary of Defense specifically to contribute residential development expertise in restructuring the housing systems of the Department of Defense. He also served as a member of the Housing Advisory Group to the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs (U.S. House of Representatives), and has been a guest lecturer/panelist for the Urban Land Institute; the Bank Lending Institute; the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; George Mason University; and the George Washington University. He is fluent in Spanish and has lectured in that language.
He currently serves as an advisor to the Secretary of the Navy on maritime strategy in the Western Pacific, as well as US Navy energy policy. He has also served as an advisor on growth and development policies to the Governments of Bermuda, Mexico, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates (Dubai), and Saudi Arabia, as well as The Vatican. He has similarly advised several US cities and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. In addition, he has been a contributing writer to publications on urban growth, transportation and real estate development.
Mr. DeFrancia is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. Degree in Engineering and executive studies in business and finance at the University of Michigan and The Wharton School. He has also completed strategy and policy courses at the Naval War College. He is a member of The Atlantic Council and the US Naval Institute.