RONALD J. WELEBNY, CCIM
The Early Years
In his late teens, Ron worked as a dock builder as a means of paying for flight training. By the time he had turned 21, he was a certified flight instructor. He soon gained certification to teach both Instrument and Multi-Engine flight.
He moved through the disciplines quickly, flying charter and then scheduled regional airline service out of LaGuardia, throughout the Northeast corridor. He was soon recruited by an international geophysical exploration company to fly complex airplanes similar to the ones he had become competent in.
Ron then spent years as command pilot and eventually project manager in many undeveloped areas of the world, engaged in airborne geophysical and radiometric remotely sensed data acquisition. At age twenty-eight, he founded AeroGraphics Corp., and eventually captured the Northeast market for precision airborne data acquisition.
In the Middle
A longtime active member with the American Society of Photogrammetry (ASP); Ron’s interests swayed heavily toward all things related to measurements of the Earth (Geodesy). Of particular interest was the graphic overlay that represents implied ownership (the cadastre). Ron was elected President of the Northeast Region of ASP (now ASPRS.org), and was also elected to the Board as National Director.
He founded Bowne Management Systems, Inc. (now Bowne/Distinct) during that time and was responsible for development of GIS applications during the very formative years of the GIS disciplines. Most notably he headed the software development project that resulted in the GIS application still in use by the US Postal Service for the routing and scheduling of the mails. He was soon recruited by AT&T as Executive Vice President of AT&T Digital Records Systems (DRS). This group was largely responsible for the introduction and integration of GIS technologies into government agencies far and wide. AT&T was in the throes of a federal government imposed breakup, and DRS became one of the victims.
During these years, Ron became an active proponent of Small Business, serving on the Board of the Long Island Association of Commerce and Industry (longislandassociation.org/) and founding its Small Business Council. He was a founder and early president of the New York State Association of Small Business Councils, where he was awarded a citation by Governor Carey for having inaugurated the annual “Small Business Day” in the State of New York. He became active in the national movement, eventually being appointed as a small business advisor to president Jimmy Carter. Ron was cited by the President for being instrumental in formulating the White House Conference on Small Business. He was also largely responsible for the passage of several major pieces of legislation, including the Jobs Tax Credit Act, and the introduction of a graduated corporate income tax structure. During that time, Ron also served as an officer on the Board of Trustees of Dowling College.
With the demise of AT&T’s DRS, Ron was immediately recruited by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC.com) as Director of GIS Programs. There in the lead position, he continued where AT&T had left off, with the massive ALMRS (Automated Land Mapping and Records Systems) project design and implementation for the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM). He also designed and implemented the SARA-RTK (Superfund Amendment Reauthorization Act – Right to Know) project that had GIS tracking every known hazardous substance (hazmat) throughout the five boroughs of New York City. In August of 1992, while at SAIC and under contract to FEMA, Ron headed up the GIS Response and Recovery initiatives in Miami following Hurricane Andrew. His white paper, “After Andrew’” became a staple of GIS project implementation.
Ron and his family eventually migrated to Southwest Florida (Cape Coral), in large measure for the incomparable boating. With his background in survey, geodesy and land records management, he signed on with Florida Water Services Corp. (FWS) as Director of Special Projects. He took on the management of land acquisition; and development of water and wastewater plants, wells and disposal sites from Jacksonville down to-and-including Marco island. He was responsible for contracts and agreements of every description, with both developers and municipalities state-wide.
When FWS’s parent firm, ALLETE (allete.com). divested itself from the regulated utility business, Ron had a hand in selling the 168 utility franchises (including the Lehigh utility) mainly to the municipalities in which they were located.
Ron became a Florida Real Estate Licensee in 2003, and soon went on to acquire his Broker’s license. He also maintains a Florida Real Estate Instructor’s License. Ron is designated by the CCIM Institute as a Certified Commercial Investment Member. He practices solely within the category of commercial and investment real estate. His major strengths are in analytics and law.
He is the Qualifying Broker and Managing Partner at Commercial Real Estate Associates of Southwest Florida (CRA) in Cape Coral. The firm has a most satisfying track record and is pleased to have attracted some of the finest commercial practitioners in the profession.
• Member of the Board of Directors (2018) of the Royal Palm Coast Association of Realtors®
• Member of the Royal Palm Coast Association of Realtors® Leadership Academy (2018)
• Past Chair (2017) of the Southwest Florida Commercial Alliance (of the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association)
• Past President (2016) of Commercial Investment Professionals of Southwest Florida
• Member of the Board (since 2016) of the Southwest District of the CCIM Institute
• Member (since 2016) of the CoStar (an international commercial real estate research organization) Product Advisory Board
• Vice-Chair of the Laguna Estates Community Development District
• Past member of the CCAR Grievance Committee
• Past member of the CCAR Political Candidate Screening Committee
• Past moderator for WCR’s first “Crossover” conference