Brenda Thompson, Chief Executive Officer - Broker
Brenda is a born entrepreneur and inventor. She holds active real estate brokerage licenses in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, and has been a Realtor for more than 26 years. Prior to her career as Director of Marketing at the New York Stock Exchange, she owned and operated two companies including a woodburning stove franchise on Long Island in New York. In 1991 she obtained her NY broker’s license and achieved top performing agent status in two national franchise agencies.
In 1995 she created and branded Special “Finds…”, Properties of Unique Character for those Choosing Something Out of the Ordinary, an award-winning, niche, real estate business. She has turned her marketing expertise into a valuable service for property owners, like herself, who face challenges when selling unique and unusual properties.
Jim Skinner, Chief Operating Officer - Broker
Jim has been the Founder, President, and CEO of Terregena Inc. incorporated in both Canada and the US. He is a Member of the Board of Advisors of The Forge at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada; a consultant to the Canadian Federal Government Economic Development Agency; and, was a Member of the Board of Advisors of the Impact Consulting Group at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
He has been Chairman of the Board of three companies – one public, two private and a Member of the Board of Directors of several public and private firms including Chairman of the Compensation and Stock Option Committee and a Member of the Finance Committee.
Jim has been President and CEO of three publicly traded companies and a key participant in the start-up and growth of several companies. He has been the turn-around executive of seven firms after having served as President, Corporate Vice President & General Manager and Vice President of Sales and Marketing for multi-national corporations including Philips Medical Systems and Becton Dickinson following a career in sales and marketing with Johnson and Johnson and Bayer.
Jim was a Founding Member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, a Member of the Graduate School Board of Advisors at North Carolina State University and was appointed by Governor James B. Hunt as Chairman of the North Carolina Entrepreneurial Development Board. He is a graduate of Ryerson University, York University and the University of Toronto.
Paige Thompson, Vice President Western NC - Broker
With experience across several industries, Paige brings to the management team of Special “Finds…” her broad knowledge of finance, real estate, marketing, and management. Over 23 years, moving through the ranks of the world’s largest securities marketplace, the New York Stock Exchange, to VP, Head of New Listings, Paige ran the Exchange’s only proactive, revenue-generating division, achieving record performance year after year. Her team steadily increased new listings from 128, year one, to 279, year eight, more than doubling the rate of listings and revenues and during nine years of her leadership, the team listed a record 1,684 companies, representing 58% of NYSE companies at year-end 1996, and just under 40% of NYSE total market capitalization. In 1997, Paige established the first sales office outside of NYC, in Silicon Valley, laying the base for an amplified assault against the Exchange’s largest competitor in heart of its stronghold.
Returning to New York, Paige continued her association with Wall Street, taking on the role of SVP, Corporate Liaison & New Business with Fleet Specialists, a top-tier NYSE trading firm. Fleet Specialists’ business was to generate trading profits while, at the same time, stabilizing the market in the securities of its assigned companies. As SVP, Corporate Liaison & Business Development, Paige directed Fleet’s 300+ corporate relationships, interfacing with senior executives (CEOs, CFOs, & IR Directors) of key client companies, including General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Home Depot and 65 other S&P 500 companies. Paige has also been President of Critical Positioning representing client firms within the financial sector in their search for senior executives, professionals, and individual producers.
Paige joined Special “Finds…” as Broker-in-Charge of the Asheville, NC office in 2001 participating in the exciting and continuing growth of this unique real estate firm.
Irwin Gretczko, Vice President New York - Broker
Irwin has been a successful commercial real estate entrepreneur and broker for many years. He maintains an active license in New York. In addition, he holds one US Patent with applications pending on others. He has developed specialized software programs for business efficiency and organization that have been licensed to corporations. In addition to his knowledge and specialization in New York real estate, he brings to Special “Finds…” technology design and systems to manage our business.
After receiving his Master’s degree in Science and Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from City University of New York, he taught high school physics before moving into his real estate career.
James Scott Skinner, Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer
James Scott Skinner, CPA, CMA, MBA, B. Comm., is a seasoned financial executive. He has held senior positions as Controller with several multi-national corporations where he has managed the finance and accounting departments and been responsible for financial analysis, business planning, compliance and financial reporting.
He holds a bachelor of Commerce degree and a Master of Business Administration degree with a double major in economics and business finance from the University of Toronto, Canada. Jim is a member of Society of Management Accountants – Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and holds certificates in Export Compliance, Six Sigma Green Belt Training and Management Essentials (Leadership Training).