Z.J. Chelec, CPM, CHM, has been involved in real estate property management, marketing, development and leasing for over 40 years in the Washington area and Mid-Atlantic Region. A Washington, DC native, Mr. Chelec founded Zalco in 1971. Prior to Zalco Mr. Chelec served as Senior Vice President in charge of Management Operations and Acquisitions at USIF, or Gramco. USIF purchased 21 properties in the Washington area through his efforts. Thereafter, Mr. Chelec’s responsibilities included heading USIF’s residential portfolio for the U.S., which was comprised of properties located in 28 states.
After attending the prestigious Wharton School of Finance at The University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Chelec began his real estate career with Wolman Construction, a prominent Washington-area developer with building projects scattered across the Eastern United States, including the John Hancock Building in Chicago and others. While employed with Wolman, Mr. Chelec created a subsidiary management company from scratch, which ultimately controlled all post-construction operational aspects of Wolman’s substantial retained real-estate portfolio. When Wolman ultimately sold its entire portfolio to Realty Equity Corporation, a New York Stock Exchange company, Mr. Chelec was the sole employee (out of approximately 300) that Realty Equity retained to supervise completion of all construction projects and related management operations. Mr. Chelec went on to become Senior Vice President for that management company. Several years later, the portfolio was again sold to Investor’s Funding, another New York Stock Exchange Company.
Mr. Chelec started Zalco in 1971, focusing primarily on property management in downtown Washington and the surrounding suburban area. Over the last 55 years, Mr. Chelec has judiciously expanded the Company’s operations to their present level, with full-service real-estate capability (leasing, acquisition, sales, financial and engineering services) complimenting diverse management portfolio of over 140 properties encompassing office buildings, condominiums and cooperatives, apartments, medical centers and shopping centers. Through affiliated ownership entities, Mr. Chelec has also personally acquired, managed and sold various investment properties over the last three decades, and still maintains several investment properties as part of the current Zalco portfolio. In 2008, he opened Zalco Commercial LLC. With commercial management as his primary focus, Mr. Chelec now devotes 100% of his time to this endeavor.
In addition to his enormous success with Zalco, Mr. Chelec has also served as a member of the Board of Directors, a member of executive committee, and as Vice Chairman throughout the 1980’s for Dominion Federal, a large Mid-Atlantic Regional Federal Savings Bank. His responsibilities to that board included serving on the highly active Real Estate Loan Evaluation Committee. Throughout the 1990’s he served on the Residential Property Management Advisory Board for the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), which successfully established the first four-year property-management degree in the Nation. Mr. Chelec also served as a residential housing-and-property advisor to the Russian Embassy from 1994 through 1999, in connection with which he made several trips to the newly fractioned soviet republics to provide much-needed assistance is establishing a workable economic system for property ownership and maintenance.
Mr. Chelec has been a licensed real estate broker in Maryland for over 55 years, and is also a licensed broker in Washington, DC, Virginia and Delaware. He has received and retained his ‘Certified Property Manager’ (CPM) designation from The Institute for Real Estate Management (IREM), and his ‘Certified Housing Manager’ (CHM) designation from HUD