Meet the Speakers 2023

Chris Burti

Chris earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from East Carolina University and received his Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law (Chapel Hill).

After fifteen years in private practice, he left the law firm of Lewis & Burti in 1994 to join Statewide Title, Inc., where he serves as Vice President and Senior Legal Counsel. Chris concentrated his practice in the areas of Commercial Real Estate, Residential Real Estate and Governmental Law. As counsel for Statewide Title, Inc., Chris works with attorneys across the State in resolving complex legal issues in residential, governmental, and commercial transactions involving real property. He is active in providing input and advice on drafting legislation to increase certainty in land records, mortgage lending and to correct problems affecting real property.

Chris is the principal course planner and speaker for continuing legal education seminars for Statewide Title, Inc., and has been a CLE presenter for the North Carolina Bar Association, The University of North Carolina School of Law, Wake Forest University School of Law, Professional Educational Systems, Inc., the North Carolina Association of Municipal Attorneys, and other professional associations. He is the principal author on the topic of Real Property Law for the Statewide Title, Inc. Newsletter and Legal Memorandum. These articles were frequently reprinted in the Campbell Law Observer and other legal journals.

Chris is a Past President of the North Carolina Land Title Association and has served for two terms as its General Counsel. He has previously served on the North Carolina Bar Association Real Property Section Council, the North Carolina Bar Association Board of Governors, on its Executive Committee and currently serves as Past Chair of the Senior Lawyers Division.

David Ferrell

David P. Ferrell is a partner with Maynard Nexsen’s Raleigh NC office, where he concentrates his law practice in civil matters, including legislative representation, eminent domain, real estate, civil litigation, professional liability defense, energy, and public utilities, administrative and regulatory, business, and construction litigation. Ferrell is NCLTA’s lobbyist and serves as legal and legislative counsel to professional trade associations, including representing their interests before the General Assembly and various Executive Branch agencies. He frequently lectures on right-of-way acquisition, condemnation law, and legislative matters at various seminars and CLEs.

Ferrell earned B.A. degrees in Political Science and Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a J.D. from Campbell University School of Law. He is admitted to practice in North Carolina and the U. S. District Court, Eastern, Middle, Western Districts of North Carolina, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a member of the Wake County (Member: Professionalism and Bench/Bar Committees) and North Carolina (Member, Real Property; Litigation; Construction and Administrative Law Sections) Bar Associations.

Joe Grealish

Joe Grealish is a Division manager for the Fidelity National Financial. Joe is also a past president of the Texas Land Title Association. His responsibilities include all direct operations and title plants in the Southeast United States for Fidelity National Financial. Joe began his career with Fidelity in 1986 in San Francisco. With the exception of a short time serving a San Francisco firefighter, he has enjoyed a 32-yearcareer with the company, serving in a wide variety of capacities including county manager of numerous operations. In June 2001, Joe relocated to Texas, where he held the regional manager position with various responsibilities. He earned a degree in business management from the University of Phoenix. Joe and his wife, Kathie, reside in Houston. They have three grown children.

Matt Waters

Matt is a Member of the Firm Jordan Price, and practices in the Firm’s Litigation Section. He concentrates his practice primarily in the area of community association law, representing HOAs and condominium associations across North Carolina. Matt’s community association practice ranges from advising the Firm’s numerous community association clients regarding covenant enforcement, amendments, title issues, and assessment collection matters, among many other things. Matt has extensive experience representing the Firm’s community association clients in foreclosure actions in counties throughout North Carolina. Matt has handled numerous covenant enforcement actions at the Superior Court level. He is also experienced in handling cases at the appellate level in North Carolina. Matt has represented the Firm’s community association clients before the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of North Carolina. Matt has also represented Community Associations Institute, North Carolina Chapter, as amicus curiae in actions before the North Carolina Court of Appeals regarding the enforceability of assessment collection.

Matt was elected and currently serves as Vice Chair of the North Carolina Bar Association, Real Property Section, and continues to serve (since 2019) as Chair of the Community Associations Committee for the Real Property Section.

Matt’s litigation practice also encompasses representing real estate developers and construction contractors in a variety of claims and disputes; and breach of fiduciary duty litigation in the area of Trusts and Estates.

Matt is a native of Eastern North Carolina, born and raised in Little Washington. Having been personally impacted by numerous hurricanes growing up in Little Washington, and engaging in his community afterwards, he saw first-hand the needs of people who might not otherwise have the access and means to hire an attorney of their choosing. Particularly in the wake of Hurricanes Matthew and Florence, Matt has dedicated time as a volunteer on a pro-bono basis to assist and guide residents of North Carolina effected by these storms through the aid of the NCBA-DLS and NC Legal Aid.

Matt is an effective advocate for clients involved in litigation, and an experienced counselor helping his clients avoid the cost, expense, and emotional toll taken by litigating disputes in the courtroom. While in law school, Matt was the Symposium Editor for the Campbell Law Review, and a Regional Champion in the 2007-08 National Appellate Advocacy Competition in Washington, D.C.

Ryan Hoffman

Ryan Hoffman joined Alexander Ricks as a Member in October of 2015. Prior to joining the firm, Ryan was an Associate at Johnston, Allison & Hord, P.A. in Charlotte.

Ryan focuses his practice on resolving real property disputes and commercial litigation throughout North Carolina. Ryan has handled matters for title insurance companies as well as individual and corporate clients in the following areas: access disputes including establishing easements, adverse possession, boundary disputes, mechanics lien defense, reformation of deeds and deeds of trusts, breach of warranties contained in deeds and deeds of trust, breaches of commercial leases, restrictive covenants, fraudulent execution of documents, defalcations and breach of contract.

Ryan is a regular speaker at continuing legal education seminars on real property related topics for organizations such as the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina Land Title Association as well as for various title insurance underwriters.

Kim Sharp

Kim Allan Sharp gained his experience in the business world through his success first in the corporate world then as a respected entrepreneur. Mr. Sharp first developed his marketing expertise working on Madison Avenue with several respected advertising firms; Ogilvy and Mather Advertising, CBS Corporation and USA Today Newspapers. He later became the CEO of a Group of Companies that included; the FocusMark Group, Deskey Branding, Freedman, Gibson & White Advertising, New Wave Media, and the Anderson Window Franchise for Southwest Ohio. In late 2009 his group of companies generated revenue in excess of $62 Million Dollars annually and employed over 200 people located in five offices.

Born in Seoul, South Korea in 1958, he received his B. A. degree at Michigan State University where he also earned a varsity letter on the wrestling team. After graduating from Michigan State University Sharp went to work on Madison Avenue learning the advertising and marketing trade on some of the most well respected consumer brands in America; American Express, Playtex, Smuckers, Marriott Hotels, Citibank, A T & T, etc. During his major corporate work tenure, he played an executive management role in launching the first color newspaper that utilized digitally based technology at USA Today and worked for one of America’s most respected women, Cathy Black founding President & Publisher. He later used his quick learning curve to grasp and apply technology to various advertising and marketing disciplines to assist in the early formation of the first Data Analytics Group for then Fortune 1000 firm Valassis Communications.

Using his Madison Avenue business experience, Sharp launched the first ever data mining marketing analytics firm located in the Greater Cincinnati region in 2001. This firm quickly earned from the local chamber of commerce five straight years of being named one of the “Fastest Growing Firms” in the region and was awarded in 2005 the Small Business Administration’s Company of the Year in the Southwest Ohio region. Sharp went on from 2005 to 2008 acquiring four other firms including the long time Procter & Gamble Strategic Planning and Packaging Design agency Deskey Branding. Deskey Branding is the longest running brand design Agency of Record for Procter & Gamble. Deskey Branding is credited with the invention of the now world famous brands Crest and Tide. In 2009, under Sharp’s ownership and leadership, they developed the new Crest Pro Health Brand, which won America’s highest Advertising and Marketing Award an EFFIE in New York City that year.

Sharp went on with his wife to both start or acquire other marketing firms: Magnet Digital & Data in 2011, one of the region’s largest digital marketing firms in terms of clients and B & B Research, one of the consumer research industry’s ten oldest consumer research firms started by a former leading Procter & Gamble researcher in 1959. Currently Sharp serves as President and COO of DirecFunds, a digital payment solution Fintech Company that prevents wire fraud. He is also President of Magnet Digital and Data a national Digital Marketing firm and B & B Research Corporation.

Dr. Elaine Worzala, Ph.D., CRE, FRICS

Dr. Elaine Worzala, CRE, FRICS is the Director of the Carter Real Estate Center at the College of Charleston. She got all three of her degrees (doctorate, masters and undergraduate) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.   She is an active member of several academic associations as well as professional organizations including research projects she has completed for RICS, ICSC, PREA and NAR. She believes strongly in bringing relevancy to her classroom from her research projects.  She has published articles in many of the mainstream real estate academic journals as well as industry-based publications and other media.  Her research interests are applied and lie primarily in institutional real estate investment, valuation and real estate education.  Additionally, many of her studies take on an international perspective as she works to open up the borders as they relate to real estate markets.  Primary teaching interests include real estate valuation, investments, and feasibility analysis as well as the introductory real estate process course and international real estate investment.  She has held academic appointments at Colorado State University, University of Connecticut, University of San Diego, Johns Hopkins University, Clemson University, San Diego State University and the College of Charleston.

Dr. Worzala has received numerous awards including the American Real Estate Society (ARES) Grasskamp Award, the ARES Education Award, the ARES Distinguished Service Award, the Pennell Center was awarded CREW Upstate’s Outstanding Leadership Organization Award and she was part of the CRE team from the Carolina’s that won the Chair’s Award presented by the Counselors of Real Estate.   From the International Real Estate Society she was awarded the Achievement Award and the Bert Kruijt Service Award for outstanding service to IRES.  She is a Fellow in the Weimer School, a member of Lambda Alpha International, a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, and designated as a Counselor of Real Estate.  She is the director of the doctoral program for the James Webb American Real Estate Society Foundation.  She is also currently serving on the Advisory Board of the Real Estate Research Institute (she was on the national Board), the national board of the Counselors of Real Estate and the Southeastern board of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.  She was past Chair of the Counselors in the Classroom program as part of her service on the Education Committee for the Counselors of Real Estate and she is on the advisory board of the Real Estate Capital Institute.   Locally, Dr. Worzala is working with the Commercial Investment Division of the Charleston Trident Realtors Association, the Urban Plan program for the ULI-SC Low Country region, on the steering committee for the IMPACT DAY at the College of Charleston as well as with CREW Charleston.

Carolina Update

The most recent issue of the Carolina Update newsletter issued by the North Carolina Land Title Association.

Winter 2024 

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