Developer J. Carter Witt III answers the five questions we always wanted to ask him.

by Capstak

?Northern Nevada Developer J. Carter Witt IIINorthern Nevada Developer 
J. Carter Witt III

put great stock in traditional virtues — quality development, profitable projects — in his role as president of Reno-based Silverwing Development.

 

Silverwing Development is set to begin work at The Bridges, a mixed-use development at Victorian Square in Sparks. The project will include 194 apartment units, four levels of secured parking, and 13,000 square feet of retail space in two buildings connected by a bridge three stories above Avenue of the Oaks. It’s just steps away from Fountainhouse, a newly completed apartment-and-retail complex whose 236 multi-family units are filling quickly.

 

An Eagle Scout and a 1977 graduate of the University of Southern California, Witt held executive positions in the investment real estate department of Bank of America and the real estate investment banking group of E.F. Hutton in San Francisco before co-founding Silverwing Development more than 29 years ago.

 

He’s overseen the company’s solid, profitable growth as it’s undertaken projects in California and Texas as well as Nevada.

 

 

He answers our questions:

 

How did your upbringing shape your perspective on your life’s work?

I had the advantage of a traditional family. My grandfather was an attorney but focused most of his career on being an entrepreneur as did my father.

My parents focused my priorities as family, church, school, Scouts, sports and travel … all of which deepened my perspectives and widened my life’s goals.

 

Who was the most important mentor in your career, and what did you learn from this mentor?

My grandfather. He retired early and spent a great of time with me, opening my eyes to a large variety of interests and promoting a hard work ethic with his expectations for me on working on a number of properties he owned. He did not focus on materialism but instead used any gifts to expand my horizons, whether it was a science experiment kit as a birthday gift or paying for education abroad. He was an incredible mentor for me for 26 formable years.

 

What do you believe are the most important characteristics for success in life and commercial real estate development?

Integrity, strong work ethic, tenacity, a balanced life and the ability to make quick decisions every day.  Also the ability to remain positive while fully understanding the minefield that is always before you.

 

Can you tell us about the charities and organizations to which you have committed time and money, and the reasons for your commitment?

Over the years I had spent a considerable amount of time in politics and through that I maintain an endless desire to learn about local, national and international public policy issues of our time. 

I have co-chaired the main fundraising vehicle for Make-a-Wish in the East Bay, was the chairman of two Scout Districts (running those programs) on the Executive Board of the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council as well as being an active adult volunteer at a Troop in Walnut Creek, I also co-chaired an annual fundraising event for Children’s Hospital (Oakland, Calif.). 

I look at my job as a hobby to allow me time and funds to help the community around me. So my time in politics (public policy) has been to allow our society to improve and allow more opportunities to more folks.  Scouts is close to my heart as it is a value-based organization that virtually any young man can be involved with and succeed while being exposed to a wide variety of experience and personal challenges that are not available thru sports or school. 

Children’s Hospital and Make-a-Wish are solid organizations that help our youth and their families as they confront severe health challenges.  I was also a Big Brother while in college along with volunteering at the LA Free Clinic and Sac Med center operating room and pediatric departments.

 

Why has political involvement been important in your life?

I am an unapologetic conservative and have gotten more entrenched with my views as my life experiences mount.  I see not only an economic deficit in our country today but a societal deficit that if not corrected will undermine this great American experiment.  Schools have failed us, entitlement programs have enslaved our inner cities. All of these things need a massive overhaul if my sons and future grandchildren and their age peers will ever have the opportunities I have been provided. Apathy is the death of democracy. So I find it important to incite thought on public policy issues — and remove emotion and in-the-moment thinking in favor of long-term difficult decisions to improve our country’s future.

I was lucky to work for Ronald Reagan and was with him just before he took the stage to accept the Presidency (actually had a drink with Fred McMurray at the open bar!).  I saw his rise from a young age, his wisdom, his convictions, his ability to withstand the left's constant attempt to undermine him.  I saw him turn around agitated anti-Reagan constituencies into supporters. His values, vision and courage are much needed again in this country if we are not to continue on the present path of implosion.  As he said, we are one generation from extinction.

 

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