Expertly Managing Your Conservation Easement Project

Nancy G. Zak

Nancy Zak is an experienced business professional with a multi-faceted background in operations management, land conservation, private securities, project management, real estate development, finance, architectural design and construction. As the founder and owner of several companies, Ms. Zak has focused upon conservation easements and their associated tax benefits for the past 13 years. Forever Forests, LLC is Ms. Zak’s flagship company specializing in conservation easement consulting for private landowners who wish to preserve their property and utilize the generated tax deductions for their own account.

Ms. Zak’s career has followed a diverse path from college to her current endeavors. While at the University of Michigan, she devised and completed a dual Master’s degree program in Architecture and Business which has since been maintained and expanded by the University to include numerous degree combinations of Business and other disciplines. Early in her career, she joined the Houston-based construction management/architectural design firm “The CRS Group”, specializing in construction scheduling, estimating and project management on large-scale US and international projects. During her more than 10 years as a commercial mortgage broker for First Fidelity Mortgage in Atlanta, Ms. Zak secured debt and equity financing of more than $850 million from major banks, insurance companies and pension funds for large commercial projects. She later joined Big Canoe Company, a Georgia developer, as Chief Financial Officer.

While at Big Canoe Company her roles and responsibilities included financial and accounting management, strategic development planning, project management, community relations through representation on the POA Board of Directors, debt and equity recapitalization of the Company and financing the expansion of the private water utility. During this time, Ms. Zak also managed the preservation of several parcels of land owned by the Company through the granting of conservation easements. She began exploring concepts whereby conservation incentives might be shared with partners, which ultimately led to the formation of Forever Forests and the creation of the basic structure now being followed in the industry in what are commonly called “conservation partnerships”. She further assisted in bringing these partnerships to broker/dealer platforms where they are now offered as private securities across the country.