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2012 Kukulu Hale Awards

Recognizing Excellence in Hawaii's Commercial Real Estate Industry

(page 3 of 9)

Lifetime Achievement – Holo Pono Award

David T. Pietsch, Jr.

When David Pietsch, Jr. took over the reins of Title Guaranty from his father, David T. Pietsch, Sr., in 1975, he embraced emerging, new technologies and envisioned the day when the 115 year-old family-owned company would become a one-stop shop for escrow services and when real estate transactions could be handled digitally.

In 1986, the company converted some 8 million documents to a computerized system, and in 1994, the company launched DocUtrieve, a massive document management system conceived by David Pietsch, Jr.  By the late 1990s, he had directed the company’s conversion to email, providing access – and training – for every employee.

Then, in 2000, David revolutionized the real estate industry when he unveiled Title Guaranty’s online title and escrow program, TGExpress. The full-service, business-to-business website eliminated the myriad of paperwork and unnecessary duplication associated with real estate transactions;  shortened the processing time for escrow and title services; and increased employees’ productivity by 30 percent.

At the time, there was no other comparable system in the country, a fact not lost on the title industry, which presented Title Guaranty with its prestigious Discovery Award in 2000.

For many years, David provided the legislature with key insights into the real estate industry by assisting in the passage of legislation affecting 1031 exchanges, Good Funds Law, escrow regulations, and the streamlining of the Land Court System.

Today, thanks in large part to David’s innovative and visionary leadership, the company remains at the forefront of Hawaii’s title and escrow industry, handling the majority of the state’s largest real estate transactions.

He retired as president of Title Guaranty Escrow last year, passing the day-to-day responsibilities to his brother, James Pietsch.  But he remains active as chairman of Title Guaranty Escrow Services, Inc. and Title Guaranty of Hawaii, Inc.

NAIOP Hawaii asked him to share highlights of his career and insights about the future.

Q: Over the years, you have been responsible for some remarkable changes at Title Guaranty, initiating new ways for a ‘seasoned’ company – and Hawaii’s real estate industry as a whole – to do business.  What were some of the highlights for you?

DTP: Having TGEXPRESS win the Title Tech 2000 national Discovery Award for best new product and beating all the national vendors was no doubt one of our company’s proudest achievements.  Working with the TG staff in creating the first fully computerized RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) form in the nation was another highlight for me.

Q: You made education a priority at Title Guaranty – both within the company and within the industry. Can you elaborate?

DTP: I quickly learned that if my clients were better educated, it made my business model work better.  So TG annually sponsored seminars to insure that my staff and our clients were in sync.  These seminars proved to be a key factor in the success of our companies.

Q: Beginning with your grandfather, the Pietsch family has been connected with the real estate industry since 1919. Are there succession plans in place for the next generation?

DTP: My brothers and I have spent many hours working on a plan to insure that the transition to the next generation is a success.  The next generation must have master’s degrees and will have to earn their new position in one of the family companies.  They are known as the G3 group, and I look forward to them running the companies.

Q: Now that you are no longer involved with day-to-day operations at Title Guaranty, what activities or new projects keep you busy?

DTP: Since I am a “baby boomer”, I have been trying to live up to our generation’s reputation – traveling and visiting grandchildren on the mainland.  I still have a vested interest in the TG family of companies, and I will continue to work with my brothers and the G3 group to ensure its continued success.

Perpetuating a Family Legacy: Highlights of David Pietsch Jr.’s 40-Year Career at Title Guaranty

David T. Pietsch, Jr. begins his career at Title Guaranty, after serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and earning an MBA from the University of Colorado.

David becomes President of Title Guaranty Escrow Services, Inc.

The company begins converting 8 million documents to its internal computerized system.

TG launches start-up DocUtrieve, Hawaii’s first Real Estate document management system.

The real estate industry is revolutionized with the unveiling of TGExpress.

David retires as President of Title Guaranty Escrow Service, Inc., and is elected Chairman of Title Guaranty Escrow Services, Inc. and Title Guaranty of Hawaii, Inc.

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