Federation of Exchange Accommodators

Providing Leadership. Setting Standards. Educating Consumers.The Federation of Exchange Accommodators (FEA) is the only national trade organization formed to represent qualified intermediaries (QIs), their primary legal/tax advisors and affiliates who have directly involved in Section 1031 Exchanges and professionals who conduct like-kind exchanges under Internal Revenue Code §1031. Members include Qualified Intermediaries (QIs), their primary tax and legal counsel, and affiliated industries (TIC sponsors, banks, real estate brokers, title companies, settlement/escrow agents, etc.).Formed in 1989, the FEA was organized to promote the discussion of ideas and innovations in the industry, to establish and promote ethical standards of conduct for QIs, to offer education to both the exchange industry and the general public, and to work toward the development of uniformity of practice and terminology within the exchange profession. The FEA also provides timely input and updates on pending State and Federal legislation, Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Rulings, and Court Decisions.
In 1991, the U.S. Treasury adopted regulations that govern Section 1031 Exchanges. Sinceadoptingf the regulations, thousands of investors have deferred capital gain taxes on the disposition of their business, investment or income property by utilizing the services of a professional QI. Members of the FEA represent the companies whose primary business is acting as QIs for Section 1031 Exchanges.

The FEA takes an active role in responding to legislative and regulatory actions at both the state and national level. The association has repeatedly presented commentary to the IRS, House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee in connection with legislative proposals under review and consideration by Congress to amend IRC Section 1031 and related tax provisions. The FEA has provided commentary and testimony to many state legislatures and regulatory agencies regarding the licensing and regulation of exchange professionals. The FEA remains committed to actively monitoring the issues affecting the exchange industry.Mission: To support, preserve, and advance Section 1031 Exchanges and the QI industry.

Vision: FEA is the leader and gold standard for the like-kind exchange industry.
“While staying true to our core mission, the FEA has evolved far beyond our original founders' vision that was formulated more than twenty-five years ago. The FEA's past and present will greatly influence our future.” - FEA's first Executive Director, Tim Egan.

Ask about the 1980’s and it might invoke a discussion about recession, the Cold War, the “Great Communicator,” or perhaps memories of the television series “Thirty Something” or Michael Jackson on MTV. But for a small group of financial advisors and CPA’s in Southern California, the 1980’s marks the beginning of collaboration among like-minded professionals formed in response to the growing number of 1031 exchanges. 

It was the Escrow Institute of California that created a committee to respond to US Treasury regulations in discussion at the nation’s capitol. Tim Egan was among those who organized a working committee whose members were attorneys, accountants and also some invited non-members. The members spent time talking about how to do exchanges. According to Egan, it soon became clear there was no common method. And by forming a committee and holding discussions on exchanges, this allowed for cross sharing and an interesting dynamic arose. 

Property exchanges were nothing new, as the tax-deferred like-kind exchange was added to the Federal Tax Code in Section 202(c) in 1921. But it was the Amendment to the Code 60 years ago which brought about a more current definition and description of a tax-deferred like-kind exchange, although at that time exchanges were still simultaneous. And from 1967 to 1979 with the Starker family case, the IRS and courts deliberated the definition of exchange, which ultimately resulted in the 1984 amended IRS Code that allowed delayed exchanges and identified the maximum time of delay.

By this point in the 1980’s the Sun Belt sections of the country were experiencing growth and prosperity. Property investment in California was attractive, and so was the lure of deferred taxes. Exchanges were more common. And as more professionals offered their services with exchanges, the need for clarification and regulations became clear. 

Egan and the committee formed by the Escrow Institute of California recognized a greater need and on August 17, 1989 the Federation of Exchange Accommodators was officially formed. 

FEA became the voice for the 1031 exchange industry and works diligently to:
  • Provide tools, resources and legislative updates to member companies 
  • Educate consumers on effective use of 1031 exchanges to defer capital gains tax 
  • Drive legislation to ensure appropriate consumer and industry protection 
  • Work closely with professions affiliated with the 1031 industry including real estate professionals, attorneys, CPA’s, DST and NNN Broker/Dealers, Escrow Agents, and financial institutions.


FEA Past Presidents

2021-2022  Jeff Peterson
2020-2021  Julie Baird

2019-2020  Scott Saunders
2018-2019  Michael Anderson
2017-2018  Teresa Person

2016-2017  Steve Chacon
2015-2016  Margo McDonnell
2014-2015  Mary Cunningham
2013-2014  Bill Horan
2012-2013  David Brown
2011-2012  Suzanne Goldstein-Baker
2010-2011  Brent Abrahm
2009-2010  David Gorenberg
2008-2009  Moore McLaughlin/Hugh Pollard
2007-2008  Mary Foster
2006-2007  Hugh Pollard
2005-2006  Dennis Helmick
2004-2005  Patrick Dowdall
2003-2004  Diane Holtzgraf
2002-2003  Daniel McCabe
2001-2002  Max Hansen
2000-2001  Ralph Bunje
1999-2000  James Casterline
1989-1999  Andrew Potter



President's Award Recipients

The President’s Award was initiated in 2003. The intent is to provide recognition to the individual or individuals for their outstanding dedication and service to the members of FEA.

View Award History

2003 - Margo McDonnell and Brad Penner
2004 - Ralph Bunje
2005 - Diane Holtzgraf
2006 - FEA members
2007 - Dave Brown
2008 - Suzanne Baker
2009 - Brent Abrahm
2010 - Bill Horan
2011 - Dave Franasiak
2012 - Kelly Pearl, CES®
2013 - FEA members
2014 - Mary Cunningham, CES®
2015 - Lucas Ecklund-Baker
2016 - Brent Abrahm, Suzanne Goldstein-Baker,
Dave Brown, Mary Cunningham, Max Hansen,
William Horan, Lucas Ecklund-Baker,
John Wunderlich, Dave Franasiak
2017 - Eric Brecher
2018 - Lynn Harkin, FEA Executive Director
2019 - John Wunderlich
2020 - Julie Baird 
2021 - Kimberly Steenhoek and Scott Saunders


Margo McDonnell CES® Perpetual Award for Outstanding Service

The Margo McDonnell Certified Exchange Specialist® Perpetual Award for Outstanding Service recognizes a Certified Exchange Specialist® in good standing that has demonstrated extraordinary service to the 1031 exchange industry.

2008 - Margo McDonnell, CES®
2009 - Hugh Pollard, CES® 
2010 - Sanna Phinney, CES®
2011 - Max Hansen, CES®
2012 - Dennis Helmick, CES®
2013 - Ralph Bunje, CES®
2014 - Suzanne Goldstein-Baker, CES®

2015 - No recipient chosen
2016 - Dave Brown, CES®
2017 - Kelly Pearl, CES®
2018 - Mary Foster, CES® 
2019 - Mary Cunningham, CES®
2020 - William Horan, CES® 
2021 - Lee David Medinets, Esq., CES®