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About James Knell

A successful entrepreneur for over 30 years, James Knell oversees more than 2,300 hotel and apartment units as the chair of the SIMA Corporation. Based in Santa Barbara, California, James Knell has assembled a management team that offers real estate services from locating properties to performing rehabilitation, with the goal of ensuring profitability. Mr. Knell's expertise includes distressed properties, refinancing, and adding value to income producers.

After graduating with a dual degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, James Knell initially began his working career as a teacher. Finding a place in real estate as an independent investor, he built a steady business through prudent acquisitions in the West Coast and the Southeast. Later, he formed SIMA Corporation with an eye toward offering property management and buying strategies under one roof. Today, his holdings total approximately $400 million.

Dedicated to supporting nonprofit organizations, Mr. Knell donates to groups working for a cleaner ocean environment. In his spare time, he enjoys water sports such as surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing. An avid traveler, his favorite destinations include Mexico and French Polynesia.

Work experience

Jun 1984Present


SIMA Corporation


Sep 1971Jun 1975