James Langley, Founder and Managing Partner

James Langley is a native of Northern California and has been working in the commercial real estate industry for nearly two decades. James is a 2004 graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. During his time in college, he enjoyed a successful collegiate baseball career and played semi-professional baseball with the Duluth Huskies.

James began his career as an associate at Grubb & Ellis|BRE Commercial Real Estate, working on one of the largest retail leasing teams in the region. After leaving Grubb & Ellis, James continued his career in real estate by joining Schwartz Commercial Realty (Now LDG Commercial Real Estate) in 2008, where he is currently serving as Partner. As an entrepreneur, James is President and Founder of Langley Commercial Investment. His background in real estate includes acquisitions, dispositions, nonprofits, financing, and retail-leasing.

In 2015, James joined four other entrepreneurs in San Diego to open Resident Brewing Company in the popular downtown area. The group created the novelty brewing company with the motto, “For the Love of Beer.” Resident has been coined as one of San Diego’s best and fastest growing new breweries.  Currently serving as co-owner and Managing Partner, James and his partners continue to expand the business.

James is currently Founder and President of Empress Investments. James created the company when he realized the need for small business support. Many investment and consulting companies would concentrate on larger businesses, allowing small restaurants to fall through the cracks. Since its inception, Empress has focused on one niche: boutique restaurants. Empress is currently operating with revenue increases in 100% of its investments.

James is continuing his successful commercial real estate career in many different ventures. His connections and expertise in the field have led to increasingly successful commercial ventures.

Joey Peña, Chief Operating Officer

Joey PeñaJoey Peña is a true San Diego native. He was born and raised in North County San Diego. After graduating from Torrey Pines High School, he went on to San Diego State University where he played lacrosse, graduating with a degree in communications.

Following his time at SDSU, Joey held positions in product development with Quiksilver and Hurley. During his tenure with these companies, he made several trips to China and Eastern Asia, helping to further increase his knowledge of foreign cultures and global business. Joey would eventually return home and begin a successful career in the hospitality industry in San Diego.

Joey has more than 10 years of experience in the management and operations of restaurants within the San Diego market. His hospitality background includes the opening of 4 successful restaurants, most recently Wokou Ramen in Carmel Valley. After a blockbuster first year bringing Japanese cuisine to North County San Diego, Wokou will be opening a second location in the Crown Point neighborhood of Pacific Beach.

Serving as the Chief Operating Officer for Empress Capital Investments, Joey’s unique perspective an intimate knowledge of San Diego and the hospitality arena make him a strong asset. He is charged with creating, designing, and executing the brands in development and already in action. He does this through identifying and developing individuals that can take leadership roles to implement strategy and further the vision of Empress Capital Investments.

Through these efforts and a focus on identifying opportunities and brand potential, Joey is continuing to further the influence and value of Empress Capital Investments.

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