Our Family

Chris Prefontaine

Founder & Chairman

Zachary Beach

Chief Executive Officer, Partner

Nick Prefontaine

Buyer's Coach, Partner

Peter Taunton

Partner, Wicked Smart® LLC

Colleen Murphy

Director of Finance

Kristen Gallant

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Kelsie Deppen

Community Director

Vee Hollero

Support Manager

Shayna Gordon

Executive Assistant

Peter Ghormley

Strategy Expert

Mike Makredes

Certified Coach

Russell Ham

Certified Coach

Steve Mernick

Certified Coach

Mallory Meehan

Certified Coach

Rick Abbiati

Certified Coach

Brian O'Neill

Certified Coach

Chris Prefontaine


Chris Prefontaine is the four-time best-selling author of Real Estate on Your Terms, The New Rules of Real Estate Investing, and Sell With Authority for Real Estate Investors. He’s also founder of the Wicked Smart® companies and host of the Smart Real Estate Coach Podcast.

Chris has been in real estate for over 31 years. His experience ranges from constructing new homes in the 1990s and owning a Realty Executive Franchise to running his own investments (commercial & residential) and coaching clients throughout North America.

After the crash of 2008, Chris reengineered his entire business to weather all storms and economic cycles. Understanding these challenges, he helps students navigate the constantly changing real estate waters.

Today Chris and his family and team run their own creative financing business and are still in the trenches every day. Their main focus is helping students across North America plan their escape from their W-2 jobs by getting in the trenches and doing deals with them. They’ve completed over $100 million in transactions.

Zachary Beach


Zachary went from a bartender to a Real Estate Expert, Coach, and 3x bestselling author of Real Estate on Your Terms, The New Rules of Real Estate Investing, and Sell With Authority for Real Estate Investors. He’s the CEO of Smart Real Estate Coach, a partner in multiple 7-figure businesses, and co-host of the Smart Real Estate Coach and Not Just A Transaction podcasts.

At the age of 25, Zach decided to leave the world of bartending and personal training and jump into the family business. It was one of the first big risks that he took in his life, as nothing was guaranteed. Plus, he knew absolutely nothing about real estate. Through hard work, in-house training, and implementation, Zach has now completed over 100 deals and, on top of that, he coaches students around the country on how to buy and sell property just like his family still does. Now, as a group, they buy and sell 25-30 properties a month with a predictable and scalable system, controlling between $60-$80 million of real estate at any one time with little to no money in the deal and no banks involved.

Zach has over 6 years of experience and now runs all operations of Smart Real Estate Coach, on top continuing to coach his students and Associates. He has an amazing wife Kayla and two small children, his son Remi and his daughter Bellamy. He is a prime example of how to be successful both in business and at home.

Nick Prefontaine


In 2003, Nick was in a snowboarding accident that left him in a coma for over 3 weeks. The doctors told his parents that he probably wouldn’t walk, talk, or eat on his own again. Less than 3 months later, he was running out of Franciscan Children’s hospital. Now a Certified Infinite Possibilities Trainer, Nick speaks to groups that benefit from his message of overcoming adversity.

Nick grew up in the real estate industry and got started on his own at an early age. Most notably, he was knocking on Pre-Foreclosure doors at 16 and 17, doing up to 50 doors a day. This experience helped shape Nick’s real estate career.

Now, Nick specializes in working with lease purchasers to get them into a home and on the path to home ownership. Regardless of a buyer’s credit situation, he looks at their complete financial picture and comes up with a plan to get them into a home.

Peter Taunton


Peter Taunton founded one of the largest wellness brands in the world with over 6,000 franchises or licenses across 3 brands in 28 countries — LIFT Brands. He was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Peter is a Forbes School Knowledge Innovation Center instructor. His business accomplishments have been well-recognized by the business community. His companies have been featured in many business and industry publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur 500, Inc 5000, Top Global, and Franchise 500.

Peter also wrote a #1 best-selling book called “Impossible Hill” which shares 30 years of real life stories laying out the mindset that helped Peter build his business empire.

Peter is ever-committed to coaching and inspiring people in both their business and personal lives as they navigate through life striving to light the fire within and make their impossible dreams… possible!

Kristen Gallant


Kristen Gallant works on Business Development at Smart Real Estate Coach. She is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago where she studied Business Management. Kristen has many years of experience in management, marketing, and sales where she has worked alongside Fortune 500 companies.

Kristen is involved in her local community by volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club, as well as the Donor Appreciation Network. In her free time, Kristen enjoys spending time with her two daughters and husband. She is also an avid equestrian, competing locally on the hunter/jumper and dressage circuit.

Kelsie Deppen


Kelsie was born and raised in Southern Illinois. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University where she earned a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counseling and Business Administration. After graduating, she relocated to California. Kelsie has many years of experience in a variety of service provisions, including therapy, program evaluation, and teaching. Kelsie is very passionate about working in business administration. As our Community Director, she is dedicated to creating a supportive environment and quality experience for our associates during their journey within the Wicked Smart® Community.

Kelsie is involved in her local community by helping the homeless population in Los Angeles. She also frequently volunteers with local animal rescue groups and shelters. She enjoys spending time with her dog, Gigi, and cat, Blu.

Peter Ghormley


Pete was born and raised in the Great Pacific Northwest, where he grew up in a large soccer family. He also loved to ski (until his knees couldn't handle it anymore) and marveled at the magnificent PNW landscape as a hiker, and he still does! Peter pivoted in life and joined the US Army during Desert Shield. During his brief stint at Fort Hood, Texas, he met his wife Sharon, an outdoors enthusiast and currently works in veterinarian medicine. They have a wonderful daughter Hannah who has completed her nursing program and is currently working as a health practitioner. The philosophy he brings to his work is to provide value to those he serves.

Why I joined SREC and later the Sales Team:
After orbiting the SREC community for a while, I began to gravitate more and more towards their message, mission and coaching. I finally made a definitive decision with as much unwavering faith as I could muster to immerse myself into their community, and that I did. I went through the QLS home study, listened to as many podcasts as I could, watched their content on youtube, attended all the WSSDs, attended all the live events, watched the Motivational Monday & Deal Structure Sunday videos, and eventually I became better known to the community and vice versa. I saw students doing deals with the help of their coaches and were on the way to becoming transactional engineers. They were where I wanted to be. I joined 90 DJS and after a month or so I answered the call from Zach Beach to join their team. I soon jumped up to a Starter Associate and I'm finally finding that I'm on the path I was intended to be on. The biblical verse of “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find” truly applies here.

Steve Mernick


Born in raised in Rhode Island. Currently live in Coventry RI. Father of 2 children. Noelle and Julian. Worked 16 years in the Custom wood working world until i transitioned to real estate in 2018. Been full time real estate investor/Entrepenuer since March 2020. I coach people around the country how to build and scale their real estate businesses by using creative finance as the vehicle to get there.

Please note that Wicked Smart®, LLC dba SmartRealEstateCoach.com earnings are in no way average and that any examples provided should not be considered typical as your results will vary on many factors. Our team has been working in this niche for many years. If you think you can get rich by simply clicking a button or allowing others to do all the work, then we recommend you do not invest your money in any educational program or business tools as it will not be a good investment. Our team is here to support you and we hope that you make buying decisions because you are also dedicated to success.

From time to time, we send emails promoting other company’s products or services and may earn commission for doing so. It is important to realize that while we only send products that we believe will help your business, we do not recommend investing into anything without doing you own due diligence. Like with anything in life, in order to succeed, you will need to put forth effort and be persistent. And finally, any information provided is education and cannot be taken as legal or financial advice.

We are not attorneys. Laws change in every State from time to time. Always check with your attorney before buying and/or selling real estate for the applicable laws in your area. These laws may or may not affect some of the techniques we teach. There are no laws to our knowledge that can STOP you from profiting in real estate, but you’ll need to seek a qualified local real estate attorney.

As of the posting of this disclosure, we are aware of laws in the following areas that are different from the other States. This is not all inclusive and only those that we are aware of:

  • Texas: Lease/purchase restrictions unless you comply with local changes.
  • Maryland: Foreclosure laws within 20 days of foreclosure. We don’t teach foreclosure. Some restrictions buying subject to existing mortgages.
  • North Carolina: Comply with 3-day right of rescission as well as recording agreements when doing lease/purchase.
  • California: Foreclosure property laws. We don’t teach foreclosure.