About Us

Rex Walters, PhD

Certified Business Broker

BRE# 01841628
(831) 239-2080 cell

Unique among Santa Cruz, California business brokers, Rex Walters and Coast Business Brokerage guarantee a personal, professional, top-quality, and fully hands-on approach for your business selling or business buying needs. Rex specializes in larger Main Street-level businesses, and personally has 30 years of start-up experience.  He has personally started and/or sold eight of his own businesses in and around Santa Cruz, as well as hands-on management consulting experience in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Previously functioning as the president of Coastal Sol Foods, LLC, Rex is also a founding Partner with Bay Area Strategic Group, a Santa Cruz, CA based management consulting firm specializing in the areas of strategic business planning and human resources for small to medium-sized businesses, non-profit agencies, and entrepreneurial start-ups. He served as Executive Director of the Alliance of Communities for Sustainable Fisheries. He also is a former instructor at University of California, Santa Cruz, San Jose State University, and Chapman University. In his spare time he enjoys longboard surfing, outrigger paddling, and stand up paddling, both locally and in Hawaii, and loves to watch his wife Erica dance hula. Rex has participated as a volunteer mentor in the Santa Cruz Chapter of SCORE.  Rex has earned a BA in philosophy, an MA in psychology, and an MA and PhD in Organizational Psychology, and considers himself a life-long learner. Rex is certified by the California Association of Business Brokers as a Certified Business Broker and small business valuation expert.

Sylvia Reyes

(831) 566-2733 cell

“Hablo Español”

Sylvia Reyes is a lifelong Bi-Lingual and Bi-Cultural  resident of both Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. Born and raised in the Central Coast region she has been deeply involved in local communities and enjoys volunteering her time with non-profit organizations, local schools and helping the underserved in other capacities as well. Sylvia enjoys her new role as the Executive  Administrator for Coast Business Brokerage. She understands first hand the challenges many business owners face daily, all derived from her personal experience managing employees as owner of an Agribusiness, serving as Executive Director for two California Associations and working in Human Relations for several large farming companies. Sylvia loves the Central Coast, and the people and cultures that make it such a wonderful place to live and own a business.

With her rich, local business experience she fully comprehends the processes and the administrative needs necessary to help support a successful sales transaction of upscale restaurants, cafés, beauty salons, and other businesses along the Central Coast.

Sylvia has served on the board of directors for:

Chairperson for Santa Cruz Community Credit Union
Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture
Santa Cruz Volunteer Center
Chairperson for SCORE of Monterey Bay

The mother of two teenage sons, Sylvia enjoys an active family life in addition to her business and volunteer commitments. She loves to exercise, dance salsa, and late evening power walks with her adorable furry friend, Pepsi.

Ken Johnson

BRE# 01905767
(408)  799-2117 cell

Ken brings a wealth of experience to Coast Business Brokerage, with a deep background in general management, specialties in finance, investments, marketing & sales, strategic, change & management consulting as well as several stints in the “C chairs” as CEO, Chief Investment Officer and CFO/Treasurer of various organizations.

A few highlights along the path of his trajectory include:

  • Chairman, hospitality holding company
  • Interim CEO of clean tech startup
  • CEO of consumer electronics manufacturer
  • Executive Director of Silicon Valley non profit
  • Founder of Strategic, Management and Organizational Change consultancy
  • Chief Investment Officer of the 10th largest privately held Registered Investment Advisory firm in the US, 40th largest among all RIAs globally
  • Head of major global bank’s Capital Counseling Service
  • Successful turnarounds & acquisition as well as leading high growth companies.
  • Successful introduction of new products and distribution channels.
  • Lifelong volunteer and Board Member of several non-profit organizations

A lifelong sailor, Ken is happiest when everyone gets a turn at the helm, helps to trim the sails and shares in the snacks. Taking beginners out for their first enjoyable sail is as gratifying as taking home the pickle dish after winning the race. Ken finds volunteerism and making non-profits more productive, to be fun and worthwhile endeavors.


“Working with Rex was a positive and fluid process. He was informed about every aspect of the sales process, and managed to absorb all the headaches and details that would’ve sucked my time or ruined my attitude. He maintains a consistent and professional approach and is resilient when it comes to getting the job done. I would be happy to work with Rex again and can confidently recommend him to my friends.”

Zach Worthington, Owner,

Cava Wine and Beer Bar, Capitola, CA

“I commend Sylvia Reyes on her amazing job of acquiring business funding for my business, after 6 months of rejections. A month after Sylvia took on this project I have the needed funding. Sylvia is not only professional, but tenacious. She did not give up, and worked diligently with me during the entire process. I highly recommend her!”…

John Blymer,

Co-Owner, Element Home Furnishings, Santa Cruz

“La inpiracion que tengo es porque he conocido personas como Sylvia Reyes que estan siempre dispuesta a ayudar y compartir ideas. Usted si que es una inspiradora que siempre anda buscando aser la diferencia”…

Ray Sumano-Owner,

Sumano’s Bakery, Watsonville

After owning the Hindquarter Bar & Grille for more than 25 years, we listed our business with Rex Walters of Coast Business Brokerage. The time had come to let go and we wanted someone who would understand our desire to pass on the venerable landmark to passionate yet qualified buyers. As with most business transactions, the process hit a few glitches, but Rex and his team (Ken and Sylvia) guided us and the buyers through the maize of everything from lenders to the ABC. They were always accessible and professional in keeping us informed, answering our questions and addressing our concerns promptly and truthfully. Their “Aloha spirit” proved to be a true asset, especially when the going bogged down or was a bit rocky”…

Mahalo, Robert and Sandra Cornell Owners-

Hindquarter Bar and Grille, Santa Cruz, CA