BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: Wayne Wiertzema

Wayne Wiertzema, President of Wangard Partners Inc. 
Company address: 1200 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, WI 53226
Website: www.wangard.com
Industry: Commercial real estate development, management and investment
Number of employees: 25
Family: Wife, Kerri; Daughter, Megan

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
 
“Staying focused on our core competencies and a logical plan to move the company forward. It’s easy to get distracted or excited about opportunities that seem really attractive. Staying focused on our development objectives and superior management of our buildings allows us to deliver consistent results for partners and investors.”  

What’s new at your company?
 
“There’s always something new. We continually look at new development opportunities and new ways to improve our perspective and how we look at things. We spend extensive time on research for each opportunity and use that information to bring innovation and something new to each of our projects.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
 
“We have steadily hired very talented individuals over the past 2 to 3 years. This investment during the recession has proven to be quite valuable. I expect to continue to fill key roles as our business expands.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
 
“Generating the amount of equity and new equity sources required to move all of our planned projects forward. We have numerous projects in our pipeline with sites owned or under control at various stages in the planning process for multi-family development.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
 
“Certainly, multifamily development and sustainability are hot priorities. The challenge with riding a trend, though, is making sure we can distinguish ourselves and our properties from everything else being built. We follow very strict criteria for the sites we pursue for our developments. We also utilize our research to deliver buildings to meet the current and future needs of the tenants we serve.”

Do you have a business mantra?
 
“Always show respect to those you work with. Never compromise integrity.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
 
“I would have to say I look up to the numerous people who have guided and advised me in my career. Specifically, a CFO I worked with in the past showed the power of integrity, even in tough situations, by the respect he received.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
 
“To make the leap to the private development sector from managing the corporate real estate and construction process. Although I enjoyed the latter, the move has been both challenging and rewarding.”

What do you like to do in your free time?
 
“I enjoy spending time with my family and daughter’s sports activities. Golfing and skiing.”

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