Wauwatosa-based real estate developer Wangard Partners Inc. has announced the implementation of a succession plan that includes promotions for two company leaders and the creation of a new board of directors. Matt Moroney is now Wangard's president and chief operating officer, and Burton Metz is president of investment and acquisitions. Stu Wangard will remain chief executive officer and serve as chairman of the board. The board of directors will include Wangard, Moroney, Metz and Kyle Dieringer, who is vice president of accounting and tax with Wangard Partners. Moroney joined Wangard Partners in January 2019 as COO and general counsel. Metz held the title of vice president prior to his promotion. Wangard said the succession plan will help the company grow, both with additional projects and into other markets. "The company has grown and a lot of people are aware it’s a much bigger company than it was eight years ago," he said. "I realized that with the complexity of the business, the large geographic area we had, it was important to have leadership that could share in the growth going forward." The succession plan has been in the works since Moroney joined last year, and involves the transfer of equity and shared responsibilities, Wangard said. Over the next five years the ownership will be vested in the rest of the leadership team, he said, adding there will be opportunities to add more owners. "A natural progression for the company is, as we grow, (to) share responsibilities, empower others, and with that comes having more people involved in the ownership," Moroney said. "It's kind of a logical progression that Stu's put in place over the next five years for that transition to occur. It's a thoughtful, methodical type of change for the company to transition over the next five years." [caption id="attachment_514019" align="alignleft" width="350"] Matt Moroney[/caption] Wangard Partners was founded in 1992. Wangard said the firm is the largest Hispanic-owned developer in Wisconsin, and the largest that is active in each of the major commercial real estate categories including multi-family, retail, office and industrial markets. It has 58 employees now, but should be at 60 or more before the end of the year, Wangard said. Although its focus is on southeastern Wisconsin, the firm is also involved in projects in Madison and Chippewa Falls. It also has investments and projects in Minnesota, northern Illinois and Georgia. It is performing $100 million in development this year, primarily with three projects. They are Highlands Business Park in Sussex, Tivoli Green apartments in Mount Pleasant and Eagleknit in Milwaukee's Walker's Point neighborhood. [caption id="attachment_514018" align="alignright" width="350"] Burton Metz[/caption] Metz said the company will continue to be active in the retail and office markets. But going forward it will be especially focused on multi-family and industrial. "We'll be looking at new markets," Metz added. "One of those markets we're currently in, and are going to continue to invest in, is Madison (and) markets similar to Madison." He said the choice of markets to expand in depend on such factors as job growth, population growth and affordability. Wangard said the firm has been focusing on industrial and multi-family over the last two years. Those projects had been in the planning stages for that period and were announced to the public more recently.
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