ST. PETERSBURG, FL – (September 11, 2019) – The Sembler Company recently announced that its Chairman of the Board, Greg Sembler, will take on the role of Chief Executive Officer as of January 1, 2020. He will remain Chairman of the Board as well. Sembler replaces current CEO Ron Wheeler.
“Ron Wheeler steered this company through a very transitional time in the commercial real estate industry. He took strategic direction that positioned us extremely well now and for the future, and we’re grateful for his leadership,” said Greg Sembler, who is the son of company founder Mel Sembler. “More importantly, Ron followed the example my father set when he founded this company – prioritizing the highest ethical standards and community service. As a result, we have one of the most cohesive, highly skilled, longest serving teams in the industry. I look forward to working with them every day.”
“I am incredibly grateful for the confidence Greg Sembler and his family have shown me in my over two decades with the company and am so proud of what a great team we have. I wish them all the best success in the future and know that they will continue to thrive,” said Wheeler. “I look forward to my future where I can focus on some of the most rewarding parts of my career. Those include philanthropy and mentoring and coaching others in the values we cherish here at Sembler of respect, integrity, transparency, teamwork and employee fulfillment and how these lead to bottom line success.”
As Sembler’s CEO, Wheeler was known as much for his philanthropic initiatives as for his significant business success. A strategic focus on grocery-anchored shopping centers with service- and experience-oriented tenants proved discerning as online shopping crowded many traditional retailers out of big-box spaces. Sembler’s portfolio flourished under Wheeler’s leadership, maintaining a consistent 95% or better occupancy rate. At the same time, Wheeler expanded the corporate philanthropy program to include increased employee-led, company-wide volunteering; a new program providing grants for underserved schools; and other initiatives.
“Sembler’s unique culture is one of the reasons so many of us have been here for decades, and why our industry partnerships tend to be long-term. When you’re consistently operating with unity, integrity, and a clear belief in creating projects that will make a positive impact – other people want to keep working with you,” said Sean Davis, Chief Investment Officer.
Continued Davis: “As Chairman of the Board, Greg is already a regular fixture around the table and a key part of our strategic team. The transition will be seamless. We all wish Ron well in his future endeavors and look forward to hearing about them.”
About Greg Sembler
While Greg Sembler officially joined The Sembler Company in 1983, he’s been listening to his father negotiate deals since grade school – enabling him to jump right in, developing his first center in 1984. That center and many others in his portfolio are still thriving today, as he leads the company’s Board of Directors. Sembler is widely recognized for his commitment to community service and civic activism, including work with Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg, Congregation B’nai Israel, Menorah Center Nursing Home, and the Florida Government Affairs Committee for the International Council of Shopping Centers. A 1983 graduate from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania, Sembler holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics with a concentration in Finance. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have four children.
About Ron Wheeler
Wheeler joined Sembler in 1997 as Vice President of Investments, after a decade in commercial real estate financing. He moved on to serve as Chief Operating Officer and then Chief Executive Officer. Wheeler is a prominent community philanthropist and activist, serving in a variety of roles, such as the past Chairman and current board member of the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and active with St. Pete’s Promise, Pinellas Education Foundation and The University of Florida Business Ethics Center. He is also active in industry organizations serving on the board of University of Florida’s Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies, where he also serves as a guest lecturer on the topic of business ethics and as a board member of the Real Estate Investment Council of Tampa Bay, and as a member of International Council of Shopping Centers, and the Risk and Insurance Management Society. Wheeler graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida, majoring in Business Administration and specializing in Finance.
The Sembler Company is an industry institution, celebrating nearly 55 years of creating retail real estate value. Sembler provides a full array of retail real estate services, including development and redevelopment, acquisition, property and asset management, leasing and other related services throughout the Southeastern United States and Puerto Rico. Sembler has developed more than 350 projects totaling 27 million square feet and currently leases and manages 10 million square feet. For more information, please visit www.sembler.com.