Chamber honors Bob Wheatley

The Board of Directors, along with the Business and Economic Development Committee of the Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce has named Robert C. "Bob" Wheatley, president of The Whayland Company, Inc., this year's honoree for the Business Person of the Year award.

The success of any business invariably depends upon its representation in the communities it serves, and that reputation is nearly always the result of a strong company leader. Each year since 1995, the Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce has selected a "Business Person of the Year" that best meets the stringent criteria set out by the Business and Economic Development Committee under the leadership of committee chair, Randall Cash.

The prestigious award will be presented at the Chamber's Fall Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Oct. 21, at the Seaford Fire Hall. Bob Wheatley made a decision in 1995 that his company would not take on government contracts and is proud of serving only the private market of local developers and businesses. He is also proud of the many long-term relationships he has forged with area businesses, including Penco Corporation. In any given year, nearly two thirds of his work is repeat business.

Wheatley graduated from Colonel Richardson High School. He took nine years of night classes to earn his bachelor's degree in business administration with honors from Salisbury University while working full time.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the Whayland Company, Inc. opened in 1950 in Salisbury. Wheatley purchased the company in 1993.

In 2001, he moved the company and its 25 employees to Delaware. At the height of the most recent building boom, the company employed 40 people in various management and field positions. As the Company's management and supervision resources grew, Whayland began offering project management services in addition to general construction.

In addition to offering all types of conventional construction, Whayland is the authorized builder for Butler Manufacturing Company.

Several developments in the building industry have spurred Wheatley to expand into new areas. As a natural extension of project management, The Whayland Company offers "owner's representative" services, representing the owner's interests to the designers, permitting agencies and contractors.

The State of Delaware enacted legislation to require developments with common ownership interests in certain improvements to do a reserve study analysis to determine the amount needed to be maintained from year to year to fully fund repair and replacement of those items.

Typically the Homeowners Association hires a qualified reserve analysis firm to do a professional study. Whayland Company has the expertise to perform these studies as it pursues certification from the Association of Professional Reserve Analysts.

Whayland is also "going green" by partnering with a commercial solar energy provider to offer solar energy solutions to Whayland clients. Whayland is making its own solar investment right now as an array of solar panels is being installed on the Whayland Company shop in Delmar. In addition Bob Wheatley is also partners with Broker Rob Harman in SVN Delaware, LLC, a commercial real estate company, to offer a complete project delivery system from site identification and selection to occupancy of the new building.

Bob Wheatley is very active in the communities he serves. Some of his activities include sitting on the board of the Bank of Delmarva and the board of Delaware Guidance Services for Children & Youth. He is a member of the State of Delaware Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board, and has served for 16 years on the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission. He is a three-year member of the Laurel Redevelopment Corporation and is a past president of the Salisbury-Wicomico Economic Development Committee. He also sits on the Delaware Tech Construction Engineering Advisory Committee and is a Delaware Real Estate Commission approved instructor. Wheatley is an affiliate member of the Sussex County Association of Realtors and serves as co-chair of the Affiliate Committee.

Wheatley is also a 29-year member of Seaford Lions Club, where he has held numerous positions including president and where he received the Ralph Helm Fellow award for humanitarian service.

Wheatley currently serves as second vice president of the Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce and president of the Laurel Chamber of Commerce.

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