Developer Willco, Seeking Stability, Names New CEO
Willco has promoted Ryan Metzroth, its chief operating officer, to be its fourth CEO in the past six years as the Potomac, Maryland-based developer seeks to stabilize its C-suite.
Metzroth succeeded industry veteran Tom Regnell in the position Jan. 1. Regnell was hired in 2020 to take over from Bob Eisenberg, who was in the job for less than two years and is now the chief financial officer at MidCity Development. Eisenberg had been hired to replace longtime CEO Jason Goldblatt in 2018.
In an interview with Bisnow Monday morning, Metzroth said Regnell, who was hired from Chevy Chase Land Co., came on board to develop long-term succession plans at the family firm. He credited Regnell and Willco's longtime chairman and principal owner, Richard Cohen, with teaching him the ropes of leadership.
"I've got to learn from three CEOs in the past six years," Metzroth said. "I get to utilize from all three of them and implement what they've taught me."
In a press release, Cohen said Metzroth was a "natural leader and an invaluable asset" since preparation of the succession plan began.
"Ryan has been instrumental in guiding Willco through one of the most uncertain times in recent memory," Cohen said in the release. "He brings a welcomed sense of stability to the organization and has the drive and determination that will lead to Willco’s future growth and success."
Willco operates nearly 4M SF of real estate in the D.C. region, and it has developed more than 20M SF since its founding in the 1960s.
The developer has constructed and invested in office buildings, hotels, shopping centers and mixed-use facilities. Its D.C. properties include 1111 20th St. NW, a downtown property that the developer is exploring converting from office to residential and a parcel slated for redevelopment at 1345 New York Ave. NE.
Willco is also building major residential projects in the D.C. suburbs, including the 20-acre Rose Village directly to the west of Pike & Rose and the 800-unit Wheaton Gateway across the street from the Westfield Wheaton shopping mall.
Metzroth, an alumnus of the University of Richmond and Georgetown's real estate graduate program, has served as COO of Willco since December 2020. Prior to that, he served as vice president of asset management. He started at Willco in 2016 as director of acquisitions and asset management. He received DCA’s NextGen Real Estate Leaders Award in 2019.