Associate Spotlight: Denny Whitehead Retires After 32 Years
After working on hundreds of commercial real estate transactions across the U.S., Denny Whitehead knows what it takes to build an effective plan for a successful career.
But now, after nearly 50 years in the industry—32 of which have been with Miller Valentine Construction—Denny is putting together a different kind of plan: his retirement. On June 30, the Vice President of Business Development – Dayton closes out a long career centered on his passion: real estate, development, and construction.
Three decades of building trusted relationships
A native of Dayton, Ohio, Denny launched his career in real estate after graduating from the University of Dayton in 1973. His journey took him to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he started and operated a real estate development firm. Unfavorable economic changes, coupled with a desire to raise his young children closer to family, prompted Denny to sell his business and move back to the Dayton area. He interviewed with multiple companies, including Miller Valentine.
At the time, Miller Valentine’s lines of business included construction, development, and brokerage services. The multifaceted nature of the business appealed to Denny, and he joined the company’s development team in 1990. In 1996 he moved over to the brokerage group, where he assisted clients with leasing, buying, and selling commercial real estate. Six years later, he was recruited to join the construction division’s business development team, where he has been ever since.
“I learned all facets of the real estate industry from many of the founding partners at MV,” said Denny. “As a result, I was able to provide our clients with thoughtful, well-rounded analyses of their real estate options so they could make the best decisions for their business.”
In the process, he built relationships with clients that spanned decades, geographies, and three economic downturns. Building those long-term trusting relationships was the most rewarding part of his career, but Denny is quick to note that the overall success of each project was a team effort. “I’m just a small part of building and maintaining these relationships,” Denny said. “I was fortunate to have so many talented people who work well together, which allowed us to provide better service to our customer’s real estate needs”.
Advice to build on
As he reflects on his long career, Denny said the best advice he can give is to “find a career you enjoy getting up for every morning. It also helps to work for a company that offers the support to explore new and challenging opportunities. All aspects of my career at Miller Valentine have been exciting and rewarding. MV provided a path to expand my skills and to grow and be successful in the construction industry.”
Denny said he’ll miss the day-to-day interactions with his colleagues and clients. He knows his clients will be in good hands, but it’s difficult to say goodbye to nearly a lifetime of work. Still, he doesn’t expect to completely hang up his real estate hat. While he and his wife intend to travel and spend time with family, Denny will keep a toe in the real estate market. “I plan to do some consulting,” he said. “I still enjoy chasing the next deal, and I need a daily to-do list.”
Thank you, Denny, for building certainty for our clients during the past 32 years. Your dedication and expertise have made us a stronger company and put us on the path to long-term growth.