2017: Cindy Carnahan’s vision for flowers in downtown Wichita
UPDATED — To say the recent weeks have been a time of transition for J.P. Weigand & Sons would be a serious understatement.
In the latest major shakeup at the longtime real estate firm, multimillion dollar residential producer Cindy Carnahan and her Carnahan Group — including a dozen licensed real estate brokers — have left Weigand for the newly formed ReeceNichols South Central Kansas.
“I wanted to have my own business that I could control,” Carnahan says. “Something that I could make my own. This is my own.”
Carnahan has been working with Weigand for 33 years. She says she was the first in this region to form a team of brokers.
She and Brandon Baker, her vice president at the Carnahan Group, and former Weigand residential vice president and general manager Richelle Knotts have started ReeceNichols here.
The company bills itself as “the largest full-service real estate brokerage firm in Kansas and Missouri with more than 3,000 professionals in 30 offices.”
Knotts left her job first and started the company here. The others have now joined.
“I couldn’t announce anything until I was out,” Carnahan says.
Weigand chairman, president and CEO Nestor Weigand didn’t return a call for comment.
“Nestor was really gracious,” Carnahan says. “He said, ‘You’ll be an asset wherever you go.’ “
Carnahan, whose group is the top-volume producer in Wichita, says he did not try to keep her at the company.
Kim Brace, who replaced Knotts as vice president and general manager of the residential division, did not return a call for comment either.
Technology was a big lure for Carnahan, she says.
“I was introduced to ReeceNichols and felt that they had a company and a technology platform like I’ve never seen before,” she says.
“You know, it’s hard to stay up with technology,” Carnahan says. “You can do it one app at a time, or you can join up with ReeceNichols and have them do it. . . . The whole platform is just incredible.”
Carnahan says she can’t say how many more Weigand brokers may join ReeceNichols.
“I don’t know. I”m not in charge of that. . . . I’m just supposed to be in sales. That’s my part of this triangle. I’m supposed to sell.”
Before joining Weigand, Carnahan worked with her father, Ed Clarke, at his real estate company for 14 years. She says she hadn’t intended to follow him into the business.
“I got a degree in elementary education,” she says. “I found out it was a calling after about 18 months, and I hadn’t been called.”
In another big change for Weigand, longtime employee Dawn Truman was recently out leading the company’s commercial division. She was just replaced by Tony Utter, who left his Utter Commercial Real Estate to become the vice president and general manager of Weigand’s commercial division.
Weigand agent Joey Kate Laurie, who has been with the company for 17 years, also has joined ReeceNichols for what she calls its “incredible support system.”
“Information is power. Just to be able to log in and find what you’re looking for.”
She says it’s a benefit for agents and clients.
Laurie says she was the first registered ReeceNichols agent in Wichita.
Indications are, she’ll be far from the last outside of the Carnahan Group. Look for news as the company grows.
Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers