Whitney Vliet Ward
Commercial sales associate, J.P. Weigand & Sons
With a background like Ward’s, people usually want to know if she’s into redeveloping old buildings.
“I would love to do some of that in the future, but right now my focus is on being the best commercial agent I can be, for buyers and sellers,” Ward said.
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Ward is the daughter of Rich Vliet, one of the pioneer developers of Old Town and other historic downtown properties, and Marni Vliet, former president of the Kansas Health Foundation.
Ward graduated from East High – just like her father and grandmother – then earned a biology degree from the University of Kansas. After graduation she moved to New York City, working at Hallmark Entertainment during a period of rapid growth for the television production company. She left there as vice president of new media and business development in 2002 to join her father in Redstone Design Development. She worked alongside him as he battled ALS before his death in 2011, divesting its properties in 2013.
“Working with my dad, I not only learned that professional side of the business but (from) someone who could look at life as a glass half full and persevere.”
She worked as director of commercial real estate at Keller Williams Hometown Partners before moving to Weigand last month. Ward said working for an international real estate company was a great experience but that working for a locally owned company that’s been around since 1902 has a special meaning.
“There have been days where I see so many people my dad interacted with for years,” she said. “The (Weigand) history is unreal.”
Ward is focusing on medical and office buildings but says she’ll handle multifamily residential, retail, hotel and any other kind of commercial property.
“Not to be too cheesy, but I love to be able to see people’s dreams come true – working with a buyer and finding the right space and seeing their business come to life, or finding a way when a seller is ready to move on from a building and go do something else. It’s fun to be a part of that.”
Ward has sat on the boards of the Old Town Association, Wichita Art Museum, Wichita Botanica and Wichita Country Club and more recently was part of the planning task force for the successful Andover schools bond election this year.
Ward and her husband, Mike, have twin 14-year-old sons – Jackson and Cooper – and a daughter, Georgia, who’s 10. The family enjoys music “and just doing any kind of sports together,” she said.