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CIRC History


Presidents Tribute - February 2020
President's & Founders Day Tribute - February 2020
(from left) Duncan Patterson, Pete Davisson, Jeremy Abelson, Jed Hatfield, Don Robitzer, John Birmingham, Rob Stenta, Leigh Johnstone, Bert Root, Edd Connor, and Greg Ellis.
First President Leigh Johnstone and 22nd Robert Stenta
 Leigh Johnstone (1st President) & Rob Stenta (22nd)

Until the early 1970s, most brokers focused on residential real estate, with some occasionally doing commercial real estate sales and leasing transactions. Brokers who knew of commercial and industrial properties that may be available, but not openly listed, would be more likely to talk about it to someone they knew and trusted. Some brokers had the inventory…such as Edd Connor - who would primarily represent building owners as a Landlord Rep - and other brokers were representing Tenants, such as Leigh Johnstone, Phil Hoge, Phil Hansen and several others. And, of course, this also was before the internet made it so much easier to share information about listings. 


The purpose of the group - originally called the "Commercial Industrial Council (C.I.C.)" - was to provide a forum for these individuals to get to know one another better, building confidence and trust, and helping  develop relationships that would fostered better and quicker deal making. The group would invite speakers to the meetings, including developers such as Bill Rouse of the Rouse Corporation.


At the outset, these Founding Members were all members of the Greater Wilmington Board of REALTORS, "but the C.I.C. was not created under its tutelage" said founding member and first President Leigh Johnstone. Later that name was changed to the New Castle County Board of REALTORS® and C.I.C. became the Commercial-Industrial Realty Council of New Castle County, Inc. (CIRC) on October 24, 1978 when it was incorporated as a 501c(6) non-profit organization.

Today, the organization includes members representing all of the various types of businesses that are involved in successful commercial and industrial real estate...from design and development, sales & leasing, through operations.

Founding Members (1975-1976)

Leigh Johnstone, Patterson-Schwartz Associates  Tribute  

Edward "Edd" Connor, Robert Hickman Real Estate
H. Hunter Lott, IIIPatterson-Schwartz Associates

Harry B. TinglePatterson-Schwartz Associates/Stoltz Bros.
Charles "Charlie" WoodsPatterson-Schwartz Associates

Jack Stoltz, Stoltz Bros. 

John R. Weaver, DuPont Comany

Phil Hansen, B. Gary Scott Real Estate

Philip Hoge, Gilpin Van Trump & Montgomery

Past Presidents

Leigh Johnstone (1976-77) Patterson-Schwartz Associates

John Osborn (1978-79) Investors Realty

Carmen J. Facciolo, Jr. (1980-81) Jackson Cross Company

H. Hunter Lott, III (1982-83) Gilpin Van Trump & Montgomery/Gilpin Allegheny Realty Co.

John “Jack” R. Weaver (1985-86)

Pete Davisson (1987-88) Jackson Cross Company

Paul Hockersmith (1989-90) Delmarva Power & Light

Janice Traynor (1991-92) Bellevue Realty Co.

Alan Perry (1995) Capano Management

Kevin McGonegal (1996-97) P. Gerald White Realty/Bellevue Realty Co.

Donna Murray (1998-2000) Delaware Economic Development Office

Douglas Snyder (2001-02) Concord Plaza Associates

Thomas White (2003-04) Mattei Corporation

David M. Cantera (2005-06) Charles D. Cantera & Associates

Jeremy Abelson, J.D. (2007-08) Wilmington Trust Co.

Stephen J. Dobraniecki (2009-10) NAI Emory Hill
J. Gregory Ellis (2011-12) Patterson-Woods Commercial Properties

John Q. Birmingham, II (2013-14) Cushman & Wakefield of Delaware

Albert “Bert” B. Root, V (2015-16) Harvey Hanna & Associates

Donald A. Robitzer (2017-18) The Commonwealth Group, Ltd.

Robert A. Stenta (2019-21) Pettinaro (now w/Chatham Financial) My Time as President
Jay L. White, MAI, CRE (2021-23) Apex Realty Advisory
Cindy Fleming (2023-25) Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)