Stiles announced today that its Chief Operating Officer Steve Palmer, 63, will retire on March 29 after 40 years of service to the company. As the second-longest serving executive in the history of Stiles, next to the late Terry Stiles, Palmer’s accomplishments are vast and have helped to establish Stiles as a real estate industry leader in the Southeast. While relinquishing his day-to-day responsibilities to Ken Stiles, CEO, and Scott MacLaren, President, Palmer intends to remain active as an ambassador of the company, continuing to devote his time to local charities and professional associations while also serving on the company’s Board of Directors.
“I was fortunate to start with Stiles fresh out of college, when we had about 10 employees and a young Terry was building our company into a formidable full-service real estate firm,” Palmer said. “At 26, Terry asked me to lead the construction company, and then at 40 all of the operating companies as COO. The opportunity to lead as a Stiles executive allowed me to mentor and empower each of our operating company presidents to take full ownership and run their businesses as if they were the owner. A lot of things have changed since those days, including the business itself, the services we offer, and the amazing team we have developed. I have been privileged to be part of a lot of growth and success, and I am finally at a point where I am ready for what’s next in life.”
Palmer’s retirement is one of the remaining pieces of Stiles’ leadership succession plan put into place more than a decade ago, involving the transition of Ken Stiles and Scott MacLaren to primary leadership roles. Stiles and MacLaren will assume executive oversight of the operating companies consisting of Construction, Architecture, Property Management and Realty.
As part of the succession plan, in 2016 Stiles implemented a conservative growth strategy across the Southeast that is consistent with the company’s goal of becoming a 100-year old real estate firm. Today, Stiles has a growing footprint with offices and local leadership throughout Florida and the Carolinas as well as a record amount of development and construction in its pipeline.
“This is a good time for me to let go,” said Palmer. “The company is well positioned for growth over the next several years and each of the companies are led by extremely talented executives in their respective industries who require little support to thrive. Even in the case of Stiles Construction, where my expertise is rooted and my involvement the heaviest, Tim Moore and his team have been running that company to great success for more than 25 years and remain the most talented construction executives I know.”
“When Steve expressed his desire to retire after a long and successful tenure, we carefully considered the most appropriate timing given our position in the market as well as the strength and health of our operating companies,” Stiles said. “Throughout his career, Steve has done such an incredible job ensuring our operating companies are each fortified with talented leaders and strong management teams that we felt comfortable with the timing. Steve’s contributions to Stiles are countless and include being one of the innovators of our unique core value system as well as our operating structure. We know Steve has long desired more quality time with his wife Linda, their children and grandchildren, and we are genuinely thrilled that he will now have the opportunity to accomplish that.”