Meet the team
IRIS S. WOLSTEIN
Iris S. Wolstein, Bert L. Wolstein’s wife and business partner for more than 57 years, is President of Heritage Development Company.She has been intimately involved in many of the couple’s exceptional projects including Barrington Estates & Golf Club, Glenmoor Estates & Country Club, the Bertram Hotel and Conference Center and the Renaissance Office Building – the first new office building to be built in Cleveland’s Playhouse Square in 60 years. As head of the company, Mrs. Wolstein oversees operations for Heritage Development and its subsidiaries, and is final decision maker on all projects.
In addition to running the firm, Mrs. Wolstein carries on her husband’s legacy in many aspects, primarily through her involvement in a number of charitable organizations and through the couple’s ongoing philanthropy. In January 2005, Mrs. Wolstein’s gift of $6.25 million to Cleveland State University made headlines when the university’s Board of Trustees offered to rename the Convocation Center “The Bert L. and Iris S. Wolstein Convocation Center.” The university also named the building housing the ClevelandMarshall College of Law “ The Bert L. Wolstein Hall.” Other notable gifts made by the Wolstein’s include $25 million to University Hospitals of Cleveland, $2.5 million to Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management and $750,000 to United Cerebral Palsy for the Iris S. and Bert L. Wolstein Center.
Before his passing in May of 2004, Bert Wolstein completed the final manuscript for his memoirs“Crossing the Road to Entrepreneurship,” which he dedicated to Iris – “my partner, my guide, my love since 1946.” With her well known tenacity for completing projects, Mrs. Wolstein succeeded in having the book published both to honor Bert’s memory, and so others would have the opportunity to learn from one of the nation’s leading real estate developers and philanthropists.
ROBERT J. BENJAMIN
Vice President, Director of Real Estate
Robert Benjamin was appointed Vice President, Director of Real Estate for Heritage Development Company in 2004. Benjamin has held numerous positions with Bert Wolstein’s companies since joining the Cleveland Force as an intern in 1987. After serving several years in sports management for Heritage, Benjamin became a Leasing Agent with Developers Diversified Realty, garnering expertise in the shopping center industry. In 1993, when Heritage Development purchased the Barrington Estates property in Aurora, he became Director of Membership Sales for the golf club and later was promoted to Director of Real Estate for the entire development. Prior to his current position, Benjamin served as Heritage Development’s Director of Residential Development & Sales. Benjamin now handles all aspects of the company’s real estate interests including planning, purchasing, development and sales. Throughout his years with Heritage, Benjamin has been an active participant in many of the Wolstein’s philanthropic endeavors, helping to raise more than one million dollars for charitable causes including the Cleveland Play House and University Hospitals. Benjamin is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing & Sports Management.
Chief Operating Officer
George Kimson was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Heritage Development Company in January of 2005 and is also President of the Bertram Inn and Conference Center in Aurora, Ohio. Kimson began his association with Bert Wolstein and Heritage companies when he joined the firm in 1993 as Manager of the Springside Racquet and Fitness Club in Akron. Prior to that he was employed by Club Corporation of America, managing country clubs in Ohio and North Carolina and performing systems consulting work for the club industry. Kimson was promoted to General Manager of Barrington Golf Club in 1995. Wolstein then appointed Kimson to General Manager of the Bertram Inn & Conference Center, where he oversaw the business development, construction and opening of the 225 room luxury hotel, which now boasts 25,000 square feet of meeting, conference and banquet space. As COO of Heritage Development, Kimson oversees all business decisions on the many projects and properties Heritage is involved with. Additionally, he provides assistance to Iris Wolstein on managing the affairs of her estate, including her widely known philanthropic efforts. Kimson was instrumental in helping Mrs. Wolstein publish her husband’s memoir “Crossing the Road to Entrepreneurship.” Kimson is a graduate of the University of Akron and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics & Computer Science.
Chief Financial Officer
Steve Marton was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Heritage Development in 1994. Marton, a certified public accountant and industry veteran, has experience with two of the “big six” accounting firms including his prior positions with KPMG Pete Marwick and earlier with Coopers & Lybrand. As CFO of Heritage Development, Marton is in charge of all financial activities for the company, including the firm’s banking relationships, insurance matters and inhouse accounting.
Marton earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Personnel & Industrial Relations and a Masters in Accounting & Financial Information Systems, both from Cleveland State University. Marton is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Ohio Society of CPAs.