Joel Wantman | WGI

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“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” It’s a line Al Pacino made famous in “The Godfather, Part III,” but Joel Wantman easily could have said it. After more than 49 years in the business, WGI’s board honorarium has retreated a bit, but not entirely.

Wantman remains hands-on as he oversees the company’s internal structure and expansion into new locations. He founded WGI as a one-man shop, mostly doing land development and surveying, but the company has grown far beyond his original vision.

“From day one, I thought South Florida would grow and be a good place for business,” he recalls, “but I never thought our company would become what it is today.”

Wantman attributes the success to the associates, who stay focused on the clients and responsive to their needs. That attitude starts at the top with him and is enthusiastically embraced by everyone in the company.

“Success comes from being honest with clients, keeping them up to date, and following through,” he says.

When not working, Wantman can be found exercising in the gym, hiking and biking. He even climbed the Continental Divide solo. He brings that same energy to the office—whenever he can be pulled back in.