Venture Realty Group is a new name for a team with deep roots in Southeastern Virginia.

Venture formed in 2016 when Commercial Real Estate Services and Ellis-Gibson Development Group, both of Virginia Beach, joined forces following a long, successful relationship as real estate development partners. Together, the group has developed 6 million square feet of projects worth more than $600 million in the Hampton Roads market.

The 30+ Year History

Venture Realty Group leverages decades of expertise in four key areas – single tenant build to suit transactions, regional shopping center projects, strategic mixed-use developments, and joint venture partnerships with various prominent landowners throughout Southeast Virginia.

Diverse Disciplines

The Venture Realty Group team provides a wide range of real estate services for our partners and clients. These include development, leasing, brokerage, property management, asset management, consulting, and tenant representation. Our culture is based in teamwork, and we are battle tested.  We have considerable expertise in retail, office, multifamily, industrial, and build to suit development projects.

“Venture” forward with us.



John L. Gibson, III

Founder/Managing Partner

John oversees and coordinates asset management and related activities within Venture Realty Group. He has a wide range of experience in financing and deal structuring. John’s involvement in commercial real estate dates to 1984, and his development experience includes retail, office, industrial, hotel and land projects. He has arranged more than $750 million in debt and equity.  John is a 1982 graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, and he serves as a trustee of Norfolk Academy and Hampden-Sydney College. John served as the managing member of Ellis-Gibson Development Group and its affiliated entities prior to the creation of Venture. 

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Donna MacMillan-Whitaker

Founder/Managing Partner

Donna is the licensed principal broker for Venture Realty Group. She has worked in the commercial retail industry since 1985, representing national retailers throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Donna was the founder of Commercial Real Estate Services, and her focus remains on site acquisition, site design, and pre-development responsibilities. She assists all brokers with anchor tenant negotiation and overall marketing.

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Bruce A. Berlin

Managing Partner

Bruce coordinates operations within Venture to include construction management, property management, new development and lease coordination – areas of expertise he previously led at Ellis-Gibson Development Group. Bruce spearheaded Ellis-Gibson’s efforts to build two public/private parking decks for the cities of Virginia Beach and Portsmouth, using his prior experience in the field of parking management. He is a 1982 graduate of Kenyon College and currently serves as a trustee of Cape Henry Collegiate.



Michael A. Culpepper

Managing Partner

Mike serves as in-house attorney and Managing Partner for Venture Realty Group.  In addition, Mike coordinates deal-formation, land use entitlement and pre-development services for Venture. He previously worked at Williams Mullen where he handled all facets of real estate transactions. Mike graduated from the College of William and Mary, and later graduated the University of Richmond School of Law as a John Marshall Scholar and T.C. Williams Scholarship recipient.



Elizabeth A. Matulenas

Partner, Finance and Accounting

Elizabeth serves as the finance liaison for all new and existing projects and administration manager of Venture Realty Group. She is responsible for the financial accounting of more than 60 commercial real estate projects and oversees the property management of all industrial, office, and retail space.  Prior to the formation of Venture Realty Group, Elizabeth served as the vice president of accounting and administration with Ellis-Gibson Development Group.



Steven D. Green

Partner, General Brokerage

Steve is an associate broker and partner of Venture Realty Group and has worked in the Mid-Atlantic commercial real estate market for almost twenty years. He has extensive experience in representing landlords and tenants of various types of shopping centers and single-tenant properties. He is a 1986 graduate of Virginia Military Institute.



Matthew L. Lafler

Partner, General Brokerage

Matt specializes in the leasing and marketing of over 3 million square feet of retail and shopping centers in Hampton Roads for Venture Realty Group. He is also active in tenant representation and oversees numerous accounts for public and privately-held companies. Matt joined Venture Realty Group in 2001 after graduating from Radford University.  In his spare time, Matt enjoys spending time with his family on the beach and coaching baseball.  



Fiona M. Sadler

Partner, General Brokerage

Fiona divides her focus on marketing, leasing, and general brokerage for Venture Realty Group. She assists in all aspects of retail leasing, outparcel sales, and new development opportunities. Fiona joined Commercial Real Estate Services in 2007 as director of marketing. She became a leasing and sales associate in 2009.



Francis Nance

Associate Broker


Francis has worked extensively with senior care developers, identifying sites for assisted living, memory care, and independent living. He has worked in commercial real estate since 1980 and earned his real estate broker license in 1984. Francis joined Venture Realty Group in 2016. He is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College.



Evette Misa

Senior Administrator, Development & Accounting

Evette is a development assistant who supports new projects, loan closing due diligence and meeting coordination. She is also responsible for processing monthly receivables, payables, operating expenses, and bank reconciliations for several commercial industrial and retail accounts. Prior to the formation of Venture, Evette joined Ellis-Gibson Development Group in 1993 as an administrative assistant.  



LaTanya Rosado

Assistant Property Manager

LaTanya handles many aspects of multi-tenant property management and office administration, including tenant service requests, insurance certificates, purchasing, and customer relations. LaTanya joined the Ellis-Gibson Development Group team in 2003. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing with a concentration in Visual Communication and Design from Virginia State University.





Jodi Klemowits

Financial Administrative Assistant

Jodi handles accounts receivable, accounts payable, and financial statement preparation for a number of Venture Realty Group properties. She joined the Commercial Real Estate Services and Ellis-Gibson Development Group team in 2015. Originally hired to assist with marketing and administrative support, her attention to detail and bookkeeping skills lead to her current position in asset management with a focus on accounting.



Brittany Baer

Marketing and Brokerage Coordinator

Brittany joined Venture Realty Group in 2016, and she was instrumental in the re-branding and merging of Commercial Real Estate Services and Ellis-Gibson into the Venture Realty Group brand. Brittany prepares marketing materials, coordinates advertising, and assists in administrative tasks. She received her degree in communications from Virginia Tech in 2011.



Preston Moore

Director of Property Management

Preston serves as Property Manager for all of Venture Realty Group’s commercial properties.  He joined Venture in 2016 after spending 2.5 years in project management and estimating for a local commercial construction firm.  While there, he managed over $3 million dollars of projects annually, including several over $1 million.  Preston also carries 5+ years of customer service and communications experience while working in Development for Norfolk Academy.  Preston is a 2006 graduate of Davidson College where he played football at the Division I level.



Tad Scherbinski

Facilities Maintenance Technician

Tad joined the Venture Realty Group team in 2015 and has played a vital role within Property Management. He directs and administers the entire maintenance program, including but not limited to the supervision of all maintenance efforts, Implementation of budgets, record keeping and preparation of personnel and contractors schedules. Prior to his position with Venture Reality Group, he served as a Maintenance Tech One with URS on board NAS Oceana and is a United States Navy Retired F/A-18 Mechanic. 



Tip Brown

Director of Asset Management

Tip underwrites new developments and acquisitions, as well as evaluates Venture’s existing portfolio.  Prior to joining Venture, Tip was an Investments Analyst at AvalonBay Communities.  While there, he was closely involved in over $400 million in acquisitions and over $1.1 billion in dispositions.  Tip is a graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

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Samantha Ogden

Leasing & Development Associate

Samantha has worked in leasing, development, and marketing since 2018. Her focus is in leasing assets, marketing third-party spaces, and researching for new development opportunities. Samantha joined Venture Realty Group in 2016 as an intern. She earned her degree in environmental studies with a minor in biology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018. 

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Doug Ellis


Doug has been involved with commercial real estate within Hampton Roads and the Mid-Atlantic region since 1974.  During his career, Doug has been responsible for the development, management, leasing and/or sale of over 16 million square feet of commercial industrial, office, and retail space with associated asset values estimated at over $1 billion.  His “hands-on” service oriented approach and attention to detail have resulted in the completion of over 60 successful commercial real estate development projects.  In 1987, Doug formed Ellis Development Company (EDC), which later became Ellis-Gibson Development Group (EGDG).

    Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR)
    Corporate Board of Directors, Towne Bank. Chairman, Virginia Beach Board
    Captain (SEAL), US Naval Reserve (Ret)
    Chairman, Virginia Beach Events Unlimited (Neptune Festival)
    Board of Directors, Children’s Hospital of Kings Daughters (CHKD)