These Delaware Realtors Give Back to Their Communities

Each year, the Delaware Association of Realtors recognizes members in each county who are making an extraordinary impact on their community.

Meredith Rosenthal, New Castle County

Fourth-generation Wilmingtonian Meredith Rosenthal stays close to her roots and is passionate about giving back to the community where she grew up.

Rosenthal has been in real estate for more than 17 years and works out of the Long & Foster agency’s Greenville office. When she isn’t on the clock, she can be found at the Siegel Jewish Community Center in Wilmington.

At the nonprofit JCC—which welcomes people of all backgrounds to use its recreational and fitness facilities and participate in programs—Rosenthal is a board member and is involved several of the center’s projects, like the organizing committee for its Blue Jeans Ball fundraiser.

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Going to the JCC is a tradition for her and her family. Rosenthal recalls attending the center as summer camper and sending her own children there. One is even a camp counselor now.

Meredith Rosenthal
Courtesy of Meredith Rosenthal

“It connects people of various ages, faiths and backgrounds, and it’s kind of like a home away from home for people,” she says.

The center falls under the umbrella of the Jewish Federations of North America. Rosenthal—a former journalist with WHYY—oversees the federation’s regional publication, Jewish Living Delaware, which has a circulation of roughly 3,000.

Rosenthal’s interest in real estate started when she was a press secretary for Sen. Tom Carper and later Sen. Chris Coons. She worked in real estate part time and eventually went full time because of the flexibility it gave her.

“Every day I get to help people fulfill the dream of homeownership,” she says. “I love getting to know my clients and the relationships we build.”

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Ivy-Lyn Sia
Courtesy Ivy-Lyn Sia

Ivy-Lyn Sia, Kent County

Ivy-Lyn Sia has experience modeling as a former contestant in the Miss Teen USA-Delaware pageant, but it was walking the runway for a good cause that got her involved with the American Heart Association.

Sia—an agent with Welcome Home Realty in Dover—came to the United States from the Philippines at age 7 and has lived throughout Kent County since then. She became a titleholder in several state pageants starting in 2012 but was approached to model in the AHA of Delaware’s annual fashion show because it was something, well, close to her heart.

“I chose to work with them because I was actually born with heart defects,” says Sia, who comes from a family with a history of heart issues. “It was something I felt very passionately about.”

Since her first time working on the fashion show a decade ago, Sia has become involved in the event’s committee and currently serves as its chair. Additionally, she works on the association’s Go Red for Women Luncheon, which aims to raise awareness of women’s heart health issues.

In addition to raising money for the AHA’s work, the fashion show is also a good way for local businesses to be seen by sponsoring a model through providing clothing or accessories.

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“Usually, one of the models has to have heart story or is walking for someone with a heart story,” she says.

Sia became a Realtor in 2017 after looking for a change from working in the health care field.

“You meet a lot of great people; your clients turn into friends,” she says. “It’s a very rewarding job.”

 Rob Wolhar
Courtesy Rob Wolhar

Rob Wolhar, Sussex County

Rob Wolhar doesn’t just sell houses—he also stops them from burning down.

Wolhar, who has been a real estate agent at the Parker Group in Georgetown for five years, serves his community as captain and vice president of the Slaughter Beach Memorial Fire Department’s Memorial Station 89.

“I wanted to become involved in something in the community and Slaughter Beach is diverse because they do water rescue along with the fire side of things,” he says.

In fact, Wolhar was part of the emergency response to a barge fire off the coast of Bowers Beach in the Delaware Bay on May 23, 2022. The effort was a joint operation between the Coast Guard and fire departments from as far away as New York City.

The cause of the fire that raged for 26 hours was never confirmed, but Wolhar said the barge carrying scrap metal from New Jersey might have been struck by lightning. The ship was ultimately grounded and turned over to the Coast Guard.

Additionally, Wolhar represented the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association as a delegate at the annual Fire Department Instructors Conference, held in Indianapolis this year.

The best part of working at Station 89 is the camaraderie, he says, calling it “a very well-organized and strong organization to be in.”

When he’s not putting out fires, Wolhar helps prospective buyers find their dream homes, something he finds equally rewarding. The best part, he says, is “working with first-time homebuyers and seeing the excitement when they get to purchase their first home.”

Related: How My Heart Attack Could Help Save Your Life

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