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Courtesy Business Wire

Gregory S. Bielli is the new president of Tejon Ranch Co. during a construction boom by the company in southwest Kern County, making him a person to watch in 2014.

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Felix Adamo / The Californian

Bob Stine of Tejon Ranch was on hand for the unveiling of the new TravelCenters of America facility in this file photo.

Tejon Ranch Co. has hired an experienced real estate developer to take over its top job following President and CEO Bob Stine's retirement at year's end.

Gregory S. Bielli, the 53-year-old former western region president of San Diego-based developer Newland Communities, starts next month, according to Tejon's Tuesday news release.

His appointment signals the Lebec-based agribusiness and real estate development company's continuing focus on turning portions of its 270,000-acre southern Kern County property, and part of Los Angeles County, into residential and commercial projects.

"We believe that with his skills, capabilities and experience, (Bielli) is the ideal person to assume leadership of this great company," Tejon Chairman Kent Snyder stated in Tuesday's news release.

Bielli has worked in real estate, land acquisition, development and financing for nearly 25 years. At Newland, he oversaw operations of the company's master-planned residential, commercial and retail programs in states including Arizona, California and Colorado. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science at the University of Arizona.

"Tejon Ranch has a remarkable legacy and Bob Stine's 17 years at the helm has been a significant part of the story of Tejon Ranch," Bielli said in the release. "The ranch has an equally exciting future and I'm happy to be chosen to lead the next chapter."

Stine has agreed to stay on as a board member. He has been Tejon's longest-serving chief executive.

Bielli's selection resulted from Tejon's work with Deb Barbanel, global head of real estate at New York-based executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates.