J. Richard Leyner, executive vice president of Illi Commercial Real Estate in Encino and a longtime San Fernando Valley broker, passed away on Sept. 17, the Encino Chamber of Commerce announced Monday. He was 79.

Leyner relocating from New Jersey to the West Coast in 1978. After nearly a decade dealing in local residential and commercial real estate as the owner and operator of two Red Carpet Real Estate franchises, he joined Merrill Lynch Real Estate as vice president and branch manager of the Encino office and the Commercial Division. Prior to being appointed executive vice president of Illi in 2014, Leyner spent 23 years as the senior vice president of NAI Capital Real Estate in Encino.

Leyner held numerous leadership positions at Valley charities and business organizations. He was a past president of the Encino Chamber, former chairman of the United Chambers in the San Fernando Valley and the founding president of the Encino Neighborhood Council. At the time of his death he was serving as the director of finance for the United Chambers and the president of the Encino Business Improvement District, as well chairman emeritus of the Child Development Institute.

In 2005, he received the Fernando Award, an honor recognizing a lifetime of volunteerism in the San Fernando Valley.

Leyner is survived by his wife Barbara; their two daughters, Dori and Frances; his brother Joel; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Services will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. in the Eternal Light Chapel of Groman Eden Mortuary at 11500 Sepulveda Blvd. in Mission Hills. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in Leyner’s memory to CDI Kids-Child Development Institute or New Directions for Youth.