Our Team

Key Players

Select Team:

Wilfred N. Cooper, Sr.

Founder & Chairman of the Board

Wilfred N. Cooper, Jr.

President & Chief Executive Officer

Michael J. Gaber

Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President

David N. Shafer

Executive Vice President

Anand Kannan

President - Community Preservation Partners

Melanie Wenk

Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President

Darrick Metz

Senior Vice President - Originations

Gregory S. Hand

Senior Vice President - Underwriting

Christine Cormier

Senior Vice President - Investor Relations

Anil Advani

Senior Vice President - Syndications

J. Brad Hurlbut

Vice President - Fund Management

Kent Mehring

Vice President - Asset Management

Grace Duong

Human Resources Manager

Steven Huang

Chief Information Officer

Wilfred N. Cooper, Sr.

Founder & Chairman of the Board

Wilfred N. Cooper, Jr.

President & Chief Executive Officer

Michael J. Gaber

Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President

David N. Shafer

Executive Vice President

Melanie Wenk

Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President

Anand Kannan

President - Community Preservation Partners

Darrick Metz

Senior Vice President - Originations

Gregory S. Hand

Senior Vice President - Underwriting

Christine Cormier

Senior Vice President - Investor Relations

Anil Advani

Senior Vice President - Syndications

J. Brad Hurlbut

Vice President - Fund Management

Kent Mehring

Vice President - Asset Management

Steven Huang

Chief Information Officer

Grace Duong

Human Resources Manager

Jim Ashby

Advisory Board Member

Howard Heitner

Advisory Board Member

Denise Kiley

Advisory Board Member

Michael Novogradac

Advisory Board Member

Dan Garrett

Vice President - Central Region

Darrick Metz

Senior Vice President - Originations

Jessica Cometa

Relationship Manager - Western Region

Kelly Henderson

Senior Vice President - Eastern Region

Michael Byrd

Vice President - Midwest Region

Wilfred N. Cooper, Sr.
Founder & Chairman of the Board
Wilfred N. Cooper Sr, Founder, Chairman of the Board and Director Mr. Cooper founded WNC to specialize in development and syndication of affordable rental housing properties. Mr. Cooper, who has testified before Congress regarding low-income housing tax credits, is a life director of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a national trustee of NAHB’s Political Action Committee. He  also is a life trustee of the National Housing Conference and a cofounder and director emeritus of the California Housing Consortium. Additionally, Mr. Cooper has been inducted into the Hall of Fame at the California Homebuilding Foundation (CHF). Mr. Cooper is the recipient of the CHF Lifetime Achievement Award, the NAHB Robert J. Corletta Award and the David Reznick Lifetime Achievement Award for his achievements in the industry. Mr. Cooper earned a bachelor of arts from Pomona College.
Wilfred N. Cooper, Jr.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Wilfred N. Cooper, Jr, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of WNC and President and Registered Principal of WNC Capital Corporation Mr. Cooper directs WNC’s overall business operations and strategy. Prior to joining WNC in 1988, Mr. Cooper worked in government and legislative affairs in the Washington D.C. office of a multinational corporation. He is a national trustee of the National Association of Home Builders’s Political Action Committee and the National Housing Conference. He is a member of the board of directors of the National Leased Housing Association and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Tax Credit Advisor. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute and Vistage International, a global network of business owners and CEOs. Mr. Cooper earned a bachelor of arts from the School of International Service of the American University.
Michael J. Gaber
Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President
Michael Gaber, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mr. Gaber oversees WNC’s asset management, fund management and syndication groups. Prior to joining WNC in 1997, he was involved in the valuation of major assets and restructuring debt with a large financial institution. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition and the Board of Directors for the California Housing Consortium and the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association. Mr. Gaber earned a bachelor of science in business administration with an emphasis in finance from California State University, Fullerton.
David N. Shafer
Executive Vice President
David Shafer, Esq., Executive Vice President with WNC and Registered Principal with WNC Capital Corporation Mr. Shafer oversees WNC’s corporate and partnership legal affairs. Prior to joining WNC in 1990, he practiced real estate and tax law. Mr. Shafer currently is a director of the California Council of Affordable Housing, the Council of Affordable and Rural Housing and a member of the State Bar of California. Mr. Shafer earned a bachelor of arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara before graduating cum laude from the New England School of Law and later achieving a master of laws at the University of San Diego.
Anand Kannan
President - Community Preservation Partners
Anand Kannan, CPA, President of Community Preservation Partners (CPP) As president of CPP, WNC’s subsidiary that specializes in affordable housing preservation and development, Mr. Kannan oversees the acquisition and rehabilitation of existing affordable housing properties by WNC and its joint venture partners. Prior to joining WNC in 2008, he served as an associate director with a regional property developer where he developed or consulted on more than 90 affordable rental properties. Mr. Kannan received the Young Leader Award from Affordable Housing Finance in 2016. He currently is a member of Vistage International and a director for CARH. He earned a bachelor of arts in economics with an emphasis in accounting from the University of California, Berkeley.
Melanie Wenk
Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
Melanie Wenk, CPA, Senior Vice President of Accounting and Finance & Chief Financial Officer Ms. Wenk oversees WNC’s accounting and portfolio dispositions groups. Prior to joining WNC in 2003, she was employed by a national accounting firm. Ms. Wenk serves on US Bank’s Orange County Advisory Board. She earned a bachelor of science in accounting from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona.
Darrick Metz
Senior Vice President - Originations
Darrick Metz, Senior Vice President of Originations Mr. Metz leads WNC’s tax credit property originations team in the Midwest and central states. Prior to joining WNC in 1999, he worked for a regional tax credit developer and for the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency as a Senior Housing Development Officer with responsibility for the allocation of Tax Credits and HOME funds. Mr. Metz  currently is a member of the Qualified Allocation Plan Tax Credit Advisory Committee for the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, the Minnesota Housing Multifamily Technical Advisory and the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association. He earned a bachelor of science in finance and economics from St. Cloud University.
Gregory S. Hand
Senior Vice President - Underwriting
Gregory Hand, Senior Vice President of Underwriting Mr. Hand oversees WNC’s underwriting group. Prior to joining WNC in 1998, he served as a portfolio manager with a national tax credit sponsor, a finance manager with a full-service real estate operating company and a financial analyst with a real estate development company. Mr. Hand currently sits on the advisory committee for the National Council of Housing Market Analysts and is a member of the Housing Credit Group of the National Association of Home Builders. He earned his bachelor of science in business administration and finance from Iowa State University.
Christine Cormier
Senior Vice President - Investor Relations
Christine Cormier, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations & Registered Representative of WNC Capital Corporation Ms. Cormier oversees WNC’s institutional investor relations and multi-investor fund closings. Prior to joining WNC in 2008, she served as a managing director for a national tax credit syndicator. She graduated summa cum laude from Bentley University with a bachelor of science in accounting and computer science.
Anil Advani
Senior Vice President - Syndications
Anil Advani, Esq., Senior Vice President of Syndications Mr. Advani oversees WNC’s private label fund relationships and manages investor due diligence for WNC’s institutional funds. Prior to joining WNC in 2011, he worked for a tax credit syndicator and two national accounting firms with a specialization in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) industry. Mr. Advani earned a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of Texas at Austin and a juris doctor from American University.
J. Brad Hurlbut
Vice President - Fund Management
Brad Hurlbut, Vice President of Fund Management Mr. Hurlbut oversees WNC’s Fund Management Group. Prior to joining WNC in 2012, he served as controller and chief financial officer of a national hospitality corporation. Mr. Hurlbut also is an enrolled agent tax advisor. He earned a bachelor of science in business management from the University of Redlands and a master of science in taxation from California State University, Fullerton.
Kent Mehring
Vice President - Asset Management
Kent Mehring, Vice President of Asset Management Mr. Mehring oversees WNC’s tax credit asset management group. Prior to joining WNC in 2013, he served as an investment advisor for a pension fund, a principal for a national tax credit investment company and a director for a low income housing tax credit management company. He currently is a National Association of Home Builders member and a housing credit certified professional. Mr. Mehring majored in business management at Northeastern University.
Grace Duong
Human Resources Manager
Grace Duong, Human Resources Manager Ms. Duong oversees all aspects of WNC’s human resource activities. Prior to joining WNC in 2011, she directed HR initiatives in established organizations and entrepreneurial ventures. Ms. Duong currently is a member of Society for Human Resources Management and Professionals in Human Resources Association. She earned a bachelor of science in business administration from the University of California, Riverside before attending Pepperdine University where she received a  master of business administration and a certificate in dispute resolution.
Steven Huang
Chief Information Officer
Steven Huang, Chief Information Officer Mr. Huang oversees the company’s information technology team. Prior to joining WNC in 2012, he directed the IT team for a full-service commercial real estate brokerage company with operations throughout the United States. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Electrical Engineering from Brigham Young University.
Wilfred N. Cooper, Sr.
Founder & Chairman of the Board
Wilfred N. Cooper Sr, Founder, Chairman of the Board and Director Mr. Cooper founded WNC to specialize in development and syndication of affordable rental housing properties. Mr. Cooper, who has testified before Congress regarding low-income housing tax credits, is a life director of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a national trustee of NAHB’s Political Action Committee. He  also is a life trustee of the National Housing Conference and a cofounder and director emeritus of the California Housing Consortium. Additionally, Mr. Cooper has been inducted into the Hall of Fame at the California Homebuilding Foundation (CHF). Mr. Cooper is the recipient of the CHF Lifetime Achievement Award, the NAHB Robert J. Corletta Award and the David Reznick Lifetime Achievement Award for his achievements in the industry. Mr. Cooper earned a bachelor of arts from Pomona College.
Wilfred N. Cooper, Jr.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Wilfred N. Cooper, Jr, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of WNC and President and Registered Principal of WNC Capital Corporation Mr. Cooper directs WNC’s overall business operations and strategy. Prior to joining WNC in 1988, Mr. Cooper worked in government and legislative affairs in the Washington D.C. office of a multinational corporation. He is a national trustee of the National Association of Home Builders’s Political Action Committee and the National Housing Conference. He is a member of the board of directors of the National Leased Housing Association and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Tax Credit Advisor. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute and Vistage International, a global network of business owners and CEOs. Mr. Cooper earned a bachelor of arts from the School of International Service of the American University.
Michael J. Gaber
Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President
Michael Gaber, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mr. Gaber oversees WNC’s asset management, fund management and syndication groups. Prior to joining WNC in 1997, he was involved in the valuation of major assets and restructuring debt with a large financial institution. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition and the Board of Directors for the California Housing Consortium and the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association. Mr. Gaber earned a bachelor of science in business administration with an emphasis in finance from California State University, Fullerton.
David N. Shafer
Executive Vice President
David Shafer, Esq., Executive Vice President with WNC and Registered Principal with WNC Capital Corporation Mr. Shafer oversees WNC’s corporate and partnership legal affairs. Prior to joining WNC in 1990, he practiced real estate and tax law. Mr. Shafer currently is a director of the California Council of Affordable Housing, the Council of Affordable and Rural Housing and a member of the State Bar of California. Mr. Shafer earned a bachelor of arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara before graduating cum laude from the New England School of Law and later achieving a master of laws at the University of San Diego.
Melanie Wenk
Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
Melanie Wenk, CPA, Senior Vice President of Accounting and Finance & Chief Financial Officer Ms. Wenk oversees WNC’s accounting and portfolio dispositions groups. Prior to joining WNC in 2003, she was employed by a national accounting firm. Ms. Wenk serves on US Bank’s Orange County Advisory Board. She earned a bachelor of science in accounting from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona.
Anand Kannan
President - Community Preservation Partners
Anand Kannan, CPA, President of Community Preservation Partners (CPP) As president of CPP, WNC’s subsidiary that specializes in affordable housing preservation and development, Mr. Kannan oversees the acquisition and rehabilitation of existing affordable housing properties by WNC and its joint venture partners. Prior to joining WNC in 2008, he served as an associate director with a regional property developer where he developed or consulted on more than 90 affordable rental properties. Mr. Kannan received the Young Leader Award from Affordable Housing Finance in 2016. He currently is a member of Vistage International and a director for CARH. He earned a bachelor of arts in economics with an emphasis in accounting from the University of California, Berkeley.
Darrick Metz
Senior Vice President - Originations
Darrick Metz, Senior Vice President of Originations Mr. Metz leads WNC’s tax credit property originations team in the Midwest and central states. Prior to joining WNC in 1999, he worked for a regional tax credit developer and for the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency as a Senior Housing Development Officer with responsibility for the allocation of Tax Credits and HOME funds. Mr. Metz  currently is a member of the Qualified Allocation Plan Tax Credit Advisory Committee for the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, the Minnesota Housing Multifamily Technical Advisory and the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association. He earned a bachelor of science in finance and economics from St. Cloud University.
Gregory S. Hand
Senior Vice President - Underwriting
Gregory Hand, Senior Vice President of Underwriting Mr. Hand oversees WNC’s underwriting group. Prior to joining WNC in 1998, he served as a portfolio manager with a national tax credit sponsor, a finance manager with a full-service real estate operating company and a financial analyst with a real estate development company. Mr. Hand currently sits on the advisory committee for the National Council of Housing Market Analysts and is a member of the Housing Credit Group of the National Association of Home Builders. He earned his bachelor of science in business administration and finance from Iowa State University.
Christine Cormier
Senior Vice President - Investor Relations
Christine Cormier, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations & Registered Representative of WNC Capital Corporation Ms. Cormier oversees WNC’s institutional investor relations and multi-investor fund closings. Prior to joining WNC in 2008, she served as a managing director for a national tax credit syndicator. She graduated summa cum laude from Bentley University with a bachelor of science in accounting and computer science.
Anil Advani
Senior Vice President - Syndications
Anil Advani, Esq., Senior Vice President of Syndications Mr. Advani oversees WNC’s private label fund relationships and manages investor due diligence for WNC’s institutional funds. Prior to joining WNC in 2011, he worked for a tax credit syndicator and two national accounting firms with a specialization in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) industry. Mr. Advani earned a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of Texas at Austin and a juris doctor from American University.
J. Brad Hurlbut
Vice President - Fund Management
Brad Hurlbut, Vice President of Fund Management Mr. Hurlbut oversees WNC’s Fund Management Group. Prior to joining WNC in 2012, he served as controller and chief financial officer of a national hospitality corporation. Mr. Hurlbut also is an enrolled agent tax advisor. He earned a bachelor of science in business management from the University of Redlands and a master of science in taxation from California State University, Fullerton.
Kent Mehring
Vice President - Asset Management
Kent Mehring, Vice President of Asset Management Mr. Mehring oversees WNC’s tax credit asset management group. Prior to joining WNC in 2013, he served as an investment advisor for a pension fund, a principal for a national tax credit investment company and a director for a low income housing tax credit management company. He currently is a National Association of Home Builders member and a housing credit certified professional. Mr. Mehring majored in business management at Northeastern University.
Steven Huang
Chief Information Officer
Steven Huang, Chief Information Officer Mr. Huang oversees the company’s information technology team. Prior to joining WNC in 2012, he directed the IT team for a full-service commercial real estate brokerage company with operations throughout the United States. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Electrical Engineering from Brigham Young University.
Grace Duong
Human Resources Manager
Grace Duong, Human Resources Manager Ms. Duong oversees all aspects of WNC’s human resource activities. Prior to joining WNC in 2011, she directed HR initiatives in established organizations and entrepreneurial ventures. Ms. Duong currently is a member of Society for Human Resources Management and Professionals in Human Resources Association. She earned a bachelor of science in business administration from the University of California, Riverside before attending Pepperdine University where she received a  master of business administration and a certificate in dispute resolution.
Jim Ashby
Advisory Board Member
Jim Ashby has more than 25 years of experience as a successful entrepreneur and business leader in the healthcare, construction and technology industries. He currently serves as President and CEO of CareMeridian, a $46 million provider of healthcare services with 16 facilities throughout the southwest. Prior to CareMeridian, Mr. Ashby served as Chief Operations Officer of a $100 million national information technology services company and as President, CEO and co-owner of South Coast Rehabilitation Services, where he oversaw the growth of this small regional company with less than $1 million in annual revenue to a nationally recognized company with $100 million in annual revenue. He has served on various philanthropic boards. Jim holds a master’s degree in business administration from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree in biology and Spanish from the University of Redlands, where he graduated a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Howard Heitner
Advisory Board Member
Howard Heitner has over 35 years of experience in finance, law and affordable housing. He has formerly served at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C.; as JRK Residential America President and investment committee member; COO of SunAmerica Affordable Housing Partners and partner at O’Melveny & Myers LLP. He has also served as Chairman of the Board of the Los Angeles Conservancy and is a member of the Hollywood Community Housing Board, Shelter Partnership Board, Menorah Housing Foundation Board, Curtis School Board and Adobe Community Board’s finance committee. Mr. Heitner graduated from Bucknell University with a bachelor’s degree and MBA and from the University of Chicago with a juris doctorate.
Denise Kiley
Advisory Board Member
Denise Kiley has more than 30 years of real estate experience, including 20 years in the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) industry. She currently serves as a consultant in the real estate and finance industries. She formerly served as Managing Trustee and Chief Credit Officer of one of the nation’s largest tax credit syndication firms. Ms. Kiley also served as Director of Asset Management and Underwriting, responsible for overseeing the due diligence and asset management of a portfolio that totaled over $24 billion; and as Chief Operating Officer for a subsidiary company. Denise is a Member of the Advisory Committee for the Joint Center for Housing at Harvard University. Ms. Kiley earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting from The Carroll School of Management at Boston College.
Michael Novogradac
Advisory Board Member
Michael Novogradac has more than 25 years of experience specializing in affordable housing, community development and renewable energy. He is currently the managing partner in the San Francisco office of Novogradac & Company LLP. Mr. Novogradac’s focus is in real estate taxation and accounting. He is the author of numerous real estate-related tax and accounting articles and books, including the New Markets Tax Credit Handbook and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Handbook. A frequent speaker at tax credit conferences and forums throughout the country, Mr. Novogradac is very active in advocating for the inclusion of affordable housing, historic, new markets and renewable energy tax credits in federal and state policy and broadcasts a weekly podcast that focuses on tax credit issues. In addition, he serves as advisor on industry and governmental affairs for the NMTC Working Group and the LIHTC Working Group. Mr. Novogradac also serves on the executive committee of the Housing Advisory Group and the boards of directors of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, the National Housing Conference, the NMTC Coalition and Historic Tax Credit Coalition. Mr. Novogradac graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He received an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. He is licensed in California, Oregon, Maryland and Texas as a certified public accountant.
Dan Garrett
Vice President - Central Region
Dan Garrett, Vice President of Originations Mr. Garrett is responsible for WNC’s origination efforts in the Midwest, along with Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. Prior to joining WNC, he worked for a tax credit syndication company and founded a development company. Mr. Garrett earned a bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College and a master of public administration from Drake University.
Darrick Metz
Senior Vice President - Originations
Darrick Metz, Senior Vice President of Originations Mr. Metz leads WNC’s tax credit property originations team in the Midwest and central states. Prior to joining WNC in 1999, he worked for a regional tax credit developer and for the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency as a Senior Housing Development Officer with responsibility for the allocation of Tax Credits and HOME funds. Mr. Metz  currently is a member of the Qualified Allocation Plan Tax Credit Advisory Committee for the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, the Minnesota Housing Multifamily Technical Advisory and the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association. He earned a bachelor of science in finance and economics from St. Cloud University.
Jessica Cometa
Relationship Manager - Western Region
Jessica Cometa, Relationship Manager Ms. Cometa oversees WNC’s origination efforts in the Western United States. Prior to joining WNC, she worked for a community lending banker and an affordable housing development company. Ms. Cometa earned a bachelor of science in business administration with a concentration in finance from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Kelly Henderson
Senior Vice President - Eastern Region
Kelly Henderson, Senior Vice President of Originations Ms. Henderson oversees WNC’s origination efforts in the Northeast. Prior to joining WNC in 2006, she served as the vice president of acquisitions and senior counsel for a national tax credit syndicator. Ms. Henderson, a licensed attorney, earned a bachelor of science from State University of New York at Geneseo and a juris doctor from the New England School.
Michael Byrd
Vice President - Midwest Region
Michael Byrd, Director of Originations Mr. Byrd oversees WNC’s origination efforts throughout the central United States. Prior to Joining WNC in 2007, he worked for national nonprofit and for-profit developers. Mr. Byrd earned a bachelor of science in architecture from the University of Michigan and a master of architecture from the University of Minnesota.