WNC & Associates and Community Preservation Partners Announce New Leadership Promotions
The family-owned business will retain Will Cooper, Jr. as Chairman of the Board and CEO of WNC, PEFA and the Cooper Housing Institute
WNC & Associates today announced several promotions within its companies’ leadership teams effective September 1, 2023, including the naming of current CPP President Anand Kannan as President of WNC, and current Executive Vice President of Business Operations Melanie Wenk, CPA, as Chief Operating Officer. In his new role, Kannan will be primarily responsible for overseeing LIHTC Syndications, with LIHTC Originations, Investor Relations and Underwriting reporting to him. Wenk will oversee WNC’s accounting, asset management, fund management and portfolio dispositions groups. Will Cooper, Jr. will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board and CEO of WNC, Preservation Equity Fund Advisors (PEFA), and the Cooper Housing Institute.
“As a family-owned business, it has long been our vision to engage industry experts to lead the companies’ operations and strategies while continuing to maintain family ownership,” said WNC CEO, Will Cooper, Jr. “These promotions are actionable steps in achieving that goal and positioning WNC and CPP for continued and sustainable growth.”
As President of Community Preservation Partners (CPP) (a subsidiary of WNC and one of the nation’s most active affordable housing preservation developers), overseeing the acquisition and rehabilitation of existing affordable housing properties, Kannan has led the team that is responsible for the preservation and rehabilitation of over 13,000 units and over $3B in total development costs. He is a former member of Vistage International and a current member of the Urban Land Institute’s Affordable/Workforce Housing Council. He received the Young Leader Award from Affordable Housing Finance in 2016 and has been with the company for 13 years.
“I am honored to assume this new role,” said Kannan. “We have extremely talented teams at both WNC and CPP who are well-positioned to grow the company into the future and be at the forefront of affordable housing syndication and preservation. WNC and its subsidiaries are committed to continuing to provide excellent services with the singular goal of supporting affordable housing across the United States. Continuing to embrace the concept of true partnership at the syndication and development level will remain our core philosophy going forward.”
Wenk currently serves as Executive Vice President of Business Operations and has played a key role in WNC’s growth overseeing asset management, portfolio dispositions and finance. She has been with WNC for 20 years and was previously employed by a national accounting firm where her emphasis was on affordable housing. She serves on US Bank’s Orange County Advisory Board holds a B.S. in accounting from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona.
“I am excited to step into the role of Chief Operating Officer,” said Wenk. “I’m looking forward to building on WNC’s recent successes and to position the firm for continued growth and, most importantly, continue our success investing in and preserving much needed affordable housing nationwide.”
Other key promotions at WNC and CPP include:
Edward Campbell, Esq. – Promoted to General Counsel of WNC from his current position of Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs, Campbell has more than 16 years of experience in the affordable housing industry representing lenders, investors, developers, and government agencies. Prior to joining WNC in 2021, he was an affordable housing and real estate Partner at an AM Law 100 firm, and previously served as in-house counsel for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Christina Pham – Promoted to Senior Vice President of Dispositions and Fund Management from her current position of Vice President of Portfolio Dispositions, Pham is currently responsible for the oversight of WNC’s property dispositions group. She has been with WNC since 2004, and prior to that served as WNC’s Investor Services Manager providing financial analysis for WNC’s portfolio management group. She serves as Chair for the University of California, Irvine Alumni Advisory Committee, which provides leadership training and mentorship to its members.
Lindsey Duong – Promoted to Director of Dispositions from her current position of Senior Project Manager of Dispositions. She has been with WNC for 12 years and played a key role in the disposition of LIHTC assets in the WNC portfolio that have reached or exceeded the 15-year compliance period.
Seth Gellis – Promoted to President of CPP from his current position of Senior Vice President of CPP East, Gellis provides strategic direction and oversight for CPP’s operations and expansion efforts on the East Coast, focusing on the preservation of aging affordable housing properties. In his new role he will oversee the day-to-day operations of CPP, including CPP Asset Management, Acquisitions, and Project Management. Over the past 11 years, Gellis has taken on some of the most complicated transactions in CPP’s history, always reflecting the innovative financing, creativity, and positive impact that CPP strives for with each of its communities. Gellis joined CPP in 2012 and has almost 20 years of experience in the real estate industry.
John Fraser – Promoted to Vice President of CPP East from his current position as Director, Fraser has almost 25 years in the industry and joined CPP in 2018 as a Senior Development Manager. He holds an M.A. in Regional Economic and Social Development, and a B.A. in Political Science and History, from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Fraser will continue to work from the CPP office in Reston, VA.