Our Team

Our Team

Senior Management

Ted Handel

Ted M. Handel

Chief Executive Officer

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As Chief Executive Officer of Decro Corporation and its affiliated entities, Mr. Handel is responsible for the strategic direction and overall management of the company, pursuit of new housing opportunities, and oversight of a portfolio with 28 developments and over 1,500 housing units in California and Florida.

Prior to joining Decro, Mr. Handel had more than 25 years of experience in developing, financing, syndicating, operating, constructing and managing affordable housing developments. Mr. Handel represented nonprofits and National Equity Fund (NEF) as counsel in affordable housing transactions, formed California nonprofit public benefit corporations, and advised nonprofit Board of Directors on legal compliance issues. At NEF, he closed 57 development deals representing a gross equity investment by this low-income housing tax credit syndicator of $315 million.

Mr. Handel is President of The Carter House, Inc., a nonprofit organization that operates a HUD Section 811 housing development in South Los Angeles, and serves on the Board of the Hockey Equipment Lending Program, Inc., a nonprofit that supports disadvantaged youth playing that sport. He is the former Chair of Los Angeles Lawyer, a Los Angeles County Bar Association publication, and has been published in that magazine and the Los Angeles Business Journal. Mr. Handel has been a speaker at the National Association of Housing and Rehabilitation Officers Summer Conference and conferences of Housing California and the Southern California Association of NonProfit Housing. He is admitted to practice law in California and received a Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School (Los Angeles) and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Southern California.

Board of Directors

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James P. Shaner

President and Co-Founder

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As President and Co-Founder of The Decro Group, Mr. Shaner has more than 30 years experience in developing affordable housing and has been recognized nationally for his work.

Prior to Decro, Mr. Shaner served as President of Wycliffe Associates where he oversaw the development of more than 300 senior apartments in Southern California. He was Director of Operations and Vice President of Development and Acquisitions at Retirement Housing Foundation, a national nonprofit developer, where he was responsible for the acquisition, financing, and construction of over 90 major retirement facilities and more than 14,000 units of low to moderate income housing throughout the United States.

Mr. Shaner was a founding member of the National Affordable Housing Trust. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Minnesota and the University of California, Davis. He received a Master of Science from Minnesota State University, Mankato and a Bachelor of Arts from Macalester College. He is also a licensed nursing home administrator.

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Tim Wetzel | Vice President

Executive Director
Brookdale Broadway CityView

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Mr. Wetzel is a long-term health care administration executive with more than 25 years experience. He specializes in strategic planning, turnarounds, financing, marketing and operating continuing care retirement communities. He currently serves as Executive Director of Brookdale Broadway CityView, a continuing care retirement community located on 26 acres in Fort Worth, Texas with 212 independent living apartments, 40 assisted living apartments and 122 skilled nursing beds, providing health care services to over 1,200 seniors annually.  Prior to being a long-term health administrator, Mr. Wetzel worked for Deloitte and Touche, performing technical assurance audits for a variety of companies in various industries throughout the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Wetzel holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Heidelberg College, a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University and a Master of Science in Information Systems Management from Seattle Pacific University. He has served on the Decro Board of Directors for 25 years.

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Alexander Nweeia

Secretary/Treasurer

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Mr. Nweeia is a part-time financial advisor with GBS Financial Corporation and has been a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney for more than 30 years. He served as Treasurer and Vice President of Finance for Under Sea Industries/SCUBAPRO, a leisure time division of Johnson Worldwide Associates.

Mr. Nweeia has a Master in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science from Babson College. He enjoys reading, hiking, fishing, traveling and volunteering.

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Warren Avery | Director

Editor/Publisher
IT Weekly Newsletter

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Mr. Avery is an information technology professional with over 40 years experience in server, disk and tape. For the past 15 years, Mr. Avery has been editor and publisher of the IT Weekly newsletter, the only curated newsletter aimed at Information Technology. Mr. Avery holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from West Coast University.

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Jil Blumberg Froman | Director

Marketing Specialist
JBF, Inc.

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Ms. Blumberg Froman has more than 30 years marketing experience in the real estate industry in corporate, agency and entrepreneurial environments.  She currently serves as a long-term marketing consultant, handling corporate marketing, for a fully-integrated real estate firm that delivers affordable and market rate developments across California, and directing the marketing and sales efforts for a privately-held homebuilder with a focus on building small lot developments in the Los Angeles area. Ms. Blumberg Froman holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Sociology from University of California, Los Angeles and is a member of the Los Angeles/Ventura Chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California.

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Paul Pieroth | Director

Chief Estimator
Walton Construction Services

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Mr. Pieroth has more than 18 years experience in general contracting, residential and commercial development and serves as chief estimator for Walton Construction Services, a family-owned general contracting company, where he is responsible for providing quantity take-off work, preparing cost estimates and job proposals for multifamily developments ranging in size from 25-310 units. Mr. Pieroth is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton and is OSHA certified.

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Christian von Merkatz | Director

Vice President
Wells Fargo

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With more than 15 years experience in real estate development, commercial real estate finance, affordable housing, redevelopment and real estate economics, Mr. von Merkatz is vice president for Wells Fargo’s Community Lending and Investment Group, and responsible for the marketing and origination of construction and permanent financing for multifamily properties with a focus on affordable housing projects. He is experienced at structuring transactions using Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Section 8 and market rate financing. Mr. von Merkatz holds a Master of Science in Real Estate and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from University of California, San Diego.