Board of Directors
Meet our board of directors at Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust.
John Sweet, ChairmanEmail
John Sweet has forty years of investment banking and corporate finance experience. Mr. Sweet is the co-founder and Chief Investment Officer at Physicians Realty Trust (NYSE:DOC), a self-managed healthcare real estate investment trust. Prior to founding Physicians Realty Trust in 2013, Mr. Sweet was a Managing Director for the privately owned, full-service, specialty investment firm, Ziegler. While at Ziegler, Mr. Sweet assisted in the financing and then management of a medical office building investment fund which became the initial core portfolio for Physicians Realty Trust. In 2002, Mr. Sweet also co-founded Windrose Medical Properties Trust, a publicly traded medical office REIT that was sold to Healthcare REIT (NASDAQ:HCN) in 2006.
John has been involved at a senior financial level in publicly traded and private companies, family offices and investment banking firm over the course of his career. He has also served on the boards of philanthropic and charitable organizations and was in the Army from 1968-1970.
Mr. Sweet received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from St. John Fisher College and an MBA. from Rochester Institute of Technology.
Sean F. Armstrong, DirectorEmail
Mr. Sean F. Armstrong, CFA serves as Principal & Portfolio Manager of Westport Capital Partners LLC. Mr. Armstrong has over 24 years of real estate investment experience across the spectrum of property types, including retail shopping centers. He has had direct experience in the asset management for both transitional and stabilized properties, including new development. Prior to joining Westport in 2006, Mr. Armstrong was a Managing Director at Oaktree Capital Management and one of the real estate group’s senior professionals. Mr. Armstrong was formerly a director of Lodgian, Inc., a Delaware corporation listed on the American Stock Exchange. Mr. Armstrong graduated with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering magna cum laude from the University of Southern California, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to earn an M.B.A. in Finance magna cum laude, also from the University of Southern California. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Stewart J. Brown, DirectorEmail
Stewart J. Brown joined the Board of Directors in August 2015. He serves on Wheeler’s Board of Directors’ Compensation and Investment Committees, as well as, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee where he is Chair.
Mr. Brown has over 45 years of financial and organizational management experience in executive management positions within the real estate, banking, and finance industries. Presently, Mr. Brown is a Principal with Dunkirk Partners, where he performs management consulting and executive coaching services. In addition, Stewart serves as Chairman of the Credit/Risk Committee for Community and Southern Bank and is a member of the board’s Joint Audit Committee. Mr. Brown has also served as the past Chairman of the Board of Lodgian, Inc. of Atlanta and Opportunity Bank of Dallas.
Mr. Brown served for over 32 years as an officer in the US Army in a variety of assignments. Stewart received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics from UC Santa Barbara and has an MBA from NYU’s Leonard N. Stern’s School of Business.
Andrew R. Jones, DirectorEmail
Mr. Andrew R. Jones, CFA, is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of North Star Partners, LP. Since its founding in January 1996, North Star has been an alternative investment program that is dedicated to value investing and focuses on the small-cap sector of the U.S. equity markets. Prior to the formation of the Partnership, Mr. Jones was a Managing Director at Tweedy, Browne Company, LP. Mr. Jones is a former director of Certus Bank, NA, Cornell Companies, Inc. and Chem Rx Corporation. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and is a member of the New York Society of Securities Analysts. Mr. Jones received a BS in Finance from Ithaca College and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.
David Kelly, CEO & DirectorEmail
Mr. Kelly has over twenty eight years of experience in the real estate industry and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and President for Wheeler REIT. Prior to joining Wheeler in 2013, Mr. Kelly was the principal of Kelly Development, LLC. Kelly Development specialized in the acquisition and management of retail properties primarily in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions. Mr. Kelly served as Director of Real Estate for Supervalu, Inc., a Fortune 100 supermarket retailer, for over 13 years focusing on site selection, acquisition and disposition from New England to the Carolinas. Over the course of his long career, he has completed transactions totaling over one billion dollars. Mr. Kelly also serves on the board of the Norfolk, Virginia SPCA and has a Bachelor of Science in Finance degree from Bentley College, now Bentley University.
Mr. Kelly was selected as a director because of his years of experience in the real estate industry, as well as, his experience in real estate management at a publicly traded company.
John McAuliffe, DirectorEmail
John McAuliffe has been in the financial industry since 1979; he was a top producer at H.J. Meyers and managed a 50 man Chicago branch for 4 years from 1988 to 1992. He then ran Institutional Sales and was an Investment Banker with Meyers from 1992 -2002. McAuliffe and Meyers focus was the technology sector and Biotechnology and they underwrote many successful companies.. From 2002 – 2005 he ran his own consulting firm advising small and medium public companies. He then joined Newbridge Securities in late 2005. John was the Managing Director at Newbridge Securities and in March of 2010 was the lead banker for the largest secondary offering in Newbridge’s history, a 34mm financing for Tri-tech, Holdings.
John joined Newbridge Securities Corp in 2005, as Managing Director in Investment Banking department. During this time he was the lead banker and funder for Nexcera Medical a private company that was developing a reusable, anti viral, facial mask. The company raised mm from 2008 -2010 solely through Newbridge and McAuliffe over two years and in February of 2010 Nexcera received an FDA- 510k approval. He also was the banker and finder for Chemrx Corp. a private pharmacy which was bought by Paramount Acquisition Corp. a SPAC for 0mm in debt and equity in 2008, . Then in 2010,McAuliffe as mentioned previously, served as the lead banker in March for Tri-tech holding (TRIT)a secondary was done by Newbridge and Brean Murray which raised mm.. McAuliffe left Newbridge in March of 2010 to spend time with his family.. After a two year hiatus McAuliffe returned to Newbridge as Managing Director of Investment Banking. During this time Newbridge partner with Leerink Swann on OvaScience whose stock price has increased from - today and many other successful Biotechnology companies. In September of 2013 Newbridge served as the lead in Wheeler Investment Trust and has been instrumental in raising over 0 million to date. McAuliffe resigned as Managing Director of Newbridge in March 2015 but he still remains a lead banker focusing on China and Technology.
McAuliffe was also the lead banker for Able Labs, M-Systems, U.S.Teleconstructors, MRV Communications and Videospection a small public company whose modem was acquired by U. S. Robotics and then subsequently PALM while at H.J. Meyers in the 1990’s. He was also head of Institutional Sales and had broad range of Hedge Funds, PM’s and Mutual Fund clients in the U.S. and in Europe. It is also noteworthy that from 1990 until 1998 Meyers did over billion in financings primarily for Technology and Biotechnology companies whose road shows were lead by McAuliffe.
With more than 30 years of experience in the financial industry, John has been involved in all aspects of the capital formation process including IPOs, follow-ons, restructurings, private financings, management consulting, and strategic development particularly for small businesses. As an institutional sales manager and branch manager at H.J. Meyers for more than ten years, John was also a top salesman for much of this period, giving him a very strong background in sales and the capital market. Since 1990, he has been an investment banker, and has participated in excess of 200 financings in his career.
John earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York at Brockport.
Carl McGowan, DirectorEmail
Carl B. McGowan, Jr., PhD, CFA, is a member of the Company’s Board of Directors and the Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. Dr. McGowan brings over 30 years of extensive financial experience to the Board. Presently serving as the Faculty Distinguished Professor of Finance at Norfolk State University, Dr. McGowan has a BA in International Relations (Syracuse), an MBA in Finance (Eastern Michigan), and a PhD in Business Administration (Michigan State). Dr. McGowan has conducted extensive research in the areas of corporate finance and international finance, with specific studies relating to real estate operations. In addition to over 150 conference presentations, Dr. McGowan has published 68 articles in numerous peer-reviewed journals including: The Journal of Real Estate Research, The American Journal of Business Education, Applied Financial Economics, Decision Science, Financial Practice and Education, The Financial Review, International Business and Economics Research Journal, The International Review of Financial Analysis, The Journal of Applied Business Research, The Journal of Business Case Studies, The Journal of Diversity Management, Managerial Finance, Managing Global Transitions, The Southwestern Economic Review, and Urban Studies.
Jeffrey M. Zwerdling, DirectorEmail
Jeffrey M. Zwerdling, Esquire, is founder and managing partner of the law firm of Zwerdling, Oppleman & Adams which was formed in 1972 in Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Zwerdling’s areas of concentration include corporate law, commercial and residential real estate, personal estate planning, and general litigation. From 1999-2012 he served as President and Director of The Corporate Centre, a 225,000 square foot office park complex located in Richmond, Virginia. In May of 2013, Mr. Zwerdling was appointed to the Board of Directors of Capitol Securities Management Inc. CSM is a FINRA registered broker dealer whose assets exceed billion. Mr. Zwerdling was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army in 1967, served in the Army Reserve and Virginia National Guard, and received his honorable discharge after obtaining the rank of Captain in 1981. Mr. Zwerdling holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and received a Juris Doctor Degree from the College of William and Mary School of Law. He was an organizational investor in Southern Community Bank & Trust, now Village Bank. In 1998, Mr. Zwerdling was elected to the Board of Directors of Supertel Hospitality, Inc., a public company which trades on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. Supertel is a real estate investment trust (REIT) which is a focused-service segment of the lodging industry. During his tenure at Supertel, Mr. Zwerdling served on various committees, including the Acquisitions and Dispositions Committee, and was a member and former chairman of the Audit Committee. In November 2012, Mr. Zwerdling was asked to serve as a Board Observer of Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc., a public company which trades on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. Wheeler specializes in acquiring and re-invigorating well-located, potentially dominant retail properties that generate attractive risk-adjusted returns. Mr. Zwerdling anticipates that he will be asked to serve on the Board of Directors in the summer of 2013. He is a Master Mason of Fraternal Lodge No. 53, belongs to the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, and is a Noble of the Acca Temple Shrine of Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Zwerdling enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, reading and playing golf.