Housing with a Heart

Our experience in senior affordable housing for over 40 years.

The EHDOC Board of Directors

Christopher M. Shelton Chairman of the Board

Christopher M. Shelton was appointed Vice President of CWA District 1 in 2005 and re-elected in 2011. He served two terms on the CWA Staff Union Executive Board, served on the Board of Governors of the United Way of Tri-State, and currently serves on the Regional Operating Committee of the United Way. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Employee Growth; is Vice President of the New York State AFL-CIO and serves on the Executive Council of the New York State AFL-CIO.

Melanie Ribeiro President & CEO

Ms. Ribeiro joined EHDOC in 2014 as an Administrator at EHDOC’s headquarters. As of September 1, 2020, Mr. Steve Protulis named Ms. Ribeiro as his successor as President and CEO. Her vision for the organization’s future will be directed from the foundation of her expertise in commercial development and small business financing gained over 18 years in management, operations, team leadership and consulting roles.


Prior to joining EHDOC, Ms. Ribeiro served as Consultant to Leland Capital Advisors, LLC where she initiated business growth through new business development, led marketing initiatives and managed client-funding portfolios while implementing operational improvements. Other employment included Managing Consultant for Melanie Mayo Consulting where she served as Project Manager for construction projects including all aspects of permitting, budgeting, contractor assignments, scheduling, and team production. Ms. Ribeiro previously spent over 10 years as a Senior Operations Manager for Navigant Consulting, Inc. where she managed multiple branch offices and worked in practice areas of finance, construction and healthcare with a primary focus in construction projects including renovations and relocations.


Ms. Ribeiro’s ability to quickly gain perspective on business processes and design solutions to meet business objectives will see EHDOC well into the future, as she upholds the company’s commitment to increasing the availability of safe and secure housing for the low-income seniors.


Steve Protulis President & CEO Emeritus

A national activist for elderly concerns, Steve heads the Elderly Housing Development and Operations Corporation (EHDOC) organization. He was formerly Assistant to the President of the AFL-CIO, and Executive Director of the National Council of Senior Citizens, one of the nation’s strongest voices for older Americans and families.

In 2001-2002, Steve served on the prestigious 14-member U.S. Commission on Affordable Housing and Health Facility Needs for Seniors in the 21st Century, a committee appointed by the U.S. Congress. Steve also serves on the NISH Committee of the National Council on the Aging and the Center for Policy Alternatives, is Past Chair of the American Association of Service Coordinators and is a member of the board of directors for the National Home Modifications Action Coalition. In addition, Steve is a member of the Low Income Housing Coalition, National Leading Age Policy Board and a Trustee with Florida Leading Age.

Steve came to the United States from Uruguay in 1961 to attend Wayne State University, but received his real education on the shop floor of a General Motors plant in Detroit, as a UAW Local 174 member. He was honored to serve in the United States Army from 1966-1968. By 1970, Steve was chairman of the largest GM cut-and-sew plant in the nation, with 6,000 members.

Other positions included: Deputy Field Director for Jimmy Carter’s Presidential Campaign; Administrative Assistant to UAW President Douglas Fraser; and Special Assistant to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney in Washington, DC; and former member of the editorial advisory board of Caring Magazine.

Steve presently resides in Coral Springs, Florida and is the proud father of three with six beautiful grandchildren.

Edward L. Romero Vice President

Former Ambassador of Spain, Edward was the founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Sciences, Inc., an environmental engineering and waste management corporation that merged with Commodore Applied Technologies, Inc. He has been a member of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Services Policy Advisory Committee and led a number of U.S. delegations to Mexico during the Carter administration. He served on the Federal Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and was a member of the U.S. delegations to the Helsinki Accords.

Leo W. Gerard Vice President

United Steelworkers International President. Leo was instrumental in the formation of the Industrial Union Council of the AFL-CIO, and in 2003, was appointed to serve on the AFL-CIO’s executive committee, as well as on its executive council. He was named Chair of the AFL-CIO’s Public Policy Committee in 2005. He serves on the U.S. National Commission on Energy Policy and is a founding board member of the Apollo Alliance, a non-profit public policy initiative for creating good jobs in pursuit of energy independence.

Maria C. Cordone Secretary

Director of Community Services and Retirees, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), Maria is the Current Vice Chairperson, Democratic National Committee Senior Coordinating Council. She has a 34 year history of social and political activism experience.

Erica Schmelzer Treasurer

Erica received her B.S. degree from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton while working for a certified public accountant in Hollywood FL. She has had extensive experience in the real estate field working as assistant controller for more than a decade at the corporate headquarters of Century 21 in south Florida. For twelve years, Erica oversaw financial operations for EHDOC’s 50 elderly housing communities across the country. Her dedication to Seniors and their needs makes her a valuable asset to our team.

Mary Anderson Director

Mary Anderson recently retired after a 38-year career with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development where she specialized in financing market rate and affordable multifamily housing. Her most recent position with HUD was as Director of Production for six Midwest states: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio. She supervised staff in Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis as they underwrote loan transactions. The Midwest office also assumed work from both the Southwest and Southeast Regions in the wake of 2017 hurricanes. In addition to the FHA insurance programs, Ms. Anderson worked with Section 202 and 811 borrowers over the years to develop their projects as well.

          Ms. Anderson is originally from Toledo, Ohio and attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she graduated with a degree in Sociology in 1973. She received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Roosevelt University in Chicago in 1978. Ms. Anderson is married to John Ahern who is an attorney who has specialized in affordable housing throughout his career. She has two grown children and three stepchildren.

Maxine Carter Director

Born in Florida, Maxine moved to Pittsburgh with her family at a very young age. She began her career with the Steelworkers as a secretary. Her skills and diligence were quickly recognized and she continually earned promotions to new positions and responsibilities. She worked for many years as the Assistant to the President of the United Steelworkers of America and head of the USWA’s Civil Rights Department.

Eric Dean Director

Eric Dean completed his apprenticeship in 1984 and became a journeyman ironworker in Local 63 (Chicago). As an accomplished ironworker, he worked for various contractors as a journeyman, foreman and project superintendent throughout the Chicago area. From 1989 until 1995, he served as an apprentice instructor and earned the status of certified welding inspector. He became very involved in his local union serving as conductor, trustee, vice president and business agent. Recognizing his leadership skills, General President Jake West appointed him general organizer for the International in 1999, assigning him to the Department of Ornamental, Architectural and Miscellaneous Metals (DOAMM). In 2005, he was elected as president of the Chicago and Vicinity District Council of Iron Workers. General President Joseph Hunt appointed Eric Dean as general vice president effective August 4, 2008. General President Walter Wise appointed Eric Dean as general secretary effective February 1, 2011. The general executive council unanimously elected Eric Dean as general president effective July 1, 2015.

Ellen Feingold Director

As President of Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly, Ellen has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally as a pioneer in making senior housing a place where low income residents can age in peace. During her tenure, she is credited with increasing the number of affordable senior housing apartments. She has expanding services to seniors that ranging from language translation assistance to activity programming to organizing cultural events. She has been recognized with CHAPA’s 25th Anniversary Achievement Award and the National Council on Aging’s Sidney Spector Award. Ellen has also numerous government and community service appointments, including appointments by Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Ford to the Massachusetts Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Tony Fransetta Director

A medaled veteran of the U.S. Navy. He worked for Ford Motors Company, Foundry and Engine Operations, Local 1250 until his retirement in 1990. During that time he represented 15,000 employees, where he negotiated contracts chaired joint Ford/U.A.W. programs. He was appointed a delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging, is President of the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans, and serves as a General Policy Board member of the National Alliance of Retired Americans.

Robert Martinez Director

Robert Martinez, Jr. is the 14th International President since the founding of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) in 1888.
Previous to his installment as International President, Martinez served as IAM Headquarters General Vice President (GVP) with responsibility for IAM Headquarters and the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center. The Headquarters GVP also has jurisdiction for the IAM’s Government Employees and Aerospace sectors.

A United States Navy veteran, Martinez began his IAM career in 1980 as a member of Local 776A in Ft. Worth, TX after being hired as an Aircraft Assembler at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth Division.
From 1980 to 1994, Martinez served in various positions with his local lodge before being appointed in 1995 as a staff member in the IAM Safety and Health Department. He also served as a Project Coordinator for the Re-Employment and Safety Training (IAM CREST)and for the Center for Administering Rehabilitation and Employment Services (IAM CARES).
In 1999, International President Tom Buffenbarger assigned Martinez to serve as the Southern Territory Education Representative with responsibility for training and education for IAM members in 14 southern states. In April 2002, he was appointed as a Special Representative and served in that capacity until joining the Executive Council in 2003 as the General Vice President assigned to the Southern Territory.
In addition to serving on the IAM Executive Council, Martinez is on the Board of Directors for Guide Dogs of America (GDA), serves as a Trustee on the Board of the IAM National Pension Fund and is a National Vice President on the National Executive Board of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA).
Vice President Martinez was recently honored with Guide Dogs of America’s highest honor, the Gift of Sight Award and the Cesar Chavez Award from LCLAA for his work on behalf of the Latino Labor Community.

Paulo Melo Director

Paulo has been actively investing in Florida real estate since 2001, when he began sourcing deals for his family. As the portfolio grew in size (as well as interest from other investors), Paulo felt the need to better structure his management / sourcing platform. Thus, in 2005, he founded Integra Solutions, the predecessor to Integra Investments. Throughout his career in real estate, Paulo has been responsible for over $900 million in real estate transactions in the Florida market.

Prior to his tenure at Integra, he has served as Grupo Tavares de Melo’s Family Office director, where he was responsible for managing liquid assets. He also worked for the wealth management division of Merrill Lynch, where he and his team were responsible for the management of a sizeable portfolio of financial assets from various high net-worth individuals.

Paulo holds an MBA in finance from the University of Miami, and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Nicholls State University.

Lou Moret Director

Dr. Lou Moret brings over 30 years experience in politics, administration and finance and is a highly respected community leader. He has a vast professional background, as well as a diverse record of service on boards of for-profit and non-profit organizations.


Dr. Moret served on the $300 Billion CalPERS Board of Administration, and has successfully completed the Directors Education and Certification Program at U.C.L.A. Prior to joining CalPERS, he was the longest serving appointed member in the history of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Board, where he gained a wealth of knowledge in the areas of finance and investment. Dr. Moret was first appointed to the board in 1991 by Mayor Tom Bradley, and has since served three other mayors. He also served as Co Chair of the Audit and Accounting Committee of ICGN. Dr. Moret has gained the respect of his peers as well as members of the pension community for his commitment to the fiduciary responsibilities of the board, his integrity and accountability.


Dr. Moret has also served on numerous for profit and non-profit boards including: The East Los Angeles Community Union, JT 2 Corporation, a third-party workers compensation service provider; Santa Barbara Group of Mutual Funds, Diamond Contract Services Inc., Lasair Capital, Intercontinental Realty Advisory Board, American Residential Partners Advisory Board, KB Home National Advisory Council, Global LT and the Huff Hispanic Holdings Fund.


Dr. Moret was an Adjunct Professor of the Graduate School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. Long active in political and community affairs, Dr. Moret was a member of the Democratic National Committee from 1981-1993, and served as Chair of the Hispanic Caucus from 1982-84. He was also a founding board member of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), and served on the board of directors of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute from 1985-1990. He was a delegate to every Democratic Convention from 1984-2000.


For more than 15 years, Dr. Moret served as Chief Operating Officer at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the largest regional planning organization in the United States. Prior to joining SCAG, he was Vice President of Cranston Securities Company, where he specialized in public finance and interacted extensively with finance directors, city managers, and other officials in state and local government. In 1979, he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter and confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as the first Director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact in the Department of Energy. He also served as Commissioner of the Los Angeles Department of Public Works, Chief of staff for Assemblyman Richard Alatorre and Deputy Director for the United States Office of Minority Business Enterprise.


He earned his Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) from the University of La Verne, his Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California (MPA), and his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Whittier College. He is also a recipient of a Professional Designation for Senior Managers in Government from Harvard University.


Dr. Moret is a licensed Professional Boxing Referee and has officiated in over 200 World Championship Fights. He was inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014. He is an avid wine collector and is a member of the Chevaliers du Tastevin and Commandarie de Bordeaux, and is also a member of the California Club. Dr. Moret has five grown children and resides in Los Angeles with his wife.

John W. Olsen Director

Former President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO; John was elected to the Executive Board in 1983. During his presidency the Connecticut AFL-CIO’s commitment to political education and legislative action has strengthened. He represents the labor movement on numerous boards and commissions including the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission, Connecticut Innovations Inc., the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and the Twenty-First Century Action Plan Commission. John is a native of Greenwich, CT.

Cecil E. Roberts, Jr. Director

Cecil Roberts is a sixth-generation coal miner and the President of the United Mine Workers of America. He is a vice president of the AFL-CIO, and sits on the AFL CIO’s Executive Council. He is one of the labor movement’s most stirring and sought-after orators. Among his many accomplishments, Roberts negotiated a new national coal agreement which contained the highest pay raises since 1974. Health benefits were maintained, and coal companies will increase contributions to UMWA Pension Fund by more than $500 million. Roberts served in Vietnam and graduated from West Virginia Institute of Technology. He is married and has two children and five grandchildren.

Roger Smith Director

Chief Executive Officer and President of American Income Life. Roger became the SGA for the states of Illinois and Iowa building one of the leading agencies within AIL. Since assuming the leadership of AIL’s sales force he has instituted a highly successful turnaround which has led to record growth and production for the company. In 2002, AIL became the most profitable distribution system with Torchmark.

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"EHDOC develops and manages safe, secure, and affordable housing for senior citizens across the United States. EHDOC advocates for the highest quality of life for the seniors of today and tomorrow."

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1580 Sawgrass Corporate Parkway, Suite 100 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33323