John Wiechmann leads the Midwest Housing Equity Group (MHEG).

After serving as the organization’s attorney for 10 years, he became its president and CEO in 2012.

“I wanted to have a more direct role,” he says. “I wanted to have a more hands-on approach to helping finance affordable housing development.”

He was introduced to the affordable housing industry as a young attorney at the Kutak Rock law firm in Omaha, Neb. In 2002, Wiechmann began in the firm’s tax credit practice, working primarily with low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) syndicators, including MHEG, as well as some investors.

“From the start, I loved it,” he says. “We were moving institutional capital into meaningful real estate developments that we could be proud of.  They were helping people. They were providing good, safe, affordable places to live.”

Although Wiechmann, 39, was happy and rising through the ranks at the law firm, he made the decision to leave his successful legal career to join Omaha-based MHEG when the top post became available.

“John has a very unique background, spending his decade-long legal practice specializing in affordable housing tax credits before transitioning to the business world and serving as head of MHEG, one of the most solid and successful syndicators in the country,” says Gregg Yeutter, a partner at Kutak Rock and Wiechmann’s mentor. “This rare combination of legal and business skills gives him an unparalleled knowledge and perspective of the affordable housing industry.”

Under Wiechmann’s watch, the organization has expanded its reach from four states to 10. It operates in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and northern Texas.

MHEG places approximately $150 million to $175 million in LIHTC equity each year to help developers build affordable housing.

Wiechmann and his wife have two daughters.