Our Team

JD Esajian


Favorite Areas of San Diego North Park, South Park, Pacific Beach
Favorite Quote “Be a yard stick of quality, people are not use to an environment where excellence is expected.” –Steve Jobs
Passions Family, Health, Music, Real Estate and Cooking
Life Motto Life is a journey and not a destination…so be happy, be present and be grateful!

After growing up in the central valley of California and attending the University of Southern California, I bought my first house in 1999 and developed my love of real estate. Starting and building CT Homes with my brother and close friends has been a life dream and passion. To be able to help sellers and buyers, as well as improve communities is an extremely rewarding experience and a true joy. Building long term relationship with our customers and creating wow experiences is our daily goal.

Than Merrill


Favorite Areas of San Diego Little Italy, Downtown, Pacific Beach, La Jolla

Passions Family, Friends, Football, Learning & Real Estate
Favorite Quote “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” -Harriet Tubman

Than Merrill has over 14 years of professional experience in the real estate investment and lending industry. He is the founder and principal in several real estate investment companies and has been involved in over $750 million of real estate investments during that time frame. Than has experience in many facets of real estate investment including marketing, sourcing, underwriting, appraisal, negotiations, raising capital, investor relations, and business management.

Paul Esajian


Favorite Areas of San Diego Pacific Beach, La Jolla, & Downtown
Favorite Quote “Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving towards your goals. ” –LL Cool J
Passions My children, wife Andrea, personal growth, & Wrestling

Paul Esajian has over 14 years of professional experience in the real estate investment and lending industry. He is the founder and principal in several real estate investment companies and has been involved in over $750 million of real estate investments during that time frame. Paul has experience in many facets of real estate investment including underwriting, raising capital, investor relations, construction management, accounting, taxation & business management.

Dan Wright

Director of Acquisitions

Favorite Areas of San Diego Torrey Pines and Mission Bay
Favorite Quote “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is." – Vince Lombardi
Passions Family, Golf, BBQ'ing, Live Music, & Personal Growth
Life Motto “Plan the work, work the plan. Do it, do it right, do it right now.”

I have called San Diego home since 2013 and after growing up in the midwest and east coast, I can say for certain that San Diego is the place to be. It's pretty special to live on the coast and within a 3 hour drive you can be in the desert riding quads or skiing in Big Bear. Lucky for me CT Homes is in San Diego and being a part of this amazing organization has been life changing. We have the opportunity to help homeowners in difficult situations and there's nothing more fun than watching our renovations come to life.

Kevin Oechsel

Acquisitions and Marketing Operations Manager

Favorite Area of San Diego County Torrey Pines!
Favorite Quote “"Everything negative - pressure, challenges - Is all an opportunity for me to Rise." – Kobe Bryant
Passions Family, Friends, Basketball, Golf, Traveling
Life Motto Be grateful for today

From just north of Los Angeles, I came to San Diego almost a decade ago for school. I graduated from SDSU back in 2015 and haven't considered leaving since! I've worked with CT Homes for almost 6 years now focused on the Acquisitions side of the business working with Sellers and Agents. I'm big into waterskiing and golf and hope to one day shoot in the (low) 70's!

Jon Cypers

Acquisitions Analyst

Favorite Area of San Diego County Encinitas, La Jolla, Pacific Beach
Favorite Quote "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken" – Oscar Wilde
Passions Hiking, Cooking, Athletics, Friends and Family, Traveling, Learning, Real Estate
Life Motto Nobody knows you better than you know yourself. Believe in yourself and assume you can and will accomplish whatever you want to if you give yourself the opportunity to do it.

I am originally from New York and attended Amherst College in Massachusetts. After graduation I cut my teeth in Real Estate selling multi-family apartment buildings and development sites throughout New York with Marcus and Millichap. I then switched roles and joined a family office buying and financing multi-family and mixed-use apartment buildings throughout Brooklyn and Queens. What I love most about investing in Real Estate is being part of creative, dynamic, up and coming neighborhoods and positively contributing to that growth. I have strong family ties to California and have always loved San Diego. After living my entire life on the East Coast, I knew it was time to come to San Diego and join CT Homes. I am grateful and excited to be a part of and contribute to San Diego and CT Homes.

Angel Leyzaola

Renovation Department Manager

Favorite Area of San Diego County La Jolla, Old Town, North Park
Favorite Quote “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.” - Lorenzo Anello
Passions My Family, Friends, Surfing, Volleyball, Camping
Life Motto “Always strive and prosper”

Born and raised in San Diego, where the weather is nice all year long. I enjoy spending my free time at the beach, especially during summer time. I’ve spent the last three years working in construction before given the opportunity to work for CT Homes. I attended the Fortune Builders three day seminar before coming on board and it has encouraged me to become more educated and skilled in the real estate industry. I’m excited to be part of the team and help renovate homes in my own city.

Damaris Wright


Favorite Area of San Diego County La Jolla shores, Coronado
Favorite Quote “How you do anything is how you do everything”
Passions Family, Yoga, Dance
Life Motto "You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force”

I am the youngest of 6 children and originally from Brazil. I moved to Connecticut in 2007 where I graduated from Uconn with a bachelor in Business and Technology. Shortly after, I moved to beautiful San Diego to be closer to family which also allowed me to be a part of the amazing team we have here. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time outside, whether going on hikes or to the beach with my family, reenergize at yoga classes, travel and exploring new places.

Jack Pilawski

Project Manager

Favorite Area of San Diego County Coronado, Encinitas, La Jolla, La Mesa
Favorite Quote "Every moment of one's existence is growing into more or retreating into less. One is always living a little more, or dying a little bit" - Norman Mailer
Passions Family and Friends, Fitness, the Outdoors, Sports, Real Estate
Life Motto The only person you are defined to become is the person you decide to be.

Originally from the Bay Area, I first moved down to San Diego 4 years ago and have loved it here ever since! I am currently a senior at San Diego State, where I am pursuing a degree in Business Finance and a certificate in public law. I joined CT Homes back in early September and currently work with the rest of our team to manage our many active projects. I am grateful to be a part of such an awesome team and to be able to contribute to the transformation of our homes! Outside of work and school, I love sports and staying active. You can catch me most weekends spending time outdoors or watching my favorite teams!

Joe Prutch

Project Coordinator

Favorite Area of San Diego County Carlsbad, Encinitas, La Jolla
Favorite Quote “Be the best of whatever you are.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
Passions Family and friends, softball, bowling and golfing
Life Motto "It's never wrong to do the right thing"

Having lived in the Orange County, CA area most of my life, I made the move to San Diego in 1998 and instantly fell in love with this vibrant city. Prior to officially joining the CT Homes team, I had the privilege of working with the founders in other capacities for several years. My primary objective here is to support the team in ensuring that all transactions proceed as seamlessly as possible. Leveraging my background in marketing and video production, I also contribute to creating captivating videos and marketing materials for our social media platforms.