| Sean Ruppert
Sean Ruppert, President of OPaL, grew up in suburban Baltimore County. After graduating from Loyola University, he moved to the National Capital Area in 1994 and began his successful career in the new home industry. In 2001 Sean started OPaL; successfully closing over 300 homes since. Sean believes the appeal of an OPaL home starts with unique design where natural light, sightlines and incredible connections to the outdoors drive the process. Sean and OPaL have become increasingly picky over the locations where they build an OPaL project. “The location determines the identity of the project and ultimately elevates OPaL, channeling our success into the 2020’s”.
In 2016 Sean formed OPaL Custom after years of requests for OPaL to work on renovations and additions to existing homes for private clients. In just a few years this has become a dominant part of the business.
Sean has sat on judging panels for both local and national architecture awards and has spoken on urban development at the National Association of Home Builder's Convention in Las Vegas and Orlando. He has volunteered as Corporate Chair for The Trevor Project and The Human Rights Campaign. Sean has also volunteered for the Urban Land Institute as high school instructor on urban development. Sean and his spouse live off of MacArthur Blvd with their two young children, who are occasionally featured in OPaL’s Instagram feed. OPaL’s homes have gone on to win dozens of local awards, to include DC Home of the Year 3 times, as well as 12 national awards for design and architecture.
| Jason Woodward
Chief Operating Officer
Jason Woodward, Chief Operating Officer, brings organization and precision to the many processes that go into building new homes or the historic renovation of OPaL homes. Most recently, Jason served as a member of the Senior Executive Service in the Federal Government. In addition to providing assistance or supervision for hundreds of employees, he was responsible for operational planning, internal oversight, finance and budget, space planning and facilities management, and human resources. Juggling diverse duties for a Government organization puts Jason in good stead to manage the many details that go into ensuring OPaL's urban developments, custom homes and historic renovations are delivered on-time, on-budget and within defined parameters.
A native of Kansas, Jason is a veteran himself, having served eight years in the US Army in various logistical and operations positions. He holds a trio of master's degrees - in Business Administration, Public Health and Nutrition - as well as a certificate in Executive Leadership. Jason is also a registered and licensed dietitian and ascribes to the motto tha tthe heart of the home rests in the kitchen; a philosophy embraced fully in each OPaL home design.
| Ken Mergner
Sr.VP of Construction
As OPaL Custom's Director of Custom Homes and Renovations, Ken Mergner is responsible for everything having to do with achieving both the architect's and client's vision in each custom project, from initial project bidding to managing contractors to on-time and on-budget construction. With a more than 30-year career spanning every aspect of construction management, including VP of Construction roles at Craftmark/Craftstar Homes and Classic Homes of Maryland, Ken is a natural fit to lead OPaL Custom's construction arm.
Ken is a people person who worked his way through the ranks from laborer to leader, and he has managed scores of custom home builds - and hundreds of production home builds - over the course of his career. That comprehensive perspective gives him an unmatched eye for detail and budget, and his deep experience in the region brings him a cache of trusted contractors he has relied on over the years to deliver superior quality work. This family-like approach brings an added level of comfort and confidence to our customers as they move through the oft-stressful process of building their custom renovation, addition or home. Keeping his energy high for the job, Ken is a fitness enthusiast who loves to swim and play tennis with his wife. He is also a new granddad to Olivia Kirsten.
| Greg Sparhawk
Sr. VP of Architecture
If you admire the award-winning designs of OPaL homes, you can thank Gregory Sparhawk for that. As Sr. VP of Architecture for OPaL, Greg has designed the bulk of the company’s custom homes, developments and renovations since 2002. As the principal of his own architecture firm, GPS Designs, Greg has worked throughout the world. This has given him a broad understanding of different regional styles that he brings back to his drafting table to give each OPaL home unique elements you won’t find anywhere else in the National Capitol Area.
Early in his life, Greg’s passion was fueled by a father who was a graphic designer and craftsman, and a stepfather who worked in construction. He brought those two influences together into an architectural philosophy that focuses not just on quality materials, but also on creating a unique aesthetic. Greg earned his degree from Boston Architectural College and worked in various architecture firms throughout America before going out on his own in 2002. He lives in a log cabin in an idyllic town near Vail, Colorado with his wife, two children, a dog and a cat. In his spare time he fosters his love for classic safari-style Land Rovers.
| Shanta Peru
Design Selection Coordinator
Shanta Peru brings an extensive portfolio of design and merchandising expertise to her job as Design Selection Coordinator for OPaL. After graduating from Drexel University’s West Paul College of Media and Arts, she went to work creating elegant looks for iconic brands like Crate and Barrel and Jonathan Adler. Then she made the jump to real estate, working as a Visual Merchandising Specialist and Brand Experience Manager for the Bozzuto Group. Now, at OPaL, she helps you select the perfect finishes for your new home and ensures everything is installed to her exacting standards and yours.
Shanta developed her refined eye for style and meticulous attention to detail as a young girl, drawing her to the business side of design at an early age. Her passion and aesthetic fit perfectly with the OPaL brand. When she’s not visualizing the perfect sconces, flooring and trims, you can find Shanta with her husband and son Jacob, traveling, trying new restaurants or hosting her in-laws, nieces and nephews at big family dinners.
| Peter Nelson
King of Construction (Retired)
Peter Nelson, Senior VP of Construction grew up the son of a US Ambassador in Africa and Bethesda. His upbringing allows for an enlightened worldview, which Peter brings to the home building industry. Never one to be comfortable with conforming and simply fitting-in, Peter knows his personality and home building philosophy are in perfect harmony with the homes of OPaL, LLC.
After two decades managing the construction of 20,000 homes with one of the nation's leading homebuilders, NVHomes, Peter has found the perfect match for both his skills and his aesthetic. He is a stickler for detail and OPaL gives him the opportunity to build homes to his discerning standards without cutting corners to meet corporate agendas. His passion and care, combined with OPaL's quality-driven philosophy, allow him to attract the finest craftsmen, work with the best materials and achieve the highest standards of homebuilding in his career. This level of skill and pride results in an overall efficiency and attention to detail that allows OPaL to deliver greater value in terms of maintenance-free materials, premium standard features and enduring homeowner satisfaction.