Management Team

The Rancon Group unites highly successful, independent, service based companies and individuals under the leadership of a proven businessman with exceptional vision.

  • Daniel L. Stephenson
    Founder and Chairman

    Dan Stephenson is a businessman who defines the entrepreneurial spirit. A tireless business advocate and generous humanitarian, Stephenson has defined the acquisition, development, master-planning, and sales of residential, office and commercial properties in Southern California’s Inland Empire. Stephenson founded Rancon in 1971 as a real estate brokerage and land development company. From the earliest days, Stephenson gathered knowledgeable professionals who shared his vision of Southwest Riverside County and the then fledging Inland Empire. Today, both Rancon Real Estate and the Rancon Group are staffed with the most qualified real estate professionals in the market area. With Dan Stephenson at the helm, Rancon Group companies built the first master-planned community, Alta Murrieta, in Southwest Riverside County. He also built one of the Inland Empire’s first master-planned business parks, Tri-City Corporate Centre in San Bernardino. During more than four decades of “doing the same thing in the same place” Stephenson has amassed a reputation for spearheading high-quality projects and maximizing his investor’s returns. As a syndicator, Stephenson has raised more than $800 million in investor capital, and land assets. During the past 10 years, Rancon Group partnerships have developed and sold more than 1,000 acres or commercial and residential properties, returning an average ARR of 58.9% to investors. The Rancon Group currently controls more than 2,800 acres of commercial and residential property. As a philanthropist, Stephenson is a founding member of the Temecula Valley Theater Foundation and actively supports numerous charitable organizations including the former Sharp Medical Foundation (board of directors), the Arts Council of Temecula Valley, Habitat for Humanity and many more. In 1991, Stephenson was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. He has also been named “Citizen of the Year,” for the cities of Menifee (2002), and Murrieta (2005). Mr. Stephenson graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) with a degree in finance and real estate. He also attended an executive MBA program at the Harvard School of Business.

  • Jim Lytle

    As President of the Rancon Group, Mr. Lytle oversees the acquisition of assets and is responsible for developing marketing strategies for the Rancon Group’s investment vehicles. Mr. Lytle works closely with members of the Rancon Investment Opportunity team where he helps formulate offerings, create market strategies and conduct informational meetings for partners and investors. He has played a major role in forming partnerships and investment offerings including Bundy Canyon Estates ($1.7 million), the Rancon Equity Asset Program ($5 million), and Europa Village ($7 million). Prior to taking the helm with Rancon Group in 2007, Mr. Lytle served in multiple capacities for the Rancon Group and Rancon Real Estate Corporation. He joined Rancon Real Estate in 2000 as an agent, and then was appointed to the Rancon Group Builder Developer Team where he is still active. As a member of this elite team of agents and brokers, Mr. Lytle participates in land acquisition, entitlement, infrastructure improvements and more for Rancon holdings in Southwest Riverside County. He is actively involved in the sales of major projects throughout the area. In addition to his duties with Investment Opportunities and the Builder Developer teams, Mr. Lytle serves as Project Manager for Bridges at Winchester Ranch, a 104-lot residential subdivision at the eastern gateway to the project. Lytle also currently oversees the Bridges Winchester, LLC, which is private partnership of investors formed to facilitate the Bridges project. Mr. Lytle has more than two decades experience in real estate sales, marketing and management. In 1985, he founded Sky Climbers, which became the City of San Diego’s largest privately owned building services company. Prior to founding Sky Climbers, Mr. Lytle served eight years in the U.S. Navy as Senior Electronics Technician.

  • Steven Van Houten
    Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer

    As Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the Rancon Group, Steven Van Houten oversees the Financial, IT and Human Resources disciplines for all company divisions, real estate investments and partnerships. Under the Financial discipline, Mr. Van Houten manages the project financing, investor & lender relationships, accounting, financial modeling, cash planning, forecasts, tax & audit. He works closely with the Development and Investment Divisions in property acquisition and disposition, coordinating pro forma modeling, residual analysis and business plans with project managers. In addition, Mr. Van Houten is a member of the Rancon Group Executive Board and plays a key role in strategic planning. Mr. Van Houten has more than 20 years of experience in finance, accounting and real estate. Before coming to the Rancon Group, he served as Director of Finance and Controller for Shea Homes, Southern California Division, where he was responsible for accounting, financial reporting, pro forma modeling, budgeting, forecasting, joint venture accounting, cash management, financing and investor relationships. Prior to working for Shea, Mr. Van Houten served as the Real Estate Controller for Fluor Corporation where he was responsible for accounting, planning, capital expenditures, portfolio optimization and the analysis of real estate transactions. His expertise includes financial modeling and analysis, portfolio management, project management, systems implementation and six sigma initiatives. Mr. Van Houten received his MBA from the University of Southern California and also holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from California State University, San Bernardino. He is a Certified Managerial Accountant (CMA) and is active in the local chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

  • Sharon Racz
    Associate Vice President Marketing Division

    As Associate Vice President of Marketing, Sharon Racz leads Rancon's Marketing and Communications team in program strategy, component development, media and public relations, advertising, printing, event planning, and multi-media. Ms. Racz joined Rancon in 1985 and has more than two decades of experience in business, marketing and communications. She is responsible for the development and execution of Rancon's strategic marketing communications programs and ensures that overall marketing initiatives are designed to drive the business toward optimal growth. As an Associate Vice President, Ms. Racz directs marketing and communications for the Rancon Developer team, Rancon Asset Management team, Rancon Investment Opportunities team, Rancon Real Estate, Rancon Investment Opportunities team, and Rancon Realty Funds. Ms. Racz has strong design and brand strategy experience and has won numerous awards for design and program materials. Over the years, she has developed consistent, practical marketing programs designed to bring properties to market. Ms. Racz is actively involved in the community through the Temecula Theater Foundation and as a board member of H.E.A.R.T. for Children.

  • Dan Long
    Director of Development

    With extensive experience working in municipal government agencies, public home builders, private commercial developers, apartment developers and as a court appointed receiver, Dan Long brings a broad range of experience to the Rancon team. As the Director of Development, Dan takes a hands-on approach in managing the environmental analysis, design, contracting and construction of various land development improvements and vertical developments of the Rancon Group. Prior to joining the Rancon Group, Dan was a Director at Cordes & Company, who acted as a court appointed fiduciary, aiding financial institutions and business entities with ongoing operations, reporting, re-positioning and liquidation of distressed assets throughout the western U.S. As a city planner he managed entitlements, authored environmental assessments and coordinated with numerous agencies to facilitate master planned developments as well as institutional, commercial and industrial developments throughout Southern California. During his time in the private building industry, Dan managed numerous residential, commercial and apartment developments, including acquisitions, entitlements, and land development. Dan has over 15 years of experience in land-use, development, business and real estate matters. His broad range of experience provides a unique ability to handle the challenging issues we face on a daily basis. Dan graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s of Science degree with an emphasis in Planning Management. He holds a certificate as a Fiduciary for Conservator and as Trustee from Cal State Fullerton. Dan was also a Division 1 collegiate athlete.

  • Gregg Linhoff
    Project Director

    As Assistant Director of Development for the Rancon Group, Gregg is responsible for the planning and construction of several development projects including Europa Village, a 182,000 square foot winery, resort and spa in the Temecula Valley Wine Country. Active in Southern California real estate development since 1982, Gregg has extensive experience acquiring land, planning and developing an array of project types. During his career, Gregg has managed the development of approximately 3,000 homes in more than 30 neighborhoods. Gregg held the position of Vice President, Acquisition and Development with Standard Pacific Homes, San Diego Division prior to co-founding his own real estate investment and development company, Lighthouse Ventures. At Lighthouse, Gregg worked directly with President Ken Cablay to acquire over $150 million in land for development. Gregg also had full responsibility for all project management activities contributing to delivering over 1,000 homes and gaining an inventory of over 1,000 additional lots in three years. Gregg graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and completed substantial coursework in architectural design. He is a licensed Real Estate Broker and holds a Class B General Contractor license in the State of California.

  • Celeste Ducharme
    Vice President Self-Storage Development

    As Vice President of Self Storage Development, Celeste Ducharme has spent the past 29 years building businesses and managing teams within several high-profile companies such as Nordstrom, Dennis Uniform Company and the Rancon Group. Celeste holds a degree in Business Administration and is an expert in the self-storage industry producing income, profitability, exceptional customer service and visibility. Celeste joined our team in 2004 to manage Clinton Keith Self Storage and is now responsible for sourcing future self-storage development opportunities for our team, as well as overseeing operations and marketing for each completed project. Celeste also works alongside our Director of Development on our current Ranch RV & Self-Storage projects in French Valley, Menifee, Winchester and Temescal Canyon.