Board of Governors

2022-2023 SBIA Board of Governors

The SBIA governance structure consists of a Board of Governors that is made up of its Board Officers, Regional Presidents, At-Large Board Members, and designated Council Chairs.

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Gayle Hughes is a Partner, Co-founder of Merion, and a member of the MGF team. With over 30 years of lending experience, Gayle has spent more than half of her career working with entrepreneurial firms providing growth capital via leveraged cash flow and mezzanine. Gayle has previously served on the Executive Committee and the Board of the Small Business Investor Alliance.
Caroline Ducas is a Partner with Nashville-based Resolute Capital Partners where she focuses on deal sourcing, execution, and portfolio management. Caroline was a founding member of the Resolute Capital Partners funds and has over 20 years of direct investing experience. She and her partners are now investing from Resolute Capital Partners Fund IV, a $321 million fund providing debt and equity capital to companies in the lower middle-market throughout the US.
Brad Triebsch is a Managing Partner at CVF Capital Partners and brings more than 30 years of experience in taking companies from concept to a successful exit. Prior to cofounding CVF, he served as a public finance investment banker for Westhoff, Cone and Holmstedt and worked with former Los Angeles Dodger personnel on a successful turnaround for a sports medicine company. 
Ben Geis is a Managing Director of Eagle Private Capital and a General Partner of Eagle Fund II, III, III-A, IV, and IV-A. He holds an undergraduate business degree from Rockhurst University and is a Certified Public Accountant. Ben has served on SBIA's Midwest Regional Committee since 2016 and is an active member of the SBIC Council.
Tyson Smith is a founding Partner of Tecum Capital and serves on the firm’s Investment Committee, where he leads all aspects of transaction origination, analysis, structuring, underwriting, deal execution and monitoring of private equity and mezzanine debt investments. Prior to co-founding Tecum, Tyson was a Vice President of its predecessor, F.N.B. Capital Corporation, LLC.
Brett Palmer is the President of the Small Business Investor Alliance.  In this role, Brett works to foster a healthy environment for small business investing and a strong and profitable lower middle market. Brett brings decades of valuable public policy experience to SBIA, including in the Executive branch as a Presidential appointee in the Commerce Department as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade Legislation. He has served in a number of roles in Congress, including as a policy aide to the Speaker of the House.
Prior to co-founding Blue Sage in 2002, Peter Huff was a partner at Austin Ventures and served as a managing member at J. H. Whitney. He was first elected to the SBIA Board of Governors in 2011 and has previously served our association as Middle Market Council Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-Chair.
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Les Alexander is an experienced private equity investor, educator, corporate executive, and investment banker. As a partner with Jefferson Capital, he makes growth capital investments in a variety of privately owned businesses and is on the Board of several portfolio companies. Previously, he was an investment professional at Advantage Capital Partners, where he completed debt and equity transactions with privately held businesses. Les is a faculty member at Tulane University and Loyola University in New Orleans, and is a frequent speaker on private equity, M&A, and other finance topics at conferences, meetings, and seminars.  
Jim Barra joined Ironwood Capital in 1996 to support the firm’s investment banking practice. From 1996 to 2002, Jim was lead banker on several private placements and junior capital raises for Ironwood’s middle market clients. Since 2002, he has focused on firm management, investment execution and portfolio management.
During her legal career, Jan Bergeson has helped charter and obtain FDIC insurance for several banks, including UBS Bank USA, which she subsequently joined in 2003 as the Bank’s first CRA Officer. There, she helped build the bank’s CRA Program, which received "Outstanding" CRA ratings on every CRA examination (2005, 2008, 2011). In 2014, Jan joined Ally Bank as CRA Director, with responsibility for the bank’s $2+ billion CRA Portfolio.   
Melanie Brensinger is a Founder and Managing Partner of Anagenesis Capital Partners. She is a member of the Investment Committee and is responsible for general management of the firm as well as originating, executing, and managing investments. Melanie has over 23 years in the leveraged buyout market originating, underwriting, and managing senior debt, junior capital, and equity investments. Prior to founding Anagenesis, Melanie was a Managing Director and senior originator at GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services (HFS) where she was responsible for originating and underwriting financings for private equity led healthcare buyouts.  
Stacy is a founding partner of NorthCoast Mezzanine. She joined the NorthCoast team (formerly Spell Capital Mezzanine) in 2012. She is responsible for leading all aspects of mezzanine origination, structuring, underwriting, deal execution and portfolio management and serves on the investment committee. Prior to NorthCoast, Stacy was a Vice President at Churchill Capital where her responsibilities included all aspects of mezzanine investing. She started her career in investment banking at Piper Jaffray.  
Lars Hens is Executive Vice President at California Bank & Trust, a division of Zions Bancorporation.  Prior to joining CB&T, he was a Director of a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, where he was responsible for evaluating, structuring and monitoring the Fund’s investments. Lars received degrees in Engineering and Chemistry from Dartmouth College and an MBA in Investments and Financial Markets from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.
Melinda Jackson manages Cadence Bank’s Alternative Investment platform and focuses on investments in Small Business Investment Companies (“SBIC’s”) and other Community Reinvestment Act-driven (“CRA”) investments. She oversees the Bank’s limited partner investments in SBIC’s and merges that activity with the Bank’s CRA investment efforts.
David Kocen is a founding partner of Bluehenge Capital Partners. Mr. Kocen joined Stonehenge Capital Company (predecessor to Bluehenge) in 1998, and from 2001 to 2015, he managed that firm’s New York office and directed the firm’s Northeast regional investment strategy. Mr. Kocen’s experience covers a variety of investment stages and sectors, with concentrations in manufacturing, service, consumer and other industrial concerns.
Carl Kopfinger is a Senior Vice President of TD Bank based in Philadelphia, where he is responsible for managing the venture capital and mezzanine investment portfolio comprised of more than 75 funds from Maine to Florida. Carl joined TD Bank and its predecessor bank in 2004. Prior to TD Bank, he worked for FleetBoston Financial, now Bank of America, and with Comerica Bank’s Technology & Life Sciences Division. He has also worked with Fortune 1000 companies, providing them with structured finance and other credit and non-credit products, with his prior employers, Bank Hapoalim, PNC and Mellon Banks.  
Steven Lilly is Chief Financial Officer of FS KKR Capital Corp. as well as other BDCs advised by FS/KKR Advisor, LLC and serves as a Managing Director at FS Investments. Previously, he served as Chief Financial Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Triangle Capital Corporation, a publicly traded BDC sold to Benefit Street Partners and Barings, LLC in 2018.
Prior to becoming a founding partner of Midwest Growth Partners, John Mickelson was a Managing Director at The PrivateBank (now CIBC), where he was responsible for identifying and structuring loans for middle-market companies. Before PVTB, John worked as an investment banker for First National Bank of Omaha providing M&A advisory services to middle-market companies, and at Goldman Sachs in their asset management division. John was recognized as one of The M&A Advisor’s Top 40 M&A Professionals under 40.  
Mike Revord is the Founder and Managing Partner of Aldine Capital. Prior to starting Aldine, he was a senior executive with Banc One Mezzanine Corporation (BOMC), the mezzanine finance arm of Bank One. Mike has served on the association's Board of Governors two times previously, and is a Board Member of the Springboard Foundation. He received a BS in finance degree from The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
Chris Sears is a Senior Vice President at SunTrust now Truist Community Capital, LLC and is primarily responsible for originating Small Business Investment Company investments. He works with a team that generates direct and fund equity investments and debt financing in federal and state tax credit related developments throughout SunTrust now Truist Bank’s footprints. This group primarily focuses on the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, New Markets Tax Credit and Small Business Investment Company programs.  
Kevin Sheehan is a founder and the managing general partner of Multiplier Capital. He was formerly the President and Chief Executive Officer of ORIX’s growth lending business and founded the group in 2001. Kevin received a BS degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University, and a JD from Columbia University. He serves actively on the board of directors of a non-profit organization that supports at-risk military veterans and their families.
Eric Sloane is a Partner and member of the Investment Committee at Southfield Mezzanine Capital LP, a $150 million SBIC Fund. Eric has over 15 years of investment/credit experience in the lower middle market. At Southfield, Eric is responsible for origination, structuring, due diligence, execution and portfolio management. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Business Administration from California State University - Northridge.
Gijs Van Thiel is co-founder of 747 Capital and a Managing Partner of the firm. He is actively involved in portfolio management, due diligence and manager selection, oversees many of the general management responsibilities within the firm, and serves on the  advisory boards of various underlying portfolio funds.  Gijs has been active in private equity since 1995. He started his career at the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, a diplomatic function, in New York in 1993.  Gijs holds a M.B.A. in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a B.A. from Webster University. 
Stacey Wittelsberger joined Patriot Capital in 2010 and is responsible for transaction origination, execution, underwriting and due diligence, portfolio management, investor relations and fundraising initiatives. Prior to Patriot Capital, Stacey worked for Bank of America Securities in New York and Charlotte in the Securitization Finance (Asset Backed Securities) and RMBS (Residential Mortgage Backed Securities) groups.  

*Denotes SBIA Executive Committee Member

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As a Managing Partner at Valesco Industries, Heather Hubbard is responsible for the oversight and leadership of all the Valesco entities, their operations, and employees.  She has direct involvement with portfolio companies through Board positions focused on strategic planning, acquisitions, corporate budget and finance, executive recruitment and development, and corporate growth. Heather received a Master of Business Administration from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. She also received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship and Venture Management from the Price School of Business at the University of Oklahoma, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Andrew Panzo is General Partner of NewSpring Capital and is a General Partner of the Firm’s dedicated mezzanine funds. He joined NewSpring in 2003 and was one of the founding partners of NewSpring Mezzanine. Andrew has over 30 years of experience in investment banking, venture capital, and operational management. He received a BS in Finance from the University of Connecticut and an MBA in Finance from Temple University.
Theresa Mozzocci joined Maranon Capital in 2014 with experience in fundraising, investor relations and alternative investment strategies. At Maranon, she is primarily responsible for fundraising and investor relations. Theresa earned an M.B.A. with distinction from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, DePaul University and a B.B.A. in Operations Management from the University of Wisconsin. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder.
Tim Rafalovich is Head of the Fund Investing Division for Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, and is an active limited partner investor in SBICs. He is responsible for sourcing and executing investments into private equity and private debt SBIC funds. Additionally, he is on the investment committee for Wells Fargo’s SBIC. Tim is a 35-year corporate finance professional, having served as an institutional private funds investor, merger and acquisitions EVP, finance and business owner. He graduated from the University for Southern California with a B.S. in Finance. Tim currently serves on a tech incubator board as well as on a number of private investment LP advisory boards.
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Dean D’Angelo is a founding partner of Stellus Capital Management, co-head of the Private Credit strategy and serves on its investment committee. He has over 30 years of experience in investment banking and principal investing. Prior to forming Stellus, Dean was a director in the Direct Capital Group at the D. E. Shaw group, and a principal of Allied Capital Corporation. He received his B.B.A. in accounting from The College of William and Mary, his M.A. in international economics and relations from The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University, and his M.B.A., with a concentration in finance, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
David Demeter joined the Davidson College team in January 2018 as Investment Director to help manage the college’s $920 million endowment fund. He previously worked in the University of Michigan’s Investment Office for 12 years. His recent projects have involved deep dives into litigation finance, small business investment companies, search funds, lower-middle-market capital solutions, venture debt, municipal revenue bonds workouts, concentrated public equity managers, and alternative real assets (other than real estate or energy PE).
Doug England is a Senior Director of Finance at The Riverside Company, where his team is responsible for the management and oversight of all aspects of finance/fund administration for Riverside’s domestic and international equity, debt and hybrid fund products. Doug is also the firm’s resident expert in Small Business Administration regulations and reporting.
Patrick Weston is a Founding Partner of Route 2 Capital Partners and has spent the bulk of his nearly three-decade career sourcing and managing lower middle market private equity investments across the South. He previously worked at Liberty Capital Advisors (an investment management subdivision of Liberty Corporation), Transamerica Mezzanine Financing, Inc, and most recently Azalea Capital, where he was Managing Partner and helped raise four private equity funds focused on lower middle market investments.  
Brian Lueger joined Konza Valley Capital, Inc. in September 2011 and currently serves as a Principal where he is responsible for deal generation, structuring, due diligence, closing, and monitoring both debt and equity portfolio investments. Brian is a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Ann Ferreira has over 25 years of experience in corporate finance and private equity. She is a co-founder of Lake Country Capital (LC2), an investment firm dedicated to the lower middle-market. She has held senior investment roles throughout her career including through her own firm, Good Harbor Capital and at Churchill Capital, where she led and managed junior capital investments in lower middle-market businesses. She spent the first 14 years of her career within the investment banking divisions of Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, Bank of America, and at Chase Securities, where she was in a variety of corporate finance roles including senior M&A and restructuring advisory positions.