Board of Governors

2020-2021 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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Michael Painter is a Co-founder and Managing Partner at North Carolina-based Plexus Capital, where he leads the strategic direction of Plexus and heads the investment committee. He is also active in sourcing new investment opportunities and overseeing active portfolio companies.
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.
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. 
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.
At Centerfield Capital Partners, Faraz Abbasi is responsible for investor relations, overseeing due diligence, structuring, and negotiating transactions and portfolio management. Prior to joining Centerfield, Faraz held sales and product development roles at Praxair and Rodel, where he was the lead researcher and developer of next generation consumables for the microelectronics industry and was awarded a patent. 
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Joe Alala is Founder, Chairman and CEO of Capitala Group, an asset management firm providing equity capital and debt capital exclusively to lower middle market businesses. In 1998 at the age of 28, he founded Capitala Group as CapitalSouth Partners. Capitala has invested over $2 billion with Small Businesses since entering the SBIC program. Joe has actively directed the firm’s growth, structuring and monitoring investments made by Capitala Group’s investment vehicles and separately managed accounts.
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.  
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.  
Rodger Davis formed Northcreek Mezzanine with Barry Peterson in 2010 and shares overall management responsibility for Northcreek. He is responsible for deal generation, due diligence, deal structuring, and negotiation, along with fundraising and investor relations. Previously, Rodger led the formation of Provident Capital Corp, a provider of structured finance senior loans, mezzanine investments, and private equity fund investments.  
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 formerly served as Chief Financial Officer of the fund manager. Prior to January of 2004, Ben was in the Assurance and Business Advisory Practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he started his career. During his time at PwC, he was principally involved in leading audit engagements for clients in the financial services industry.  
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.  
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.  
Andrew Panzo has over 30 years of experience in investment banking, venture capital, and operational management. Currently a General Partner of NewSpring and 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. From 2000 to 2001, Andrew served as Chairman and CEO of Stonepath Group, a publicly-traded logistics company. Prior to working at Stonepath, Andrew was CEO of Net Value Holdings, Inc., an internet incubator.   
Steven Pickhardt has been with GarMark since 1998 and has more than 25 years of experience in leveraged financing, private debt investing, and corporate restructurings. Prior to joining GarMark, he led senior and subordinated leveraged financings for corporate clients and equity sponsors at Credit Suisse First Boston. Steven earned his bachelor’s degree from Brown University and has an MBA in Finance and International Business from New York University.  
Kevin Prunty is Vice President and Co-Head of the Private Debt & Equity team at Reinsurance Group of America (RGA). He is responsible for both direct and fund investments, focusing primarily on corporate subordinated debt and private equity. RGA’s Private Debt & Equity team now has over $1.5 billion in AUM comprised of direct debt, direct equity and fund investments. Kevin has 21 years of experience in all facets of corporate and leveraged finance across a range of industry sectors.  
Mark Raterman is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder of LNC Partners. He has partnered with and invested in private companies for over 25 years as a control equity sponsor, as a minority equity investor, and as a lender. He has served as a chairman or director on the boards of 8 companies and as an active observer on numerous other company boards. Throughout his career, Mark has collaborated with portfolio companies across a range of industries, providing growth capital, sourcing, and executing add-on acquisitions, raising capital, and improving business processes.  
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.  
Ian Simmonds is CFO, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary of Sixth Street Specialty Lending, Inc., and a Managing Director of Sixth Street. Previously, he was part of the Financial Institutions Group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Global Investment Bank in New York, most recently as a Managing Director. Prior to that, Ian was Managing Director at Principal Global Investors.  
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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An honors graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Finance, in 2004 Kevin Benoit joined the Corporate Finance group of Simmons & Company International (now a division of Piper Sandler) where he focused on the oil service, midstream and downstream sectors. In 2013, Kevin helped launch Dos Rios Partners as a new SBIC and works closely with the fund’s investments in Virtex, DiSTI, iKan, Pro EM, and Universal Wellhead.
Jamie Donelan joined Seacoast Capital in 2006 and focuses on the firm’s specialty, “sponsorless” transactions – dealing directly with company owners and management teams – that provide between $5 million and $30 million of debt and equity capital for acquisitions, growth, shareholder buyouts, management buyouts, and leveraged recapitalizations. Prior to joining Seacoast, he was an investment banking analyst at Adams Harkness & Hill, where he focused on public equity, M&A, and PIPE transactions.
Stacy Harmsen joined 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 joining Spell Capital Mezzanine, 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. 
Eric Sloane is a Partner and member of the Investment Committee at Southfield Mezzanine Capital, a Small Business Investment Company, currently investing out of Fund II. With 20 years of investment/credit experience in the lower middle market, Eric is responsible for origination, structuring, due diligence, execution, and portfolio management. Previously, he served as Chief Investment Officer for Investors Management Group, a real estate focused private equity firm.
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Mike Gerber is Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at FS Investments, where he leads the communications, investor relations and government and regulatory affairs teams; oversees the firm’s corporate social responsibility and environmental, social and governance initiatives; leads FS’s diversity and inclusion strategy; and serves as President of the FS Foundation. Prior to joining FS, Mike practiced law at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP in the Corporate and Securities practice group.
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.
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.  
Matt Harbaugh leads the Mountain State Capital Pittsburgh office and has invested in, managed, and advised more than 100 private companies over the past 20 years. Matt previously served as the CEO of a machine learning-based software company that was acquired by Facebook, and was the Chief Investment Officer at Innovation Works, one of the most active seed funds in the United States.