C-Suite Wednesday — Coleman Rural Small Business Lenders of the Year

October 18, 2017

By Bob Coleman
Editor, C-Suite Wednesday

C-Suite Wednesday — Coleman Rural Small Business Lenders of the Year

Darren Davis, SBA Manager, Fidelity Bank, Georgia

Never seeking outward recognition, Darren is quiet and unassuming; he simply strives to get the job done. At every turn in his career, he has proven he is capable and has risen to meet any challenges. He has led by example. Even in difficult situations, he is a consummate professional. He respects the opinions of others and firmly believes that most issues can be resolved in a variety ways.

In fact, when his time was the most limited, he personally came to my office (an hour away!) to meet with me and walk me through the USDA process so I could better help a client. I was new to USDA lending and he spent several hours painstakingly providing a thorough rundown of the USDA B&I program, its regulations, the government relationships required (even introducing me to them), and explained the keys to success with that program. Not surprisingly, I am not alone with this experience; he has shared his knowledge and experience in SBA and USDA with anyone who asks. He frequently collaborates with other lenders on ways to effectively navigate through government regulations.

Darren’s core values, his high ethical standards, his patience and his honesty, have made him a role model and a fitting ambassador of Fidelity Bank and of SBA lending. He is tireless in his efforts to train the next generation of lenders on the principles and techniques of becoming a successful advocate for small businesses. He encourages both professional and personal growth. He maintains this highest level of standards and brings out the best in everyone he works with. — Claire Huse, Vice President, Fidelity Bank

Wayne Evans, Founder, Small Business Lending, California

I have been an SBA guy for over 30 years, and have always had a good reputation.My staff and I helped Wells Fargo start their SBA program. Also helped other startup programs, along with existing programs.
Started the Bay Area Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders. Had our first convention, in conjunction with the San Francisco SBA, at Treasure Island in the Bay Area. Presently semi retired to San Luis Obispo County. Still do SBA origination. I will be an SBA guy forever. — Wayne Evans

Jeremy Gilpin, Vice President of Commercial Services, Greater Nevada Credit Union, Nevada

Greater Nevada Credit Union was named the 2016 National Lender of the Year by the Unites States Department of Agriculture after GNCU obligated over $120 million in loans, all guaranteed by the agency’s Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. The award was announced by Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary Lisa Mensah in October 2016.

Bruce Lammers, President, Small Business Capital at ByLine Bank, Wisconsin

• Grew Ridgestone Bank from $100mm asset size at acquisition in 2006 to $500mm in 2016
• Achieved top quartile net income performance
• Achieved top 10 national ranking in SBA 7(a) loan volume from 2012 – 2016
• Achieved top 10 national ranking in USDA B&I loan volume consistently since acquiring the bank, including #1 national ranking in 2010
• Consistently achieved #1 SBA 7(a) lender ranking in competitive Illinois district office
• Successfully negotiated and executed the bank’s sale in 2016
• Made strong contributions to the sector through volunteer and advocacy efforts with economic development and trade groups, including Wisconsin Business Finance Corporation, the Rockford Local Development Corporation, and Board Membership with the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL)

Vasu Srinivasan, CEO & President of Thomas USAF Group, Georgia

Vasu is the CEO and President of Thomas USAF Group, LLC and Co-Founder and COO of McDonald USAF, LP. He is widely recognized and regarded as the industry “guru” on IO strips. He has served as the COO of the last four USAF Funds since 2002, including USAF II and USAF III. USAF Funds have attracted Institutional Investors like Aegon (Dutch Insurance Company), NMB (now ING), Stahl Bank, Roark Capital (Private Equity Fund) and D.B. Zwirn (hedge fund) over the years. These USAF Funds have established themselves as a leading secondary market player in the government guaranteed loan space over the last 28+ years and a dominant buyer of USDA B&I loans.

McDonald USAF LP, with its 65 individual and institutional investors including mutual funds, was a dominant player in the 504 FMLP program in 2011 and 2012. He handles all secondary market functions involving purchase and sale of government guaranteed loans as well as institutional and investor relations. He has addressed various secondary market related industry forums over the years. Prior to that he was the Chief Credit Officer and Chief Financial Officer of B&I Lending, the nation’s’ largest non-bank lender in the USDA B&I program. He is one of the few people in the industry with both secondary market as well as lending experience.

His 34 year banking career includes assignments around the globe including Asia, Middle East, Europe and the U.S. with stints as a bond trader, Vice Chairman of a company that was a correspondent for Lehman specializing in conduit loans for hotel properties, Vice Chairman and CFO of a residential mortgage company out of Los Angeles and Phoenix, Chief Credit Officer and Member of the Global Credit Committee of an Investment Bank with operations worldwide, Managing Director of a Trade Finance Company in New York and Manager of a retail banking operation. His experience also covers syndications in the global markets, middle market corporate lending in the US, operations and consumer banking in India, and correspondent banking as Chief Representative in the US for a Bahrain based Investment Bank. He started his career with Citibank and was trained by them in Greece, Philippines and India.

He has represented investors on the Board of Hamilton Savings Bank in San Francisco, Summit National Bank, GA, a venture capital firm based in TN, as well as residential mortgage companies. Mr Srinivasan is a Rotary Scholar with a M.S from Lehigh University, PA in Management Science/Industrial Engineering, Gold Medalist in Mechanical Engineering from Pune, India and an MBA from one of the Premier Institutes of Management in Ahmedabad, India (IIMA) (set up originally in collaboration with Harvard Business School).