October 10, 2017
By Bob Coleman
Editor, SBA Hot Topic Tuesday
SBA Hot Topic Tuesday — SBA 504 Lenders of the Year
About the 2017 Coleman small business lending professional awards
The Coleman Report is awarding 2017 small business lending professional awards in six categories.
- Main Street Lenders of the Year
- SBA 7(a) Lenders of the Year
- SBA 504 Lenders of the Year
- Rural Small Business Lenders of the Year
- Mission-Based Small Business Lenders of the Year
- Emerging Leader Small Business Lenders of the Year (Under 40)
Winners are chosen from community nominations.
Winners will be honored at an event, date and location to be announced shortly.
Award winners are only eligible for one award per year.
We will be announcing more on these dates
- Coleman 2017 Mission-Based Small Business Lenders of the Year — Wed, October 11
- Coleman 2017 Rural Small Business Lenders of the Year — Mon, October 16
- Coleman 2017 SBA 7(a) Lenders of the Year — Tue, October 17
Congratulations to this year’s 2017 SBA 504 Lenders of the Year!
Coleman SBA 504 Lenders of the Year
Chris Hurn, CEO & Founder, Fountainhead Commercial Capital, Florida
Chris is CEO and Founder of Fountainhead Commercial Capital, a nationwide, non-bank, direct commercial lender specializing in owner-occupied commercial real estate with the SBA 504 loan program. He and his executive team have collectively funded more than $26 billion in SBA 504 projects over the past 20 years, making Chris and his team one of the most experienced in SBA lending.
He provides financing programs to entrepreneurs that give them an advantage over their corporate competition, exponentially increasing the velocity of growth with lower rates, longer terms, and swift approvals. He has been named SBA Financial Services Champion three times in his lending career and is also an Amazon best-selling author of “The Entrepreneur’s Secret to Creating Wealth: How the Smartest Business Owners Build their Fortunes.”
But Chris has always had a vision that goes far beyond fast facts and figures. He, and the entire team at Fountainhead, value one thing above the SBA’s vast tools of the trade that they have mastered over years of practice. They value the real people that they can help through their services, the lives they can change for the better and the impact they can have on an entire community.
“Chris Hurn has built a fast-growing, entrepreneurial company by helping other entrepreneurs finance their dreams and build long-term wealth. There’s nothing more powerful in business than a combination of smart money and big ideas. Chris Hurn is a master of both.”
William C. Taylor, Cofounder of Fast Company
John Shen, CEO, American Lending Center, California
John Shen is CEO of American Lending Center, one of the largest non-bank lenders specializing in SBA 504 first loans. In the past seven years, ALC has created an unique model raising over $250 million dollars from foreign investors to fund approximately 80 small business loans in the US. Along the way these projects have successfully generated over 5,000 full time jobs in 14 different states. This business has made huge impact not only in small business lending but also in foreign direct investment. Their practice has paved roads for community and regional economic development. — Bruce Thompson, President, American Lending Center
Mark Stebbins (1953-2017)
I first met Mark in 1999 at a bank presentation in Dothan, AL while he was working for Truckee River Bank and I was working for a CDC in Alabama. Mark was introducing a new and growing SBA 504 secondary market business model and he captured my attention and imagination. I talked to Mark after the presentation and made more than a friend, I made a mentor.
What Mark didn’t know at the time was that I had recently experienced a serious financial setback. What Mark outlined was the business opportunity I needed to help me earn my way out of financial disaster and get back on my feet again. I soon returned to the banking community where I was given the opportunity to pursue this line of business. I spoke to Mark nearly every day in those early years and continued to work with him when he opened his own company, Wholesale Lender Resources. Mark hosted me and my wife at a Zion’s Bank lender conference in Lake Tahoe and was so kind and generous with his time and attention. He even tried to teach me to snow ski! Needless to say, this Alabama boy was not a very good student!
I learned so much from him about this business and I still use some of his charts and tables nearly 18 years later. While my focus has changed over the years, I continue to be active in the SBA lending industry.
I know I would not be where I am today had it not been for what I learned from my friend Mark and the personal interest he took in helping me be successful.
I am so sad to hear of his passing and wish you and all his extended family my deepest sympathy and condolences. Mark was a gentlemen and a professional. Heaven has gained a special soul.
Kevin Kilpatrick, Senior Vice President, Peoples Bank of Alabama
Barbara Vohryzek, President & CEO, NADCO, Washington DC
Barbara is the President and CEO of the National Association of Development Companies Her background, as the Founder and Executive Director of California Statewide CDC as well as the Founder & Director of Community Business Bank, has empowered her to understand the CDC industry and the 504 loan program from every angle. With over 30 years of experience in economic development and lending, including 25 years of experience directly with the 504 loan program, Vohryzek ranks among the most knowledgeable advocates for small business and capital access in the United States.
In addition to the aforementioned, Barbara served as the President of Vohryzek & Co., a consulting services company with a focus on SBA Lender Reviews, SBA 504 loan intensive servicing and liquidation, and SBA loan program training and development of innovative small business loan products.
Most recently, Vohryzek was an appointee at Governor Jerry Brown’s Office of Business and Economic Development, where she served as the Principal Advocate in California on behalf of state small businesses. She was a Founding Board Member and Director for California Economic Development Lending Initiative and a Founding Board Member, Chairperson and Vice Chairperson for California Resources and Training (CARAT).
Vohryzek began her career of small business advocacy at the Office of Local Development for the California Trade and Commerce Agency. She holds both an M.A. and B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Davis.
Kim Willis, President & CEO, Ameritrust CDC, Washington
As the founder, president, and CEO of Ameritrust CDC, Kim has been active in nearly all aspects of the company, which currently holds a loan portfolio of over $175 million. What makes this truly astonishing is the fact that she started the company in 2007, right before the crash, and emerged from its depths by promoting a strong mission, professional communication, and developing an effective workforce – her three keys to success. The true beauty of her efforts lies not only in the fact that she has built her company to be as strong as it is, but also in the fact that the inherent nature of her business is to help small business owners, their businesses, and economies prosper through the 504 program.
Chris Hurn, President, Fountainhead Commercial Capital.