Board of Directors

PRESIDENT

   
 Ellen W. Smith
 Managing Director
 RIVERON
   

Ellen Smith's responsibilities include practice development and client relationship management. She has over 20 years of experience in strategic growth, finance and accounting consulting, client service, and relationship development with a special emphasis. She is dedicated to identifying business trends and emerging transactional opportunities that benefit both new and existing clients.

Ellen has been in the Dallas market for more than 20 years. She is active in the community and is a member of the Community Partners of Dallas Board of Directors. Prior to joining Riveron, she held various client service and business development roles with Ernst & Young LLP, J.P. Morgan Chase, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Ellen is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth, Commercial Finance Association, the Women’s Finance Exchange and the Women’s Energy Network.

She earned a Masters and Bachelor's of Business Administration in Finance from Texas Tech University.



VICE PRESIDENT


 Bryan Fischer
 Director
 BDO               

Bryan Fischer is Director with BDO. Previously, he worked as Director of Business Development for Great American Group. 

A Dallas native, he returned to the area in 2013 after working 9 years in Chicago as a Fixed-Income and Futures Trader for Gambit Trading, and later as Managing Partner for NBM Group. He is a graduate of Boston College.


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TREASURER/SECRETARY


 Amy Patton
 Senior Manager
 Moss Adams

Amy has over 17 years of professional experience and serves as an Audit Senior Manager in the Dallas office of Moss Adams. She provides a wide range of audit and accounting services for both public and privately held companies.  Amy also has significant experience with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosure and reporting requirements.  Amy is skilled with section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX 404) internal controls and reporting.

Amy has developed a focus in the healthcare, construction, and energy industries. Prior to joining Hein, Amy was a member of the audit team at Ernst & Young LLP. She is currently a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA), Commercial Finance Association (CFA), and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).  Amy received her bachelor's degree in accounting, as well as her Master of Science in accounting, from Texas Tech University in 1999.


AT LARGE

 
 Tony Banks
 Director of Business Development
 Grant Thornton

Tony is with the Dallas office of Grant Thornton where, as Director of Business Development, he represents the firm's full suite of services to a diverse mix of industries, including private equity.

Prior to Grant Thornton, Tony worked in a similar capacity for seven years with Hein & Associates, a CPA firm that services middle-market clients, He worked as the Vice President of Business Development for JD Ford & Company a Denver based, investment banking firm. He also worked in New York and in Dallas for Goldman Sachs’, Private Wealth Management Division.  Prior to Goldman Sachs, Tony worked as the Director of Marketing for Alexander Capital Management Group, a Denver-based asset management firm. 

He has a B.S. degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C.  He enjoys cycling, hiking, skiing, traveling and spending time with family.


IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT

 
 
 Joseph Acosta
 Partner
 FisherBroyles, LLP

Joe Acosta is a Partner in the national law firm of FisherBroyles, LLP.  He has a broad base of bankruptcy, corporate restructuring, work-out and commercial litigation experience, having been substantially involved in some of the largest chapter 11 bankruptcy cases in the United States. He has taken leading roles in representing debtors-in-possession, creditors' committees, trustees, examiners, putative debtors, lenders, landlords, lessees, commercial creditors, asset purchasers, professionals and other interested parties in all types of insolvency proceedings, including involuntary bankruptcy proceedings and appeals. 

He has extensive experience with creditor's rights and commercial litigation matters, having dismissed class actions, fraudulent conveyance claims, and preference claims, having served as Texas bankruptcy counsel for various retailers and financing companies and having represented all types of litigants in numerous commercial disputes.


Advisory Board

 
 Frank Bonet
 Senior Vice President
 PNC Business Credit
 Frank Bonet is a Senior Vice President and Business Development Officer for PNC Business 
 Credit.

 He has over 25 years of diversified experience in banking and commercial lending. Prior to PNC
 Business Credit, Frank held business development positions with Briar Capital L.P., First
 Community Financial, Spectrum Commercial Services, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank. 

 Frank is a member of the Association For Corporate Growth, Turnaround Management
 Association, Commercial Finance Association and The Finance Forum.

 He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University.
   
 
 Anthony Herrera
 Partner
 Holland & Knight

Anthony J. Herrera is a Partner in Holland & Knight's  Dallas office and a member of the Firm’s Business Department. He primarily represents capital providers such as banks, finance companies, private equity groups, hedge funds and other debt and equity investors.

He focuses his practice on negotiating, structuring, and documenting transactions involving senior secured credit facilities, junior capital and mezzanine facilities as well as acquisition finance, equipment finance and structured finance. Additionally,
Mr. Herrera regularly advises clients in debt and equity restructurings, workouts and recapitalizations.
 

 Mark Knowles
 Partner
 Condon Thornton Sladek PLLC 

Mark Knowles is a partner with Condon Thornton Sladek PLLC.  Mark represents lenders and borrowers in complex domestic and international financings.  He has extensive experience in connection with syndicated credit facilities, leveraged finance, acquisition finance, asset-based financings, first/second lien financings, complex inter-creditor arrangements, project financings, debt restructurings and workouts, derivatives, and structured trade finance transactions.  Mark’s clients include financial institutions, private equity firms, funds, and public and private companies.
 
 Kathryn G. Reid
 Partner
 Rochelle McCullough, LLP

Kate Reid is a partner at the law firm of Rochelle McCullough, LLP.  Her work focuses on advising and representing clients in commercial bankruptcy and litigation matters.  She counsels trustees, landlords, trade creditors, and asset purchasers in all manner of insolvency proceedings across a broad range of industries, including oilfield services, construction, independent broker-dealer, healthcare, restaurant and alcoholic beverage, and commercial waste disposal.  Kate’s litigation experience includes extensive representation of bankruptcy trustees in the prosecution of fraudulent conveyance and preference claims, and D&O/E&O lawsuits.

Kate holds degrees in Business Administration from The Ohio State University and a Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University.

 
 Scott Wallace
 Executive Partner
 Holland & Knight 

Scott Wallace is Executive Partner at Holland and Knight and helps clients close deals efficiently in a rapid marketplace. He counsels financial institutions in a variety of financing transactions, including asset-based and cash flow lending, subordinated debt, mezzanine and structured finance transactions, and workouts and restructurings. 

Mr. Wallace also represents borrowers in financing transactions and buyers and sellers in acquisition transactions in a wide range of industries and economic sectors, including manufacturing, health care, real estate, retail, service, distribution and oil and gas.

  Chris Welsh
 Managing Partner
 ARG Partners

Chris Welsh is the Managing Partner at ARG Partners.  Chris manages ARG’s strategic corporate renewal, turnaround and financial services practices.  Chris’ responsibilities include relationship management with ARG’s financial partners, clients and financial advisors.  ARG Partners provides customized financial service solutions for client lenders, borrowers, sponsorship groups, and other vested entities around the world.

Chris also owns and operates DBR Consultancy, which focuses on CRE asset advisory and management. 

Previously, Chris worked for lending institutions Bank One/JP Morgan Chase, The CIT Group, Sterling Bank, PCB and Regions Bank.  Chris is the immediate past president of the Commercial Finance Association – Southwest Chapter.  The Southwest chapter was recognized as 2012 Chapter of the Year by the National Commercial Finance Association.  He is now an active chapter board member.  Chris is also an active member of the Turnaround Management Association, Association of Corporate Growth and Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors.  


 
 Steve Bellah
 Director
 Remuda Credit Advisors

With 20 plus years of commercial finance, managerial, and advisory experience, Steve Bellah has worked with all facets of commercial finance ranging from new business origination to loan workouts. He has built substantial businesses and portfolios for institutions such as The CIT Group, GE Capital, and Wells Fargo Foothill.

Steve has substantial experience with complex transactions such as management buyouts, leveraged buyouts, turnarounds, debtor-in-possession financing, changes of control and special situations. Mr. Bellah’s experience includes extensive work in working capital management, cash-flow management, profitability analysis, asset based lending, subordinated capital, securitizations, leasing, term loans, and factoring.

He holds a BA in Economics and Finance from the University of Texas at Dallas; FINRA series 7, 63, and 79.

                                  

 Mike Ehlert
 Managing Director
 BMO Harris Bank

Mike Ehlert is Managing Director, Asset-Based Lending, for BMO Harris Bank. He is responsible for managing BMO Harris Bank's Asset-Based Lending business throughout Texas and the surrounding region.

Mike has more than 35 years of financial services experience, with a specific focus on Asset-Based Lending since 1994.

He has an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and a BBA/Accounting from Midwestern State University.


 
 Suzanne Lovett
 Director, Originations
 Southwest Region
 Siena Lending Group
 

Suzanne Lovett is Director of Originations, Southwest Region, for Siena Lending Group. Prior to this position, she was Senior Vice President and Business Development Officer for Presidential Financial Corporation, a MidFirst Bank company.

She has been an asset-based lender in the Southwest for more than 30 years, beginning her career with Foothill Capital as a workout consultant, but has spent the majority of her career in developing, structuring and closing senior secured debt transactions for Wells Fargo Capital Finance and its legacy companies.

Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance with summa cum laude distinction from The University of Texas at Dallas.  She has previously served as President of The Women’s Finance Association, Grants Chair and Board of Director for the Dallas Women’s Foundation, and Treasurer for the DFW chapter of the Turnaround Management Association.  She currently is involved as a member of the Association for Corporate Growth, Commercial Finance Association, and Turnaround Management Association. 


 
 Art Boyle
 Vice President
 PNC Business Credit

Art Boyle is a Vice President and Business Development Officer for PNC Business Credit in the Southwest Region.

PNC Business Credit is a leading national provider of secured financing solutions to middle and lower-middle market companies. Prior to joining the originations team in Dallas, Texas, Art held several positions within PNC Business Credit including Relationship Manager and Field Examiner.

In addition to the Commercial Finance Association, he is also a member of the Association for Corporate Growth.

Originally from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, Art received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. In his free time, Art enjoys music, sports, and the outdoors.


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