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At Charter School Capital, we are honored to have a team of talented, dedicated, and mission-driven charter school experts who exemplify our company’s core values: empowerment, best-in-class, teamwork, accountability, and innovation. Together this team embodies an extraordinary collective resume with backgrounds in finance, law, real estate, marketing, non-profit, technology, and education. The depth of our financial resources and our solid understanding of the issues charter schools face helps us provide our school partners with the flexible and reliable holistic services and solutions they require to educate more students today— and in the future.
Yesterday’s lemonade-stand kid is today’s entrupreneur. It’s a unique moniker for the company’s President, CEO and co-founder, that blends together his 30+ years of financial entrepreneurship, proven success in raising capital for high growth organizations, and penchant for solving complex business problems, especially those he’s told can’t be solved.
He received his degree in Political Economies of Industrial Societies from the University of California at Berkeley, which is also where he befriended his future co-founder Brad Coburn. Working closely with Brad, they developed a solution charter schools faced in accessing capital. Since founding Charter School Capital in 2006, the company has provided in excess of $1.6 billion in financing to 600+ schools serving more than 800,000 students. Stuart lives in Portland, moving from California after compiling an extremely detailed spreadsheet analyzing the most livable cities in America. Portland came out on top of the complex analysis…and he’s happy to tell you that story in person.
Brad has always been a pragmatic guy. As a teenager, when many kids are dreaming about sports, cars and weekends, Coburn was assessing which career would best match his skills to give him a stable and rewarding career after graduation. With a gift for numbers, he studied economics, receiving a degree with honors the University of California at Berkeley. There he met his future co-founder Stuart Ellis.
Brad first launched his finance career at investment firm Credit Suisse First Boston. His entrepreneurial spirit first took roots when he opened a health club in San Francisco (and yes, you should ask him how much he can bench press). Brad went on to receive an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. While working for a large financial institution in securitized finance, Stuart contacted him about the opportunity to aid charter schools. Brad’s knowledge of secured debt, real estate and financial transactions are invaluable pillars to the company’s foundation. When Brad’s not working on building up capital from investors to support our charter school clients, he enjoys extreme outdoor sports like heli-skiing and mountain cycling. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids in Larkspur, CA.
Carrie stuck to her southern California roots when she chose to attend Loyola Law School in LA for her Juris Doctorate and MBA degrees. After working within traditional law firms focusing on lending and finance law, she was offered an opportunity to join the Charter School Capital team. As one of the first employees within the organization, she has seen the business grow and enjoys that her work provides a chance for her to support financing in the education space — helping smart people do something interesting and impactful. Her favorite things include attending music festivals, eating great food (including bacon) and enjoying the sunshine with friends. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband and dog. Her favorite color is, of course, Dodger blue.
Kirt is always looking to live at the nexus of head and heart – balancing the energy of private enterprise and driving public good – where finance meets education – and bringing innovative ideas to scale. He finds it all at Charter School Capital. Before joining the team here, Kirt drove growth as a key leader in Renaissance Bankcard Services, using sophisticated statistical data modeling to grow consumer credit card portfolios – and resulting in the purchase by Household Credit Services (now a part of HSBC). Then, melding his passion for finance and education, Kirt became a founding and operational executive at Insight Schools, a national network of publicly funded charter high schools serving 14,000 students in 10 states with hundreds of employees, which ultimately became a part of the Apollo Group.
Kirt received his undergraduate degree from George Washington University and went on to receive graduate degrees in both Economics and Business Administration from Boston University. A Portland resident since 1997, he can be found either running up in the hills of Forest Park with his wife, two daughters, and yellow lab, Luna, or swimming in the Willamette River between the Marquam and Hawthorne Bridge. RCTID!
Danielle’s competitive nature helps drive our internal initiatives whether leading the company’s finances or our annual Hood-to-Coast racing team. She obtained her BS in Business Administration from Oregon State University and is a Certified Public Accountant. Prior to Charter School Capital, Danielle worked at a public accounting firm. She loves her current fast-paced work life and considers herself an “atypical accountant,” as she is involved in many projects that are not necessarily accounting related projects. Her love of ’80s Rock ‘n’ Roll and her bright attitude keep the office positive. Danielle is an Oregon native and currently lives in the Portland-metro area with her husband and two daughters.
Janet took her first cell phone call in 1973 as a student and AT&T operator, and hasn’t put the phone down since! It’s an understatement to say that innovation and technology are part of her DNA, as she’s run global marketing teams for education technology, cloud automation, and technology (SaaS, enterprise software) companies. She is an experienced executive with deep experience in strategic planning, brand management, sales positioning and go-to-market strategies; and brings that broad set of experience together as the Chief Growth Officer for Charter School Capital. She spends her “free” time as an adjunct professor of digital marketing at Portland State University.
Jon brings years of financial experience to the Charter School Capital team, along with his plethora of vibrant socks and bowties. A graduate of Bethel University, with a Bachelor’s in Accounting, Jon has more than 25 years experience in financial services. Prior to joining Charter School Capital, Jon spent more than a decade at Wells Fargo, where he rose to Vice President for Product Management. After leaving Wells Fargo for a Senior Vice President role at Bank of America, Jon returned to Wells Fargo as Senior Vice President in 2007, before joining Charter School Capital in 2011. In his current role, Jon leads Facilities efforts related to acquisition, underwriting and portfolio management. Jon lives in Charlotte with his wife, daughter, son, and yellow lab.
Amy is originally from the Portland metro area. After attending the University of Oregon, Amy moved to England for a stint and lived in various cities along the Pacific coast before she found her way back to Portland. After gaining several years of experience working in law firms, Amy then joined the Charter School Capital team where found a role that utilizes her experience and skill set, while also providing her with an enjoyable change of pace. Amy spends her downtime biking around Portland and enjoying the riverfront with her son.
Ben brings a unique blend of experience to Charter School Capital, as has been both a school administrator, as well as a client-centric sales leader. Ben received his BA from the University of Oregon and his master’s in teaching from Lewis and Clark College in Portland. When not partnering with charter school clients in the Midwest and East Coast, you can find Ben spending time with his wife, Rose, and their two daughters, Ruby and Izzy.
A native of one of China’s mega cities, there are so many reasons Bohua was able to quickly call Portland home: endless selection of outdoor activities, numerous (weird) local coffee shops, and most importantly, space. Prior to joining the Charter School Capital team, Bohua has experience working with securities and investment firms both in China and the United States. She has her M.B.A from Willamette University and a Master of Management degree from Peking University. In her role as Real Estate Analyst, Bohua is excited to bring her financial expertise into the facilities space. What excites her most about her role is the ability to interact with schools and assess how to best make an impact. Besides taking in the Pacific Northwest, Bohua enjoys traveling the world with her husband John. The top place on their bucket list? Taking a cruise to Antarctica and playing with penguins.
As Charter School Capital’s Controller, Brian oversees the general ledger, making sure there’s much more black on the page than red. A native Washingtonian, Brian grew up just across the Columbia River in Vancouver, WA. After getting his Bachelor’s in Economics from Portland State University, he earned a Certificate in Accounting from Linfield College and is a Certified Public Accountant. While he loves a good number crunch, life isn’t just ledgers for Brian. An avid sports fan and enthusiastic athlete, Brian loves riding his bike around town – from Timbers games in the northwest to weekly Kickball games in the northeast. Along with his wife of eleven years, Brian is the proud parent of nine-year-old daughter named Fiona, who attends a local charter school. As such, Brian is a staunch advocate of the charter school movement, knowing well that every parent wants the best education for their children.
Brittini is a Southern California native who transplanted herself, her husband, and her son to Portland just to work at Charter School Capital. She manages the implementation of marketing initiatives and operations as well as, the company’s presence at educational conferences and events throughout the country. She’s been working in marketing for the last 4 years and previously managed social media and conferences at a small AEC startup, and was a marketing manager for Robert Walters recruitment in the San Francisco area. When she’s not keeping the marketing team on track, she enjoys running, hiking, playing with her baby, and all things French.
A native Oregonian, Charlie joined CSC in the fall of 2017 to drive new product/services initiatives. His responsibilities recently expanded to include Sales and Business Development. Charlie arrived with senior management experience having been the CEO of three technology companies, and more relevantly, the COO and SVP of Business Development at a boutique financial services company. He holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Oregon. Charlie’s professional passion is to develop people/ teams, grow a happy client base, and develop new products. Outside of the office, Charlie enjoyed a successful (12 championships!) sports car racing career spanning 30 years, loves fly fishing and his mighty fighting Oregon Ducks sports teams. Charlie and his wife Paige have had a blast raising their four wonderful adult children.
Chris grew up in Marietta, Georgia (sadly, he retained no trace of a Southern accent) and received a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia. After college, he lived in the Bay Area and New York City and worked in the areas of music and art—before moving to Portland in 2002 and attending law school at Lewis & Clark. Prior to joining Charter School Capital, Chris was in private practice as a business lawyer specializing in financing, corporate, insolvency, commercial agreements, and other transactional and litigation matters. His daughters both attended charter schools, and he loves being part of a talented team committed to empowering charter schools across the country. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his family, seeing live music, supporting the Timbers and Wahoos, and occasional karaoke sessions.
Hailing from Long Island, NY, Cindy has found a lot to love about Portland in the last 9 years, even if our Italian food and bagels remain sorely inferior. Portland’s easy access to wilderness and wildlife – like the verdant greens and nesting birds found on Sauvie Island, just a short drive from Cindy’s home neighborhood of St. John’s – make up for some of our town’s culinary blind spots. A graduate of SUNY Stony Brook with a Paralegal Degree from Marist College, Cindy spent many years working as a paralegal for some of the most prestigious law firms in the country before coming to Charter School Capital. As a Project Manager for our Facilities Department, Cindy ensures that our client schools have the best facilities available, so they can focus on their goal of bringing the best education possible to their students.
Claire grew up in Sebastopol, a tiny town in Northern California populated almost exclusively with hippies – from there it was a natural progression to UC Santa Cruz (go Banana Slugs!) where she earned her BA in International Politics and Modern European History—writing a thesis on the EU that predicted the current Brexit disaster.
After spending time bartending in London and then working as a Corporate Paralegal in San Francisco, Claire made a visit to Portland in 2006 and decided not to leave! She earned her MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Marylhurst before returning to work as a paralegal. Claire is a firm believer in the importance of education and a huge supporter of reimagining how education is integrated with, and prioritized within, our communities. She believes all students should be supported in cultivating their own unique gifts and skills – their “inner genius” as Michael Meade puts it.
Claire lives with her husband, their two cats (who are self-taught therapists), and a river view that soothes her soul while she practices yoga. In her spare time, she works on a novel she is writing and obsesses over the comings and goings of the British Royal Family.
Born and raised in Copley, Ohio, Claire has had the distinct pleasure of traveling and living all around the world. She had been a resident of Mexico for ten years when she received the call from a long-time colleague and co-founder of Charter School Capital, Stuart Ellis, to join his newly formed company. She gladly accepted the role and loves the work she does as a member of the Client Services team, as well as the Portland vibe. A Harley-Davidson devotee, Claire knows all about living a life of balance and is always looking for new roads to travel no matter what the weather brings.
Though born and raised in the South, visits to the Pacific Northwest convinced Corey that Portland was where he’d truly like to live. Earning his B.A. in Paralegal Studies from the University of Memphis, and 20+ years working within law firms, led to Corey’s opportunity to join the Charter School Capital team. During the workweek, his upbeat coworkers and the positive office atmosphere keep him content, but he is happiest in the outdoors – biking, hiking, and camping. Corey jokes that he is working on his retirement plan, which will include a tent and his bicycle somewhere in the Columbia Gorge or on the Oregon Coast.
Daniel is a lifelong northwest native, originally hailing from the Seattle area. After studying Political Science and Music Technology at the University of Oregon, Daniel quickly settled into the Portland area.
Initially working in the live audio industry, he decided to make the switch to the legal world. Before ultimately landing at Charter School Capital, Daniel worked as an independent contractor with the Social Security Administration.
Originally attracted to Portland for its local music scene, he’s an avid drummer who teaches drums when outside the office. In his spare time, you’ll most likely find him playing music with his bands or sharing the joy of music with others. Additionally, he enjoys the outdoors (especially during the warmer months) and can be found at your local hiking trails with his adorable mutt, Sophie.
As the Director of Client Relations, Donna spends her days making sure each funding happens as quickly and efficiently as possible. But as the company wanderluster, she spends her free time visiting far corners of the globe – placing her feet in remote places like the rocky shores of Easter Island and the low plains of Kenya. This traveler has touched down in 48 of the 50 United States, but calls the Portland metro home with her fur-babies Monkey, Coco, and Lulu. Her infectious laugh and get-it-done attitude make her the perfect Client Relationship Manager and the ideal globetrotter.
There’s a Charter School Capital story that years ago, an interviewee was told, “we’re looking for another Dott.” Despite our best efforts, we were finally forced to admit that Dott is one of a kind. A New York City resident for more than a decade, Dott used her B.A. in Theater for scenery painting, set design, and costume creation in productions all along the east coast. She later developed an appreciation for the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and settled near her sister in Oregon, becoming a costumer for her lucky nieces. Now a long-time resident of Portland, she worked as a legal secretary for 13 years before the opportunity arose to join Charter School Capital. She finds joy in the fact that the organization really helps people. She also enjoys hunting for waterfalls outdoors, singing in her choir, and is an avid (if not adept) golfer.
Drew grew up in Jackson, Mississippi and stayed true to his roots by obtaining his B.A. at Jackson’s Bellhaven College. After working in the field of education for more than six years, he discovered the charter school movement and began making changes that would allow him to support his community. His belief in the charter school movement also led him to Charter School Capital where he hopes to have a positive impact on charter schools across the country. He has fallen in love with the Pacific Northwest and enjoys getting out into the sunshine when the weather allows, but he still appreciates the flavor of the south by reading books such as A Confederacy of Dunces in his spare time.
Dylan grew up just across the Columbia River in Vancouver, WA and joins Charter School Capital after several years working in nonprofit leadership and higher education enrollment. He attended Concordia University for undergrad and more recently earned an MBA from the University of Portland. As an Inside Sales Representative, he partners with schools in the South East. Most weekends you can find Dylan attending a Portland Timbers game, hiking, traveling, and spending time with his growing family.
Facilities Acquisition Associate
Gus originally hails from Del Mar, California, but spent some time as a child living in Washington, D.C.. He also lived in Charlottesville, Virginia while studying history and business administration at the University of Virginia. Gus is joining Charter School Capital after having spent three years in asset management and acquisitions where he’s developed critical relationships with various tenants, brokers, and developers across the country. His most recent work in commercial real estate was at Realty Income Corporation, a real estate investment trust in San Diego that invests in free-standing, single-tenant commercial properties in the United States.
Because Gus comes from a family of teachers (wife, mom, and aunts), the opportunity to combine his passion for commercial real estate with a company that provides support for teachers and students was incredibly attractive. He was excited at the chance for he and his wife to relocate to Portland, a city where he had family (the in-laws), the incredible restaurant scene it offers, and a climate that is more suited to their two seven-year-old Siberian huskies, Charger and Luna. In his spare time, Gus enjoys hiking with Charger and Luna (they’re regulars now at Mt. Tabor Park), playing tennis, watching UVA football and basketball, exploring Portland, brewing beer, and cooking.
A Pacific Northwest native, Jake grew up in Spokane, WA and moved to Portland with his wife just 3 years ago. He attended Gonzaga Preparatory High School and then attended Washington State University. Before joining our team as an Inside Sales Representative, he worked in retail and sales for 10 years so was excited to put his sales background to work toward helping charter schools. He loves that his job involves impacting schools positively on a daily basis. He’s an avid skier, loves anything outdoorsy, and playing sports of any kind.
Hailing originally from New England, Jamie enjoys all that Oregon has to offer: spending time with his family in the mountains, at the ocean, and around town (eating at every local restaurant they can find). An avid competitor in cross-country skiing, cycling, and running, Jamie nevers misses a chance to pin a number and line up for a race. Before joining the Charter School Capital team as the Director of Financial Analysis and Risk, Jamie spent 15 years learning the finance and management worlds in a variety roles including real estate finance and development, investment banking and industrial manufacturing. Jamie has his B.S. in Business from the University of New Hampshire and his M.B.A. from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. He previously held Series 7, 63, 86, and 87 FINRA licenses, a LEED-AP Certification, and a Oregon Real Estate license. The passionate team, culture, and company vision that brought Jamie to Charter School Capital is the one that he hopes to help drive forward as the company continues to grow.
A transplant to Portland from Sacramento, Jen found strong resonance with Charter School Capital’s mission to empower charter schools, and serves as our Salesforce Administrator. After attending university in London, she spent a decade overseeing technology, program development and operations in the nonprofit sector. She enjoys travel, archery, escape rooms, and exploring the outdoors with her Belgian Tervuren and adventure cat, Eggs. But, at the end of the day, Jen really just lives for any opportunity to hop on her dual-sport motorcycle.
Originally from the greater Philadelphia area, Kaitlyn has adapted well to Portland’s adventure and eclectic food scenes. It was tough deciding between teaching and business, but she eventually received her degree of Business & Economics from Westmont College. She couldn’t be happier to find Charter School Capital which supports her interests in both. When not at the office, you can usually find her on the trail, in the kitchen, at the theater, or in a tasting room.
Karrie is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Charter School Capital and is an award-winning digital marketer in both the non-profit and B2B tech space. An unconventional career path as a serial entrepreneur and interior architect has honed her skills in building and developing customer relationships, design, content creation, and digital marketing. When she’s not heads-down writing and editing, you can find her in her garden, pursuing creative endeavors, hiking, reading, or just hanging with her Swedish husband, two energetic teenagers, and adorable dog. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Kelly grew up in Rockford, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, and is a diehard Cubs fan. She studied education at Northern Illinois University and went on to pursue her paralegal certification. After 13 years working within a law firm in the Portland area, Kelly decided she wanted a change and Charter School Capital gained a new team member. She enjoys her co-workers and has fun with the office’s downtown location. Kelly enjoys baking and reading, but spends most of her “downtime” managing her family’s busy schedule of sports and school activities.
Originally from San Diego, Lucy moved to Los Angeles to open the first Charter School Capital office with CEO Stuart Ellis. She then took the plunge to move to Portland as one of the first team members when Stuart offered to sweeten the deal with an incentive that made it possible to fulfill her Harley-Davidson motorcycle obsession. She started as a Jill of all trades, doing jobs like Accounts Payable, Underwriting, Funding and managing tradeshows until hires were made to fill those roles. As our Office Manager, she’s happy to keep her focus on keeping the lights on…literally. Whether it’s onboarding new hires or organizing employee Lunch n’ Learns, keeping us in office equipment and organizing entire office moves (she has overseen 5 to date!), she generally makes everything flow smoothly. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, dancing, and gardening.
Malena Lankenau is a California transplant who grew up immersed in classical music and played violin and double bass through early adulthood. When she’s not assisting with legal matters at CSC, she enjoys baking, tango dancing and directing short, claymation tributes to rock musicians, most of whom her classical friends would call “dilettante bums”. After the cookies are gone and the clay dries out, she plays in her new thrash metal band, The Dilettante Bums.
Mary was born and lived in Ireland until 2012, when she moved to Portland, OR with her Husband and 2 boys. Following in her Dad’s footsteps, Mary has worked in Real Estate her entire career, starting after she completed her bachelor in Accounting and Finance (Commerce) at the University College Dublin, since specializing in development and asset services. Outside of work She loves attending soccer games, Lacrosse games and sitting on the sidelines at her kids basketball games. Herself, her husband and kids love to travel and be outdoors as much as possible. They love living in Portland as it reminds them of their home country with the added bonus of sunshine in the summer.
Matt is a true Oregonian. Born and raised in the Portland area, Matt attended the University of Oregon, where he received a B.S. in business, specializing in finance. As the Manager of Financial Analysis and Risk, he has a deep understanding of the charter school space and the financial challenges that schools face. He enjoys the analytical side of his role, but has a passion for collaboration and problem solving that serves our clients well. When he’s not in the office, you can find him on the golf course, or enjoying the expansive Portland food scene.
Matthew grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and received his BS from Belahven College in Jackson, Mississippi. He spent 17 years working in Education from Florida to Alaska, with a focus on literacy reform and consulting. After years of working in both public and private education, and supporting the charter movement, Matthew is excited to be here at Charter School Capital and support its mission to help charter schools grow, achieve stability, and ultimately serve more students. In his spare time, you can find him either watching SEC football, or at the soccer fields with his wife and two boys.
Originally from Sacramento, California, Melissa joined Charter School Capital in March of 2014. Since day one, Melissa has submerged herself in the betterment of youth education and fiscal management of schools across the country while going above and beyond to support clients with her vivacious tenacity and energy. While servicing over eighty clients, Melissa manages receivables sold, processes loan payments, monitors and maintains AEP properties rent status. When Melissa is not at work she continues to find herself exploring the city of Portland. As an avid football fan, she is heavily invested in the New Orleans Saints as well as the Oregon Ducks. Her dog, Jules, is her best travel buddy whether they head to the Oregon Coast for a weekend or drive the lengthy trek to Sacramento to visit her friends and family.
Michelle is an Account Manager for the Client Services team, Eastern Region. She maintains long-term relationships with the schools she works with, and on an ongoing basis strategizes solutions for fiscal emergencies to growth planning. She loves the energy and innovation of working for a startup company and loves that her work involves helping kids get the education they deserve. She hails from sunny San Diego and is part of a big family whose holiday family gatherings are pretty epic. She met her husband, a native Oregonian while attending the University of San Diego where she studied Finance, with a minor in French. Both adventurous at heart they moved to Portland, directly after graduation. A Portlander for six years, Michelle enjoys all the green scenery, the Oregon Ducks, hiking, movie-going, and Voodoo Donuts.
As Charter School Capital’s Arizona Client Services Representative, Mike Robinson loves working locally to help charter schools succeed. A 10-year resident of Arizona, Mike doesn’t mind the heat, and loves the scenic beauty of the Arizona desert. Born in Virginia, Mike went to Elon University in North Carolina, where he studied history. Happily married for 22 years, Mike has a teenage daughter attending Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, and a teenage son running track and playing football at his high school in Peoria. When Mike’s not advocating for his clients, or enjoying Mexican food at one of Phoenix’s many wonderful cantinas, he loves playing golf, hiking and everything football, soccer and rugby. Mike was recently inducted into the Herndon High School Hall of Fame.
Hailing from a small town in Wyoming, Nancy attended the University of Utah where she received a B.S. in accounting, a Masters in Professional Accountancy, and a Juris Doctorate. Prior to joining Charter School Capital in her role as Assistant General Counsel, she worked both in the private and public sector with extensive experience in the areas of public finance, structured finance, commercial finance, corporate finance and real estate. In her spare time, Nancy enjoys traveling, gardening, and spending time with her husband, daughter and their one-eyed cat. Like many of Charter School Capital’s employees, Nancy is excited to be a part of a growing organization where she has a true voice in charting the company’s path going forward.
Inside Sales Representative
Rekha originally hails from the Detroit area by way of San Diego, Tijuana, Cusco Peru, and Chicago! Portland immediately won her over 10 years ago after a visit to see a friend. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from American Intercontinental University, Rekha became an educator. She’s been working in education for over 10 years as both a teacher and a program coordinator. Having spent four of those 10 years in a public charter school, Rekha brings her solid business educational background as well as a deep understanding of the funding challenges charter schools face. She is thrilled to be at Charter School Capital where she can be a part of a solution that will allow teachers and staff to focus on doing the great work they strive to do! In her spare time, you can find her on a stand-up paddle board (when it’s sunny), at a park with her pup, Kylee, making music with her husband (they used to be in a band), doting on her adorable baby, Darby Lee, or practicing patience with her stubborn 18-year-old-kitty!
Originally from Boston, Rich loves the laid-back vibes of his new home in Portland. He is responsible for developing new services to help charter schools succeed. Prior to joining Charter School Capital, he spent time as a management consultant at Strategy& (formerly Booz& Co.) in New York, where he developed a love for frameworks, models, and all things PowerPoint. Prior to his time as a consultant, he spent several years working for Cambridge Associates, where he helped endowments and foundations manage their investments. Rich is a Chartered Financial Analyst and holds an MBA from The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and a BS in Business Administration from Northeastern University. Outside of work, Rich loves trying to perfect his sourdough bread recipe, exploring the outdoors, and sipping on local Northwest wines.
Richard was born in North Carolina, but headed west to Oregon in 1992. He lives in Salem with his lady and two chihuahua puppies, Frank and Beans. He attended Portland State University where he got his degree in Finance. In previous career incarnations, he did Sales and Finance, was in the restaurant industry for 20 years, and had a stint as a standup comedian in Hollywood. In his free time, he loves any type of outdoor sports (hiking, fishing, hunting), bowling with his league, and travel. He’s also a fantasy football expert, so we expect he will clean house for the next office bracket.
Ryan was raised outside of Boston and graduated from Amherst College in Massachusetts. After college, he moved west with his wife Monique and their three children: Lauren, Liam, and Reed. It’s been over nine years now, but he’s still a die-hard Boston sports fan. He enjoys coaching his kid’s sports teams and doing volunteer work with his wife’s non-profit organization, Friendly House. Ryan has been with Charter School Capital for four years now and is passionate about working with local leaders to make their visions a reality.
Ryann is a Virginia native who completed her BS in Marketing Management at Virginia Tech, followed by a Juris Doctorate and MBA from Campbell University. Ryann really enjoys supporting school choice and feels good about Charter School Capital’s mission. She also likes working with her team; a group of people that make work fun. Ryann loves to travel and would love to someday visit Uganda or Rwanda to see mountain gorillas, but for now, she enjoys weekend trips closer to home.
Schalise Vancura is returning to Charter School Capital in the role of Sr. Operations Manager. In her previous role here, she was a valued member of our Financial Analysis & Risk Team. Prior to Charter School Capital, Schalise earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska and her Masters in Financial Analysis from Portland State University while working with a local boutique consulting firm where she managed the daily operations of various small-sized companies. Most recently, Schalise was an AVP in the Equity Research department of a boutique investment bank and broker-dealer specializing in the financial services sector. While Schalise hails from Nebraska, she has come to love the trails of Oregon, which she frequents with her Goldendoodle, Remy. When she’s not out appreciating the great outdoors here in the Pacific Northwest, you can find her enjoying traveling, reading, wine, and whiskey!
Originally from Whidbey Island, Washington, Shannon departed for the mainland to attend Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, where she studied Communications and Women’s Studies. From there, she moved to Portland where she served 2-years as an AmeriCorps VISTA member (think domestic Peace Corps) and liked it so much she stayed. Through AmeriCorps, she landed a job at a charter school as an Enrollment Director where her passion for education-based work developed. After working in university recruiting for 3 years, Shannon transitioned to Charter School Capital in May 2017 as an Inside Sales Representative. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, taking advantage of the awesome comedy-scene in Portland, traveling, volunteering and activism with the Democratic Socialists of America, collecting bones, and hanging out with her partner and their pug dog.
After 20+ years in the photo industry, most recently as a District Account Manager with Nikon Inc., Shausta switched careers to join Charter School Capital.
Real Estate Analyst
Smita was born and raised in India where she received a Bachelor’s in Accounting and Finance from Karnataka University. She moved to beautiful Portland 11 years ago where she studied and graduated from Portland State University earning her Master’s of Science in Finance. After graduating, Smita spent a esteemed four-month internship at Tektronix as a corporate controller followed by four years at H&R Block where she prepared over 400 individual tax returns impressively receiving the highest customer satisfaction rate.
A strong believer in education, Smita was inspired to join Charter School Capital so she could be a part of an organization that is helping schools provide quality education to so many students. And motivated by success, she embraces the certainty that, “There is no secret to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure,” as stated by Colin Powell.
Smita lives with her husband and two beautiful daughters, ages nine and 13. In her free time, she enjoys vacations where she gets to explore new places with her family, and loves dancing—performing Bollywood dances at various Indian cultural events.
Born and raised in Oregon, Stephanie manages marketing strategy at Charter School Capital. She attended the University of Oregon in Eugene, and has spent the duration of her career enjoying the great Northwest with big brands like Microsoft, Nike, and WebMD. An avid hiker, home renovation guru, and bookworm, when she’s not at the Charter School Capital office, she can be found nuzzling her toddler or planning her next big trip out of the country.
Facilities Acquisition & Underwriting Manager
Tommy joins us as a Californian transplant from the great city of Los Angeles. He and his wife, a Portland native, moved up here three years ago so that she could take advantage of an amazing opportunity to open a shop here in P-town! Tommy studied business administration at Boston University where he received his bachelor’s degree. After that, he worked with a private real estate developer in New York City. His next career adventure took him to Cantor Fitzgerald’s subsidiary real estate lender, Cantor Commercial Real Estate, in Los Angeles to work in real estate finance originating CMBS debt. His last three years were spent here in Portland working at a local commercial real estate development and brokerage firm. Tommy loves the outdoors, trying new restaurants and spending time with his adorable French bulldog, beautiful wife and baby girl!
Tricia Blum, formerly an interim turnaround CEO of a charter organization located in Los Angeles, California, is thrilled to be working with Charter School Capital as the head of the charter school business department. Tricia supports client schools that need strategic business, financial, and operational guidance. Prior to her tenure as a charter CEO, Tricia worked as an inspiring executive leader of a high-growth charter management organization. During Tricia’s time as a leader at both organizations she created and instituted operational policies and procedures as well as strategic growth plans including replication and duplication strategies that enabled each organization to successfully scale their education programs. Prior to joining the charter movement, Tricia practiced transactional law. As a new attorney Tricia worked in-house at startup and high-growth companies in the mostly in Bay area. Tricia is also an aspiring “Bon Vivant.” In her off-time Ms. Blum enjoys spending time with her boys, designing, eating, traveling, reading and going to the beach. She has settled, for now, in her native California.
Through creativity and a willingness to listen, Charter School Capital strategically helped Cityscape Schools improve its financial position while also factoring in school-specific debt covenants and time constraints. We look forward to partnering with them, again, in the future.
Charter School Capital came to us as a gift when there were delays in government payments. We’ve served another 2000 students in the last two years because of the availability of cash flow financing with Charter School Capital.