With over 150 years of combined industry experience, AVANA Capital’s team is composed of experts in structuring debt, credit analysis, fixed-income investing, and risk management. AVANA specializes in guiding borrowers through every step of the lending process to ensure a quick, seamless and cost-effective process to close. AVANA has invested over 1.5B of institutional capital in Commercial Real Estate construction debt and helped hundreds of Small Business Owners realize their dreams while creating jobs and stimulating grassroots economic growth.
AVANA CUSO is headed by an exceptional group of leaders hailing from Credit Unions and Mortgage Lenders who have the network and experience in building partnerships and sourcing deals. As a seasoned Credit Union Servicing Organization that focuses on originating commercial real estate loans, AVANA CUSO partners with an expansive network of Credit Unions to diversify their lending portfolios, expand their geographical footprint, and mitigate concentration risk through loan participations.
Through the partnership between AVANA Capital and AVANA CUSO, we can offer comprehensive CRE lending solutions across a variety of asset classes on a nationwide scale. We pride ourselves in enhancing the client experience while providing small businesses across the country with access to the capital needed to grow their business.
Our Management Team
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Lending Officer
Chief Credit Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Vice President, Servicing
Chief Executive Officer
Sundip Patel is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AVANA Companies, the holding company for the ESG fintech platform serving entrepreneurs and investors since 2002. Sundip oversees the LendThrive™ and EqualSeat™ platforms for lending and investment, respectively, focused on supporting sustainable growth in communities. LendThrive™ was created to provide frictionless capital to small businesses in America while EqualSeat™ was created to democratize the returns from the small business loan investments.
Prior to founding AVANA, Sundip created the popular tech startup Huddle247.com, providing online business services for workgroup collaboration, and which PC Magazine rated among the top virtual workplace solutions in 2000. He also founded SOFTECT, a California-based technology training start-up.
Sundip earned an MBA from the University of California, Irvine in 1998 and bachelors’ degrees in economics, finance, and accounting from California State University at Fullerton in 1990. He holds both a CPA and CMA licenses in California, USA.
Sundip splits his time between the headquarters in Bahrain, Middle East and Phoenix, Arizona, USA. With his passion for helping others, he founded the Giggle Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides funding towards basic health, education, and empowerment for underprivileged people in the USA, Africa, and India. Sundip is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (Bahrain and San Francisco Gold), the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO), and the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL).
Sundip is a frequent speaker on investing, lending, ESG, fintech, and technology.
Chief Lending Officer
As Chief Lending Officer, Sanat has 22 years of industry experience and a track record in net income and balance sheet growth for commercial banks. He was instrumental in creating niche-lending programs across the United States for small business owners and developing “social underwriting” for the ethnic community customers. The concept of social underwriting investigates the family history, relationships and connections within the ethnic communities to better understand the risk profile of the sponsors in any transaction. He currently serves as the Chief Sales Officer of AVANA Capital, LLC.
Prior to joining AVANA, Sanat was a Vice-President with JP Morgan Chase/Bank One, where he was responsible for the management of commercial banking relationships in Arizona and California. His focus was on providing tailored financial product solutions based on strategic business objectives. From 2002–2004, he consistently ranked in the top 5% of all JP Morgan middle-market bankers in the nation based on new revenue and overall production. Prior to JP Morgan, Sanat spent many years in various executive positions for Citigroup, Wells Fargo Bank and Household Bank.
Sanat is a graduate of California State University at Fullerton and the Pacific Coast Banking School. He is a founding board member of the Association for Corporate Growth, Arizona Chapter and recently serving as President of the Arizona Chapter. He also serves on the board of the Arizona Chapter of the Make A Wish Foundation.
Chief Credit Officer
Matt has over 20 years of lending experience and currently serves as the Chief Credit Officer for AVANA. Prior to joining AVANA Capital, Matt was Senior VP and Director of National Real Estate lending for Zions Bank. In that role, he oversaw the bank’s nationwide commercial real estate lending platform with a primary focus in SBA 504 lending. During his 16 years at Zions, the National Real Estate Group originated over $10 billion in commercial real estate loans, including nearly $5 billion in SBA 504 1st mortgage loans. He brings deep experience in managing over $3.5 billion in SBA loans for Zions Bank and was instrumental in overseeing the secondary market program at Zions Bank.
Matt earned an MBA from the University of Utah in 2010. He also graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from University of Utah in 1998. In 2005, he graduated from the Pacific Coast Banking School.
Chief Financial Officer
Strategic Financial and Operations Leader with an impressive track record of driving success and transformation through effective utilization of people, processes and technology. Deep expertise in accounting, budgeting, financial modeling and analytics, controls, process and tax. Passionate about utilizing agile change methodologies for continuous improvement and developing a controlled, financially sound operating model. Excellent communication skills that capture the trust and confidence of both subordinates and fellow officers and inspire the entire team to deliver positive bottom-line results.
• Business Strategy and Leadership. C-Suite leader who provides data driven insight on business operations and finance through analytics and metrics. Chair of Management Committee driving business direction, finance, new business opportunities and M&A.
• Strong Controllership, Operations and Systems Mindset. CFO/COO with a demonstrated ability to drive significant impact on early stage to mature businesses, enhancing existing process, systems and people. Assess and control risk across the business, vendors and service providers. Identify and implement best in class capability at a global and private business level.
• Process Improvement Proficiency. Certified Black Belt in Six Sigma/ LEAN. Trained in redesign of processes to improve operating effectiveness. Led strategy for global process improvement and system implementations.
• Asset Management Leader. Deep experience across public and private asset classes in 40 Act and alternative funds. Innovative self-starter and architect for multiple fund launches across many jurisdictions.
Brianna joined Extensia Financial in June 2012, as the Human Resources Manager. She was specifically recruited for her experience with credit union practices and philosophy, her extensive knowledge of human resources as well as the history of Extensia Financial.
Since joining the Extensia team Brianna has proven herself to be an effective project manager successfully taking on a number of mission-critical projects over the past several years. These projects have ranged from planning, managing and completing the organization’s move of its corporate headquarters to management of the process to outsource IT as well as the implementation of Extensia’s paperless project.
During the last seven years she has taken on greater responsibility for the ongoing operations of the organization and customer care. She is currently responsible for loan servicing including portfolio management, Information Technology and Systems, marketing, human resources and facilities.
Brianna began her career in human resources in 2001 at Telesis Community Credit Union. Prior to joining the credit union, she completed an internship at Mercy Corps International where she focused on recruiting for this multi-national organization.
Brianna holds a BA in Human Resources from Concordia University in Portland, OR.
Shivan is a Commercial Real Estate Specialist focused on creating customized end to end lending solutions and products. At Extensia he manages the Credit Union participations process and assists with origination efforts and strategy. Shivan leverages extensive experience is construction, bridge and government guaranteed lending.
Prior to working at Extensia Shivan has served in various capacities in commercial banking and consulting. He holds a dual bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Criminology with an MBA in Finance.
Dimple Shah brings over 20 years of experience developing and executing board-level, corporate and business strategy to fuel operating margin expansion for publicly traded, mid-cap to Fortune 500 companies, primarily in the Financial Services sector. She has served in a senior project management role at Paypal and strategy management at Hewlett-Packard. Ms. Shah was named one of the “Top 10 to Watch” by Wealth Management Magazine in 2019 for her innovative work in the industry. She earned her BA in Economics from Stanford University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Glenn Christensen is President/CEO of CEO Advisory Group. With nearly four decades of experience in the credit union industry, Mr. Christensen brings deep insight into credit union growth, M&A and financial strategies, and is a frequent speaker and author on mergers, financial strategy, and technology. Mr. Christensen holds an MBA and Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Washington.
Vasanthi Sekhar currently serves as SVP and Chief Information Officer at Alliant Credit Union., where she leads the Technology and Information Security teams. In her role, she partners with leaders across the organization to develop, communicate, and implement Alliant’s digital technology vision and strategy, with the objective of improving member experience, modernizing infrastructure, and strengthening information security and IT risk management. Vasanthi holds an MBA in Finance and Information Systems from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Kolkata and a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Economics, Math, and Accounting from St.Francis’ College in India. Prior to Alliant, Vasanthi served as Global Head of Ratings Operations at S&P Global, a provider of market intelligence to corporations, investors, and universities. She also spent 22 years at General Electric, including as CIO of GE Capital Bank and CIO of GE Energy Financial Services. As CIO for GE Capital Bank, Vasanthi co-led the launch of an online banking platform that won several industry awards including “The Best Savings Bank” in Money magazine and the prestigious “Webby” for excellence in online services. Vasanthi is based in Park City, Utah on Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) and Eastern Shoshone territory. In her spare time, you can find her joyfully hiking, cooking, and teaching yoga.
Jackie Buchanan has been the President & CEO of Genisys Credit Union, located in Auburn Hills, MI, since 2010. Genisys, the fourth largest credit union in Michigan, is $3.5 billion in assets and has 32 branches in three states. Ms. Buchanan holds a CPA license (inactive status), has a Bachelor of Accountancy from Walsh College and a Masters in Information Technology from Lawrence Technological University.
Stephen Coomes is a retired financial services and operational leader with over 30 years of financial institutions experience, most notably in the credit union environment. He was the President and CEO of United SA Federal Credit Union in San Antonio TX, and retired in 2014. Mr. Coomes has an MBA in Finance from Butler University, Indianapolis IN, and a BA from Wabash College, Crawfordsville, IN. He also holds the Certified Chief Executive Designation (CCE) from the Credit Union Executives Society of Madison, WI.
“Extensia helps our company take out new loans, refinance existing loans, and even modify an interest rate to a more competitive level.”