Advantage Capital Partners Adds SVP, Promotes Team Members

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ST. LOUIS, April 2nd, 2012 – Advantage Capital Partners, a leading venture capital and small business finance firm, is proud to announce the addition of a new Senior Vice President. In addition, the firm is pleased to announce the internal promotion of several key staff members in St. Louis, New Orleans and New York.

Joseph Blechl has joined the firm as a Senior Vice President in project management. Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Mr. Blechl served as a management consultant at Integrated Project Management, Inc. Earlier in his career, Mr. Blechl held multiple director level positions for Johnson & Johnson Companies, where he led due diligence, post-acquisition integration, and global product development and commercialization teams. Mr. Blechl holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois-Champaign and an M.B.A. from the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.

St. Louis promotions:

Jeffrey Craver has been promoted to Principal. Mr. Craver joined Advantage Capital in 2006. As a member of the firms national expansion team, he is primarily focused on taxation, public policy, economic development and public finance. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, earned his J.D. from the University of Richmond and his LL.M. in taxation from Washington University in St. Louis.

Stuart Noel, promoted to Senior Associate, has been a member of the Advantage Capital investment group since 2010 and is responsible for analyzing investments and portfolio companies in Missouri, Illinois and Florida. Mr. Noel holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Washington & Lee University.

Raymond Wager was promoted to Associate. A member of the firm’s investment group since 2009, Mr. Wagner is responsible for providing due diligence, credit underwriting and valuation analysis of the firms prospective investments across the Midwest and Southeast. Mr. Wagner holds a bachelor’s degree in finance, managerial economics and strategy, and entrepreneurship from the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University.

New Orleans promotions:

W. Anthony Toups, promoted to Principal, has been a member of the Advantage Capital national expansion team since 2006 and is responsible for working on the implementation of public/private investment programs that foster access to capital. Mr. Toups also provides legal advice and representation as corporate counsel. Mr. Toups earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism at Louisiana State University and his J.D. from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

Frank Palmisano has been promoted to Loan Operations Associate. Mr. Palmisano joined Advantage Capital in 2010 and is responsible for processing and closing small business loans. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans.

New York promotion:

Newly named Vice President Chris Harris joined Advantage Capital in 2009. As a member of the firm’s investment group, he is responsible for sourcing, due diligence and valuation analysis of the firms current and prospective investments in New York and other markets. He holds an M.B.A from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Trinity College.

“We are pleased to recognize the ongoing efforts of our talented employees with these promotions,” said Advantage Capital Partners president Steven Stull. “Their efforts are instrumental in our firm’s ability to make a significant impact in the communities where we do business.”

About Advantage Capital Partners

Advantage Capital Partners is a leading venture capital and small business finance firm focused on providing growth capital and other investments supporting state and local economic development efforts. The firm’s typical forms of investment include early stage, expansion equity, mezzanine financing, senior and subordinated loans and government-guaranteed lending. With offices and partners in St. Louis, New Orleans, New York and other U.S. cities, Advantage has raised more than $1.6 billion in institutional capital since 1992 and invested in companies located in geographic areas underserved by traditional capital.