Advantage Capital Partners Appoints Four New Advisory Board Members

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Board Members Help Drive NMTC Investment Strategies in Low-Income Communities

ST. LOUIS, May 7, 2010 – Advantage Capital Partners, a leading venture capital and small business finance firm, today announced the newest additions to the firm’s national Community Advisory Board. The new Board members, all experts in their fields, will offer valuable input into the firm’s New Markets Tax Creditinvestment strategies in low-income communities around the country.

“Advantage Capital is pleased to have such an extraordinary group of individuals join our Community Advisory Board,” said Michael Johnson, Advantage Capital Managing Director. “As we continue to invest in entrepreneurs and businesses in underserved communitis nationwide, the perspectives and counsel from our Board members is a critical component that drives our strategy.”

Newly named Advisory Board members include:

  • Alison A. Hewitt, Executive Director, Central Economic Development Center, Inc. (Bradenton, Florida).  Alison Hewitt is a hands-on community development leader who possesses a wealth of practical business experience. Hewitt is responsible for retaining and recruiting businesses to help expand Manatee County’s business climate and increase investment in Manatee County neighborhoods.  Hewitt has extensive economic development and community affairs management experience. Hewitt currently serves as Vice Chair of the board of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART), the local public transit authority and is the President of the Central Florida Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO). She served as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s Executive Director for the Office of Urban Opportunity from November 2000 to September 2004.  In 2000, Hewitt was named by Ebony Magazine as one of the country’s “30 Leaders Under the Age of 30 to Watch.”
  •  Lee Langerock, Executive Director, Nodaway County Economic Development (Maryville, Missouri). Lee Langerock, a northwest Missouri native, offers her expertise in economic development and her experience as an entrepreneur. In the past 28 years, Langerock has owned and operated multiple successful small businesses. For over a decade she has served as an economic development professional specializing in business development, finance and program management. Currently Langerock is Executive Director of Nodaway County Economic Development, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and attract business and industry to Nodaway County, a rural county in Missouri. Langerock sits on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Economic Development Council (MEDC), a not-for-profit organization. Other statewide leadership responsibilities have included MEDC President- Elect, Missouri Enterprise Zone Association President, Missouri Community Development Society President and Ambassador for Missouri Community Betterment.
  •  Chinwe Onyeagoro, Co-founder and CEO of O-H Community Partners (OHcp) (Chicago, Illinois).  OHcp is an social impact consulting and technology services firm that works with financial institutions, government agencies, foundations, socially responsible corporations, and non-profits throughout the U.S. OHcp provides strategy, capital raising, and performance monitoring services and has facilitated community and economic development projects valued at over $115 million. She is the founder and editor of New Equity Daily, a blog and search engine that provides news and information about public and private financing for small businesses and real estate investors. Prior to establishing OHcp, she worked as one of four investment analysts overseeing the Pritzker family’s $3 billion in real estate assets, including a sizable inventory of retail, mixed-use, multifamily, senior living, and Alzheimer’s care facilities.  Previously, she worked as a strategy consultant for global firms, including McKinsey & Company and The Monitor Group. In 2007, Onyeagoro was named one of Chicago’s 40 under 40 by Crain’s Chicago Business.
  •  John A. Wood, Senior Program Officer, Greater Kansas City – Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Kansas City, Missouri).  John Wood joined Greater Kansas City LISC as Senior Program Officer in March 2005 after serving as Branch Manager of Emerging Markets with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. In his current position, he is responsible for lending and underwriting of community and economic development projects, leading LISC commercial corridor revitalization initiatives, and creating opportunities to redevelop and better serve LISC NeighborhoodsNOW urban communities. Wood formerly was Assistant Vice President & Community Affairs Officer with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and served in leadership roles in banking, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the city of Kansas City, respectively.

Advantage Capital works with a national Community Advisory Board of Low-Income Community (LIC) residents and representatives in identifying and financing promising LIC entrepreneurs that are not adequately served by traditional capital providers.   The firm relies heavily on its Advisory Board members to provide feedback, ensuring the firm’s investment strategy is responsive to the needs of such areas. Advantage Capital chooses Advisory Board members that have jobs and official positions that afford them natural opportunities to facilitate this type of feedback. The Board assists Advantage Capital with its overall investment strategy and plays a role in implementing the strategy and monitoring investments to ensure the firm is fulfilling its mission. In addition, because of the Board members’ positions, they help coordinate activities with economic development initiatives, both public and private, at the local, state and national levels.  A complete list of current Board members can be found here.

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, Austin and other U.S. cities, Advantage has raised more than $1.3 billion in institutional capital since 1992 and invested in companies located in geographic areas underserved by traditional capital.