Lacey Biles is a vice president at InState Partners. He offers comprehensive state government affairs and strategic counsel while ensuring that his clients are positioned to be proactive and opportunistic in diverse political climates. Lacey has worked in politics for more than 15 years. His experience includes working with legislative campaigns, PACs, public affairs, and ballot initiatives.
He also has significant experience with emerging growth companies, having spent part of his career working in a successful genetics startup. As a result, Lacey understands the challenges facing emerging growth companies and the dynamic, nimble decision making required to make them successful. Lacey received his J.D. degree from the University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and his bachelor’s degree from the University of the South.
Ryan Brennan is a Managing Director at Advantage Capital. Mr. Brennan leads the firm’s efforts to foster access to capital and economic development in underserved communities. He is a leader on the firm's fundraising team and spearheads initiatives to strengthen and develop internal talent and assets.
Ryan was most recently the Chief Operating Officer of the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the development finance arm of the U.S. government. While at DFC, he drove the creation and adoption of the Impact Quotient (IQ), an innovative method of measuring and improving impact in projects around the world. Ryan was a member of the DFC Investment Committee and led business development across the Western Hemisphere that facilitated billions in direct investment to Central America’s Northern Triangle. Prior to COO, Ryan led the DFC Office of Investment Policy, implementing environmental, social and governance standards across the $23 billion DFC portfolio.
Ryan serves on the Providence Queen of the Valley Hospital Community Board, is the former President of the Boys and Girls Club of Napa Valley Board and served on the Truman State University Foundation Board of Directors. He received his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Truman State University.
Liz Carter is Director of Legislative Affairs at Advantage Capital, coordinating the firm’s advocacy efforts and acting as a liaison with other Advantage departments and industry partners.
Previously, Liz was Director of Outreach for the Partnership for Job Creation, an industry coalition of New Market Tax Credit practitioners advocating for Congress to strengthen the NMTC as well as make it a permanent part of the federal tax code. In December 2020, Congress granted the NMTC the largest-ever extension in program history, $25 billion over five years. Before that, she worked for the Historic Tax Credit Coalition, which played an integral role in preserving the HTC in the federal tax code during Congress’ tax reform effort in 2017.
Liz received her master’s in History of American Decorative Arts from Parsons School of Design and her bachelor’s in English and Art History from Smith College.
Linda Clark is an executive assistant at Advantage Capital.
Linda plays a key role in the overall operations of the firm’s St. Louis office. She also provides project management support for the impact team and works directly with the firm’s chief impact officer to manage projects, timelines and deliverables. Prior to joining the firm, Linda worked in the non-profit industry. For the past 10 years she was at Urban Strategies, Inc., a community revitalization company, where she was the executive assistant to the president and the office manager for the corporate office. Her expansive administrative background also includes Saint Louis University and Coro Leadership Center.
Linda holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. She is a past board president for the Nursery Foundation of St. Louis and the Urban League Block Unit Initiative.
Chloe Coniaris is a senior associate at Advantage Capital. As a member of the national expansion team, she focuses on the firm’s economic development, public policy and public finance initiatives at the state and local level.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Chloe clerked with the Honorable William P. Doyle of the Federal Maritime Commission and served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Leo M. Gordon at the U.S. Court of International Trade. During law school, she was a research assistant to John Marshall Harlan II, Professor of Law, and the first woman national President of the American Civil Liberties Union, Nadine Strossen. She also competed in the prestigious Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna, Austria, and the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.
Chloe received her J.D. from New York Law School, where she was awarded the School’s Public Service Certificate in recognition of her significant pro bono service and public interest work with the school’s Legislative Advocacy Clinic and the New York Civil Liberties Union. She earned her joint bachelor’s degree with honors in international relations and art history from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Chloe is licensed to practice law in the State of New York.
Ryan Dressler is a principal at Advantage Capital where he is a member of the expansion and fundraising teams.
Prior to joining the firm, Ryan was director of new site development for a national nonprofit leadership organization based in Richmond, Virginia. He has a varied background in sales, strategic growth and early-stage business formation.
Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business.
Darian Harris is an associate on Advantage Capital’s national expansion team where he focuses on the firm’s economic development, public policy and public finance initiatives at the state and local level.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Darian served as a government affairs legal intern/extern at Troutman Pepper Strategies where he collaborated with various actors in the firm to coordinate and manage meetings with the legislature and other government officials. During law school, he was a legal intern in the Appellate Division of the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office and worked as a judicial Intern for the Honorable Chief Judge Reuben M. Green.
Darian received his J.D. from Georgia State University College of Law, where he served as the Vice-Justice of Phi Alpha Delta and was a member of the Black Law Students Association, and his bachelor’s degree in political science from Reinhardt University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Alex Johnson is the President of InState Partners, leading a dynamic and experienced team of state affairs professionals from across the country. Offering comprehensive state government affairs and strategic counsel, he works to ensure that clients are well informed about state political environments and current policy issues.
Alex has worked in politics for over 20 years working on campaigns, PACs and political committees. Previously, Mr. Johnson served as the founding director of both the Republican Legislative Committee and the Republican Lieutenant Governor Association. More recently, he served as senior vice president at FP1 Strategies and founded a boutique state affairs firm.
Alex received his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Marquette University. He currently serves on the executive committee of the board for the America Council of Young Political Leaders.
Sandra M. Moore is managing director and chief impact officer at Advantage Capital, a growth equity firm founded in 1992 with over $3.6 billion AUM. The firm focuses on high growth and high wage business investing in communities where access to investment capital has historically been hard to find. Sandra is a member of the Advantage Capital investment committee and a direct advisor to the diligence and structuring teams.
Sandra is also a member of the Advantage Capital fundraising team, which has brought in $225 million in capital during her four–year tenure. She has built the Advantage Capital Impact team, which creates data-driven initiatives to track and expedite portfolio growth, leads the communications and branding team and serves as the external-facing representative for Advantage Capital.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Sandra was the president of Urban Strategies, a national nonprofit corporation that works exclusively with for profit housing developers to rebuild distressed urban core communities using mix-finance, multi-family housing as the revitalization platform.
Sandra formerly served as the CEO of the Missouri Family Investment Trust, a public-private partnership entity leading Missouri’s multi-system reform efforts. Prior to joining the Family Investment Trust, Sandra was senior vice president of St. Louis 2004, Inc., a region-wide effort, led by business, civic and political leaders, to transform the St. Louis regional economy and gear it for exponential growth in the 21st century.
She is the former director of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR), where she served as a member of then Governor Mel Carnahan’s cabinet, and a former administrative judge with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Sandra is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She received her J.D. from the School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from the College of Arts and Sciences.
Sandra is committed to the growth, development and empowerment of people and the communities where they live. She serves on several local and national boards and committees that work to strengthen the fiber of community, and she is a sought-after speaker and thought leader on these issues.
Justin Motika is a vice president at Advantage Capital. He serves on the national expansion team and works with investors and policy makers promoting capital formation initiatives. Leading strategic projects, Justin analyzes economic and fiscal impact data and conducts research for new geographic market industries.
Prior to joining the firm, Justin was a lead consultant in GLG’s Private Equity & Venture Capital Practice where he spent his time working on strategic accounts, product development and content navigation.
Justin holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from San Diego State University.
Talmadge Singer is a managing director at Advantage Capital. He has extensive experience raising capital for and structuring tax credit equity incentivized funds, closing both levered and unlevered funds in excess of $1.4 billion. Talmadge has also syndicated more than $1.35 billion of state and federal tax credits. In addition to his fundraising functions, he supports Advantage Capital’s national expansion efforts, focusing on government relations at the federal level.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Talmadge was an associate in the Corporate and Securities practice group at Thompson & Knight LLP where he focused on fund formation, securities law and mergers and acquisitions.
Talmadge earned his J.D. from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University and was a member of the SMU Law Review Association. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Louisiana State University.
Nick Smith is a marketing specialist at Advantage Capital. As a member of the impact team, he focuses on marketing strategy, branding and lead generation, and works with the sourcing team to engage key stakeholders.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Nick worked at ARCO as a creative services specialist where he leveraged his skills in photography, videography and graphic design to create compelling collateral to communicate the company’s values. He was also owner and manager of his own photography business for five years.
Nick received his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and a minor in psychology from Illinois College.
Alex Stepanek is an analyst at Advantage Capital. As a member of the national expansion and fundraising teams, he focuses on the firm’s economic development, public policy and public finance initiatives at the state and local level.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Alex was the director of program development for a national nonprofit leadership organization based in Richmond, VA, where he was responsible for heading multiple growth initiatives for the organization.
Alex received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Northern Iowa.
Rachel Stern is a vice president for InState Partners. She works closely with InState’s extensive client roster to develop and implement multi-state legislative strategies covering a variety of issues.
Rachel is a graduate of the CORO™ Fellows Program, an intensive, full-time, graduate-level fellowship in public affairs. She has experience working in multiple sectors of public affairs, including non-profits, public companies and private equity-backed businesses, state government and electoral campaigns.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College.
Joe Stosberg is a communications specialist at Advantage Capital. As a member of the firm’s impact team, he focuses on developing internal and external communications and marketing initiatives for the firm.
Prior to Advantage Capital, Joe worked on the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus’ communications staff before joining St. Louis marketing agency, Scorch where he focused on content creation and strategy for top brands such as Microsoft, LinkedIn and TIAA.
Joe holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a master’s degree in international studies from the University of San Francisco.
Houston Sudekum is a data and research associate at Advantage Capital, where he focuses on data collection, analysis and reporting, system development and automation, and research to support impact strategy, performance and policy.
Houston comes to Advantage Capital with nearly 4 years of experience in research focused on environmental biology, natural resources and economics. In addition to undergraduate and graduate research assistant roles, he has worked in various research capacities with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, The University of Bologna in Italy, and most recently, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in Switzerland.
Among the many talents he brings to Advantage Capital is a broad proficiency in programming languages, software and skills used for geospatial, statistical, and data analysis, and data management and visualization. Houston also has numerous notable publications and presentations covering relevant topics including natural resources, energy markets, manufacturing, agriculture and rural policy.
Houston received his bachelor’s in Environmental Biology and a minor in Economics from Tulane University, and a M.S. in Natural Resources with an emphasis in Forest Resource Economics from the University of Missouri.
Anthony “Tony” Toups is a principal at Advantage Capital. He is involved in the firm’s national expansion efforts and economic development activities, working on the implementation of public/private investment programs that foster access to capital. He is a frequent speaker on these topics and also provides legal advice and representation as corporate counsel. A seasoned attorney and litigator, Tony was a partner with the New Orleans law firm of Adams and Reese prior to his tenure at Advantage Capital.
Tony’s nearly 20 years of law practice includes product liability defense, commercial litigation, construction cases and other complex matters. He was also a partner at Chaffe McCall in New Orleans and has experience in the news media and state government.
Tony earned his J.D. degree from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center and his bachelor’s degree in journalism at Louisiana State University.