Ryan Brennan is a managing director at Advantage Capital, a U.S. venture capital firm and small business lender that has invested in more than 750 portfolio companies since inception, supporting 50,000 jobs in communities across the country. Mr. Brennan heads 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.
Mr. Brennan was most recently the chief operating officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the development finance arm of the U.S. government. While at OPIC, he drove the creation and adoption of the Impact Quotient (IQ), an innovative method of measuring and improving impact in projects around the world. Mr. Brennan also led business development across the Western Hemisphere and facilitated billions in direct investment to Central America’s Northern Triangle.
Mr. Brennan is former president of the Boys and Girls Club of Napa Valley and served on the Truman State University Foundation Board of Directors. He graduated cum laude from Truman State University and has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Justin T. Motika joined Advantage Capital in 2015. He serves on the national expansion team and works with investors and policy makers promoting capital formation initiatives. Leading strategic projects, Mr. Motika analyzes economic and fiscal impact data and conducts research for new geographic market industries.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Motika 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.
Mr. Motika holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from San Diego State University.
Cynthia Coleman joined Advantage Capital in 2007. As executive assistant to the president, she maintains overall office operations and procedures and manages many day-to-day functions of the company.
Ms. Coleman has 15 years of experience in executive assistant and management roles. Before joining the firm, she served as the wine club manager at a local Napa winery for several years and the store manager at the GH Bass Outlets in Napa and Folsom, California, and the Village of Oak Creek in Arizona.
Vice President, InState Partners
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.
Ms. Stern 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.
Ms. Stern received her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College.
Steven T. Stull, president and founder of Advantage Capital, is a seasoned venture capitalist and private equity investor with more than 35 years of investment experience. As the firm’s chief executive officer, Mr. Stull directs our investment policy, overall operations, strategic planning and fundraising activities as well as overseeing financial administration, institutional investor relations and professional recruitment. He has served as director of several Advantage Capital portfolio companies, including FleetCor Technologies (NYSE:FLT), HRI Properties and OMNI Energy (NASDAQ: OMNI), among others. Prior to founding Advantage Capital, Mr. Stull spent nine years as an executive in the investment department of General American Life Insurance company, where he headed the Securities Division, negotiated real estate finance transactions and managed portfolios of both publicly and privately traded securities.
Mr. Stull is nationally recognized for his leadership efforts in small business capital formation, particularly for businesses located in distressed or underserved communities, where little or no venture capital infrastructure exists. He has been recognized by Ernst & Young as an Entrepreneur of the Year for his sponsorship of entrepreneurship in Louisiana. In 2007, he received the Olin School of Business Distinguished Business Alumni Award from Washington University in St. Louis. Mr. Stull holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. He has earned the Fellow Life Management Institute/Master designation and the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Senior Vice President, Treasurer
Thomas C. Willsey has broad experience in the capital markets and a deep understanding of the fixed income markets. As treasurer, he is primarily responsible for managing Advantage Capital’s liquidity portfolio and strategic financial planning. Having joined Advantage Capital in 2008, he also serves on the firm’s investment committee.
During his 23 years on Wall Street, Mr. Willsey focused on all aspects of the fixed income markets. He began his career with Salomon Brothers Inc. and has held positions at Kidder, Peabody and Co.; Paine Webber; and BNP Paribas. Immediately prior to joining Advantage Capital, Mr. Willsey worked on the proprietary trading desk at Bank of Montreal Capital Markets.
Mr. Willsey received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. He has also earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.