Kelly Boudreau joined Advantage Capital in 2017 as a member of the accounting team. As a staff accountant, Ms. Boudreau is responsible for recording activity and preparing financial statements for several of the firm’s entities.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Ms. Boudreau served as a senior accountant at SMG-Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA.
Ms. Boudreau received a master’s degree in accounting from the University of New Orleans and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Louisiana State University.
Accounts Payable Manager
Shannon Bartolo joined the Advantage Capital accounting team in 2007. As the manager of all accounts payable functions, she is a key asset in the overall management of the firm’s financial operations.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Ms. Bartolo served as office manager for Standard Parking, where she maintained accounts payable, payroll and coordinated office operations, procedures and resources to facilitate organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
Senior Special Assets Associate
Tim Blanke joined the government-guaranteed lending team in 2008 as part of the special assets group. As a senior special assets associate, he plays a key role in the team’s loan portfolio servicing, collections and collateral management.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Mr. Blanke served as an insurance adjuster for Associate Claims and Insurance Services.
Mr. Blanke received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of New Orleans. Since 2013, he has been a member of a barbeque competition team that annually competes to raise funds for families suffering from pediatric brain cancer.
As an assistant controller, LaRae B. Crawford manages the preparation and issuance of many of the firm’s financial statements and participates in the completion of year-end audits. Ms. Crawford also maintains responsibility for the quarterly valuation analysis of portfolio investments, while supporting other regulatory compliance matters.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Crawford worked in public accounting for Ernst & Young LLP, conducting audits focused primarily in the manufacturing and health care industries.
Ms. Crawford holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in accountancy, both from Auburn University. She is a certified public accountant.
Assistant Accounting Manager
Susan K. Crockett joined Advantage Capital in 2008. First servicing the debt portfolio, she moved into an accounting role in 2011, preparing many of the firm’s financial statements and assisting with quarterly transactions and reporting.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Ms. Crockett worked in the banking and mortgage industries, processing and underwriting mortgage loans.
Ms. Crockett is a certified public accountant and completed the CPA preparation program at the University of New Orleans. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Colorado State University.
Brent Douglas joined Advantage Capital in 2019 as a credit analyst. As a member of the firm’s government-guaranteed lending team, Mr. Douglas evaluates potential borrowers based on creditworthiness and program eligibility.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Douglas was an asset manager for HRI Properties, where he managed a financial portfolio of 25 multifamily and hospitality properties. Prior to this role, he served as a banking officer for First NBC Bank. Mr. Douglas began his career at Whitney Bank as a commercial portfolio manager.
Mr. Douglas received his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law. He earned a master’s degree in economics and bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Alabama. He is a licensed member of the Louisiana State Bar Association.
John Eumont joined Advantage Capital in 2017 as an analyst. Mr. Eumont is responsible for recording activity and preparing financial statements for several of the firm’s entities as well as providing due diligence support to the accounting team. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of New Orleans.
Carolyn Exnicios joined Advantage Capital in 2020. As a senior associate on the firm’s structuring team, Ms. Exnicios focuses primarily on fundraising transactions, tax, compliance and expansion efforts.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Exnicios was an associate in the Tax-ECB practice group at Vinson and Elkins LLP in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, she advised public and private companies on a wide variety of executive compensation and benefits matters. She began her professional career as an associate in the Corporate and Securities practice group at Andrews Kurth LLP in Houston, Texas.
Ms. Exnicios graduated from Tulane University Law School and earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Louisiana State University, graduating summa cum laude.
Art Florez joined Advantage Capital in 2011.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Florez worked in administration for the New Orleans Saints, where he was executive assistant to the owner and executive vice president.
Mr. Florez holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of New Orleans. He is also a past board member for the Jefferson Ballet Theatre.
Katherine “Katie” Fury joined Advantage Capital in 2019. As a member of the government-guaranteed lending division, she is responsible for assisting with the execution of loan applications and the coordination of closing and post-closing procedures.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Ms. Fury was a loan processor with the Bank of New Orleans where she was involved with processing loans and ensuring contract deadlines were met.
Ms. Fury graduated from the University of New Orleans with a degree in business administration.
Vice President/Accounting Controller
Jennifer Jeandron, who joined Advantage Capital in 2012, plays a key role in the firm’s accounting and financial reporting activities. As an accounting controller, she is responsible for oversight of the preparation of many of the firm’s financial statements.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Jeandron worked in the audit practices of KPMG, LLP and Deloitte and Touche, LLP. In that role, she served public and private clients in a variety of industries, including energy, banking, healthcare and oil and gas.
Ms. Jeandron is a certified public accountant and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Louisiana State University. She serves on the board of directors of the Young Leadership Council and is a member of the Junior League of New Orleans and the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants.
Darian Z. Harris
Darian Z. Harris
Darian Z. 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, Mr. Harris 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, Mr. Harris 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.
Mr. Harris received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Reinhardt University, where he graduate Magna Cum Laude, and 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.
Matthew L. Hart joined Advantage Capital in 2015. Mr. Hart is a vice president on the solar team where he focuses on capital formation, structuring, investor reporting, and expansion efforts, in addition to project sourcing and execution. Mr. Hart also manages a portfolio of New Markets Tax Credits, leverage loans, and specialty bonds he helped value and acquire from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Mr. Hart brings a variety of experience in fund formation, finance, and corporate governance. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Hart was a corporate attorney at an international law firm in Austin, Texas, where he focused on venture capital financing, initial public offerings, and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Hart started his career as an investment banker, where he advised growing technology companies on public offerings and mergers and acquisitions. While in school, Mr. Hart worked for the Honorable Judge Edith Brown Clement of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and served as an intern at Advantage Capital.
Mr. Hart graduated magna cum laude from Tulane University Law School and received his B.S. magna cum laude in economics and financial economics from Vanderbilt University.
Geoffrey Jacques joined Advantage Capital in 2018. As a senior analyst and member of the firm’s investment team, Mr. Jacques is involved in due diligence efforts, screening potential investment opportunities and monitoring portfolio companies.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Jacques was a senior research analyst at Iberia Capital Partners covering small and mid-cap exploration and production companies. He also served as an equity research associate for Rice Voelker and Scotia Howard Weil.
Mr. Jacques received his bachelor of science in management from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business.
Having joined Advantage Capital in 2007, Benjamin Johnson plays an integral role on the firm’s accounting team. As a senior accountant, he prepares, examines and analyzes accounting records, financial statements and other financial reports.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Mr. Johnson was an auditor for Ericksen, Krentel & Laporte, L.L.P, an accounting firm based in New Orleans.
He received his MBA from the University of New Orleans and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Holy Cross.
Michael T. Johnson, an experienced venture capitalist and a specialized transactions attorney, joined Advantage Capital in 1998. He is involved in all aspects of the firm’s operations, with a primary focus on capital-raising transactions, regulatory compliance and government relations. He also serves as chief compliance officer.
Previously associated with New Orleans’ largest law firm, Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrère & Denègre, Mr. Johnson practiced securities and corporate law for a broad range of clients.
Mr. Johnson received his J.D. degree from Stanford University School of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif, and an A.B. degree from Harvard College, graduating cum laude.
Selma Landry joined Advantage Capital in 2011 as a member of the government-guaranteed lending team. She provides due diligence support in compiling loan files for SBA audits and monitors borrowers’ compliance with their commercial and life insurance requirements, property tax payments and international trade transactions.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Ms. Landry worked at Fleet National Bank as a mortgage loan processor. She also previously served as a title clerk during an unprecedented effort to distribute government funds awarded to homeowners after Hurricane Katrina.
Ms. Landry attended Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo and received an associate degree in business from the Community College of Rhode Island.
Franchesca B. Lorio, who joined Advantage Capital in 2002, provides leadership in all aspects of the firm’s accounting and financial management. As controller of all Advantage Capital entities, she is responsible for the preparation of the firm’s financial statements and numerous other periodic reports to investors, lenders and various regulatory authorities. Ms. Lorio is also responsible for cash management as well as the implementation and supervision of the firm’s reporting and compliance systems. In addition, Ms. Lorio works closely with the firm’s independent public accountants in connection with the completion of the annual audits of more than 70 Advantage Capital entities.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Ms. Lorio practiced public accounting for five years with several leading CPA firms, where she focused on tax and financial accounting matters. Ms. Lorio graduated cum laude from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants, the American Society of Women Accountants and the Young Leadership Council.
Mary Beth Maygarden
Mary Beth Maygarden
Mary Beth Maygarden joined Advantage Capital in 2009. As a compliance manager, Ms. Maygarden maintains compliance with all federal and state statutes and regulations applicable to the firm’s investment operations.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Ms. Maygarden served as a paralegal for Deutsch, Kerrigan and Stiles, LLP in New Orleans, where she provided litigation support in both federal and state jurisdictions. Ms. Maygarden also assisted clients with economic redevelopment matters in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Ms. Maygarden received her master’s degree in humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas and her bachelor’s degree in medieval studies and history from Newcomb College-Tulane University, where she graduated cum laude.
Senior Vice President
Blake Mock joined Advantage Capital as a senior vice president in 2020 in the New Orleans office. In his role, Mr. Mock focuses on investor relations, capital formation and sourcing efforts.
Mr. Mock brings to Advantage Capital nearly fifteen years of banking and finance experience. Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Mr. Mock was a vice president of investment banking at Barclays where he advised insurers on all aspects of M&A and capital markets transactions. He earlier held positions as a vice president of investment banking and equity research at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, and credit research analyst at Standard and Poor’s, covering the insurance industry in each role. Additionally, he started his career as a financial and professional lines insurance broker at Marsh and McLennan.
Mr. Mock received bachelor’s degrees from the University of Georgia in banking and finance and risk management and insurance and has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Assistant Accounting Manager
Brian Muller joined Advantage Capital in 2017 as a member of the accounting team. As an assistant accounting manager, Mr. Muller is responsible for recording activity and preparing financial statements for several of the firm's entities.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Muller worked as a senior accountant for both Bourgeois Bennett, LLC and Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC. In this role, he performed audit procedures, including financial statement analysis and detailed testing of accounts at the trial balance and financial statement levels.
Mr. Muller received a bachelor's degree from the University of New Orleans, where he majored in business management, and a master's degree in business administration from Loyola University New Orleans. He is a certified public accountant.
Managing Director/Chief Financial Officer
Justin N. Obletz joined Advantage Capital in 2006 and is based in the New Orleans office. As chief financial officer, Mr. Obletz manages the accounting, tax, and financial planning & analysis functions of the firm. Prior to his role as chief financial officer, Mr. Obletz was a member of the investment team. He is an experienced multi-stage investor, having worked across Advantage investment programs to evaluate and structure transactions, as well as monitor portfolio company investments. He currently serves on the board of directors of TurboSquid, Lamm Food Service and the Louisiana Technology Fund.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Mr. Obletz worked in the New Ventures division of Trader Publishing Company in various strategic and operational roles. Mr. Obletz began his professional career in the Assurance and Advisory Business Services group at Ernst & Young.
Mr. Obletz received his MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Notre Dame. He is a certified public accountant (inactive).
Senior Vice President
Anne Ott joined Advantage Capital in 2019 as a senior vice president with our capital markets team focusing on investor relations and capital formation efforts. Ms. Ott is a seasoned financial professional with over 20 years’ experience in the public and private equity markets. She was with Johnson Rice & Co. for eighteen years first as an equity research analyst and later in institutional equity sales. She also worked in corporate finance for Deloitte and Chaffe & Associates valuing privately-held companies and financial institutions for capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, and estate planning. Most recently, Ms. Ott was with DeMonte & Falgoust CPAs focusing on tax compliance and planning for corporations and individuals.
Ms. Ott holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Rhodes College and an MBA from the University of New Orleans.
Director of Program Compliance
Nicole P. Pilié joined the government-guaranteed lending team in 2008. As the director of program compliance, she primarily focuses on the determination, management and reporting of New Market Tax Credit compliance guidelines.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Pilié served as a third party liability adjuster with Hanover Insurance Group.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in psychology from the University of New Orleans.
Human Resources Administrator
Elizabeth Rodrigue joined Advantage Capital in 2013. As the human resources administrator, she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of human resources functions, including the employee life cycle, employee communications and benefit administration. She also assists in ensuring compliance with company policies and procedures as well as with government and legal regulations.
Valentino Rovere joined Advantage Capital in 2008. As a vice president, Mr. Rovere works closely with portfolio companies, focusing on turnaround and liquidation.
Mr. Rovere first established a relationship with Advantage Capital in 1988. The firm invested in a New Orleans hotel development for which he was a managing partner and, later, a real estate consultant after the property was sold to be redeveloped as housing. In addition to his knowledge of real estate investing and turnaround business management, Mr. Rovere has nearly three decades of experience in hospitality management throughout the world. After beginning at his family’s restaurant Vittorio in his native San Remo on the Italian Riviera, he has owned and run three New Orleans area restaurants.
Senior Vice President
Philip J. Ruppel is a senior vice president and a member of the firm’s investment team. His responsibilities include sourcing new deals as well as providing due diligence and valuation analysis for current and prospective investments.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Mr. Ruppel worked for Navigation Capital Partners in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was responsible for evaluating prospective investments, conducting due diligence of investments, executing transactions and monitoring portfolio companies. Mr. Ruppel also spent time in New York working as an investment banking analyst for Bear Stearns.
Mr. Ruppel received his MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and his bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.
Betsy Scallan Avila
Senior Staff Accountant
Betsy Scallan Avila
Betsy Scallan Avila joined Advantage Capital in 2013 as a member of the accounting team. As a senior staff accountant, she is responsible for recording activity and preparing financial statements for several of the firm’s entities.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Scallan Avila worked as an accountant for Allied Capital and PL Midstream, with a focus on accounting for entities in the private equity and oil and gas industries, respectively.
Ms. Scallan Avila received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Louisiana Tech University and a certificate in project management from Louisiana State University.
Senior Vice President
Cara M. Schiffman joined Advantage Capital in 2014 as vice president of regulatory affairs. She now acts as a senior vice president on the compliance team.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Ms. Schiffman practiced regulatory compliance and consumer defense law at Sessions, Fishman, Nathan & Israel, LLC. During her tenure, she managed regulator and agency administrative proceedings, consulted with colleagues on Federal Trade Commission investigations and routinely interacted with State Attorneys General, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and state licensing agencies.
Ms. Schiffman graduated cum laude from Loyola University School of Law, where she was a member of the Law and Technology Annual and earned a certificate in international law. She graduated summa cum laude from Louisiana State University, where she majored in international trade and finance with a minor in French.
Talmadge Singer joined Advantage Capital in 2007 and serves as a Managing Director. Mr. Singer 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. He has also syndicated more than $1.35 billion of state and federal tax credits. In addition to his fundraising functions, Mr. Singer supports Advantage Capital’s national expansion efforts, focusing on government relations at the federal level.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Mr. Singer 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.
Mr. Singer graduated 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.
Director of Information Technology
Daniel L. Stoute is Advantage Capital’s director of information technology. He analyzes current technology and implements it into the daily operations at Advantage Capital to better support the company. Mr. Stoute is committed to providing new technology and improvements to the firm.
Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Mr. Stoute served as the director of information technology for Eagle Distributors, LLC.
Mr. Stoute is a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol. He is an active aircrew member on the Search and Rescue Team, Counter Drug Task Force, and currently is the Squadron’s Advisor to the Commander, Emergency Services Officer and Public Affairs Officer.
W. Anthony Toups
W. Anthony Toups
Anthony “Tony” Toups joined Advantage Capital in 2006. 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, he was a partner with the New Orleans law firm of Adams and Reese prior to his tenure at Advantage Capital.
Mr. Toups’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. Mr. Toups earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism at Louisiana State University and his J.D. degree from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, also of Louisiana State University.
Loan Servicing Specialist
Vanessa Vitrano joined Advantage Capital in 2017 as a loan servicing specialist. Ms. Vitrano services the firm’s leverage lending portfolio and provides administrative support for loans and payment processing. Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Ms. Vitrano worked at Hancock/Whitney Bank. Ms. Vitrano has 30 years of banking experience, which includes tax credit processing, commercial lending and branch management.