The perfect team — smart, ethical, with a wealth of experience. And an unfettered dedication to helping your business grow.
Sean Hawley, Business Development Director
With over 20 years experience in non profit capital acquisition and in the private banking sector, there is very little that Sean has not encountered from a funding desk. A vast array of industry relationships, a keen sense of underwriting metrics and killer instincts provides him with the ability to locate a source of capital for every situation. And having owned several small businesses himself, he knows exactly what it's like to go through the daily grind of running the whole show.
When he is not working with his small business clients Sean can often be found pursuing his many creative projects. He is a an accomplished music composer, producer, and mixing engineer. He is also a dedicated animal rescuer and meditation instructor.
Kelly Blake, Processing Manager
Thu began her journey to New York far away as a refugee of the Vietnam War. This early experience made her tough as nails and able to deal with a world that is not always fair or easy. There is no problem (or crisis) that she will not take head on with unwavering confidence and nerves of steel. Art Director by trade and financial manager by practice, Thu's creative ability to think outside the box allows her to reduce complex problems to simplicity. She also speaks 5 languages- an asset in an industry that is dominated by foreign lending sources.
Avid traveler. Amazing chef. World class mother. Thu is proof that good things come in small packages.
Thu's awareness cause is UNICEF- a worldwide charity that is headquartered in New York City providing long-term humanitarian aid and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. http://www.unicef.org/
Richard Gusmano, CEO
Career Entrepreneur with experience owning/ scaling Logistics, Hospitality, Construction, IT Staffing and Consulting, and Insurance entities. The challenges associated with the previously mentioned endeavors provide perspective, and the basis for understanding what clients are enduring. Richard has worked on every type of deal imaginable- from commercial mortgages, lines of credit, term loans and equipment financing to private equity and hard money lending. He is the 'insider' who can utilize his vast network to find a solution for seemingly impossible financing.
A native New Yorker and and avid restaurateur, John enjoys travelling with his wife to Europe and spending time hosting dinner parties.
Bill Bonfanti, Underwriting Manager
A private banking portfolio manager for 10 years and UW lender for the last 6, Bill has the unique position of having underwriting skills from a a true lender's perspective. This experience allows him to see a funding candidate as more than simply numbers on a page. His aim to understand the greater picture rather than the economics of a lending matrix. Every merchant has his/her own story, each application a sum of its parts. He green lights loans more from a logical and real world sense rather than a mathematical and statistical standpoint.
In his spare time Bill is an aspiring screenwriter. A true cinephile, Bill has predicted the last 12 straight Oscar Winning films for Best Picture! He shares his life with his beautiful wife and their two teenage children.
Tony Martin, Marketing Director
Tony has seen and done everything in the merchant lending industry and has been with BLF, since day one and recently came on board with the BCC merger. Understanding the needs of the funding source as well as the daily operations of independent sales shops allows him to speak both sides of the conversation. He is the first to admit that small business funding is a challenging workplace when ISOs and lenders are involved on the same project. His experience in the industry and excellent negotiating skills are an asset to both sides.
Tony splits his time between NY and his home state of Alabama. He is a fan of music, art and sports, especially his beloved Crimson Tide.
Tony's awareness cause is Plant a Billion Trees- encouraging people, communities, organizations, business and industry, civil society and governments to collectively plant at least one billion trees worldwide each year. http://www.plantabillion.org/
John Flynn, I/T Manager
John first began developing technology systems for large insurance companies. Having established several platforms that are utilized across the industry he serves as both consultant and administrator for systems and CRM infrastructure for many companies across the US, including Bright Light Funding. His intrinsic ability to customize systems and collaborate with sales allows him to create workable systems with little or no redundancy.
John is an aspiring documentary film maker as well as avid jazz musician and he often plays with a trio in the NYC area. He calls Williamsburg, Brooklyn his home.
John' awareness cause is City Harvest- the world’s first food rescue organization. Through donation and community activism City Harvest is dedicated to helping feed the nearly 1.4 million New Yorkers facing hunger. http://www.cityharvest.org/
, Funding Manager
James began his career in retail, managing one, and then eventually 8 family owned electronic stores in NYC. He is familiar with all aspects of business ownership from raising capital, inventory management, human resources and accounting/book keeping. He broadened his business acumen by transitioning to mortgage lending before eventually settling in private money lending. He is affable with his clients, demanding of his underwriters, and meticulous at the funding stage.
James enjoys cinema, fashion and the theater. He lives in Deer Park NY but spends he time away from the office enjoying all that NYC has to offer.
Kate GHJK, Funding Manager
Allison has worked her way up the corporate ladder from administration to sales, eventually managing her own team. She is known for her utmost dedication to the needs of her clients and will fight for them through every stage of the funding process. If she believes in the merits of a business she will find a way to make a deal happen. Her ever growing book of renewing business is proof that emphasis on customer service leads to loyal customers as well as new clients.
Allison love photography, painting, and volunteering for Food Harvest NYC. She lives in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn with her husband Adam and their three cats Oreo, Lucky and Max.