The NEIF Team Has Been Innovators in Some of the Nation's Most Successful Energy Financing and Partner Programs.
Peter Krajsa, Co-Chair and Founder, is a recognized innovator in energy efficiency finance for over two decades. Peter spear-headed the creation of a number of major national energy finance programs as CEO of AFC First Financial Corporation, a specialty residential energy efficiency lender, operating programs nationally with a network of over 6,000 participating contractors. Most recently, he headed national channel business development for the innovative energy lender, Renew Financial, which acquired AFC First in 2015, as part of its national expansion plans.
As CEO of AFC First, a company founded by his parents in 1947, Peter led the development of the company's national EnergyLoan® program as one of Fannie Mae's approved lenders; created the Keystone Home Energy Loan Program in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, DEP and PHFA, which laid the foundation for WHEEL, (Warehouse for Energy Efficiency Loans), the world's first investment grade rated securitization of a portfolio of unsecured energy loans; the Connecticut Solar Leasing program, the nation's first state sponsored solar leasing program and many other state, utility and manufacturer financing program including on-bill financing programs in Connecticut and Illinois. After running AFC with his brother, primarily as a mortgage banker and direct lender, Peter moved the company exclusively into energy efficiency lending in 1999. Under his leadership, AFC First closed over $500 million in energy efficiency loans, was named by the U.S. DOE as the nation's first private Home Performance with ENERGY STAR sponsor, selected as one of five national pilot lenders for the HUD PowerSaver program, received the Alliance to Save Energy Andromeda Award and established the Green Energy Training Academy supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.
He holds a B.S. Economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Matthew Brown, Co-Chair and Founder, has worked in the energy finance and policy field for more than 20 years, beginning his work with the accounting and consulting firm of KPMG in New York. He subsequently worked with an environmental, energy and finance consulting firm conducting research on viability of clean coal companies in the late 1980s. He went on to work with the City of New York, where he was in charge of establishing public-private partnerships for the financing of natural gas fueling stations, among other related activities.
In 1994 he moved to Denver where he headed the National Conference of State Legislatures energy program for 11 years. In this role, he directed a program that provided non-partisan advice on a wide variety of state clean energy policies, including renewable energy standards, tax policy, and establishment of public benefit funds, among numerous other roles. During this time, he testified in more than 35 state legislatures, as well as in front of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In 2005, Matthew moved to Paris, France to begin consulting work with the International Energy Agency, focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Upon his return to Colorado, Matthew built upon his background in a combination of clean energy policy and finance to develop an extensive practice that involves assisting state governments, utilities, lenders, the U.S. Department of Energy, national associations and others in the area of clean energy finance.
Matthew has led HB&C's engagement with the four California investor owned utilities to develop and implement energy efficiency financing programs as well as a similar engagement to develop a third party financing program with utility bill collections for the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. He had led the engagement with Xcel Energy advising on financing. Matthew has worked extensively with financial institutions to advise on deployment of capital through loans and leases for clean energy in the western United States as well as nationally. Matthew's expertise in advising governments that are looking to support financing program development and has developed multiple public-private partnerships between state governments and private capital providers and lenders.
Matthew holds a BA from Brown University and an MBA from New York University's Stern School.
Laura Nelson, Chief Operating Officer, has been involved in financial management, operational controls, process improvement and regulatory and investor compliance for over fifteen years. Most recently she was Vice President, Financial Operations for Renew Financial where she was engaged in all financial aspects of unsecured and PACE lending, and prior to Renew's acquisition of AFC First in 2015, she served as AFC's Chief Financial Officer. As AFC's CFO she oversaw all investor reporting to states, utilities and financial institutions as well as managing systems, IT, licensing, accounting and compliance. She was previously Vice President, Corporate Actions Department at Deutsche Bank and worked in mutual fund accounting at State Street.
She holds an MBA from Boston College and a BSBA from Bucknell University.
Tessa Shin, Vice President – Lending and Programs, has helped develop and manage some of the nation's most innovative energy financing programs including Keystone HELP and on-bill programs in Connecticut and Illinois. Most recently she was Director, Unsecured Programs for Renew Financial and prior to Renew's acquisition of AFC First she was AFC's Director of Lending and Programs where she managed policies and procedures for AFC's energy efficiency lending programs as well as AFC First's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR and Power Savers programs.
She had previously held her BPI Building Analyst designation, and holds a B.S. from Cedar Crest College.
Teri Stoffey, Vice President – Accounting and Servicing, has had leadership roles in both accounting and loan servicing management, overseeing general ledger, audit and internal systems and controls as well as loan level servicing reporting and financial compliance for relationships with states, utilities and capital sources. Most recently she was Accounting Manager for Renew Financial and prior to Renew's acquisition of AFC First she was AFC's Director of Process and Reporting.
She holds a B.S. in Business Administration/Accounting from Bloomsburg University and an MBA with a concentration in Accounting from DeSales University.
Jeremy Epstein, Vice President – Commercial Finance, has been a Senior Associate with HB&C where he developed and managed the integration of HBC Energy Capital's commercial financing services with utility, contractor and government-based clients. Previously Jeremy worked in the public sector where he designed and managed the contractor friendly Elevations Energy Loan in Boulder and Denver Counties. He brings a strong background and formal training in policy, marketing, GHG accounting, and climate action planning.
He holds a BA in environmental policy and anthropology from the University of Colorado and an MA in environmental policy with a focus on climate policy and economics from the Evergreen State College.
Heather Braithwaite, Vice President – Strategy and Development, Rebate Bridge has been a Senior Associate with Harcourt Brown and Carey and project manager for HBC Energy Capital where she has worked across all sectors, including residential, commercial and government facilities. Heather has significant experience in developing on-bill finance programs and assessing statewide energy efficiency financing landscapes to enhance current or create new offerings.
Heather holds a degree in Environmental Studies with a focus in sustainability from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a MBA from Pinchot University, Seattle WA that focuses on sustainable systems.
Randy Bak, Senior Business Development Director is an experienced contractor and channel development specialist. Most recently he was an award-winning sales leader for the innovative energy lender Renew Financial. Prior to that Randy had extensive experience in building successful regional and national dealer-driven sales teams for Toshiba and other technology companies.
He holds a BA from the College of New Jersey.
RKB Capital Partners ("RKB") is an investment and advisory company established in 2015 to operate and fund a small number of synergistic businesses in the clean energy sector. Among our businesses are Brightcore Energy, a commercial LED lighting solutions company, Pearl Certification , a software services company that is creating a national rating and certification system for making visible energy efficiency and renewables improvements in single family homes, and BFranklin, an innovative platform for selling energy efficiency products to the residential market.
RKB's principals have deep experience as entrepreneurs in the energy efficiency and renewables industries with a successful exit (sale of Smart Energy Capital, a commercial solar development and finance company, to NextEra Energy Resources in 2013), as well as deep experience in structured finance, investment banking and investment management.