About Lendistry

Everett K. Sands of Lendistry speaks to the executive team about our mission and the future of small businesses

$8.9 billion

Small business loans and grants

as of 12/13/22


Small businesses supported

as of 12/13/22

Lendistry provides economic opportunities and progressive growth for small business owners and their underserved communities as a source of financing and financial education.

Lendistry combines the speed and convenience of technology, the knowledge and guidance of responsible lending, and the investment capital of social impactors and national banks. As a minority-led Community Development Financial Institution, we are dedicated to providing economic opportunities and progressive growth for underserved urban and rural small business borrowers and their communities.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lendistry was one of the top ten Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lenders in 2021. To support as many small businesses as possible, Lendistry also raised its hand to administer state-funded small business relief grant programs in California, Pennsylvania and New York.

Lendistry works with its non-profit organization, The Center by Lendistry, to connect its small business customers with technical assistance, business courses, business advisors, and access to other programs and services.

Our Executive Team

Lendistry Chief Executive Officer Everett K. Sands
Chief Executive Officer

Everett K. Sands leverages his 20+ years of experience in banking to change the game for underserved small business owners who need access to responsible capital to reach the next level. Mr. Sands has shared his recommendations before Congressional committees and at conferences hosted by FORTUNE, the National Urban League and several industry-related events. He has appeared as a subject matter expert on national business media, including CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg. When Mr. Sands saw the accelerating trend of capital becoming less accessible and more expensive for small businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and rural-dwellers, he recruited an experienced team of fellow banking professionals and founded Lendistry. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Sands is an Advisory Board member of The Penn Institute for Urban Research (Penn IUR), and a Board member of The Center by Lendistry. 

Lendistry Chief Financial officer, Jeff Alfano
Chief Financial Officer

Jeff has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. Most recently, he served for 16 years as the CFO of Oppenheimer Holdings Inc., a publicly traded middle market investment bank and full-service broker-dealer based in New York. Prior to that, Jeff was an audit partner at Deloitte, where he spent 14 years providing audit and business advisory services to banking and securities industry clients out of New York, Tokyo, and Seattle. Jeff is a graduate of Michigan State University with a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Lendistry Chief Sales Officer Lynn A. Fernandez
Chief Sales Officer
Lynn A. Fernandez has been a leader in the banking world for over 30 years. As Chief Sales Officer, she leads the nationwide sales teams across all Lendistry divisions and products, including traditional business loans, consumer lending, grant programs, and strategic partnerships, and SBA 7(a) lending. She is instrumental in mobilizing the fintech’s new products and creating a progressive sales culture. Prior roles include California Market Manager for Comerica Bank, where she directed 100+ banking locations, and 20+ years at Bank of America, where she most recently served as Region Executive for the Pacific Southwest Small Business Banking Region. Her experience also includes leading a team of over 4,700 associates and 337 banking centers. Lynn holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Lendistry Chief Credit Officer Lynn M. Fernandez
Chief Credit Officer

Lynn M. Fernandez serves as Lendistry’s Chief Credit Officer. Her duties include overseeing credit policies, operations, products, and serving as Lendistry’s keeper of credit culture and credit risk management. Her past roles include Vice President at California United Bank, Vice President at City National Bank, former Officer of Comptroller of the Currency Safety and Soundness Bank Examiner,  including Credit Officer and Credit Analyst. Ms. Fernandez received her B.S. Business Administration, Finance and Financial Management Services from the University of Denver.

Lendistry Executive Vice President of General Counsel Kyle Funn
EVP, General Counsel

Kyle Funn brings over 12 years of business experience to Lendistry, both as a corporate attorney and in-house operator. Most recently, Mr. Funn was a senior corporate associate in the Los Angeles office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C., where he advised private companies and venture capital and private equity funds in a variety of corporate and securities law matters. Prior to that, he was a corporate associate at Cypress LLP, where he provided broad-based corporate representation to start-up and private growth companies and private equity firms in a variety of industries, including technology, healthcare, financial services, entertainment and media, and manufacturing. Mr. Funn received his undergraduate degree at Howard University and law degree at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

Lendistry Chief Risk Officer Desta Gebre-Medhin-Huff
Chief Risk Officer

Desta has more than 25 years of banking experience with large banks focusing on Risk Management. She is strategic and analytical with proven success in Credit Risk Modeling, Risk Management and Reporting, Allowance for Credit Losses (ACLs), Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL), Advanced Internal Ratings Based (AIRB) methodologies and rules and project management. Her recent experience includes Managing Director and Head of Reserve Methodology Analytics responsible for overseeing the ACLs, Credit Budget Forecast and Credit Policy SME for MUFG Union Bank. As Lendistry’s Chief Risk Officer, she is responsible overseeing the activities related to measuring, monitoring, managing, and mitigating internal and external risks. Leads Enterprise-wide Risk Management activities and serves as liaison with the applicable regulators and auditors with respect to the various aspects of risk.

Lendistry Chief Marketing Officer Joseph Kerwin
Chief Marketing Officer

Joe Kerwin has more than 20 years of marketing experience in financial services organizations, including a focus on the  commercial real estate and commercial lending space as a Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo. He has overseen and grown brands at large institutions and small technology and fintech startups. As Lendistry’s Chief Marketing Officer he oversees marketing, public relations and communications for the company. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tulsa and a Master of Arts from DePaul University.

Lendistry Chief Information Security Officer Nishi Kumar
Chief Information Security Officer
An acknowledged information security expert, Nishi Kumar brings 30 years of experience in the software industry. Her career has encompassed leadership roles in enterprise software architecture, the secure software development lifecycle, and senior management positions driving the development of comprehensive information security programs for Fortune 500 companies and startups. Her position as a thought leader, visionary, and passionate IT security executive professional has allowed her to help companies such as FIS, FICO, Northwestern Mutual, and Spruce. In her last role at Spruce as a Head of Information Security and DevOps, she created the strategic plan and built all areas of information security from the ground up. During her 13-year tenure as head of application security at FIS, a Fortune 500 company, she designed and built application security oversight, risk management, compliance, and governance processes for 2000+ software products and applications across the enterprise.
Lendistry Chief Strategy Officer Leeann Lynch
Chief Strategy Officer

Leeann Lynch is a member of Lendistry’s founding leadership team with more than 15 years of experience driving profitability in residential and commercial lending. With a holistic approach to organization-wide strategy, Leeann has shaped the company’s brand, elevating its technological capabilities as a means to maximizing its community impact. As Chief Strategy Officer, Leeann ensures decisions at all levels align with Lendistry’s greater mission and goals while cultivating a productive environment and progressive organizational culture. She actively identifies and reduces strategic risks, and drives technological innovation within the company to optimize quality and productivity of its platforms and systems. A graduate of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, Leeann is a board member at The Center by Lendistry, a non-profit that provides business education and technical assistance to small business owners.

Lendistry Chief Technology Officer Karthik Ramaswamy
Chief Technology Officer

Karthik Ramaswamy oversees all of Lendistry’s technological platforms. His recent experience includes Chief Architect of Digital Platforms at JP Morgan, where he oversaw the architecture of API and data frameworks at the firm’s Central Investment Bank, and VP of Framework Engineering and Digital Banking at American Express. Mr. Ramaswamy holds an MS in Operations Research from Clemson University and has experience leading teams to develop high-performance software products for startups and Fortune 500 companies.

Managing Director, Lendistry Capital Partners Laura Simão
Managing Director, Capital Partners
Laura is a seasoned impact investor with over 15 years of experience. Most recently, she served as a Vice President in the Urban Investment Group within Goldman Sachs Asset Management and the head of the access to capital component of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses. A recognized investor and thought leader, Laura has been tapped to advise many senior government officials at the federal, state, and local levels on creating strategies, policies and designing ecosystems that leverage public and private sector resources to create opportunities and equitable access to capital to entrepreneurs. She has led the design and execution of several public-private partnerships and investment funds to support minority entrepreneurs, most notably in New York City and Chicago, the latter of which has served as a model throughout the country.
Lendistry Chief Compliance Officer Tiffany Sistani
Chief Compliance Officer
Tiffany Sistani brings over 20 years of compliance, legal and enterprise risk management experience to Lendistry, having held senior leadership positions in consumer financial services, mortgage, and technology firms. Most recently she served as the Chief Enterprise Risk and Compliance officer of a fintech, where she designed and executed a Compliance Management System from the ground up and helped develop a culture of compliance by operationalizing compliance risk management strategies. Ms. Sistani received her undergraduate degrees at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona and her law degree from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law. She holds a Certified Information Privacy Program Manager (CIPP) designation from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).