About Us



Our Mission

Our mission is to make it easier, faster and less expensive for excellent charter schools to put down roots in sustainable facilities – ultimately allowing our partner schools to spend more time and money helping students achieve academic success and less on repaying loan costs.

Core Values

 

Rigor

We approach our work – from financial analysis to school partnerships – with rigor and dedication. We take pride in the sophistication of our product and the depth of our credit analysis. We are unapologetic in the high bar we hold for ourselves and our schools.

Delivering Value – Period

We create value that empowers schools, students, and investors alike. We are steadfast in our delivery of results because each success brings us closer to the day when all students have access to a high-quality education in a suitable learning space.

Doing the Right Thing

We are professionals who act with integrity. We tell the truth, stand up for what is right, honor our commitments, and ensure alignment between our actions and our beliefs.

The Yin and the Yang

Our uniqueness comes from our duality. Our team consists of both charter school veterans and financial experts, and we take pride in this diversity of thought and expertise.

 

Leadership Team

Anand Kesavan

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

As a seasoned investment banker, charter school executive, and senior leader of a large philanthropic organization, Anand is passionate about solving educational inequalities, creating efficient financial markets, optimizing school financial models to send more resources to classrooms, and using philanthropy to do so in a scalable and sustainable manner.

Prior to founding Charter Impact Fund, Anand led the Structured Finance group and ran the Facility Fund for the Charter School Growth Fund, where he helped identify the nation’s best schools and invest in them. Prior to CSGF, he served as chief financial officer of KIPP Austin Public Schools. Prior to KIPP, Anand spent more than a decade in senior investment banking roles, financing more than $10 billion in public projects including state revolving funds and K-12 schools with a specialty in credit ratings & quantitative structuring.

Anand is a graduate of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the Education Pioneers Fellowship.

WENDY BERRY

Vice President of Structured Products and Research

Wendy is a facility financing specialist with deep credit expertise. At CIF she conducts bond market research, builds and leads our internal underwriting process, and works closely with our chief credit officer on greenlighting transactions and due diligence efforts.

For the past decade, Wendy has focused on the evolving charter school sector, where she has been a thought leader in improving credit standards for the burgeoning market. She has authored or co-authored several comprehensive publications on the sector, including the LISC Charter School Bond Issuance: A Complete History Volumes I, II, and III along with numerous articles on the ever-changing charter school facility finance landscape.

Wendy has consulted with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the New York State Housing Finance Agency, the Local Support Initiatives Corporation, the State University of New York Charter Schools Institute, and the Arizona State Board of Education. She was also a senior credit analyst at Moody’s Investors Service.

Wendy received a BA and MPA from the Rockefeller College of Public Administration at the University of Albany. During her career, Wendy has held Series 7, Series 53, and Series 63 licenses.

MICHELLE GETZ

Chief Credit Officer

Michelle is charged with building Charter Impact Fund’s credit platform and leading a thorough credit diligence and approval process for each charter school loan. Additionally, she leads the loan closing, loan servicing and portfolio management processes.

She brings with her nearly 30 years of professional experience, including 18 years at Nuveen Asset Management. During her time at Nuveen, Michelle developed and refined their charter school investment methodology and implemented it via analysis of over 300 charter school organizations to determine viability and credit worthiness for investment. Michelle has also served as an internal auditor for the Coca-Cola Company and an external financial auditor with Deloitte & Touche.

Michelle earned a BS from Auburn University and an MS from the University of Houston. She is also a CPA in the states of Illinois and North Carolina.

ADYAM GHEBRE

Operations Manager

Adyam is responsible for fostering a strong, mission-driven culture at Charter Impact Fund. She works cross-functionally across teams and with outside vendors to ensure work is continuously moving forward, on time, and on budget.

Previously, Adyam worked as a growth and marketing manager at Authorea, a collaborative writing platform for academics. In this role, Adyam was tasked with building the brand and growing the userbase. Prior to Authorea, Adyam founded and ran Filosofia Swimwear, an online retailer selling premium swimsuits designed for the natural diversity of female bodies. Before starting her swimwear line, Adyam developed and presented integrated marketing plans and nationals sales strategies to finance executives.

Adyam holds a bachelor of commerce degree in finance from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business.

BRIAN KATES

Director of Finance

Brian is responsible for developing CIF’s financial systems to address current and future needs of the organization, monitoring business plan results, and assuring financial and reporting compliance to public, philanthropic and private partners. He builds and supports CIF’s finance, accounting, compliance, reporting, and human resource functions.

Prior to joining CIF, Brian founded founded ZATA Consulting, an education-focused practice that works primarily with charter schools on strategic planning, financial, operational, and facility initiatives.

Brian has worked with more than 50 growing charter organizations both during strategic planning and execution of growth plans. He served as the founding director of finance and operations for Intrinsic Schools, a blended-learning charter network in Chicago. Prior to Intrinsic, he served as the founding director of finance for the Achievement School District in Tennessee.

Brian is a graduate of the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver and holds a MS in Finance.

MARK MEDEMA

Start-up Advisor

Mark oversees the design and development of Charter Impact Fund’s lending activity. He is responsible for building the team and developing the infrastructure for the lending group.

He joined CIF from the nonprofit Building Hope, where he led the initiative to double the size of the organization in terms of new offices in new markets, number of staff, real estate loan and development products, net earnings and total assets. Mark was also president and chief operating officer of EdVillage, an international education reform organization dedicated to supporting great third-sector schools worldwide. At the KIPP Foundation, he helped replicate the success of KIPP in its first 50 schools.

Mark received his BS in civil engineering from Northwestern University and has an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

CHRIS REYNOLDS

Vice President of Finance and Lending

Chris leads CIF’s finance, operations, and reporting functions. He is also responsible for providing academic and school expertise on loan diligence and sourcing, including academic models, financial pro-formas, and analysis of school and CMO management and governance.

Chris has been involved in the start-up of 10 charter schools in multiple states over the last 14 years, including leading a charter high school in Chicago. For seven years Chris served as the COO and CEO of LEAD Public Schools, Nashville’s largest charter management organization. Under Chris’s leadership LEAD grew from a single charter school of 300 students into a network of six schools serving 2,400 students, including the state’s first district/charter turnaround school and two others conducted in partnership with the state department of education. He has extensive business and education experience having taught at the middle school and college levels, has held senior roles helping launch several organizations, and began his career as a CPA.

RENITA THUKRAL

General Counsel

Renita oversees CIF’s legal, risk management, governance, and compliance work and contributes to CIF’s long-range plans while providing day-to-day counsel.

Renita also serves as the senior national legal advisor for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and is a partner at Civil Rights Solutions. In these roles, she leads and grows a national network of charter school attorneys and supports high-impact charter school litigation around the country. In addition, she provides technical assistance and training to charter school operators, authorizers, attorneys and advocates seeking to improve school-level civil rights policies and practices, and addresses fiscal equity and labor issues confronting charter schools.

Renita earned her BA from Stanford University and her JD from Yale Law School. She taught junior high school math in Los Altos, California, before attending law school, and she served as a public defender for more than six years in New York City before joining the charter school community.

MARC WANCER

Investment Principal

Marc is charged with leading the lending team, sourcing loans and developing CIF’s pipeline. He evaluates growth and return potential of charter schools from both a fiscal and educational impact perspective.

Marc brings 20 years of impact investing and nonprofit management experience. Formerly a senior executive and analyst at Aeris, Marc conducted in-depth analysis and ratings of more than 70 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) throughout the U.S. and the U.K. Prior to Aeris, Marc worked as an independent consultant, managing development finance projects in Southeast Asia, including impact assessments and operational and financial evaluations of microcredit and savings programs, as well as designing microfinance initiatives to facilitate rural populations’ access to solar products. Marc’s international work was preceded by extensive lending and program management experience in the CDFI sector, working with NFF and Hope Enterprise Corporation.

Marc holds a BA from the University of Minnesota in Central European and Russian history and an MA from Fordham University in international politics and economic development.