The Big Think Team

At Big Think Capital, we’re more than just funding experts. We’re athletes, artists, parents, and foodies!

Zach Santangelo

Zach Santangelo

VP of Lending and Strategy

Growing up in New Hyde Park, New York as the son of successful entrepreneurs, Zach Santangelo always understood the value of hard work and dedication. As the VP of Lending & Strategy, his own hard work has certainly paid off in spades. His ability to make his clients feel at ease, as well as his ability to think outside the box has earned himself a stellar reputation among his clientele. In just the last year, Zach has funded over $15 million in transactions. On his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Gina and two sons Zach & Alex.

T: (214) 432-9109
E: zach@bigthinkcapital.com

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Zachary Brown

Zachary Brown

Senior Funding Manager

Zach Brown is a Senior Funding Manager at Big Think Capital and is primarily responsible for working with business owners to craft the appropriate financing options to achieve their short and long term objectives. Zach is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) where he graduated, with distinction, with a B.A. degree in Cognitive Science and a Minor in Entrepreneurship. Zach’s college experience and discipline makes him uniquely qualified to understand both the financial goals of his Clients as well as the psychology behind the goals. Prior to joining Big Think Capital, Zach worked as a Wealth Management Advisor for Summit Financial and was consistently acknowledged for his ability to deliver results while making his clients feel comfortable and well informed throughout the process.

Zach prides himself on his ability to find unique and customized funding options for his clients to insure that their needs are met. Transparency and integrity are core principles that will never be compromised at any time throughout the Client – Advisor relationship. In his spare time, Zach enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing and watching sports and living in New York City.

T: (214) 396-9042
E: zb@bigthinkcapital.com

Tom Forsberg

Tom Forsberg

Chief Revenue Officer

Tom Forsberg is the Chief Revenue Officer at Big Think Capital and is primarily responsible for driving all of the Company’s revenue streams including it’s syndication investment platform. Tom is a seasoned and accomplished industry veteran and is accountable for driving revenue growth, by leveraging and aligning all revenue generating departments. Tom has been with Big Think Capital since inception and has been an instrumental part of it’s success and growth. Prior to joining Big Think Capital, Tom was a Sales Manager at a national telecommunications Company where he regularly achieved President’s Club status.

Tom is a graduate of Bryant University with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. Tom is a Division-1 Captain, All American athlete and attended Bryant University on a full Lacrosse scholarship. Tom takes a Client centric approach to business and will go to great lengths to understand the vision of the Company and then execute accordingly. Tom is not afraid of a challenge and prides himself on his ability to earn his Client’s trust and long-term retention.

In his spare time, Tom still enjoys working but will occasionally find time to wakeboard, snowboard or spend time with family.

 

T: (214) 432-8896
E: tomf@bigthinkcapital.com

Tom Burke

Tom Burke

Funding Manager

Tom is a multifaceted, performance-focused, and goal-oriented individual, driven to utilize his highly transferable skills honed from diverse work experience. Recognized for his excellent work ethic, Tom is an articulate communicator equipped with exceptional interpersonal aptitudes in building rapport with colleagues with diverse cultures and backgrounds. Driven by his desire to win, he takes pride in providing his best efforts in everything he does. As a Funding Manager at Big Think Capital, his goals include building a long-lasting relationship with his clients and creating a solution that satisfies their needs no matter what it takes. Tom’s positive mindset makes him great to talk to and a pleasure to work with here at Big Think Capital!

In his free time outside of the office, Tom loves spending quality time with family and friends, rooting for his favorite sports teams, and discovering new and upcoming musical talents.

T: (214) 302-0788
E: tomb@bigthinkcapital.com

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Stephen Rodriguez

Stephen Rodriguez

VP of Specialty Lending

Stephen Rodriguez serves as Big Think Capital’s VP of Specialty Lending, a role that he assumed in January of 2021. Stephen was brought on to develop all aspects of the organization’s SBA lending, equipment financing, ABL, and commercial real estate lending divisions. Combining his extensive knowledge and experience in each of these verticals with Big Think Capital’s marketing capabilities has made for the perfect pairing.

Throughout Stephen’s extensive career, he has established a reputation as an entrepreneurial Senior Executive who provides strategic leadership, proven sales management experience, and effective talent development strategies to build winning teams. His expertise encompasses all aspects of business development and administration, from sales forecasting and business planning, budget management, and sales execution, to harnessing team strengths for continuous improvement of company-wide performance. Further, his ability to build consensus among executive teams and stakeholders by promoting transparency through regulatory compliance, while inspiring positive change, has been repeatedly demonstrated.

Stephen gained his introduction to the lending industry during his tenure as a Senior Loan Officer for a Long Island based mortgage bank at the peak of the refi boom in the early 2000’s. He had quickly earned his way to becoming the top producer within his first 6 months at the company, which was later followed by a promotion to Assistant Sales Manager. Just 1 year later, at the age of 24, he was heavily recruited by another mortgage broker to develop their inside sales team as their VP of Sales & Operations. While there, he rapidly elevated the overall sales volume by 300% by designing, directing, and executing a full scope expansion plan, which included all phases of recruiting, hiring, coaching, and supervising the sales and operations divisions. Stephen personally launched, managed, and expanded three separate businesses in the financial services sector. While he has spent most of his career assisting businesses in meeting their financing objectives, he also owned and operated a debt settlement company for over 12 years, which provided him with an in depth understanding of distressed credit resolution practices from a lender’s perspective.

Stephen enjoys spending time with his family, wife Heather, step-daughter Taylor, daughter Stevie, and son Maximus. He has been an active practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 12 years.

T: (214) 432-8887
C: (516) 668-1935
E: stephen@bigthinkcapital.com

 

Stephanie Sallas

Stephanie Sallas

Senior Operations Manager

Stephanie began her career as a department manager in big box retail where she quickly advanced. Stephanie brings over a decade of experience in customer service using her client-centric approach that sets her apart. Her belief that creating a positive experience for the customer is a key ingredient in building lasting relationships. Her new passion for helping small business owners reach their goals and potential aligns well with her unparalleled work ethic and determination for success both for her clients and for herself. Stephanie obtained a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Long Island University. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family.

T: (214) 432-8902
E: stephanie@bigthinkcapital.com

Shelton St. Juste

Shelton St. Juste

Funding Manager

Shelton prides himself in having high moral values. This sense of integrity is what has compelled him to have success in the financial industry for over 20 years.

Shelton will do everything he can to get you the most honest and fair deal possible.

T: (214) 432-8997
E: shelton@bigthinkcapital.com

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Sal Vitale

Sal Vitale

Chief Strategy Officer

Sal is the Chief Strategy Officer and is responsible for new business ventures and strategic initiatives. He is a Long Island native who received his B.A. in Finance from Marquette University. Sal began his career in the financial sector and became a top-performing consultant in the Wealth Management field at a Fortune 500 company. After recognizing his desire to combine his skill and entrepreneurial spirit, he made the transition to alternative lending.

His focus is to lead the creation of long-term value for the firm from customers, markets and relationships.

Sal’s main focus is to drive all strategic deal-making efforts to improve and broaden the scope of Big Think Capital’s partnership offerings. He aims to build strategies and product channels that will enhance the Company’s long-term value proposition to both our Clients and Partners. When not working, which is rare, you will find Sal training at the gym, reading books to further enhance his knowledge or outside, preferably in upstate NY.


T: (214) 432-8946
C: 631–885–2862

E: sal@bigthinkcapital.com

Ryan Sharpe

Ryan Sharpe

Executive Business Funding Manager

Ryan is our experienced Executive Business Funding Manager. Ryan prides himself on Making a Difference. Having been around the finance industry for over 5+ years, Ryan focuses on providing the best customer service possible. In this digital age, it is easy to forget the other person on the other end of the phone is a real person. Ryan has a plethora of experience and knowledge that he brings to all his clients. He is very driven, and always available to answer any questions you may have. Ryan’s client centric approach really allows him to understand the business, and dive into what the objective is with the funding to help come up with the best financing vehicle that aligns with what your goals are.

Ryan was born and raised in San Diego, CA. Attending Bryant University in Rhode Island, where he was a captain for the Division 1 Lacrosse program, Ryan also received his degree in Finance. After graduating from Bryant with his Finance degree, he started his finance career with one of the world’s leading Defense Contractors as a Financial Analyst. In Ryan’s free time, he enjoys being around his family, surfing and snowboarding.

 

T: (214) 432-9052
M: (858) 750-8190
E: ryan@bigthinkcapital.com

Nick Fortini

Nick Fortini

Funding Manager

Nick Fortini, a Long Island, New York native, was raised by a single father who taught him the “gift of gab” and the importance of transparency in sales. Nick comes from a close family who instilled a sense of morality and integrity in him. He is proud to apply those attributes as well as good old fashioned advocacy when representing his clients.

Prior to joining Big Think Capital, Nick had a sales role in financial services and insurance where he was routinely praised for his work ethic and results. Nick is a former college wrestling athlete and spent 4 years committed to self-discipline and hard work. Nick takes a straight forward approach to sales, does not believe in wasting time and takes a solutions oriented approach to meeting the needs of every client.

T:(214) 432-8940
E: nickf@bigthinkcapital.com

Nic Vitale

Nic Vitale

VP of Strategic Investments

Nic’s role provides him with the opportunity to create customized funding opportunities for his clients. He is driven to provide all potential and existing Big Think Capital clients with a six-star experience. If you are looking for someone who is going to treat your business as if it were his own, ask to speak with Nic. His outside-of-the-box approach will paint the perfect picture for the investment team and allow creative funding opportunities to unfold.

Outside of the office, Nic works to cultivate and develop individuals and athletes through mentorship, guidance and proper training mechanisms. From the minute he wakes up until the minute he falls asleep – his focus is predicated on ensuring he has created a positive impact with whatever he is doing.

 

T: (214) 432-9119
E: nic@bigthinkcapital.com

Mike Santos

Mike Santos

Funding Manager

Mike is a reliable and personable funding manager that enjoys getting to know each client. He consistently provides a thorough analysis of every business he encounters. This allows him to seek and provide the most effective financing options for all types of businesses. Mike’s abilities stem from a deep passion in the field of business which led him to acquire a B.S. in Business Administrator from Farmingdale State College. Mike is interested and specializes in the study of finance and environmental, social, and economic sustainability of businesses. These skills encourage him to aid business owners in finding their proper financial solutions to help them grow and expand. Prior to joining Big Think Capital, Mike worked as a Financial Analyst for a medical billing company where managed and facilitated the finances for numerous medical practitioners.

Outside of work, Mike enjoys staying active by participating in sports such as hockey and Jiu jitsu. When he is not working or playing sports you will likely be able to find him in the gym or in the ocean. Mike’s main focus whether it be at work or play is always to strive to be better and to never stop learning.

T: (214) 396-9689
E: mike@bigthinkcapital.com

Michelle Riello

Michelle Riello

Processing Manager

Michelle Riello is a proud member of the Big Think Capital team.

Her role as an administrative processor is to help business owners secure financing for their business.

She will do everything in her power to make sure you get the very best approvals possible and looks forward to developing and maintaining a client relationship with you.

Through past work experience- she has been told that her willingness, efficiency, organization, and personable nature is admirable.

In her spare time, Michelle likes to go to concerts, travel, and spend time with her family.

T: (214) 396-9382
E: michelle@bightinkcapital.com

Matt Benincasa

Matt Benincasa

Funding Manager

Matt Benincasa is the hardest working Funding Manager in the office.

Originally born and raised in Long Island, Matt moved down to Baltimore, Maryland for 6 years where he worked in the private sector supporting the United States Federal Government Agencies. Given Matt’s family roots, New York called him home when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

When working with Matt; expect polite persistence, full transparency, and a kind ear. He WILL NOT steer you wrong!


T: (214) 432-9022

C: (516) 356-2250
E: matt@bigthinkcapital.com

Marsha Zimmerman

Marsha Zimmerman

Funding Manager

Marsha Zimmerman is a wealth of knowledge from all her years in the work force. She has experience working as a teacher of Speech and Hearing, in addition to being a Mortgage Originator for residential and commercial real estate.

Marsha is a warm and engaging Funding Manager. She’s persistent in driving the best results for her clients.

T: (214) 432-9114
E: marsha@bigthinkcapital.com


Liam Cronin

Liam Cronin

Funding Manager

Liam Cronin applies a wide range of experiences and skillsets to each client’s deal. A Long Island native and business major graduate of Vanderbilt University, he spent his early years working for small businesses — landscaping, painting, typesetting factory…you name it! It was during this year that Liam learned both the lunchpail mentality and operational acumen required for running a successful business.

Upon graduation, Liam quickly became the highest performing salesperson on the High Yield Credit desk at a top financial research firm in Manhattan, managing accounts of several multi-billion dollar hedge funds and growing. He then went into the world of NYC commercial real estate, providing top-level service to office tenants, generating $1 Million of net new leases in his first 12 months.

Since then, Liam has worked as a stand-up comedian at clubs across NYC and an assistant at Saturday Night Live. During the height of the pandemic, Liam went home to run operations for a local asphalt maintenance company.

Liam got into this business because he believes in the American business owner. His background in finance and dealmaking, combined with his experience working for and running smaller businesses make for the ideal lending consultant. Liam knows how hard his clients work to keep their business thriving, and he negotiates on their behalf as if he were the business owner himself. He prides himself on getting to know the owner just as well as their business and consulting them on the lending atmosphere throughout the process.

After work, you can find Liam stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway or performing at comedy clubs in NYC. He also writes music, screenplays, and financial satire columns for internet news outlets.

T: (214) 396-9043
E: liam@bigthinkcapital.com

Langdon Lorenzo

Langdon Lorenzo

Client Retention Specialist

Langdon proves every day why his clients trust and value his guidance tremendously. His customer centric mentality coupled with his around the clock work ethic leaves anyone who has the pleasure of working with him feeling the satisfaction of the highest service level possible. There is no job too big or small for Langdon – his ability to get the job done no matter what sets him apart from the rest. Langdon’s passion for maintaining client relationships is evident and leads to his continued success here.

T: (214) 432-9012
E: langdon@bigthinkcapital.com

Jonathan Mayoza

Jonathan Mayoza

Senior Funding Manager

Jonathan Mayoza is a Senior Funding Manager with over 7 years of experience in alternate lending. He prides himself in partnering with small business owners, ultimately helping them take their businesses’ to the next level by ensuring they have the best options in front of them at all times. Jonathan is a true professional when it comes to providing the best consumer service experience possible for his clients and will work around the clock to ensure they’re taken care of throughout the entire process.

He is quick to respond & always available to answer any questions or be of help in any way.

T: (214) 396-5339
C: (515) 478-0418
E: jonathan@bigthinkcapital.com

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Joe Pellegrino

Joe Pellegrino

VP of Sales

Joe has over 30 years of experience in the financial services sector. Joe started his career in the early 1990’s with a Wall Street investment banking firm as an Investment Advisor with $10 million under management. From there, Joe embraced a new career path and joined his brother to lead a national mortgage bank. Joe was the Senior Vice President – Sales and was responsible for managing more than 150 loan officers.

In 2012, Joe expanded his extensive scope banking knowledge by entering the alternative business lending space where he specializes in obtaining financing options for American business owners. Joe prides himself on his excellent Client service and is proud to boast a 100% 5 STAR client experience on Trust Pilot.

In his free time, Joe enjoys spending time with his wife and two wonderful children.

 

T: (214) 432-9113
E: joep@bigthinkcapital.com

Joe Mansi

Joe Mansi

Funding Manager

Joe is dedicated to delivering results for his clients. A seasoned professional in the alternative lending industry, Joe has an education background from Stony Brook University and private high school, The Governor’s Academy. His client-based approach has continued to produce for his clients.

When working with Joe, expect a relentless pursuit to get the job done, total transparency, and a friendly voice more than willing to answer any questions, any time.

T: (214) 432-8894
E: joem@bigthinkcapital.com

Joe Gentile

Joe Gentile

Funding Manager

Joe is an enthusiastic and professional advocate for his clients. He is adept at building strong rapport with people, understanding the current and future needs of the business and finding suitable options for financing. Joe prides himself on his common sense and transparent approach to all situations and is committed to developing long term sustainable relationships. Prior to joining Big Think Capital, Joe was the supervisor at a New York based logistics company where he frequently earned praise for his customer service.

In his spare time, Joe is an Openside Flanker for Team Long Island D1 Men’s Rugby, enjoys reading, spending time with the family, as well as pushing his limits in the weight room.

T: 214-432-8898
C: 631-672-2121
E: joeg@bigthinkcapital.com

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Ethan Zolga

Ethan Zolga

Funding Manager

Ethan Zolga is a seasoned business lending professional and has earned a reputation for being honest, efficient and results oriented.  A Nittany Lion alum, Ethan graduated from Penn State University where he received his B.S. in Finance and Minor in Entrepreneurship & Corporate Innovation. Ethan’s extensive experience working in the alternative lending industry and consulting for business owners makes him adept at understanding the current and future needs of the business and finding suitable options to grow .

Ethan is committed to working around-the-clock for his clients and will leave no stone unturned until the job is done and the mission is accomplished. Ethan understands that businesses evolve, change and pivot based on circumstance so he makes himself readily available as a resource and advocate for all clients at all times.

In his limited spare time you can find Ethan at the gym, rooting for the NY Giants or enjoying the fresh air in his convertible.

T:(214) 432-8901
E: ethan@bigthinkcapital.com

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Eric Eatz

Eric Eatz

Senior Funding Manager

Eric Eatz has been a sales professional for 10+ years. During that time, Eric has helped thousands of clients obtain the financing resources they need to fuel their business. Eric has trained junior sales staff and raised the bar for sales performance. In addition to his professional achievements, Eric is active in fitness, sports, supporting fundraisers and spending time with family.

T: (214) 432-9094
E: eric@bigthinkcapital.com

David Brown

David Brown

President

David began his career as a real estate and bankruptcy attorney in New York City. Following several years in private practice, he started a mortgage broker operation in Long Island which ultimately grew to become one of the largest privately-held national mortgage banking operations in US history with revenues exceeding $80 million per annum and $3 billion in annual funded loan volume.

David has a broad range of management expertise in the areas of marketing, sales, banking, and regulatory compliance and business development. David leveraged his experience in consumer lending and crossed over to business lending in 2012. After running several successful lending platforms, David is happy to be home again as the President of Big Think Capital where he can offer strategic options for working capital for all types of businesses.

Mr. Brown has a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Michigan with a dual degree in Economics and Spanish. Mr. Brown successfully completed a sabbatical program in International Economics at the London School of Economics and earned his Foreign Language credentials at Cornell University.

Mr. Brown is a member of the New York State Bar Association, American Bar Association, LIBN Elite “40 under 40” and is an active participant in the following charitable organizations: Autism Speaks, Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure, Israeli Defense Fund, LIJ Children’s Medical Fund and the Pay it Forward Foundation.

T: (214) 432-9103
E: david@bigthinkcapital.com

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Dan Reiver

Dan Reiver

Marketing Director

Dan is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he earned a dual degree in Business Psychology and Entrepreneurship. In the years since graduation, he has provided successful digital marketing support for several companies and worked as a paralegal for a large national law firm. Dan’s work experience has provided him with the background to recognize the quality and value of Big Think Capital’s loan product mix, and he is therefore confident and comfortable marketing these products to clients. When away from the office, Dan enjoys attending concerts and passionately following the Michigan Wolverines, New York Yankees, and New York Knicks.

T: (214) 432-9031
E: danr@bigthinkcapital.com

 

Dan Israel

Dan Israel

President, Top Think Advisory (Powered by Big Think Capital)

Dan began his career in finance and real estate then segued to a strategic business development role for a Fortune 500 company. Over the course of his 10+ year tenure in sales, Dan has assisted multiple organizations scale from inception to successful exit as well as provide incremental sales growth along the way. Through genuine relationship management, you’ll find Dan’s style is both consultative and empathetic drawing on his extensive experience, strong interpersonal skills and in-depth knowledge of business.

Dan is originally from Long Island, NY and has a business degree in Entrepreneurial studies and Marketing from the University of Hartford.

In his spare time, Dan enjoys running, trying new restaurants and spending qualify time with his daughter.

T: (214) 432-9136
E: dan@bigthinkcapital.com

Chris Forsberg

Chris Forsberg

Operations Manager

As the operations manager, Chris is responsible for handling all day to day workflows that Big Think Capital and its agents participate in.

Born and raised on Long Island, Chris left to Rhode Island to play division 1 lacrosse at Bryant University. While at Bryant, Chris interned for Big Think Capital, provided marketing campaigns and strategies for the company to utilize to obtain potential clients.

During these times, he became well voiced in the alternative lending industry which has allowed him to understand the operations that drive Big Think Capitals productions.

T: (214) 432-9108
E: chris@bigthinkcapital.com

Chris Conroy

Chris Conroy

Funding Manager

Chris is an experienced sales professional and funding manager with a B.A. from Pepperdine University!

He has a demonstrated history of working in a variety of roles with a skill-set unlike no other.

Whether it’s playing a round of golf or listening to the Red Hot Chili peppers, there is nothing he enjoys more than discussing your business funding needs!

T: (516) 660-2914

E: chrisc@bigthinkcapital.com

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Bryan Copius

Bryan Copius

Chief Operating Officer

As Senior Vice President of Operations, Bryan Copius is responsible for all operations.

He focuses on Productivity and Quality Process Management as well as managing the overall portfolio.

Bryan has over 6 years of experience in the industry in roles including Underwriting, Business Development, and Relationship Management.

T: (214) 432-9110
E: Bryan@bigthinkcapital.com

Adam Rentzer

Adam Rentzer

VP of Private Lending

Adam is a multi-faceted business administration professional.

He always puts the client first and he possesses finely tuned analytical and creative thinking skills.

He’s adept at deploying innovative solutions to mitigate risk and achieve win-win results for his clients.

T: (214) 432-9106
E: adam@bigthinkcapital.com