Entrepreneur in Finance
For 25 years, I have developed unique skills to observe, interpret, and execute decisive strategies in finance. My expertise has resulted in over 1,000 transactions facilitated in a diverse range of countries, across many asset types, and targeted end-user markets on several continents.
in the finance and investment banking business
investment capital raised on behalf of third parties
continents with unique business operations
unique financial transactions as a principal
As a young entrepreneur I honed my skills as a salesman and capital raiser working with a variety of individual entrepreneurs at a time when utilizing leverage in real estate was a growing trend. In the late 1990s, I capitalized on my experience and relationships that I had earned with successful entrepreneurs to operate proprietary investment funds and a small investment banking practice.
A staff hire I made in early 2001 introduced me to my first international individual investor, and since then I have developed relationships with approximately 50 high and ultra-high net worth individual investors from around the world.
These relationships allowed me to work on deals in varying industries and establish an eastern European hub that helped to deepen my investor base, expand my comprehension of global businesses, and pursue social and philanthropic causes for the greater good.
Today, operating from the United States, I serve as the Chairperson and a key strategist of Mesaba Finance Company, Incorporated, the company that I first purchased in 1994, at age 18, three days after graduating from Eveleth/Gilbert High school in Minnesota.
Mesaba Finance Company, Incorporated, through its various affiliated companies, support a boutique investment banking operation and employ a professional staff to manage funds related to Agricultural and other specialty finance in North, Central and South America, as well as a project in the Horn of Africa.
Mesaba Finance traces its roots back to 1938, when it was formed as Mesaba Loan Company by Maurice "Mosey" Banen in Minnesota. I acquired the company in 1994, when it was a Regulated Lender in the State of Minnesota, specialized in automobile and secured consumer financing. As a boutique investment bank, we serve a niche clientele controlled by foreign owner and sovereign nation clientele
Aero Fleet One
Aero Fleet One is an aerial services company focused on improving the agricultural aviation industry through standardization and innovation. By acquiring a significant share of the market and leveraging new technologies, we believe we can reduce the risks and costs associated with aerial application while increasing efficiency and effectiveness. With a growing world to feed and preserve, we believe responsible automation is the way forward for agriculture.
Agro Fund One
Agro Fund One, Limited, and our subsidiaries draw from the expertise of our international staff and resources from our affiliated businesses to support growth-stage companies in the international agricultural sector. Projects focus on North and South America and a stand-alone project in the Horn of Africa in a wide range of sectors ranging from crop inputs, logistics, processing, growing and ag tech innovations.
Blue Heron Farms
Blue Heron, Inc. (Golden Neva EurAsia) is a multi-national managed farm operation in Eastern Europe. Our journey started in 2011 in the ancient wine-growing region of Kakheti, in the Republic of Georgia. Actively managing 1,500 hectares of farmland, these properties produce a wide variety of row crops, orchard crops, and specialty foods. Blue Heron team developed and continues to support strong export relationships across all of these categories for sale in export markets and a specialty equipment leasing portfolio.
Taqtyle is a Denver-based real estate development group focussing on the LoHi neighborhood. LoHi features some of Denver's greatest architecture, a vibrant scene of local restaurants and shops, as well as fantastic views of Denver landmarks such as the Highland Bridge. Taqtyle made it its mission to promote and foster the LoHi community by developing vanguard real estate projects that both fit into and advance the neighborhood.
In addition to my business pursuits, I have a strong interest in fine arts. I draw inspiration for my personal life from poems and speeches by great writers and speakers. My favorite texts include Horatius at the Bridge, Indecision, and Man in the Arena, which are listed below. Another area of particular interest is paintings, specifically oil paintings. Below you will find a gallery of my favorite paintings, from both American and Russian painters, which I have viewed in person frequently. The gallery contains additional commentary for each painting.
Inspirational Poems and Speeches
Horatius at the Bridge
— Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay
Then stepped forward Horatius, the Captain of the gate.
He said, 'To every man of woman born death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers and the temples of his gods? ...
Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul, with all the speed ye may.
I would, with but two beside me, will hold the foe in play.
On yon narrow span 1,000 might well be stopped by three.
Now, who will stand on either hand and guard the bridge with me?
— Ted Turner
While great Caesar lay yet dying
Brutus has a chance for glory
Had the future lain before him
His would be a different story
At the feet of Hannibal
Like a ripe plum Rome once Lay
Off he put the time of Conquest
To a later, better day
Hamlets course was lain before him
All he had to do was act
But he lacked the inner courage
To make his deep convictions fact
Shortly after first Manassas
Fate knocked at the door of Lee
But he failed to take advantage
Or a different country this may be
Many times throughout the ages
Like as not the chance appears
But because of indecision
Man’s fond hopes are drown in tears.
Man in the Arena
— Thedore Roosevelt
It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly,
so that his place shall never be with those cold and
timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
I have supported a variety of civic and philanthropic causes throughout my career. In 2004, I served as a founding benefactor for the Center for Community Stewardship, an organization originally intended to support community conversations regarding redevelopment. Embarking on a challenging international platform, I planned and subsequently created the Kyiv Parks Foundation to support the redevelopment of public parks and recreational venues within the city of Kyiv, Ukraine. In 2016, I began my journey with Rotary International, becoming a member of the Kyiv Multinational Club. Today I am a member of the Rotary Club 31 in Denver, Colorado.
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