Wisconsin Bank & Trust
HTLF Specialized Industries

Specialty financing solutions for growth, buyouts, recapitalization, acquisitions and refinancing transactions.

HTLF Specialized Industries, a division of HTLF, provides expertise to middle-market growth companies and investors. The unique model of our holding company, HTLF, powers our family of community banks with technology, efficiency and strength, allowing us to offer a community banking experience with the scale to compete at any level. Decisions are made at the local level and focused on our clients and relationships.

Our HTLF Specialized Industries team has the ability to structure, facilitate and partner on larger transactions. In addition, through our community banks, we offer a full suite of credit, treasury management and retirement plan products and services, with a focus on the following transaction types:

5 Transaction Types

5 Transaction Types

TARGET COMPANY CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Revenues greater than $25 million
  • EBITDA greater than $2 million
  • Credit solution needs of $5 million or more, including: working capital lines of credit, and term loans for acquisitions, cash flow, equipment and real estate

Specialized Industries:

Agriculture

Includes the following production operation types: row cropping, livestock, dairy, almonds, fruits and vegetables, etc.

Business Services

Includes companies that provide information and other services that support and improve the productivity of their customers, such as applied technology, testing and monitoring services, professional services and transportation.

Food & Beverage

Includes consumer packaged goods, food and beverage processors and distributors, co-packers, restaurant groups, ingredient and organic suppliers, branded and private label products, packaging companies and wholesalers.

Healthcare Solutions

For practices, sponsors and ancillary healthcare service providers of all types. 

  • Providers include: hospitals, skilled nursing, senior’s housing, behavioral health, home health, hospice, pharmacy, rehab/therapy, ASC and others.
  • Practice finance solutions for physicians, dentists and more.
  • Banking and credit products for ancillary service providers, such as revenue cycle management (RCM), healthcare IT, and medical equipment manufacturing and distribution.

Specialty Manufacturing and Distribution

Includes companies with distinct capabilities to manufacture or distribute products with unique attributes.

Our team of industry experts is ready to help your business grow.

Contact us today.

 

Meet Our Team of Specialized Financial Experts

Brian Jones

Brian Jones

Managing Director

Brian Jones

Brian Jones

Managing Director
312.622.6407
Email Brian

Brian joined HTLF in September 2019. His experience spans across commercial real estate, capital markets, wealth management and middle market/corporate banking. Throughout his career, Brian has led commercial banking sales teams across various geographies.

Brian earned his MBA from Northwestern University at the Kellogg School of Management with concentrations in marketing, finance and strategy. He has an undergraduate degree in Finance from Michigan State University, graduated from the Pacific Coast Banking School at University of Washington, and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

Gary Fowler

Gary Fowler

Managing Director
Middle-Market

Gary Fowler

Gary Fowler

Managing Director
303.204.2355
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Gary joined HTLF in October 2020. He is a noted speaker on the debt markets and has over thirty years of banking and finance experience. Throughout his career, Gary has been responsible for originating, structuring and managing corporate banking transactions including growth capital, acquisitions, management and leverage buyouts, turnarounds and recapitalizations. In his role at HTLF, Gary is responsible for new business development, portfolio management, credit quality and overall relationship management.

Gary is a Southern California native, enjoys the outdoors including golfing, fishing, hunting and water sports. He earned his undergraduate degree in Finance at the University of Southern California.

Julie (Carlisle) Streu

Director
Syndications

Julie (Carlisle) Streu

Director
708.732.1235
Email Julie

Julie is the Director of Syndications at Heartland Financial USA, Inc. (HTLF). She is responsible for building out the company’s syndications vertical, which includes coordinating external sell-side and buy-side syndication activity on behalf of our family of community banks. In addition, Julie serves in an advisory capacity to provide market intel, industry data and loan comp analysis for all Commercial Relationship Managers, including deals that do not have a syndication component.

Prior to joining HTLF, Julie served as Vice President of Syndications at Wintrust Financial. In 2015, she helped forge their syndications vertical, and eventually led Commercial and Industrial (C&I) syndications, and covered all C&I and specialty syndication volume which included franchise finance, insurance, contractors, ESOP, sponsor finance, asset-based lending, premium finance and mortgage warehousing.

Julie earned her bachelor’s degree in Economics and Psychology from Northwestern University. She is a member of the Chicago Partnership Board for Avenues to Independence, an organization that focuses on improving quality of life for people with developmental disabilities. Julie and her husband have a son named Ryan, and a golden retriever named Summer. Together, they like spending time with their family and friends and walking and jogging around their neighborhood in Chicago.

Mike Smiggen

Mike Smiggen

Director
Structured Finance

Mike Smiggen

Mike Smiggen

Director
612.845.2692
Email Mike

Mike joined HTLF in December 2019, with broad experience, having worked in the financial services industry for most of his career. His background includes commercial banking, private equity investing, and merger and acquisition advisory work. He has worked in advancing capacities for several national banks across the country.

Mike is responsible for managing and developing complex commercial accounts across HTLF’s national footprint, with a focus on lower- to middle-market growth companies and private equity-backed transactions operating within specialized industries that require technical or other industry-specific expertise.

Mike earned both his undergraduate and MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He has served on several committees and boards, most recently serving as Board President for the Arizona chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG). Mike is an avid golfer and hiker.

Bryan Nance

Bryan Nance

Director
Healthcare

Bryan Nance

Bryan Nance

Director
504.400.6923
Email Bryan

Bryan joined HTLF in October 2020 as a seasoned finance and middle market healthcare lender with knowledge across multiple sub-sectors and product lines. He has 20 years of experience in healthcare and lending, having started his career working for a large, national nursing home operator before moving into the finance and lending side of the business.

Bryan has been responsible for managing and structuring transactions across multiple healthcare sectors and credit structures, including real estate, leveraged lending and asset-based lending in support of transactions supporting acquisitions/expansions, growth, working capital, recapitalizations, bridge financing and others. His experience includes navigating the healthcare risk, regulatory and reimbursement environment.

Bryan earned his undergraduate and MBA at Ohio University. He lives in Denver with his wife, 2-year old son Nash, and pup Ella. He and his family are taking advantage of all the outdoor activities Denver has to offer. In normal times, they also love to explore food/restaurants and live music.

Chris Leff

Chris Leff

Director
Commercial Real Estate

Chris Leff

Chris Leff

Director
312.498.1222
Email Chris

Chris joined HTLF in 2021 as the Director of Commercial Real Estate, bringing a diverse background across the banking landscape, having managed teams across lending, credit and workout. He joins us with nearly 20 years of banking experience, most recently at The PrivateBank/CIBC where he served as the Head of Regional Commercial Real Estate overseeing a team of 25 professionals across nine markets. He was involved in developing the growth and client acquisition strategies for a portfolio of $4 billion in construction, bridge and term loans and maintains a vast network of real estate investors and developers across the country.

Chris specializes in structuring creative solutions for real estate developers and investment firms that are focused on growing full-service relationships. He is responsible for collaborating with our family of banks to source new and grow existing commercial real estate relationships throughout our footprint.

Chris is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate with a double major in Real Estate & Urban Land Economics, and Finance & Investment Banking. Chris is based in the Greater Chicagoland area.

Ed Cooper

Ed Cooper

Director
Food & Beverage

Ed Cooper

Ed Cooper

Director
773.899.1925
Email Ed

Ed is Director Specialized Industries, SVP of Heartland Financial USA, Inc. (HTLF). He is responsible for the company’s food and beverage business including: refining our market strategy, growing existing partnerships and expanding our breadth of relationships, in direct collaboration with team members throughout our family of community banks.

Prior to joining HTLF, Ed served as Senior Vice President for Wells Fargo, where he joined in 2005. He was responsible for new business development and managing client relationships for the Food and Agribusiness Middle Market Banking Office. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, he held positions at Cole Taylor Bank, Bank of America and BMO/Harris Bank.

In addition to his company responsibilities, Ed has conducted speaking engagements at industry conferences and has published articles in the ABA and RMA Journals. He is on the Board of Directors of John Carroll University, is on the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation Board of Directors where he serves on the Executive Committee, is a member of Posse Foundation’s Chicago Leadership Council, is the past Chairman of the Illinois Center for Violence Prevention, and is a past President of the Union League Club of Chicago.

Cooper received his Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University, Kellogg Graduate School of Management and his Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Administration from John Carroll University. He resides in Chicago with his wife Patty DeBiasi, and has two adult children: James and Grace. Cooper enjoys audio books, golfing, biking, and playing basketball.

Patrick Harrington

Patrick Harrington

Director
Commercial Real Estate

Patrick Harrington

Patrick Harrington

Director
708.519.0944
Email Patrick

Patrick joined HTLF as the Director of Commercial Real Estate in 2021. In this role, he supports commercial real estate investors and developers, specializing in deals that require a more complex structure. He also collaborates with team members throughout the HTLF family of community banks, partnering with them to assist in Commercial Real Estate space.

Patrick comes to us from Wintrust Financial Corporation where he was most recently VP of Commercial Real Estate. During his 10 years at Wintrust, he structured and originated over $400MM in commercial loans and lines of credit to local and institutional real estate developers and investors.

Patrick earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from The Farmer School of Business at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and is based out of the Chicagoland area.

Mark Smith

Mark Smith

Director
Middle-Market

Mark Smith

Mark Smith

Director
949.698.8309
Email Mark

Mark Smith joins HTLF Specialized Industries as a Director with over 30 years experience in asset based and C&I lower middle market/middle market lending. During his career, he has  structured M&A and recapitalizations as well as lines of credit, growth capital and cash flow facilities along with foreign trade and commercial real estate. He brings a wealth of industry expertise in automotive, aerospace, food, and healthcare.

Mark graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He is married with two children and enjoys spending time with his family, reading and outdoor activities.


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HTLF’s community banks are members of the FDIC.