Our Team

The SPARK team is made up of technologists, SBA experts, former loan officers and others with years of experience in loan origination, so work is done right the first time.

Nick Elders

Nick Elders

SVP, Head of Technology Platforms

Elders has worked in technology strategy, process design, product management, software development and software implementation for more than a decade. He is currently responsible for building and overseeing the teams designing, developing, testing, delivering, selling and supporting SPARK, CRF’s business loan origination platform. Elders’ work has earned the praise of clients and team members alike for his innovative ideas, knowledge of the FinTech landscape and team-centered approach to activating organizational growth and technology opportunities. Elders earned his economics degree from Macalester College.
Erik Swenson

Erik Swenson

VP of Platform Services

Swenson is an experienced information and software architect with a demonstrated history of delivering innovative cloud-based software to the financial services industry. Skilled in .NET Framework, C#, Visual Studio and AWS, Swenson is responsible for overseeing strategy for SPARK technology implementation and managing the build process for new software versions. Swenson earned his computer programming degree from Macalester College.
Victoria Stein

Victoria (Vicky) Stein

VP of Strategic Partnerships

As Vice President of Strategic Partnerships on the SPARK team, Vicky is responsible for developing and managing relationships with mission-aligned lenders. In her role, she works with CDFIs interested in adopting the SPARK platform as well as to facilitate access to CRF’s additional offerings, including capital solutions, lender services and capital markets programs. A former consultant to community-based organizations, Vicky has worked in the financial services industry and in a regulatory capacity at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. She holds master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College.

Erik Mau

Erik Mau

Principal Architect

Mau is an experience software architect, well-versed in all web technologies with over 20 years of experience planning, architecting, and developing web-based solutions. Erik oversees the product development team and is also responsible for the technical product management of the SPARK platform. Mau earned his degree in computer science from Iowa State University.

JD Crouch

JD Crouch

Customer Success Manager

Crouch has led consulting, strategy, project design and implementation for multiple global market leaders during the past ten years. His business development experience and management skills help develop strong teams and quality deliverables for clients in emerging markets. With an emphasis on internal and external C-suite relationship-building, Crouch helps diverse businesses compete and enjoy measurable customer success. Crouch holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.
Tanner Bruhschwein

Tanner Bruhschwein

Customer Success Manager

Bruhschwein has spent his career in both the lending and technology industries. Prior to joining the SPARK team, he was one of the first SPARK users, using the system to originate and underwrite SBA loans. Bruhschwein also has experience in ensuring the successful implementation of software to healthcare organizations. He leverages this experience as well as his time as a SPARK user to offer a consultative approach to implementation, training, ongoing support and everything in between. Bruhschwein has a BS in Finance from the University of Nebraska
Emily McCarty

Emily McCarty

Customer Success Associate

McCarty helps SPARK users leverage technology for increased day-to-day efficiency. Through SPARK, McCarty hopes to further the mission of small business lenders by helping women and people of color get financing for their small business ventures. With a BA in Psychology from Transylvania University and a MA in Clinical Psychology from the University of Dayton, McCarty uses her knowledge of interpersonal skills to bring a human element to technical support.
Alex Herman

Alex Herman

Developer

Herman has spent most of his career as a member of the SPARK team focused on building scalable web-based services used in small business lending. Prior to this, he implemented automation software in the medical device manufacturing industry to improve the quality and consistency of life-saving medical equipment. Herman holds a BS in Computer Science from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.
Craig Macy

Craig Macy

Developer

Macy is an application developer on the SPARK platform. He brings strong customer service experience and more than 10 years of expertise from different technical positions. Macy provides both business and technical analysis for functionality, develops features to expand and improve the SPARK platform as well as handles support of more complicated technical issues. Macy has a BS in Computer Science and Information Systems from the University of Vermont.  

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