Cisco DeVries - CEO
While serving as Chief of Staff to Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, Cisco DeVries innovated the concept of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), which was named one of the top 20 “world-changing” ideas by Scientific American magazine in 2009. When DeVries co-founded Renewable Funding, he pioneered the turnkey PACE solution for local and state governments – innovative technology and streamlined administrative tools to make clean energy upgrades simpler and more affordable for property owners.
An innovative leader on clean energy finance, DeVries was invited to the White House to meet with President Obama and former President Clinton on clean energy finance. An industry leader, he has presented at events sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, Sierra Club, ICLEI, and others. Prior to founding Renewable Funding, DeVries spent 15 years in politics and policy, including serving as an appointee in the administration of President Bill Clinton, serving as an aide to the U.S. Secretary of Energy and the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
DeVries holds an MPP from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and a BA from UC San Diego. He lives in Piedmont with his wife and two sons. He serves on the Board of the national advocacy organization, PACENow.
Gannesh Bharadhwaj - President
Gannesh Bharadhwaj brings over 20 years experience in financial services and management consulting with in-depth expertise in building consumer loan portfolios. Bharadhwaj's career includes leading many divisions within HSBC, with senior roles managing consumer loan, auto loan, and credit card products in the U.S. and abroad.
Gannesh Bharadhwaj led the efforts to reposition HSBC’s Auto Finance business in the dealer channel, while building and scaling the direct-to-consumer and partnership channels. Bharadhwaj served as Managing Director of HSBC’s Co-branded Cards business where he led efforts to significantly ramp up new partnership programs and receivables growth. Bharadhwaj was also head of the Consumer Assets business for HSBC in Asia Pacific where he managed one of the largest consumer loan portfolios in the region. In India, Bharadhwaj headed the Retail bank and Wealth Management business for HSBC, which he successfully turned around to profitability and positioned it for future growth.
Bharadhwaj holds a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Jack Bernard - Executive Officer
Jack Bernard brings nearly 25 years of capital market and investment management experience to Renewable Funding. He spent nearly 10 years with Merrill Lynch Capital Markets in New York City where he directed the origination and trading of agency and whole loan mortgage-backed security structured transactions. He also traded the firm's proprietary mortgage-backed securities derivative position. Bernard then transitioned to investment management with RCM Capital Management in San Francisco, where he managed a multi-billion dollar bond portfolio for over 100 institutional clients. Bernard was directly responsible for all credit and structured bond investments and specialty mandates, including a closed end fund traded on the NYSE (symbol RCS), which used substantial leverage and fixed income derivatives instruments to enhance yield and manage risk.
In addition, he co-managed the collateralized debt obligation business and was a member of the portfolio strategy and asset allocation team. After RCM, Bernard was an advisor to several institutional investment organizations and ran an equity hedge fund using proprietary patent valuation analytics. Bernard is a graduate of Stanford Graduate School of Business and the U.S. Naval Academy.
Mimi Frusha - Chief Operating Officer
Mimi Frusha co-founded Renewable Funding and helped transform the PACE solution into a reality across the nation. Frusha is responsible for the implementation and execution of Renewable Funding’s PACE, finance and technology contracts and programs. Prior to Renewable Funding, she led the development of consumer and business based finance programs for over 10 years in local non-profits such as the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, Juma Ventures and Inner City Advisors.
Frusha holds a BA from Carleton College and a MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in El Cerrito with her husband and son.
Joanna Karger - Chief Financial Officer
With nearly 20 years of investment management experience in both private and public sectors, Joanna Karger develops and executes Renewable Funding’s financial strategy and manages internal financial controls. Prior to joining Renewable Funding, Karger was the Head of Fixed Income at McMorgan & Co., where she was responsible for the investment performance and risk management of more than $8 billion in fixed income assets.
Prior to McMorgan, Karger worked at RCM Capital Management, where she managed several billion dollars worth of mortgage-related securities for institutional clients. Karger also spent four years working for the U.S. Treasury as a savings and loan examiner. As a lead examiner, she worked on teams responsible for assessing the safety and soundness of the largest, most complex thrift institutions in the Western U.S. Karger holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, two children, and dog.
Cliff Staton - Executive Vice President
Prior to joining Renewable Funding, Cliff Staton spent 20 years as founding partner with the political strategy and media relations consulting firm of Staton & Hughes, where he crafted winning campaigns and messages for hundreds of candidates, corporations, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and labor unions. He devised and executed successful strategies for numerous elected officials from President to city council. Staton earned his MPA from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Indiana University. Staton lives in San Francisco with his wife and three children.
Scott Strait - Chief Technology Officer
Scott Strait brings to Renewable Funding more than 20 years of experience leading technology organizations, the last 12 years of which were with Charles Schwab & Co. At Schwab, Strait was Chief Technology Officer (CTO); divisional Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Schwab Investor Services business serving retail investors; Senior VP of technology for back-end brokerage, cashiering, and operations; and divisional CIO for the Schwab Institutional business serving independent financial advisors. As CTO and as head of the retail technology, Strait developed the technology strategy to emphasize cross-channel integration and common view of the customer to enable Schwab’s strategy shift from transaction-based to relationship-based client experience and led the complete rewrite of Schwab.com.
Prior to Schwab, Strait was with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he led electronic-commerce and workflow automation projects in support of the Clinton-Gore Reinventing Government initiative. Strait has a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Engineering-Economic Systems and an MBA from Lehigh University. Scott's favorite leisure time activity is running the trails of the parks in the Oakland hills, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.