LEADERSHIP

We’ll Get You There

Meet our leadership team

Rick Dennen: Founder, President & CEO

Rick Dennen is President and CEO of First Commercial Finance, a division of First Financial Bank, which operates under the brands of Oak Street Funding and First Franchise Capital Corporation. As founder of Oak Street Funding, Rick led the specialty lending company from a business concept in 2003 to the nation’s top insurance lender. Since then Oak Street expanded its lending offerings to registered investment advisors (RIAs), certified public accountants (CPAs) and indirect auto finance companies. In addition, Oak Street offers third-party loan servicing to multinational bank portfolios and backup servicing to securitized portfolios. After Oak Street Funding was purchased by First Financial Bank in 2015, Rick took on the additional role of President of First Franchise Capital Corporation, a business providing commercial lending to restaurant franchisees. Through Rick’s leadership, First Commercial Finance has experienced exponential growth resulting in a portfolio that exceeds $1B.

Before founding Oak Street, Rick was a partner in a venture capital firm serving various capacities for portfolio companies within the fund. He was also a Senior Manager at Deloitte serving public and private companies in the financial services and manufacturing industries.

Rick earned both a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Masters of Business Administration from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Indiana, as well as a licensed agent for Life, Accident and Health products in Indiana and holds one or more of these licenses in 45 other states. Rick has authored and been featured in numerous articles in leading publications. He is an adjunct professor of venture capital and entrepreneurial finance at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and has spoken at conferences, universities, seminars and other events.

E-mail: rick.dennen@oakstreetfunding.com

Telephone: (317) 428-3800

Fax: (317) 428-5000

Alicia Mitchell Chandler: Chief Counsel

As Chief Counsel, Alicia is a member of the management team and is responsible for managing all aspects of legal services for Oak Street and First Franchise Capital, including, but not limited to, negotiations, contracts, loan documentation, collections, litigation, and direction of work with outside law firms. Alicia developed and advanced Oak Street’s legal department during extensive company growth. Prior to joining Oak Street, Alicia was first an associate, and then became a partner, at a mid-size Indianapolis firm where she handled much of Oak Street’s legal work. Alicia holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Cincinnati and her Juris Doctor from the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Alicia is a member of the bar in Indiana, United States District Court for the Southern and Northern Districts of Indiana, United States Bankruptcy Courts for the Southern and Northern District of Indiana.

 

E-mail: alicia.chandler@oakstreetfunding.com

Telephone: (317) 428-3847

Fax: (317) 428-5197

Kathy Yeary: Executive Director Customer Service and Human Resources
Kathy Yeary is responsible for the customer service and compliance department, which includes portfolio performance and customer satisfaction, as well as the human resources department for both Oak Street Funding and First Franchise Capital. Kathy is responsible for managing an over $1B loan portfolio as well as third party servicing.  Kathy’s depth of knowledge and expertise is as a result of having achieved success in the insurance and financial services industries since 1995. Prior to joining Oak Street, she served as the Vice President Asset Management at a specialty finance company and in several financial and operating capacities at Conseco and GTE. Kathy holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

 

E-mail: kathy.yeary@oakstreetfunding.com

Telephone: (317) 428-3838

Fax: (317) 805-2714

Bill Nicholson: Executive Director of Sales

Bill Nicholson is the Executive Director of Sales with Oak Street Funding & First Franchise Capital.  Bill currently drives the strategic development & growth of our Restaurant Franchise business line and has been an integral part of driving disciplined execution over multiple business verticals since joining Oak Street Funding in 2009. Bill is a US Marine Corp veteran & has been in financial service management since 1999.

 

E-mail: bill.nicholson@firstfcc.com

Telephone: (317) 428-3835

Fax: (317) 428-5195

David Christman: Chief Information Officer
LeadershipDavid Christman has been focused on computer programming and data analysis since his graduation in 2000, most of this time was primarily focused on the insurance commission asset stream. At Oak Street and now with First Franchise Capital, he built our proprietary software that supports all aspects of the business from marketing contact management through underwriting, servicing, and accounting. Prior to joining Oak Street Funding, David developed a web based asset management system which was used to monitor the performance of insurance commission assets and to evaluate new acquisitions. David holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Computer Science from DePauw University.

E-mail: david.christman@oakstreetfunding.com

Telephone: (317) 428-3811

Fax: (317) 428-5111

Kirsten Petras: Executive Director of Sales

Kirsten Petras is Executive Director of Sales for Oak Street Funding. She has led the sales team since 2011, including the expansion into the RIA and CPA business verticals. Her extensive background in financial services- including roles in sales management, loan originations, and compliance- have enabled her to drive a team that consistently originates annual volume in excess of $250M contributing towards a $1B+ portfolio.

Her philosophy to lead her team with the clients’ best interests in mind has led to above average Net Promoter Scores, and influenced Oak Street Funding to be one of the Best Places to Work in Indiana.
Kirsten has a Bachelor of Business Administration and Management from Marian University, and she has received several sales leadership awards throughout her career. She travels domestically, speaking as a thought leader in the RIA and insurance industries. She was recently named to the list of Elite Women by Insurance Business America magazine in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

E-mail: kirsten.petras@oakstreetfunding.com

Telephone: (317) 428-5156

Fax: (317) 805-2551

Barry Kehl: Executive Director of Underwriting
Barry Kehl oversees Oak Street Funding and First Franchise Capital’s commercial underwriting efforts by managing the credit approval process, determining lending policies, risk management, and helping with strategic decisions and planning. With 25 plus years of experience and prior executive level leadership positions for banking and investment companies, Kehl has a rich financial services background.

Barry has successfully managed the performance, risk and monitoring of a $1 Billion plus commercial loan portfolio, managed commercial credit underwriting, and worked with regulatory bodies to ensure compliance. Barry is a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Finance and a Master’s degree in Accounting.

E-mail: barry.kehl@oakstreetfunding.com

Telephone: (317) 428-3805

Fax: (317) 805-2769

Brian Henson: Director of Underwriting, Strategic Markets
As the Director of Underwriting for Strategic Markets, Brian Henson specializes in underwriting and structuring large loan transactions, mergers and acquisitions. Brian also assists in managing large borrower and specialty business relationships to enhance the credit strength of the loan portfolio.

Brian started his lending career in 2002 and has since held positions in credit, sales and portfolio management at several regional banks. Prior to joining Oak Street, he managed a $200MM national real estate loan portfolio. Brian has a Bachelor of Science in Management from Purdue University.

E-mail: brian.henson@oakstreetfunding.com

Telephone: (317) 428-3843

Fax: (317) 428-5183

Have questions? Talk with our experts for more information.