Meet the team.
Our team is made up of the top SBA professionals in the Nation.
Brian Carlson – President & CEO
Brian Carlson, Founder, President & CEO of SBA Complete, Inc has a banking career that spans twenty-eight years. Mr. Carlson also teaches SBA Lending at the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado, in Boulder. Prior to starting SBA Complete, he was the Founder, President & CEO of Excel National Bank, which opened in 2005. Before starting the bank, Mr. Carlson spent 16 years managing and building nationwide SBA lending departments for Bank of the West, Imperial Bank and Temecula Valley Bank. During this time he was able to build all three institutions into top national SBA lending operations. At Imperial Bank, Mr. Carlson grew SBA loan production to over $300,000,000 annually and became the 9th largest SBA lender in the nation. While running Temecula Valley Bank’s SBA operation, he increased SBA production to $300,000,000 and was ranked 8th in the nation for all SBA lenders. Mr. Carlson’s focus has always been on generating large volumes of quality loans, by creating an efficient production system that is highly profitable. Mr. Carlson has twice been named as one of the most influential people in SBA lending by Coleman publishing.
Karen McHugh – SVP, Products & Services Manager
Karen McHugh has been active in SBA lending her entire professional career since 1984. She started her career with a CDC, then moved on to run an SBA lending department for a Kilgore First National Bank. You might recognize Karen from her days with the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL), where for four years she was a Senior Vice President and Director of Education, and then for seven years was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Following her tenure at NAGGL, Karen went on to establish a consulting firm and gained a reputation as the go-to person in the industry for everything from due diligence on SBA portfolios, to the development of policies and procedures and training, to risk assessment analysis, assistance with SBA guaranty purchase recovery and loan workout/liquidation activity. Karen is the leading SBA technical expert in the nation and now is focused on providing this expertise to SBA Complete, Inc. and its clients.
Lisa Gambrino – Senior SBA Loan Specialist
Lisa’s banking experience dates back to 1980 when she got her first job in the banking industry. In 1995, Lisa was assigned the task of starting an SBA Department for the bank she was employed by. In less than five years that bank grew from being a GP lender doing only a few loans each year to the top PLP lender in the state and one of the top thirty on a national level. Over the course of her career she has become a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional and a Government Loan Program Specialist.
In 2003, Lisa recognized the need for a Lender Service Provider in the Midwest to work with community banks after the U.S. Small Business Administration moved to more centralized processes. Knowing financial institutions would value such support Lisa founded sbaSTRATEGIES and the company began providing consulting services to lenders eager to participate in SBA lending programs.
For the past 10 years Lisa has dedicated time to her local Small Business Development Center and was named Minnesota’s “State Star” in 2009 by the Association of Small Business Development Centers for her outstanding consulting work provided to area small business owners.
In July, 2013 Lisa made an agreement to integrate sbaSTRATEGIES with SBA Complete in an effort to create greater efficiencies, increase the services and support it provides and expand the team of SBA professionals available to the lending community on a national level.
Kimberly Lahr – SBA Loan Specialist
Kimberly began her professional career in lending after graduating with a degree in Credit and Finance. Before graduation she was offered an opportunity to be part of a new SBA Team which had recently obtained their PLP status. The team grew the SBA department to be the #1 SBA Lender in Minnesota and one of the top 50 nationwide. Kimberly has been in almost every role in the SBA process and understands the challenges faced by staff. The experience and training gained over her 15 year career provides a platform from which other could benefit from. Since 2009, Kimberly has provided consulting services to many lenders in the Midwest and is well known for her knowledge of the SBA program, top-notch customer service and quick response time. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences with other in hopes they too will have great success in their roles as SBA professionals. Kimberly is involved in educating young people about their financial future through Junior Achievement.