Advisory Board

Charlie Spies

Advisory Board Member


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Charlie Spies serves as CEO for CEI Capital Management, LLC, a for profit subsidiary of Coastal Enterprises Inc., (CEI). CEI is a private, nonprofit Community Development Corporation (CDC) and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides financing and support in the development of job-creating small businesses, natural resources industries, community facilities, and affordable housing.

CEI Capital Management delivers on CEI's Mission by managing NMTC allocations totaling over $850 million with a primary focus on project financing for manufacturers and service providers in rural communities across America.

Stephen Mason

Advisory Board Member


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Stephen Mason is the associate vice president of economic and workforce development and corporate continuing education at Denmark Technical College in Denmark, South Carolina. In this role, he has a demonstrated track record of identifying and engaging key strategic external partners (individual or institutional) for the purposes of building effective collaborative initiatives to deliver programs, curriculum, and industry partnerships. Prior to that, he was dean of continuing education for the college. In the past, he worked in divisional growth and opened new technology/quick jobs training centers in Barnwell and Allendale, South Carolina.

Mason brings more than 30 years' experience in private industry and educational administration in this role.

Joe Wesolowski

Advisory Board Member


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As senior vice president for Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., Joe Wesolowski directs and oversees structured finance operations which include leveraging the New Markets Tax Credit program and other financing vehicles to provide real estate capital for commercial and mixed-use development in underserved and emerging markets. He has raised over $350MM in the last five years and has approximately $4.1BB in assets under management. Wesolowski is also responsible for coordinating field production for the company. A seasoned real estate professional with over 30 years of experience, Wesolowski has expertise in financial management, strategic planning, and deal structuring and negotiation. He joined Enterprise in July 2004.

Formerly, Wesolowski was chief financial officer of USF&G Realty Advisors, Inc. where he oversaw all financial operations. He served as executive vice president for a local real estate developer responsible for development, financing, leasing and management of owned real estate. Wesolowski also served as a political appointee to Baltimore City as a real estate officer with responsibility for overseeing city government real estate acquisition, disposition, leasing, analysis and approval of all deal structures. A certified public accountant, Wesolowski earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Loyola College, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and holds a master of administrative science from the Johns Hopkins University.

David Bradley

Advisory Board Member


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For nearly three decades David Bradley has been recognized as one of Washington’s leading advocates for low-income programs. David has worked with federal government representatives, members of Congress, congressional staff and key White House personnel to develop national policies dealing with low-income needs and related regulations and guidelines. David has served as a member on a number of advisory boards and commissions.

Since 1981, David has served as Executive Director of the National Community Action Foundation (NCAF) which he helped found in 1981. NCAF is a private, non-profit advocacy organization that interacts with Congress, the Executive Branch, state and local governments and local agencies on behalf of a variety of low-income programs.

David is the principle author of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). This three quarter of a billion dollar program provides the core funding to the nation’s community action agency (CAA) network. David’s most recent activities have been to meet with members of Congress and representatives of other countries who are interested in establishing a community action program in their countries.

David has a Bachelors and Masters degree from George Washington University. In 1987 he was a Senior Executive Fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. He served in President Carter’s Administration as Congressional Liaison at the Small Business Administration.

Brent Sorenson

Advisory Board Member


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Brent Sorenson has spent his career serving and promoting agriculture and rural communities of Minnesota and the Northern Great Plains.  Prior to joining Rob-See-Co as regional sales manager, Sorenson served as: general manager, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute; vice president, Agriculture and Natural Resources, for Northern Great Plains Inc.; assistant professor and director of ag business program, for the University of Minnesota, Crookston Campus, and account manager, CEO, FarmConnect; sales training and development manager and sales effectiveness manager for DuPont Pioneer.  He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in agronomy and plant genetics from the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, a Master’s of Science degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in agronomy and plant genetics from the University of Minnesota, St. Paul.

Brent and his wife Linda have two sons, Ben and Lucas. In addition to work, Brent enjoys volunteering, woodworking, and bicycling. Brent and Linda are members of the Bethel Baptist Church and live in Mankato, MN.

Michael Thorsteinson

Advisory Board Member


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Michael Thorsteinson retired in 2017 after 33 years as executive director at Three Rivers Community Action, Inc, a nonprofit human service organization in southeastern Minnesota, created by local citizens and incorporated in 1966.  It serves over 11,000 clients per year in a variety of ways: facilitating homeownership, keeping them warm and sheltered, employing them, healing them, educating them, transporting them, feeding them, and involving them.  It serves primarily low-income families. However, it also serves the community-at-large by creating a healthier environment for all citizens, regardless of economic status. In that capacity, Thorsteinson was responsible for a $12.5 MM budget, $45 MM in asset, 175-person staff, 300 volunteers, and more than twenty separate programs.  Under his leadership, Three Rivers has made available almost 700 units of new and rehabilitated housing to the workforce, helped more than 200 diverse families to purchase homes, created the $5.5MM Northfield Community Resource Center, which has been recognized as a model of how to do collaborative facilities, led the development of state funding for Head Start, and initiated a private capital raising process.  In addition to his work with Three Rivers Community Action, Thorsteinson serves on/has served on diverse boards, commissions, task forces, and panels, such as CAPI USA which helps immigrant populations (low income) find employment, housing, health care etc; the Northfield, MN School Board; the MN Coalition for Education Reform and Accountability; The Governors Big Plan for Education Task Force; The MN Community Action Association; Children, Families, and Learning; and the Minnesota Health Care Commission.

Mark Linder

Advisory Board Member


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Mark Linder was the co-founder and first president/CEO of Agriculture in the Classroom program, which he helped to establish, first in California, then throughout the United States and across the globe during his 23 years with the California Farm Bureau. Mark is a co-founder and served as president/CEO of Food, Land and People, an educational organization representing diverse sectors of society with the common interest of positive dialogue focused on the interdependence of food production, environmental quality and the sustainability of human cultures. Mark was instrumental in generating support for the award winning America's Heartland public television show, which is aired weekly on more than 240 television stations across the United States.

Raised on a 5th generation family farm in Iowa, Mark is a graduate of Iowa State University, a fellow of the California Agricultural Leadership Program and an Agricultural Fellow of the John J. McCloy Fellows Program to Germany.

Mark is currently a business development and strategic alliances consultant based in California's Napa Valley. He works throughout the United States and internationally with agricultural organizations and businesses.