Mark A. Hafner
Chairman of the Board
Mark A. Hafner, president and CEO,
joined Celtic Capital in 1985 serving as
office manager and CFO prior to taking
his current position in 1995. With a
B.A. in economics from the University
of California, Santa Barbara, Hafner
began his career as an auditor with
Security Pacific Business Credit.
Hafner is an active member of the
Commercial Finance Association (CFA)
and has served as chairperson of
the Convention Program Committee
(2001); chairperson of the Membership
Committee (2002); chairperson of the
Entrepreneurial Finance and Factoring
Committee (2003-2004); a member of
the Nominating Committee (2002 and
2004) as well as being director (since
2000), a member of the Executive
Committee (2002-2004) and a member
of the Management Committee since
2005. After having served as president in 2009, Hafner is currently the
CFA’s chairman and also serves on the
He is also an active member of the
Commercial Finance Conference of
California, Inc. and has served as sec-retary/treasurer (1997-2000); president
(2001-2002) and chairman (2002-2003).
Keith Karako has been with Citigroup
since 1979, working in the company’s
offices in Dallas, Los Angeles, Harrison,
NY and New York, NY. During the past
31 years, Karako has held various
positions within Citigroup: Lending to
noninvestment-grade companies for
acquisitions, restructurings, bankruptcy, exit financing and for general
corporate purposes. Since June 2005,
Karako has headed up Citigroup’s
Global Trade Finance group, providing
cross-border trade and supply chain
finance solutions for the bank’s many
global customers. He received his B.S.
in finance from Pennsylvania State
University and he did his business
graduate studies at Southern Methodist University. In 2010, he is serving as
president of the Commercial Finance
Association; is on the Pennsylvania
State University and College of Liberal
Arts Development and Stewardship
boards and is a member of a nongovernmental participant advising
the United Nations Commission on
International Trade Law on its security
interest initiative. Karako also serves
on the Executive Committee.
First Vice President
John Fox founded Forest Capital after
selling the Rockland Credit Finance portfolio in 2009 to Allied Affiliated Funding.
Previously, he founded Reservoir Capital
Corporation. His prior associations in
the factoring business go back to 1987.
He has been actively involved in commercial finance since 1976.
His early experience was in the
development of several high-tech companies, which he took public or merged
into publicly traded companies. Fox is a
past chairperson of several committees.
He also currently serves on CFA’s Executive Committee.
He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from
the University of Cambridge and an
M.B. A. from Brunel University.
Bruce A. Sprenger
Bruce A. Sprenger is a group senior
vice president with Cole Taylor Business Capital, responsible for developing the new Midwest region for Cole
Taylor. Formerly with LaSalle Business
Credit, his experience spans 30 years
in all aspects of commercial finance.
While at LaSalle, he led a team responsible for building and managing the
central U.S. region spanning 17 states.
Following that assignment, he had the
opportunity to launch and coordinate
LaSalle’s European cross-border clientele and ABL business with ABN AMRO
globally, focusing on Western Europe.
Additionally, Sprenger led all North
America noncredit product, cross-sell
initiatives along with marketing, communication and branding activities for
LaSalle Business Credit. Prior to opening and staffing the “greenfield” Mil-waukee-based central regional office
for LaSalle in 1999, Sprenger served as
president of Firstar Financial Services,
the asset-based company for Firstar
Corporation. He is also a member of
the CFA Executive Committee.