About Us

Angel Oak Commercial Lending is a privately held specialty finance company providing solutions to meet the underserved financing needs of commercial real estate owners, developers and investors. We quickly and efficiently provide access to debt markets for value-add, transitional and stabilized projects.  Angel Oak Commercial Lending offers senior mortgage, mezzanine and bridge loans on all commercial asset classes throughout the United States.  At Angel Oak, we believe in building and maintaining relationships and trust by providing a personal touch through consistent communication with our borrowers. In the post-crisis regulatory environment, we feel that our dynamic nature allows us to be creative and nimble, taking some of the burden off the borrower and helping our clients focus on their projects. Our broad mandate and internal underwriting and structuring allow loans to be reviewed and terms to be generated quickly.    

Call us to learn more about the different financing products available. 

Leadership Team

Ben Easterlin, V

Managing Director, Commercial Lending

Ben Easterlin, V

Ben is the Managing Director, Commercial Lending at Angel Oak Capital where his efforts are primarily dedicated to developing and implementing a strategic business plan to provide a wide range of debt products to all commercial real estate asset classes.

Prior to joining Angel Oak, Ben was the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of a private holding company which made investments in companies that own and sell real estate assets. Ben has also held the position of senior executive and co­founder of a real estate private equity firm and a renewable energy company.


Ben holds a B.B.A degree in Real Estate from the Terry College of Business at The University of Georgia.

Nik Chillar

Co-President, Angel Oak Commercial Lending

Nik Chillar

Nik has 24 years of experience in CRE and Finance. Prior roles included Managing Director of Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE: WAL), Senior Trader for Union Bank where he was responsible for the investment, management and reporting of the U.S. portfolio of CMBS/CLO securities, Senior Vice President of CharterMac Mortgage Capital, Managing Director of Tremont Realty Capital, LLC, and in various positions with Lehman Brothers.

Nik holds a B.A. degree in Social Science/Economics and a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. 

Rick Gallitto

Co-President, Angel Oak Commercial Lending

Rick Gallitto

Rick has 38 years of experience in Commercial Real Estate and Finance. He serves as an investment committee member and is responsible for implementing investment strategy and overseeing originations and deal structuring. Prior roles included President of Plum Lending, founder and President of Tremont Realty Capital, Co-President and Chief Investment Officer of Tremont Mortgage Trust (TRMT:NASDAQ), and SVP of CB Richard Ellis.

Rick holds an AB degree in Economics from Harvard University.

 

Bob Forsyth

Head of Small Business Lending

Bob Forsyth

Bob has over 35 years’ experience in commercial finance, having most recently served as a President of a Certified Development Corporation. Previously, Bob was the Chief Banking Officer for a community Bank in Orange County, CA and Chief Operating Officer of Lehman Brothers Small Business Finance. Prior to joining Lehman Brothers, Bob held a multiplicity of roles in the finance sector, serving as a Senior Vice President of a national finance company, co-managed the Small Business Lending Division of a community bank, and spent 9 years in commercial lending where his duties included credit and portfolio management.

Bob actively supports several community, charitable, and trade organizations. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from California State University, Long Beach State and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

Daniel Friedman

Senior Vice President

Daniel Friedman

Daniel is Senior Vice President at Angel Oak Commercial Lending where he is responsible for originating and structuring debt investments for the Angel Oak Commercial Real Estate Strategies group of investment funds. He brings 14 years of experience in commercial real estate lending having worked for both securitized and balance sheet lenders including C-III Capital Partners and CIBC World Markets among others.

Daniel holds a BBA degree in Finance from George Washington University and a MS degree in Real Estate Finance from New York University.

Gavin Pohlhaus

Analyst

Gavin Pohlhaus

Gavin Pohlhaus is an analyst at Angel Oak Commercial Lending. He works closely with the commercial lending team to provide a wide range of debt products to all commercial real estate asset classes.

Prior to joining Angel Oak, Gavin was an Analyst at SitusAMC, where he underwrote commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and balance sheet loans on behalf of financial institutions.

Gavin holds a B.B.A. degree in Finance and Real Estate from the Terry College of Business at The University of Georgia.

Ashlei McAleer

Director of Lending Services

Ashlei McAleer

Ashlei currently leads the Lending Services division under Angel Oak Home Loans. This division was created over two years ago to facilitate back-end operations fulfillment for Angel Oak Home Loans, Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions and Angel Oak Prime Bridge entities.

Ashlei is responsible for overseeing pre-funding quality control, loan performance review, servicing, and securitization efforts for the lending platforms. This team has been critical in establishing and executing a whole loan trading and securitization platform for the Angel Oak entities.

Prior to serving in this capacity, Ashlei was the SVP, Operations for Angel Oak Home Loans. Ashlei has over 15 years of extensive experience in establishing full service operational platforms to support multiple lending channels, specializing in retail, wholesale and direct to consumer platforms. This includes the development and implementation of operational infrastructure to support quality control and compliance initiatives.

Ashlei holds a B.S. degree in Management from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.

Kelly O’Bannon

Sr. Vice President of Servicing

Kelly O’Bannon

Mr. O’Bannon has 20+ years of experience in the mortgage industry, primarily in servicing management functions.  He joined Angel Oak in December 2018 and is the Sr. Vice President of Servicing.  Prior to joining Angel Oak, he was the SVP of Default Operations at Ditech Financial, LLC a national mortgage servicer of 2MM mortgage loans.  Prior to that, he was one of the founding members and EVP of Servicing at Residential Credit Solutions, Inc.; a highly rated special servicer and investor, ultimately acquired by Ditech Financial. He holds a BBA in Real Estate from the University of North Texas.

Ravi Correa

Chief Financial Officer for Angel Oak Lending

Ravi Correa

Ravi is responsible for all financial aspects for Angel Oak related mortgage lending entities. 

Prior to joining Angel Oak, Ravi was the Chief Financial Officer of Commerce Home Mortgage, The Capital Corps, and RoundPoint Mortgage Company. He has held finance executive roles in a number of public and private companies in the U.S. and Canada. Along with a strong background in financial services, he brings over 20 years of experience in a variety of industry sectors. Ravi is passionate about business success, finance, fact-based decision making and fostering a strong team environment. He is a Certified Public Accountant and graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting from the University of Ottawa.   

Dory Black

General Counsel

Dory Black

Dory is the General Counsel for Angel Oak Companies and is responsible for all legal and compliance affairs at the firm.

Previously, Dory spent over ten years at GE Asset Management as the Vice President and Associate General Counsel. She began her career working at Dewey Ballantine LLP, where she represented private equity investors and pension funds making equity investments in various operating companies. Dory has extensive experience in a variety of areas relating to the investment management business including drafting and negotiating investment management agreements, forming U.S. and offshore investment funds, and advising on regulatory issues in the U.S. and in foreign jurisdictions.

Dory holds a B.A. degree in English Literature from Brandeis University and earned a J.D., with Honors, from Emory University’s School of Law graduating cum laude with High Honors.

Steven Winokur

Chief Marketing Officer

Steven Winokur

Steven is the Chief Marketing Officer for Angel Oak’s lending companies and oversees the marketing and branding initiatives for those entities.

Steven has over 24 years of experience in marketing and branding in both corporate and agency environments. Prior to Angel Oak, Steven was Vice President of Marketing for Buyers Protection Group, a national home warranty/home inspection firm. Prior to that, he was the Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Brand Equity for United Guaranty. For over 10 years prior to that, Steven was a partner in two different brand and marketing communications agencies.

Steven holds an MBA from Emory University and a B.S. degree from the University of Miami. 

Matt Henson

Chief Human Resources Officer

Matt Henson

Matt is responsible for leading the Human Resources Department for all divisions of Angel Oak Companies.  He has direct oversight of the strategic processes and day to day operations of the human resources department, including both corporate functions and deployed support.

Matt has over 20 years of progressive expertise in human resources strategy and related disciplines.  Prior to Angel Oak, Matt served 11 years at SunTrust Bank, Inc. in numerous roles of increasing responsibility within the Human Resources Department.

Matt holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University.