About BAFS

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About BAFS 2017-05-18T14:25:29+00:00

Business Alliance
Financial Services

BAFS is a full-service CUSO that offers a daily, interactive and cost effective approach to establishing and maintaining a Commercial Loan Program.

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To provide a superior, cost-effective, and professional business service platform for each member credit union and the business community that they serve.

Vision

  • Enable each credit union to offer business services to current and prospective members, SEG’s, and the small business community in a manner that further enhances member loyalty and credit union market presence.
  • Provide solutions to the credit union that will enable them to grow, thrive, and serve their members.
  • Provide solutions and services to deserving small businesses that are forgotten and often overlooked in an ever-changing economic environment.

Business Alliance Financial Services, LLC (BAFS) is a privately owned Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) providing commercial loan processing, servicing, training and consulting to financial institutions.

Founded in 2009, BAFS began with a mission and seven Louisiana credit unions. In 2010, BAFS expanded services to the state of Texas along with two additional Louisiana credit unions added during 2011. Expansion into the Arkansas market began in early 2012. We delivered our proprietary BLAST portal platform in 2014 and have been expanding it ever since. With our portal platform, we have started to service Credit Unions all over the country with institutions in Pennsylvania, California, Nevada, Alaska and growing.

BAFS believes that meeting the needs of the credit union member businesses is a top priority and the survival of many smaller credit unions in this current economic period. Our commitment to provide innovative solutions and services to credit unions across the nation will never wavier. Acknowledgment as a national leader in business lending services with a reputation of being the best at what we do each day is our ultimate goal.

We are owned by 11 Credit Unions located throughout Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas.

  • Arkansas Federal, Jacksonville, AR
  • Barksdale Federal, Bossier City, LA
  • Carter Federal, Springhill, LA
  • Centric Federal, West Monroe, LA
  • CSE Federal, Lake Charles, LA
  • EFCU Financial Federal, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Neighbors Federal, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Red River Federal, Texarkana, TX
  • Pelican State, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Louisiana Federal, LaPlace, LA
  • Smart Financial, Houston, TX

Management & Staff

Richard Guillot, CFP®

President/CEO

Richard (Ricky) Guillot has been active in the small business lending market for over 25 years. He began his career in commercial banking and served as a commercial lender, charged with commercial credit analysis and loan review. During a period of financial institution consolidation, Ricky formed a regional consulting firm with specific services related to small businesses. Here he continued his focus on helping businesses by providing services such as: business valuations; conventional loan procurement; SBA and USDA compilations and closings; risk analysis; and financial, estate, tax and investment planning. In November 2008, Carter Federal Credit Union called on Ricky to produce a strategic plan for a new Member Business Lending CUSO. In September 2009, seven Credit Unions from Louisiana formed Business Alliance Financial Services, LLC (BAFS) and asked Ricky to serve as President/CEO.  As of January, 2017 BAFS services 30 credit unions with an aggregate portfolio exceeding  $550MM.

Ricky is a graduate from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Science Degree holding a Major in Finance and a Minor in Accounting. He has a CFP designation from the College of Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado. He obtained certifications from the Bankers School of Supervisory Training from Louisiana State University and has met all academic requirements within the discipline of Business Valuation with American Society of Appraisers.

James Shannon White

Executive Vice-President/Credit Officer

Shannon brings to BAFS over twenty plus years of banking, specializing in financial and business analysis, industry and market economic analysis, financial forecasting, small business counseling, SBA loans, and credit analysis for a diversity of manufacturing, retail, service and commercial property development companies.

Shannon serves as Chief Credit Officer managing and ensure that the credit department services enhance and meet the needs of our credit union partners.  He brings to the department and the company a background and expertise in analyzing the needs and shortfall of an existing business, presenting workable solutions and forecasting potential revenue.  Shannon also has vast experience in SBA lending and has brought this loan product to a new level at BAFS.  His expertise and past working relationships have opened doors to many new opportunities for our credit union member business and credit union staff.  For example, he was intrumental in bringing the RMA training to BAFS.  This financial training institute has never been available for credit unions before and we are exclusively offering the trainiing to CUSO member credit union staff, loan committee and board members.  Shannon serves our as our Director of the RMA training program.

He received his Bachelors of Finance from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, Arkansas. Later he received his Masters from Henderson State University and certification from the School of Banking while attending the University of Colorado.

Jason Carter

SVP/Chief Information Officer

Jason brings over 20 year of experience within the Information Technology industry with over 10 years serving in management roles within the Financial Services Industry.  He began his career performing desktop support tasks, then migrating to network engineering, eventually progressing into Technology leadership roles.  Jason has also been an entrepreneur, owning and managing a private IT consulting firm in Northern Louisiana.  It was out of his consulting relationship that he had the vision to build our Custom Web Portal.

Jason now serves as Chief Information Officer ensuring that our systems and informational assets are protected and adhere to industry regulations such as GLBA.  In addition to regulator and industry compliance, Jason is responsible for the future development and growth of our custom software applications.  He serves as a member of our Information Technology Committee and is integral in the road map of our platforms.

Jason attended St. Petersburg college in Clearwater, FL as well as Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA and holds several industry certifications.

Karen Hudson

Vice-President of Operations

Karen Hudson joined BAFS in July 2010 with a background in management, banking, accounting and SBA loans. She began her career with BAFS organizing, creating, and implementing a new document/file procedure. Since then her role and duties have evolved around the needs and the growth of the company giving her broad knowledge of all aspects of BAFS. She served as Assistant VP- Loan Document Specialist and in 2011 was promoted to VP of Credit and Government Programs. Here she implemented the SBA 7A loan programs for all credit unions in the CUSO and assisted in training credit union staffs on the various SBA loan types and their benefits to aide in meeting the needs of their members.

In her current role as VP of Operations, she oversees the accounting and invoicing, Human Resources and training. In addition to her daily duties, she is instrumental in assisting the CEO with government programs and marketing BAFS as well as working closely with Board members and credit union staffs in achieving their strategic plans. Her understanding of the business loan process and government loan programs, enable her to use her knowledge to implement new policies, procedures and create tools that ensure an organized and efficient loan process.

Karen attended and graduated from University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Tracy Downhour

VP – Document / Closing Specialist

Tracy Downhour oversees all aspects of the loan closing process at BAFS. She coordinates with appraisers, surveyors, evaluation organizations, environmental and flood search agencies, attorney and title companies on behalf of the credit unions. She generates and compiles all loan-closing documents for each credit union and serves as a liaison between the credit unions and the Title Company, attorney, and other closing entities. Additionally Tracy ensures that all legal documents are filed and appropriate documents are submitted to governmental agencies. Tracy is responsible for all participating loan documents and issues all participation certificates. Other responsibilities include, ensuring that all loan closing document software is updated and remain fully insured.

Tracy has also crossed trained and is knowledgeable in the Loan Document and the Loan Servicing Departments of BAFS. She joined BAFS in March 2011 with over twenty years of mortgage and business lending document experience. January 2012 promoted to Vice President – Document / Closing Specialist and serves as the Department Head responsible for implementing all policies and procedures related to the loan closing process.

Dalila Roque

VP – Loan Servicing Administration

Dalila Roque is a twenty-three year veteran of commercial banking. She began her banking career in Chicago, Illinois and moved to Louisiana in April 2011 to become a member of the BAFS team. She brings a world of experience in business loan processing, boarding, general ledgers transactions, and escrow accounts with her. The majority of her banking experience was in loan document and files management, exceptions and loan document preparation. Prior to joining BAFS, she was supervisor of the Loan Administration Department and a Commercial Lender who managed a $25 million loan portfolio.

Since joining BAFS, Dalila received a promotion to VP of Loan Servicing Administration as the head of the department in January 2012. She is responsible for creating and managing all procedures and policies related to her department. She currently manages an ever growing portfolio of over 2500 loans with balances over $500 million for 30 + credit unions. Her role is to ensure all loans are boarded, payments and withdrawals processed, and monthly general ledgers and loans are balanced. Monthly she creates and generates reports and submits them to each credit union via our BLAST portal.

Melody Lovelady

VP – Loan Origination Services

Melody has been active in the loan-processing field for over twenty years. She has vast experience in loan origination, loan processing, closing’s and servicing phases of business lending.  Melody’s role is currently in the pre-credit department of BAFS where she works closely with our credit union partners to gather required documents for the underwriting process.

Other responsibilities are managing a pipeline report so each loan is tracked throughout each state of the loan process. She also organizes all loan credit documents and compiles the file once it has been underwritten. Melody then electronically images all credit and collateral file data into our integrated imaging system. Once these documents are imaged, she ensures the documents are properly labeled, visible and available for our originating credit unions and participants to view from their credit union branch offices throughout the United States.

Brian Fleming

VP – Commercial Credit Officer

Brian Fleming is a native of Monroe, LA where he graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a degree in Business Management and Finance.  Prior to his career in finance, Brain served as an infantry platoon sergeant in the US Marine Corps until his retirement in 2003.  It was after serving in the Marines that he began his banking profession.  Working for large financial institutions, he has served as branch manager, adviser to commercial customers, business lender, manager of a commercial loan portfolio, and performed financial reviewed geared toward finding deficiencies and providing financial solutions.  He continued to expand his knowledge by completing professional development courses for small businesses and commercial lenders including the MZ BIERLY Business Lenders Curriculum and RMA courses.

At BAFS, you will find Brian managing the Credit Underwriting Department, as well as performing pre-credit and financial analysis for some of our largest credit unions.  Since joining BAFS he has quickly grasped our process, which has resulted in him being contacted by our partner credit unions to assist with structure, construction loan guideance or general loan questions on new, prospective or current business loans.  He is instrumental in the coordination of educational workshops for Credit Union staff training, business development workshops and serves as a consultant regarding the structure of new buisness ventures.  Brian provides assistance to Commercial Credit Committee Members regarding Business Member or Participation loan questions and is a source for answers during any third party or NCUA reviews.

Ben Bigger

VP – Loan Review Manager

Ben joined BAFS in 2013, as Loan Review Department Manager. He brings a vast and wide range of exceptional experience to our team some of which include: accounting, credit analysis, commercial lending, and compliance officer. Ben served as a OCC field examiner for financial institutions for nine years.

During his 24 plus years in the banking and finance Ben has gathered vast knowledge and skills needed to oversee the asset quality of the portfolio, that acceptable credit standards are practiced, while ensuring that relevant state and federal laws and regulations are maintained. His main role is to oversee and perform regular loan and portfolio reviews based on risk and/or size of all credit types.

Ben is also responsible for the development of the CUSO Dual Risk Rating Systems utilizing both loss given default measures and probability of default measures. His role is not only its creation, but also the implementation of the system.

Annually each member credit union has their loan policy reviewed for adequacy, and validation that applicable laws and regulations are consistently addressed. He will make recommendations for changes and updates and/or revisions to the credit union’s policy content as needed, or mandated by current laws or NCUA standards.

Ben has a BSBA degree in Accounting from the University of Arkansas and is also a graduate of the School of Banking at Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.

Teresa Green

VP – Collateral Review & Quality Control

Teresa began her thirty plus year career while attending college. Her first assignment within a financial institution was working the teller line. Teresa was then promoted to a Commercial Loan assistant where she worked for eighteen years. After an extensive background on the front line, Teresa was then promoted to the Lead Auditor for the Loan, Credit and Collateral departments. She has also served as the Department Head for the Collateral Department for a major financial institution in Northeast Louisiana.

Her experience with Laser Pro documents, commercial lending practices, and audit of collateral files led to her position as Quality Control Department Head supervising a staff of over twenty employees.

Teresa joined BAFS in April 2014 and now heads the Quality Control and Collateral Document Review Department. Her primary responsibility is to review all loan documents for accuracy and completeness. In addition, Teresa is responsible for loan tickler consistency and loan exception management.

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