Management Team

Veteran banking professionals with decades of lending experience

Frank Goldberg

Chairman

Frank Goldberg founded Briar Capital in 2003 after more than 30 years of providing working capital and real estate loans for small and middle-market businesses.  During his career, he founded one of Houston’s most successful community banks and later established the nation’s first federally chartered online bank. Under his leadership, Briar Capital has grown from its Texas roots to become one of the nation’s leading asset-based lenders focused exclusively on owner-occupied, commercial real estate finance solutions.

Jeff Van Sickle

President

Jeff Van Sickle is an experienced asset-based lending professional focused on owner-occupied commercial real estate. He joined Briar Capital in 2005 after a successful tenure with Ford Motor Company. During his career with Briar Capital, Van Sickle has closed well over $100MM in loan commitments. He has served as President of the Commercial Finance Association, Houston Chapter and is currently a member of the Turnaround Management Association. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan's, Stephen M. Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor, MI.

Susan Holliday

Chief Credit Officer, Executive Vice President

Susan Holliday is a skilled asset-based lending professional with more than 20 years experience as an account executive, underwriter and controller.  Prior to joining Briar Capital in 2013, she served as Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager for Frost Capital Group where she managed a lending portfolio in excess of $100MM in committed lines of credit.

Jeff Appleton

Executive Vice President

Jeff Appleton has 30 years in asset-based lending for Siemens, Wells Fargo, FINOVA, TD Bank and JP Morgan Chase & Co. where he served in senior-level capacities working with accounts receivable, inventory, real estate and equipment. He began his career at Ernst & Whinney and later held asset-based lending audit positions at GE Capital. He is Past President of the Turnaround Management Association, Atlanta Chapter and a Past Board Member of the Commercial Finance Association, Atlanta Chapter.

Laura Cordero

Senior Vice President, Underwriting

Laura Cordero is an accomplished finance professional experienced in both asset-based lending and invoice factoring.  Prior to joining Briar Capital in 2013, she served in asset-based lending and factoring positions at Frost Bank where she was responsible for a lending portfolio of lines of credit, term loan and purchase facilities collateralized by accounts receivable, inventory, working capital, equipment and commercial real estate.

Paul Count

Senior Vice President

Paul Count has been in the commercial lending industry for over thirty-five years, over half of that has been focused on the Asset Based Lending aspects of commercial finance, covering the Midwest. He was the founding President of the Association for Corporate Growth – Indiana and the founding President of the Indiana Association for Corporate Renewal. Paul has fulfilled leadership positions in a number of civic and philanthropic organizations throughout the communities in which he has lived and served. His educational background includes a Bachelors of Science in Finance and a Masters of Business Administration both from Ball State University.

Leah Goldberg

Senior Vice President, Underwriting

Leah Goldberg is skilled asset-based lending professional currently focused on owner-occupied commercial real estate. Prior to joining Briar Capital in 2019, she served in traditional asset-based lending and supply chain finance roles at Wells Fargo Capital Finance managing and underwriting private equity backed credits in the middle market. She holds a Masters of Economics from Boston University.

Stephen Fisher

Senior Consultant

During his more than 45 years in secured lending, Fisher has worked extensively in asset-based lending, factoring, special assets management, commercial real estate lending and middle-market commercial lending. Prior to joining the Briar team in 2005, he was the senior officer of the commercial finance group at InterFirst Dallas (today part of Bank of America) and started the commercial finance lending unit at Bank One Texas (today part of JPMorgan Chase). Fisher also has performed expert review and testimony, loan negotiations, commercial loan problem resolution, various speaking and training roles to commercial bankers on secured lending and served on many bank loan committees.

Vince Cater

Senior Consultant

Vince Cater is a career banking professional with more than 45 years in domestic and international banking, consulting and finance for short, medium and long-term credit risk management.  During his career, he has been president of four banks and served as a consultant for other financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies.  He also is fluent in Spanish and conversational in Portuguese, Italian and French.