Meet the Team
Bank Advisors’ principals and employees have a diverse, high-level of experience that covers most facets banking, including lending, credit, audit, and operations. Bank Advisors comes highly recommended by our clients and is well-regarded by State and Federal regulatory agencies.
John Cresto, President
John founded Bank Advisors Ltd. in 2005. He manages the firm's bank M&A services and also takes an active role in the day-to-day advisory services provided to Bank Advisors’ clients. Although he no longer practices law, John’s expertise as a bank consultant draws on his diverse experience in banking, corporate, real estate, and criminal law. John also has extensive experience as a direct real estate investor.
John began his career as an investigator with the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office. He attended law school at night, and became an Assistant Sate’s Attorney for DuPage County upon graduation. John entered private law founding a law firm in Naperville, Illinois that concentrated in representing community banks and real estate developers and investors. John later became a partner in a major Chicago based law firm and concentrated in representing regional financial institutions. John completed his legal career as a partner in a multi-national Chicago based law firm and concentrated in representing national and regional financial institutions. During his twenty plus year legal career, he regularly counseled financial institutions in the structuring and documentation of complex financing transactions and commercial work out and litigation. John also represented residential and commercial real estate developers in the acquisition, development, and disposition of real estate.
Jeff Sondgeroth, Managing Director
Jeff joined Bank Advisors in 2010. Jeff manages the firm's credit-related services and the firm's day-to-day operations. He utilizes over 23 years of commercial lending and direct real estate development experience in achieving the goals of his clients.
Jeff dedicated over 6 years as a commercial real estate lender, financing over $300 million in commercial properties. As the head of project finance for Single Site Solutions, a R/E development firm, Jeff was directly responsible for financing and general management of over 75 new projects and stabilized properties with an aggregate value of over $400 million. With his experience as both a lender, consultant, and investor, Jeff has the unique ability to understand the challenges that his clients experience in a constantly changing economic and regulatory environment.
Meghan McGuire, Vice President
Meghan McGuire joined Bank Advisors in 2016. She brings a wealth of Field Exam and commercial credit underwriting experience. Her underwriting career began at a multi-billion dollar national bank, where she received formal BAI credit training. For the past ten years, her primary focus has been assisting growth-focused community banks meet their lending goals by providing thorough, data-driven risk analysis. Meghan began performing asset-based lending Field Exams on behalf of client banks in 2009, and has in-depth experience in an extensive range of borrowers including: general contractors, wholesalers, HIPPAA-compliant healthcare providers, staffing agencies, and manufacturers. She understands that a continual, open dialogue with borrowers and client banks is paramount to achieving the optimal outcome for all parties. Meghan is a native of the north suburbs of Chicago, where she and her husband, Mike, are raising their three children.
Julie Bromann, Vice President
Julie originally joined Bank Advisors in 2008, and taking a 1-year hiatus, recently re-joined our team. Julie manages all underwriting and appraisal review services for Bank Advisors, and assists with loan review services. Julie's has extensive experience underwriting real estate and C&I loans from $250,000 up to $30 million. She completed a formal 2-year (underwriting) training with a national bank in the Chicagoland area. Julie is a Licensed appraiser in the State of Illinois and currently a Candidate for Designation with the Appraisal Institute for general appraisal review. She is also a CIA (Certified Internal Auditor), and managed high-risk audits for a national bank.
Debbie Nelson, Senior Vice President
Debbie joined Bank Advisors in August 2018. She manages the Outsourced Underwriting division of Bank Advisors. Debbie also started her career in banking with a multi-billion dollar national bank where she gained much of her C&I experience by working in various capacities including Credit Analyst, Field Examiner, and ABL Commercial Loan Officer. After 11 years of working for a “Big Bank”, Debbie decided to make the move to community banking and worked for a community bank in Chicago where she managed the credit department overseeing the underwriting of real estate and C&I loans. As a person who wore many hats, Debbie understands the banks’ and customers’ perspective in getting the job done right with the resources available and satisfying the customer with exceptional service. In addition to her role as Credit Manager, she also managed a consumer loan portfolio and served as the Project Manager for the successful transfer of servicing of residential mortgages to a sub-servicer.
Debbie is originally from Honolulu, HI where she graduated with a BBA in Finance from the University of Hawaii. She has lived in the near north suburb of Chicago for the last 20+ years. She is the proud parent of two grown children.
Jim Berry, Senior Vice President
Jim joined Bank Advisors in 2017. Jim brings over 35 years of hands on banking experience to Bank Advisors with emphasis in the areas of Accounting, Finance, Operations, Software Conversions, Risk Management, Contract & Vendor Management, and Policy and Procedural Management. Jim is a graduate of Aurora University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management. He has also held an Accredited ACH Professional (AAP) accreditation with NACHA since October 1996. Jim prides himself his dedication to assisting financial institutions in understanding and managing the risks associated in today’s fast paced banking environment. Jim is a life-long resident of the southwest suburbs, where he and his wife, Connie, have two grown children.
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