Mr. Howell is the founder, CEO and Chairman of Celtic Bank. He is also the President and Director of Celtic Bank’s parent company, Celtic Investment Inc. Prior to his involvement with Celtic, he served as the President of Salt Lake Mortgage Corp until 2001 when its operations were consolidated with Celtic Bank. Mr. Howell has been involved as a principal, as well as an advisor, in numerous investment banking, merger, acquisition, and joint venture transactions. Mr. Howell obtained his BS in Business Administration from the University of Utah in 1991 with a major in finance, and his MBA from the University of Utah in 1996. Mr. Howell currently serves as a member of the National Advisory Board, and Chairman of the Finance Advisory Board for the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.
Mr. Newman joined Celtic Bank in February 2005 after 20 years of experience providing financial leadership to businesses in the public and private sector. From 1999 to 2005, he served as Chief Financial Officer for Mining Services International, Inc., a multi-national manufacturer and distributor of commercial explosives, and formerly a NASDAQ-reporting company. Mr. Newman also served as Chief Financial Officer for Recovery Corporation, a commercial recycling and specialty waste processing company, from 1990 to 1999. From 1985 to 1990, Mr. Newman worked for the multi-national public accounting firm of Ernst & Young. Mr. Newman received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Brigham Young University in 1985.
Mr. Bybee was hired in 2004 as the Chief Lending Officer of Celtic Bank. Mr. Bybee has over 20 years of lending experience including leasing, bank operations, commercial and SBA lending, credit analysis, audit, accounting, portfolio management, servicing, liquidation, special assets and departmental management. He attended Weber State University and began his banking career in 1985 at a local bank subsidiary which specialized in equipment leasing and consumer loans. After assisting Grant Thornton in liquidating five failed Utah “Thrift and Loan” companies, Mr. Bybee was hired at Guardian State Bank in 1991 to manage a growing SBA and commercial loan portfolio. Guardian State Bank was later acquired by Community First National Bank in 1998. As a Vice President at Community First National Bank, Mr. Bybee was responsible for a large SBA and commercial loan portfolio located throughout California, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska. He was responsible for processing, closing, securing collateral, and servicing and liquidating SBA and commercial loans. Mr. Bybee was promoted to manage the bank’s “Special Assets” department before coming to Celtic Bank.
Mr. Barney joined Celtic Bank in 2006 and served as the Bank’s Controller until May of 2013. Mr. Barney has been instrumental in helping to grow both the assets and the equity of Celtic Bank by more than 300% while helping to manage the Bank. Mr. Barney began his career in banking in 2002 and has held various accounting and finance positions at multiple financial institutions. Mr. Barney received his BS in Accounting and his Masters of Accounting from the University of Utah.
Mr. Petersen joined Celtic Bank in 2006 and serves as Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy. He is a member of the Board of Directors, Loan Committee and ALCO (Asset/Liability) committee. Eric develops and implements strategic initiatives for Celtic including joint venture, credit sponsorship and other strategic partnerships. Eric previously led Celtic’s initiative to acquire assets from the FDIC and failed institutions. Eric is a co-founder of and oversees Celtic’s ABL (asset based lending) program. Eric is an experienced investment banker, investor and commercial lender and has strong expertise in deal structuring and origination. Prior to joining Celtic, Eric was an active principal or advisor in completed transactions valued at over $600 million. Eric’s career includes tenures with private investment firm Ridgeview Capital, investment bank D.A. Davidson & Co., American Skiing Company, Sundance Group, and the staff of a U.S. Congressman. He holds an MBA with an emphasis in entrepreneurial finance from Babson College Graduate School of Business (Wellesley, MA), and bachelor degrees in both Economics and Political Science from the University of Utah.
Mr. Calafati is Celtic Bank’s Executive Vice President, business development and is responsible for all commercial, SBA and USDA loan production throughout the United States. He has been with Celtic Bank since 2004 and has been instrumental in building the Celtic Bank Commercial/SBA lending team. He sits on the Celtic Bank loan committee as well as the bank’s executive and marketing committees. Prior to Celtic Bank, Craig was a Vice President for Business Loan Express, a nationwide SBA lender based in NYC and began his banking career in Utah with Silver State Bank, a Nevada based bank. Craig spent 15 years in Commercial real estate sales, leasing and development in Northern California and Utah. A former small business owner, Craig sold a successful Northern California restaurant operation before settling into the commercial real estate world. He is a member of the NAGGL, Region VIII board of directors. Craig also serves on the board of directors and executive committee of Community Health Charities of Utah and is the former president of the Salt Lake City chapter of the Exchange Club, a community service organization.
Mrs. Howell serves as Celtic Bank’s Senior Vice President of Community Relations. She has worked with Celtic Bank since its inception in 2001, and worked with Salt Lake Mortgage for seven years before its operations were consolidated with Celtic Bank. Mrs. Howell has 27 years of experience in all aspects of the mortgage and construction loan industries. She currently works to raise awareness of Celtic Bank and establish working partnerships and sponsorships within the communities served by the bank. Mrs. Howell also serves on the bank’s executive and marketing committees, and chairs the bank’s events committee. Mrs. Howell holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Utah.
Mr. Lundgren has held many different positions within the banking industry since 1988. Starting out at First Interstate Bank, Mr. Lundgren worked his way up the system to New Accounts Rep. He then transferred over to First Security Bank, and became a branch manager. Mr. Lundgren’s zeal for banking continued as he transferred over to BMA Management Support to oversee 7 bank relationships. In May of 2003, Mr. Lundgren joined Celtic Bank to become the Assistant Vice President of Operations and Security; in 2007 he transitioned over to CRA and Compliance. Mr. Lundgren attended the University of Utah and has taken many courses with the American Bankers Association; and achieved the prestigious Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager certification in October 2008.
Ms. Leslie K. Rinaldi has been named SVP, Corporate Counsel. Leslie K. Rinaldi was born in Pasadena, California. She has a wide-ranging business background which is bolstered by a Masters in Business Administration, obtained from California Polytechnic University in 1991, and a Masters in Science in Technology Management, received from the University of Maryland in 2001. Before attending the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, she was a consulting project manager and business analyst, as well as a management executive for several software development companies. While in law school, she served as a law clerk in the Division of Commercial Enforcement for the Utah Attorney General’s Office, participated in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Summer Honors Program, and served as an extern to the Honorable Judith A. Boulden and William T. Thurman in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah. Ms. Rinaldi formerly practiced law with the law firm Anderson & Karrenberg where her practice focused on commercial litigation and transactions.