Senior Spotlight: Patrick Brown

Patrick Brown started with HMFI in the spring of his freshman year and is now in his 6th semester with the organization. After completing the summer HMFI internship, Patrick became the head underwriter in the spring of his sophomore year and acted as the director for monitoring during his junior year. This spring Patrick will graduate with a double major in finance and accounting from the McDonough School of Business. I sat down with Patrick to get his thoughts on his history with HMFI.

Why did you originally join HMFI?

I originally joined HMFI because as a freshman in the business school I wanted to be a part of a business focused organization that helps real people overcome challenges beyond the scope of a college campus.

Give 3 words to describe the HMFI culture.

Entrepreneurial, inclusive, and team-oriented.

What’s one piece of advice that you would give to anybody who has just started with HMFI?

HMFI hired you all for a reason and the work that gets done is contingent on each and every member both doing the leg work and offering their own unique perspective. Never underestimate your own abilities and always be willing to ask for help.

Tell me about one memorable HMFI experience.

My most memorable HMFI experience would be doing the summer internship between my Freshman and Sophomore year and successfully disbursing our first loan to Yacine.

Which director scares you the most?

The monitoring director, Cara Bonanni.

What’s next?

In the near term I’ll be returning to Sagent Advisors to work in investment banking but after that who knows!


Client Spotlight: Aaron Gholson

We are excited to introduce our newest loan client, Aaron Gholson! He is the owner of ATA Transportation Services LLC, where he has been driving children in grades three through eight to school for the past two years. A loan from HMFI will enable Aaron replace and fix his buses to ensure that he will be able to pick up and drop off the children without delay. We conducted an interview with Aaron to gain some insight into his business and his experience with HMFI.

Q: Why did you decide to apply for a loan with HMFI?

A: I decided to apply for a loan with HMFI because I was seeking some financing so I could try to upgrade my equipment. It sounded like HMFI was a good opportunity for me to obtain a loan that I would otherwise would not have been able to obtain.

Q: How did you hear about HMFI?

A: When I decided that I needed to buy a new bus, I googled “finance help” and SBA’s finance seminar popped up. While I was at the seminar, I met one of your representatives. I took a picture of a couple of the Powerpoint slides during the presentation and later I called to ask for more information.

Q: Have you had a particularly memorable student or experience while driving the bus?

A: I have a few letters that the children have written me. There were some fifth graders that were giving me trouble on a regular basis, so I told them when they graduate from the eighth grade and move on to high school, I would give them those letters they wrote me as a graduation gift. That’s one of my favorite memories.

Q: What advice would you give another entrepreneur who wants to start their own business?

A: I would say “save your money. All of it.”

Q: What are your plans for the business in the future?

A: I definitely want to scale and get other contracts. I have a good client network right now and i’m trying to expand my client base. It’s been difficult finding access to capital, but if I had more I could go out to get five or six more contracts worth a good amount of money. It’s hard to build up the confidence to offer my services. With the contract I have right now, I asked for some money up front and I was blessed when they agreed to give me some money up front


All of us at HMFI are pleased to be working with Aaron and look forward to what the future has in store for his business.