Mentoring Program

Our Mentorship Program is brought to you by the Secured Finance Foundation and  the SFNet DEI Committee. The program is designed to encourage diversity and foster inclusivity by enabling established veterans in our industry and those new to their careers to build relationships and learn from one another through a virtual mentoring initiative. 

We recognize the value of a workforce that represents all members of our community and the importance of providing equal opportunities, but growth and development of those in the industry is just as important for DEI initiatives as is hiring and retaining. Our program will provide a supportive environment for Mentees to enhance their skills, gain valuable insights and network with professionals who share similar interests and experiences. Additionally, Mentors will have the opportunity to give back to their industry by sharing their expertise, experience and insights by contributing to the development of the next generation of industry leaders.

Our virtual Mentorship Program spans three months and offers a series of 1:1 meetings, structured group events and online discussions, facilitated through a private LinkedIn page and Zoom meetings. Our program's focus is professional development, providing Mentees with the chance to engage in a variety of activities designed to enhance their skills and knowledge. 

Enrollment for our Spring 2023 mentorship program has officially closed as of May 26, 2023. We are excited to announce that the next iteration of our program is scheduled for Winter 2024. This upcoming iteration promises to be even more engaging, insightful and impactful.

If you have any questions or require further information regarding the program, please don't hesitate to reach out to our Program Manager, Denise Castagna, at

Application and Acceptance

In order to be considered for the program, you must be either an employee of an SFNet Member Company (you can verify if you are part of a Member Company by checking our Member Directory) or a member of an SFNet Chapter.

You may apply for the program by completing the Program Application. Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis through the open enrollment application window. Accepted applicants will receive notification and an invitation to join the program’s LinkedIn private page via email, along with calendar invitations for upcoming events. 

Pairing Process and Program Launch

Upon acceptance into the program, Mentors are requested to post a 200-word blurb on what inspired them to become a mentor, and what they enjoy most about mentoring. Mentees are requested to post a 200-word blurb on what their career or personal goals are, and how they hope to benefit from the mentoring relationship. 

Mentees are to review the LinkedIn posts shared by Mentors, as well as conduct their own research to make an informed decision about which three Mentors they would like to interview at the Speed Interviewing event. They will then be paired with one of these three Mentors for the duration of the program. 

To participate in the Mentorship Program, you must be available to attend the mandatory Speed Interviewing event which serves as the primary way for Mentees to get to know their Mentors and select their partners. Mentees will meet with their top three Mentors (1:1) before selecting their partner and will have the opportunity to rank their choices based on their interactions and preferences. The Program Manager and Mentor Champions will use this feedback to thoughtfully pair Mentors and Mentees. An introductory meeting will be held for the newly matched pairs to get to know each other. The official program will run for 10 weeks.

We strongly encourage all participants to attend as many events as possible, including organic discussion prompts posted every week and structured group virtual meetings. This will allow you to fully maximize the benefits of joining the program.

We look forward to a successful and enriching Mentorship Program.

Hear directly from last year's cohort through their testimonials.
“I very much enjoyed being a mentor for SFNet. Even after the program ended, my mentee and I still made time to chat regularly and still look forward to catching up with one other. Without this structured program I don’t think either of us would have gotten to know each other given we work for different organizations, serve different ends of the market and live on separate coasts!”  
2022 Mentor Bianca Barredo, Director – ABL Originations, MidCap Financial Services

“I’ve long felt that as business leaders, we have a responsibility to help prepare the next generation.  Interestingly though, in mentoring, I am learning about the next generations and becoming a better leader.”
2022 Mentor Terry Keating, Chief Executive Officer, Access Capital, Inc.

“Throughout my career I have been fortunate to have formal and informal mentors who guided me through different challenges and provided a fresh perspective. I was excited to be nominated as a mentor by SF Net in 2022 to pass on my learnings and in hindsight couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity. Mentorship is a big responsibility but at the same time it is exhilarating to be able to bring out the best in another individual. I thoroughly enjoyed my interactions with my mentee, and I hope I made a positive difference to her professional career.” 
2022 Mentor Runi Mehta, Senior Vice President, Santander Bank, N.A.

"It is always such a rewarding experience to engage with our next generation of leaders, I was fortunate to get to know Veronica through the mentorship process and I look forward to seeing her dynamic work ethic and incredible personality flourish throughout her career."  I will be signing up again for the next cohort.”
2022 Mentor Robert Meyers, President, Republic Business Credit

“The Mentorship Program was a great experience, the programming was a fantastic way to not only drive conversations with my mentor but to also get a broader perspective from my peers and their mentors. I look forward to the continued relationship with my mentor as well as the prospect of getting together with other mentors and mentees at SFNet events.”
2022 Mentee Conor Bannigan, Relationship Manager, Wells Fargo Capital Finance

“I participated in the most recent SFNet Mentorship Program and was connected with someone who was very helpful to me and it was also good to get perspective from outside my organization. I never had to go looking for a mentor outside SLR because I have so many built in ones, but, if given the opportunity, I think it’s a good idea for everyone to have someone outside your organization to be a mentor or sounding board.”
2022 Mentee Tessa Brend, VP/Account Executive, SLR Business Credit

“The SFNet Mentorship Program provided the opportunity for me to gain invaluable insights, skills, and knowledge from an experienced industry leader. The right mix of a formal and an informal format allowed for meaningful conversations and I would strongly recommend our membership to consider joining as a mentor or mentee.”
2022 Mentee William Kemp, SVP - Business Development, Republic Business Credit

“There is certain knowledge that can only be gained through experience and this mentorship program provided a platform to access that experience in a casual setting. Through this program I had the opportunity to share the stage and develop relationships with senior professionals in the industry outside of my day-to-day network.  The bi-weekly sessions focused on developing soft skills such as communication & presentation skills, in addition to trends in the industry & career exploration. The regular touch-points with my mentor helped me grow, both personally and professionally, and the dialogue has continued long after the conclusion of the program.”
2022 Mentee Parker McReynolds, Investment Banking Senior Associate, Citibank, N.A.

To learn more about the Secured Finance Foundation, click here.

To learn more about the SFNet DEI Committee, click here.