Eric Johnson serves as Founder and President of the firm’s debt financing arm, North Avenue Capital, which provides debt-based capital sourcing and knowledge to businesses and individuals seeking to acquire commercial real estate, hard assets, or other businesses. In addition, he is a Managing Partner of North Avenue Investments where he specializes in business development, financial analysis, debt financing, and investment opportunities in the Southeastern United States. He joined North Avenue Investments as a partner following extensive experience as a commercial banking officer and real estate portfolio manager. Eric received a bachelor degree in Business Administration from The Citadel and later graduated from the University of Georgia with an MBA in Real Estate and Finance. He is a graduate of the Georgia Banking School at the University of Georgia in Athens and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU.
Prior to NAC
Prior to founding North Avenue Capital, Eric was a senior lender for Guardian Bank, a community bank located in Valdosta, GA. From 2010 through 2014, Eric originated over $60 million in new loans allowing the bank to grow from $160 million in assets to over $240 million in assets under management. Eric co-founded the strategic partnership with the Valdosta State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) office allowing Guardian to support 48 different business owners through sponsored training while also allowing the bank to provide $25 million in new capital to local businesses in the surrounding area since 2011. The partnership has become a statewide initiative with other SBDC offices across the state using the partnership as a platform to duplicate across the state and the country.
USDA B&I Loan Involvement
Eric specialized in the sourcing of USDA Business and Industry and Small Business Administration loans across the southeast. He facilitated the first SBA 7a and USDA Rural Development B&I loan to be closed and sold in the secondary market on behalf of Guardian Bank. In 2013, Eric was the recipient of the Small Business Administration’s Financial Service Champion of the Year award. The award is presented annually by the U.S. Small Business Administration to one individual in each state who assists small businesses through advocacy efforts to increase the usefulness and availability of accounting or financial services. He also participated as a member of the bank’s Marketing and Information Technology committees.
Prior to Guardian
Prior to working at Guardian, Eric was a Real Estate Portfolio manager for ING Investment Management in Atlanta, GA. He was responsible for the origination and servicing of institutional commercial real estate loans across the United States among a department charged with placing over $1 billion in new loans each year. Eric was one of two individuals selected to help lead the underwriting and due diligence process of a $14 billion portfolio of CMBS loans. He also participated as a member of the bank’s Marketing and Information Technology committees.
Active in the community, Eric serves as member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Education and Human Services at Valdosta State University, a board member for the Boys and Girls Club of Valdosta and Chairman of the Greater Valdosta United Way. In 2014, he was chosen as a 40 under 40 honoree by Georgia Trend magazine. He is the former Chairman of the Board and one of seven board members elected to represent Lowndes County Schools and help develop the vision and goals of the school system while also overseeing a $100-million-dollar budget. Eric was also recently selected to serve on the Georgia House of Representatives Study Committee on the Role of Federal Government in Education and is a graduate of Leadership Georgia’s Class of 2016.