Welcome to Rising Tide Community Loan Fund, small business loan products for the Lehigh Valley!
Meet the Team
Christopher Hudock is the AED of Business Development for The Rising Tide Community Loan Fund providing leadership and direction as well as technical assistance to potential and current borrowers. With more than 32 years of lending experience, 15 of which have been at the Rising Tide, Chris is skilled in business plan development, financial analysis, loan packaging, organizational budgeting, policy development, and employee supervision.
Prior to joining the Rising Tide, Chris was a Financial Specialist for Wachovia Bank, a Loan Officer for Waypoint Bank, and the Lending Manager for People First Federal Credit Union. He holds an Associates Degree in Applied Science with an Accounting concentration from Northampton Community College and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.
Yajahira Rodriguez is a Lender for The Rising Tide Community Loan Fund and is responsible for underwriting, structuring and closing of commercial loans, as well as maintaining and servicing a commercial loan portfolio. More than 12 years of community development experience, with 5 of those years developing new businesses.. Yajahira, who is fluent in Spanish, works directly with business owners to address their needs. Prior to joining The Rising Tide, Yajahira worked for Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) for over seven years, the past two years as their Information and Referral Advocate. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Kean University in Union, NJ. Connect with Yajahira
As Business Advisor for the Rising Tide, Tom applies experience and lessons learned over many years spent: founding; funding; coaching; growing; leading; and exiting a score of early stage businesses predominantly in the software space. His passion for strategy and execution in digital and conventional marketing, sales, and distribution are shared in a spirit of empathy continuous improvement.
Industry insights gained in: printing, publishing, healthcare, training, online video, and business incubation are applied to assist Rising Tide borrowers. Board leadership & community service roles include: Ben Franklin Tech Partners Northeast; NE Pennsylvania Angel Network; Community Action Development Corp Bethlehem; Equi-Librium; Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and Microlog. Tom and wife live in South Bethlehem where he received his BA from Lehigh University
Rachel Batchelor is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Rising Tide Community Loan Fund. She has a passion for assisting low income and/or minority small business owners in the community with their marketing needs. Prior to joining the Rising Tide, Rachel was a Public Relations Intern for Carpe Diem Community Solutions and a Communications Intern for Samaritan’s Purse in Bolivia. In these roles, she was able to gain the skills and experience necessary to assist entrepreneurs in building their brand and growing their audience. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with minors in Nonprofit Management and Public Relations from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA.
Kelsey Miller joins Rising Tide Community Loan Fund as the marketing and administrative associate. Kelsey is proud to bring her extensive marketing background to Rising Tide, where she is focused on increasing support for the small businesses that are vital to the local economy. Prior to Rising Tide, Kelsey was responsible for the administration and support of both public and nonprofit educational programs. When she’s not at work, Kelsey can usually be found on her yoga mat or getting lost somewhere in the woods.
Stephen Planisky has joined Rising Tide as a Business Advisor. Steve brings years of underwriting and lending experience to Rising Tide, which he will use to aide business participants. Although Rising Tide is his first nonprofit opportunity, Steve has extensive experience working with local businesses in the private sector. His background includes working with local merchants and retailers to help increase revenue by providing their customers with financing options for purchases. Before joining Rising Tide, Steve worked as a Loan Consultant and then Branch Manager for Lendmark Financial Services, and as Internal Auditor for Berkshire Hathaway GUARDInsurance. Steve counsels business owners: "Be passionate about what you want to do, but also have a plan. It is important to have a solid plan to guide you along the way to reach your goals as a business." Steve holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.