Meet Our CEO – Jeffrey Tesch

As part of RCN Capital’s 10 Year “Birthday” celebration we interviewed different team members about their time with the company. Let’s meet our CEO, Jeffrey Tesch.

Jeffrey Tesch, CEO of RCN Capital. I have been with the company for ten years, kind of since the beginning. I really have had a blast building this company with all of the amazing people we get to work with every day.

How did you start your career at RCN Capital?

Don Vaccaro, the owner, called me up and said “Hey Jeff I got an idea, how about we get into the private lending business.” And I said “Well, I know it’s expensive and I know it’s not always the most above board business, but I’d be interested in that if we could figure out a way to take that product and professionalize it. Because then we really might have something.” That’s how it all started in 2010.

How has the RCN Brand grown over the years?

For me it’s, and I can see Erica LaCentra cringing right now when she hears that but that’s how it all started. I was sitting in a room trying to figure out what our URL would be for the company. It has to be something that people can spell, and it has to be something that’s catchy. Of course, even in 2010 it was hard to find a URL that wasn’t already registered. Eventually, I said “Well, we are going to be selling rehab loans, giving them cash, and doing it as quickly as we possibly can.” That is how it all started, Eventually that became RCN Capital, and then from there we were off to the races. We had the marketing team doing an amazing job with in-person events, tradeshows, google pay per click, eventually magazines, and then of course building out our whole wholesale channel which has exploded with growth. It’s been quite a journey from but let’s not forget about where it all began.

What do you look forward to the most coming into work each day?

That is super easy for me, I love coming into the office. I love coming by all the offices and saying hello to everyone. I stick my head into legal, then accounting, then I come into origination and I come around to see how everybody is doing and then I get right to work. To me, the best part of coming to work every day is seeing the people and that’s been hard for me. I miss everybody and I can’t wait to have them back.

What is your favorite memory you have of your time at RCN?

Wow, that is a hard question. When we had our first big holiday party at that Italian restaurant in Hartford, I felt like we were finally on the map. We could afford to have a holiday party and to be able to celebrate with everyone. There have been so many memories, that is one that stands out to me because it was a benchmark of our company taking it to the next level.

What’s your favorite way to celebrate a job well done?

Oh, that’s easy, Fudgey the Whale! Fudgey the Whale is the ultimate celebration for a job well done. Some people like pizza, or the taco truck which was all great, but nothing beats Fudgey the Whale.

How does this company differ from others? What makes RCN stand out?

How does RCN Stand Out? It’s very simple, it’s the people that work here. I know we talk a lot about culture, and we talk about how amazing we are but let me just tell you folks, we really are amazing. I have had the opportunity to meet with a lot of different leaders of other companies and the topic always comes back to “Why is RCN always more engaged and in a better positioning?”. It’s very simple, it’s the way that our departments hire their employees. We don’t hire on the prettiest resume or the most experience, we hire on how that person will meld into our culture here at RCN Capital, and how they will fit in. It doesn’t make a difference what your background is, where you came from, or what your experience is. That’s how we hire. Our people and our team members have really gotten us to where we are today and our amazing culture is going to take us to that next level, whatever that may be.

Where do you see the RCN brand going in the future?

We have come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. Ten years seems like a long time but in the lifespan of companies it’s not. So for me, looking to the future we have got such amazing opportunities as the commercial lending space has continued to evolve. Private lending, meaning allocating dollars outside of banking institutions has become much more mainstream and institutions that are looking to deploy capital are relying on originators such as RCN Capital to be able to deploy those monies in a fast and transparent fashion. That’s what we have gotten really good at. It always comes back to customer service. I know I harp on customer service a lot but the amazing brand that we’ve built goes all the way from that initial touch point when the customer calls the loan officer, through processing, through legal, all the way to servicing. Every step of the way that customer service has brought us to where we are today. I think, as-long-as we stay focused on that customer service our potential is truly unlimited. What I see is tremendous amounts of capital inflowing to private originators who want to get that capital deployed in the market- place. We are set up for a very bright future.

What has changed the most during your time at RCN?

Well, as the leader of the band, for me, the most it’s changed is how sophisticated our operation has become. Especially for some of the team members that have been with me for over five years. We all used to do everything, the phone was ringing you picked up the phone, you had a problem with a customer you took care of that. Over the past 3 or 4 years, it is amazing how these processes that we put into place have allowed us to scale. We all were striving to get to that place, but once we got there it was amazing to me just how quickly we grew which is why I am always so optimistic about where we are going. We have been able to scale this much this quickly, the future is so bright.

Biggest accomplishment since working for RCN

For me personally, it always come back to the people. In my previous life when I owned the Subway restaurants it was about how we hired the team members. Those things that I learned when I was growing up through business I retained and brought here with me to RCN. I always knew that if you could take what you did in your previous life, and put that into practice and treat everyone the way that you would want to be treated no matter what role you were in they would feel empowered to be able to not only grow themselves personally but grow the company that we are all striving to move forward. For me, it’s all about the people, it has been all about the people, it’s always going to be all about the people. That’s why to this day, I try to sit in on every interview when we’re hiring no matter what department it is in because I want to be able to share what I’m looking for in new candidates. It’s always been about the people and it will be as we continue to grow.

How would you describe RCN’s company culture?

Our culture is one where you show up, comes as you are, and experience no judgment. At the end of the day, did the work you completed make a difference for yourself personally, and did it help the company with moving the ball forward. That is the culture we have always had, figure out how you’re going to make a difference while helping the company. That teamwork, no matter what department you are in is the culture that keeps us so involved, vibrant and energetic. It’s not about me, it’s about everybody. That is something we have embraced from the beginning and something we are never going to lose.

Advice for someone who is just starting their career.

I get asked this question a lot, “I just graduated, do you have any career advice?”. It’s very simple, when you go on job interviews spend a lot time asking questions. Most people go into job interviews and are expecting the candidates to be answering questions and a lot of that is true. The candidates who are going to take their career to the next level are the ones that spend a lot of time asking questions, doing research on the job, and then if offered the job they continue to ask the questions . “How can I help do this task better?” or maybe, “How can I change this task and add value to it?”. Those are the employees who move up the ranks the fastest, the ones that are always trying to figure out a better way to do things. I’ve said this to many candidates over the years, especially employees we have hired. I am not interested in you coming in and being a part of the COD. I am interested in you coming in and saying “I know you guys are doing it this way, but what if we tried this?” and maybe it works out better than what we were doing before. It doesn’t make a difference what level you are at, the more questions you ask the more success you are going to have.

Jeffrey Tesch, Chief Executive Officer, is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of RCN Capital, including sales growth initiatives, underwriting review with compliance oversight and leadership of senior-level strategic planning. Joining the Company in 2010 as Managing Director, Tesch led efforts to develop a national brand in private lending with the best practices and transparent products for a diverse customer base. Since RCN’s inception, Jeff has personally overseen over $2 Billion in originations. Jeff’s previous real estate experience was as an investor in both commercial and residential properties, ranging from single-family homes to commercial retail centers. Jeff currently serves as a member of the American Association of Private Lenders’ (AAPL) Ethics Advisory Committee.