Northlight Partners is led by Steve Lavey, who is an accomplished, seasoned, entrepreneurial finance and operations executive who has helped build the operations and create over $1 billion in market value in both publicly-traded and private equity-backed companies in several industries, including waste services, freight & logistics, asset management, organic beef and internet-based technology. Steve Lavey is a high impact, entrepreneurial CFO/COO with extensive leadership, Board of Directors, company building and international experience with social impact organizations, high growth publicly-traded and PE-backed companies. He has worked with private equity portfolio companies in healthcare, business services, nonprofits, social ventures, investments and technology. He loves to mentor nonprofit teams & growth company executives, and serve on impactful Boards. Northlight Partners also includes project personnel with significant marketplace experience and expertise in operations, fleet management, freight forwarding, due diligence, systems, logistics, sales and marketing, online marketing, search engine optimization, importing and social media and networking.
Most recently, Steve is an investor, CFO and a Board member of a start-up water filtration “clean water” social venture Vivoblu Inc. that was purposely developed to provide water filters for the developing nations, for disaster relief and for war-torn areas like Ukraine. As part of that, he serves as Executive Director for the US 501 (c)(3) public charity he established, Water for All, that provides practical, sustainable, and safe water solutions to some of the nearly 2 billion people around the world who lack clean water in developing nations, completed all nonprofit accounting, and helped raise $465,000 in the last 12 months.
In China, OI China began work in China’s Anhui Province in 2003 when it launched a microfinance loan guarantee program that created jobs for low income families. Based on its success in Anhui, OI China has expanded its activities into northern Jiangsu Province, a rural area populated by many low-income farmers and migrant workers. In addition to financial services and free business operations training, OI China provides residents with ongoing coaching and family support services. The organization also operates an intensive English language camp each summer for clients and their children.
In Nicaragua, OIN is committed to the Community Economic Development Program that views our clients as equal partners, working side by side, to create sustainable transformation and growth. In Nicaragua, Opportunity International’s agricultural work involves direct partnerships with farmers in rural communities. Our approach is a two-pronged, “field-to-market” approach through:
- Farming loans, expert training and agronomist analysis that empower Nicaraguan farmers with the tools and knowledge to maximize the yield and quality of their harvests.
- The OIN-owned $2.5 million yucca processing plant that adds value to a farmer’s product with connection to local, regional and international high-value markets
Opportunity focuses on leadership development and community-led initiatives through a train-the-trainer model that disseminates information, goods, and services to participating farmers efficiently using farm circles. Farmers focus on climate-smart crops that feed the world and diversify market offerings (e.g. yucca, cassava, moringa, and plantains) and nurture their own talents, they build a brighter future for their families, communities and nation. When farmers succeed, families succeed – children are fed and enrolled in school and a community discovers its potential. To date, there have been over 1100 farmers are receiving support from the program, and they have experienced an average 30-50% increase in yields and a 35-50% increase in net income
Steve is an investor and co-founded/served as EVP-CFO for publicly held Envestnet Asset Management (NYSE: ENV), a $700MM revenues, private equity-backed provider of separately managed accounts, mutual funds, mutual fund wrap portfolios, multi-manager accounts, and alternative investments to independent financial advisors. Envestnet’s investment offerings are supported by a proprietary technology platform, and more than 59,000 advisors and 2,900 companies including: 16 of the 20 largest U.S. banks, 39 of the 50 largest wealth management and brokerage firms, over 500 of the largest Registered Investment Advisors, and hundreds of Internet services companies, leverage Envestnet technology and services. Envestnet solutions enhance knowledge of the client, accelerate client on-boarding, improve client digital experiences, and help drive better outcomes for enterprises, advisors, and their clients.
He served on the Board and as the VP-Chief Financial Officer for American Disposal Services, a publicly-traded consolidator(NASDAQ: ADSI) in the waste services industry, which completed 110 acquisitions, raised more than $550 million in equity and debt financing and grew to $240 million in revenues before being acquired for $1.3 billion by Allied Waste Industries. American Disposal Services was a regional, integrated, non-hazardous solid waste services company that provided solid waste collection, transfer and disposal services primarily in the Midwest and in the Northeast. The Company owned nine solid waste landfills and owned, operated or had exclusive contracts to receive waste from 20 transfer stations. The Company utilized an acquisition-based growth strategy to continue its expansion, generally in its existing and proximate markets.
Steve was also an early investor and consulting interim CFO and COO for Newdea, a private equity-backed philanthropic technology firm that connects large charities and their needs for project management with large wealth management firms like Goldman Sachs, UBS and Citibank Private Bank who have donors looking to invest in projects.
Steve also co-founded and invested in Dakota Beef LLC, the leading private equity-backed organic beef company, helping to build it to $20+ million in revenues and driving logistics and freight issues to make it the leading company in the industry. It has since morphed into the private-label supplier of Kirkland-brand organic ground beef to Costco nationwide.
His experience also includes seven years as an elder at Park Community Church in Chicago and three years as the Executive Pastor, where he stepped out of marketplace for 3 year executive assignment after being recruited at my large Chicago church to assume key role in constructing 100,000 square foot building complex and drive successful completion of a multi-million capital campaign, as attenders grew from 1,200 to 2,700. He led a space-planning process, then directed development/construction of an $18 million renovation of a dry-goods warehouse into a 100,000 sq ft facility with 1,100 seat auditorium, Starbucks-like café, offices, classrooms and parking garage. He then developed and executed two fund-raising drives that generated $12 million in pledge commitments.
He also served as a money center banker with Bank of America and Continental Bank and more than five years as a CPA with a Big Six firm.
Steve is the founder with his wife of Free Things to Do in Chicago, a website dedicated to providing all the latest free and low-cost things to do in downtown and Chicago. Free Things to Do in Chicago provides information on free family events, free museums, free events, free attractions, free concerts, free kid’s events, free comedy, free festivals, free music, free stuff, free drinks, free food, and more. Free Things to Do in Chicago is part of a nationwide network of city sites, providing information on free events and savings ideas.
He is a CPA and holds an MBA in corporate finance and strategy from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, where he received a academic scholarship. He has an undergraduate degree in economics and accounting from the University of Michigan, where he also served a football manager under Glenn E. “Bo” Schembechler. Steve served on the board of Provision Theater Company in Chicago for seven years prior to moving to Denver, where he joined the Board of Audience of One Christian Youth Theater and he and his wife are also involved in a number of charities around the world.