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RAIN Source® Capital executives have substantial expertise in financing and growing small businesses, investment banking, venture capital and economic development. The team also has well-developed national networks and in-depth understanding of the range of challenges facing new and expanding businesses, as well as a strong commitment to community.

Steven Mercil,  CEO

Mr. Mercil is the CEO and founder of RAIN Source Capital, Inc. and its predecessor organization, Minnesota Investment Network Corporation. Under his leadership, these organizations have grown regional and national in scope and have been recognized for their expertise in leveraging the power of angel investors. He is a pioneer in bringing angel investment opportunities, which have historically been clustered on the coasts, to the central states and to often overlooked rural areas. He is also a principal in InvestAmerica NW, LLC, the General Partner of Invest Northwest LP-Fund. Invest Northwest is a mission-related venture fund capitalized by the Northwest Area Foundation and focused on middle market and later-stage companies located in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Idaho and Washington. Mr Mercil has served as the chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds, and served two terms as treasurer for the Angel Capital Association.

Mr. Mercil has a master's degree in Statistics and Measurements and a bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of North Dakota.

Clifford Smith, President

Mr. Smith rejoined RAIN Source Capital in 2009 to assist with expanding the RAIN Fund program. He is the founder and Principal of ARVO Partners, a strategic and financial consulting firm. He assists private investors with identifying, recommending, implementing and managing strategic objectives that enhance value within the private companies they own. In this capacity, Mr. Smith serves as a financial and operational adviser to the Board of Directors and the CEO.  As President and CEO of Bench Dog, Mr. Smith successfully led this specialty tool company out of financial insolvency. Under his leadership the company grew revenue by 40.7% and improved EBITDA from -2.5% to 7.5% of net sales. He has over eight years of venture capital experience working with and raising equity capital for start-up and early-stage companies. Mr. Smith previously served as Investment Associate for RAIN Source Capital, Inc. where he was responsible for developing, marketing, and managing RAIN funds.

Mr. Smith has a M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and a B.A. in management from Hamline University.

Mr. Leaf joined RAIN Source Capital in 2010 as Vice President and Managing Partner of the Junior Debt Fund. Prior to RSC, Mr. Leaf served as Principal and Chief Investment Officer of LFE Capital. During his six year tenure, LFE Capital completed seven growth equity investments and he served on the board of directors for five portfolio companies. From 1989-2000, Mr. Leaf was the founder and manager of Wells Fargo Mezzanine Capital. In building Wells Fargo Mezzanine Capital, Mr. Leaf completed over 40 high yield subordinated debt investments. He directed the origination, management, and exit activities of these investments. From 2000-2004, Mr. Leaf was with Liberty Enterprises, Inc. in strategic planning and corporate development. While at Liberty, he managed the acquisition of seven businesses. Mr. Leaf’s experience also includes six years in commercial lending and corporate finance at US Bank and Wells Fargo Bank.

Mr. Leaf has a M.B.A. with distinction in finance and accounting from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.S. summa cum laude in economics from The University of Minnesota


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