Mr. Stewart has represented SMS Financial since 1998 and formally joined the firm as General Counsel in 2016. Over the past three decades, Mr. Stewart has represented a wide array of financial institutions in all aspects of commercial lending including loan origination, loan workouts and restructuring, pre-judgment provisional remedies, post-judgment collection, lien enforcement, foreclosure, deficiency enforcement, and all aspects of creditor’s rights and bankruptcy litigation. He has marshaled thousands of creditor claims to successful resolution. Mr. Stewart’s representation of SMS Financial and other creditors has focused on professional, cost effective, and efficient resolution of complex commercial matters in multiple state jurisdictions, federal court, and bankruptcy court through trial and the appellate process. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Stewart has served as Judge Pro Tempore in Maricopa County Superior Court. Mr. Stewart is a fourth generation Arizona native and holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Arizona State University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona. Robert Stewart is “AV Preeminent” rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the recognized industry authority. An AV rating recognizes attorneys who have “reached the heights of professional excellence and are recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.”
Mr. Sternberg has been practicing law in Arizona since 1961 after being the youngest attorney to pass the bar at the time. While practicing law, he was a co-founder of SMS Financial in 1993. Mr. Sternberg serves as an advisory member, providing strategic guidance on all facets of SMS’ operations. He has a broad background in all aspects of litigation, dispute resolution, real estate management and development and business valuation. Additionally, his extensive experience in forensic accounting and finance has proven to be invaluable, with the resolution of numerous complex and high balance assets. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Sternberg has served as Judge Pro Tempore in Maricopa County Superior Court since 1977. Mr. Sternberg holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Arizona State University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona.
Ms. Grassl joined SMS Financial in 2018. As Senior Paralegal, her responsibilities focus on the management of judgment and real estate processes, as well as the drafting of legal documents pertaining to pending litigation and company acquisitions and sales. Prior to joining the SMS team, Ms. Grassl spent over 25 years as a paralegal at various law firms in the Phoenix area, where she focused on insurance defense, business dispute resolution, and complex litigation. In addition to her legal background, she also manages her family’s residential real estate office, which specializes in the disposition of Real Estate Owned assets throughout Arizona. Ms. Grassl received her paralegal certificate from Watterson College in Van Nuys, CA in 1988.
Mr. Shimon joined SMS Financial in March 2021. As Director of Finance, his primary responsibilities include managing all financial systems and processes, financial reporting, and oversight of the company’s internal controls. In addition, Mr. Shimon oversees all aspects of the SMS loan servicing process, as well as assisting with investor relations. Mr. Shimon has over 10 years of finance and accounting experience across multiple industries. Mr. Shimon holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Drake University and a master’s degree in accounting from Grand Canyon University.
Mr. Kienholz joined SMS Financial in April of 2011. With 20 years of experience in commercial Real Estate sales, marketing, banking and finance, Mr. Kienholz manages an extensive portfolio of complex assets including negotiation, litigation and settlement at the note level. Mr. Kienholz leads the marketing, property management and liquidation of Real Estate Owned as well as originating, underwriting and closing new commercial loans. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Colorado State University.
Mr. Kahler has been with SMS Financial since 2002, managing a large portfolio of assets and negotiating settlements on a wide variety of debt instruments, including commercial, consumer, real estate secured and post-judgment collection. Mr. Kahler’s experience includes sales, marketing, business operations and executive level management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration/marketing from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Mr. Weinflash joined SMS Financial in 2011 and is responsible for effectively managing a large portfolio of varying types of distressed assets, specializing in the evaluation of corporate financials of operating businesses. Mr. Weinflash is also responsible for performing analytics to ensure portfolio profitability is achieved. Mr. Weinflash has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, including small business lending and credit servicing and analytics, most recently with Bank One and American Express. Mr. Weinflash holds a bachelor of science from The University of Arizona.
Mr. Mattison joined SMS Financial in February 2018. As Director of Post Judgment Recovery, he is tasked with the management of a judgment and unsecured loan portfolio, to include judgment enforcement strategy, asset research and forensics, and litigation management. Prior to joining SMS financial, Mr. Mattison was Vice President with Hudson Americas (Lone Star Funds), a major multi-national partnership. During his tenure, $100 Million plus in judgment balance recoveries were achieved. In addition, Mr. Mattison participated in the due diligence of more than $3 Billion in successful secondary market acquisitions and directly managed borrower/sponsor underwriting of more than $1 Billion in CMBS loan originations. Drawing from his diverse finance background and subject matter expertise in asset research forensics and judgment enforcement strategy, he also serves as a court-appointed Receiver in the state of Texas. Mr. Mattison holds a bachelor’s degree in financial services & planning from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
Mr. Grober joined SMS Financial in 2007 and is responsible for managing a large portfolio of varying types of distressed assets in multiple areas of collections. Mr. Grober has over 18 years of experience within the collection industry, including all areas of third party collections and post-judgment litigation across the United States and Canada.
Mr. Fanelli joined SMS in January of 2019. As an asset manager, his responsibilities primarily focus on managing a portfolio of judgments and unsecured loans. Additionally, he assists in the due diligence process for the acquisition of new portfolios. Mr. Fanelli holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Arizona.