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Our Team

of Seasoned Professionals

Ken Gerhart. Ken Gerhart, the founder and Managing Partner of Cornerstone Financial, began his investment banking career in 1982. After two years of national championship football and a European football tour in 1976, he continued his undergraduate and graduate training at Texas Tech University and completed a post graduate stint at the Wharton School of Finance, at the University of Pennsylvania. He then earned a Master of Strategic Leadership (MSL) from LeTourneau University, graduating with highest honors - Summa Cum Laude, and is now pursing a PhD in Organizational Leadership from Regent University. He spent his early career managing two SBA 504 Certified Development Companies in Lubbock and Dallas, Texas, respectively.

Trade Association Work. While serving on the NADCO board of directors (the national trade association), he served as editor of and had articles published in the NADCO NEWS, the nationally distrusted trade association publication. As an appointed member of the Privatization Task Force, he and other board members achieved the monumental task of privatizing the former $400 million SBA"503" program into the current "504" program, which entailed moving the funding mechanism from the Federal Financing Bank to the sale of debentures on Wall Street. This task force work included reviewing, recommending, and drafting changes in the SBA Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the newly minted 504 program.

After moving from the public to the private sector, Mr. Gerhart became deeply involved in the SBA 7(a) program as a Senior Vice President of a local non-bank lender. His experience in the 7(a) program includes marketing the product, structuring and underwriting the loan request, and securitizing the paper for sale into the secondary market. Most recently, he has been deeply involved in underwriting and processing USDA B&I loan applications ranging from $1 to $25 million, conducting and writing comprehensive feasibility studies and writing USDA Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency grant applications.

Consulting & Investment Banking. As a consultant, Mr. Gerhart has written numerous business plans that have resulted in various levels of funding for his clients. In conjunction with his more recent focus on the B&I loan program and the USDA Community Facilities program through Cornerstone Financial, he is engaged in conducting and writing comprehensive feasibility studies for clients seeking independent verification of the viability of their project. Multiple private placement memorandums and capital raises were done during this time.

Awards & Recognition. Mr. Gerhart was named to the 1998 edition of Who's Who in Executives and Professionals, is a past member of the American Economic Development Council and the Texas Economic Development Council. He has successfully completed continuing education courses in Basic Industrial Development, Certified Development Company Training, Real Estate Syndication, Advanced Commercial Lending and is certified in MS Excel for the Competent User - Level III. Ken is the past chairman of the Free Enterprise Committee of the Houston (Downtown) Rotary Club. Other achievements include being named to the National Dean's List two consecutive years while in college and graduate school, as well as election to membership in Pi Sigma Alpha and Alpha Kappa Delta, national academic honor societies.

Ken is also a seasoned speaker, author and emerging academic as he ascends the often solitary trail up to the Ph.D. summit. He has published over 30 pieces of inspirational literature, seemingly innumerable blog posts, several short stories - and most recently, eight papers for academic journals with over a dozen more in the queue.
Read more here.

Barbara Turner-Gerhart. Barbara Turner-Gerhart is the Chief Creative Partner of CFMC and serves primarily as the chief graphic designer and art director. Barbara earned a BS in Communications with a concurrent certificate in Leadership at the University of Phoenix, graduating with highest honors - Summa Cum Laude. She has been inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, an international academic honor society.She began her career in graphic design at a local utility company in 1987. After 12 years with that organization, opening her own design company, and creating award winning designs at another utility, she moved into a management role where she supervised a corporate communications department. As a manager, she oversaw a staff of three, designed a number of internal publications - including annual reports, and was responsible for the award-wining design and publication of a monthly magazine. In addition, she and her staff designed and published an online newsletter circulated throughout the company.

Beyond her corporate responsibilities, Barbara served for 15 years as the Music Minister for her church, where she led congregational music, a praise team, and performed as a solo vocalist. She has also performed in Christian vocal groups and performed solo vocals for funerals, weddings and other special occasions. Barbara is also an active partner with her husband in leading a Bible Study class as well as in their ranching and inspirational art business, sings in the church choir, enjoys international travel, monitors her college age daughter’s academic progress, and is a doting grandmother. Her heart's desire is to minister to people through creative design, music, and giving back bountifully from which she has been blessed. Many of her inspirational creations can be found in The Cornerstone Collection ®.


Legal Representation. Since inception in 1990, Cornerstone Financial has been represented by the law firm of Michael H. Carper. Mr. Carper is a graduate of The College of William & Mary where he played varsity basketball and majored in Political Science. After taking a gap year working construction, he matriculated to The Texas Tech University School of Law from which he graduated in 1980.

Mr. Carper has a broad range of experience in business, banking, real estate and sports law. He is certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration as an SBA 504 closer and has been involved in closing USDA Business & Industry (B&I) loans since 1996. As corporate counsel for Cornerstone Financial, he advises us in the initial legal structuring of client projects - Partnerships, Limited Liability Company, or Corporation and personally reviews each of the feasibility studies and B&I loan applications we are engaged to produce. As our legal brain trust and wing man since 1990, Mr. Carper is an invaluable member of our team.




"We make a living with what we get, but we make a life with what we give." Winston Churchill