Our Team

Chief Executive Officer

Alexander Schoenbaum co-founded CrowdOut Capital after more than 12 years of direct lending, private equity, and investment banking experience. He has provided financial and strategic advisory services to many growing middle market companies across a range of industries including: consumer, retail, telecom, media, manufacturing, technology, financial services, oil & gas, and industrials. Collectively, Alex has completed more than $3 billion of transactions, including both debt and equity placements.

Previously, Alex founded Swift Estate Capital, a specialty finance firm focused on lending to high net worth individuals. He also worked at Blue Sage Capital, a middle market private equity and debt firm, focused on finding investment opportunities, performing due diligence, structuring and executing transactions, and supporting Company management to grow their businesses. He began his career at Piper Jaffray in San Francisco, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, and capital raises in the consumer space, including restaurants, retail, food, and consumer products. Alex received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Finance, International Business, and Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis. Currently, he serves on the board of the Capital of Texas Media Foundation.


Brian Gilmore co-founded CrowdOut Capital after more than 15 years of direct lending, hedge fund, and investment banking experience. Throughout his career, he has specialized in middle market transactions across a variety of industries including oil & gas, industrials, chemicals, and manufacturing. Brian has sourced and executed more than $1 billion of complex debt and equity transactions, having been a consistent originator for Westlake Securities. In addition, he co-founded the Institutional Sales & Trading Group for Westlake Capital Markets, sourcing numerous equity positions on both U.S. and foreign exchanges. Brian began his career at H.C. Wainwright in New York, focusing on PIPE transactions for emerging technology companies. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin.

Managing Director - Platform

J. Sulester joined CrowdOut in November 2016 and has spent his entire 20+ year business career in Austin. J. oversee’s CrowdOut’s platform and investor network.

He began his financial career at Tejas Securities Group running their equity trading desk. From there, J. co-founded the capital markets group at Westlake Securities where he was a Principal and managed all operations for the group. Prior to joining CrowdOut, J. was a Managing Director at Pasadera Capital, focused on originating new opportunities and working with investors. He has participated in many private placements and sell-side assignments in a variety of business sectors. In his career, he has been involved in over $500 million in transactions. J. is also a founding member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Young Professionals Group, as well as a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

Sarah Throop
General Counsel

Sarah Throop joined CrowdOut Capital as General Counsel in July 2019.  She brings 13 years of legal experience in secured finance, alternative lending and investment funds to the team.  Sarah started her legal career at Vinson & Elkins working on a broad range of secured finance transactions.  In the finance arena, Sarah has experience representing commercial banks, private equity funds, hedge funds, and other financial institutions, as well as corporate borrowers and investors, in complex commercial finance transactions.  She has worked on finance matters across a wide range of industries and has experience in secured and unsecured lending, asset based finance, acquisition finance, project finance and senior and subordinated lending transactions.   More recently, Sarah was an Of Counsel at the Austin Office of DLA Piper where her practice largely focused on  alternative investments. With respect to investment funds, Sarah has experience representing institutional investors, hedge funds and private equity funds on a broad range of issues including direct investments, fund formation, secondary transactions, structured co-investments and portfolio investments in alternative assets. She holds a bachelor of arts in both Art History and Political Science from Johns Hopkins University and a JD from Yale Law School.

Managing Director - Credit

Scott Whalen brings more than 20 years of direct lending and private equity experience to the firm. Most recently, he worked nine years as a Principal and Portfolio Manager at a $3.5 billion family office focused on middle market distressed private equity and direct lending. In his role, Mr. Whalen focused on the acquisition and turnaround of undervalued businesses, utilizing innovation, capital and extensive corporate experience to improve operations and restore value. Mr. Whalen’s prior experience includes credit analysis at Crescent Capital, which invested in senior bank loans, high yield bonds, mezzanine debt and distressed debt securities with the goal of generating income while preserving capital; as well as leveraged finance at Citigroup, working with a wide range of corporate and private equity clients across industries providing capital structure advice, fundraising in the forms of bank debt, public bonds and equity and restructuring balance sheets through debt/equity swaps, bond repurchases and out-of-court workouts. He holds a Master in Mathematics from Columbia University and a Bachelor in Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mehron Azarmehr
Managing Director - International

Mehron P. Azarmehr joins CrowdOut to focus on international investor relations. In addition to working with CrowdOut, Mr. Azarmehr has managed H3M Investments, LP since 2001 for family investments, with an emphasis on real estate and alternative income streams. H3M has participated in over 40 successful projects, consisting of over $150 million in investment size.

Mehron P. Azarmehr has been practicing law in Texas since 1992. He first served as an Assistant Attorney General with the Texas Attorney General’s office in Austin, Texas then as associate at Gardere & Wynne, L.L.P. in Dallas, Texas.

In 1999, he founded Azarmehr Law Group, an exclusively immigration-based practice. The law firm is based in Austin with strategic partnerships in Monterrey, Mexico, London, the UK, Shanghai, China, and São Paulo, Brazil.

Mehron obtained a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science in Economics from the University of North Texas. After his master’s degree, he worked at the International Finance Corporation, World Bank in Washington, D.C. Later, he attended St. Mary’s University School of Law and the University of Texas Law School. During law school, he served at the Texas Supreme Court as a briefing intern.

He is admitted to practice in Texas and before the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, and the U.S. District Court, Eastern, Northern, and Western Districts of Texas. His professional activities include: State Bar of Texas; American Immigration Lawyers Association; State Bar Foundation Fellow; Past Chair, State Bar of Texas, Environmental Law Section; Past Associate Editor-in-Chief, State Bar of Texas, Environmental Law Journal.

Managing Director - Southeast

Justin is a Managing Director with CrowdOut Capital on the loan origination team. Prior to joining CrowdOut, Justin worked as a Managing Director at Gemino, a healthcare specialty finance company. Including his time at Gemino, Justin has focused on business development and loan originations in the lower middle market and middle market at firms such as Sallyport, OTR Capital and CLASS. Justin graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government.


Adam is a Director with CrowdOut Capital. Prior to joining CrowdOut, Adam worked as a Director of Finance at Continuum Analytics, an open source data analytics software provider in Austin. Before Continuum, Adam was in the Financial Planning & Analysis team at Rackspace Hosting in San Antonio. Adam started his career as an Analyst in the Investment Banking Group at Sandler O’Neill + Partners, where he advised banks, thrifts and other financial companies on mergers, acquisitions and capital raises. Adam graduated from Connecticut College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Minor in Religious Studies.


Patrick joined CrowdOut Capital in February 2019 and has more than 15 years of investment management experience. Patrick focuses on establishing strategic partnerships with investors. Patrick has worked at pension funds, global financial firms, and hedge funds. Patrick started his career at the MWRD Retirement fund. From there he worked at SSgA, and Northern Trust. Most recently, Patrick was a director at BlackGold Capital. Patrick attended Ball State University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a member of the CFA Society Chicago, and a member of the CFA Society Boston.

Senior Associate

Mr. Graham Brown is a Senior Associate at CrowdOut Capital, having joined CrowdOut in early 2018. Prior to joining CrowdOut, Graham was a Senior Analyst at CapitalSpring in Nashville, TN where he focused on private debt and equity investments in the branded restaurant sector. Before CapitalSpring, Graham was an Analyst at Duff & Phelps in the Investment Banking – Mergers & Acquisition group in Dallas and Houston, TX, where he supported a variety of M&A advisory and financing transactions for middle market companies in the energy and industrial sectors. Graham began his career at Amegy Bank in Houston, TX as a Credit Analyst. Graham graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance from the University of Texas in Austin.

Senior Analyst

Ken is a Senior Analyst with CrowdOut Capital, having started with the Company in 2016. Prior to joining the company, Ken worked as a Corporate Development Intern at SunEdison, focused on mergers and acquisitions integrations across various transactions. Before SunEdison, Ken started his career as an assistant sales manager, and later promoted to Sales Director, at LUSTROUS in Taiwan where he managed new business development for the company. Ken received his MBA from Washington University in St. Louis with a strong concentration in Finance as well as the bachelor degree in Business Administration from National Taiwan University. Ken has successfully passed all three levels of the CFA exam in three years.


Christina Gustavson joined CrowdOut in October 2018 and brought with her over 10 years of accounting experience. Prior to CrowdOut, she worked for C3 Presents, an entertainment production company, RGM Advisors, a local quantitative trading firm, and spent some time in New York City, consulting for a few of the city’s most popular restaurants. Before starting her accounting career, Christina owned her own food trailer and also worked in the mortgage industry underwriting home loans. Christina graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.

Office Manager

Darlene Esquivel is an Office Manager with CrowdOut Capital, having joined CrowdOut in July 2018. Prior to joining CrowdOut, Darlene worked as a Client Service Representative at Northern Trust, a private wealth management company in Austin, TX. Before Northern Trust, Darlene started her career as Office Coordinator, and later promoted to Administrative Assistant, at Specialty Surgical Center in California where she managed patient accounts and provider relations. Darlene graduated with her Bachelor of Business Administration from Santa Barbara Business College in California.