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Our Team

Our Team

Lee Hall
CEO & Business Advisor

From lender, to entrepreneur, to fractional CFO, to nonprofit executive and program manager, Lee Hall’s working experience has been focused on launching and growing small business ventures, with a particular focus on proper capitalization and financial management.  His breadth of experience has taught him how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to any situation. Lee excels at supporting businesses with long-term planning, management, and capitalization plans. He is a strategic thinker, who enjoys helping entrepreneurs take stock of the big picture and craft actionable strategies to achieve their long-term visions. In addition to his duties as CEO, he is the primary contact and provider for entrepreneurs operating in Carver and Scott Counties.

Contact Lee:

Natalia Pretelt-2.png

Natalia Pretelt
COO & Loan Program Manager

Natalia has over 20 years of experience as a business advisor and lender both in the nonprofit and corporate financial sector. She has helped entrepreneur secure financing to start or expand their business. Her professional career started at the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, a nonprofit organization in Minneapolis, MN, where she helped entrepreneurs who did not have access to traditional financing. She left the industry for a few years, and later joined Wells Fargo SBA as an underwriter and later as an Underwriting Associate Manager. Natalia, and her business partner,  opened a franchised daycare in 2021. 

Contact Natalia:


Alan Estévez
Business Advisor

Alan Estévez is a business owner and entrepreneur with roots in traditional and experiential marketing, as well as live concert and event management. Alan is the owner of El Diablo Amps and Guitars in Minneapolis. In addition to his small business and music management experience, Alan has served as an adjunct professor of Spanish at the University of St. Thomas.  As a NextStage Business Advisor, Alan brings his real-world experience and first-person understanding of the challenges new and early-stage entrepreneurs in Minneapolis face turning their passion into a viable small business.

Contact Alan:


Kris Maritz
Business Advisor

Kris Maritz is currently a Business Advisor and Vice President of the Board of Trustees of NextStage. She has over 30 years of experience in finance, management, and strategic and business planning for entrepreneurs. Kris specializes in loan underwriting, real estate financing and works with start-ups as well as expanding businesses. Kris’s previous experience includes the African Development Center (ADC), City of Minneapolis Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED), and Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA). She has been the owner of retail businesses and has owned and managed several commercial properties. Kris is also active in the social change/social justice community and has served on several boards of immigrant led organizations.

Contact Kris:


Noah Her
Business Advisor

Noah Her is the son of Hmong refugees whose parents taught him the value of working hard for the American Dream. He learned about entrepreneurism alongside his parents as they pursued businesses such as residential rental businesses, ginseng gardens, in-home daycare, and an oriental grocery store to an indoor flea market in Central Wisconsin. After graduating from college, Noah worked in various sales and sales operations positions. Since then, Noah has advised countless businesses and connected entrepreneurs to lending opportunities. In addition to his work at NextStage, he keeps busy with his real estate rental business and his three young kids.

Contact Noah:


Hiromi Yokoi
Business Advisor

With experience leading international marketing efforts, serving as a financial marketing analysis, and providing marketing and sales project management, Hiromi is known as a results-oriented professional.  She has a wide range of professional experiences with Six Sigma certification and PMP training, which led her to develop the Implementation Roadmap Process™ (IRP). IRP ensures alignment of implementation to developed strategies by integrating budget modeling, resource alignment and metric/ROI measures.  Hiromi brings this experience to the role of NextStage Business Advisor, specializing in assistance to established small businesses to stabilize and improve operations, helping them to grow and thrive.

Contact Hiromi:

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