Santa Teresa, NM – Interstate Capital, a privately held specialty finance company headquartered in Santa Teresa, New Mexico announced today the celebration of its 25th year in business. Interstate is one of the largest non-bank, private sources of accounts receivable funding for the transportation, wholesale distribution, manufacturing, staffing, and oilfield service industries.
The celebration coincides with another milestone for Interstate. This year, Interstate will deliver over $1 billion of fresh capital to over 1,000 small businesses in the U.S. and Canada.
From its start in 1993, Interstate’s growth has been steady and predictable. Starting with one employee in a cramped office-warehouse now housing a sandwich shop, Interstate expanded its footprint five years later into a 7,000 square-foot office building near its original office, and eventually added personnel in Austin, Los Angeles, Toronto, Albuquerque and San Diego. In 2014, a partnership consisting of Interstate affiliates acquired and renovated a 60,000 square-foot office building occupying a city block in central El Paso. With the most recent relocation of 20 employees from Santa Teresa to El Paso in January 2018, the El Paso office houses over 75 of the company’s approximately 130 employees.
“Interstate was born of fate, good timing, and modest expectations”, says Tony Furman, President and co-founder. A chance encounter with El Paso native, Cliff Eisenberg, at Eisenberg’s New Year’s Eve party in 1992, led to a conversation about each other’s business plans. At the time, Eisenberg served as president of American Finance and Investment Co. (AFIC), an El Paso-based company founded in 1946 by Eisenberg’s grandfather, Ernest Friedman, and a small group of local investors. Eventually, Eisenberg’s father, Jack, became AFIC’s Chairman and continues to serve the company. AFIC holds a majority stake in Interstate and Furman is the largest individual shareholder. Through their antecedents, there remain several smaller individual shareholders who inherited original shares in AFIC from the original group of investors in 1946.
Furman was a commercial banker residing in Dallas, visiting El Paso with his expectant wife, Robin, and 4-year old son, Adam when he and Eisenberg conceived of starting the company. The conversation on New Year’s Eve led to another the following week. Furman had already been planning to exit commercial banking and start a similar business in Dallas, but was quickly convinced by Eisenberg to come to work in El Paso and start Interstate Capital.
Among the first employees were several family members. Robin Furman, with newborn son, Jordan, in tow, delivered checks to clients in the summer of 1993. Louis Cohen, Eisenberg’s brother-in-law, was hired as a Vice President and still serves in that role. Hundreds of other employees followed. Among the first non-family members, were Yolanda Gallegos and Yvette Alonzo. Both joined the small team in 1994 and still serve the company today in the Collections Department. Wondering the maze of offices and cubicles, visitors first observations are the many 10-year, 15-year, and 20-year service awards displayed on the desks of Interstate’s most loyal employees. The most recent senior executive to join Interstate Capital is Ernest Eisenberg who formerly served as a vice president of an Austin-based investment firm. Ernest is the fourth generation in his family to serve AFIC.
“I am truly privileged to have taken this trip with Cliff, his family, and the unusually large percentage of our staff who have served the company for over a decade”, says Furman. “We all share a common vision about our duty to clients, each other, and our community”.
In many ways, its 25th year was one of Interstate’s best. Over 800 new clients were added, representing over 20% year-over-year growth. In the past two years, Interstate’s balance sheet has grown by nearly 70%.
Interstate, its affiliates, employees and leadership team have devoted time and resources to numerous local and national charitable, civic, and academic causes including the Race for the Cure, UMC El Paso Children’s Hospital, El Paso Food Bank, The Braden Aboud Foundation, University of Texas at Austin, UTEP athletics, El Paso YMCA, and El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center.