Bruce Thompson

President Emeritus

Bruce is a former California state politician with nearly four decades of legislative and government experience. He was appointed by President George W. Bush as the Region IX Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration from 2001 to 2009. Since Bruce joined American Lending Center in 2011, he has led this non-bank lender to be one of the most productive and successful SBA 504 first loan lenders in the U.S.

John Shen

Chief Executive Officer

John founded American Lending Center, LLC in June 2009. As a passionate small business advocate, John spearheaded the effort of the organization to build a successful lending practice primarily based on the SBA 504 program. In October 2017, John received the Coleman Report’s “SBA 504 Lender of the Year Award” for his outstanding leadership and contributions to small business community.

Stella Zhang

Chief Operating Officer

Stella joined American Lending Center as the COO in 2011. Upon arrival, she immediately built a successful small business lending team and has led to the steady growth of the lending practice. Her team manages a dynamic portfolio of over $200 million dollars of senior loans consisting almost entirely of loans on SBA approved projects. In 2017, Stella won the Coleman Emerging Leader Award from the prestigious SBA media outlet, the Coleman Report.

Larry Trujillo

Senior Advisor

Mr. Trujillo is a thoughtful ex-banker, entrepreneur, advisor, and judicious problem solver with specialized domestic and international expertise in developing and cultivating collaborative relationships. Immediately prior to joining ALC as Senior Advisor in 2020, his commitment to fair and equitable access to credit and economic development led him to serve in the US Small Business Administration (SBA) in various roles including national Director of Financial Oversight for the Office of Small Business Development Centers; Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Advisor for the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Civil Rights;.Director of Lender Relations; and District International Trade Officer.

Justin Blackhall

VP, Finance Counsel

As the founding member and partner of Blackhall, P.C., Justin joined American Lending Center in 2015. His experience in handling complex financing transactions, risk management, and lending compliance has made him a solid leader in small business lending industry. His efforts significantly streamlined the efficiency and improved the profitability of American Lending Center and turned it into a true pioneer of lending with a creative capital structure.

Scott Thompson

VP Compliance

Scott has been an advocate for small business owners for over 14 years. As Compliance Officer at American Lending Center, Scott trains key staff on regulations and procedures for all lending lines of business. He also plays an active role in managing the origination, underwriting and forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Leo Zhou


Leo co-founded American Lending Center, LLC in June 2009 with John Shen. Leo had over 10 years of working experience focus in private banking and small business financing at a Top 3 US Banks before he jointly ventured American Lending Center LLC. Leo had won four times of annual Top 10 performer at the employing bank and has been an active advocate for US small business community.

Scott Wagner


Scott is an economist with 15 years of experience working with consulting, research, and financial institutions. Scott joined American Lending Center in 2014, where he has overseen rapid growth of the loan portfolio while ensuring strict regulatory and lending requirements. Prior, Scott worked with the US Department of Homeland Security to modernize its EB-5 investment-for-immigration program. Scott is also the founding member of Wagner Consulting Group, an economic advisory firm.