About CFI
The CFI Team

The CFI Team

The successful implementation of creatively structured investments in a variety of sectors demands experience, due diligence, and a strong commitment from a management team.

Bernard Zahren, Manager

Bernie Zahren has spent over 40 years in a variety of entrepreneurial and management roles, and brings to CFI a wealth of knowledge in both investment syndications and renewable energy.

CEO of Zahren Financial Co., LLC, Mr. Zahren, structured and managed a variety of successful equipment leasing offerings with attributes similar to CFI. His company Zahren Alternative Power Corp. (ZAPCO), a spin-off of Zahren Financial Co, LLC, was built into a portfolio of 27 landfill gas and co-generation projects through acquisition and development. He sold ZAPCO in a transaction valued at $98 million. 

A respected and active consultant, Mr. Zahren has been instrumental in implementing business focused sustainability initiatives. He has testified before Congressional committees on alternative energy issues and has chaired a special committee that worked for extensions of Internal Revenue Code income tax credits for the production of alternative fuels.

Prior to forming his own company, Mr. Zahren developed successful investment syndications for a subsidiary of CIGNA Corp. Early in his career, he held senior management positions in such firms as Angeles Leasing Corp., Architectural Wood Products, Inc. and The Koppers Company. 

Mr. Zahren truly believes in reducing his own carbon footprint, not only by managing and investing in CFI, but also by his recent renovation to his home which achieved (award winning) “Net Zero Energy” consumption through multiple deployments including: a 15 kilowatt wind turbine, geothermal heating and air conditioning, and a solar thermal hot water system.

Mr. Zahren holds a BS from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.

Jigar Shah, Special Manager

Jigar Shah is an entrepreneur and visionary committed to leveraging the next economy by solving the challenging issues of our time. Shah has recognized this as “The Impact Economy”.

Mr. Shah has worked closely with some of the world’s leading influencers, guiding policy makers around the globe on issues to implement profitable solutions to climate change. He provides unique access to targeted investment opportunities.

His first foray in realizing his vision was the founding of SunEdison in 2003. SunEdison, through Shah’s perseverance and vision, simplified solar as a service through the implementation of the power purchase agreement (PPA) business model.

Jigar later became the first CEO of the Carbon War Room, the global organization founded by Richard Branson and Virgin United to help entrepreneurs address climate change.

Jigar is currently President and Co-Founder of Generate Capital. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and an MBA from The University of Maryland.

Rajiv G. Pandya, Special Manager

Rajiv Pandya contributes not only his technical expertise in the solar energy industry, but also his extensive management experience from the national and international corporate world. His passion for and vision of sustainability are respected throughout the industry.

Mr. Pandya spent over 23 years with The Dow Chemical Company prior to his leaving in 2010. His most recent 10 years were served overseas in Shanghai, China, and Bangkok, Thailand, as the company's Chief Procurement Director for the Asia Pacific Region with a spend responsibility of over $2 billion (U.S.) and a staff of 160. 

During his first 10 years at Dow, he worked as an Electrical Engineer and Project Manager at their Global Capital Project office in Houston, leading and executing the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) requirements for many multi-purpose manufacturing facilities around the world.

Mr. Pandya is also the owner of an entity known as GreanGrid Solar which identifies renewable energy projects in various areas in the United States. 

Mr. Pandya earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Houston and his MBA from the University of St. Thomas, Houston. 

Richard V. Kretz, CPA

Richard Kretz recently retired from CohnReznick LLP. Prior to his retirement he served for 18 years as managing partner of Kostin, Ruffkess and Company, LLC, a 140 person CPA firm. Mr. Kretz was instrumental in executing the merger of Kostin, Ruffkess into JH Cohn, LLP, which then merged with Reznick Group to form the 3,000 person CPA firm based in New York.

Mr. Kretz became a partner in Kostin, Ruffkess in 1987, and became the firm’s managing partner in 1993. During his tenure the firm grew from $4 million in revenues to $19 million. While Mr. Kretz was managing partner, the firm created and sold several other entities prior to the merger including KR Wealth Management in which he was active in building the investment advisory practice and ultimately selling the company to new owners. 

Mr. Kretz has performed as account manager and subsequently partner in charge of Zahren Financial and its related entities from 1983 to the present. During that time the Zahren entities grew to be the largest client of Kostin, Ruffkess until the company was sold in 2001. 

Mr. Kretz is CPA licensed in Connecticut since 1979 and has assisted and consulted with privately held businesses since his graduation from college in 1975. He continues to hold a Series 7 and Series 65 license.  Mr. Kretz lives in Connecticut with his wife and now spends much of his time pursuing his personal hobbies as well as assisting Clean Feet Investors I, LLC.