Meet the RDF East Coast Team

Meet the RDF East Coast Team

As a community development financial institution, we deeply value the relationships that we build with our borrowers.  To that end, RDF has staff in a variety of markets, who lead our efforts in identifying local community needs and forming relationships with local borrowers, including UnidosUS affiliates. Our East Coast team has established relationships with developers of affordable housing, charter school facilities, and many other local organizations.

Brian Champeau, Director, East Coast Lending


Brian Champeau and his wife Gina celebrate with the Phoenix team for the organization’s 15th Anniversary in 2015.

Brian joined RDF in 2004, and lives in Montclair, New Jersey.  He graduated from New York University with an MBA.  Brian is the lead on sourcing and structuring transactions, and he oversees all East Coast Lending activity. He produced development deals with L&M Investment Partners, Lawrence Community Works, Procida Companies, SoBro, B&B Urban Partners, Azimuth Development, D&F Development Group, among a long list of others.

Fun facts:  Brian lives with his wife (Gina), has three children (Emma, Aidan and Olivia) and a dog named Juneau. He lives in a bright yellow house with green shutters!

Ariel Behr, Senior Investment Associate


Ariel joined RDF in 2014 as a part-time consultant and as a full-time employee in 2017. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan—the same neighborhood where she grew up. She graduated from Swarthmore College and Columbia Business School. Ariel underwrites and closes a variety of types of transactions in the New York City area, including affordable housing and charter school facilities.

Ariel loves learning about neighborhoods at multiple levels—families, schools, infrastructure, housing–and hopes to make a difference working on projects that address multiple community needs.

Fun facts:  Ariel and her husband have two young daughters who keep them very busy and hold fabulous dress up dance parties.

Peter McDougal, Consultant

Peter joined RDF in 2017 as a part-time consultant, and lives in Coral Gables, Florida. Peter graduated from the University of Dayton with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, then from New York University with an MBA in Finance. Peter sources, underwrites and closes transactions in the Florida market.

Fun facts:  Peter loves to play chess, and to solve mathematical puzzles every day in the newspaper.


Although we are a small team, we have a very active pipeline.  To date, we have $50 million on the books, and another $20 million in the pipeline or closed.


Charter School Loan Spotlight 

Academy of the City, Astoria, Queens

Photo courtesy of Academy of the City Charter School website.

Academy of the City Charter School (“AoC”) is a high performing charter school, serving a diverse student body in Woodside, Queens.  AoC was founded in 2011 and serves over 450 students in grades K-6, 53% of whom are Latino. In 2019, AoC was awarded a new Charter Agreement, authorizing its operation for five more years and approval to expand to serve students in grades K-8. AoC projects that it will reach full capacity at 789 students by the 2023-2024 school year.

AoC has an excellent academic track record; its students have outperformed their peers at all district-wide, citywide and statewide levels.  Its expansion will greatly benefit the surrounding community by providing additional seats and by allowing its existing students to extend their time at AoC through middle school.

In September 2019, RDF provided a $7 million Construction and Term Loan to allow AoC to renovate a leased facility in Astoria, NY, where its middle school will operate in 30,000 square feet, creating 12 classrooms. RDF was able to structure the loan with a competitive interest rate and a 25-year term, in order to make the financing affordable for AoC. The renovation is currently 93% complete and on track to open in Fall 2021.

Going forward, RDF’s East Coast Team is working to expand relationships with existing borrowers and connect with new borrowers as well. We are always looking for new lending opportunities to support affordable housing, charter schools, or other community facilities that benefit low income and Latino families.

To learn more about our products, or to explore whether RDF financing might be a fit for your project, please feel free to reach out to

Ariel Behr, Senior Investment Associate, first joined RDF's East Coast Lending team in 2012. Ariel is a native New Yorker and a mom of two young daughters. She holds a BA from Swarthmore College and an MBA from Columbia Business School.