Our Promise to You
We promise to champion the success of our investors through trustworthy, disciplined, and transparent investing. Our commitment is to build wealth, create opportunities, and uplift our community with every investment you make.
What We Believe
Wealth is not created in the stock market, it’s created by owning a tangible asset with future potential - an investment that increases in value because it can’t be diluted.
Wealth is Built in Private Markets.
We’ve moved beyond Wall Street to a place where ideas matter, people have names and investing is as much about creating opportunity for the people of our community as it is about increasing wealth.
We stand by the conviction that those who've dedicated themselves to defending the American Dream deserve every chance to live it.
The American Dream.
Our Core Values
Trust is our competitive advantage and the backbone of our business. By fostering rapid trust, we're able to expedite funding, enabling our borrowers and investors to seize unparalleled investment opportunities when they arise.
We never cut corners. We factor reality into every decision, conduct the diligence and align with those who are positioned to succeed. We believe in going further to get it right because smart, disciplined decisions benefit all of us.
When you invest with Academy Fund, you are a partner. We go the distance to ensure that trust is continuously strengthened through transparency, third party oversight and comprehensive legal compliance.
We will never underwrite a loan if we believe the borrower won’t be successful on a project, even if there is an opportunity for us to make a profit. Believing in our borrowers' long-term success translates to the long-term prosperity of our community. A rising tide lifts all boats.
Our comprehensive due diligence process ensures peace of mind for both our team and our investors.
United, we accomplish more. Our borrowers feel the weight of community expectations and are driven to uphold their commitments.
Veterans, by nature, possess resilience. Their resourcefulness and unyielding determination to fulfill missions are the very qualities that mark their success as entrepreneurs and real estate investors.
At the heart of our ethos lies a deep-seated commitment to service, reflecting not just in our interactions with clients, but also in acknowledging and honoring the service our clients have rendered to our country.
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
William "Bill" Militello, with over two decades of asset management and compliance expertise, is a founder and the chief executive officer of the Academy Fund. He is an accomplished entrepreneur, having founded four businesses and successfully sold two regulated securities companies. Demonstrating a keen ability in capital raising, Bill has facilitated financing for more than 40 companies and investment funds across over 100 rounds. His involvement in the real estate sector is significant, having participated in the acquisition of over $850 million in Commercial Real Estate. A 1992 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Bill also has a distinguished military background, serving as a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Signals Intelligence Officer.
Co-Manager & Director of Underwriting
Brian Whitten's 15-plus years in real estate investment began during his time as a fighter pilot, a career he pursued after graduating from the United States Naval Academy. His real estate interests took flight while he was still on active duty, launching F/A-18 Super Hornets from aircraft carriers and serving his country. In 2008, Brian became a licensed Realtor, quickly identifying investment opportunities in the housing market while serving his clients. His expertise in fix-and-flip projects led him to leave active duty in 2012 to focus exclusively on real estate, involving himself in property flipping, hard money lending, and collaborative investments. In 2017, Brian founded Hornet Capital and has successfully originated over $180 million in real estate-backed loans. Brian and his team play a pivotal role in the Academy Fund as its underwriting arm.
Co-Manager & Director of National Accounts
Lewis D. Baker, CFP®, is a distinguished wealth advisor known for his focus on comprehensive financial planning and tax efficiency. A United States Military Academy graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Management, Lew began his finance career at Merrill Lynch in 1994, later advancing to Vice President at Morgan Stanley. His expertise in investment knowledge is complemented by his insights into financial planning and tax efficiency. In 2002, seeking a more personalized approach, he founded Baker Schilling Wealth Strategies. His entrepreneurial journey continued with the establishment of Rock Creek Wealth Planners and Advisors in 2018, catering to business owners, pre-retirees, and retirees. Beyond his professional endeavors, Lew contributes as a co-manager of the Academy Fund and invests in veteran-led ventures. He also dedicates time to his alma mater as a West Point outreach officer and serves on the service academy selection board for U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes-Norton.
Amanda Dawson, currently serving as the Director of Operations & Investor Relations, has built a diverse career path, culminating in her current role at the Academy Fund since 2020. Her journey in the financial sector began at Piedmont Investment Advisors in 2009, followed by a pivotal role at Militello Capital in 2013. A Toronto, Canada native, Amanda holds a bachelor's degree from Virginia Tech and an MBA from George Washington University. Before her foray into finance, she honed her operational expertise at esteemed organizations, including Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon and Spa, Darden Restaurants, and Walt Disney World Resorts.
Director of Operations & Investor Relations
Sean Mykietyn, a Northern Virginia native, currently holds the position of Chief Financial Officer at the Academy Fund. He graduated from Radford University in 2005 with a double major in Accounting and Finance, along with a minor in Criminal Justice. Sean's career began in public accounting, where he gained valuable experience at firms such as Kositza Wicks & Company and Streetman & Jones PC. In 2008, he transitioned to corporate accounting with Ramsey Asset Management. Known for his strong numerical acumen and problem-solving skills, Sean took on the role of Controller for the family office of a prominent billionaire businessman in 2012. His career further evolved when he joined Militello Capital in 2017, and he expanded his expertise in financial management by joining the team at the Academy Fund in 2020.
Chief Financial Officer
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Founder & Director of Marketing
Scott Mackes, a founder and the director of marketing at the Academy Fund, has focused his career on connecting and empowering military veteran business owners and driving their success. As the founder of Service Academy Business Mastermind Group (SABM), 10X Vets, and the Academy Fund, Scott has created a powerful ecosystem that facilitates knowledge-sharing, strategic networking, and funding opportunities for veterans, enabling them to achieve remarkable growth and impact. His work with SABM has earned recognition, including a mention on Forbes.com for being one of the most innovative mastermind groups. Additionally, the SABM investor group has drawn over 650 accredited investors committed to financing ventures led by fellow veterans. Scott, who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2001 and holds an MBA from the University of Rhode Island, also served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy from 2001 to 2006.