The Team

Annie Foster Freedland   Actress/Philanthropist/Jewelry Designer/Mother
After growing up in San Marino, California and attending USC, Annie's professional modeling and acting career spanned more than several decades.  In 1971, she began her career as a top model at the legendary Wilhelmina Agency and was later recruited to join Eileen Ford's agency, The Fords.  Annie has starred in over 50 national commercial campaigns, from the iconic Coppertone billboard and ad (she was the "green bathing suit" girl) to replacing Pam Austin as the Dodge spokesperson to serving as the original Hertz spokesperson (before OJ).  She is fond of saying "I have sold you everything but a coffee!" when asked why she looks so familiar.  Along the way, Annie appeared in several TV series including Starsky & Hutch (as Hutch's girlfriend Abby), Happening!, and Barnaby Jones.

It is less well known that Annie’s ancestors played an important role in settling New England.  Her direct decendant, Reverand Ralph Wheelock, founded the towns of Dedham and Medfield, Massachusetts and was the first public school teacher in America.  Reverand Ralph Wheelock helped raise the initial funding to found Harvard College in 1653 and his great grandson Reverend Eleazar Wheelock founded Dartmouth College in 1769. 

She is equally proud that her cousin Leolyn Everett Spellman donated the family's Villa Spelman in Florence Italy to Johns Hopkins University which used it for over 25 years to host the Johns Hopkins Center for European Studies.  Annie is currently researching Leolyn's life story as part of a plan to film a documentary on her amazing life.

Everyone who knows Annie has experienced her commitment to any number of charities to which she has lent her time and considerable fundraising efforts.  And she is most proud that she has accomplished all of this while raising a wonderful family including five children and five grandchldren.

Annie Foster Freedland

Howard Freedland, CFA  Investor/Busniessman/Philanthropist

Howard began his investment career in the early '70s as an analyst and portfolio manager at The St. Paul's mutual fund subsidiary.  Recruited to Beverly Hills to run equity investments for CMB Investment Advisors in 1978, he decided that his clients would be better served paying him for performance as opposed to an asset-based fee.  This radical idea led to the formation in 1978 of one of the first hedge funds on the West Coast, September Investors.  In order to implement one of the first "green mail" transactions (today it would be called "activist investing"), he formed his own institutional broker-dealer, London Freedland.

Over the years, he is credited with a number of innovative strategies including one of the first  private placements in a public company (today's PIPE transactions).  His private equity fund, September Venture Investors, financed several private companies that had public exits.

During the the late '80s and early '90s, he left the investment business for a four year charitable stint in Venice, Italy and London, England. In 1992, Howard returned to the States to help lead the turnaround of a major durable medical goods company.  He then negotiated a joint venture between GE Capital & ResCom and became CFO of the resulting telecom joint venture.  In 1995, he formed National Water & Power which remains one of the largest providers of independent utility billing services in the US. 

After the sale of NWP in 2000 to a consortium of venture investors, Howard founded Lido Capital, a consulting company specializing in the utility and telecom industries, where he developed a personal and proprietary management technique called “3 Dimensional Management”.  Howard was a leading advisor to the State of California during the 2000 - 2001 energy crisis.

In 2012, Howard formed Direct Lending Advisors to invest in the emerging marketplace consumer lending business.  In 2015, DLA was sold to Emerald Asset Management of Leola, PA.  In 2015, Harper Foster partnered with a multi-billion dollar SoCal family office to create Online Lending Partners.  OLP was the seed investor in LendingUSA, a point-of-sale consumer lending platform, and its related funding company, LCUSA Funding.  In 2018 at the annual LendIt conference, LendingUSA received a FinTech award as the Outstanding New Consumer Lending Platform.  Howard remains actively involved in LendingUSA as its Vice Chairman.

In 2017, OLP was the seed investor in Sequoia Home Funding, a real estate company focused on building and upgrading homes in seniors oriented communities.  SHF formed Sequoia Home Replacement which designs, builds, and finances replacement homes for owners (typically senior citizens) of existing real estate owned manufactured homes.  This unique program helps senior citizens upgrade their quality of life while increasing the value of their real estate.  Howard remains an investor in Sequoia.

 We are commited to living meaningful lives.  Are you?