Santi Tefel ’07 ~ Finance, Freakonomics & Fitness

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 2:15pm
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A high school role model’s recommendation convinced Santi Tefel ’07 that he had to make the trip from Miami, Fla. to Mobile, Ala. to check out Spring Hill College. Patrick Collins, a teacher at Belen Jesuit Preparatory, graduated from SHC in 1971, and was certain the school was the right fit for Tefel.

“My father and I were impressed with the beautiful campus and the sense of community that we felt while visiting,” says Tefel. “It’s an almost intangible feeling one gets while on the Hill. I could tell that this was an environment in which I could excel in, not only academically, but also personally.”

As a freshman, Tefel first majored in political science, convinced that he wanted to become an attorney. Shortly after taking a business course with Dr. James Larriviere, however, Tefel decided that his passion lay in economics and finance, and immediately changed his career path.

“I remember doing a case study on the book Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner,” says Tefel. “Dr. Larriviere took the method of Social Economics to the next level, made us apply these concepts to current economic events, and come up with our own theory and resolution. He was also a wonderful resource as my guidance counselor and has remained so during my professional career.”

A double major in economics and finance, Tefel was also a student athlete, playing all four years on the Spring Hill College tennis team. Having a strong work ethic and time management skills made all of the difference during Tefel’s undergraduate years on the Hill.

“Spring Hill College provided an environment that challenged me on a daily basis and always pushed me to go the extra step,” says Tefel. “While traveling with the tennis team and taking extra classes some semesters to fulfill my double major class requirements, I learned how important it is to prioritize my workload.” 

After graduation, Tefel soon parlayed his skills and extensive knowledge of economics and finance into an extraordinary career in the banking industry, despite entering the workforce during one of the worst recessions in history.

“In January of 2008, I moved to Nashville, Tenn., to help start a boutique bank called Avenue Bank,” says Tefel. “Starting this venture during this chaotic time certainly had its challenges, as it seemed that all of America was on an anti-bank campaign. Today, though, we are one of the most preferred banks in all of Nashville. I believe that our unique style of banking, which offers personalized concierge service to everyone who walks in the door, sets us apart in the industry.”

Today, Tefel serves as Avenue’s vice president of private banking with a specialty in credit, working with high net-worth individuals and small businesses to help them solve their banking needs.    

Most recently, Tefel, and his wife Anna Hance ’07, opened a new fitness studio called Studio Novo Nashville which features the Lagree method, an innovative and aggressive approach to full body conditioning which can be completed in 50 minutes.

Tefel is proud to be an alumnus of Spring Hill College, and has been honored as Nashville’s 2012 “Young Leader of the Year,” one of Nashville’s “Top 30 Under 30,” and was recognized as one of the “Nashville Emerging Leaders” by the Chamber of Commerce in 2011. Tefel serves as an executive board member of the Young Leaders Council and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and was appointed by Mayor Karl Dean to serve as a city commissioner for the Metro Arts Board.

“Attending Spring Hill College has allowed me to be where I am today, and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished up to this point in my career,” says Tefel. “Spring Hill provides an atmosphere that engages its students to think and act like entrepreneurs while still focusing on a liberal arts education, creating leaders, and bringing you closer to Christ and faith.”


For more information about Santi and Anna Tefel’s new fitness studio, visit