top of page

Who We Are

What we do

North Oak Investment has been in the fix & flip/fix & hold/rehab lending business since 1972. Rehab projects have grown in popularity with shows like "This Old House" and "Property Brothers".


If you're looking for financing for your rehab project, let us evaluate your proposed deal. We are eager to fund good deals and eager to steer you away from bad deals. We'll collaborate with you, FOR FREE, to make sure your deal makes sense before we make a lending decision.

Our goal is for you to be a successful real estate entrepreneur. Why? Because if you make money with projects properly funded by North Oak Investment we know that you will come to us for your next project. Our approach is to fund the "deal" rather than the "borrower" That has been the key to our success and the success of our customers

Meet the family

Bernie head.png

Bernie is our founding member and is well known in the Kansas City Metro area as a person you can count on for short-term financing. Bernie's passion for this business stems from his decades of first-hand experience. Since 1972, as North Oak Investment, Bernie has financed several thousand new houses and since 1997 thousands of residential rehab projects in the greater Kansas City area, serving both new clients and seasoned veterans.

Bernie Richter

tommy head.png

Tommy Nigro

Tommy is our COO. Tommy was born and raised in Blue Springs, MO. Tommy and his wife Jessica have three kids; Gabriel – 7yo, Gracelyn – 5yo, and Luca – 4yo.  They love to go on hikes, play baseball, ride bikes, go to the beach, work in their garden, and hang out with friends. They live in Lee’s Summit, MO.​​


Tommy's favorite charity is called Agape Pamoja, which is the Greek word “Agape” – ‘Love’ and the Swahili word “Pamoja” – ‘Together’.  This organization is a non-profit that provides affordable housing to many people, primarily refugees from the Congo in Africa.  Kansas City has a large population of Congolese refugees and Agape Pamoja does a great job of not only helping these folks get on their feet, but they also help them learn to function in American culture and society, help them get plugged into church and community involvement with their peers, and help get their kids into developmental and educational programs, and just give the unconditional ‘Agape’ style love.


Professionally Tommy is involved in the American Association of Private Lenders, Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors, and Heartland MLS.

What Tommy is most passionate about is his faith in Jesus Christ as his creator and the savior of humanity.  His faith in Jesus’ teachings and what he did on the cross has become his guiding light and anchor.  Tommy believes; "I have Him to thank for my beautiful marriage, my relationship with my children, and my ultimate purpose in life".  The gifts of forgiveness, redemption, and life I’ve received from Jesus, inspire me to do as much as I can to bless the lives of those around me.  Through the pursuit of paying forward the gift of Christ, he's been able to also enjoy his passions of creating all sorts of things, organizing things, and spending time developing young people and kids.

The family has an outdoor cat named Olo, who loves to patrol the whole neighborhood in search of all sorts of rodents and small creatures.​​

Tommy is CPR certified, has a real estate license, is a certified foster-parent and respite-care provider, and has a scuba certification that he would like to use more often.  His family says his OCD is also "certifiable"!

Nelly Head.png

Nelly Cerna

Nelly is our Underwriter. Nelly is 39 years old, married, and the mother of a 10-year-old boy. She is bilingual, fluent in both English and Spanish (with a bit of an accent). Nelly was born and raised in Guatemala and immigrated to the United States in 2008. She says; "I came looking for better opportunities which I have found and for that, I will be forever grateful".


Nelly has a background in accounting and has worked in the financial industry since graduating high school. She joined North Oak Investment in August 2020. Nelly works hand in hand with Bernie Richter to approve and process all new loans. 


Nelly has been like family since day one, We are so very happy to have her on our team.


When not processing and underwriting loans Nelly loves the outdoors. Summer is her favorite time of the year. She enjoys riding bicycles, kayaking, fishing, and swimming with her family. They also like to go camping once or twice a year. Nelly loves the beach; her biggest dream is to live in a beach house at some point in her life. In the meantime, she enjoys every summer and spends the winter watching Netflix. She says; "the snow is prettier when you see it through the window".

Dana Head.png

Dana Nigro

Dana is our Portfolio Manager. Dana processes all draw/reimbursements, monitors builder's risk insurance, and monitors the progress of projects in our portfolio  Dana is 58 years old, has been married to her high school sweetheart for 36 years, and is the mother of 3 incredible sons. She was born in Casper, Wyoming, and loves the mountains. She has lived in the Kansas City area for all of her adult life.


Dana's background in business has been owning and operating a full-service florist with a Central Design Center and 7 retail locations for over 30 years. Dana says; "What I enjoyed most in that career was my interaction with clients, whether they be future brides or bereaved families needing flowers for very important life occasions". She is thrilled to have recently become a part of the North Oak Investment team.


She loves spending time with her ever-growing family.

Roberto Head.png

Roberto Ibarra

Roberto is our Auditor and internal bookkeeper. Roberto was born in Guadalajara City, Mexico and has lived in the Kansas City area for 27 Years. Roberto is married with two children; Elliot and Areli, and two grandchildren; Camila and Elyana.


Roberto and his family support the Sacred Heart-Guadalupe Church charity in KCMO.​

Roberto's passions and hobbies include; traveling, music, soccer, and Formula 1 Auto Racing. You will never guess the Ibarra family's pet. A female Chihuahua named "Cheeke"!


Roberto earned a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the Universidad de Guadalajara in Guadalajara City, Mexico. 1992


TJ Nigro

TJ is our Marketing Director. He sports over 40 years of experience as an entrepreneur and managing businesses/people. He has worn every hat that exists in a retail business from fixing the toilet to forging a brand identity.

His experience includes:

  • Owned operated and managed fast food restaurants

  • Owned operated and managed a retail produce business

  • Owned operated and managed a retail garden center

  • Owned operated and managed a landscape contracting business including designing, bidding, installing, and collecting residential and commercial projects.

  • Owned operated and managed an irrigation (lawn sprinkler) contracting business including designing, bidding, installing, and collecting residential and commercial projects.

  • Owned operated and managed a retail florist operation with 7 retail locations and a 20,000 sq ft design center/warehouse

  • Responsible for creating/maintaining Village Gardens' brand and identity.

  • Responsible for all internet technology/website, online marketing, email marketing, SEO, PPC, social/viral marketing, technology implementation, and maintenance.

  • Responsible for purchasing, creating vehicle graphics, and maintaining and replacing a fleet of delivery vehicles.

  • Owned and operated Target Time Defense LLC an Indoor Shooting Range, firearms retail, and training facility.

TJ has served on the boards of these organizations:

  • Board of Directors Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce

  • Board of Directors of The Rotary Club of Independence, served as secretary and treasurer and voted "Rotarian of the Year" 2014

  • Board of Directors of the Blue Springs Business Association



5 Stars.png
bottom of page