Our Team

Andrew J. Russell

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Andrew founded Stairway and has served as its Chief Executive Officer throughout its 20 plus years. Andrew has spent his entire career in special situation, structured credit, private and public equity, investing up and down the credit stack throughout a myriad of industries. He started his career in banking, predominantly working on distressed related investments at ABN AMRO. He moved on to Bank Austria Creditanstalt before launching Stairway Capital’s inaugural Fund in late 2002.

Andrew has been married for 30 years and has four children. He is an ardent, practicing Catholic, and helped establish an annual not-for-profit Catholic sports camp (www.CampChrist.org). Started in 2013, the camp provides an opportunity for young athletes to learn more about Jesus and His divinity as Lord and Savior of all humanity. This is conveyed, in part, by current and former professional athletes who attend the camp to speak about their own faith in Christ, and how it supported their aspirations. Andrew is a fitness enthusiast, and more recently a private pilot. He comes from a large family and very much enjoys spending time with his children and extended family. 


John Rijo

Principal & Chief Investment Officer

John joined Stairway in June 2006 and serves as Chief Investment Officer. John’s responsibilities include sourcing new deals, due diligence and managing and monitoring portfolio investments. For much of his 20 plus year career, John has worked in roles to evaluate and improve enterprise operations and profitability.

Prior to joining Stairway, John was a consultant to RAS Management Advisors and performed various investment diligence, financial advisory, and operational restructuring services at numerous companies across a variety of industries, including assuming interim positions in senior management. While at RAS, John worked with Stairway on a number of consulting assignments. Previous to RAS, he worked for the Walt Disney Company in Corporate Finance and he earned a CPA with Coopers & LyBrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers).

John graduated from Boston College's Carroll School of Management with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Management Information Systems and received his Masters of Business Administration from the Anderson School at UCLA. John is a member of the Turnaround Management Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Association for Corporate Growth.

In his free time, John enjoys traveling with his family.


Christopher Leheny

Co-Founder - Accounting & Tax Officer

Chris Leheny co-founded Stairway in 2002 and serves as Accounting & Tax Officer. Chris manages the operations, investor reporting, compliance, accounting and tax coordinating functions for Stairway.  Chris has over thirty years of experience in the hedge fund, private equity, broker-dealer, mortgage banking and financial services industry.   

Previously, he was a Senior Manager in the Financial Services Industry Group of Grant Thornton LLP, specializing in the audits of hedge funds and broker-dealers. He has experience in distressed products, derivatives, and unlisted, non-traditional investment products, secured & unsecured loans, and many other investment vehicles.  His clientele at Grant Thornton consisted of investment funds in varying sizes and styles from hundreds of millions to multi-billions in assets under management.  In addition, Chris handled the audits and compliance for broker-dealers and commercial & residential mortgage banking clients.  

Chris holds a B.B.A. in accounting from Hofstra University and is a Certified Public Accountant.  

Chris lives on Long Island with his wife and two children.   


Chris Gerham

 Director, Investments

Chris joined Stairway in 2024 and serves as a Director in Stairway’s Investments group. Chris is responsible for leading and assisting in sourcing, underwriting, structuring, and monitoring portfolio investments.

Prior to joining Stairway, Chris held various positions at B. Riley Securities (NASDAQ: RILY) in their investment banking division. At B. Riley, Chris served as a generalist with a focus in their Real Estate, SPAC, Restructuring, and Mergers & Acquisitions practices where he advised, structured and raised capital for both publicly traded and privately owned companies.

Chris graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Villanova University School of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Business Analytics.

Chris lives on Long Island with his family.


Kenneth Griemsmann


Kenneth joined Stairway in September 2008 and currently serves as its Controller. Kenneth oversees the day-to-day operations of the Firm. His responsibilities extend to all arms of the business, including accounting, compliance, portfolio monitoring, and investor relations. Kenneth graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science from Adelphi University.

Away from work, Kenneth enjoys spending time with his family on Long Island and travelling to new destinations around the world. He is also passionate about his involvement with several philanthropic organizations.


For general inquires, please contact:



3962 Merrick Road
Seaford, NY 11783







Get in touch to discuss a potential transaction.