University of Maryland Extension

2017 Speakers

Anne Aldrich, a founding partner of Artemis Strategy Group, applies her broad research experience and passion for understanding what makes people tick to make our research assignments into powerful tools for our clients. Whether in support of marketing/communications strategy, tactical development or assessment, or helping clients build research-based thought leadership programs, Anne is highly attuned to meeting client priorities and making it easy to work with us.

Anne led the financial services and consumer packaged goods research practices as a Senior Vice President at Harris Interactive. Prior to that, she was research leader at WirthlinWorldwide and has had client-side research roles in banking and the newspaper field. Anne has a BA from Indiana University. She serves on Michigan State University’s Master of Science in Marketing Research Advisory Board.

Bonnie Braun, PhD, is Professor Emerita, University of Maryland Department of Family Science.  She began, and continues to lead, the award-winning University of Maryland Extension Health Insurance Literacy Initiative. Dr. Braun holds degrees in youth and adult family and consumer sciences education. She was the Founding Director and Endowed Chair of the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy in the University of Maryland School of Public Health. 
Dr. Braun served on the national Extension Task Force responsible for creating the Cooperative Extension Framework for Health and Wellness and on the team that created the University of Maryland Extension Healthy Living Initiative. She is a well-published author and frequent speaker. In 2016, she was named a Legend in Family and Consumer Sciences for her state and national leadership. 



John Breyault is the Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications, and Fraud at the National Consumers League, America’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization. A veteran of more than a decade in the public interest community, John advocates for stronger consumer and worker protections before Congress and federal agencies on a range of issues including telecommunications and technology policy, fraud, and consumer financial protections. John is also the director of several consumer campaigns at NCL, including, the Alliance Against Fraud and the #DataInsecurity Project.

Dr. Virginia Brown is an Extension Educator with the University of Maryland Extension.  Dr. Brown serves as one of the core members of the University of Maryland’s Health Insurance Literacy Initiative.  This interdisciplinary group has created the Smart Choice Health Insurance curricula, integrating the best practices of health literacy and financial literacy to assist people in choosing and using health insurance. These efforts led Dr. Brown to be appointed the Extension Council on Policy’s Health Insurance Literacy Action Team Chair, with the goal of making Cooperative Extension the leader in health insurance literacy nationwide. 

Saundra Davis is a US Navy veteran, financial coach, educator, and consultant who is nationally recognized as an expert in the financial coaching field and for her work with community-based organizations that focus on asset building for the working poor. Ms. Davis is the founder and Executive Director of Sage Financial Solutions, a San Francisco Bay area based organization that develops comprehensive financial capability programs for low- and moderate-income communities throughout the United States. Her high energy, comprehensive training programs inspire nonprofit staff to become true experts in the field.

Ms. Davis holds a B.S. in Management and an M.S. in Financial Planning from Golden Gate University where she is currently an adjunct professor in the Personal Financial Planning program. She has previously served as an adjunct professor and as a member of the Financial Planning Program Advisory Committee at the University of California Berkeley.

Kat Hyland is Principal of the Hyland Law Firm, LLC where she litigates consumer protection cases and works on auto fraud, debt collection, and student loan issues on behalf of consumers. Kat is a licensed attorney in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and currently represents consumers in individual cases and class action litigation in state and federal courts.  Outside of her law practice, Kat is the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, board member for Guidewell Financial Solutions, and the Maryland State Chair for the National Association of Consumer Advocates. 

Dr. Jesse Ketterman is a financial literacy educator for University of Maryland Extension.  He serves the western cluster that includes Allegany, Garrett, and Washington Counties.  His combination of experience and education are ideal for community based education.  His programmatic efforts focus on financial and health insurance literacy.  After obtaining a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College, he pursued Masters Degrees in Business and Education from Frostburg State University.  He earned his Doctorate in Education from Touro University International.  After September 11, 2001, he proudly served in the United States Army Reserve in Operation Noble Eagle.  His honors include the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from Frostburg State University, the Mid-Level Professional Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and the VIP by 40 from the Maryland Daily Record.

Adam Lee brings his passion for enabling individuals and communities to achieve their goals to his work with Filene Research Institute as their Incubator Director. Adam leads Filene’s efforts to make a difference in the lives of financially vulnerable consumers by seeking out promising programs, testing them in the real world, and sharing results with the marketplace. Currently, Adam is working with credit unions to test innovative programs to close the financial service access gap in the Reaching Minority Households Incubator.

Adam started his professional career serving communities through his work with Americorps*National Civilian Community Corps and City Year. As a consultant with Deloitte, Adam honed his ability to build capacity within communities, non-profits, and government agencies and is excited to build on his work supporting credit unions as a former project manager with CUNA Mutual Group. Adam is excited to be part of the Filene team as a driving force to bring focus to Credit Unions’ ability to serve financially fragile populations.  Adam earned his Master of Public Affairs, with a focus on Community Development and Leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Lisa McCoy is the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, focusing on Healthy Living in western Maryland.  She joined the University of Maryland Extension in 2013 and became active with the Health Insurance Literacy Initiative in her first month.  In addition to Health Insurance Literacy programs, Lisa also provides research-based education in other areas of Healthy Living including nutrition and wellness, healthy homes, food safety and stress management.

Lisa earned her Master’s degree in Community Health Education and Bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition and Foods from Virginia Tech.  Her goal as an Extension Educator is to empower individuals to make choices in their daily lives that will have a positive impact on their health. 

Brent Neiser, CFP® is Senior Director of Strategic Programs and Alliances for the Denver-based National Endowment for Financial Education (, a private operating foundation that inspires empowered financial decision making for individuals and families through every stage of life. He developed over 100 financial education initiatives through unique collaborations with national nonprofit organizations such as the American Red Cross and the National Military Family Association. Brent directed NEFE's think tank on Retirement Income Planning and Management which resulted in the consumer website  He helped oversee the creation of CashCourse® a financial literacy program operating in over 1000 colleges and universities. He helped created for social services experts, financial planners, community volunteers, and HR professionals to build financial capacity in local communities.  Brent leads Strategic Intelligence for NEFE.  He also does public policy and innovation work for NEFE including working with executive agencies and occasionally testifying before Congress.  

Deborah Owens is a financial expert, author, media personality and nationally recognized public speaker. Deborah is a contributor to News One Now on TVONE where her weekly segment, Wealthy U provides actionable strategies to help people of all incomes build wealth and is viewed in 39 million households. Deborah is also the host of Wealthy Radio on NPR Affiliate WEAA 88.9 FM. She is the author of three books, A Purse of Your Own: An Easy Guide to Financial Security, published by Simon and Schuster, Nickel and Dime Your Way to Wealth and Confident Investing. Deborah is a 20-year financial services industry veteran and former vice president with Fidelity Investments. Ms. Owens is also CEO of Owens Media Group, which provides training and coaching to emerging leaders, entrepreneurs, and financial advisors. She holds a Masters of Business Administration from Loyola University of Maryland. Visit her website and

Maria Pippidis has worked for the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension since 1992. She provides research-based educational programming in the areas of Financial Management including Health Insurance literacy, Foods and Nutrition, Food Safety, Personal Development, and Adult Education and Evaluation. Her first love is teaching others about personal financial management. 

She earned her Master’s Degree in Family Resources Management and Consumer Economics from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and her Bachelor’s Degree in Consumer Economics from the University of Delaware. Prior to her work at University of Delaware, she was an Area Extension Specialist in Financial Management with Iowa State University Extension and a graduate research assistant for Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Her hobbies are reading, gardening, and cooking.

Charles W. Pruett is the Assistant Dean for Financial Aid at the Georgetown University Law Center and has been with the Financial Aid Office since 1997.  The ever-evolving state of the economy ensures that the needs of Georgetown Law’s student body are constantly changing.  He regularly works with students to increase their knowledge of financial planning and illuminate the nuances and pitfalls important to the lives of younger professionals.  For over fifteen years, Georgetown Law’s flagship financial program, “Life after Georgetown Law” has prepared thousands of graduating students to enter the “real world” as informed earners and consumers.  Mr. Pruett earned both his B.A. and J.D. from The George Washington University.

Jeff Richardson oversees all marketing and communications at VantageScore Solutions. He is responsible for oversight of all communications strategies, planning and execution including media relations, public relations and strategic partnerships, advertising, digital communications and branding.



Mia B. Russell serves as a vice president in Wells Fargo’s Government and Community Relations department.  She brings more than 20 years of financial education experience to Wells Fargo’s Hands on Banking®, a leading program that provides free financial education to children, teens, adults, seniors, military and entrepreneurs throughout the company’s national footprint. In her role, she is responsible for content strategy and integration.

Before joining Wells Fargo, Mia was an Extension Educator at University of Maryland Extension within Central Maryland, leading the financial education program and community outreach. In that role, she conducted research on financial trends and delivered programs on broad financial topics. Mia also served on the Health Insurance Literacy Initiative team and helped to develop curricula and programs focused on understanding, choosing and using health insurance.

 Mia has authored/coauthored over 20 publications and taught workshops for thousands of individuals. Her research includes online financial education, personal financial management tools, and youth financial education. She is a firm advocate of improved financial capability and positive behavior change in adults and youth, especially among diverse and traditionally underserved populations.

 Mia holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in finance from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md.

Irene Skricki, is the Senior Financial Education Program Analyst in the Office of Financial Education within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Education and Engagement division.  In this position, which she has held since August 2011, she focuses on promoting effective practices in the financial education field.  Previous to the CFPB, from 1996 to 2011, Irene was a Senior Associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where she managed the financial stability portfolio, with a focus on innovation, consumer protection, financial access, and wealth building for low-income families. She has also held positions at the Ford Foundation and the Coalition on Human Needs.  Irene has a Bachelor of Science degree from MIT and a Masters of Public Affairs degree from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School.

Jason Vitug is a writer, speaker, and social impact entrepreneur as founder Phroogal - a financial education startup, creator of award winning project - The Road to Financial Wellness, and author of the bestseller and The New York Times reviewed, You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life. He is best known as a financial motivator and lifestyle engineer helping thousands of people around the country achieve their life and financial goals. Jason has appeared on Yahoo News, Forbes, Inc and USA Today as a millennial expert and thought leader promoting experiential and purposeful living through sound financial decision making. Learn more and visit

Gloria Yates has been with Freddie Mac since 1992. Her tenure at Freddie Mac includes working in various business areas such as Quality Control and Expanding Markets. She also was deployed to one of Freddie’s larger Servicer sites where she managed a team of analysts that reviewed Loan Modification decisions under the President’s Making Home Affordable Program.

Currently Gloria serves as a Manager in Affordable Lending and Access to Credit working directly with Seller/Servicers, non-profits, local and state governments’ entities and other stakeholders providing outreach and education tools that promote responsible lending to sustain homeownership and stabilize communities. Her duties also include the management of Freddie Mac Borrower Help Centers/Borrower Help Network day to day operation created to leverage the expertise of non-profit housing counseling agencies that provide holistic counseling to Freddie Mac delinquent borrowers and to educate consumers on Freddie Mac products and services including Home Possible and CreditSmart Financial Literacy Curriculum.

Prior to joining Freddie Mac, Gloria was an Underwriting & Processing Manager for Trust Bank Federal. She also supervised a team that worked directly with the Resolution Trust Corporation to qualify, process, and underwrite borrowers for properties sold under their Affordable Auction program. 

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