University of Maryland Extension (UME) has a time-honored reputation for bringing together an impressive selection of presenters for each year's Personal Finance Seminar (PFS). These respected and reputable professionals provide insightful presentations in order to arm individuals with current updates and helpful resources that are sure to enhance their work with others! To see past conference speakers for the PFS, please click the corresponding year below, and find out why people come back year after year!

2023 Speakers

University of Maryland Extension’s

35th Personal Finance Seminar for Professionals


Becky Smith, PhD, FFC

Mississippi State University Extension

Finding Sustainable Balance: A More Whole and Human Take on Managing Time, Energy, and Money

Dr. Smith is an economist and financial coach for the Mississippi State University Extension with responsibilities in the areas of economic education, financial literacy, and community and economic development. She is the State Specialist in Family Resource Management and directs the MSU Extension Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy.

Luke Erickson, PhD, AFC

University of Idaho

Holistic Financial Wellness

Dr. Luke Erickson is the personal finance Extension Specialist for the University of Idaho. Dr. Erickson has a particular interest in youth financial education, happiness and money, housing, and financial technology.

Marsha A. Goetting, PhD, CFP, CFCS

Montana State University Extension

To quote Shakespeare: To have a trust or a will...Aye, that is the question

Dr. Marsha Goetting is a Professor and Extension Family Economics Specialist at Montana State University in Bozeman. She received the 2022 Western Region Distinguished Team Award, from Epsilon Phi. Dr. Goetting is a member of the Montana Alzheimer’s and related dementia’s Workgroup. She received her PhD from Iowa State University and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Kansas State University.

Jinnifer Ortquist, MS, CFLE, CHRS

Michigan State University Extension

Retirement Myths and Facts

Jinnifer Ortquist is a Senior Extension Educator with Michigan State University Extension and is approaching her 18th year within the organization. She is a member of the Financial and Homeownership Education Work Team and provides financial capability and homeownership education regionally and statewide. She has completed the NeighborWorks Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling Certifications. She is also a HUD Certified Housing Counselor, Certified Family Life Educator. Ortquist has a Bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and a Master’s Degree from Oklahoma State University.

Peter Dolkart

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

The Impact of Benefits Cliff on Family Wellbeing

Peter M. Dolkart serves as the Community Development regional manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond for Maryland and West Virginia. Prior to joining the Richmond Fed in 2015, Dolkart served as the director of Legislative Affairs for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. His previous experience also includes serving as the special assistant for legislation at the Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development and in a dual appointment as assistant state’s attorney and special assistant city solicitor. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Mia Russell, MBA, PhD, AFC

Adulting 101: Managing Your Financial Wellness Journey

Mia Baytop Russell, MBA, Ph.D., AFC ®  is a Senior Lecturer in the Johns Hopkins University Center of Leadership Education. She also serves as the Director of the Clark Scholars Program. She has over twenty-five years of experience in the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Mia was the Program Lead and Vice President for Financial Education and Youth Financial Health Philanthropy at the Wells Fargo Foundation. She was also an Extension Educator, in Central Maryland, with University of Maryland Extension focused on financial wellness.



2022 Speakers

University of Maryland Extension’s

34th Personal Finance Seminar for Professionals


Amanda Christensen, AFC®

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Amanda H. Christensen, AFC is a USU Extension Associate Professor specializing in personal and family finance. She oversees the state-wide Empowering Financial Wellness grant program and is editor of the Utah Money Moms website ( and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram) where she and a team of contributors share real-life money smarts for women. Amanda regularly contributes personal finance content for local T.V. and radio segments and was the recipient of the 2020 Innovator Award from USU Extension. Her favorite things include Yellowstone National Park, Julia Child, and ice-cold Diet Coke with lime. Connect with her on Twitter, FB, and IG @utahmoneymoms.

 Ryan Law, CFP®, AFC®

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Ryan is the Director of the Utah Valley University (UVU) Money Management Resource Center. He is an award-winning educator who teaches the Financial Counseling courses as part of the Personal Financial Planning program at UVU. Ryan is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP®) and an Accredited Financial Counselors (AFC®). Ryan is the author of the book “Student Loan Planning” and co-editor of the book “Financial Counseling.” Ryan lives in Spanish Fork, Utah with his wife and children.

Bette Ann Mobley, M.S.Ed.

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Bette Ann Mobley has worked with state and national organizations in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities for more than 41 years. She has served in many leadership roles supporting people with disabilities through advocacy, developing and implementing quality systems, and providing consultation to organizations that provide supports and services. She previously held the positions with both state and national organizations where she was able to establish relationships with key stakeholders and leaders throughout the field of disabilities. As Director of the Maryland ABLE program she is excited to be a part of the development and implementation of ABLE in Maryland and nationwide.

 Jing Jian Xiao, Ph.D.

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Dr. Jing Jian Xiao is Professor III in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, College of Health Sciences, University of Rhode Island. He also serves as the editor of the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning. His research interests include how to help consumers increase financial literacy, perform desirable financial behaviors, and enhance financial capability for improving financial and overall wellbeing. He has published numerous research papers in professional journals in consumer finance and related fields. He published books such as The Mathematics of Personal Finance, Consumer Economic Wellbeing, and Handbook of Consumer Finance Research. He is also editing a book series entitled International Series on Consumer Science. He also serves as associate editor and editorial board members for several journals in consumer finance and related fields. He served as the president of American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI), president of Asian Consumer and Family Economics Association (ACFEA), among others. He received his Ph.D. in consumer economics from the Oregon State University, and MS and BS in economics at the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan, China. He was the inaugural chair holder of TCA Professorship and director of TCA Institute of Consumer Financial Education Research at the University of Arizona in 2005-07 and the editor of Journal of Family and Economic Issues in 2001-11. More information about him can be found from his university website: 

 Michael Thomas, Ph.D.

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Michael G. Thomas Jr., Ph.D., is an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) and a lecturer at the University of Georgia. His research focuses on financial empathy and self-compassion, data visualization's effects on financial behavior, and the connection between brain function and money. Dr. Thomas's philosophy on how to effectively interact with money can be summed up in his Ted Talk: Financial Empathy: Understanding the Story Beneath the Numbers. Utilizing financial empathy as a process for active listening and the creation of client-focused financial recommendations are reflected in two financial literacy and capability programs he helped co-create: Money Dawgs and Discovering Money Solutions. Dr. Thomas’ life-long goal is to help underserved communities establish, grow, and sustain their wealth utilizing an intra and inter-family wealth creation process.

Andrew Dunn, Financial Health Network

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As a Manager on the Research and Policy Team, Andrew Dunn applies a data-centric lens to all aspects of his work. He takes pleasure in finding new ways to efficiently collect and analyze data. At the Financial Health Network, Andrew designs research initiatives, analyzes data, and reports findings for the Financial Health Network’s own research efforts; aids research partners in creating and monitoring impact evaluation efforts; and assists consulting clients in measuring financial health accurately. Before joining the Financial Health Network, Andrew worked at nonprofit organizations in the education and social service fields. He attended Cornell University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Development Sociology. In his free time, he loves watching rugby and trying new foods in New York City.

Bonnie Braun, PhD

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Bonnie Braun, PhD, is Professor Emerita, University of Maryland School of Public Health, Department of Family Science. She worked in multiple states and at the USDA in Cooperative Extension. Early in her career she served as a Family Resource Management Specialist. She co-lead the University of Maryland Extension Health Insurance Literacy Initiative. Her research and teaching have focused on well-being and resilience of rural populations. Most recently, she has focused on health of the farming population as a researcher, teacher and author of health, health insurance, stress, risk and resilience publications. She co-wrote Farm and Farm Family Risk and Resilience: A Guide for Extension Programming with Maria Pippidis, University of Delaware Cooperative Extension.

Maria Pippidis, AFC®, FFC®

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Maria Pippidis has worked for the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension since 1992 as an Extension Agent. She provides research-based educational programming in the areas of Financial Management including Health Insurance literacy, Personal Development, and Adult Education and Evaluation. More recently she has worked on initiatives that have focused on Farm and Farm Family Resilience, Farm Stress and Financial Resilience. Her first love is teaching others about personal financial management. She is an Accredited Financial Counselor® and Financial Fitness Coach®. 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, crafting, and cooking.

Melanie Jewkes

Melanie D. Jewkes is an Extension Associate Professor with Utah State University, based in Salt Lake County. She earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Family Finance. She has worked 14 years in Family and Consumer Sciences community educational programs with oversight in nutrition, food preservation, and family finance programs. She oversees the USU Extension HUD and USDA Rural Housing approved online homebuyer education course. She has presented at many national conferences and successfully received more than $5.5 million in grant funding. She enjoys hiking with her husband and four kiddos and plans to hike in all the national parks.


2021 Speakers

Axton Betz-Hamilton, PhD, AFC® is an Assistant Professor of Consumer Affairs at South Dakota State University. Her research focuses on financial abuse within families, specifically familial identity theft and elder financial abuse perpetrated by family members. A victim of familial identity theft herself, her personal story is chronicled in the Edgar Award-winning memoir, The Less People Know About Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets, and Stolen Identity.


Melinda Croes is the Training Institute manager at Credit Builders Alliance. Prior to joining CBA, Melinda worked at the University of Chicago's Financial Education Initiative writing a financial education textbook for high school students. Additionally, she spent over 15 years developing and managing financial wellness and matched savings programs for low-income audiences at Heartland Human Care Services in Chicago. Melinda is a Licensed Social Worker and holds a Master's in Social Work from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois. She received her Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology from Trinity Western University in British Columbia, Canada.


Jen Hemphill, a military spouse & proud bilingual Latina, helps the busy career-oriented woman become the reina (queen) of her money and love her dinero more.  She is a Latina Money Expert, an AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor), author, speaker and hosts the Her Dinero Matters podcast. Her Dinero Matters is an award-winning podcast focused on the advancement of U.S. Latinas to minimize the gender wage gap while creating a healthy, confident conversation around money. She has been featured in publications such as Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, Oprah Magazine, Good Company Magazine and Grow (Acorns + CNBC) and Yahoo Finance. 


Eric Jorgensen has been helping families with intellectual and developmental disabilities since his retirement from the Navy in 2012. He was widowed the same year he retired; at the time, his 12 y/o autistic son was completely dependent on his wife for everything. It was his frustration with the difficulty of figuring out what to do and navigating services for his son which led him to found Special Needs Navigator. 

Eric created the category of Special Needs Planning to help families, individuals and caregivers connect the dots when working with attorneys, financial advisors, and other professionals. His specialty is helping them identify what they don’t know and provide clarity. He works with his clients around the country to develop individualized solutions best suited to their circumstances. 

In addition to working with clients one on one; Special Needs Navigator has a blog, YouTube channel and podcast. Eric uses the blog to do a deep dive every week into subjects like ABLE accounts, Special Needs Trusts and other topics families frequently have questions about. The podcast and YouTube channel focus on benefits, resources and services families may not know, or want to learn more, about.

Eric and his son, William, currently reside in Frederick, MD.


Brianna Middlewood, PhD, As a social psychologist, Dr. Middlewood studies the influence of social context on thought, decision-making, and behavior. As a decision scientist in the CFPB Office of Research Decision-making and Behavioral Studies Team, she studies issues around information processing of financial disclosures and decision making related to household finance issues. She also works with lawyers, economists, policy makers, and other stakeholders to support policy generation, policy evaluation, and financial education efforts.


Bruce Ross, Ph.D. serves as an Assistant Professor in the Family Sciences Department at the University of Kentucky teaching in the new undergraduate program, Consumer Economics and Family Financial Counseling, as well as at the graduate level in Family Sciences. Dr. Ross completed his undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University earning a double major in Psychology with Research and Philosophy. He continued his education path at the University of Maryland where he earned a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. He went on to the University of Georgia to earn a PhD in Human Development and Family Science with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy and a specialization in financial counseling and financial therapy practices. Dr. Ross also served as the 2020 President of the Financial Therapy Association and is an Accredited Financial Counselor. Dr. Ross' professional and research interests primarily focus on personal and family financial well-being. He uses the systemic practice of financial therapy to better serve families from a holistic perspective.


Tisa Silver Canady, EdD, MBA, is a financial wellness advocate for today’s scholar. Specializing in student loan debt, she helps new borrowers think strategically about financing higher education while advising existing borrowers on their strategy to tackle, manage, and eventually eradicate their student loan debt. As an author and collegiate financial wellness expert, she has personally advised students and families on the repayment of more than $50 million in student loans. Passionate about how the student loan crisis has perpetuated a wealth gap in the African-American community, in 2020 Tisa launched Melanin, Money, & Matriculation, a book series and consumer education initiative. The book series includes Borrowing While Black and the forthcoming titles Black Women Beyond the Bachelor's and When Borrowing Becomes a Family Affair, and focuses on helping African-American borrowers make strategic decisions about student loans. Tisa is on a mission to increase financial education around student loan borrowing. A double graduate of the University of Delaware, she earned a doctorate in higher education administration/community college leadership from Morgan State University. Tisa is the founder and managing director of Silver Canady & Associates, LLC, an educational research and consulting firm located on the campus of Bowie State University. 

2020 Speakers

Angela M. Antonelli is a Research Professor and the Executive Director of the Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI) at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.  She also is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

As the Executive Director of the CRI, Angela works closely with policymakers, states and stakeholders to strengthen retirement security by expanding the availability and improving the effectiveness of retirement savings, investment and income solutions for private sector workers.

Angela is relied upon for her insights and opinions on issues related to retirement security and savings, including options for plan design and related legal and regulatory considerations, appearing in the Wall Street JournalNew York TimesPensions & Investments and many other major news outlets.  She serves as an expert advisor to the World Economic Forum Retirement Investment Reform Project, is an invited regular contributor to and MarketWatch, and has served as a member or advisor to several state retirement task forces.

Prior to assuming her position at Georgetown, Angela served in senior positions in the government, consulting and nonprofit sectors, including as the Assistant Secretary & CFO for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, with responsibilities for a $30 billion budget and implementing a range of economic policies and programs.  She has a B.A., summa cum laude, from Cornell University and an MPA with honors from Princeton University.


Marcy Einhorn, Esq provides conflict resolution services to elders and their adult family members and support team members. Marcy helps the parties find common ground in order to begin to move beyond their hardened positions, from conflict to resolution. 


Dr. Luke Erickson has worked for University of Idaho Extension teaching personal finance programs for 13 years. His main areas of interest include credit scores, children and money, scam prevention, financial goal setting, and preparing for financial emergencies. Luke also has interests in instructional design and innovative instructional strategies such as educational games. 


Christine D. Moriarty is a financial speaker, author and coach. She has been quoted extensively in publications including USA Today, Good Housekeeping, the Boston Globe and Fidelity Focus Magazine, as well as several books including Living Your Joy.  She has a monthly financial column in Vermont Woman and has been published in several periodicals and on-line publications. In addition, she writes a monthly newsletter, “My Peace on Money,” that reaches a growing list of over one thousand subscribers. In 2010, Ms. Moriarty co-authored Practical Freelancing: The Manual with Tim Brooks. She has taught at the college level for over twenty years. She earned a BS in Finance, MBA in Entrepreneurship and a Certification in Financial Planning.  She is dedicated to empowering others around their money so they can achieve their dreams.  She is living her dreams by residing in the Green Mountains and helping others make peaceful, practical, prosperous financial choices.


Dr. Héctor L. Ortiz is Senior Policy Analyst at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office for Older Americans where he leads research projects on financial well-being, retirement security, housing, and elder financial exploitation. At the CFPB, Dr. Ortiz has co-led the development of several high impact educational tools and resources including the Financial Well-being Scale, and the award-winning Money Smart for Older Adults in Spanish, and the Bureau’s Planning for Retirement online tool. Prior to joining the CFPB, Dr. Ortiz worked at the Center for Benefits Access of the National Council on Aging, where he managed research and program evaluation on public benefits outreach and enrollment initiatives for low-income older adults. Dr. Ortiz is a graduate of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University. 


Diana Varela began her career with the Social Security Administration as a Bilingual Service Representative in New Orleans, Louisiana in May 1995.  

She was promoted as a Title II Claims Representative on August 1999 and transferred to the Wheaton, MD Social Security field office in May 2000. She was appointed as a Bilingual Public Affairs Specialist in January 2003.  


Nicole Wipp is the founder and lead attorney of the Family & Aging Law Center PLLC, a highly successful boutique elder law firm. She has offices, and is licensed to practice law in, Michigan & Hawaii. Nicole has helped hundreds of clients protect their hard-earned assets through using the power of the law to their benefit.  To that end, Nicole is a sought after expert on numerous topics related to estate planning & elder law.  She has authored a number one bestselling book, “Dear Mom & Dad, Help Me Help You: An Elder Law Attorney's Guide to Smart Strategies & Difficult Conversations About Health and Money”, was a expert commentator in the book “Women With Money” by Today Show Financial Expert Jean Chatzky, and has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and podcasts on these topics.

2019 Speakers

Josh Harris joined the Clemson faculty in January 2016. He comes to Clemson from working in Financial Services and Planning with PNC Bank. Currently Josh is a Certified Financial Planner (TM) in good standing and founder of JW Financial Guidance, LLC. He is a member of the National and South Carolina chapters of the Financial Planning Association, National Association of Personal Financial Advisor, Financial Therapy Association & Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education. In addition to his professional associations, Josh sits on the United Way of Pickens County Financial Capability Committee, sits on the Board of Directors for the SC Financial Planners Association, serves as their NexGen Director, sits on the Board of Directors of the Financial Therapy Association in various executive functions.


Billy J. Hensley, Ph.D was appointed president and chief executive officer of the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) in 2018. From 2010-2018, Hensley served as NEFE’s senior director of education. Before his time at NEFE, Hensley served as assistant director for the Ohio College Access Network, and program associate at KnowledgeWorks Foundation in Cincinnati; assistant director of admissions at Hiram College (OH); and as campaign coordinator at Union College (KY). Hensley currently serves on the board of the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, where he chairs the education committee. He also is on the editorial board of the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning. 

Hensley received a doctorate in educational studies from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Union College.

His research has been presented at state, national and international conferences and also has been published in numerous academic research journals. 


Jodi Kaus, JD is the director of Kansas State University's student financial planning center named Powercat Financial. Powercat Financial began in August 2009 as the first peer-to-peer college financial education program in the state of Kansas. Jodi oversees approximately 40 students trained to provide individual financial counseling, financial presentations and interactive events centered on increasing the financial capability of all Kansas State students. Jodi has over 20 years of experience in wealth management and financial planning, complimented by her legal experience and designation as a Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA). Jodi Kaus received her B.A. from Kansas State University, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas School of Law. You may learn more about Powercat Financial at or by contacting


Alex Mooradian is a private equity investor turned entrepreneur. He is the Founder and CEO of Resolve, a technology-enabled financial management platform for people in financial distress. Prior to Resolve, Alex was an EIR at Expa and the Founder or Readyforce. Alex was also a Principal at Eos Partners, a growth equity investment fund in New York, and an Associate at First Atlantic Capital and Fremont Partners.  Alex began his career as an Analyst in the Mergers and Acquisition Group at Merrill Lynch.  He is a graduate of Columbia Business School and Georgetown University.


Maria Sennett As Manager of Training and Program Development at Credit Builders Alliance (CBA), Maria Sennett supports the development and delivery of credit building education training and programs to members, strategic partners and other stakeholders. Prior to joining CBA in early 2017, Maria worked most recently as Justine PETERSEN’s (JP) Credit Building Manager, leading JP’s national credit building partnerships and training efforts, including work with LISC’s network of Financial Opportunity Centers. Maria’s five years of practitioner experience, working with low-to-moderate income individuals to build credit, grow small businesses, and purchase homes sparked her passion for starting a career in the asset-building field. Maria holds a BS in Social Work with additional majors in Spanish and International Studies from Saint Louis University.


Jerry St. Vil is a Director within FICO Scores business. He is responsible for managing the relationship between FICO and some of its largest Scores clients in the US and Canada and growing revenues in each of those markets. Prior to joining FICO, Jerry was at Citi for 16 years where he was a Sr. Director within Citi's Global Consumer Bank in various credit risk and analytic roles and a Principal at Opera Solutions, a big data analytics company. Jerry has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Manhattan College and a MBA in Finance from the University of Michigan. Jerry resides in the suburbs of New York City with his wife and two kids and enjoys playing soccer on weekends.


Jack Tharp, Ph.D joined AFCPE after concluding a career in higher education. He retired from Indiana University in 2014 having held senior administrative positions for 34 years. In 2012 he accepted a special 2-year appointment, reporting to the Treasurer/VPCFO tasked with setting up IU’s first-ever Office of Financial Literacy. During this 2-year assignment, undergraduate student borrowing decreased $31mil (-11%). Today, IU is recognized as a national leader in reducing student debt. Mr. Tharp has a doctorate in higher education, has published and presented at numerous national conferences. Indiana University honored him with the E. Ross Bartley Award and IU’s Kokomo campus awarded him the Chancellor's Medallion. He is married (46 yrs.), has 2 adult children and 2 grandchildren. [Jack notes that early in his career he was grateful for resources available from Barbara Jacoby at the University of Maryland, College Park.]

2018 Speakers

Marguerita Cheng is the Chief Executive Officer at Blue Ocean Global Wealth. Prior to co-founding Blue Ocean Global Wealth, she was a Financial Advisor at Ameriprise Financial and an Analyst and Editor at Towa Securities in Tokyo, Japan. Marguerita is a past spokesperson for the AARP Financial Freedom Campaign and a regular columnist for Investopedia & Kiplinger. She is a CFP® professional, a Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM, a Retirement Income Certified Professional® and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. As a Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) Ambassador, Marguerita helps educate the public, policy makers, and media about the benefits of competent, ethical financial planning. She serves as a Women’s Initiative (WIN) Advocate and subject matter expert for CFP Board, contributing to the development of examination questions for the CFP® Certification Examination. Marguerita also volunteers for CFP Board Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (DEC) hearings.  She served on the Financial Planning Association (FPA) National Board of Directors from 2013 –2015 and is a past president of the Financial Planning Association of the National Capital Area (FPA NCA). 

Rita is a recipient of the Ameriprise Financial Presidential Award for Quality of Advice and the prestigious Japanese Monbukagakusho Scholarship. In 2017, she was named the #3 Most Influential Financial Advisor in the Investopedia Top 100, a Woman to Watch by InvestmentNews and a Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise (MBE®) by the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CRMSDC).


Rod Griffin is Director of Public Education for Experian. He leads Experian’s national consumer education programs and supports the company’s community involvement and corporate responsibility efforts. He is recognized as an expert on credit reporting and credit scoring issues and is frequently quoted in national print, broadcast, television and online media outlets.

Rod oversees the company’s financial literacy grant program, which awards on average more than $500,000 annually to non-profit programs that help people achieve financial success. Rod also works with consumer advocates, financial educators and others to help consumers increase their ability to understand and manage personal finances and protect themselves from fraud and identity theft. 

For more than two decades he and his team have published Ask Experian, the credit reporting industry’s first online consumer credit advice column. You can join Rod in live conversations about personal finance on Twitter and Periscope every week, just look for #CreditChat.


David Halperin engages in public advocacy and advises organizations on strategy, policy, politics, communications, and legal matters. He is of counsel to Public.Resource.Org. He was previously: founding director of Campus Progress and senior vice president at the Center for American Progress; senior policy advisor for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign; founding executive director of the American Constitution Society; White House speechwriter and special assistant for national security affairs to President Clinton; co-founder of the Internet company Progressive Networks (now called RealNetworks); and counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Nation, Politico, Slate, Foreign Policy, and other outlets.


Sarah Newcomb, Ph. D. is a behavioral economist at Morningstar where she works to integrate findings from behavioral science into tools for individuals and financial advisors. Ms. Newcomb's research is devoted to finding simple, changeable factors in human psychology that affect financial decisions, and using these insights to develop innovative content and products that improve every day money management. Her work involving the human side of money has earned mentions in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger, Bloomberg, and Time. She is a regular contributor to, and the author of LOADED: Money, psychology, and how to get ahead without leaving your values behind.


Timothy Ogden is Managing Director of the Financial Access Initiative, a research center housed at NYU-Wagner focused on how financial services can better meet the needs and improve the lives of low-income households. He is also managing director of the US Financial Diaries project, a joint initiative between NYU and CFSI which tracked the financial lives of 235 US household for a full year; and a senior fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program. Tim writes and speaks frequently on topics of financial inclusion and financial services innovation both in the US and globally. He has developed and edited more than 20 books, and is currently working on Financial Inclusion: What Everyone Needs to Know


Lillian Singh is Director of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at Prosperity Now, leading her team as they partner with executive leadership at nonprofit organizations in over a dozen metropolitan cities. Her work focuses on finding solutions to the problem of growing economic inequality including income gaps, gentrification, unemployment, underemployment and affordable housing. In addition, Mrs. Singh provides financial planning, coaching and wealth management guidance to individual families as a licensed securities and investment representative and uses these lessons and practices to inform the project development and implementation work at Prosperity Now. Mrs. Singh began her career as a researcher for Child Trends, a leading nonprofit research firm in the District of Columbia focused on improving the well-being of children, youth and families. She then transitioned to a career in social economic justice at the NAACP, where she served as the Senior Research Associate for Programs and then was promoted to Director of Strategic Partnerships of the Economic Department. During her six and a half years working at the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, Mrs. Singh directed alliances with external allies across the corporate, private, government and nonprofit sectors, where she oversaw economic education initiatives focused on grassroots organizing and grasstops engagement, connecting NAACP state and local affiliates with corporate, private and national nonprofit partners. Mrs. Singh holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Planning and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology, both from Stanford University.

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.

2016 Speakers

Gerri Detweiler has more than twenty years of experience guiding individuals through the confusing world of credit, and had earned a reputation as a reliable and independent resource on personal and small business credit. She currently serves as head of market education for Nav, which provides business owners with simple tools to build strong business credit. Her articles have been widely syndicated, and she writes a column for She is also the coauthor of Finance Your Own Business: Get on the Financing Fast Track.


Brian Gilmore is a Senior Innovation Manager at Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund, a Boston based nonprofit that strengthens the financial opportunity and security of financially vulnerable consumers. At D2D, Brian manages a team dedicated to expanding the reach of successful pilots and identifying pathways to drive innovations to scale. Brian and his team lead D2D’s national policy efforts through the passage of state and federal legislation to remove barriers and create opportunities. Brian and his team consult to and partner with government, financial, private and nonprofit organization to launch products and ensure D2D’s innovations are impacting millions of consumers. Brian has spent ten years at innovative nonprofits tackling a variety of social issues including youth education, environmental restoration, access to public benefits, and consumer financial challenges. He has Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Drexel University.


Sarah Newcomb is a behavioral economist at Morningstar, Inc. where she works to integrate behavioral science into financial management applications. Ms. Newcomb holds a Ph.D. in Behavioral Economics, a Master's degree in Financial Economics, and a Master's Certification in Personal Financial Planning. Through speaking, writing, and product development, she aims to translate the findings from scholarly research into practical and useful tools for everyone. She lives with her daughter in Washington, DC.


Tom Manganello is a senior counsel in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA).  In that role, Tom researches and drafts investor alerts and bulletins for OIEA’s Office of Chief Counsel and helps manage investor education content on the SEC’s website for retail investors,  Tom also assists with outreach to retail investors, including presentations on investor education and financial capability to millennials, active-duty military, seniors, students, and other audiences, and he regularly contributes to OIEA’s social media outreach on Twitter and Facebook.  Prior to joining OIEA, Tom spent ten years in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, where he investigated violations of the federal securities laws, including insider trading, Ponzi and pyramid schemes, accounting and broker fraud, and unregistered offerings.  Tom is a 4-time winner of the Division of Enforcement’s “Director’s Award.”  He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and earned a BS in journalism from Ohio University.


Louisa M. Quittman is the Director of the Office of Financial Education of the US Department of the Treasury, in the Office of Consumer Policy.  She is responsible for policy development and coordination related to promoting the financial decision making of Americans.  She coordinates the interagency Financial Literacy and Education Commission and the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.  She also oversees research related to financial education, financial access, consumer lending and related topics.  Previously, Ms. Quittman served as the Director of Community Programs for the Department of the Treasury; in this role she focused on financial access in traditionally underserved communities.  Ms. Quittman was Program Manager at the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, and served a total of nearly nine years in various positions at the CDFI Fund.  


Jason Young has spent the last decade working at the intersection of technology, education and economic empowerment. Jason is the Co-founder and CEO of MindBlown Labs, an ed-tech startup that creates highly-engaging mobile games to empower teens and young adults with financial capability skills. Jason is a leading innovator having received national recognition for his work on several occasions. Recently, he was appointed by the President to a special Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans. Jason is also Co-Founder of The Hidden Genius Project, a non-profit that trains underserved youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship and leadership. Prior to founding these organizations, he was part of the founding team of He also worked at Merrill Lynch as a senior specialist. Jason graduated  from Harvard University with an A.B. in Economics. 

2015 Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Annamaria Lusardi is the Denit Trust Distinguished Scholar and Chair Professor of Economics and Accountancy at the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB). Previously, she was the Joel Z. and Susan Hyatt Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College, where she taught for twenty years. She has also taught at Princeton University, the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Columbia Business School. From January to June 2008, she was a visiting scholar at Harvard Business School. Moreover, she is the Academic Director of the GWSB Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC), and the Director of the Financial Literacy Center (FLC), a joint Center with Dartmouth College, the Rand Corporation, and the Wharton School. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University and a BA in Economics from Bocconi University.

Dr. Lusardi has won numerous research awards. Among them is a research fellowship from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, a faculty fellowship from the John M. Olin Foundation, a junior and senior faculty fellowship from Dartmouth College. She was also awarded the William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award from the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, and the National Numeracy Network’s inaugural 2012 Steen Award. Moreover, she is the recipient of the Fidelity Pyramid Prize, an award to authors of published applied research that best helps address the goal of improving lifelong financial well-being for Americans.

She has written more than fifty academic articles and edited two books: Overcoming the Saving Slump: How to Increase the Effectiveness of Financial Education and Saving Programs published by the University of Chicago Press in 2008, and Financial Literacy: Implications for Retirement Security and the Financial Marketplace, joint with Olivia Mitchell, published by Oxford University Press in 2011. She has advised the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, the Dutch Central Bank, the OECD, the NYSE Foundation, and the World Bank on issues related to financial literacy and financial education. In 2009, she served as a faculty advisor for the Office of Financial Education of the U.S. Treasury. In 2010, she was recently recognized by the New York Times as one of the six most influential economists in the area of financial reform.


Keynote Speaker: Deborah Owens is a thought leader and advocate for remedying the wealth disparities of women and minorities. She is the author of three books including the critically acclaimed, A Purse of Your Own: An Easy Guide to Financial Security, published by Simon and Schuster. Owens is a 20-year financial services indust
ry veteran and former vice president and financial consultant with Fidelity Investments. She is a contributor to CNN, News One Now, Shape, Cents Magazine, Essence Magazine, Ebony, Black Enterprise and other local and national media outlets.Deborah is CEO of Owens Media Group LLC, which develops customized sales, financial acumen and leadership training for individuals and organizations.

She is an Adjunct Professor and Lead Course Designer of Organizational Budgeting and Personal Finance for Bay Path College, an Ambassador for the College Savings Plans of Maryland and Alumni of the Greater Baltimore Leadership Committee. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Loyola University of Maryland.


Patty Avery is a financial empowerment program specialist at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She has experience with community outreach and development, fundraising, crisis communications among other skills. Her previous positions include: community outreach officer at Old National Bank as well as a community outreach officer. Patty has her B.S degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern Indiana.


Daniel Boylan is a Ball State University Educator focusing on Personal Finance.  In this role he has taught over 7,000 students personal finance techniques.   He is also an educator for Money Management International, Inc. where he speaks to local group, the military, and churches about personal finance.  He is an advisor for many Personal Finance efforts.  Dan Boylan led Ball State to becoming the “Best in the Nation” as a university for students committing to save.  He had several articles published in newspapers nationwide.  He has been featured at NPR,, MarketWatch, AARP, Consumer Federation of America as well as many local media outlets.


Pamela Chan is the Associate Director on CFED’s Applied Research Team. Her research seeks to elevate perspectives of people from economically vulnerable communities on financial issues, products and services to inform the design and development of innovative strategies. She also works with organizations to draw lessons from market research, consumer insights and behavioral economics to create, manage and enhance their financial- and asset-building capabilities. Ms. Chan holds an M.P.A. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Northwestern University, and a B.B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin. She has worked for the Nielsen Company, New America Foundation, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago and International Justice Mission.


Rod Griffin is Director of Public Education for Experian. He is responsible for Experian’s national consumer education programs and supports the company’s community involvement and corporate responsibility efforts.He speaks regularly at regional and national financial literacy events and supports various national consumer education initiatives including the LifeSmarts Consumer Knowledge Competition and the Jumpstart Coalition for Financial Literacy.In addition, he produces a variety of consumer education materials and for more than a decade has written Ask Experian, an online consumer credit advice column.He serves as an expert spokesperson and is frequently quoted in national print, television and online media outlets.Rod holds a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas and has a Fair Credit Reporting Act certification from the Consumer Data Industry Association.


Emily Hoagland is a Research Manager on CFED’s Applied Research team where she conducts research on financial well-being and socialization and provides technical assistance on program evaluation and innovation research and design. In the past, Emily has worked in administrative and planning positions for the Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences and the Aspen Institute in New York City. As a graduate student she ran a social psychological research laboratory and served as a Teaching Assistant for numerous Sociology courses and as a Research Associate on multiple NSF grant-funded projects. Most recently, she served as a teaching associate for the Cornell in Washington program, mentoring 18 undergraduate students through semester-long, in-depth research projects. Ms. Hoagland has a B. A. in Science, Technology and Society from Vassar College and is in the process of completing a Ph.D. in Sociology at Cornell University, where her main areas of focus are inequality, gender, and experimental and survey methods.


Peter A. Holland is recognized as a national authority on consumer protection law, with a special emphasis on debt buyer lawsuits. He teaches consumer law at the University of Maryland law school, and is a frequent lecturer at state and national consumer protection conferences. He is regularly sought out by other lawyers for mentoring, advice and counsel, and he has been co-counsel in class action lawsuits resulting in the dismissal of thousands of lawsuits filed by debt buyers and by automobile finance companies.

Peter received his B.A. in Philosophy from Bard College, his M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College of Annapolis, and his J.D. from University of Maryland School of Law, where he received the Public Service Award. He has been in private practice in Annapolis since 1993, starting in a general civil litigation firm, and then opening his own practice in 1997.


Donna Miller will have 27 years in higher ed this July. For the past 6+ years she presents financial literacy solutions as Director of Business Development at iGrad.  The other 20+ were in educational lending beginning at SallieMae (PA) in 1989 followed by CoreStates and Sovereign Banks, Collegiate Funding Services and immediately prior to iGrad, as Account Manager at Education Finance Partners for over three years.  Donna has a BS in Marketing from King’s College & an MBA in Finance from Wilkes University.  She resides in Southampton, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children- one a junior in college and the other a senior in high school.


Steve Rhode is a consumer debt expert who has been helping people with problem debt since 1994. First as the founder of a non-profit credit counseling organization. He moved to the UK and began assisting people in the UK, and Netherlands with debt problems. He has since returned to the U.S. where he now provides free help and advice to readers of his site,


Stuart Ritter is a vice president of T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc. He is a senior financial planner in T. Rowe Price’s Financial Planning Services Group—designing, building, and implementing guidance and advice services to assist customers in achieving their financial goals. He is a frequent contributor to T. Rowe Price publications; has appeared on television and radio programs for networks like ABC News, Fox Business, and National Public Radio; and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, Money magazine, and national news organizations.

Stuart received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland College Park and his M.A. in political science from the American University. He is a Series 6, 66, and 7 registered representative and holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. He taught personal finance at Johns Hopkins University for several years, and has also been an instructor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.  He is a member of the Maryland State Department of Education’s Financial Literacy Education Advisory Council.


Jean C. Setzfand is the Vice President of Financial Security at AARP.  She leads AARP’s educational and outreach efforts aimed at helping Americans have financial ‘peace of mind’ in retirement.  Her work focuses on providing consumer-friendly information on money matters, workforce issues, retirement decisions and protecting 50+ consumers from investment fraud.  AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that assists people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.  The association has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Linda Sherry is a nationally recognized consumer advocate and expert on consumer and privacy rights. As director of national priorities for Consumer Action, she is responsible for the organization’s national advocacy work and for Consumer Action’s free, multilingual educational publications and website content. Sherry, who joined Consumer Action in 1994 from a background as a weekly newspaper reporter, established Consumer Action’s DC office in 2004.Sherry, Consumer Action’s chief spokesperson, regularly responds to inquiries about consumer protection issues by the national and local media, Congress and federal regulators. 

Before joining Consumer Action, Sherry was managing editor of AsianWeek in San Francisco from 1991-1994. Previously she was a reporter at The Almanac newspapers in Menlo Park, California; The New York Times Long Island Section, and The East Hampton Star in East Hampton, NY. She was a founding editor of the Sag Harbor Herald, a weekly newspaper in Long Island, NY.


Syble Solomon is a financial behaviorist who is interested in how people make financial choices. She develops pragmatic tools that make financial learning fun, provide insights and are informative.  She is the creator of Money Habitudes®, co-creator of Money Habitudes Online® and the author of Bringing Money into the Conversation: a quick start for therapists and Inspired Savings: taking control of your money and your life one day at a time.  As a trainer and speaker on the psychology of money, Syble is a popular presenter at national and international conferences as well as to the NFL, the Air Force, universities, professional associations and non-profits. She has been quoted in over 100 publications including the New York Time, Wall Street Journal, MSN Money and USA Today and was a columnist for Michelle Singletary, Washington Post financial columnist, featured Money Habitudes as her book club selection of the month. The Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education honored Syble as the Educator of the Year and the North Carolina Jump$tart Coalition named her the NC Outstanding Contributor to the Financial Education of Youth.  Money Habitudes® has received the Impact Award from Smart Marriages and the teen program won the EIFLE award from the Institute of Financial Literacy.

2014 Speakers

Dr. Lois A. Vitt is Chair and Founding Director of the Institute for Socio-Financial Studies (ISFS) in Charlottesville, Virginia. Dr. Vitt conducts research on consumer decision making, financial literacy education, consumer health finances, the finances of retirement and aging, and financial instruments and organizations. She has an executive background in business and finance, and she is a consultant to financial services companies and community organizations. She is Editor-in-Chief of the two-volume Encyclopedia of Retirement and Finance, and the author of articles and books about the social psychology of consumer financial decision making. Dr. Vitt pioneered the development of real estate financing vehicles for the capital markets, and her research on the beneficial social and personal effects of homeownership has been presented to audiences around the world.


Lynn Quincy works on a wide variety of health policy issues, focusing primarily on the areas of consumer protection and health insurance reform at the federal and state levels. Ms. Quincy serves as a consumer representative with National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). She recently completed a grant-funded project that conducted consumer testing of the new health insurance disclosure forms being developed by the NAIC.  Prior to joining Consumers Union, Ms. Quincy was a senior researcher with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., where she performed policy analysis, provided technical assistance, and modeled outcomes in support of state coverage expansion strategies.


Dr. Bonnie Braun is a Professor for the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland and a Family Policy Specialist for University of Maryland Extension.  Dr. Braun also served as the first Herschel S. Horowitz Center of Health Literacy Endowed Chair and Director. She is author of over 100 articles and seven family and consumer science teaching curricula. She is Co-Director, Maryland Family Policy Impact


Sharon Kedar is a business executive, mother, and advocate for practical feminism. She is a Managing Director at a leading investment management firm. She is also co-author of On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal Finance (now in second edition), and Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey. She has an MBA from Harvard Business School, and her advocacy work has been featured nationally including Business Week, U.S. News & World Report, NBC Nightly News, and Oprah & Friends Radio. Sharon's website is


Marceline White is Executive Director of the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition. She brings more than 20 years of management, fundraising, advocacy, research, and organizing experience to her position. In addition to consumer issues, Marceline has written and advocated on international trade, gender and development, labor rights, environmental justice, and reproductive rights. She has presented her work before Members of Congress, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) staff, and US Agency for International Development (USAID) officials.


Dr. Mariana K Falcoiner  is Assistant Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program and Clinical Director at the Center for Family Services. She is an AAMFT approved supervisor and has been working as a therapist since 1992 in both inpatient and outpatient mental health clinics. Her research focuses on how couples cope with stress, with special focus on economic stress and immigration stress in Latino couples. She is currently testing the effectiveness of an interdisciplinary program to help couples improve their communication, coping, and financial management skills. She teaches multicultural issues and postmodern approaches in family.


Donna V S Ortega is Program Manager for AARP Foundation—an affiliated charity of AARP. She manages financial inclusion and financial capability programs within the Income Impact Area.  She previously served as AARP Foundation’s National Manager for Financial Innovation managing national level programs and place-based pilots to increase older Americans' access to and participation in asset-building financial services, and was the Associate Director of Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB)—a leading nonprofit organization that empowers low and moderate income residents of the Greater DC area to take control of their finances, increase their savings, and build wealth for the future.


Dr. Eric Wish began trading stocks in his teens in the 1960's. He came in 5th in the Barron's Stock Challenge, Professors Division, in 2005. After becoming incensed by the way the media pundits misled the public into staying in the market during the declines in 2000 and 2008, Dr. Wish initiated a highly popular undergraduate honors class, an Introduction to Technical Analysis and the Stock Market, at the University of Maryland. His goal is to teach young persons what he wishes someone would have taught him about the market while he was in college. He publishes a daily blog,, where he shares his market analysis and musings. Dr. Wish is a research psychologist and full time Director of the Center For Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) at the University of Maryland in College Park.


Sarah Bauder is Assistant Vice President, Enrollment Services Operations at University of Maryland. She is responsible for the management of three units: The Office of Student Financial Aid; the Enrollment Services Operations Unit; and the Enrollment Services Technology Development Unit with seven (7) direct reports; 67 full time staff, students and graduate assistants. Ms. Bauder testified before Congress on “Federal Aid and the Impact of Perkins Loans” September 2010 Testified before Congress on “Ensuring the Availability of Student Loans” March 2008 Testified before Congress on the “FEELP Loan vs. Direct Lending Process” May 2006.

2013 Speakers

Peter Franchot was elected Maryland's 33rd Comptroller on November 7, 2006, and re-elected on November 2, 2010. Prior to his election to statewide office, Comptroller Franchot served 20 years in the General Assembly, representing in the House of Delegates the residents of Silver Spring and Takoma Park. In the House of Delegates, Mr. Franchot served on the Appropriations Committee and chaired the transportation and the environment subcommittee. Throughout his career, he has been a strong advocate for education, health care, transportation and environmental protection initiatives. As Comptroller, Mr. Franchot has pledged to be a fiscal watchdog for the taxpayers of Maryland and an independent voice on the powerful, three-member Board of Public Works, which approves millions of dollars in State contracts each year. Comptroller Franchot has worked tirelessly to keep Maryland competitive in the knowledge-based economy, assisting working families and protecting the State's natural resources.


Adam Davidson:International business and economic expert Adam Davidson writes the “It’s the Economy” weekly column forThe New York Times Magazine.  He is also the co-founder and co-host ofPlanet Money, a co-production of NPR and This American Life. His work has won every major award in broadcast journalism, including the Peabody, DuPont-Columbia, and the Polk.


Barbara Chamberlin is the Extension Instructional Design and Educational Media Specialist. Dr. Chamberlin directs the NMSU Learning Games Lab, where she researches games preferences and use, as well as new trends in computer games for education. She leads research on game development at the lab, and serves as an instructional designer on new educational projects. In addition she submits several grants each year, seeking funding for the development of educational media in many content areas. NMSU just launched the "Exergames Unlocked" Website,, a resource to help others use exergames in programs and classrooms.


Don Blandin, president and CEO of the Investor Protection Trust (IPT) and the Investor Protection Institute (IPI), has worked in and with a wide variety of public and private-sectors, including business and industry; nonprofit associations; academia and philanthropic foundations; and federal, state and local government, both in the U.S. and globally. Don has been building national and international coalitions and partnerships for more than four decades. Don’s achievements at the Trust include: the Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Prevention Program; the Investor Education in Your Community® program; the national MoneyTrack public television series; The Campaign for Wise and Safe Investing®, and The Basics of Saving and Investing educators’ guide. Awards received by Don include the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ International Torch Award for Consumer Leadership and the Financial Planning Association’s Heart of Financial Planning Award.


Michelle Thornhill is the SVP & Diversity and Inclusion Integration/Strategy Manager at Wells Fargo. In this position, she is responsible for providing proactive and strategic leadership consulting to our key stakeholder groups to support the development of a diversity and inclusion strategy and execution model that is supported by all lines of business. Michelle previously served as the African American segment manager for Enterprise Marketing Diverse Segments and has extensive experience in navigating and influencing multiple stakeholders to gain alignment.  She has over 15 years of experience developing consumer initiatives for diverse audiences in the financial services and non-profit sector, and has traveled extensively, both domestically and internationally, in support of these goals. She firmly grasps the multi-faceted nature of the African American segment from her work with the NAACP, teaching at a Historically Black College and University, developing and implementing financial education programs, and consulting with African American business owners.


Maxine Sweet is vice president of Experian North America's Public Education organization and leads Experian's consumer education, community involvement and corporate responsibility teams. She represents Experian in such national education programs as the JumpStart Coalition for Financial Literacy and LifeSmarts, both of which have the goal of reaching students with critical knowledge and empowering them to live credit smart.


Michal Grinstein-Weiss: Professor Grinstein-Weiss is a national and international expert in social and economic mobility; asset development research and policy; and international comparative social policy, especially in Israel. She is the Founding Director of the Assets-Building Research Group at UNC, a Research Associate with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, and was the recipient of the 2011 Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award by the Society for Social Work and Research. Michal Grinstein-Weiss is an associate Professor at The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Her research interests focus on public policies related to issues of economic inequality and social development. Specifically, she is interested in policies and programs that promote the well-being of low-income families and their communities.


Linda Williams joined the Consumer Action Los Angeles Office Outreach and Training Team in September 2006. Since that time, she has aggressively pursued the team’s mission to ensure that all individuals, regardless of their income level, are able to learn about their rights as consumers. She has carried out this mission by networking, coalition building, and training case managers, counselors, social workers, educators, librarians, and front-line advocates who serve low-income and hard-to-reach consumers from coast to coast in the fundamentals of financial literacy.


John Breyault joined the National Consumers League in September 2008. John’s focus at NCL is on advocating for stronger consumer protections before Congress and federal agencies on issues related to telecommunications, fraud, technology, and other consumer concerns. In addition, John manages NCL’s Fraud Center and coordinates the Alliance Against Fraud coalition. John is also Research Director for the Telecommunications Research and Action Center (TRAC), a project of NCL. In his role with TRAC, John advocates on behalf of residential consumers of wireline, wireless, VoIP, and other IP-enabled communications services.


Linda Sherry: Consumer Action’s director of national priorities and one of the organization’s chief spokespersons, joined the San Francisco-based national consumer education and advocacy group in 1994 from a background as a weekly newspaper reporter. She is NewsCertified by NewsCertified Exchange. Sherry is an expert on credit card pricing and practices. She is regularly called upon for interviews and background information by the national and local media (TV, radio and print), Congress and federal regulators to provide information about consumers and credit cards.


Julie Nepveu is a senior staff attorney at AARP Foundation Litigation. She practices on behalf of older people in the areas of consumer, fair housing, and disability law. Her work includes litigating cases, filing amicus briefs, and commenting on federal regulation and legislation. Of particular relevance is her work on the garnishment of exempt funds in the collection of debt. Ms. Nepveu previously served as a staff attorney at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and at Legal Services of Northern Virginia and as a judicial clerk at the U.S. Claims Court for Judge Thomas J. Lydon.


Janet Benavente graduated from Oklahoma State University with a BS degree in Vocational Home Economics Education. Her Master’s Degree in Human Relations is from The University of Oklahoma.  Since 1985, Janet has worked in the Cooperative Extension system in Minnesota, Guam, Missouri, and Colorado. From 2006-2011 she was the Principal Investigator and Program Director of the $2.3 million Family Success in Adams County Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant (90FE0028). Janet’s current role in the Colorado State University Extension Office in Adams County is to design and deliver family strengthening programming and professional development training in financial literacy, workforce readiness, community leadership, interpersonal communication, and parenting.  


Dr. James P. Marshall is an Associate Professor of Family Life with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in Little Rock, AR. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a clinical fellow and approved supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. He is co-author of a well-respected book on healthy marriage and couple relationships entitled The Marriage Garden. He conducts research and develops programs on personal well-being, marriage and couple relationships, and parenting. His work focuses on helping people create and maintain quality relationships.


Jeanne Hogarth: As Vice President of Policy for the Center for Financial Services Innovation, Jeanne Hogarth works to strengthen research programs and engagement efforts with government and other key stakeholders. Prior to joining CFSI, Jeanne was manager of the Consumer Research section at the Federal Reserve Board, where she led research projects on consumer financial decision-making, financial services access and inclusion, and household economic stability. She was also a faculty member in consumer economics at Cornell University. She has authored numerous scholarly research articles as well as consumer publications.  She received a B.S. in Education from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. and PhD from The Ohio State University.


Michael Pierce is a policy analyst in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Office for Students.  Office for Students works to help students and their families make smarter choices about consumer financial products and services-- identifying emerging challenges for young consumers and developing programs and products that seek to improve student decision-making through education and engagement. Prior to joining the staff at CFPB, Mike served as a policy advisor to Congressman John Sarbanes, repressenting the Third District of Maryland. Mike is an attorney and a member of the Maryland Bar.


Peter Holland is a Visiting Law School Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. He received his B.A. in Philosophy from Bard College, M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John's College of Annapolis, and J.D. from University of Maryland School of Law, from which he received the Public Service Award. He concentrates on Consumer Rights cases such as Auto Dealer Fraud, Wrongful Repossessions, Mortgage Fraud, Predatory Lending, Foreclosure Rescue Scams, Debt Collection Harassment and Consumer Class Actions. For the years 2008, 2009 and 2010, he was voted by his peers to be a "Maryland Super Lawyer" in the field of Consumer Law.

2012 Speakers

Eleanor Blayney serves as the Consumer Advocate for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, educating consumers and the media about the value of the financial planning process and the importance of working with a qualified competent professional.

She is also President of Direction$ LLC, with the mission of empowering, educating, and engaging women in personal finance.

Eleanor is licensed as a Certified Financial PlannerTMand the author of two books published in 2010.  “Women’s Worth: Finding Your Financial Confidence” speaks to women in and on their own terms about the major financial issues they face in their lives.  “The Home Budget Workbook” is a straightforward guide for creating and maintaining a practical budget. 

Presentation Title: Investing Like a Girl: Do Women Have What It Takes to be Savvy Investors?


Bonnie Braun is a Professor and Extension Specialist at the University of Maryland College Park. She has served as the first Herschel S. Horowitz Center of Health Literacy Endowed Chair and Director. In a joint appointment with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, through the Maryland Cooperative Extension, she facilitates community-based research and outreach education to improve the health literacy of Maryland's population as consumers, professionals and public policy makers. She is an author of over 100 articles and seven family and consumer science teaching curricula, and has been a speaker at over 200 local, state, national and international conferences. Bonnie has extensive experience in working with low-income families, with program development and evaluation, and with leadership development. She has served as director of the evaluation program of Maryland's Food Stamp Nutrition Education. She has also served on numerous committees and task forces in agriculture, youth, family and community development. Her main research focus is on family health and health policy, rural, low-income families as part of a USDA multi-state study. 

Presentation Title: Health and Financial Literacy: Health Insurance Literacy Matters


Sarah Davies is Senior Vice President of Analytics and Product Management at VantageScore Solutions LLC.  In addition to her product development work, Ms. Davies is chiefly responsible for analytic insights and revalidation of the algorithms underlying the VantageScore model.  She has nearly 20 years of analytics and information sciences experience in various industries, most recently with IntelliRisk Management Corporation.  Ms. Davies earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in operations research and statistics from the University of Wales and Iowa State University, respectively.

Presentation Title: Credit Score Impacts from Consumer Behaviors and Rehabilitation Strategies


Mark Eichorn is an Assistant Director in the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection (DPIP), where he supervises privacy and data security matters.  He joined DPIP at the end of 2009 from FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz’s office, where he served as an attorney advisor for Chairman (and previously Commissioner) Leibowitz on consumer protection issues.  After joining the Commission in 1998, Mark worked for many years as an attorney in the Division of Advertising Practices and served a six month stint in 2003 as an attorney advisor to FTC Commissioner Leary.  Mark went to law school at the University of Virginia, and later clerked for Ninth Circuit Judge Robert Beezer before joining the Seattle firm of Mundt, MacGregor.  He graduated from Yale University.

Presentation Title: An Update from the FTC on Credit Reporting, Identity Theft, and Privacy


Susan B. Garland has been editor of Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, a monthly personal finance publication whose subscribers are retirees and those approaching retirement, for six years. For 12 years, Ms. Garland was a Washington-based correspondent for Business Week magazine, covering various beats, including social policy, the White House and legal affairs. Ms. Garland also has been a freelance writer, and her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post and Modern Maturity (now AARP Magazine).

Presentation Title: Stretching a Retirement Nest Egg


James Martin is a tenured faculty member at Bryn Mawr College and a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with more than forty years of practice. His scholarship, teaching, and public service focus on behavioral health issues impacting individuals, families and communities; and his research and civic engagement address military and veteran populations. Jim has served in a number of faculty leadership roles at Bryn Mawr College and in 2009, he was awarded the McPherson Fellowship for excellence in teaching, research, and community service. A retired Army Colonel, Jim’s twenty-six year career in the Army Medical Department included clinical research, as well as senior management (command) and policy assignments. Since his retirement from active duty, Jim has been actively engaged in research and program development with numerous Active and Reserve Component military family and community human services programs. Jim received his MSW from Boston College in 1970 and his Ph.D in Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh in 1983. Jim is a graduate of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Social Work Child and Family Studies Fellowship Program, the Army’s Command and General Staff College, and the Army Management Staff College. Jim has authored numerous publications and he is a frequent invited speaker at professional gatherings.

Presentation Title: To War Then Home: Understanding the Behavioral Health Challenges Confronting Our Returning Veterans & Their Families


Cassandra McConnell joined the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as the Deputy Assistant Director in the Office of Financial Education in August 2011.  The Office of Financial Education is responsible for developing and implementing initiatives intended to educate and empower consumers to make informed financial decisions.  Ms. McConnell is responsible for providing leadership and direction for the development, implementation and assessment of the CFPB’s financial education programs, policies and systems.

Prior to joining the CFPB, Ms. McConnell served as the Associate Director of the Community Affairs Office at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).  In this capacity, Ms. McConnell oversaw and directed the FDIC’s national community reinvestment, community and economic development, financial literacy and outreach programs.  Ms. McConnell also led the FDIC’s national Minority Depository Institutions Program to promote and preserve the nation’s minority depository institutions.   Ms. McConnell has held leadership positions at the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.   

Ms. McConnell is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, earned her Juris Doctor from Cleveland Marshall College of Law, Master of Public Administration from Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs and her Bachelor of Science from Cleveland State University.  

Presentation Title: Updates from CFPB


Brent Neiser is Director of Strategic Programs and Alliances for the Denver-based National Endowment for Financial Education (, a private operating foundation committed to educating Americans about personal finance and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach financial goals. His work with NEFE focuses on developing financial education initiatives through unique collaborations with nonprofit organizations and foundations nationwide such as the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. He directed NEFE's national Personal Finance and Latino Immigration Think Tank and a research-based think tank on Retirement Income Planning and Management which resulted in the consumer website Brent helped develop, a non-commercial personal finance literacy website for college and university students delivered via free subscriptions through higher education institutions. He also does public policy work for NEFE including working with executive agencies and occasionally testifying before Congress.

Neiser is a fellow with the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He holds a Master of Global Studies with an emphasis in Public Diplomacy and International Security (University of Denver), MBA (University of Louisville), MA- Urban Studies (Occidental College), and BA- Public Affairs (George Washington University). He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certificant. He serves on the boards of various organizations, recently the CFP Board Consumer Advisory Council, and is past Chairman of the Colorado Council of Advisors on Consumer Credit (gubernatorial appointment). 

Presentation Title: Engaging Your Community with Financial Workshop Kits


Sonya Smith-Valentine is not your typical Personal Finance Expert. Her career path differs greatly from most experts in her field. Sonya has combined her 20+ years of experience, first as a CPA and then as an attorney, to build both a successful legal career and a thriving financial coaching business.

Sonya owns the Valentine Legal Group, a law firm where she uses consumer protection laws to assist those drowning in debt collection lawsuits to swim again and helps others, through litigation, to reclaim their credit worthiness that was destroyed by credit bureau errors. As a financial success coach at Sonya Smith Valentine Enterprises, she helps people tackle their debt issues, shows others how to effectively navigate the impossible maze of the credit reporting system and assists victims of identity theft in recovering from the fraud thrust upon their lives.

Sonya has appeared as a Personal Finance Expert on television and radio programs like NBC News, ABC News and the Urban League’s On Track Public Affairs Radio. She has been quoted by the Washington Post, Black Enterprise Magazine, USA Today and other national news publications.

Presentation Title: Debt Problems Happen … Here's How You Respond


Syble Solomon, a popular speaker on the psychology of money, is best known as the creator of Money Habitudes®, an innovative, simple toolkit that has helped tens of thousands of individuals discover their habits and attitudes about money.

The founder of LifeWise, a coaching and training company, she has been the a featured speaker for groups as diverse as people dealing with sudden wealth, professionals working in asset building coalitions and people representing all socio-economic and educational levels in community and faith-based programs who are learning to manage their money wisely or communicate effectively about finances.

Money Habitudes was Michele Singletary’s book club selection of the month in December, 2011 in her Washington Post syndicated column The Color of Money. Syble has been quoted in MSN Money, Market Watch and USA Today. Her articles have appeared in professional and popular publications and she was a columnist for  

Presentation Title: Money Habitudes Trump Good Intentions


Dr. Michael E. Staten holds the Take Charge America Endowed Chair in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona.  He is also director of the Take Charge America Institute for personal financial education and research. Staten is recognized nationally as an expert on retail credit market policy issues and has testified often before Congress and various state legislatures. He has published numerous articles on retail financial services in academic journals and edited volumes. He has made invited presentations at workshops and events sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, and Washington, DC think-tanks including the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution. 
Dr. Staten received his Ph.D. in economics from Purdue University’s Krannert Graduate School of Management in 1980.  He has taught undergraduate and graduate economics courses at the University of Delaware and Purdue University. At the University of Arizona he teaches courses in retail financial services and consumer behavior. He currently serves as a trustee for the American Financial Services Association Education Foundation, and is on the Advisory Council for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union from 1995-1997.   

Presentation Title: The Changing Credit and Payment Card Landscape for Consumers


Nicole Wanago is the Assistant Director for Outreach for the University of Arizona’s Take Charge America Institute. Since its inception, Nicole has led the Family Economics & Financial Education Project which has reached over 26,000 educators impacting an estimated 700,000+ students nationwide with FEFE’s award-winning, free, downloadable financial education curriculum written by educators for educators.  Recently, Nicole played an instrumental role in launching a brand new financial literacy website,, for tweens, teens, and young adults with an array of lessons, blogs, games and interactive tools to help guide them through a tangle of credit choices. In 2010, Nicole was a top five national educator of the year finalist for the Association for Career and Technical Education.  Nicole’s undergraduate degree is from Montana State University and graduate degree from the University of Arizona in education.   

Presentation Title: Take Charge America Institute Financial Education Program for Young Adults


Rev. Dr. Flora Williams was at Purdue University for 32 years teaching and conducting research in family economics, public policy, resource management, financial counseling and planning.  She directed an award-winning clinic for 25 years while there.  She wrote 18 books and over 100 articles including text and tests for the National Foundation for Consumer Credit.  Williams started the major in financial counseling and planning.  She is past president and vice president for the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education.  She served on several professional boards and was a court expert on the value of family services.  Williams continues to write technical and inspirational books including recent poetry book, family resource management book, and a comprehensive manual for financial management, counseling, and spiritual guidance combined entitledThe Shepherd’s Guide through the Valley of Debt and Financial Change.  She speaks to extension educators, community groups, disability support groups, and church groups as an ordained minister.  She continues as a Registered Financial Consultant. 

Presentation Title: Financial Counseling and Planning from a Faith-Based Perspective

2011 Speakers

Mariko Chang is the author of the new book, Shortchanged: Why Women Have Less Wealth and What Can Be Done About It, and the main author of the March 2010 report “Lifting as We Climb Women of Color, Wealth, and America’s Future.” Dr. Chang has a PhD in Sociology from Stanford University and was an Associate Professor of Sociology at Harvard University from 1998 to 2007 where she published work on occupational sex segregation across countries, the use of social networks for gathering financial information and began her work on the gender wealth gap. She is also a member of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development’s Experts of Color Clearinghouse. To help raise awareness of the wealth gap, she maintains a website that provides data and other information on wealth, assets, and debt for public policy makers, the media, researchers, and organizations that address economic security.

In addition to her work on the wealth gap, she works as an independent consultant to help universities diversify their faculty. In this capacity, she conducts original research and program evaluation, including universities with a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant.  Further information about Dr. Chang and her work can be found at:

Presentation Title: The Women’s Wealth Gap: What we need to know and what can be done about it


Brent Neiser is Senior Director of Strategic Programs and Alliances for the Denver-based National Endowment for Financial Education (, a private operating foundation committed to educating Americans about personal finance and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach financial goals.  His work with NEFE focuses on developing financial education initiatives through unique collaborations with nonprofit organizations and foundations nationwide such as the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity.   He directed NEFE's national Personal Finance and Latino Immigration Think Tank and a research-based think tank on Retirement Income Planning and Management which resulted in the consumer website   Brent helped develop, a non-commercial personal finance literacy website for college and university students delivered via free subscriptions through higher education institutions.  He also does public policy work for NEFE including working with executive agencies and occasionally testifying before Congress.

Presentation Title: My Retirement Paycheck


Barbara Robles is currently Senior Community Affairs Research Liaison at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. She was previously an Associate Professor of Economics at the School of Social Work and Center for Community Development and Civil Rights at Arizona State University. She has taught at colleges and universities around the country, including the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Colorado-Boulder, and the University of Notre Dame, where she currently serves as a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Latino Studies and Department of Economics. Dr. Robles’ has presented her work at conferences around the world, and has published extensively. She is the author of U.S. Latino Families, Heads of Household, and the Elderly: Emerging Trends in Financial Services and Asset-Building Behaviors (2009), Financial Services and Product Usage by Latinos in the U.S. (2007) and a co-author of The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide (2006). Formerly, she was a Revenue Estimator for the Joint Committee on Taxation scoring tax legislation for Congress. Her research focuses on Latino wealth inequality, Southwest Border family and community asset building, Latino tax and financial education policies and Latino micro-businesses and entrepreneurship. Dr. Robles’ also serves as a research fellow at the Filene Research Institute, an organization dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting the future of consumer finance and credit unions. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Maryland-College Park and her B.A. from the University of Texas-Austin.

Presentation Title: Banking and Minority


Michael Staten holds the Take Charge America Endowed Chair in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona.  He is also director of the Take Charge America Institute for personal financial education and research.  Staten is recognized nationally as an expert on retail credit market policy issues and has testified often before Congress and various state legislatures.  Over the past 20 years Dr. Staten has designed and conducted research projects on a wide range of policy-oriented issues involving consumer and mortgage credit markets, initially as director of the Credit Research Center at Purdue University (1988 – 1997), and later as Distinguished Professor and Executive Director of the re-located Credit Research Center at Georgetown University (1997 - 2006), and the George Washington University School of Business (2006-2007).  He has published numerous articles on retail financial services in academic journals and edited volumes.  He has made invited presentations at workshops and events sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, and Washington, DC think-tanks including the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution.

Dr. Staten brings to Tucson an active personal research agenda that includes projects that examine the causes and consequences of personal bankruptcy and mortgage foreclosures; the rehabilitative effects of credit counseling on long-term borrower behavior; the accuracy of credit reporting; the impact of financial education mandates and programs on financial behavior of young consumers; and the pros and cons of improved loan disclosures and regulatory limits on loan products in helping consumers to make good credit choices. 

Presentation Title: Credit and Take Charge Institute Program


Tom Domonoske began practicing law in California in 1990 before moving to North Carolina where he taught classes at the University of North Carolina Law School.  He then practiced as a legal aid lawyer in Virginia from 1993 to 1996.  From July 1996 through August 2000, he was a Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke Law School.  While at Duke, he maintained a small consumer law practice in Virginia through an Of Counsel relationship with the Law Office of Dale W. Pittman.  Starting August 2000, he returned to Virginia and continued his practice with that office.  Since April 2009 he has been Of Counsel to the Legal Aid Justice Center, with offices in Charlottesville, Richmond, and Petersburg, Virginia.  His primary emphasis is on credit-related frauds, particularly regarding lending related to automobiles and homes.  He has published many articles on several aspects of consumer law in various professional publications. In the past fifteen years he has given over 100 consumer law trainings at various events around the country and regularly trains JAG lawyers’ for the United States military.  He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Community Mediation Center.

Presentation Title: Protecting Consumers in the Purchase and Financing of a Car


Stuart Ritter is Vice President of T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc. and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in T. Rowe Price’s Financial Planning Services Group.  He is a frequent contributor to T. Rowe Price publications; has appeared on television and radio programs for networks like ABC News, Fox Business, and National Public Radio; and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, Money magazine, and other national news organizations.

Stuart received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland College Park and his M.A. in political science from the American University. He taught personal finance at Johns Hopkins University for several years and has also been an instructor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.  He is a member of the Maryland State Department of Education’s Financial Literacy Education Advisory Council.

Presentation Title: Lessons from the Downtum


Becky Jokela, Regional Extension Educator & Extension Professor, has a M.S. Degree in Home Economics Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.  She has an Accredited Financial Counselor designation from the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education.  Becky has worked for the University of Minnesota Extension for 16 years in Family Resource Management and taught high school home economics for six years.

Presentation Title: Teaching Financial Education Across Generations


Olivia Mellan is a groundbreaking speaker, author, money coach and psychotherapist in the field of money psychology and money conflict resolution. Author of five critically acclaimed books, Mellan writes a monthly column in Investment Advisor magazine. She has been interviewed frequently on the TODAY Show, Oprah, ABC’s 20-20, in the print media and on national TV and radio.

Presentation Title: Money Harmony in Turbulent Times


Paul Panichelli is a Principal Scientist in Scoring Analytics at FICO and has been with FICO more than 20 years.  In his current role in Product Development, Mr. Panichelli is a project manager on FICO® Credit Risk score initiatives in the U.S. and internationally.  Other responsibilities have included working as a model developer and project manager on FICO® Expansion scores, response models, collection scores, and custom application models.  He has also been a consultant on the Credit Bureau Scores Helpline, providing client support to consumers and credit bureau score users representing a wide array of industries, locations, and sizes.

Presentation Title: Demystifying FICO® Scores


Keith Blair is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of DC and Director at the Low-Income Tax Clinic. Prior to joining the David A. Clarke School of Law, Professor Blair taught at the University of Baltimore School of Law from 2005-2010 where he directed the Tax Clinic and taught Constitutional Law and Tax Practice and Procedure. Prior to that, Professor Blair was a trial attorney with the Tax Division of the Department of Justice, where he represented the United States in tax controversy matters. He also served as a trial attorney with the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, where he was hired under the Attorney General’s Honors Program.

Professor Blair is a frequent presenter at the AALS Clinical Conference. He has also presented posters on clinical pedagogy at the AALS Annual meeting. He is an active participant in the American Bar Association, Section of Taxation’s Low-Income Taxpayer Committee. Professor Blair is also a member of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Tax Section Council.

Presentation Title: Low Income Tax Issues Related to Foreclosure, Debt Settlement, and Other Issues

2010 Speakers

Lester M. Austin is a Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration in the Washington Metropolitan Area.  He has been with the Social Security Administration for 31 years and previously held the position of Field Representative for the District of Columbia. 

As a Public Affairs Specialist, Mr. Austin provides a wide range of public information services to local residents, federal, state and local agencies and private and non-profit local and national organizations.  He plans, develops, organizes and implements all major media and special interest group contacts for the Social Security Administration throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area. He also authors periodic news articles on Social Security programs, as well as highlights of any changes affecting those programs.  Mr. Austin has also hosted a monthly television program entitled "Social Security and You" which aired on the Bowie State University television station.

Mr. Austin will present an overview of the Social Security program specifically regarding Retirement, Disability, Survivors benefits, and Medicare, including various tools that are available online at the Social Security website.
Presentation Title: Social Security and You

Cathy Bowen is an associate professor and consumer issues specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education at Pennsylvania State University. She works with county-based extension educators to reach Pennsylvania residents with information on basic money management including credit, consumer rights and responsibilities, and fraud and scams. Bowen's work has received national awards by professional organizations and has been featured on national public radio and CNN's Open House.

Dr. Bowen earned a bachelor's degree from North Carolina A & T State University and completed graduate studies (M.S. and Ph.D) at Ohio State University. She is a member of The Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and The Financial Planning Association.
Presentation Title: Youth and Money: Practical Strategies to Teach a Wired Generation


James L. Chen is an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission, Division of Financial Practices. Prior to joining the FTC, Jim was in private practice with the law firm Sidley Austin. He has also served as a law clerk to Judge Ricardo M. Urbina of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Mr. Chen's workshop will discuss common consumer protection concerns for low and middle income individuals and families, including debt negotiation/debt relief, loan modification and credit repair. Chen will also discuss practical advice on where to go for legitimate services and how to identify potentially fraudulent operators.
Presentation Title: Consumer Protection in Financial Services


Diane Cipollone is a Maryland and New York licensed attorney and the Director of the Sustainable Homeownership Project at Civil Justice Inc., a nonprofit legal association in Baltimore, Maryland.  Diane is the Manager of the Maryland Mortgage Fraud Prevention Project at Civil Justice, which is a statewide effort to recruit and train attorneys to provide pro bono legal review of home purchase contracts and loan documents for First Time Homebuyers and those considering refinancing their mortgages.  Most recently, Diane was the lead trainer and mentor for pro bono attorneys in the statewide Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono Project. She has been a presenter at local and national conferences on issues concerning sustainable homeownership, predatory lending, abusive mortgage loan servicing practices and foreclosure prevention.  Her recent previous experience includes serving as the Project Attorney for the Hurricane Relief Project of the National Fair Housing Alliance in Washington, D.C. and as the Co-Coordinator of the Baltimore City Flipping & Predatory Lending Task Force.  Diane is a graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. 
Presentation Title: Resources for Homeowners In or at Risk of Mortgage Default & Safeguards to Avoid Predatory Mortgages

Gerri Detweiler. Helping consumers find reliable answers to their credit questions has been the theme of Gerri Detweiler's work for the past twenty years. As a consumer advocate, Gerri has been interviewed for more than 3000 news interviews including The Today Show, Dateline NBC, The New York Times, USA Today and Reader's Digest. She is also an international speaker and has testified before Congress on consumer credit topics.
As an educator, Gerri has spoken to audiences across the country, and is the author or co-author of five books:

  • Reduce Debt, Reduce Stress (Good Advice Press 2009)

  • Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights (2009)

  • The Ultimate Credit Handbook (Plume, 1993, revised 2003), which was featured in Money magazine as one of the five best new personal finance books of the year when released.

  • Invest In Yourself: Six Secrets to a Rich Life (Wiley, October 1998)

  • Slash Your Debt: Save Money & Secure Your Future (Financial Literacy Center, 1999).

Presentation Title: Debtors in Distress: Finding Solutions


Kathy Floyd, Deputy Director for Investor Education for the US Securities and Exchange Commission, comes to the SEC from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Foundation, where she was the Executive Director of the Stock Market Game.  The Stock Market Game taught savings and investing to almost a million students annually. She previously served as Director of Baltimore Academies for Baltimore City Public Schools. She is a graduate of Drew and George Washington Universities.
Presentation Title: Keys to Investor Education


Meizhu Lui is the Director of the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. A co-author of The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the US  Racial Wealth Divide, her articles and chapters on asset building in communities of color have been published in various books and magazines.  She has also been in the media.  Most recently in connection with the "Color of Wealth Summit" hosted by the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative in Washington DC in March 2009, her op-eds appeared in the Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle, and she appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal and CNN's Anderson Cooper show.  She writes for, Huffington Post, and New Deal 2.0.
Presentation Title: The Color of Wealth


Jerry Mason, Associate Professor, Financial Planning, College of St. Rose. Jerry Mason has spent most of his professional career involved with financial planning and counseling.  Currently he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in financial planning in the School of Business that is part of the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY. Prior to coming to St. Rose in the fall of 2007, he worked for Edelman Financial Services, a financial planning firm in Fairfax, VA.  During the 1990's he taught financial planning courses at Texas Tech University, started the Accredited Financial Counselor program and helped launch the Certified Financial Counselor certification program.  He was Director of Education for the International Association for Financial Planning (now FPA) during the latter part of the 1980's where he was responsible for the educational sessions at the IAFP's annual conferences.  During the first six years of the 1980's he taught financial counseling and financial planning at Brigham Young University. In 1983, with Virginia Langrehr, he hosted a financial counseling and planning conference that laid the groundwork for the founding of the Financial Counseling and Planning Association.  When not in Albany, NY, Jerry, and his wife Joyce, live in restored farm house in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Presentation Title: What can anyone do to get as much mileage out of their retirement portfolio as possible?


Judith Stern Peck, LCSW has had extensive experience as both a family therapist and a consultant to family businesses, family foundations and family offices. She is Director of the Money and Family Life Project at the Ackerman Institute for the Family. She has been selected as a participant in the consultant referral service on the Council on Foundations' Family Foundation Services department. She was recently given "Fellow" status by FFI, the professional organization for Family Business Consultants after her 15 years of experience working with family businesses and family foundations. In addition, she is presently serving on the Advisory Board of BBR Partners.

As principle of JSP Associates, a firm designed to provide educational and consultation services to family businesses and family foundations, Ms. Peck has worked with multiple families in the real estate, manufacturing and printing industries as well as the asset management and philanthropic arena. She has done training with professionals as well as families through conferences, seminars and workshops.

Her educational background includes a BA from Finch College and an MSW from Yeshiva University. She attended the Ackerman Institute for the Family for her post-graduate training.
Presentation Title: The Value of Values: How to use Values in Money Talk


Suzanne Randolph, Chief Science Officer, The MayaTech Corporation
Presentation Title: Cultural Competency for Financial Educators and Counselors

Michael B. Rubin, CPA, CFP®: Author of the bestseller Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck, Michael B. Rubin is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional. Michael is the Guide toRetirement Planning at, a New York Times company and one of the web's leading producers of original content.  Michael also writes the popular Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck blog.

Michael has appeared in various media, including Fox News Chicago, radio stations across the country, and national media including CNN,, The Wall Street Journal,, Chicago Tribune, Financial Advisor Magazine, and Investment News. (View a more comprehensive list of his media presence.)
Presentation Title: Don't Be Cheap, Be Fiscally Responsible! Top Saving Strategies for the 2010s

Mike Schenk has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. He joined the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in 1992 and is currently Vice President of Economics & Statistics for CUNA. He conducts economic research and supports CUNA's public relations and lobbying efforts. His analyses regularly appear in trade publications such as Credit Union Magazine. He also is a frequent contributor in the financial media - including CNBC, Bloomberg, and CNN Money. Before joining CUNA in 1992, Mike served in Director-level positions in the mutual fund and in the savings institution industries.
Presentation Title: The Economy and its Impact on Consumers.

Nancy K Schlossberg spent most of her career as a professor of counseling psychology.  She taught at Howard University, Wayne State, and 26 years at the University of Maryland, College Park. Currently, she is copresident of TransitionWorks, a consulting firm; Professor Emerita at the College of Education, University of Maryland, College Park; and served as president of the National Career Development Association. She has been honored for her work by the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association. A frequent guest on radio and TV, Dr. Schlossberg's work was the focus of a 90-minute PBS special, "Retire Smart, Retire Happy." Author of nine books, her newest, Revitalizing Retirement: Reshaping Your Identity, Relationships and Purpose, develops more fully the importance of paying attention to one's psychological portfolio.
Presentation Title: Retirement Counseling--It's About More Than Money

2009 Speakers

Tom Domonoske, has been practicing with the Law Office of Dale W. Pittman since 2000.  His emphasis is in consumer law focusing on credit-related frauds, in particular with regard to automobile and home lending.  From July 1996 through August 2000, he was a Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke Law School prior to which he taught classes at the University of North Carolina Law School.  He has taught many classes in consumer law and published many articles in various professional publications.  He regularly trains JAG lawyers for the US Military and sits on the Board of Directors of the Community Mediation Center.


Jordan Goodman, is a personal financial expert who has provided practical financial advice on major TV networks, such as CBS, Fox Business Network and CNN as well as on KMOX and WLW Radio.  In addition, he hosts the Money Answers Show on the VoiceAmerica Business Network, an internet radio broadcast network and provides advice through his website,  He was on the editorial staff of MONEY Magazine for 18 years, where he became their Wall Street Correspondent.  He is the author of 12 best-selling books on personal finance, his latest being Fast Profits In Hard Times, 10 Secret Strategies to Make You Rich in an Up or Down Economy. 


Paula Gradwell, joined the staff of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board in June 2002.  She conducts agency training sessions and employee briefings, and responds to telephone and written inquires from agencies and participants.  Prior to this, Ms. Gradwell worked with the Department of Defense for 11 years in a variety of positions including Relocation Assistance, Family Life Education, and Personal Financial Management.  As the Personal Financial Management Program Manager at Air Force bases, both in Europe and the United States, Ms. Gradwell researched, developed, and presented financial programs from basic savings to retirement savings options, including the Thrift Saving Plan.   She is an Accredited Financial Counselor, a Certified Housing counselor, and a Certified Family Life Educator. 


Evan Hendricks is an editor/publisher and founder of Privacy Times, a newsletter based in the Washington, DC area.  He has published nearly 3,000 pages covering a wide range of privacy and information law subjects, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  He regularly testifies before Congress and is a presenter at Federal Trade Commission workshops.  He is qualified by the courts as an expert witness in FCRA and identity theft cases.


Jeanne Hogarth, is the manager for the Consumer Education and Research Section of the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs at the Federal Reserve Board where she has worked since 1995.  She is responsible for research and outreach initiatives related to consumer financial services.  Her recent projects include initiatives on consumers' use of banking services, consumer protection strategies, and consumer testing for comprehension and usability of disclosure notices.  Jeanne is responsible for the Board's consumer information materials on financial services, both in print and on the web.  Both her research and her consumer education programs have received awards for their excellence.


Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach, is a personal finance expert and the author ofThe Money Coach's Guide to Your First Million, and the New York Times bestsellerZero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom.  Lynnette is a former Wall Street Journal reporter for CNBC, who has personally paid off more than $100,000 in credit card bills before becoming a self-made millionaire. Now she conducts workshops about credit, debt, and money management.  She has been featured in The New York TimesUSA Today,RedbookEssence, and on Oprah, Dr. Phil,The Tyra Banks Show, The Rachael Ray Show, and Tavis Smiley


Michael E. Kitces, is an active writer and editor across the industry and has been featured in many publications such asFinancial Planning and the Journal of Financial PlanningPractical Tax Strategies, the Wall Street JournalBusinessWeek and NBC Nightly News to name a few.  He has coauthored the "The Annuity Advisor" and "Tools & Techniques of Retirement Income Planning".  He has won awards honoring him for active work in the financial planning community, serving as a member of the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Financial Planning, a Moderator for the discussion boards, a commentator on annuity, retirement distribution, and retirement planning issues for Leimberg  Information Services, Inc., and for his work as an active member of the Financial Planning Association at the local and National level.


Ted Klontz was, from 1992 to 2007, president of Onsite Workshops, a therapeutic workshop, training and consulting organization, located near Nashville, Tennessee.  Currently he is president and co-founder of Klontz Coaching and Consulting, an organization providing change and relationship coaching, consulting services and professional training for individuals, couples, families, and organizations.  He works extensively with Financial Planners, Mental Health Counselors, and Clients who are wrestling with their own or their clients' financial issues. He is also a founder of Klontz-Kahler, a financial behavior research, coaching and consulting group as well as the Institute for Brain Technology, a neuro-imaging and training organization.  He is also an author and contributing author for many publications including "The Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge"; Wired for Wealth; Facilitating Financial Health, "The Living Theater" as well as "Dancing With Destiny" and "Chicken Soup for the Soul". 

Lessons from Charles Dickens: Helping clients change financial templates


Judith Liben, is the Senior Housing Attorney at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute in Boston. Her work concentrates on housing issues affecting low income families and individuals.  In recent years, she has specialized in the effect of foreclosures on renters.


Ken McDonnell, is a Program Director with the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to original public policy research and education on economic security and employee benefits.  He has been with EBRI since 1991.  Mr. McDonnell's interests pertain to the full range of employee benefits including health care, retirement income, disability income, paid leave, family friendly benefits, Social Security and Medicare.  Mr. McDonnell is the author of several EBRI publications and articles for EBRI's Notespublication on a wide variety of employee benefit topics.


Scott Miller, is Associate Director of Financial Aid at the University of Virginia where he directs a vibrant and professional staff of financial aid professionals. He earned a bachelor's degree from Mercer University and a master's from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously served as Director of Financial Aid at Mars Hill College before joining the University of Virginia. He is an Accredited Financial Counselor and a specialist in financial literacy for undergraduate students.


Deborah Owens & Terry Owens, are Baltimore's own media couple.  Terry is Anchor of the 5:30 evening news on ABC2 and Deborah is host of "Wealthy Lifestyles" which airs on WEAA 88.9FM, an NPR affiliate in Baltimore.  Terry has been seen on the Baltimore airwaves for the past 15 years and Deborah has been host of her radio show for over 10 years.  Deborah is the Wealth Coach on My Generation TV which airs nationally in 30 million homes.  She is author of" Confident Investing;" "A Wealth Building Guide For Women" and "Nickel and Dime Your Way to Wealth".  Her new book "A Purse of Your Own" is scheduled for publication by Simon and Schuster in 2010.


Patricia Reese, is the Director of the Division of Financial Integrity at the Health Resources and Services Administration in Rockville, Maryland.  Ms. Reese is also a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and a member of the American Institute of CPAs' National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, a 15 member panel representing over 330,000 CPAs across the country.


Gail Yeiser, is the assistant to the dean for alumni and external relations in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland. Since 1982, she has been actively involved in student services as the assistant to the director focusing on recruitment, admissions and alumni relations for the 2-year Institute of Applied Agriculture at the University of Maryland.  In 1990 Gail moved to the dean's office as the assistant to the dean for alumni & public relations within academic programs and in 2007, the office of external relations was created to coordinate alumni, development and external relations efforts of the college. 

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Jesse M. Ketterman

Extension Educator