Naomi Bechtold

Naomi Bechtold, an Accredited Financial Counselor®, is a Purdue Extension Specialist in the area of Financial Resource Management. In her Extension Specialist role, Naomi provides the link between land grant university research and Indiana residents by creating innovative learning opportunities that address personal finance issues. Naomi received her MBA from Lehigh University and BA from Duke University. She and her husband Marty have two adult children, two cats and two large dogs.

Blaise Brennan 

Blaise aims to work together with communities and groups in Baltimore to bring digital skills education, internet connectivity, and affordable digital devices to every corner of the city! Before he joined Extension, Blaise worked at a non-profit in Baltimore to help people apply for benefits like SNAP, Lifeline mobile phones, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) home internet benefit, and several other money-saving benefits. A few years ago, before changing careers, Blaise worked as a software developer focused on creating accessible and intuitive user interfaces. His passion is expanding digital literacy by meeting people where they are, respecting their boundaries, and encouraging healthy and safe engagement with useful technologies.

Linda Hamill 

Linda worked for the Social Security Administration for over 39 years. Her primary responsibilities were to educate the public about social security benefits.

Catalina Laschon 

Catalina Laschon is a New Immigrant, a writer, a career and money coach, and she works in Corporate America. As a champion of community, she is passionate about bringing her contribution so that everyone can thrive through diversity, equity, and inclusion. Catalina serves as the Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force with the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education® (AFCPE®), where she leads the mission, education strategy, and community activation. Prior to relocating with her family to the United States, she co-founded and led the Enjoy Your Future (EYF) non-profit organization in Europe, focused on social and cultural programs for children from low-income families and orphan children, senior citizens, students, and young artists. Catalina recently launched Volume One of the “Brave and Glorious New Immigrants in Corporate America” Trilogy, titled “You’re Moving to America... Now What? Your Life and Money Survival Guide During That First Year”. The book is a compelling portrait of New Immigrants’ Journey and Experience and provides Allies with powerful insights.

Jeff Lanza

Jeff was an FBI Special Agent for over 20 years, during which he investigated cybercrime, organized crime, human trafficking, and terrorism. Jeff has lectured at Harvard and Princeton Universities and written two highly reviewed books. He is featured in a Netflix documentary about the FBI and he often appears on national television news programs where he talks about the growing threat of cybercrime.

Carrie Sorenson 

Carrie Sorenson is a Financial Wellness Educator with the University of Maryland Extension. She has been working for UME since 2017 and works in the Carroll County Office. She focuses on teaching community members about Financial Literacy and Health Insurance Literacy. Carrie became an Accredited Financial Counselor in 2021 and has over 1,000 hours of experience providing financial education. Prior to working for UME, Carrie received her Masters of Public Health from George Washington University.

Jonathan Walker

Jonathan Walker built strategically transforming customer experiences in financial services and retail industries. He created the customer experience strategies for two personal loan brands, established the customer experience strategy for the financial wellness website, and co-founded an innovative financial wellness ecosystem, The Yukon Project, to help people along their financial path, wherever they start out. 

Jonathan’s awareness of how everyday Americans manage their day-to-day finances is unprecedented. As the founding executive of the Center for the New Middle Class, Jonathan conducted dozens of market research projects, personally conducted hundreds of interviews, and moderated dozens of consumer panels. Jonathan designed the Survey of American Household Finances which captures a monthly snapshot of 50+ measures of American financial life, behavior, and challenges over a seven-year time period. Jonathan earned an MBA from Brigham Young University. He and his wife live in Texas and are the parents of four boys.