IABG conference speaker

Conference Speakers

Mike Batty

Mike Batty

PhD Candidate - Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Mike Batty is a PhD candidate in economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on household finance, retirement savings, and health economics. He is a member of the Center for Financial Security at UW-Madison where he helps design, implement, and evaluate strategies for building financial capability, including in-school financial education programs for elementary students. Prior to graduate school, Mike worked as an actuarial consultant focusing on life insurance underwriting, product development, and valuation. Mike is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst. He received his undergraduate degree in finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Dylan Bellisle

Dylan Bellisle

Program Manager, Center for Economic Progress

Dylan is the Program Manager for the EITC Pilot for the Center for Economic Progress. Dylan served as a Community Development Officer in the Peace Corps in Jamaica. He has 8 years of professional experience working with numerous non-profit, government, and community organizations including the Archdiocese of Chicago, Service Employees International Union, and the State of Illinois. David has a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Senator Daniel Biss


, Illinois State Senate

Daniel Biss, a former mathematics professor, represented the 17th District in the House before his election to the Illinois State Senate where he represents the 9th District. Senator Biss has passed legislation on issues including environmental policy, economic growth in the high-tech sector, political reform, higher education, consumer protection and equal rights for individuals with autism. In the Senate, he serves on the Licensed Activities and Pensions, Education, Higher Education, Environment and Local Government Committees. He is the Chief Sponsor for SB 2758 – the Secure Choice Savings Program. The bill expands access to retirement savings accounts for Illinois workers.


John Bouman

Shriver Center Annual Report

President, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

John, president of the Shriver Center, is widely recognized as one of the most effective and thoughtful public-benefit advocates in the country. He was a leader in the design and implementation of positive aspects of Illinois’ new welfare law in 1997, and he spearheaded the statewide efforts in Illinois to create both the FamilyCare program, which provides health care insurance for up to up to 400,000 working poor parents of minor children, and All Kids, the first state plan to extend health coverage to every child.  He currently is working on state-based implementation of federal health care reform, serves on the steering committee of the National Transitional Jobs Network, and leads the Responsible Budget Coalition in Illinois, an effort bringing together more than 200 diverse organizations to advocate for state revenue and budget reform in Illinois. Before joining the Shriver Center in 1996, he worked for two decades at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, where he supervised public benefits advocacy.  A 1975 graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law and former board member of the Chicago Transit Authority, John currently serves on the boards of Illinois Partners for Human Services and the Center for Law and Social Policy. John is also a founding Steering Committee member of IABG


Anee Brar


Independent Asset Building Consultant,

Anee Brar is an independent asset building consultant specializing in children’s savings with nearly 15 years experience in the public and non-profit sectors. Anee launched and directed San Francisco’s Kindergarten to College program, the largest children’s savings program in a public school system in the US. Before coming to San Francisco, Anee managed asset building programs at the State of Washington, and advocated to establish the Washington State Asset Building Coalition. Anee also worked on housing issues where she also coordinated the Governor’s sub-cabinet State Interagency Council on Homeless and administered the Katrina interim housing grant program. Before public service, Anee worked at Washington CASH, a Seattle-based microenterprise CDFI, where she managed loans and training programs, and secured funding from the Hewlett Packard Foundation to establish a technology center for entrepreneurs.


Katie Buitrago


Senior Policy and Communications Associate, Woodstock Institute

Katie is the Senior Policy and Communications Associate at Woodstock Institute. She contributes to Woodstock’s policy development, research, outreach, coalition building, and communications efforts. Interests include student debt, impacts of and solutions to the foreclosure crisis, homeownership preservation, community reinvestment, consumer finance, financial reform, and financial security over the life cycle. Her projects include crafting informative and engaging communications strategies for economic security issues, assisting the convening of the Regional Home Ownership Preservation Initiative, and developing ways to make Woodstock’s data and research more accessible and interactive. Katie is pursuing a Master of Public Policy at the University of Chicago and received her B.A. with honors in Public Policy Studies and Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago.


Lindsay Larson Call

Lindsay Larson

Family & Community Liaison, Mountain Communities Family Resource Center

Lindsay Larson Call is a Family & Community Liaison for the Mountain Communities Family Resource Center, working to increase the financial stability of low-income families and enhance financial education in a small, rural area of California. Her previous work in the nonprofit sector included advocacy work for offenders, adjudicated youth, and youth in foster care. As a Visiting Scholar at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, she conducted studies on the financial literacy and economic socialization of incarcerated men. Lindsay is also an adjunct faculty member at Brigham Young University-Idaho, teaching family studies courses online. She received an M.S. in family studies and a B.A. in history from Brigham Young University.


Don Carlson

Don Carlson

Executive Director, Illinois People's Action

Don serves as the Executive Director for Illinois People’s Action (IPA). Headquarterd in Bloomington IL, IPA is a statewide, faith-based community organization located in seven chapters throughout Illinois.  The mission of the organization is to empower families and their congregations to engage on justice issues in their communities, statewide and nationally. Don has over 35 years of community organizing experience, including staff and executive director experience in Central Illinois, Philadelphia region and Iowa. His responsibilities include oversight of all IPA staff and organizing campaigns, leadership development, and organizational development and fundraising.


Lindy Carrow

Lindy Carrow, Heartland Alliance. Photo by Andrew Collings.

Research Associate, Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance

Lindy is a Research Associate at the Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance. Lindy’s work at IMPACT has mostly focused on working with non-profit organizations to create evaluation plans to measure their programs’ impact. Lindy has also led the team’s research on an important aspect of economic racial disparity—disparity in credit scores. Lindy holds a master’s degree in social work from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Sarah Chenven


Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives, Credit Builders Alliance

Sarah joined CBA in October 2011. As the Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives, she focuses on identifying new and creative platforms and tools for CBA’s current and prospective members that help individuals gain access to responsible credit- and asset-building financial products and services. Most recently, Sarah was the Founding Executive Director of Innovative Changes, one of the few CDFI nonprofit loan funds in the country dedicated specifically to consumer lending, financial education, and credit building as a responsible alternative to payday lenders. Sarah has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, a J.D. from the University of Texas, and is a member of the Oregon State Bar.


Spencer Cowan


Vice President, Woodstock Institute

Spencer  is Vice President of Woodstock Institute.  Since joining Woodstock in December 2011, he has published reports on the correlation between neighborhood income and racial characteristics and small business lending in the Chicago six county region,  the distribution of unresolved foreclosures in Cook County, negative equity in communities of color, access to employment-based retirement savings plans in Illinois, and on disparities in mortgage lending to women.  Before coming to Woodstock Institute, Mr. Cowan was a Senior Research Associate for nine years at the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mr. Cowan received his Ph.D. in City Planning from UNC Chapel Hill, an M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida, a J.D. from Boston University School of Law, and an A.B. from Columbia University.


Melinda Croes

Melinda Croes

Manager of Asset Building Programs, Heartland Human Care Services

Melinda, MSW, LSW, is the Manager of Asset Building programs at Heartland Human Care Services, Inc. Melinda has worked in asset building programs for more than eight years and in direct service for over thirteen years.  Her prior experienced focused on case management, housing, mental health, and substance use. Melinda currently oversees asset building programs for formerly homeless adults, low-wage earners, residents of subsidized housing, and Veterans. Melinda holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Alexandria Cummings


President & Founder, Mind Over Matter Financial

Alexandria is President and Founder of Mind Over Matter Financial, a financial education company that helps women and their families discover and maximize their wealth potential. Through coaching, consulting, seminars, and courses, Alexandria mentors her clients in discovering and addressing every day behaviors that block them from living the abundant life they deserve. Having over a decade of experience in the financial services industry, Alexandria served as a Financial Advisor and Investment Advisor Representative with AXA Advisors, MetLife Financial Services, MassMutual, and ING Financial Partners where she provided fee-based advice and sold a range of investment and insurance products. She is a graduate of Fisk University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a concentration in Financial Economics.


Percy Dace

Percy A. Dace Photo_August 2014

Vice President, Community & Economic Development, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House

 Percy has a wealth of experience working in low income communities to enhance economic development and financial stability. Over the past 25 years, Percy has helped create small businesses and job opportunities for low income families in the Metro East area of Illinois. He was previously the owner of the DACE Company with a mission to revitalize urban communities, through the improvement of lives of people and their neighborhoods. DACE Company concentrated on real estate development, crime prevention, economic and business development and leadership development. Percy a Steering Committee member of the Illinois Asset Building Group (IABG), Vice Chair of Illinois Partners for Human Service and Vice Chair of the Illinois African American Family Commission, has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, McKendree University and a Master’s of Science degree in Urban Affairs & Policy Analysis, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.


Lynda DeLaforgue

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Co-Director , Citizen Action/Illinois

Lynda has 32 years of experience in progressive issue and political campaign strategy, policy development and fundraising. She has been Co-Director of Citizen Action/Illinois since 2000 and has spearheaded the organization’s statewide and national campaigns for prescription drug relief for seniors, quality, affordable health care, and payday loan reform. Lynda currently serves as a lead convenor of the Msgr. John Egan Campaign for Payday Loan Reform, and most recently served  as a member of the steering committees of Illinois Unites for Marriage and A Better Illinois Campaign for Fair Taxes.  She is on the Board of Directors of the national advocacy group USAction.  Lynda is the proud recipient of the Chicago Coalition of Labor Union Women’s 2013 Olga Madar UAW Award.


Molly Delaney


Executive Director, Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation

Molly recently joined the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation as Executive Director. The foundation supports and invests in Champaign-Urbana public schools to make all students college and career ready. Her primary responsibilities include fund development, marketing and oversight of the foundation’s four pillar programs. One of these programs, CUScholars, provides financial literacy instruction for high school students. Although she is new to the foundation, Molly has more than 30 years of experience generating and budgeting resources for programs that enrich the educational experience.


Courtney Eccles


Policy Director, Woodstock Institute

Courtney leads Woodstock Institutes’ policy initiatives at the local, state, and national level. Her responsibilities include legislative advocacy, regulatory reform, and coalition work with Woodstock’s partners. Her specific interests include predatory lending reform, adequate retirement savings, and the creation of and access to safe financial products. Courtney joined Woodstock in November of 2012 after five years with Protestants for the Common Good where she most recently served as the Director of Policy and Outreach. Courtney received a B.S. with honors in Social Policy and a Masters in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University.


Dr. William Elliott III


Associate Professor, University of Kansas

Dr. William Elliott III is an associate professor at the University of Kansas (KU) and founder of the Assets and Education Initiative (AEDI) a Center in KU’s School of Social Welfare. He also serves as a faculty associate for the Center for Social Development and he is a Senior Research Fellow for New America Foundation’s Asset Building Program. Dr. Elliott is a leading researcher in the field of children’s savings and college matriculation and success. He has written extensively on the relationship between assets and children’s educational outcomes.  Recently the Federal Reserve in St. Louis highlighted his work on college matriculation and student debt in their Annual Report. Further, his research has served as the impetus for Children’s Savings Account (CSA) programs and policies across the U.S., such as Kindergarten to College (K2C) in San Francisco, College Savings Accounts in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and the American Dream Accounts Act recently introduced into Congress.


Jane Flanagan


Assistant Attorney General and Labor Counsel, Office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan

Jane is an Assistant Attorney General and Labor Counsel in the Office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.  In this role she works on high impact labor and employment litigation, advises on policy matters and legislation, and serves as a liaison between the Office of the Attorney General and other State agencies, unions, community organizations, and workers groups on issues that affect Illinois workers.  Jane moved to Illinois in 2012 from Maryland, where she was general counsel to the Maryland Commissioner of Labor and Industry.  Prior to that, Jane represented employees in private employment litigation.  Among other matters, Jane has represented poultry processing workers and bus drivers in large class action suits for unpaid wages and overtime pay.


Theresa Gibbons


Director of Asset Building and Violence Recovery Services, Heartland Human Care Services

Theresa, Director of Asset Building and Violence Recovery Services, has worked in anti-violence and asset building programs for the past 14 years. Her direct service experience has focused on tenants’ rights, case management, and financial education.  She joined the Asset Development team at Heartland Alliance in 2006 and implemented the Family Self-Sufficiency program for residents of public housing with the Chicago Housing Authority.


Patrice Howard


Vice President of Administrative Operations, Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation

Patrice is Vice President of Administrative Operations at Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation (SIHF), a community-based, Federally Qualified Heath Center (FQHC) network with approximately 600 employees and over 30 health centers that serve predominately low income or medically underserved populations throughout 9 counties in southern Illinois.  Throughout her career at SIHF, Patrice’s responsibilities have included the overall accountability and oversight of the Human Resources, Facilities Management, Customer Service, Employee Health, 340B – Discount Drug Program, and Patient Navigation/ Outreach & Enrollment Departments.  In addition to fostering the company’s service culture, Patrice’s career highlights at SIHF include project leadership of major construction and renovations projects including but not limited to two American Recovery and Reinvestment Act construction projects totaling approximately $11M. Patrice’s compassionate leadership of the 31 person Patient Navigation/ Outreach & Enrollment Department has led to the education of over 9,000 and enrollment of approximately 6,800 individuals and families without health insurance coverage into the Illinois Expanded Medicaid Program or Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace made available through the Federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Patrice earned an MBA from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Nadeen Israel

Nadeen Israel, Heartland Alliance. Photo by Andrew Collings.

Project Manager - Healthcare Policy, Heartland Alliance

Nadeen has worked for Heartland Alliance since 2009, and her current focus is health policy. In this position, Nadeen advocates for a health care system that fosters innovative, cost-effective, and integrated models of coordinated care and addresses the needs of vulnerable populations. Prior to joining the policy and advocacy team at Heartland Alliance, Nadeen worked with the Social IMPACT Research Center where she served as the Research Manager for a needs assessment study. Nadeen has experience advocating for policy including health care, domestic violence and state budget and tax policy. Her work is informed by Heartland Alliance’s service-based expertise, with the belief that effective policy change occurs when based on realities at the direct service level. Nadeen holds a Master’s in Social Work from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, and a BS in Business Administration from the School of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Kilolo Kijakazi

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Institute Fellow, Urban Institute

Kilolo recently joined the Urban Institute as an Institute Fellow.  She will work with staff across the organization to develop collaborative relationships with organizations representing people of color, women, and communities outside Washington, DC; conduct research on issues of concern to these communities; and help to identify resources to re-establish and expand Urban’s pipeline program for undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral scholars of color. For the past 11 years, Kilolo was a program officer at The Ford Foundation and managed an initiative that promoted public support for the creation of inclusive savings accounts from birth through retirement, and Social Security reforms that improved benefits for low-wage workers.  This approach incorporated the expertise of people of color into all aspects of the work, including research, policy, and practice. Prior to that, Kilolo was a senior policy analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities where she specialized in Social Security; a program analyst for the US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service where she designed and monitored evaluations of the Food Stamp Program and demonstrations of non-custodial parents programs; and a policy analyst at the National Urban League Washington Operations office where she worked on welfare reform, employment, and education.


Justin King


Policy Director, New America Foundation

Justin King is policy director of the Asset Building Program at the New America Foundation, which aims to promote policies and ideas that significantly broaden access to economic resources through increased savings and asset ownership, especially among lower-income families. He leads the Asset Building Program’s efforts to communicate with policymakers and the public. Justin spent over six years as a legislative assistant to former U.S. Senator James Jeffords (I-VT). He worked extensively on both the Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committees and worked on legislation reauthorizing TANF, Head Start, Elementary and Secondary Education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. He is a graduate of St. Lawrence University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in government.


Thaddeus King


Senior Associate, The Pew Charitable Trusts

Thaddeus is a senior associate for The Pew Charitable Trusts’ safe checking project, an initiative that advocates for policies that better protect and inform American checking accountholders. He has worked on several major report releases that focus on improving the safety and transparency of key banking practices, including disclosures, overdraft fees, and arbitration practices. He also has worked extensively on alternative consumer transaction accounts, particularly prepaid cards. Previously, King worked as a law clerk at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions in the departments of regulatory affairs and regulatory compliance and as a research assistant focused on financial regulation at The George Washington University Law School. King holds a bachelor of arts degree in business management from the University of South Carolina and a juris doctor degree from The George Washington University Law School.


Daniel Lau

Daniel Lau_Photo

Programs Director, Mission Asset Fund

Daniel is MAF’s (Mission Asset Fund) Programs Director in San Francisco, CA. He oversees MAF’s social loan programs locally in the Mission District of San Francisco and manages partnerships across the United States to expand and replicate MAF’s innovative savings and credit-building programs. He provides guidance and support to MAF’s local programs team as well as training and technical assistance to nonprofit partners as they adopt and implement the program with their local communities. Before MAF, he served as a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow, conducting research and advocacy for anti-hunger programs and initiatives in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Washington, DC. A native of San Diego, he holds degrees from the University of California, San Diego and Boston University.


David Marzahl

CEP tax Volunteers

President & CEO, Center for Economic Progress

David serves as the President and CEO at the Center for Economic Progress (CEP) in Chicago, Illinois. In his current role, David is a leading voice and strategist on economy security issues, seeking to
advance policies and practices to create a financial system that works for all Americans. CEP is one of the nation’s premier providers of tax and financial services for low-income families, reaching 25,000 customers each year, and giving them the tools to make sound choices. In addition to his work overseeing CEP, David helped establish and grow the National Community Tax Coalition (NCTC). David has a master’s degree in Political Economy from Northwestern University and serves as an IABG Steering Committee Member


Valerie McWilliams


Senior Supervisory Attorney, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation

Valerie graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1982, and has worked at the Champaign office of Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation for over 30 years, serving as managing attorney for 18 years.  Currently a Senior Supervisory Attorney, her work focuses on health and public benefits work as well as a number of community development projects.  Examples of such collaborative projects:  helping to start a neighborhood farm focused on youth education and workforce development, starting a non-profit car dealership, promoting alternatives to payday lending and serving on a hospital community coalition to transform their charity care policies in a way that shifts  what had been massive amounts of medical debt into forgiven debt.


Ruby Mendenhall

Ruby Mendenhall - professor of African-American Studies

Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ruby holds joint faculty appointments in Sociology, African American Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, and Social Work. She examines social inequality and the role of public policy and individuals’ agency in social mobility. Professor Mendenhall has 24 years of professional and research experience with families from various racial backgrounds, with primary focus on African American women and families. Professor Mendenhall has a Ph.D in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University.


Michael Mirra

Michael Mirrra 2013-10-30

Executive Director, Tacoma Housing Authority

Michael is the executive director of the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) in Tacoma, Washington.  He has served in that position since 2004.  Before that he served as THA’s General Counsel, beginning in 2002.  Prior to joining THA, Michael practiced law for more than twenty years with Legal Services representing low-income persons and organizations.  From 1980 to 2002, he practiced law with Columbia Legal Services in Seattle and Tacoma.  His practice there included trial and appellate litigation in state and federal court, practice before state administrative agencies, and advising nonprofit organizations.  His practice focused on fair housing law, landlord-tenant law, growth management law, housing policy, nonprofit governance, and the homelessness of children.  From 1978 to 1980, he practiced law with the Tennessee Association of Legal Services in Nashville, Tennessee.  Michael graduated from Vanderbilt Law School and the University of Chicago.


Otis Monroe

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Founder & CEO, Monroe Foundation

Otis is the founder and CEO of the Monroe Foundation, a 21 year-old community reinvestment and public policy membership based coalition of over 100 nonprofit and faith-based organizations that has successfully advocated for and facilitated over $ 1 million in community development grants, lending and contributions to create affordable housing, job development, access to banking, and foreclosure prevention in Proviso Township, Austin, Englewood, Roseland and South Suburban Cook County. Mr. Monroe is a graduate of the University of California at Northridge with a degree in Theater, a Masters of Education degree in Education from Roosevelt University, Chicago, and a 1991 nonprofit management Roosevelt University Graduate Fellow in Nonprofit Management.




Lucy Mullany

Lucy Mullany

Senior Project Manager - Financial Empowerment Policy, Heartland Alliance

Lucy is the Senior Project Manager for the Financial Empowerment Policy Unit at Heartland Alliance and serves as the Coordinator of the Illinois Asset Building Group (IABG). In this position, Lucy leads state efforts to advance public policy that builds the stability and strength of Illinois communities through increased asset ownership and asset protection. Prior to joining Heartland Alliance, Lucy worked with the Center for Economic Progress where she served as the Government Relations Manager for the National Community Tax Coalition. Lucy currently serves on CFED’s Assets & Opportunity Network Steering Committee. She holds a Masters in Social Science from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola University Chicago.


Stephanie Neely


Treasurer, City of Chicago

Stephanie Neely, a native Chicagoan who grew up on the Southside, serves as the Treasurer of the City of Chicago. She brings more than 20 years of financial services experience with leading investment banking institutions. A former vice president at Northern Trust Global Investments, Ms. Neely was responsible for working with public and corporate pension funds. As an African-American woman, Ms. Neely created opportunities for minority and women-owned financial services firms by fostering relationships with Northern Trust and thereby helping them establish a foothold in the industry. Ms. Neely consistently draws on her work in the fields of asset management, municipal and corporate finance in her role as Treasurer of the City of Chicago. Ms. Neely holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Smith College and a Master’s of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business. She has served on the board of several civic and business organizations, including the Chicago Summer Business Institute, the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Securities Professionals, the Urban Prep Charter School, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, the Adler School of Psychology and the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority. Ms. Neely and her son live in the North Kenwood neighborhood and are members of Lawndale Community Church, located on the City’s Westside. She was elected City Treasurer in 2007 and was re-elected in 2011.


Dory Rand


President, Woodstock Institute

Dory is President of Woodstock Institute, a leading research and policy nonprofit focused on fair lending, wealth creation, and financial systems reform. An attorney with 30 years’ experience in Chicago, including the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago (LAF), ACLU of Illinois, and private law firm practice, she serves on the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Advisory Board, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition Board, and the State Banking Board of Illinois. She previously was appointed by the Governor to co-chair the Illinois Children’s Savings Account Task Force and to serve on the Illinois Taxpayer Action Board. She has administered asset-building programs for adults, teens, and children, and is a founding member and steering committee member of the Illinois Asset Building Group. Dory has published extensively, presented at many national conferences, and appeared in numerous local and national media.


Solana Rice


Senior Policy Manager, CFED

Solana is a Senior Policy Manager for State & Local Policy. In this role, Ms. Rice leads several initiatives, including Family Assets Count, a project that aims to bring local asset data and policy innovation to cities across the country. Ms. Rice has a passion for expanding economic opportunity for low-income people and people of color through asset building, community development, and economic development. Prior to CFED, Ms. Rice worked as an Associate Director for PolicyLink. Ms. Rice holds a Master in City Planning degree from MIT and a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis.


Eve Rips

Photo by Christopher Dilts

Midwest Director, Young Invincibles

Eve is the Midwest Director of Young Invincibles, a national non-profit organization that works to amplify the voices of young adults aged 18 to 34 and to expand economic opportunity for Millennials.  She is responsible for the development of all programs in Chicago and in the Midwest, as well as for overseeing the Midwest office on a day-to-day basis.  Prior to joining Young Invincibles she worked as a civil rights attorney, focusing on educational equity in the Chicagoland area.  She received her JD from the University of Chicago Law School and her BA from Stanford University.


Nathalie Rosado

Nathalie Rosado

Financial Literacy Coordinator, Ladder Up

Nathalie is the Financial Literacy Coordinator at Ladder Up, a non-profit dedicated to providing free financial services for low-income families. In this position, she works with low-income individuals and families to provide them with financial literacy workshops and resources in order to help them achieve financial stability. Prior to Ladder Up, Ms. Rosado worked as an outreach coordinator for the Legal Assistance Foundation through AmeriCorps, where she coordinated economic empowerment workshops and resources for immigrant victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame.


Carolyn Schulte

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Programs and Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, Credit Builders Alliance

As the Programs and Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, Carolyn leads the day to day implementation of CBA’s trail blazing Power of Rent Reporting pilot program. Carolyn also supports CBA’s Credit Check Learning Community, credit building trainings, and credit building outcome tracking activities and resources. Carolyn received her Master’s degree in Political Science with an applied sequence in Community and Economic Development from Illinois State University in 2013 and her bachelor’s degree from Providence College in 2010. Before starting with Credit Builders Alliance, Carolyn worked with several non-profit organizations in the areas of refugee resettlement, civic education, and out of school time programming.


Perri Small


Journalist & Radio Host, WVON

Perri R. Small is one of the city’s most astute journalists, specializing in social issues, politics and education. With more than 30 years of print and broadcast journalistic experience, Small is a favored speaker, panelist and moderator, lending her thoughts and unique brand of truth-talk in forums and town hall meetings. Small began her career covering City Hall and the ‘Council Wars’ which ensued after the election of the late Harold Washington, Chicago’s first African American Mayor. Her tenacity and professionalism lead to Small being asked to join Mayor Washington’s administration as an Assistant Press Secretary. In addition to hosting the mid-morning show (from 9a-12n), Small produces small projects, including the critically acclaimed radio documentary: From zero to fifty: How Mayor Richard M. Daley marginalized Black politics in Chicago.


Amy Terpstra

Heartland Alliance: Amy Terpstra. December 18, 2012. Photo by Andrew Collings.

Director, Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance

Amy is the Director of the Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance. Amy’s work focuses on researching and disseminating knowledge on issues related to poverty and human services and empowering nonprofit professionals to access, analyze, interpret, and communicate data and research to help realize their missions. In her 9 years with IMPACT, she has led a diverse portfolio of studies including an examination of the racial wealth gap, several evaluations of subsidized employment programs, a study of the long-term outcomes of youth media programs, a needs assessment of public housing residents with barriers to employment, and a child nutrition needs assessment, among others. Amy holds a master’s degree in social work from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Tim Tolliver

Tim Tolliver

President/CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley

Tim Tolliver has worked with the Boys and Girls Club for more than 14 years. Originally from St. Louis, MO, Tim is a graduate of Missouri Valley College-Marshall and is currently the President/CEO- of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley. Growing up in St. Louis he attended what is now the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis from age 8.


Stacey Woods

Stacy Woods

Financial Coach, North Lawndale Employment Network

Stacey, Financial Coach for North Lawndale Employment Network’s Center for Working families program, provides financial education programming to help clients to gain and maintain financial security. Prior to becoming a Financial Coach with NLEN, Stacey served as the Income Support Specialist at NLEN from 2009 to 2011 and assisted over 400 clients to obtain over $400,000 in public benefits. Before returning to NLEN, Stacey served as a Housing Advocate for the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program with Lutheran Child and Family Services. Stacey brings case management experience to NLEN as well as a passion for social justice advocacy. Stacey holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Governors State University.


Precious Wright


Career Adviser, Youth Job Center

Precious is a career adviser at the Youth Job Center (YJC) in Evanston, IL where she coordinates the W.I.L.L. (Women Invested In Learning & Livelihoods) career advancement program. The 18 month long initiative is geared towards providing access to better career opportunities to underemployed women so they can successfully obtain higher wages, employer-provided benefits, post-secondary credentials, financial stability and self- sufficiency.  In 2011, the Evanston/North Shore YWCA honored her with the Lorraine H. Morton Young Woman of Promise Award, named after former Evanston Mayor, the Honorable Lorraine H. Morton.