Helping Businesses Keep Both ii's On The BIG Picture For Over 16 Years!
15th Annual Education Finance & Loan Symposium

MAY 20-21, 2024

Hyatt Regency Crystal City
@Reagan Airport

Washington, DC

Our Executive Speaking Faculty

Applications are now being reviewed from executives who wish to become members of our Executive Speaking Faculty. If you have extensive knowledge of education finance/student loans and would like to apply for a position on our speaking faculty, please complete our online JOIN OUR FACULTY application or contact:

Don Buford, Founder & CEO, iiBIG
Phone: 212-300-2521 | Email:

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 @ 11:30 AM
KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Federal Student Aid Update: Loan Forgiveness & More in 2024

Richard CordrayRichard A. Cordray, Chief Operating Officer, Federal Student Aid, United States Department of Education

Richard Cordray is the chief operating officer for the U.S. Department of Education office of Federal Student Aid (FSA). FSA administers the federal student aid programs, which—in Fiscal Year 2023—provided more than $114 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds to 9.7 million students at 5,400 postsecondary schools. In total, FSA manages a federal student loan portfolio valued at more than $1.6 trillion, representing more than 45 million customers.

Cordray is responsible for FSA’s strategic and operational management. Since May 2021, Cordray has overseen significant changes to the federal student aid programs, including stronger standards for performance, transparency, and accountability for its student loan servicers to protect borrowers and improve customer experience. Under his leadership, FSA reestablished its Enforcement Office to increase focus on investigating problem schools that pose the most risk to students and taxpayers, requiring greater accountability by owners of schools when the institutions fail to follow program participation rules, and building new partnerships with state officials to collaborate on investigations and enforcement actions.

In 2023, FSA oversaw efforts to return more than 28 million federal student loan borrowers to repayment after a more than three-year pause. These efforts included launching the most-affordable repayment plan ever—the SAVE (Saving on A Valuable Education) Plan—and a simplified application to apply for SAVE. FSA is also working to implement the most ambitious changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) in more than 40 years. In addition, FSA continues to deliver targeted debt relief to student loan borrowers, including through income-driven repayment forgiveness, borrower defense to repayment, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and aid for borrowers with total and permanent disabilities. The total debt relief provided during his tenure now exceeds $136 billion for 3.7 million borrowers.

Cordray brings to FSA extensive leadership and expertise, as well as a commitment to serving consumers and American families. His past public service includes several senior state and federal positions, including serving as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from 2012 to 2017. Prior to that, Cordray served as the Ohio Attorney General, Ohio Treasurer, Ohio’s first Solicitor General, and a member of the Ohio General Assembly.

Cordray majored in legal and political theory at Michigan State University’s James Madison College. He earned a master’s degree in philosophy, politics, and economics while a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University in England. He then earned a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Law Review. He clerked for Judge Robert Bork on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. He has since argued seven cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and was a professor of constitutional law for many years.

Cordray is married and is the father of young adult twins.

Jason AltmireDr. Jason Altmire, President & CEO, Career Education Colleges & Universities (CECU)

Dr. Jason Altmire is the CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities, the national association representing private postsecondary career schools. CECU has more than 1,100 campus and affiliate members throughout North America. In this role, Jason represents the nation’s career schools before Congress and the Biden Administration. He was previously a three-term U.S. Congressman, where he served as a member of the Higher Education Subcommittee and the House-Senate conference committee that negotiated the final language of the Higher Education Act last time it was enacted.

Jeff AndradeJeff Andrade, (former Deputy Asst. Sect., DOE) and SVP, McKeon Group

Jeff Andrade is a Senior Advisor with the McKeon Group.  He has extensive expertise in higher education; postsecondary training and workforce development; student lending, servicing and collections; as well as in financial services and federal training programs for small businesses. With over 30 years of experience in both the public and private sector, Jeff combines political insights from 14 years in the Executive Branch and on Capitol Hill with over 16 years of real-world business knowledge managing and advising on government relations for a number of organizations in the private sector. He most recently served as Senior Policy Advisor for a bipartisan strategic consulting and lobbying firm based in Washington, DC, where he advised over 10 clients in higher education and financial services. He also has served with two boutique DC law firms specializing in higher education; and as in-house executive for a student loan finance company. In the public sector, Jeff held Executive Service positions during both terms of President George W. Bush. He was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, and also as the Director of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). During his tenure he worked closely with Chairman McKeon on a bipartisan higher education deregulation effort as well. In the second Bush term, he served as Associate Administrator for Entrepreneurial Development at the U.S. Small Business Administration where he managed $100 million in technical assistance programs to provide training and business counseling for over 2.4 million small business clients. On Capitol Hill, Jeff was a senior Republican staffer on the House Education and Workforce Committee, where he worked on the 1998 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. He worked closely with Chairman McKeon to enact landmark legislation creating the Federal government’s first performance-based organization, the Federal Student Aid office at the U.S. Department of Education, which resulted in the modernization of the technology systems supporting the student aid programs. As a career civil servant at the Education Department, Jeff worked his way up from entry-level policy analyst working on Pell Grants, to senior budget analyst responsible for Federal Student Aid. He led several major regulatory and policy initiatives and initiated the first comprehensive oversight review of Sallie Mae.  Jeff holds a Bachelor’s degree with Honors in Political Science from The American University in Washington, DC.

Jeff ArthurJeff Arthur, VP Regulatory Affairs & CIO, East Coast Polytechnic Institute (ECPI University)

Jeff has been responsible for higher education financial aid and technology management for 40 years, and has implemented and managed robust higher education technology solutions across all functional areas of ECPI University. Jeff has served as a primary negotiator in the U.S. Department of Education’s negotiated rulemaking process in the past, including gainful employment rulemaking in 2018, and has served and chaired several higher education advisory boards and committees. He is actively involved with legislative, regulatory and Veteran’s education issues and regularly advocates for higher education transparency and career education with all of those constituencies.

David BaileyDavid Bailey, Vice President, Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC)

David Bailey has served in the student loan industry for over three decades.  He currently oversees the Advantage Loan Program offered by KHESLC, and manages the School Services functions (KHEAA Verify and Cohort Default Management Services), as well as the remaining FFEL guarantor processes.  In addition, he facilitates the senior management team responsible for setting the underwriting and eligibility standards for the Advantage Loan Program. Mr. Bailey began his career at USA Group/Sallie Mae, supporting them in various capacities for 11 years before transitioning to KHEAA/KHESLC/ARC. Over the past 23 years with the Organization, he has held several pivotal roles in Resource Management, Electronic Development, and Loan Administration. In his current position as Vice President, he continues to play a vital role in shaping the Organization’s strategies and operations. Mr. Bailey successfully earned his undergraduate degree from Midway University while serving full time at the Organization and raising his children as a single parent.  Mr. Bailey has also served in several leadership positions within the Kentucky Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (KASFAA), along with his current role as Co-Chair of the Private Loan Committee for the National Council of Higher Education Resources.

Amy BevilacquaAmy Bevilacqua, Managing Partner, Green Street Impact Partners

Amy Bevilacqua is the Managing Partner of Green Street Impact Partners, a growth equity fund making impact investments in the future of education.  Amy’s career straddles both investing and operating experience, with over 30 years leading education companies. Her operating experience includes serving as a C-level executive for Private Equity backed education companies.  She led a portfolio company for the private equity firm KKR–an educational film production and distribution house—and shepherded its sale to a strategic buyer.  She was also the Chief Marketing Officer for Smarterville, a portfolio company of Sterling Partners, and the company behind Hooked on Phonics, leading to its sale to a strategic buyer.  Amy started out her career in college admissions, co-founded a division of a scholarly publishing house, and ran content-related businesses for the national headquarters of the Public Broadcasting Service. Most recently, Amy was the Chief Innovation Officer for American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:  APEI) running strategy and investments.   She is the immediate past President of the Alumni Council at Carleton College, her undergraduate alma mater.  As a Yale School of Management alum, she co-founded YaleWomen, an independent 501c3 and global network of over 35,000 female alums across the university.

Marilena BotoulasMarilena Botoulas, Associate Dean for Curriculum & Programs,
Columbia University, Graduate School of Business

Marilena Botoulas joined Columbia Business School in 2005 as the Director of Financial Aid, was promoted to Assistant Dean for Financial Aid in 2013 and is now Associate Dean for Curriculum and Programs.  Her current responsibilities include administration of admissions & financial aid, records & registration, career management, teaching excellence and student affairs for students in the school’s full time, Executive MBA and MS programs, working in partnership with the Senior Vice Dean for Curriculum & Programs.  Prior to her move to Columbia, Marilena was the Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business and a Fund Accountant for the asset management company Lord, Abbett, & Co.  Over the last 20 years, she has also held several NYC Executive Committee positions for the not-for-profit, Minds Matter of NYC, Inc.  Marilena earned her B.S. in Finance from St. John’s University, her M.A. in School Counseling from New York University and her Executive MBA from Columbia Business School.

Mark BrownDr. Mark Brown, Major General (Ret.), Ed.D., Executive Director, Student Freedom Initiative,
Former COO, Student Financial Aid, US Department of Education (2020-2021)

Mark Brown is the Executive Director of the Student Freedom Initiative (SFI). SFI, A 501 (C) provides holistic support through four primary components: (1) Income contingent funding alternative to fixed payment obligations, (2) Internships, (3) Targeted HBCU capacity building, and (4) Tutoring, mentoring, and other student services. On 23 November 2020, SFI announced nine participating HBCUs, who identified the qualified STEM majors for eligible juniors and seniors starting with the Fall 2021 academic year.  Mr. Brown is the Former Chief Operating Officer for the U.S Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA). FSA, all Title IV funding (Grants, Work study, Student Loans) is a lending portfolio of $1.5T, 6K partner schools and 43 million customers (students, borrowers, and parents). In the Air Force, Major General Brown led a Continuum of Learning (Education, Training, and Experiences) for 600,000 global learners including two Graduate and Doctoral degree granting universities.  In addition, he has recent Senior Executive level experience in the successful enterprise-wide implementation and cultural change required to implement competency-based education, personalized learning, and a learning ecosystem for over 600,000 Air Force learners.  As a Senior Executive and CFO for $60B portfolio, Mr. Brown implemented enough savings and efficiencies to live within a budget that was reduced by 33% in a single year…received “Best in Air Force” rating. Rated “Best in Air Force” for quality of life and installation excellence, when serving as COO managing 6,013 acre pilot training base (equivalent to college campus).  Brown served in a 32-year Air Force career with over 20 years in senior executive positions encompassing all aspects of operations for diverse organizations ranging in size from 200 to over 200,000 individuals. Retired at the rank of Major General (Two Stars), Mark Brown is highly regarded for his ability to communicate at all levels both verbally and in written form. Security Clearance: TS/SCI.  General Brown received his Doctorate in Higher Education (Ed.D.) from Baylor University.

Scott BuchananScott Buchanan, Executive Director, Student Loan Servicing Alliance

Scott Buchanan is the Executive Director of the Student Loan Servicing Alliance (SLSA), a trade association that represents more than 40 student loan servicers and their business partners in both federal and private student lending. Previously, Scott was Senior Vice President of Business Development and Government Affairs for CBE Companies, a global provider of outsourced call center and collection services.  Scott has also been Principal Consultant at Merak Associates LLC, where he has advised and counseled clients including financial services and investment firms, institutions of higher education, and BPO companies on legislative, regulatory, and business development strategy.  Before his consulting work, Scott served as Vice President of Business Development, Sales, and Marketing at Navient.  In that role he ran corporate marketing, oversaw brand strategy, directed business development and the sales organizations, while advising the company on corporate strategy.  Prior to Navient, he served as Vice President of Government Affairs and Services with Sallie Mae.  In that role he worked with Members of Congress, government agencies, and other policymakers to inform discussion on higher education, financial services, and tax policy.  He oversaw the state affairs interests of the company and had responsibility for lobbying and political compliance processes. Over the years he also worked at Sallie Mae in various management capacities, has past political campaign experience, and worked for Wachovia Corporation in Atlanta, GA.  Scott holds a Bachelors in Political Science from Davidson College and a Masters in Public Policy from George Mason University.  He currently resides in Alexandria, VA.

Cooper PrestonPreston Cooper, Higher Education Policy Researcher,
Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP)

Preston Cooper is a senior fellow in higher education policy at the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP), where his research focuses on college return on investment and the federal student loan program. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes and has published writing in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

Kayvan DarouianKayvan Darouian, Director, Consumer ABS Research, Deutsche Bank

Kayvan Darouian joined Deutsche Bank in June 2012 and is the lead analyst covering consumer and esoteric ABS on the Securitization Research team. Before joining Deutsche Bank, Kayvan spent six years at a British bank working in securitization research and portfolio management. He received his BS in economics and biology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and his MBA at the Yale School of Management.

Billy DavisBilly Davis, VP, Client & Product Management, Campus Door

Billy Davis is the Vice President of Client and Product Management at CampusDoor, a white label originations platform that specializes in all programs for higher education as well as other types of loans.  He joined CampusDoor in 2014 and has held several positions all centered around assisting clients and their products.  His current role is responsible for ensuring that lenders are satisfied with their existing products and assisting them with program modifications to keep their products competitive.  He is also instrumental with business development and facilitating lenders get to market as quickly as possible.  Prior to joining CampusDoor, Billy obtained his bachelor’s degree from Shippensburg University in history and international studies.

Mary Penbroke DwyerMary Dwyer Pembroke, Director & Assistant General Counsel, Discover Financial Services

Mary Dwyer Pembroke is a professional Washington advocate and has worked on banking, housing, consumer and private student lending issues for over 30 years. Pembroke began her career as a legislative counsel in the House and then as counsel to the Senate Banking Committee. Previously she represented two Fortune 50 employers on Capitol Hill, and has worked for Discover Financial Services in her present role for 14 years. She currently leads Discover’s advocacy on private student lending, the states’ attorneys general, fraud, AI, consumer banking and housing issues. Pembroke also serves as the elected president of the Student Loan Servicing Alliance (SLSA). Mary holds undergraduate and law degrees from Marquette University, and has previously held Series 7, 24, and 66 licenses. She and her husband live in Northern Virginia and have three adult children who claim they are launched – however all of them remain on their parents’ phone plan.

Sharon GoldSharon Gold, Head of Capital Markets, College Ave Student Loans

Sharon Gold is the Head of Capital Markets at College Ave Student Loans, a private student loan fintech lending company.  Sharon focuses on College Ave’s student loan securitizations, debt facilities, warehouse lines, loans sales and forward flow agreements. Prior to College Ave, Sharon spent over 20 years in the student loan business in senior level positions at investment banks and rating agencies. Sharon was a senior banker in the Fixed Income Division of Morgan Stanley where she worked on student loan ABS and municipal bond transactions for for-profit, state agency, and not-for-profit student loan lenders. Sharon was also the Head of Student Loan ABS Originations at ABN AMRO managing student loan securitizations and student loan financings through ABN’s ABCP conduits. At the rating agencies, Sharon was the Head of the Student Loan Ratings Group at Moody’s Investor Service. She also spent time at S&P Global developing and writing methodologies for the Structured Financed Group for all securitized asset types, including student loans. Sharon has a B.S. in Accounting from Syracuse University and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York.

Joe GriecoJoe Grieco, Chief Legal Officer, College Ave Student Loan Servicing, LLC

Joe Grieco is the Chief Legal Officer at College Ave Student Loans.  Joe has 20+ years of experience in the financial services industry. He is an Attorney and Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager with experience in both litigation and compliance advisory capacities. He has prior financial services experience at J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and MBNA and previously was in private practice at Reed Smith, LLP. He received a JD from Widener University and BS in Finance from the University of Delaware.

Rich HainesRich Haines, CEO, OneLogos

Mr. Haines has thirty years of financial services and technology experience and is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OneLogos, an EdTech and enterprise software company.  OneLogos offers technology solutions to all stakeholders in the financial aid market including lenders, financial institutions, schools, non-profits, foundations and community groups through the Red Kite ( platform.  Red Kite is a digital ecosystem connecting students, parents and job seekers with money to pay for college and job training.  Mr. Haines also serves as co-founder and managing director of Crucible, a not-for-profit company formed to transform future-leaning college and job training organizations. Prior to OneLogos he founded two successful start-up organizations, served as the head of operations for a private education lender and has held senior leadership positions with MBNA America and Bank of America in the U.S., Canada and Europe supporting mergers and acquisitions, credit, customer service, collections and technology. Mr. Haines graduated with a bachelor’s degree in International Politics and Finance from The Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania.

David HeintzelmanDavid A Heintzelman, Supervisory Examiner, Field Manager (NE Region),
CFPB – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

David Heintzelman is a Field Manager for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and is based in the Northeast Region.  He has been at the Bureau for over 12 years.  He has worked on and has overseen many exams including several Student Lending exams.  David was actively involved with the recent student loan servicing transfer oversight project necessitated by several large services exiting the Federal student loan servicing business.  David has a portfolio of six entities including two student loan servicing companies.  Prior to joining the Bureau, he worked for 14 years in retail bank branch management for a large regional bank. He is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager, has a degree in Business Management from Southern New Hampshire University, and recently graduated from the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking.

Henry HowardHenry B. Howard, President & CEO, U.S. Education Finance Group

Henry B. Howard began his banking career in 1978 at Maryland National Bank in Baltimore, Maryland.  Subsequently, he held officer or management level positions at National Bank of Washington, Student Loan Marketing Association (“Sallie Mae”), American Security Bank of Washington, Marine Midland Bank (Delaware), CenTrust Savings Bank in Miami and BAC International Credit Corporation in Miami.  Henry founded U.S. Education Finance Group in 1999 (assets of $2.75 Billion as of 12/31/10).  He has been continuously involved with education lending since 1981.  Henry Howard has 30 years and $7 Billion of education loan origination and financing experience.

Eric HurwitzEric Hurwitz, Co-Chair, Financial Services Litigataion, Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young LLP

Eric Hurwitz is Co-Chair of Stradley Ronon’s Financial Services Litigation practice. Eric focuses his litigation practice on defending financial institutions from claims arising out of nearly every type of consumer and commercial financial product. He has extensive experience defending both single plaintiff and class action lawsuits against student lenders and servicers, banks, mortgage lenders and servicers, credit card companies, auto finance companies, debt collection companies and other financial services institutions. These include claims under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), as well as state unfair trade practices laws. Eric has defended both private and federal student loan servicers for many years in both court and private arbitration proceedings nationwide. He also works with clients to respond to regulatory inquiries and develop best practices for litigation avoidance.

Dr. A Wayne JohnsonA. Wayne Johnson, Former Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Federal Student Aid, United States Department of Education (2017-2020)e

Dr. Arthur Wayne Johnson is a public servant, accomplished businessman, veteran, student loan expert, and life-long Georgia native. From 2017 to 2019, Wayne was a senior official in President Trump’s Administration, serving as the Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer and Chief Operating Officer for the Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid. Overseeing the largest provider of student financial aid in the country, Wayne successfully led thousands of employees whose mission was to make college education accessible and affordable for millions of Americans. Prior to entering public service, Wayne amassed over 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, senior executive, and CEO of multiple businesses, both domestic and international, in the consumer finance and customer service support industries. Wayne’s professional career has given him first-hand knowledge of how to make higher education more cost-effective, so students and their families receive an education that improves their long-term employment prospects without taking on crushing levels of debt. He knows how to run organizations efficiently and effectively, and wants to continue to bring this solutions-oriented approach to the federal government. Wayne is a U.S. Army veteran, an Eagle Scout, and a product of Georgia’s education system. He holds a PhD in Higher Education Leadership from Mercer University, a Masters of Business Administration from Emory University, and Bachelor of Arts from Mercer. He and his family have long called Macon, Georgia home.

Amy JonesAmy Jones, Director, Education & Human Services Policy, Committee on Education & the Workforce

Mrs. Jones oversees all aspects of education and workforce development policy for Chairwoman Virginia Foxx of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Prior to assuming this role, Mrs. Jones specialized in higher education and student loan policy and other legal issues arising in education policy for the committee.  Previously, she was an attorney at Dean Blakey, where she handled issues important to the higher education community and the student loan industry.  Mrs. Jones also clerked at the Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.  Mrs. Jones received both her B.A. in political science and justice and her J.D. from American University

Andy KaplanAndy Kaplan, Managing General Partner, Education Growth Partners (EGP)

Before Education Growth Partners (EGP), Andy Kaplan began his career developing educational software for Scholastic. After becoming Director of the Educational Technology Group, he led the creation of WiggleWorks and other award winning products. Andy then became a senior executive at Kaplan, Inc., owned by the Washington Post Company. At Kaplan, he was responsible for leading several technology enabled services businesses, both newly acquired and organically developed. He also led the migration to technology and the Internet throughout the company – a key part of a strategy of diversification from Kaplan’s test prep business. In 2000, Andy became a General Partner in Quad Partners, a private equity firm focused exclusively on the education industry. Andy leveraged his deep education industry experience and operating ability to build successful businesses across several sub-sectors within the education industry.

Tim LehmannTimothy Lehmann, Vice President Student Financial Services, Southern New Hampshire University

An experienced higher education financing professional, with over 36 years of experience in higher education financing.  A common thread has been helping organizations to scale their operations along with finding innovative solutions to assist universities.  He has built a reputation as a thought leader in the area of technology, customer experience and innovation all the while maintaining a commitment to compliance to help colleges and universities organizational goals. Beginning his career working in the not-for-profit sector he has worked for both for profit and not for profit institutions focused primarily on Distance Education.  Mr. Lehmann has been the Vice President for Student Financial Services at Southern New Hampshire University for the past five years and has helped guide the institution through significant growth as well as assisting with improving the student experience by being relentlessly focused on creating integrating the right technology to deliver a student experience that is optimized, scalable, compliant and streamlined to achieve the universities goals.  The Vice President is a key member of the Student Experience leadership team who drives and evangelizes innovation to continuously advance the financing options available to students and to differentiate the University in the market. The Vice President establishes strategies and programs to help students become better off financially than when they started at SNHU; and ensures SNHU’s overall regulatory compliance and the financial integrity of its operations. The Vice President is a critical partner in the university’s strategic initiatives and new product development, representing SFS as a subject matter expert and regulatory advisor. The Vice President supports the Chief Experience Officer as a second in command in SFS. Mr. Lehmann has a Bachelor’s Degree from Concordia College in Minnesota and a MBA from Capella University.  He has been a presenter at numerous conferences and seminars on the topic of new and innovative financing options in higher education.

Patrick Leimkühler

Patrick Leimkuehler, COO, Splash Financial

Patrick Leimkuehler is a dynamic leader and innovator in the FinTech industry, currently serving as the Chief Operating Officer at Splash Financial, a rapidly growing startup based in Cleveland, Ohio. Since joining Splash in 2017 as the 4th employee, Patrick has played a pivotal role in its exponential growth, overseeing operations and driving strategic initiatives. Under his leadership, Splash Financial has emerged as a leading player in the FinTech space, originating over $4.5 billion in loans and securing $85 million in venture capital. He led the successful launch of multiple student loan refinance lending partners, including a top 15 US bank. Prior to his role at Splash Financial, Patrick co-founded Apollo Medical Devices, a medtech startup. Patrick spent his early career in corporate restructuring at AlixPartners and FTI Consulting. With a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame and a background in finance and corporate restructuring, Patrick brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the student loan space. Patrick is passionate about leveraging technology to address financial challenges and meeting the evolving needs of our bank and credit union lending partners.

John McNamara

John McNamara, Principal Assistant Director, Markets, CFPB

John McNamara is the Principal Assistant Director of Markets and the Assistant Director for Consumer Credit, Payments, and Deposits Markets in the Research, Markets and Regulations division of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He leads a team of subject matter experts and analysts covering the credit card, payments, deposits, student, auto, small dollar, marketplace, and installment lending markets, as well as credit reporting, debt collection, debt relief, fintech and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in consumer financial services. Prior to joining the CFPB, John was Chief Marketing Officer for LiveVox, a leading provider of cloud contact center solutions and director/co-founder of Fidelis Recovery Solutions, Inc., a debt collector. He has over 30 years of experience in the accounts receivable management (ARM) and call/contact center industries, in addition to all phases of collections, recovery and call center operations with deep focus on technology, process improvement, compliance management systems and nine years of experience as a federal consumer financial protection regulator. McNamara also served as COO for Asset Management Outsourcing, Inc., SVP of Banking and Retail Operations for First Data Corporation’s ARM unit, Nationwide Credit/ACB, and VP of Operations for United Recovery Systems, LP. In 2007, John was appointed Vice President and Board Member of the Georgia Collectors Association. John was named to Collection Advisor magazine’s list of the Top 50 Most Influential Collection Professionals for 2006 and 2019. John is a summa cum laude graduate of Kennesaw State University with a B.A. degree in Finance. In 2014, John received his MBA from Kennesaw State University, where he was named a University Scholar.

Chad Pastorius

Chad Pastorius, Deputy Director, Rhode Island Student Loan Authority

Chad Pastorius is currently the Deputy Director of the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA). In this capacity, he oversees RISLA’s Loan origination and servicing departments, marketing, and default prevention and collections departments, and he is an active participant in RISLA’s financing activities. He started his career at RISLA in 1998. From 2004 until 2007, he worked for Nelnet’s New England subsidiary where he focused on business development and managing direct marketing and consolidation loan marketing efforts.  He has a degree in accounting from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA from Bryant University.

Amit Patel

Amit Patel, Managing Director, Owl Ventures

Amit Patel has been deeply involved with a variety of firm building and investing activities across Owl Ventures since the firm was founded. He has served on the board of directors and led investments in many of the world’s leading education technology companies, including Codecademy (acquired by Skillsoft), RaiseMe (acquired by CampusLogic), Securly (acquired by Golden Gate Capital), Thinkful (acquired by Chegg), Lingo Live (acquired), Tinkergarten (acquired by Highlights for Children) and Whitehat Jr (acquired). He works closely with Amira Learning, Apna, Fiveable, Genially, Honorlock, Kuali, Leap, Mighty Networks, Panorama Education, Splashlearn, SV Academy, and Swing Education, including being a board member for some of the companies. Amit has experience scaling several education companies and is actively involved in helping Owl’s portfolio companies reach a global audience, create high quality solutions, and become world transforming. He takes a hands-on approach in helping companies across numerous functions, including distribution, strategic partnerships, talent, fundraising, M&A, exit planning, and outcomes measurement. Before joining Owl Ventures, Amit founded Personal Academic Trainers, an afterschool tutoring company, and created the quality assurance program and institutionalized sales training for Mathnasium Learning Centers, an after-school math learning center franchise with 1,000+ locations in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Amit also served as the Director of Technology for Success Academy Charter Schools, a premier charter school network in New York City with 45+ schools. Amit sits on the National Board for uAspire, a nonprofit organization ensuring that all young people have the financial information and resources necessary to find an affordable path to and through college. He received a B.A. in Mathematical Economic Analysis from Rice University and studied theatre/film at The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and New York University. Amit was an Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellow, a Pahara-NextGen Fellow, and he earned a M.B.A./M.A. in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Graduate School of Education.

Peter Payne

Peter Payne, VP Data Science, Enterval Analytics LLC

Peter Payne is an IT professional with more than 20 years of experience across several industries.   He began his IT career in the mid-1990s after having achieved both Novell and Microsoft certifications.  His first professional experience was in education and career training, working as an applications and programming instructor at Microsoft Certified Education Centers in Virginia Beach, Virginia.   Many of his students were military officers and government contractors.  Soon, Peter himself went to work for a defense contractor, working as a programmer/analyst for the Space and Naval Warfare Command.  Moving his family to Las Vegas in 2002, Peter went to work in Casino Gaming, helping to design and build some of the industry’s first player tracking and customer loyalty systems as Manager of Database Engineering for Mariposa Software, Product Manager for Compudigm International, and Chief Architect for House Advantage, Inc (acquired by Light & Wonder).  For the last nine years, Peter has worked in Student Lending as Director of Data Science for CLC, and VP of Data Science for Enterval Analytics, LLC. Peter is a U.S. Army veteran and is dedicated to progress and innovation in the EdTech and FinTech space.

Mike PierceMike Pierce, Executive Director, Student Borrower Protection Center

Mike Pierce is Executive Director and co-founder of the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC). 
SBPC engages in advocacy, policymaking, and litigation strategy to rein in industry abuses, protect borrowers’ rights, and advance racial and economic justice. Mike is also co-founder of the Student Loan Law Initiative at University of California, the nation’s only academic center focused solely on student debt and the law.

Mike is an attorney, advocate, and former senior regulator who co-founded SBPC after more than a decade fighting for student loan borrowers’ rights on Capitol Hill and at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Before he left government service to start the SBPC, for seven years, Mike was the CFPB’s lead subject-matter expert on higher education and consumer protection. He advised all aspects of the Bureau’s work related to student lending, servicing, debt collection, and oversight of for-profit colleges. From 2015 to 2017, Mike also served as a Deputy Assistant Director of the Bureau, leading the day-to-day operations of the Bureau’s Office for Students and Young Consumers. Prior to joining the staff at CFPB, Mike served as a policy advisor to Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-03), where he assisted in the passage of legislation creating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and worked on the 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.  Mike’s work on behalf of student loan borrowers has appeared in national print publications and broadcast media, including The New York TimesBBCNational Public RadioPolitico, and The Washington Post. Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy from George Washington University, and a JD from the Marshall-Wythe Law School at the College of William and Mary. As a law student, Mike worked in the Office of Federal Student Aid at the U.S. Department of Education. Mike worked in the Office of Federal Student Aid at the U.S. Department of Education.

Charles PruettCharles Pruett, Assistant Dean, Student Financial Aid, Georgetown Law Center

Charles 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 twenty 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.

Ian RasmussenIan Rasmussen, Managing Director, Co-Head ABS, Fitch Ratings

Senior Director in ABS focusing on: ABCP, consumer unsecured loans, credit cards, and student loans. Long standing relationships in asset management, with strong background in commercial paper, money markets and cash management. Also broad exposure to investment products including: closed-end funds, money market funds and local government investment pools and across many asset classes. Earned a B.S. in finance from Southern Utah University and an MBA in finance from Fordham University Graduate School of Business.


Dubravka Ritter

Dubravka Ritter, Senior Advisor and Research Fellow, Consumer Finance Institute,
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Dubravka Ritter is an Advisor and Research Fellow at the Consumer Finance Institute at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. She joined the Bank in 2011 and studies how consumer credit markets influence economic opportunity, mobility, and equality. Her research focuses on education finance, discrimination in lending, consumer financial protections, and the effects of identity theft on financial outcomes. Currently, Dubravka is examining the determinants and effects of high student loan burdens, the properties of income-contingent higher education funding, and the repercussions of debt-financed higher education. Prior to joining the Philadelphia Fed, she was an economist at the consulting firm Charles River Associates. While there, she performed statistical and econometric analysis as part of regulatory compliance and risk management support for financial institutions with mortgage, payment card, auto loan, and other portfolios. She also conducted economic analysis in support of litigation alleging antitrust violations and patent infringement, as well as merger and acquisition activity. Ritter has an M.A. in economics from the University of Toronto, and a B.A. in economics, magna cum laude, from Wellesley College.

Joe Santoro

Joseph Santoro, Director – Education Finance Team Leader, BofA Securities

Joe Santoro is head of the Education Finance Investment Banking team at BofA Securities. He began his student loan investment banking career with UBS PaineWebber assisting in the preparation of loan portfolio valuations, cash flow projections and pricing analyses. Since then, he has helped clients create new loan programs and completed numerous financings for dozens of education loan programs, many of which incorporated innovative financing strategies and securities. His clients include state agencies, quasi government agencies, 501(c)(3)s, as well as entities on the for-profit side.  In the last several years, Mr. Santoro has helped clients navigate a changing landscape and move forward with new opportunities – including the structuring and financing of non-federal student, parent, and education refinance loan programs. Upon completing his undergraduate degree in 1988, Mr. Santoro initially worked in infrastructure engineering and construction management and then moved into municipal consulting.  As a Project Manager in HDR’s Municipal Advocacy Group, Mr. Santoro advised clients faced with the threat or opportunity of privatization.  While working full time he completed his MBA in 1999 and with that transitioned into finance. Mr. Santoro holds a Bachelor and Master of Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and an MBA in Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Patricia ScherschelPatricia Scherschel, Student Lending Program Manager, CFPB – Consumer Financial Protection Bureaua

Patricia M. Scherschel is Senior Program Manager, Student Lending Markets, at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In her position within the Division of Research, Monitoring, and Regulations, she monitors and analyzes developments in student lending and serves as the in-house subject matter expert for student lending products, practices, and issues. She joined the Bureau in September 2015.  Ms. Scherschel has more than 20 years of experience in the student financial services industry. Before joining the CFPB, she served as Senior Program Manager for National Engagement and Philanthropy at United Student Aid Funds (now Strada Education Foundation). Previously, she served as a vice president at Sallie Mae, where she handled the marketing of Federal Consolidation loans and also managed product development for both Federal and private education loans. In addition, she developed a wide array of counseling resources for student loan borrowers, including repayment guides, online calculators, and debt-counseling software. Earlier in her career, she worked as a journalist, including 10 years as an economist and consumer finance writer at U.S. News & World Report. She holds a Master of Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science, both from Indiana University-Bloomington.

Aisha SmithAisha Smith, Financial Services Counsel, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Aisha Smith provides sound transactional and regulatory compliance advice to a broad clientele in the financial services sector, including banks and other lenders, trusts, loan servicers, payment processors, and fintechs. She has extensive experience guiding clients through complex matters before state banking regulators, federal agencies, and congressional committees and focusing on de-escalation. She does so by delivering legal analysis in an approachable way, fine-tuning advocacy plans by working to understand her clients’ current and future business needs. In particular, Aisha leverages her knowledge of a wide range of federal and state laws regarding privacy, higher education, debt collection, credit reporting, military benefits, consumer safeguards such as UDAAP protections, commercial transactions, and mergers and acquisitions. She offers keen insight on fast-changing emerging law, including in the crypto, buy now/pay later, and alternative lending spaces, keeping her finger on the pulse of CFPB interest in regulating competitive markets, web3, junk fees, overdraft rules, and privacy and data protection. Before joining DWT, Aisha’s practice focused on managing risks related to clients’ operational practices, product development, compliance management systems, and consumer communication. As an in-house counsel leading a loan servicer’s regulatory legal team, Aisha managed recruitment and supervision of 14 attorneys and analysts; she also co-chaired the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion program. Outside of financial services, she has served as guardian ad litem in a divorce custody proceeding referred from the Children’s Law Center.

Lance TeinertLance Teinert, Co-Founder & CEO, RevlTek

Lance is a 30-year veteran of consumer and education finance, having worked in executive positions since 1995 when he became the founding student loan operations executive with LoanStar Education Loans.  He has held senior and executive level positions with Cology, First Marblehead Corporation, Education Credit Management Corporation, and ReliaMax Holdings as well as co-founding FUTR Corporation.  Lance not only brings executive experience, but also an entrepreneurial spirit, having founded or co-founded several successful ventures including a nationally recognized education finance consulting firm and private education entity that partnered with several investment banks to originate, service, and securitize federal and private education loans.

Robert TetreaultRobert Tetreault, Director of Compliance, Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA)

Rob Tetreault is the Director of Compliance at the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA).  As Director, he oversees RISLA’s compliance management system to ensure compliance with all applicable federal and State laws related to originating and servicing student loans in addition to RISLA’s heightened standards.  As part of RISLA’s senior management team, Rob collaborates with other members to provide compliant, tactical solutions to regulatory and industry changes.  Adept at using data analytics to measure risk, Rob has developed effective risk management tools to identify and mitigate compliance concerns.  Rob also provides annual compliance training to all staff members. Rob’s extensive financial compliance background was attained through working nearly 30 years in the compliance industry.  Professional experiences include working in and/or leading compliance departments at large and small banks, a compliance software firm, a compliance consulting firm, and as a compliance examiner at the FDIC.  In his spare time, Rob enjoys spending time with his family and friends, supporting local sports teams, brewing beer, and traveling.


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CE Credits
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