Our Executive Speaking Faculty
Members of our speaking faculty will be announced as they are confirmed. Please check back frequently for updates. 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: email@example.com
Scott 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.
Debra Chromy, EdD, President, Education Finance Council (EFC)
Debra Chromy is the President of Education Finance Council (EFC), the national association representing nonprofit and state-agency student loan organizations. At EFC, Dr. Chromy leads EFC’s advocacy efforts on regulatory and legislative issues related to student loans and higher education. She collaborates with all EFC members, EFC’s Board of Directors, staff, the Administration, Congress, and other industry groups, facilitating and promoting EFC’s goals and initiatives. In addition, Dr. Chromy works to develop and implement member services and operational and communications strategies. Dr. Chromy has worked in the student loan industry her entire career, for a student loan lender of both private and federal loans, a student loan servicer, and a federal loan guarantor. Prior to EFC, Dr. Chromy served as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for American Student Assistance (ASA), where she was a leader in ASA’s corporate strategic planning process and managed ASA’s external relationships and partnerships, including federal and state governments, colleges and universities, higher education associations, and other student loan industry organizations. Dr. Chromy received an A.B. in economics from Smith College, an M.B.A from Boston University, and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Chromy has volunteered on a number of higher education and non-profit boards and is currently a member of the National Student Clearinghouse Board of Directors.
Joseph Cioffi, Partner, Davis+Gilbert LLP
Joseph Cioffi is a partner at Davis & Gilbert in New York City where he is Chair of the Insolvency, Creditors’ Rights & Financial Products Practice Group, a multidisciplinary practice spanning corporate, insolvency and litigation. He has a unique perspective afforded by his experience in all stages of credit and market cycles, including in subprime lending investments, operations and litigation. Joseph and his group have been deeply involved in disputes and litigation resulting from the last financial crisis. He has written for or has been quoted by numerous publications, including American Banker, Law360, Asset Securitization Report, The Banking Law Journal, Financial Times, The Journal of Bankruptcy Law, Auto Finance News and WNYC, regarding auto loans, student loans, marketplace lending, subprime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. In 2017, Joseph launched Credit Chronometer™, an award-winning microsite dedicated to analyzing the economic, market and political events that shape the legal landscape and impact loan and credit markets. Written from the perspective of lawyers and professionals, Credit Chronometer™ examines the effects of these events on future performance and participants’ exposure to legal and business risk.
Nick Ducoff, Co-Founder & CEO, Edmit
Nick Ducoff has spent his career working on college affordability, student debt, and workforce development. He is cofounder and CEO of Edmit, and coauthor of the bestselling book “Better Off After College”. Previously, he was Northeastern University’s Vice President for New Ventures where his work was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. He coauthored “Informational Disclosure and College Choice”, a report published by the Brookings Institution, and has attended two White House convenings for his work in education. His articles have been published in The Washington Post, Barron’s, Money, and CNBC, and he’s been interviewed on NPR, ABC and NBC. He earned his J.D., with Honors, at the University of Texas, and his Bachelor’s at Emory University.
Henry B. Howard, President & CEO, US 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.
Robert Humann, General Manager, Credible
Robert Humann is the General Manager of Credible, the leading independent consumer finance marketplace in the U.S. Credible provides a unique and personalized experience that enables consumers to compare instant, accurate prequalified rates from multiple financial institutions across student loans, personal loans, credit cards, and mortgages, helping consumers save money and make better financial decisions. A career to-date in finance and technology naturally led to their intersection upon Robert joining Credible. Previously, he held senior roles in a technology-focused private equity fund and an early-stage medical technology company, and prior to that began his career in professional services consulting. Robert is passionate about bringing transparency, simplicity, and immediacy to the lifecycle of consumers’ financial decisions. A born and bred Australian, Robert followed his wife to the USA and now resides in San Francisco. Robert holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance.
A. Wayne Johnson, Former, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education (DOE) [2017 to 2019]
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.
Charles Kelley, Executive Director, Rhode Island Student Loan Authority
Charles Kelley joined the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) in April 1991 as Deputy Director and was appointed Executive Director in 1993. Mr. Kelley served on the Board of the Education Finance Council from 1996 – 2002 where he served a two-year term as Chairman. A graduate of Harvard with a MA in Public Administration with a concentration in public finance, he received his Bachelors in Accounting and Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island. Mr. Kelley is a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst.
Matthew (Matt) Myers, President, Goal Solutions
As the President of Goal Solutions Matt leads the broader services business anchored by the wholly owned Launch Servicing subsidiary. From its inception, Launch has been a leader in the servicing of private student loans as well as RICs, and more recently income share agreements, serving dozens of clients including colleges and universities, banks, fintech originators, investment banks, credit unions and others; Launch is exclusively focused on the private credit market. Launch also services loans for its fin tech sister lending companies Ascent and Skills Fund using its unique perspective and capability set, so its services not just for its clients but for its own loans. In addition to traditional financing structures Launch services rated securitizations and warehouses, so it understands the diverse financial landscape private student loans exist in. Matt has also spent the last 10+ years leading the Goal Master Servicing business so has partnerships with nearly all third-party servicers in the student loan industry, with a focus on enhanced default prevention and recovery to help optimize portfolio performance. The Goal Solutions business collectively manages $26b in loans across 100+ entities. Matt has worked at Goal since January 2007, prior to that he worked in Credit Risk at GE Capital for 6 years.
Aaron Pisacane, Founder, Einstein Higher Edu Solutions
The breadth of Aaron’s immersion in education finance was shaped from experiences over 26 years: Chief Credit Officer of Sallie Mae Bank during the pandemic; Product Lead at Entech, an origination platform technology firm, Senior Management at Laurel Road, where he scaled the refi portfolio from $3.4M/month to $120M+/month of volume; Governor-Appointee for the NYS HESC college loan program; Head of Capital Markets at Education Finance Partners, the 4thlargest private student loan originator in 2006-07; Capital Markets/Operations at Clout Financial Services, originator of college credit cards and student loans, VP of Credit at Ambac Assurance Corporation, bond insurance; and Credit Analyst, Moody’s Investor’s Service, bond credit ratings. Aaron’s journey has culminated in the passion to ‘crack the code’ of originating sustainable student loans based on student risk. Foundational building blocks will lead to a data driven, Einstein Student Risk Score.
Ian Rasmussen, Senior Director, 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, 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.
Kathryn (Kate) Rock, Director, Financial Services, Guidehouse LLP
Kathryn (Kate) Rock, CPA is a director within the Financial Services Advisory & Compliance segment at Guidehouse. With more than 17 years of experience advising banking, consumer finance, and government organizations, Kate specializes in providing solutions that help clients transform their business, minimize risk, address regulatory requirements, and solve complex accounting issues. She is a proven engagement leader with the ability to manage large complex projects in risk management and regulatory compliance, operational strategy and effectiveness, and accounting and auditing. She has managed teams focused on the industry’s most critical issues such as the Independent Foreclosure Review resulting from the financial crisis and key litigation cases impacting and shaping our industry. Kate started her career at Ernst & Young auditing various financial services clients domestically and internationally.
Arthur Rotatori, Member, McGlinchey Stafford
Arthur is a Member in McGlinchey Stafford’s Cleveland office. He handles consumer finance and regulatory matters relating to electronic records and signatures, private student loans or other unsecured loans, as well as personal property direct and indirect financing for banks, marketplace lenders, and other FinTech companies, loan program administrators and marketers, and finance companies. His practice involves advising those clients on how to create and manage multi-state consumer lending programs. Arthur has significant experience representing education loan program marketers and administrators in connection with licensing compliance, negotiation of loan program agreements, and general consumer credit compliance matters. He has helped numerous clients develop the documentation and procedures to create and execute consumer credit contracts online. Arthur has developed and maintained multi-state consumer credit programs for such clients as Buy-Here, Pay-Here used car dealerships, start-up online lenders, and student loan providers such as banks, credit unions, and non-bank companies that market and buy the loans in partnership with a bank. He works with a variety of clients who offer purchase money and alternative financing secured by motor vehicles and other personal property, and has assisted such clients with state and federal compliance reviews, portfolio acquisitions, and licensing matters. Arthur received his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.
Ken Ruggiero, CEO, Ascent Funding
Ken has more than 20 years of management, finance, and business development experience as an integral part of management teams that grew companies in fast-changing environments. Prior to becoming Chairman and CEO of GS2, Ken served Goal Financial, LLC for five years as CFO and then one year as President and COO. During his tenure at Goal Financial the company originated over $8 billion in student loans, becoming a top 10 student loan provider. Prior to joining Goal, Ken was CFO of eAssist Global Solutions, a $70 million venture-funded call center software company. Previously, he was CFO of INTERVU, a NASDAQ listed company that merged in 2000 with Akamai Technologies in a $2.8B transaction. Earlier in his career Ken held management positions with NBC’s Internet Division and Arthur Andersen. He received his CPA in New York, an MBA from Columbia University and a BBA in Accounting from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts.
Brad Rustin, Partner & Chair, Financial Regulatory Group, Nelson Mullins LLP
Brad Rustin is a Partner at the firm, Nelson Mullins LLP. His career began as a litigator focusing on consumer financial services litigation and defense of regulatory claims against chartered and non-chartered financial institutions, finance entities, and money services business. Following in the wake of the fiscal crisis, he began working with financial institutions, money transmitters, non-traditional lenders, check cashers, and mortgage brokers on issues of regulatory compliance. As the regulatory environment facing financial institutions has changed and increased, he now spends most of his time counseling financial institutions in regulatory matters, including strategic agreements, product development, and operational compliance. Mr. Rustin regularly works with clients on issues relating to: state and federal consumer protection laws, fraud monitoring, anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance, state and federal regulation of money transmission, stored value strategies, ACH compliance and traditional and non-traditional lending. He is a frequent speaker at professional conferences, and in addition to iiBIG’s Education Finance & Loan Symposium – WEST, his speaking engagements have, in particular, focused on changing federal regulation of the money transmission and the lending space in the post-Dodd Frank environment. Brad received his B.A. from Furman University, in Political Science and History, cum laude, and he graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, JD, magna cum laude.
Andrew Smalley, Research Analyst, National Conference of State Legislatures
Andrew Smalley is a Research Analyst I at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), providing research assistance to state legislators and staff as part of the Postsecondary Education Team. Andrew also conducts extensive legislative tracking and maintains many of NCSL’s resources on student loan debt, including the Student Loan Bill Tracking Database. He has written several publications on topics related to student loan debt forgiveness and student loan oversight. Prior to joining NCSL, Andrew was a legislative intern for three sessions at the Colorado General Assembly, working with a state senator and at a lobbying firm. Andrew holds a MPP from the University of Denver and a BA in Political Science, also from the University of Denver.
William (Will) C Shaffner, Director of Businesss Development and Government Relations, Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA)
Will Shaffner has over 39 years of experience in the student loan and higher education finance arena and currently is the Director of Business Development & Government Relations at the Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri (MOHELA), serving in this capacity since 2004. In this role, Mr. Shaffner participates as a member of the Executive Management Team at MOHELA and is responsible for all sales activity within the Authority, including school and lender channels, private loan collections management, government relations, as well as marketing, e-commerce, and public relations efforts. Mr. Shaffner currently serves on the Education Finance Council (EFC) Board, and serves on its Government Relations Committee. Prior to MOHELA, he worked with American Student Assistance as Director of Lender and Strategic Partnerships. He also held various sales and training positions at USA Group/SLMA from 1990 – 2001, most recently as Regional Director Central Region USA Funds Services. Prior to working within the FFELP industry, Mr. Shaffner was the Associate Director of Student Financial Aid at the University of Central Florida, where he worked for over eight years. He currently serves on the Missouri Scholarship & Loan Foundation Board, and the board of Infinite Scholars. Mr. Shaffner holds a B.A. in business administration from the University of Central Florida.
Lance Teinert, CEO, CURevl LLC
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.
Melvin Zhou, Director ABS Consumer, Kroll Bond Ratings Agency
Melvin Zhou is a senior director on the ABS consumer team at Kroll Bond Rating Agency, LLC. Prior to joining KBRA in December 2018, Melvin was a director at Fitch Ratings focusing on FFELP and private student loan ABS new ratings and surveillance. Prior to joining Fitch Ratings, Zhou worked at The Student Loan Corporation, a subsidiary of Citibank, responsible for asset securitization and financial analysis. Zhou holds a BS in Mathematics from Peking University and an M.B.A. from Baruch College, City University of New York.
CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS
Continuing Education Credits (e.g. CLE, CPE, CME, etc.) may be available for iiBIG conference attendees. Upon request conference attendees will be provided with a “Certificate of Attendance” and a copy of the conference agenda, showing topics, length of sessions, and name(s) and professional affiliation(s) of presenter(s) for each session. Attendees wishing to apply for continuing education credits for attending this conference may submit this documentation to the relevant organization in his/her state when applying for such credits.
International Institute for Business Information & Growth LLC is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org.