Robert Friedman, Chair
Andrea Levere, President
Sarah Rosen Wartell
Deborah J. Wilds
Asheesh is a business builder and investor with a passion for financial innovation, particularly when it makes a meaningful impact and improves lives. He is the CEO of Covestor, a financial services company that is democratizing active asset management. Covestor provides an open platform for everyday investors to get access to top money managers by mirroring their investments.
Asheesh began his career as a management consultant at the Monitor Group, a strategy consulting firm based in Cambridge, MA. He subsequently worked with the World Bank in Washington, DC, then returned to Monitor as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and founded CircleLending in 2001. The company pioneered the business of managing peer-to-peer loans online between relatives and friends, a simple but powerful concept that helped spawn a global cottage industry of social lending companies. CircleLending was acquired by Richard Branson's Virgin Group in 2007.
In addition to serving on CFED's board, Asheesh was the Founding Board Chair of Credit Builders Alliance and is on the Board of Advisors of Core Venture Capital, a firm which invests in innovative companies serving underbanked consumers. Asheesh is the subject of a Harvard Business School case study and is an occasional commentator in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and the New York Times. He is the author of two books published by Nolo Press and is the Financing columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine.
Asheesh is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and Oxford University.
Ms. Barrera is Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of ACCION Texas. ACCION Texas began in 1994, and is now the largest nonprofit micro-lending organization in Texas. The organization provides small loans and management training to micro-enterprises throughout Texas. As President and CEO, Ms. Barrera is responsible for the organization’s financial management, oversight of its annual budget and the development of methodology and loan delivery procedures. Ms. Barrera has received recognition for her accomplishments including the Small Business Administration Financial Services Advocate of the Year, and the Minority Enterprise Development Consortium's Corporate Advocate of the Year. In addition, Ms. Barrera has served on many national, state and local boards including the Federal Reserve Board, and the National Consumer Advisory Council.Ms. Barrera holds an M.B.A. from Incarnate Word College. Ms. Barrera began her career as Director of Telecommunications for the Diocese of Corpus Christi in 1977. There, she helped form the area's first nonprofit radio stations, KLUX and KHOY, as well as two television production studios. In 1989, Ms. Barrera was hired as the Marketing Director for the U.S. Air Force Morale, Welfare and Recreation Division.
Don Baylor, Jr. - Senior Policy Analyst, Economic Opportunity—Center for Public Policy Priorities (Austin TX). An eighth-generation Texan, Don Baylor joined the center in 2004 and focuses on asset building, postsecondary education, and labor markets within the mission of expanding economic opportunity in Texas. He directs OpportunityTexas, an statewide initiative to increase income, create jobs, and promote savings.
Before coming to the center, he served New York ACORN as Legislative Director. From 1998-2000, he served as Senior Consultant for KPMG Consulting’s Public Sector practice, performing strategic planning and performance audits for several public entities.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University in 1994 and a Master of Arts in African American and Southern History with honors from The University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1997.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of CFED, RAISE Texas, and Texas C-Bar. He also serves on CLASP’s Advisory Committee on Postsecondary and Economic Success and on the United Way Capital Area Financial Stability Leadership Council.
Judith Bell is the President of PolicyLink. She has been at PolicyLink since its founding in 1999. Under her central leadership, PolicyLink has developed into a national voice for access and opportunity for all people — particularly low-income people and communities of color.
At PolicyLink, Bell oversees strategic planning, policy development and policy campaign strategy at the local, state, and national levels, including for efforts focused on improving health and infrastructure. She has led PolicyLink efforts to increase access to healthy foods, particularly the successful establishment of the national Healthy Food Financing Initiative. At the federal level, she has also played a leadership role in launching and advancing the Promise Neighborhoods program and expanding equity impacts in the Transportation arena. She supervises PolicyLink projects at the local and state level focused on equitable development, including equity in public investment, regional equity, and community strategies to improve health.
Bell is a regular writer for different news outlets and academic publications. She has authored several studies including, “Why Place and Race Matter: Impacting Health Through a Focus on Race and Place.” She is also a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant on advocacy strategy.
Previously, Bell directed the West Coast Regional Office of Consumers Union, where she engaged in efforts to improve the quality of life for all consumers, particularly in access to health care. This work included successful campaigns in 32 different states to preserve more than $14 billion in charitable assets resulting in the creation of many new foundations including The California Endowment and the Wellness Foundation.
She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University where she was a Lucius Littauer fellow.
Executive Director, Four Bands Community Fund, Cheyenne River Lakota Nation
Tanya Fiddler is the executive director of Four Bands Community Fund, a Native community development financial institution (CDFI) focused on entrepreneurship and financial literacy development on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation located in north central South Dakota. Ms. Fiddler, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, has served as the executive director of Four Bands since 2002 and has built the organization from the start up phase into a successful, innovative and award-winning organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Sciences from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and has 15 years of experience working with Native organizations. Ms. Fiddler is the recipient of several awards including the 2008 Bureau of Indian Affairs “Entrepreneur Advocate of the Year,” the 2007 Small Business Administration “Minority Small Business Champion for South Dakota and Region VIII,” and the 2007 “Visionary Leader Award for Outstanding Achievement” in recognition of her impact in the CDFI field. She received a Fellowship in the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival in 2008 and has been an active voice in Native community and economic development. Tanya is also the Co-Chair for the Native CDFI Network and is a board member of the South Dakota Indian Business Alliance and Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial.
Since 1979, CFED has worked to foster widely shared and sustainable economic well-being by promoting asset-building and economic opportunity strategies that bring together community practice, public policy and private markets in new and effective ways. Mr. Friedman and CFED have helped lead the U.S. development of innovative economic development strategies including microenterprise, flexible business networks, individual development accounts, and economic health assessments. Mr. Friedman's current work focuses on the Savings for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) Policy and Practice Initiative to assess the potential of long-term savings and investment accounts established at birth.
Among Mr. Friedman's other major publications are:
- The Return of the Dream: An Analysis of the Probable Economic Return of a National Investment in Individual Development Accounts (1995)
- The Development Report Card for the States (co-author, 1986-1995)
- The Safety Net As Ladder: Transfer Payments and Economic Development (1988)
- Expanding the Opportunity to Produce: Revitalizing the American Economy Through New Enterprise Development (Co-editor, 1981).
Mr. Friedman was founding chair of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity; and currently serves on the board of Levi Strauss & Co., Ecotrust, Friedman Family Foundation, and the Rosenberg Foundation. Mr. Friedman is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.
Michelle Greene is Vice President and Head of Corporate Responsibility for NYSE Euronext, overseeing the company’s global corporate responsibility efforts. She is responsible for NYSE Euronext’s internal corporate responsibility policies and initiatives, and for developing programs to leverage and enhance efforts of NYSE Euronext listed companies, promoting collaboration and cooperation on issues of common interest. In addition, she is the Executive Director of the NYSE Foundation. Until last summer, Ms. Greene served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Education and Financial Access at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where she advised senior Treasury and Administration officials on policy and legislation involving all aspects of financial access and financial education and helped drive the development of major new policy initiatives in this area. She also served as Executive Director of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy and as a member of the White House Council on Women and Girls. She began her service in the Obama Administration as a Senior Advisor in Domestic Finance focused on the financial crisis. Previously, Ms. Greene was Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets at Treasury from 1998 through 2001.
Ms. Greene’s professional experience includes working as a consultant for McKinsey & Co., Inc. and Blaqwell, Inc. and serving as the Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She began her career practicing law in Washington, D.C. Ms. Greene received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her A.B. from Dartmouth College.
Ronald Gryzwinski is Chairman and a co-founder of ShoreBank, established in 1973. Before creating ShoreBank Corporation, Mr. Gryzwinski had been president of the Hyde Park Bank and Trust Company and of the First National Bank of Lockport, Illinois, and served as a U.S. Army officer.
Along with sitting on the Board of CFED, Mr. Gryzwinski is a board member of the Center for Community Change, the Enterprise Foundation, Ecotrust, and various ShoreBank affiliates.
Dan Letendre is the CDFI Lending & Investing Executive for Bank of America. In this capacity, he is responsible for managing the bank’s lending and investing activities with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Bank of America currently has over $1 billion of loans and investments to these community-based intermediaries that provide financing for affordable housing, small businesses, and community facilities providing health care, education, childcare and other needed social services.
Prior to this role, Mr. Letendre was Managing Director of the Merrill Lynch Community Development Company, a subsidiary of Merrill Lynch that provided capital, liquidity and technical assistance to underserved communities. He also managed the New Markets Tax Credit Program and focused on expanding the firm’s Socially Responsible Investment products focused on the community development sector.
Before joining Bank of America, Mr. Letendre was Vice President at JPMorgan Chase, where he managed the bank’s lending and investing activities with CDFIs. He also managed JPMorgan Chase’s portfolio of community development venture capital investments and the New Markets Tax Credit Program.
Prior to his work with the bank’s community development division, Mr. Letendre worked within Chase’s Financial Institutions Group, which provides lending and advisory services to banks, thrifts and credit unions. He was a management consultant with Booz Allen & Hamilton in their Financial Institutions Practice and a research analyst with Paine Webber, focusing on financial institutions in developing countries in the Asia-Pacific Region.
He has served on the boards of several community development institutions including Low Income Investment Fund, Corporation for Enterprise Development, the New York Community Investment Company, as well as on the advisory boards of Local Capital Markets Investment Fund and the Opportunity Finance Network - CARS Program.
Mr. Letendre received a BS from Manhattan College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Andrea Levere has led the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) as its president since 2004. CFED is a private nonprofit organization with the mission of building assets and expanding economic opportunity for low-income people and disadvantaged communities through matched savings, entrepreneurship, and affordable housing.
CFED designs and operates major national initiatives that aim to expand matched savings for children and youth, bring self-employed entrepreneurs into the financial mainstream and turn manufactured housing into an appreciating asset. CFED operates a comprehensive public policy program to build and protect assets at the local, state and federal levels, and produces the nationally recognized Assets and Opportunity Scorecard. In 2012, CFED launched the Assets & Opportunity Network, comprised of 75 lead state and local organizations representing thousands of members which advocate for asset development and protection policies at the municipal and state levels.
Prior to joining CFED in 1992, she was a director with the National Development Council. At NDC, she was a lead trainer for the Economic Development Finance Certification Program and designed and conducted “Taking Care of Business,” a financial management program for entrepreneurs while also working with cities and states to structure financing for small businesses, affordable housing and urban development projects.
Ms. Levere served as chair of the board of the Ms. Foundation for Women from 2002-2005, after being on its board since 1998. Currently, she serves as the Chair of ROC USA (Resident Owned Communities USA), a national social venture that converts manufactured home parks into resident owned cooperatives and is a board member of MapLight, which exposes how money influences politics. She is a member of the FDIC’s Committee on Economic Inclusion, the Bank of America’s National Community Advisory Council, Morgan Stanley’s Community Development Advisory Board and Capital One’s Community Advisory Council.
She holds a bachelor's degree from Brown University and an MBA from Yale University. In 2001, she received the Alumni Recognition Award from the Yale School of Management and in 2008 was named to the inaugural class of its Donaldson Fellows Program, which recognizes alumni who help educate business and society leaders.
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Brandee McHale is the Chief Operating Officer of the Citi Foundation. Brandee is responsible for all of the Foundation’s investment activity and Citi’s Office of Financial Capability whose mission is to leverage Citi’s people and products to increase low-income consumer financial capabilities. Brandee also oversees Citi Volunteers, which leverages the commitment of our employees to make a difference in their communities, reflecting the Foundation’s “more than philanthropy” approach to its investments. Brandee joined Citi in 1991 and has a long history in both business management and philanthropy. Before joining the Foundation, she served as the Director of Operations for Citi Community Capital the largest community development financing entity in the United States.
In 2005, Brandee left Citi to spend two years with the Ford Foundation developing a portfolio of investments that support low-income households’ efforts to participate in the mainstream economy, attain economic self-sufficiency and fulfill asset development goals.
Brandee holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Policy from the New School for Social Research and is currently on the board of directors of the Corporation for Enterprise Development (current Vice Chair) and the Asset Funders Network. Brandee also serves as the co-chair for the Living Cities Local Integration Initiative, a ground breaking effort to promote neighborhood transformation innovations that focus on both people and place.
Bill Purcell has spent more than 30 years in public service, law, and higher education. During his eight-year tenure as Mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee (1999-2007) the city saw unprecedented economic expansion, an increase in Metro school funding of more than 50 percent, and the development and preservation of more than 26,000 affordable housing units. He was elected to his second term as mayor by a record-setting 84.8 percent of the vote. Purcell’s accomplishments as a civic leader earned him “Public Official of the Year” honors in 2006 by Governing Magazine. Following his service as mayor, Purcell was a Harvard University Institute of Politics Fellow in 2007. He then served as Founding and Interim Dean of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs at Tennessee State University before returning to the Institute of Politics as Director, and a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. In December 2009, Purcell was appointed by Harvard University President Drew Faust as co-chair of the Work Team for Allston and now serves as Special Advisor on Allston. In these roles, he recommends strategies for achieving a cohesive academic and learning campus environment situated in Allston. A decade earlier he was founder and director of the Child and Family Policy Center at Vanderbilt University (1996-99), a nationally-recognized center building a bridge between academic research, politics, and best practices to benefit children and their families. Purcell was elected to five terms in the Tennessee House of Representatives (1986-96), serving as Majority Leader (1990-96). He earned his bachelor’s degree at Hamilton College and his law degree at Vanderbilt University School of Law, where he has been honored as a Distinguished Alumnus.
Sarah Rosen Wartell
Sarah Rosen Wartell is Executive Vice President of the Center for American Progress and its advocacy arm, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, two organizations she helped to found in 2003. She was co-author of the original business plan to create a progressive “action tank” and has managed these organizations through rapid growth and evolution in a changing context. Sarah has overseen American Progress’ operations, hiring, financial management, and strategic planning. In the last two years, she has also directly guided the Center’s economic policy team, serving as editor of the Center’s multi-part economic strategy for the nation entitled “Progressive Growth.” She also built a program in housing finance, one of her own areas of policy expertise. In 2008, she assumed responsibility for managing the entire policy program, in addition to her other management duties.
Sarah served as Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council in the Clinton administration, where she advised the president, led interagency policy development, and negotiated with Congress on banking, housing and community development, consumer protection, pensions, bankruptcy, e-commerce, legal reform, and a host of other issues.
Prior to the White House, Sarah was a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Federal Housing Administration in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She has served as a consultant to the Millennial Housing Commission and the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation. She also practiced law with the Washington, D.C. firm of Arnold & Porter. She is a graduate of the Yale Law School and Princeton University.
A native of New York City, Sarah lives in Washington DC with her husband and two young daughters.
Deborah Wilds is the President and Chief Operating Officer of the College Success Foundation (CSF). The Foundation has over 10 years of proven experience inspiring underserved, low-income students to finish high school and providing the unique integrated system of support and scholarships they need to graduate college and succeed in life.
Prior to 2006, Dr. Wilds was a senior program officer for education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led efforts for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, Gates Cambridge Scholars and Washington State Achievers Program. She also oversaw the early college initiative creating 250 new early college high schools.
Dr. Wilds served as the Deputy Director of the American Council on Education's (ACE) Office of Minorities in Higher Education in Washington, DC. She has co-authored several books, written more than 20 articles and co-authored ACE’s Annual Status Report on Minorities in Higher Education. She was the Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of Directors of New Era Education, an independent school and pre-school located in Baltimore, Maryland. She currently serves on boards for CSF – District of Columbia, Philanthropy Northwest, College Spark, University of Washington Bothell Advisory and is on the Board of Regents at Seattle University.
Dr. Wilds has a Ph.D. in Education Policy, Planning and Administration from University of Maryland at College Park; an M.S. degree from Howard University; and a B.S. degree from California State University, San Diego.