Dara Duguay, Chief Executive Officer
Dara Duguay, the former Director of Citi’s Office of Financial Education, has been involved with the issue of financial capability and empowerment for over 25 years. Prior to joining the Credit Builders Alliance, she ran her own consulting practice and advised clients such as TD Bank, the World Bank Group, Experian, Visa, and SunTrust Bank on their financial education efforts. Dara also served as the first Executive Director of the non-profit Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. She started work in the field as the Director of Education for the Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Los Angeles. Dara is considered a national expert on personal finance. Her media experience includes interviews in major U.S. print publications and she has regularly appeared as a guest on many national television and radio networks. She is the author of three critically acclaimed personal finance books: The Citi Commonsense Money Guide for Real People; Please Send Money: A Financial Survival Guide for Young Adults on Their Own; and Don’t Spend Your Raise: And 59 Other Money Rules You Can’t Afford to Break. An accomplished public speaker, Dara has spoken at hundreds of major conferences, including: the G8 summit in Moscow on financial literacy; the European Commission’s summit on financial capacity; the OECD annual meeting; the National Association of State Treasurers; the Society of American Business Editors and Writers; and the American Bankers Association. Among her many accomplishments, Dara has received the Medal of Merit from the U.S. Treasury’s Savings Bond Volunteer Committee, was appointed to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Economics Steering Committee. Dara received her B.A. in Communications from the University of Michigan and received her M.A. in International Relations from Schiller University in Paris, France. She currently resides in Washington, DC.
Sarah Chenven, Chief Operating & Strategy Officer
Sarah joined CBA in October 2011. As Chief Operating & Strategy Officer she focuses on organizational and programmatic development -- helping CBA meet its mission by strengthening internal systems and identifying innovations in the field in order to best support CBA's hundreds of members in order to help their clients gain access to responsible credit- and asset-building financial products and services. Prior to joining CBA Sarah was the Founding Executive Director of Innovative Changes, one of the few CDFI nonprofit loan funds in the country dedicated specifically to consumer lending, financial education, and credit building as a responsible alternative to payday lenders. Prior to Innovative Changes, Sarah was with Mercy Corps where she advised low-income entrepreneurs in the Portland Metropolitan area on the development of their small businesses; she also directed the organization’s Hurricane Katrina recovery program in New Orleans. Sarah has over a decade of experience in nonprofit and public sector organizations whose missions are to help disadvantaged groups create systemic change. She has managed numerous programs with sizeable budgets and staff and has worked in diverse and challenging contexts, including post-war Bosnia. Sarah has a Master's Degree in Public Administration, a J.D. from the University of Texas, and is a member of the Oregon State Bar.
Sean Hogan, Chief Administrative & Financial Officer
As Chief Administrative & Financial Officer, Sean manages the day to day operations and finances of the CBA office and provides support to the Reporter and Access team. Prior to CBA, Sean spent 9 years in the customer service field and his summer and winter breaks working at his family’s accounting firm during college. He is a recent (Spring 2012) graduate of the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business, where he majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Management and his curriculum included accounting, finance, negotiations, marketing, and management. Sean has a strong passion for small business management, which he derived from his parents, both of whom are small business owners. He hopes to combine this passion with his well-rounded business background to continue to improve CBA’s day to day procedures and services. This is Sean’s first venture into the non-profit field, and he is looking forward to making an impact on CBA and the credit building community.
Carmina Lass, Chief Program Officer
As Chief Program Officer, Carmina directs the overall implementation and delivery of CBA’s programs and services, with specific attention focused on the design and development of CBA’s member and stakeholder relations strategy and Training Institute services. Prior to joining CBA in 2015, Carmina had over seven years of experience as a non-profit practitioner through which she focused on economic empowerment, financial capability, and lending among low-income and underserved communities. Previously, Carmina was the Director of Homeowner Services at Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity in Colorado Springs, CO. Carmina was also a founding staff member of Innovative Changes, a Community Development Financial Institution in Portland, OR. Carmina has a Master’s Degree in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University where she concentrated on intercultural conflict resolution, dialogue and reconciliation among divided communities, and microfinance strategies for poverty alleviation.
Elisabeth Johnson-Crawford, Chief Technical Officer
As the Chief Technical Officer, Elisabeth directs the bureaus services team with specialized technical assistance, and managing bureau relationships; she also assists in research pertaining to program expansion and development. Since starting at CBA in 2011 as a Relationship Associate, she has developed unique expertise working with CBA members. Prior to joining CBA, she was a Program Coordinator at American University's International Communication Program in the School of International Service. During her graduate studies toward an MA in International Affairs with a focus in International Politics and Human Rights from American University, she conducted field research in Turkey for her master’s thesis, studied modern French history and European institutions in Strasbourg, France, and speaks French fluently. Elisabeth holds an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University in International Relations and Psychology, with minors in Middle Eastern Studies and French.
Teresa Booker, Bookkeeper
As the Bookkeeper for CBA, Teresa is responsible for the day-to-day accounting functions. Prior to joining CBA, Teresa had 15 years of accounting experience in manufacturing and health industries. She also has nonprofit accounting experience through her work with an educational foundation as well as a healthcare foundation. She loves being an active volunteer in her community through positions held as treasurer and executive board member of a local community enhancement organization and is currently serving as a co-leader and cookie manager for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. Teresa has a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Austin Peay State University.
Alex Chaconas, Marketing & Communications Senior Specialist
As Marketing and Communications Senior Specialist, Alex manages the digital strategy, communications, and brand presence of CBA. He is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University’s Orfalea College of Business, where he majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing Management. Alex has historically been drawn to organizations that aim to make positive social change on either a micro or macro level, making CBA an ideal and consistent fit. This is Alex’s first undertaking in the nonprofit realm, where he’s well positioned to further the growth of the credit building community by helping to expand and build relationships with CBA’s network.
Melinda Croes, Training Institute Manager
As the Training Institute Manager, Melinda leads the implementation of in-person and virtual training services offered through the CBA Training Institute in addition to managing the development and expansion of CBA's core and supplemental curricula. Prior to joining CBA, Melinda worked at the University of Chicago's Financial Education Initiative writing a financial education textbook for high school students. Additionally, she spent over 15 years developing and managing financial wellness and matched savings programs for low-income audiences at Heartland Human Care Services in Chicago. Melinda is a Licensed Social Worker and holds a Masters in Social Work degree from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Trinity Western University in British Columbia, Canada.
Tomás Esquer-Pérez, Bureau Services Specialist
In his role as Bureau Services Specialist, Tomas will assist other team members in delivering crucial technical support to CBA members, primarily those engaging with CBA Reporter. Tomas joins CBA with valuable experience working with other DC-based nonprofits. As a research intern with the Aspen Institute, Tomas studied the effectiveness of business acceleration as a method of poverty alleviation. Most recently, Tomas interned with Vital Voices and provided a variety of programmatic support to their Economic Empowerment & Entrepreneurship team. Tomas holds a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from the University of Virginia and hopes to return to school one day to pursue an advanced degree in international development with a focus on economics.
Mary Jo Halder, Manager, Training & Special Projects
As Manager of Training and Special Projects, Mary Jo manages the CBA Rapid Response team, providing technical assistance and training to Reporter members. She also assists with resource development and new project initiatives. Prior to joining CBA, Mary Jo taught American and International politics at the University of Northern Iowa. She then moved to Washington DC in 2014 to serve as a Kiva Zip fellow, assisting small businesses and entrepreneurs in crowdfunding 0% interest business loans. Both experiences allowed her to pursue her interest in the intersection of financial inclusion, social innovation, and technology. Mary Jo holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Northern Iowa and an MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Tarrika Hill, Member Onboarding & Technical Assistance Senior Specialist
As Member Onboarding and Technical Assistance Senior Specialist, Tarrika provides support and technical assistance to CBA members. Tarrika supports day-to-day interactions with CBA members who utilize CBA’s Access and Reporter service, handling member onboarding and bureau applications. Tarrika has a personal perspective of the needs and challenges presented in underserved communities and how credit building/reporting contributes to that. Prior to joining CBA, Tarrika served as Accreditation Program Specialist at Community Health Accreditation Partners where she worked closely with a variety of home and community-based health care organizations. As Program Specialist, Tarrika facilitated the Accreditation process to ensure compliance with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service regulations. Outside of CBA Tarrika balances her work schedule with being a full-time mom.
Talia Kahn-Kravis, Manager, Program Innovations & Business Development
As Manager of Program Innovations and Business Development, Talia supports the growth and implementation of CBA's services related to rent reporting, credit building communities, CBA Fund--CBA's emerging intermediary community development financial institution (CDFI), and other new projects. Prior to joining CBA, Talia conducted research on social service agencies seeking to improve services for individuals with low incomes. Before that, she managed the financial education and asset building programs at a CDFI based in Portland, Oregon. Talia has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance.
Zach Morrow, Operations Specialist
As Operations Specialist, Zach provides administrative and logistical support to ensure that CBA’s programs and partnerships run smoothly. Before joining CBA, Zach worked in community development at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and with health-based research organizations in Haiti and the United States. He is a graduate of Duke University with a degree in Public Policy and focused his coursework in global health, development, and human rights. Zach is passionate about promoting improved policy frameworks to address disparities in access to development resources, health care, and economic opportunities.
Maria Sennett, Manager, Programs & Stakeholder Engagement
As Manager of Programs and Stakeholder Engagement, Maria supports CBA’s strategic outreach efforts to members and key stakeholders as well as supports the coordination, development and delivery of CBA’s training and consulting services. Prior to joining CBA, Maria worked most recently as Justine PETERSEN’s (JP) Credit Building Manager, leading JP’s national credit building partnerships and training efforts, including work with LISC’s network of Financial Opportunity Centers. Maria’s five years of practitioner experience, working with low-to-moderate income individuals to build credit, grow small businesses, and purchase homes sparked Maria’s passion for starting a career in the asset-building field. Maria holds a BS in Social Work with additional majors in Spanish and International Studies from Saint Louis University.
Morgan Spears, Manager, Member Relations
As Manager of Member Relations, Morgan provides support and technical assistance to CBA members. Morgan supports the day-to-day interactions with CBA members who utilize CBA’s Access and Reporter services. Morgan has a deep commitment to economic justice. Her passion for systemic change are evident in her public service experience and commitment to financial inclusion. Prior to joining CBA, Morgan served as an Emerson National Hunger Fellow through the Congressional Hunger Center. In that capacity Morgan actively led the effort on community engagement for Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. Morgan’s community organizing and coalition building skills allowed for her to increase the Detroit People’s Food Co-op’s member/owners by 40%. More recently, Morgan supported the economic security team at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights where she researched and authored written work on economic security issues such as payday lending. Morgan is excited to build bridges of financial inclusion with CBA. Morgan holds a BA in Sociology, with minors in Economics and Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies from DePaul University.
Juan Zamarripa, Data & Technology Fellow, Stevenson Center, Illinois State University
At CBA, Juan serves as the Data and Technology Fellow. Prior to joining CBA, Juan served as an AmeriCorps member in Arlington, VA coordinating and facilitating a college access program for Latinx and other immigrant high school students. Following this experience, Juan was a College Adviser to 30 First-Generation DC college students by helping them navigate and succeed at their higher institution. Currently, Juan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is currently completing the 2nd year of his Master’s Degree in Applied Economics with a concentration in Community and Economic Development at Illinois State University.