2023 Bank On WA Forum Program

Schedule & Agenda

Forum Agenda

9:30 am | Registration | Lobby

10:30 am | Welcome |  Jackson Auditorium 101

11:00 am | Opening Plenary: Fostering Financial Belonging | Jackson Auditorium 101
Explore the meaning of financial belonging and how we can foster this among historically marginalized communities.
Moderator: Devin Stubblefield | Speakers: Andrea Alexander, Samuel Johnson, & Maria Sennett

12:30 pm | Lunch |  Jackson 106 (Seating in 101)

1:15 pm | Action Squad Learning Sessions
Attendees will join the action squad they selected at registration.

Black Homeownership Initiative Action Squad | Jackson 106
Moderator: Tierra Bonds | Speakers: Marty Kooistra, Moussa Samb, Ali Sheibani, Darius Toston

Immigrants & Refugees Action Squad | Graywolf 156
Moderator: Cristina Serra | Speakers: Elizabeth Escobar, Risho Sapano, Mary Vargas

Justice-Involved Individuals Action Squad | Graywolf 364
Moderator: Becky House, Derek Lane | Speakers: Anthony Blankenship, Anthony Powers, Masukur Rahman

Microenterprise Action Squad | Jackson 107
Moderator: Erwin Reeves | Speakers: Jenefeness Franke, Matt Hrdlicka, Joe Sky-Tucker

Youth Action Squad | Jackson 101
Moderator: John McKenney, Clinton Taylor | Speakers: Miladys Garcia, Monika Mathews, Minda Mattox

2:30 pm | Break |  Jackson 106 (Seating in 101)

2:45 pm | Implementing Trauma-Informed Practices Within Financial Services | Jackson Auditorium 101
Learn how trauma can be a barrier to financial well-being and how trauma-informed practices can be applied to financial services.
Moderator: Mandy Lee | Speakers: Ziquora Banks & Ashley McGirt-Adair
Thank you to Banner Bank for sponsoring this session!

4:00 pm | Break |  Jackson 106 (Seating in 101)

4:15 pm | Partnerships for Financial Well-Being | Jackson Auditorium 101
Learn strategies to develop cross-sector partnerships, and identify gaps and opportunities in your community.
Speakers: Erwin Reeves & Jennifer Quiroz

Thank you to WaFd Bank for sponsoring this session!

8:00 am | Breakfast | Jackson 106 (Seating in 101)

8:30 am | Welcome | Jackson Auditorium 101

8:45 am | Reflections from Day One| Jackson Auditorium 101
Action squad facilitators will summarize discussions from day one, followed by reflections from the audience.
Moderator: Ryan Davis | Speakers: Tierra Bonds, Derek Lane, John McKenney, Erwin Reeves, & Cristina Serra
Thank you to Bank of America for sponsoring this session!

9:30 am | Gallery Walk & Networking | Jackson Auditorium 101
Peruse and discuss the ideas compiled from day one with fellow participants (or take a break and recharge!)

10:00 am | Financial Belonging in Action| Jackson Auditorium 101
A panel of speakers from across all 5 action squads will discuss the practical implementation of financial belonging.
Moderator: Jenny Glass | Speakers: Marty Kooistra, Mary Vargas, Anthony Blankenship, Jenefeness Franke, Miladys Garcia
Thank you to BECU for sponsoring this session!

11:30 am | Lunch | Jackson 106 (Seating in 101)

11:45 am | Conversation with Commerce: Small Business Support| Jackson Auditorium 101
During this working lunch, learn about the Equitable Access to Credit program and the State Small Business Credit Initiative.
Speakers: Shiloh Penland & Linda Womack

12:45 pm | Bringing it Forward| Jackson Auditorium 101
How will you foster financial belonging?
Moderators: Jenefeness Franke, Thushari Gooneratne, Erin Lopez Nielsen

1:30 pm | Networking| Jackson Auditorium 101
Engage in table discussions with Bank On Washington partners on topics explored during the forum. Your last chance for conversations with speakers and fellow participants before the DFI event begins at 2 pm. We hope you’ll stay for Identification Requirements: Models for Growing Inclusion (2-4:30 pm)
Topics include: Belonging in Financial Services, Black Homeownership, Serving Youth, Serving Micro Business, Serving Justice-Involved Individuals, Serving Immigrants & Refugees, and Financial Empowerment Network & Snohomish County Asset Building Coalition.

Forum Themes

Financial belonging is having the security and support of financial systems that were created to accommodate and address your needs.

Fostering financial belonging is a step beyond financial inclusion; it’s not just access to financial services, it’s financial services that are created by the community for the community.

Our goal is to foster financial belonging in communities that have been historically marginalized and excluded from mainstream financial systems.

  • Connect with others across various industries and in different communities to create a vast network of resources and support
  • Expand practices and services that increase financial belonging by learning from the successes of others in your network
  • Strengthen financial networks by building trust - the trust communities have in financial institutions and the trust that financial institutions have in community members
  • Empower everyone to take action in their respective industries and foster financial belonging not just in theory, but in practice and on purpose

Action Squad Learning Sessions - so named because we want these sessions to include learning from each other, but also exploring how to implement what is learned and put it into action. Attendees are encouraged to select an action squad based on their interest, current focus, or the opportunity for growth.

Purpose of Action Squads - The opportunity to have a more thorough and nuanced discussion of financial belonging by focusing on five different themes, specifically focusing on communities who have historically been marginalized and excluded from mainstream financial systems.

  • Black Homeownership Initiative: Learn from experts about barriers to homeownership faced by Black families in Washington along with resources available to help and become mortgage ready. We encourage attendees to consider what it looks like for a potential homeowner to belong in the process.
  • Immigrants & Refugees: Examine common barriers to financial systems faced by immigrants and refugees with a panel of experts and discuss ways that community-based organizations and financial institutions can partner to overcome those barriers.
  • Justice-Involved Individuals: Hear from advocates for people who have been incarcerated regarding the barriers to financial stability and well-being that exist along the pathway to reentry. We’ll also learn about promising practices and discuss what else is needed to foster financial belonging.
  • Microenterprise: A panel of experts will speak to the benefits and challenges of entrepreneurship; growing from solopreneur to microentrepreneur and beyond. We encourage attendees to consider how we support potential business owners and what it takes to belong in that process.
  • Youth: For providers working with youth, this panel will discuss the barriers to financial health often faced by young people, the resources available from financial institutions and community-based organizations, and how current programs intersect with youth.

Financial Wellbeing in Washington

While there is incredible wealth in Washington, there is a huge divide between those with opportunities to build wealth and pass it to future generations, and those who lack access. Historically, Black, Indigenous, and other people of color have been more likely to experience exclusion and extraction from financial systems, barriers to participation in financial services, and heightened mistrust of financial institutions. Understanding the disproportionate obstacles faced by these communities is key to rebuilding trust and creating financial belonging for everyone.

We have seen some successes, with decreasing numbers of people who are un- and underbanked. Unbanked means they do not have a checking or savings account; underbanked means that they have an account but also use alternative financial services, such as a check-casher, payday loan, or purchase money orders outside of their financial institution.

However, according to the 2021 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, there is a staggering disparity between White and Non-White households.

Lacking access to mainstream financial services is expensive; according to a study by the CFE Fund, individuals without a checking account will pay $40,000 in their lifetime in financial services fees. In most cases these are the individuals and families who can least afford to shoulder that cost burden.

According to the Prosperity Now Scorecard, 22% of Washingtonians experienced liquid asset poverty in 2021. This means that they do not have savings and would struggle to pay for their household expenses for 3 months with a loss of income.

Bank On National Account Standards

Speakers & Moderators

Ali Sheibani is currently the Director of Homeowner Services at Habitat for Humanity of Seattle-King and Kittitas Counties. Ali has been in lending since 2006. He transitioned from for-profit finance to Habitat SKKC in 2013 with an initial focus on very low-income first time homebuyers. He then worked at HomeSight, a Washington Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), from 2015-2021 as their Portfolio Manager responsible for managing a $44MM portfolio of deferred and amortizing loans.

Ali focused on expanding HomeSight’s ability to serve. He worked to certify HomeSight to serve Hispanic borrowers and helped to create an ITIN loan product. He also helped to create HomeSight’s first Special Purpose Credit Program loan product to specifically support Black first time homebuyers. 

Ali continues to support the increase in access to homeownership for working income homebuyers. He helped create the Debt Barrier Removal Program unique to Habitat SKKC to expand homeownership for Communities of Color. 

Andrea Alexander, Executive Director, T3 Training Technology Training has over 30 years development experience in native community development. Andrea serves on the Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) and the Native Reentry Board. Executive Director experience: Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, Governor’s Office on Indian Affairs, and the Makah Nation. Andrea gained philanthropic experience through First Nations Development Institute, Director of Grants Social Justice Fund Northwest, Philanthropy Northwest Grantmakers of Color. Andrea is on a co-founder of the Potlatch Fund and the Northwest Native Asset Building Coalition. Current passion is technology policy and Financial Empowerment for Indigenous Peoples. 

Anthony Blankenship is the Senior Community Organizer in the Policy and Advocacy Department for Civil Survival Project. In his role, Anthony helps to connect and empower people that have been impacted by the criminal legal system to build their collective and individual political power. After facing discrimination in both employment and housing due to his criminal record, he began finding ways to use his experience of incarceration as a strength. Since being released from prison, Anthony has been working to undo the harms created by the criminal legal system and hold systems accountable to those they serve. He helped start an entrepreneurial program at Monroe prison, worked as a trauma-informed yoga trainer and fundraiser for Yoga Behind Bars, and most recently worked as a Coalition Organizer for ACLU of Washington. Anthony holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Washington, as well as a dual Master’s in Social Work and Public Administration from Arizona State University.

Anthony Powers is an experienced, inclusive, and inspirational leader, helping people to forge positive futures, and organizing people to work towards more equity in the justice system. At the young age of 16, Anthony was convicted of murder and sentenced to 77 years in prison, and earned an early release at age 42. In prison, Anthony transformed his own life, and spent years helping others to abandon their criminal lifestyle. He joined the Seattle Clemency Project to help people with their reentry from prison. Most recently, he founded the American Equity and Justice Program to make data more available and useful, helping decision-makers understand the fairness of policy and sentencing decisions and ultimately improve equity in the justice system.

Ashley McGirt is the founder and CEO of the Therapy Fund foundation. She is a psychotherapist, Tedx international speaker, and author who has been featured in Forbes, MSNBC, The young turks, OWN, Bravo, & more. Ashley has received a Masters of Social Work from the University of Washington. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Ashley currently owns and operates her own private practice. In her private practice, she focuses primarily on racial trauma, depression, and anxiety. Ashley actively works toward de-stigmatizing mental illness and reducing high rates of recidivism in American prisons, in an attempt to create a more socially just society for all. Ashley offers presentations, workshops, group facilitation, and consultation specializing in racial trauma, mental health, crisis response, social justice, and racial equity. Ashley strives to help others find happiness and healing within themselves through unpacking their baggage, resting, reflecting, and restoring themselves to be whom they were intended to be on this earth.

Becky House is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at American Financial Solutions (AFS). In her role she oversees the organizations strategic partnering, housing counseling programs, financial education initiatives and grant processes. In 2021, Becky was awarded the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s (NFCC) Agency Innovation Award for financial education programs. In 2019, she was awarded the Educator of the Year award, by the NFCC. Becky serves as President of the Board of the Financial Empowerment Network and as co-Chair for Bank On Washington. She has over 25 years of experience in program development in nonprofit organizations.

Becky is certified as a financial educator through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and psychology. She is often quoted as an expert advisor for media outlets such as U.S. News and World Report and ABC, NBC, CBS, and Money Magazine (Time).

Founder and Executive Director of Your Money Matters Mentoring a nonprofit organization serving youth and young adults in the Greater Seattle, Tacoma area, Clinton Taylor works with low-income and minority youth and young adults to provide critical real-life financial education and mentoring that supports them as they improve their personal and financial situations. His passion drives the success of his coaching, counseling, and mentoring program which have grown over 250% in the last 2 years to serve more than 1400 young people.

Clinton’s hands-on approach to financial education by pairing courses with student-mentor partnerships is quickly closing the gap that exists between standard financial literacy programs in schools and institutions and the real-world need for personal and dedicated guidance through the complicated, and often overwhelming, maze of personal finance. In addition to his own lived experience with poverty and justice involvement, Clinton has over 15 years of experience and training in social services, education and ministry, as well as a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership, a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies, and national certification as a Certified Financial Education Instructor. 

Cristina Serra started at WaFd Bank in early 2012 as a Customer Service Supervisor in Crown Hill and now leads the Retail Deposit Products Team. Cristina has been in banking for over 20 years in various roles in Retail, Small Business and Treasury. Born and raised in Peru, she immigrated to the United States in 2001 with her parents and siblings. She is fluent in both English and Spanish.

Darius Toston is a highly decorated and award-winning mortgage professional, strategist, consultant, sales manager, and military veteran with nearly 20 years of service-oriented experience in the mortgage industry; demonstrating strong leadership, mentoring, and relationship development skills. Mr. Toston’s expertise in these areas has enabled him to promote disciplined, goal-oriented activities designed to enhance performance and achieve sales goals for the companies and people with whom he has worked. He has an excellent track record of accomplishing goals, managing projects, coaching team members, and in public relations management. His extensive knowledge of the mortgage industry, combined with his strong managerial, communication, and strategic planning talents, has made him into a well-rounded sales professional and effective manager, well suited for today’s volatile mortgage industry. Mr. Toston is a vice president at JPMorgan Chase where he serves as a mortgage retail lending manager, covering Nevada, Northern California, Washington, New Mexico, and Colorado. Mr. Toston is very active in his community and is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he also was a student athlete on the unlv football team. He obtained Bachelor of Science degrees in both accounting and management information systems. He is also a certified six sigma green belt.

Derek Lane completed undergraduate studies at Oakwood University, graduate work at MS State University in Leadership, and certification with NELI - the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute at Sanford University. He serves as Outreach Ministries Director for the Washington Conference, Pastor of the Maranatha church in Seattle and President of the Lane Consulting Group. Lane Consulting has generated over $20 million in funding and provides start-up, capacity-building, and grant-writing workshops for clients throughout the U.S. He has served as a pastor, community engagement specialist and fundraiser for the past 30 yrs. and is a contributing author to the 2022 devotional book, Let Justice Roll. He is married to Mae Aldridge-Lane and they have four adult children and one five year-old granddaughter, Zoe Abigail.

Devin is the Founder of Faith Finance Center, a financial education and training organization whose mission includes providing training and technical assistance to local and national organizations focused on financial empowerment training and coaching programs. Devin is a member of the Washington Financial Empowerment Network and the Financial Trainers Task Force. 

Elizabeth Escobar has over 12 years of community development finance experience. Prior to joining Express Credit Union in 2011, she was a rural economic development volunteer for the US Peace Corps at a savings and lending cooperative in Paraguay. Prior to serving in her current role as Chief Business Officer, she worked as loan processor and loan officer helping build the ITIN lending program at Express.

Erin López Nielsen is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Director for the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). This role was established in the fall of 2021 to create meaningful change for justice and equity in how underserved communities are included in the financial industry.

Erin brings more than 20 years of experience in the field of DEI. She started her career in community lending and education. She later ran a statewide technical assistance program where she had the opportunity to work in all regions of our state. She led supplier diversity programs at the state co-creating change with community and across agencies. 

Erin holds a Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration, with an Accounting concentration and a minor in Dance, from the University of Washington.

Erwin Reeves is a Community Affairs Specialist with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation San Francisco Regional Office. In this role he helps community stakeholders create relationships that bolster the economic inclusion of low-income communities in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. Mr. Reeves provides technical assistance in creating and implementing strategies, fostering strong multidisciplinary collaborations, and optimizing community engagement opportunities consistent with the Community Reinvestment Act regulations and community development best practices. Mr. Reeves has over 30 years of experience working in community and economic development throughout Northern California as a
community banker, nonprofit board member and a community stakeholder.

We are excited to have Coach Jenefeness Franke, MBA presenting on our panel at this years forum. She is an Award-Winning Coach, Visionary, Educator, Author and Speaker. Jenefeness is representing both Black-Owned Business Excellence and the Washington African American Chamber of Commerce as business leader and Certified Business Advisor with her company Fiscal Finesse Consulting. She was recognized by Washington State University as the MLK Jr Distinguished Service Award recipient for displaying altruism and being dedicated to community. She has been working with female householders to finesse their finances for over 17 years. students and faculty at Seattle Central College and noticed quite a few trends she will share while engaging with us today.

During the pandemics in 2019, Jenefeness recognized that a lot of BIPOC Business owners were being left out and left behind. Her curiosity led her down a path to help create a more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem in Washington state. She and few accomplices and allies formed a collaborative to educate, celebrate, and normalize excellence in minority owned businesses. They have led some transformational symposiums, conferences and celebrations leaving business owners in Washington in a much better financial position.

Jenefeness became affectionally known as “Fiscal Finesse” and started her company with the same name. She runs a premier boutique, black woman owned, full service commercial financial planning firm that primarily focuses on the financial wellbeing of small businesses. The primary services include strategic planning, profit maximization, revenue stream expansion, risk operations management, credit improvement, forecast development, cash flow execution and performance analysis. Fiscal Finesse offers customized, comprehensive business consulting services tailored to the unique needs of every client that specializes in helping small businesses and individuals to develop and achieve their financial goals. Jenefeness will do an amazing job of delivering actionable content today. We encourage you to download her free resources at fiscalfinesse.net and follow her on all the social media platforms!

Jennifer Quiroz is the Executive Director of the Financial Empowerment Network (FEN). Jennifer has over 20 years’ experience in nonprofit programming, focused on gender-based violence, immigrant communities and financial empowerment. Prior to taking on this role in 2021, Jennifer was previously involved with FEN as a partner organization while managing the YWCA’s Economic Resilience Initiative in South King County, where she worked as and supported a team of financial educators and coaches. Jennifer co-developed the Hope and Power for your Personal Finance classes for survivors of domestic violence in 2006 and facilitated classes in English and Spanish for 10 years with partners throughout King County. Jennifer received her BA in Human Services from Western Washington University her Master of Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University. Jennifer lives with her husband, two kids and tiny dog in Renton, Washington. 

Jenny Glass is with the SF Fed and the Community Development Department as Senior Outreach Manager covering Alaska, Oregon and Washington.

Jenny works to advance solutions that address the needs of low-income communities and communities of color by working with partners such as financial institutions, community-based organizations, and government entities to understand and address community development issues.

Previously, she worked at Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments focusing on issues like rural housing production, access to affordable childcare, land use and transportation planning and economic development. Jenny also has extensive experience in the non-profit sector as she was the founding Executive Director of The Rosewood Initiative in Portland, Oregon.

Jenny lives in Salem, Oregon with her family. They love to explore parks and nature together, go on neighborhood bike rides and make pizza. 

Joe Sky-Tucker has over twenty five years’ experience working in the nonprofit world in a variety of positions and organizations including direct experience working with at risk youth and families in crisis, fund development, and strategic planning. He has worked with “at-risk” youth in mental health settings including working with foster care youth, children in locked psychiatric settings, and group homes. Further he has worked to ensure hardworking families have access to safe, fair, and affordable financial services. Currently he works as the President and CEO of Business Impact NW, an asset building/community lender that specializes in supporting small and micro-businesses; helping them to achieve financial stability through technical assistance and lending services. Joe Sky-Tucker has a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Washington. He lives in Seattle with his family.

John McKenney serves as the Financial Education Coordinator for the Washington Office of the State Treasurer. John works to promote financial education in the WA State K-12 public school system as the Communications Chair of the Financial Education Public-Private Partnership (FEPPP). He is also the Vice President of the Jump$tart Coalition of Washington, a nonprofit coalition created to promote financial education in Washington State. John is also an active planning member of the Financial Empowerment Network’s BankOn WA Forum Planning Coalition and the Washington Financial Coaching Network. Both entities are a collaboration between financial institutions, community-based organizations, and local government to ensure that all residents of Washington can gain access to opportunities and tools to be financially healthy. Through other statewide partnerships, he regularly teaches several financial education topics to the public in in-person, virtual, and hybrid workshops to folks across the state. He has a passion for teaching & working to make a difference in financial education, community development, and fighting against injustice.

Linda joined the newly formed Small Business Finance and Community Support department at Commerce in June of 2022. The department will run the SSBCI (State Small Business Credit Initiative) program and other grant programs to support the small business community. Prior to Commerce, she served as the Director of the (MBDA) Minority Business Development Agency – Washington Business Center operated by the City of Tacoma’s Community and Economic Development Department, under a cooperative agreement with U.S. Department of Commerce. As the MBDA director from 2016 - 2022, she has been responsible for targeting minority-owned enterprises with technical and strategic business consulting to increase their capacity to create and retain jobs. Prior to her role as the business center director, Linda operated a boutique Korean interpretation/translation firm specializing in cultural brokering, business contracts, and medical interpretations. Prior to opening her firm in 2015, Womack spent 12 years in Asia working as a go-to-market and global marketing strategist with Samsung, AIG International, and the Korean Tourism Organization’s international convention team to increase their presence and to attract foreign direct investments globally. Womack received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington - Tacoma and holds an MBA from the Helsinki School of Economics (Aalto University School of Business).

With a diverse educational background spanning art, social sciences, and organizational leadership, Mandy Lee is a seasoned professional in the field of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA). She is driven by a passion for creating inclusive communities where individuals are embraced for who they are. Her approach to DEIA work leads with racial equity and justice, striving to dismantle barriers that hinder belonging. When not immersed in her professional pursuits, you'll find Mandy with her nose in a book, playing tug-of-war with one of her dogs, or alongside her husband, updating their century-old Tacoma house.

Maria Sennett (she/her) is an economic justice advocate with over a decade of experience at the regional and national levels. She recently joined Beneficial State Foundation (BSF) as Senior Manager of the Equitable Bank Standards, a program designed to foster banking systems change. Prior to BSF, Maria managed strategic cross-sector partnerships and supported the design, development, and delivery of programs, training, and consulting services at Credit Builders Alliance. While at Justine PETERSEN, she oversaw national credit building partnership and training efforts and served as a credit and small business loan counselor. Maria holds a B.S. in Social Work with additional majors in Spanish and International Studies from Saint Louis University. As a recent transplant to Seattle, Maria enjoys exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and pup.

Marty Kooistra is a champion of coalition-based work at the intersection of community development, equity, and affordable housing serving as Network Weaver for Civic Commons. He is also a partner with Sapwood Advisors. An avid practitioner of network leadership, Marty was honored to serve as executive director and board president of the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County where he formed several coalitions and networks including Seattle for Everyone. He held several leadership roles with Habitat for Humanity locally, nationally, and globally including CEO of the Seattle-King County affiliate. He co-chairs the University of Washington’s West Coast Poverty Center Housing Roundtable and serves on the Global Washington Board. Previous appointments include the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Regional TOD Advisory Committee and Growth Management Policy Board. Express Advantage Board and the NACEDA Board, Marty has a BS in Social Work & Political Science and was awarded a Bush Foundation fellowship for study at the Joint Center for Housing and Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Mary Vargas started with Tacoma Community House in 2017 as an ELA student. She was so impressed with TCH that she wanted to join the team, helping the Latino Community. She completed a 2-year degree in administration at Pierce College during the pandemic and began working at TCH as a receptionist. That position allowed her to learn about everything related to immigration and employment. Six months later she began as a financial coach and has been in that role for 12 months. In addition, she has volunteered in both ESL and adult basic education programs, as an interpreter with One America’s Washington New Americans program, and social media development with the Latino Chamber of Commerce.

Masukur Rahman is a versatile professional who has made his mark in the finance sector and as an entrepreneur. With over seven years of experience in banking, he currently serves as Vice President, Branch Manager at 1st Security Bank’s Overlake branch. Simultaneously, Masukur successfully manages a small business, showcasing his determination and ability to excel in diverse fields.

Masukur’s journey is a testament to his unwavering commitment to personal and professional growth. His extensive banking experience and entrepreneurial spirit illustrate his dedication to excellence, whether in the world of finance or business ownership.

One of Masukur's standout qualities is his linguistic prowess. He fluently speaks three languages: Bangla, Hindi, and Japanese. His ability to connect with people from a variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds underscores his role as a leader, communicator, and connector, leaving a lasting impact on those fortunate enough to interact with him.

Matt Hrdlicka is a Vice President and Relationship Manager on Umpqua Bank’s Seattle Middle Market Commercial Banking Team. Joining the team over seven years ago, he has significant experience underwriting and structuring credit facilities and now manages the entire banking relationship for his clients, which covers a wide variety of industries.

Outside of Umpqua Bank, Matt is heavily involved with his community by serving on multiple nonprofit boards, including Team Read, American Red Cross King County Chapter and Risk Management Association Puget Sound Chapter.

Matt earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also has a Master of Science in Finance from Seattle University.

He lives in Issaquah, WA with his wife, Samantha. They especially enjoy traveling, spending time with their family and getting outside for a long run. 

I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, lived in New York City for 28 years, and moved to Olympia, Washington last year. I attended New York University and double majored in Early Childhood Special Education, Early Childhood Education and Spanish Literature with a focus in Latin American Studies. Prior to working with FEPPP, I worked for non-profit public service organizations as an interpreter and translator. I am passionate about promoting financial education and financial education resources created to meet the needs of all students, regardless of race, ability or income.

Minda Michelle Mattox is a lifelong Educator; she's taught and facilitated workshops for all ages, for 30+ years. Minda Michelle presents on topics closest to her heart: Financial Wellness, and Equity & Social Justice. She has done this work as a teacher, counselor, and program director, and as consultant for nonprofits, government entities and faith-based organizations. Minda Michelle's passion is that youth of Color be exposed to different education and career opportunities. She works to ensure that communities of Color be well versed in matters of personal and business finance, and that they have the tools & resources to build generational wealth. "This passion drives everything that I do. It is why I'm a connector of people and communities to programming and resources that help them thrive."

Ms. Monika C. Mathews has committed her life to empowering those around her to become their ideal selves by teaching them how to step into greatness in all aspects of life, despite negative living environments that affect emotional health and growth. She is skilled in mentoring, community engagement, fund development and inspirational leadership and is an expert in youth development. She has been gifted with the ability to organize and mobilize individuals in the community, to work towards building safer and stronger networks. These gifts, talents, and experiences converge to create a unique experience for all with whom she comes in contact. Ms. Mathews has over two decades of managerial and direct service experience in programs involving overlooked youth and families. She has developed and implemented programs across Seattle/King & Pierce County for various organizations, in both corporate and nonprofit entities while earning her place as a top executive and expert in her field. In 2003, Ms. Mathews formed The Life Enrichment Group, a non-profit organization that focuses on providing academic, social, and emotional support/programs for youth and young adults. Ms. Mathews is also the owner of QueenCare, a for profit business that specializes in natural self-care products that also provides paid internships to young ladies. With two locations in Seattle the premise of QueenCare is to: Indulge in self-care practices that support optimal health; Engage across differences to build stronger community connections; and Uplift those who are most vulnerable amongst us. 

Moussa holds a Homeownership Counseling Certification for Program Managers and Executive Directors. As Director of the Homeownership center, Moussa oversees seven full-time staff, ensuring efficient service delivery, compliance with all federal / state program regulations, and attainment our performance goals. He brings an extensive financial background with 20+ years of experience in retail banking, investment services, and mortgage lending, with a proclivity for the nonprofit sector as influenced by his own experiences. Moussa is a community outreach leader who strives to assist underserved low- and moderate-income populations in diverse cultural settings.

Risho Sapano is a visionary, strategic and values-driven leader with both the lived experience and nonprofit community development experience that drives social change and transforms communities. Risho has dedicated her life to achieving racial equity by leading and managing nonprofit organization. Risho’s work history encompass the fields of international humanitarian assistance, community development, mental health, domestic violence, environmental justice, economic empowerment and social services. She is especially passionate about uplifting and supporting refuges and immigrants and communities of color. 

SUMMARY OF SELECT SKILLS • Strong leadership and voice in advocating on behalf of Black, indigenous and people of color communities • Coalition builder, with an ability to empathize and find common ground, particularly amongst the pan-African diaspora • Managerial experience with multi-racial, multi-lingual, and multi-generational teams aligned and working towards common goals • Racial equity analysis and experience with diversity, equity, inclusion • Experience in International and United States community development • Masters degree in International Development and Social Change • Fluent in two languages, Arabic and English

Ryan Davis is the Director of Training with the Financial Empowerment Network. Ryan was previously the Executive Director of the Washington Asset Building Coalition and is excited to join FEN after our organizations merged earlier this year. Previous to working at the state level, Ryan comes to this work from 5 years of coordinating the Skagit Asset Building Coalition and the Financial Empowerment program at Community Action of Skagit County. 

Ryan is a dedicated optimist and believes in the power of people. With the right people in the room, anything is possible. Thank you for joining us for two days of great conversations and big ideas!

Sam is a Financial Examiner Supervisor for the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions and has over 10 years of experience working with banks and credit unions in various capacities. He holds a BA in Business Administration from UW and an MBA from WSU, both focused in Finance.

Sam is active in his local community of Yakima, Washington by serving as the Executive Treasurer for the Central Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and current President for the Yakima Schools Foundation. He sits on the Department of Financial Institutions Diversity Action Team and volunteers his time with other organizations such as ActSix, Ready to Rise, and West Valley Little League. 

Sam is passionate about creating an equitable and accessible financial system for everyone in Washington. 

Shiloh joined the Department of Commerce in 2023 after having worked for the Employment Security Department for two years. At ESD, she managed WorkSource Skagit as well as Economic Mobility Programs and contracts such as Basic Food Employment and Training, WorkFirst, and Strategies for Success. Prior to working at ESD, Shiloh spent 15 years working in Higher Education, supporting and managing federal academic grant programs. She has also been a small business owner for 6 years. Shiloh earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English from Washington State University and a Master’s degree in Communication and Leadership from Gonzaga University.

With over 20 years of industry experience, Thushari currently serves the city of Tacoma as the Community Manager for JPMorgan Chase. Her mission is to empower underserved and marginalized communities in Tacoma by helping them build generational wealth and close the racial wealth gap. Alongside a team of experts, she leads racial equity initiatives that create positive social impact and foster economic development in the community. She is committed to strategically improving the current state of Tacoma's consumer and business landscape by providing access to financial education, resources, and opportunities

Take Charge Consulting, LLC provides credit and entrepreneur services to economically disadvantaged artists and entrepreneurs to position individuals to leverage these tools. They believe that credit is a tool to narrow the racial wealth gap because credit plays a huge role in increasing home ownership and allowing people to sustain successful businesses. Tierra Bonds started Take Charge in 2017 after noticing the need for credit education and seeing that most credit repair companies appeared to be a scam. Her trust from the community allowed her to serve hundreds of people all throughout the country by providing credit repair, credit consulting and credit education to allow them to reach their credit goals. They reach those in need on an individual level; and also through partnerships with companies like Habitat for Humanity, The Seattle Public Library, city governments and others that allows them to provide these services to those who may not have the ability to pay. Take Charge is on a mission to reduce the wealth gap by educating 100,000 people on credit and entrepreneurship. Outside of her professional life Tierra is a foodie, dog-mom, traveler and reigns the award for best aunt to a beautiful niece and nephew.

Ziquora oversees the Community Impact Team at Verity, providing community fund grants, community impact projects, financial well-being, and related initiatives to accomplish Verity’s Community Impact agenda. She’s committed to helping communities heal their relationship with money, moving from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance to create measurably improved lives and stronger communities. Linking donors, volunteers and advocates’ aspirations to need, Ziquora cultivates relationships to mobilize resources for meaningful engagement.

Before Verity, Ziquora served as the Assistant Vice President of DEI & Strategic Partnerships at Seattle Credit Union, creating strategic partnerships in BIPOC, immigrant, refugee, and LGBTQIA+ communities to further opportunities to access inclusive financial products and programs.

Ziquora was a finalist for CUES Exceptional Leader in 2023. She graduated from Colorado Technical University with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Business Administration. She also received a Diversity & Inclusion Certificate for Intercultural/Multicultural and Diversity Studies from Cornell University.

Ziquora enjoys spending time with her son, traveling to new places and immersing herself in the stories and cultures around the world.


  • Abby McCutcheon, Workforce Snohomish
  • Adam Stein, Umpqua Bank
  • Alex Yang, Bank of America
  • Barbara Maxwell, Blue Mountain Action Council
  • Becky House, American Financial Solutions
  • Cristina Serra, WaFd Bank
  • Derek Lane, Lane Consulting Group
  • Erin Lopez Nielsen, Dept. of Financial Institutions
  • Erwin Reeves, FDIC
  • Guillermo Sandoval, Umpqua Bank
  • Jared Schapiro, Workforce Snohomish
  • Jenefeness Franke, Fiscal Finesse
  • Jennifer Quiroz, Financial Empowerment Network
  • John McKenney, Office of the Treasurer
  • Josh Hoines, Umpqua Bank
  • Linda Taylor, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
  • Lynn Willis, United Way Pierce County
  • Mandy Lee, Tacoma/Pierce Co. Health Dept.
  • Miladys Garcia, Financial Ed. Public Private Partnership
  • Mymy Bhatia
  • Paulette Payne, Solid Ground
  • Ryan Davis, Financial Empowerment Network
  • Thushari Gooneratne, JPM Chase
  • Tierra Bonds, Take Charge Consulting
  • Tracy Godat, Financial Ed. Public Private Partnership
  • Ziquora Banks, Verity Credit Union

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