Short Bio of Qualifications: BA in Vocal performance from IUP; BS in psychology from Florida State, MSW from Pitt; 3 years in Peace Corps Mongolia and 8 years as a public benefits program manager at
the Food Bank.
What I am Passionate About: I love solving people problems. I really enjoy talking through something someone is struggling with and watching that "ah-ha" come across their face when they figure it all out. That also goes for
finance issues; That moment when you give someone a tool or a tip and their faces light up. It's a great feeling. I'm also very integrated into "nerd" culture. I play D&D, watch all the superhero
movies, and have a huge LOTR poster on my wall.
What Podcasts I Recommend: I don't listen to too many of these but I love the Fairer Cents. There is a long list of ones I want to listen to but shouldn't recommend quite yet.
Books I Recommend: You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero, The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley, The Confidence Code by Katty Kay
Kristen Griffith Financial Empowerment Counselor
Short Bio of Qualifications: BA in History - MA - Secondary Social Studies - National Financial Educators Council: NFEC Certified Financial Education Instructor - NFCC Certified
What I am Passionate About: “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin
Kristen is a Pittsburgh native with a passion for financial literacy and education. As a former financial literacy teacher, she realizes the importance of personal finance education not only for young
people, but people of all ages. She works every day to empower, provide support to overcome obstacles, and help others achieve their financial goals. In her spare time she enjoys sewing, reading,
and relaxing with her husband, 3 cats, and newest family addition: baby boy Jackson
What Podcasts I Recommend: Planet Money - Life Kit: Money - Hidden Brain
Books I Recommend: I Will Teach You To Be Rich (Sethi) - Get Good With Money - Tiffany Aliche
Ikuma Ojok Senior Financial Counselor
Short Bio of Qualifications: MBA -International Business, Certificate: NFCC-Credit Credit Counseling, CFE Fund-Financial Counseling
What I am Passionate About: I'm passionate about helping clients achieve their financial goals by providing ongoing support and empowering them every step of the way. I take great
pride in empowering my clients to realize their potential for success.
What Podcasts I Recommend: Two of my favorite podcasts are the Brown Ambition with Mandi & Tiffany the Budgetnista and Plant Money.
Books I Recommend: My favorite book is The One Week Budget and Get Good with Money by Tiffany Aliche.
Karen Wagner Counselor
I am a native Pittsburgher who has worked in the city for over 20 years. I attended the University of Pittsburgh for both undergraduate and graduate work, and
completed the City of Pittsburgh’s Civic Leadership Academy program. Professionally, I have traveled to all the neighborhoods in Allegheny and Beaver Counties,
bringing resources to families. I worked for 12 years as a Cares Representative with Holy Family Institute; managed the Duquesne Light CAP, IRS/VITA tax sites,
youth and senior employment programs, and the Financial Opportunity Center at Northside Commons Ministries during my 6-plus years at Goodwill of SWPA.
In my spare time, I volunteer as a reading buddy in the Everybody Wins! Program for Reading is FUNdamental in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and I enjoy traveling
and spending time with friends and family.
Alicia Donner Counselor
Short Bio of Qualifications: BS Evs in Environmental Sciences, MA in Educational Policy and Foundations, Certified Financial Counselor (National Association of Certified Credit
What I am Passionate About: Alicia is passionate about economic justice and demystifying the world of personal finance. She believes financial education not only improves the lives of
the people who walk through the FEC’s doors, but also their families, communities, and, ultimately, our city as a whole.
What Podcasts I Recommend: Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly (short daily pod about how COVID is affecting the economy, in general a weekly pod about culture, tech, and the economy),
Slate Money with Felix Salmon (weekly dose of sharp financial analysis and economic news)
Jennifer Nanji Counselor
Short Bio of Qualifications: BA in Economics; MA in Education; Certified Financial Counselor
What I am Passionate About: "We have to develop a healthy, honest relationship with our money. And we have to see this relationship as a reflection of our relationship with
ourselves.”(- Suze Orman -Financial Advisor) Often people feel intimidated, overwhelmed, or lost when dealing with their finances. I'm passionate about helping people have a knowledgeable,
realistic, goal-oriented relationship with their money. I want people to be able to make smart and effective financial choices to help them reach their goals. You control your finances, don't let
it control you.
What Podcasts I Recommend: Suze Orman Podcast; Chris Browning Popcorn Finance Podcast
Books I Recommend: The Do's and Don'ts of Money- Suze Orman and Get Good with Money- Tiffany Aliche.
Regina Carmine Counselor
Short Bio of Qualifications: NACCC Certified Financial Counselor; HUD Certified Housing Counselor; PHFA Housing Counseling Specialist; NCHEC Certification in Housing Counseling;
NCHEC Foreclosure Intervention & Default Counseling.
What I am Passionate About: In the counseling world, I am passionate about dispelling myths and misinformation about credit reports and credit scores. Every one of us can gain
the knowledge to tackle our own credit issues and increase scores. It is heartbreaking to hear clients who have been scammed and who have paid great amounts for "credit repair". At no cost and
with proper counseling, anyone can increase any credit score themselves.
What Podcasts I Recommend: "In Our Time" is a BBC podcast that is like an audio encyclopedia with subjects as diverse as The Inca, Scottish poetry, Medieval money lending, Fungi, and Aristotle.
Books I Recommend: I love to read Encyclopedias and reference material. "The Timetables of History" gives a cross-section of world history in little bites covering daily life,
politics, science, economy, the arts, and more.