Finance Forward – Oakland, CA– Powered by The Aspen Institute & LendUp

January 11, 2017

2:00pm – 5:30pm | Event
5:30pm – 6:30pm | Reception 

Kapor Center for Social Impact
2148 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

Income volatility and financial insecurity can take a devastating toll on our families and communities. On Thursday, January 11th, the Expanding Prosperity Impact Collaborative (EPIC), LendUp, and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf hosted the closing event of our Finance Forward series on income volatility at the Kapor Center For Social Impact.

Learn more about income volatility »

Event Agenda

Thursday, January 11 – Kapor Center for Social Impact (2148 Broadway)

  • 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm Event
  • 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm Reception

The afternoon featured conversations on the roles we can all play in solving for income volatility in our communities. Our hope is that attendees left feeling inspired to pursue solutions to address this growing problem.


Introducing Finance Forward and Understanding Income Volatility

Featuring Jotaka Eaddy, Vice President of Policy; Strategic Engagement, and Impact of LendUp; Joanna Smith-Ramani, Director of Aspen EPIC; and Clint Key, Research Officer of Pew Charitable Trusts.

Local Government: Taking Action on Income Volatility

Featuring Mayor Libby Schaaf, Oakland, CA; Mayor Stephen Benjamin, Columbia, SC; and Treasurer Tishaura Jones, St Louis, MO.

Spotlighting the U.S. Financial Diaries: Understanding the Financial Lives of LMI Families

Featuring co-author of the U.S. Financial Diaries, Rachel Schneider.

Learning from Oakland’s Youth

Featuring Patricia Murillo, Executive Director, Alternatives in Action.

The Employers’ Take: Responsibility, Innovation, and Solutions

Featuring Kim Winston, Director of State Government Affairs at Starbucks Coffee Company, and Kirsten Saenz Tobey, Co-founder and Chief Impact Officer of Revolution Foods.

The Innovators: Technology Helps and Hinders

Featuring Noah Lang, CEO of Stride Health; Jerry Nemorin, Founder and CEO of LendStreet; Sasha Orloff, CEO of LendUp; Leigh Phillips, CEO of EARN; and Kat Taylor, CEO of Beneficial State Bank.

Panelists and Speakers

Mayor Libby Schaaf

Oakland, California


Mayor Libby Schaaf was inaugurated into office in January 2015. She immediately launched an ambitious agenda to elevate one of America’s most diverse and progressive cities into an equitable and resilient city. Born and raised in Oakland, Schaaf led initiatives to offset the cost of living crisis, reduce crime, improve transit and infrastructure, and expand educational and career opportunities for the city’s most vulnerable residents. She developed Oakland’s “17K/17K Plan” to protect 17,000 low-income households from displacement while producing 17,000 new housing units by 2024. She created the city’s first Department of Transportation, a new urban design unit focused on transit-orientated development that intersects safe streets with housing and transportation. Mayor Schaaf received national attention for launching the Oakland Promise, an education initiative that aims to triple the number of college graduates from Oakland by 2025. To date, the initiative has sent 700 Oakland high schoolers to college with scholarships, and is on pace to support more than 1,000 students by fall 2017. In November 2017, 500 babies born in low-income neighborhoods became the first to receive $500 college scholarships through the Oakland Promise; within three years, every child born into poverty in Oakland will receive a college scholarship at birth, along with support services throughout life to make college the expectation for every child born in Oakland.

Mayor Steve Benjamin

Columbia, South Carolina


Since being elected mayor in a record turnout election in April 2010, Mayor Steve Benjamin has made it his mission to create in Columbia the most talented, educated and entrepreneurial city in America. In addition to serving as mayor, Mayor Benjamin also serves as Second Vice President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and as Chairman for Municipal Bonds for America. Mayor Benjamin is married to the Honorable DeAndrea Gist Benjamin, Chief Administrative Judge (Common Pleas) for South Carolina’s Fifth Judicial Circuit. The two are the proud parents of daughters Bethany (12) and Jordan Grace (10).

Jotaka Eaddy

Vice President of Policy, Strategic Engagement, and Impact, LendUp


Recently described as the “Olivia Pope of Silicon Valley” by TechCrunch, Jotaka is a leading voice in social impact tech and pivotal force in connecting Silicon Valley and DC. Jotaka is VP of Policy, Strategic Engagement, & Impact for LendUp a Silicon Valley-based, mission driven financial technology company. She is a member of LendUp’s Executive Management Team and represents LendUp’s regulatory, legislative, and social impact initiatives. Eaddy’s team is responsible for measuring how LendUp’s products benefit consumers, such as saving customers more than $135 million in fees and interest to-date, and creating financial education courses that have been viewed more than 1.6 million times. Additionally, Eaddy focuses on strategic partnerships with elected officials, consumer advocates, and other stakeholders. Eaddy previously served as Senior Advisor to Ben Jealous, the President and CEO and Senior Director for Voting Rights for the NAACP. Within that capacity she directed external affairs and strategic initiatives. Eaddy has led major initiatives aimed at bridging the gap between DC and Silicon Valley. These partnerships have resulted in education and social impact initiatives reaching more than 2 million consumers. Committed to social impact and justice, Jotaka serves as a board advisor to several startups including Maker’s Row, Gauge, and Hustle. As one of few black women in the C-Suite of Silicon Valley-based companies, Jotaka is a passionate advocate for increased diversity in tech. Eaddy has served as a guest lecturer and strategist on human rights and progressive policy reform at institutions and universities in 49 states and 25 countries. She has lobbied within international forums such as the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Organization of American States, and Council of Europe.

Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones

St. Louis, Missouri


Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones brings a deep personal commitment, a wealth of experience, and a proven record of leadership to serving the City of St. Louis. Her political career began in 2002 when she was appointed as Democratic Committeewoman of the 8th Ward in the City of St. Louis. She has recently served for two terms in the Missouri House of Representatives, and when selected by her colleagues as the Assistant Minority Floor Leader, became the first African-American and the first woman to hold this position in Missouri history. Treasurer Jones has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Hampton University and a Master’s degree in Health Administration from the Saint Louis University School of Public Health. Her recent employment includes Vice President of Public Finance for Blaylock Robert Van, LLC, an investment banking firm, and adjunct faculty at the Anheuser-Busch School of Business at Harris-Stowe State University. Treasurer Jones also enjoys an active volunteer career as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her dedication to public service has earned her numerous accolades including awards from the St. Louis Coalition for Human Rights, the RCGA, and the Lupus Foundation of America.

Clint Key

Research Officer, Pew Charitable Trusts


Clinton Key is the research officer for savings and financial security at The Pew Charitable Trusts. The project conducts original research that explores when, how, and how much American households save, examines how savings are used for financial security, and evaluates the potential of programs and policies to improve the financial situation of Americans. In leading this research portfolio, Key develops and implements rigorous data collection and analysis strategies to create a better understanding of household saving behavior and the role of savings in people’s lives. As a primary spokesman for the project, he presents findings to diverse audiences, including policymakers, across the country. Previously, Key was the research director for the asset-building program at the University of North Carolina’s School of Social Work and a consultant for the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis. He designed field experiments and statistical investigations into the saving and consumption habits of American households and evaluated the effectiveness of programs designed to help families build savings and assets. He spoke and wrote about savings, household balance sheets, and research methods for a variety of audiences. Key holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina.

Noah Lang

CEO, Stride Health


Noah Lang founded Stride Health, delivering self-employed and independent working Americans the health care, coverage, and tax support they need to thrive. Stride’s suite of “Benefits for Independents,” is directly integrated into Uber, Postmates,, Etsy, and dozens more. Backed by Venrock, NEA & Fidelity, Stride has been recognized as a leader in delivering clarity and innovation to the muddled world of health coverage. Noah Lang was previously founding VP of Business Development at, responsible for channel distribution, partnerships, and corporate development. And building the products to go with them! Noah graduated from Stanford University as a President’s Scholar with a degree in Product Design, focusing on need-finding, user interaction, and product development cycles. He was captain of the Stanford Triathlon Team and later co-chaired sponsorship for the Palo Alto Local Organizing Committee of the Tour of California cycling race. Noah is an avid runner, skier, and endurance sports junkie.

Patricia Murillo

Executive Director, Alternatives in Action


Patricia Murillo joined Alternatives in Action as Executive Director in April 2007 after serving as the Senior Director of Program Services for the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco (BGCSF). Prior to BGCSF, Patricia was with Alternatives in Action for seven years in senior management positions. She was the Director of the HOME Project, co-Director for the Bay Area School of Enterprise, and the Director of Adult Learning and Development. Patricia has seventeen years of progressive leadership experience in organizations serving children, youth, and families. She holds an MSW from UC Berkeley with an emphasis on Management and Planning and a BA from Vassar College.

Jerry Nemorin

Founder and CEO, LendStreet


Prior to founding LendStreet, Jerry worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in its Global Corporate & Investing Banking division, helping major companies restructure their debt during the financial crisis and raise money from the high yield debt market. Jerry is now putting that expertise to use in a way that helps consumers in financial distress deal with their debt and rebuild their credit. Jerry has been a speaker, guest, and advocate for responsible lending and sustainable financial services on Capitol Hill and industry events such as Finovate, SWIFT Innotribe Competition, Experian’s Vision Conference and Credit Suisse Impact Investing Conference. Jerry recently served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Darden School of Business Incubator. He began his career in Tyco’s Treasury group and received a B.S. in Finance and Exercise & Sports Science from the University of Florida and an M.B.A. from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.

Sasha Orloff

CEO, LendUp


Sasha Orloff is the CEO and Co-founder of LendUp. LendUp builds technology to provide credit to those that banks and credit union decline. Their first product is a socially responsible alternative to payday loans called The LendUp Ladder. Orloff focused on expanding financial services to new segments or markets, and finding ways to harness new technology to improve lives. Ten years ago, after reading Banker to the Poor by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, Sasha was inspired to go move to one of the poorest countries in the world, Honduras, where he worked for The Grameen Foundation. What started as a six month internship, turned into years of service in Honduras because he found the work so inspiring. Prior to launching LendUp in San Francisco in October of 2012, Sasha worked at The Grameen Foundation’s technology team, The World Bank’s Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, and most recently, Citigroup. Sasha has a B.S. in Applied Math and Economics and a minor in Behavioral Psychology from University of California, San Diego and an M.B.A from Georgetown University.

Leigh Phillips



During ten years leading financial empowerment efforts from City Hall, Leigh built one of the most prominent and respected organizations in the field – the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment – and played an instrumental role in the emergence of municipal government as a strong leader in national efforts to build a safe and inclusive financial system for all consumers. Under Leigh’s leadership, the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment spearheaded several “first in the nation” programs to reduce financial exclusion. Bank On San Francisco was the first municipally led effort to bank the unbanked and has since sparked a national movement in 100 communities across the country. Kindergarten to College created the first universal and automatic college savings program for public school children and has now opened more than 18,000 savings accounts. The work of the SF OFE has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Economist, Time Magazine, and The San Francisco Chronicle, and featured on NPR and CNN. On the national level, Leigh was instrumental in the creation of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition, which advocates for greater financial opportunity and protection for all Americans in cities across the United States. Kindergarten to College was named a finalist in the Harvard “Innovations in American Government” Awards in June 2015. Leigh received the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award in 2008 and was named one of the Bay Area’s “Top Forty Under Forty” in 2013.

Kirsten Saenz Tobey

Co-Founder and Chief Impact Officer, Revolution Foods


Kirsten began her career teaching and leading education programs in the U.S. and Latin America. She is an Ashoka Fellow, Aspen Institute Environmental Fellow, member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Sustainable Business Leadership Council and past mentor for the Women’s Initiative Fellowship Program.

Rachel Schneider

Co-Author, The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty


Rachel Schneider is the Omidyar Netowrk Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Aspen Institute, and co-author of The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty. The Financial Diaries connects the findings of the ground-breaking U.S. Financial Diaries research project, which collected highly detailed data about how 235 households save, spend, borrow and plan over the course of a year, with the broad trends upending the economic lives of American families. It uncovers the emergence of a hidden inequality, in addition to disparities in income and wealth – an inequality in access to steady finances. It provides a framework for how to develop the products and policies that can help. Rachel is a highly sought-after consultant and speaker. Her research has been featured in the nation’s top publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and many others. Though she began her career as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch & Co., Rachel credits her commitment to the potential for innovative finance to solve major social problems from her days as a VISTA Volunteer (now AmeriCorps). She holds a J.D./M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. from UC Berkeley.

Joanna Smith-Ramani

Director, Aspen EPIC


Joanna Smith-Ramani is the Associate Director at the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program, leading work on the Expanding Prosperity Impact Collaborative (EPIC), a neutral, first-of-its-kind initiative in the field of consumer finance designed to accelerate knowledge synthesis and problem solving among a wide cross section of experts from applied, academic, government, and industry settings working on critical dimensions of financial security. Joanna possesses over 15 years of community development, community development finance, and personal finance/asset development experience. Joanna holds a master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a B.A. in Urban Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University. She serves on the Baltimore and Maryland CASH Advisory Group and on the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition Board.

Kat Taylor

Co-CEO, Beneficial State Bank


Kat Taylor works in service of restoring social justice and environmental well-being. Kat is active in a variety of social enterprises, public benefit and philanthropic ventures on the West Coast. Currently, she serves as Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Beneficial State Bank, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose mission is to bring beneficial banking to low-income communities in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. Beneficial State Bank is the result of a merger between OneCalifornia Bank, which Kat and her husband, Tom Steyer, founded in Oakland, CA, and ShoreBank Pacific, with offices in California, Oregon and Washington. The bank’s revolutionary ownership mandates that any distributed profit be invested in the low-income communities it serves and environment upon which we all depend. Kat is also a Founding Director of TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation (TKREF), dedicated to inspiring a sustainable food system through ranching, training, tours, research, and school food and garden programs. TKREF owns the social enterprise LeftCoast GrassFed, raising humanely cattle and other livestock for the benefit of people and the planet. Kat serves and has served on many non-profit boards including the Harvard Board of Overseers, Ecotrust, Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, ProPublica, CuriOdyssey, Insight Prison Project, KQED and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She graduated from Harvard College and earned a JD/MBA from Stanford University. Tom Steyer, Kat’s climate/energy activist husband, and she have four grown children, each pursuing their one wild and precious life.

Kim Winston

Director, State Government Affairs, Starbucks Coffee Company


Kim Winston is the director of state government affairs for Starbucks, leading public policy initiatives and civic engagement for California, Texas, Florida, and several states across the country. Kim manages Starbucks efforts to positively impact the communities they serve. One person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. Her responsibilities include directing activities that support socially responsible public policies to build vibrant communities for Starbucks partners (employees), customers, and citizens.
Kim joined Starbucks in 2005. Her career spans more than 25 years in private sector public affairs, including leadership roles at Bechtel Corporation, a multinational engineering and construction corporation, and Malcolm Pirnie (now Arcadis), a leading global natural and built asset design and consultancy firm.

As a leader, Kim takes great pride in connecting with civic leaders to support veterans, opportunity youth, economic development, and public safety programs consistent with Starbucks’ mission. In her professional role, she seeks ways to link the company’s social impact priorities to community needs.

Kim is actively involved with the San Francisco, and Oakland Chambers of Commerce. She also supports several professional organizations and has served as co-chair of the US Conference of Mayors Business Council. She has held leadership roles on the National Forum for Black Public Administrators Corporate Advisory Council, and the League of California Cities League Partner Program.
Kim enjoys supporting youth-related programs designed to prepare the next generation for leadership roles in communities. She actively supports The First Tee of the East Bay, the ARC Alameda and other local non-profits.

She graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a B.A. in Business Administration and received her MBA from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA.

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The Expanding Prosperity Impact Collaborative (EPIC) is an initiative of the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program. EPIC is designed to harness the knowledge of a wide cross-section of experts working in applied, practitioner, academic, government, and industry settings towards the goal of illuminating and solving critical drivers of financial inequity and insecurity. EPIC will focus on one distinct issue at a time that is critical to the financial security of Americans but not widely understood. By focusing on one issue at a time, EPIC will over time piece together a mosaic of different financial challenges that need to be addressed. The connections between these issues will build cross-sector interest and support for a more strategic and inclusive approach to financial security in the U.S. For more information, please visit


We believe that everyone should have access to quality financial services, provided with dignity, transparency, and care. Founded in 2011, LendUp is focused on helping expand access and choice for many Americans who are financially underserved. Our goal is to provide credit-building opportunities for everyone because we’re invested in the long-term financial health of our customers. Others are starting to take note, which is perhaps why we were selected as one of the world’s top 10 most innovative companies in personal finance by Fast Company in 2015. For more information, please visit

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