Finance Forward – St. Louis, MO – Powered by The Aspen Institute & LendUp

October 17, 2017

5:30pm – 6:30pm | Reception
6:30pm – 7:30pm | Panel Discussion

Mad Art Gallery
2727 S 12th Street
St. Louis, MO

Income volatility and financial insecurity can take a devastating toll on our families and communities. On October 17, Treasurer Tishaura Jones and a distinguished panel discussed practical, innovative, private and public solutions to income volatility in St. Louis and beyond.

Learn more about income volatility »

Event Agenda

Tuesday, October 17 – Mad Art Gallery (2727 South 12th St.)

  • 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm Reception
  • 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm Looking at Income Volatility Issues and Solutions in St. Louis

This event brought together a panel of experts from multiple sectors to publicly share their understanding of income volatility and to discuss the most possible, practical, and promising solutions. A list of featured panelists and speakers can be found below.

Read Treasurer Jones’s piece in The St. Louis American.

Panelists & Speakers

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.

Pier Yvette Alsup

Chief Community Engagement and Social Responsibility Officer, Anheuser-Busch Employee’s Credit Union

Pier Yvette Alsup is the Chief Community Engagement and Social Responsibility Officer for Anheuser-Busch Employees’ Credit Union (ABECU) and its community division American Eagle Credit Union. Before taking on her current role, she was the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer for the Credit Union. She has worked for ABECU for 27 years and has a total of 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry. In addition, she is an adjunct professor at Washington University – St. Louis Olin School of Business. In her current position, Pier is responsible for leading and advancing the ongoing development and implementation of community engagement and corporate social responsibility strategies which are critical to the business strategy, mission and values, in partnership with executive, board, community and HR leadership. Some of her major initiatives include: 1) designing a Financial Wellness Program (FWP) for employees and members by employing assessment data to develop wellness solutions and empowerment tools and insights; 2) overseeing strategic planning and implementation of Diversity and Inclusion programs; and 3) managing and carrying out the mission of the American Eagle Credit Union Foundation (AECUF). Pier is a past president of the American Marketing Association – St. Louis Chapter and is currently a board member. She has also served on boards for Boys Hope, Girls Hope – St. Louis and the Soulard School. She received an award for career and civic accomplishments from the Professional Organization of Women.
Pier holds a Bachelor’s Degree from DePaul University (Chicago, IL) and a Master’s in Business Administration from Webster University (St. Louis, MO). She has completed the CEO Institute executive programs at Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania and University of Virginia. Pier lives in Creve Coeur, MO with her husband and son.

Jotaka L. Eaddy

Vice President of Policy, Strategic Engagement & 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. In 2004, she directed the national lobby and international advocacy campaign against the juvenile death penalty in the U.S., resulting in the abolition of the practice in 2005. Eaddy is the receipt of several honors and awards like the Root 100 Most influential African Americans and Essence Magazine Woman to Watch. Her work has been highlighted in several publications like TechCrunch, Inc., Black Enterprise, MSNBC, CNN, Huffington Post, LA Times, Washington Post, BET, Essence Magazine, and many others.

Galen Gondolfi

Chief Communications Officer, Justine PETERSEN

Galen Gondolfi is Chief Communications Officer with S. Louis-based Justine PETERSEN, a nationally recognized asset development organization and microlender. In his 15 years with Justine PETERSEN, Galen has held positions in housing, microlending and most recently communications and development. Galen routinely speaks publicly on the issues of microfinance, community-driven economic development and the plight of the underbanked; he has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg and American Banker, among other media outlets. Galen has previously worked for community development organizations in Chicago, Boston and Washington DC.

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, Clint 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. Key holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina.

Joanna Smith-Ramani

Program 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.

Ida Rademacher

Executive Director, Aspen FSP

As executive director of the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program, Ida combines a vision for creating deeply shared prosperity with a background in economic anthropology and policy research probing how changes in labor and financial markets influence household economic decision-making and opportunity. She connects unexpected and idiosyncratic dots so government and financial services leaders can make smarter products and better policies to grow and strengthen the middle class and allow individuals and families to save, invest, own and retire. She pursued postgraduate studies in economic anthropology at the University of Melbourne, Australia; holds a Master of Public Policy degree summa cum laude from the University of Maryland; and a Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude, in anthropology and economics from James Madison University.

Stephen Roll

Research Assistant Professor, Washington University in St. Louis

Stephen Roll’s research focuses on promoting asset building, debt management, and financial stability in financially vulnerable populations. His work is motivated by understanding how to design, target and implement behavioral interventions to promote financial well-being. Working within the Center for Social Development, Roll is one of the lead researchers on the Refund to Savings initiative, and he is also involved in research on child development accounts, employer-based financial wellness programs, and nonprofit credit counseling agencies. Roll’s dissertation explored the impact of a nationwide credit counseling program, as well as the dynamics that drive success in financial coaching programs. Roll has also worked in consumer research and client consulting for companies including Proctor & Gamble.

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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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