Andrei Cherny is the co-founder and CEO of Aspiration, the he first fully democratized financial platform that allows everyone equal access to seamless, inexpensive and socially-conscious banking and investment products.
Andrei has spent nearly twenty years working to make the financial system more open and fair in both the private and public sector. Andrei has served as an advisor to some of America's top companies including Intel, Qualcomm and Bank of America, the co-founder and president of a media start-up, a financial fraud prosecutor, a historian, a White House aide, a Navy reserve officer, and a nationally-recognized economic policy expert.
He launched and grew Democracy Journal to one of the most widely read idea journals in America. There, he helped start the successful fight for the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. A former Clinton White House aide, he was the youngest White House speechwriter in American history. His 2000 book, The Next Deal, showed how business and government would be transformed by people's demands for more and better choices. He is also the author of the The Candy Bombers.
He graduated from Harvard University and from the University of California Berkeley law school.
Christopher N. Curtin is the Chief Marketing Innovation and Brand Officer for Visa (NYSE: V), one of the world’s largest multinational financial services companies. In his current role, Christopher is responsible for many of Visa’s high-profile marketing efforts, including those for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and the company’s Super Bowl 50 and NFL sponsorships. His innovative leadership efforts have resulted in increased efficiency and effectiveness that include a 9 percent annual fee savings and 20 percent projected media value upside. He launched the first major redesign in seven years of Visa.com and helped maintain the company’s brand preference despite several new competitors in the market, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, Tencent and Alipay.
Christopher joined Visa in 2013 as SVP for Global Innovation Marketing and Chief Digital Officer, a role in which he led the development of global marketing strategies that drove the adoption of Visa’s digital payment products and platforms. He managed a cross-functional team that created Visa’s social and digital strategy and led the rollout of new digital products, as well as the largest alternative payment initiative in company history.
In 2008, he joined the Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ) where he served as SVP of Marketing, Strategy, Innovation and Operations. While at Hewlett-Packard, Christopher substantially increased revenues and decreased costs by developing and implementing a new HP Marketing operating model.
He began his career in 2000 with The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) where he held a number of senior roles, including VP of Corporate Synergy and Special Projects and Special Advisor to the CEO. As VP of Global Media and Technology, he developed new media marketing plans and strategies for parks in Orlando, Anaheim, Paris, Hong Kong and offshore properties operated by Disney Cruise lines. As GM and VP of the Muppets Holding Company, Christopher designed a five-year strategic plan that included revitalizing the merchandise and home video businesses, expanding the franchise internationally, and rolling out entertainment appearances on Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live, which generated a 40 percent surplus in operating income and triple-digit revenue growth.
He currently sits on a number of boards including the advisory boards of DataXu, Martini Media, ThinkSpider and Bloomberg Businessweek. He serves on the Board of Directors of both the Association of National Advertisers and the Georgetown Technology Alliance as well as on the Board of Governors for DMG World Media. He is the Co-Chair of the Digital Collective and a founding member of the Peer 100 Association of Chief Digital Officers.
A sought-after public speaker, he has given addresses at The Rutberg Wireless Conference and at The New York Times Board of Directors Meeting. He served as keynote speaker for both the Digital Ascendant conference in California and The Millennium Alliance conference in Miami. He has guest lectured at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and at the Harvard Business School. He received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Denison University in 2015, and was highlighted as a Facebook Influencer in 2016 for discussing marketing innovation.
Christopher holds a B.A. in Political Science from Denison University and a J.D. from Georgetown University.
Eric Hughes is an experienced marketing executive with over two decades experience successfully combining classic consumer branding with extensive product aptitude. As Chief Marketing Officer for brightpeak financial, Eric is responsible for linking the innovations of the company’s products and services to the customer-focused operations of the business units to build the brightpeak financial brand, create consumer awareness and drive customer preference for the brand through multiple digital channels.
Eric comes to brightpeak financial after serving
in a number of roles, most recently as Director of College Marketing at Jostens, Senior Director of Product Development at Caribou Coffee and Director of Product and Brand Marketing at Dairy Queen. He also served over three years as Chair of the National Restaurant Association’s Marketing Executives Group (MEG). Throughout his career, Eric has demonstrated his ability to identify innovative marketplace opportunities that help achieve revenue growth.
Eric has an MBA from the University of Saint Thomas School of Business and a BA in Communications from George Fox University.
About brightpeak financial
brightpeak financial is a fast-growing, mission-driven digital financial services company offering straightforward financial guidance that's paired with solutions like term life insurance, disability income insurance and retirement plans. brightpeak equips and empowers people nationwide to grow financially stronger so they may live confidently and generously throughout their lives. With nearly 100 employees, brightpeak financial is a division of Thrivent Financial, a membership organization of Christians founded more than a century ago, and headquartered in Minneapolis. www.brightpeakfinancial.com
Susan builds brands through “future-fit” business and marketing strategies. Her modern worldview has helped 20+ companies globally i.e. Accenture, Air France, Citigroup and Vogue. Susan is experienced in multiple sectors, however for the past several years she has focused on financial services and how best to democratize access, simplify transactions and open up the conversation regarding the role of money in the lives of Millennials.
As Head of Global Brand at Citigroup, Susan was the driving force behind creating and building the iconic Citi Brand. Most recently she advised the country CEOs and her work involved leveraging the broadest mix of disciplines to drive growth. During her tenure she led 100+ programs intended not only to improve customer experience but also to increase revenue and introduce new services. One program outcome led to 100 “Smart Bank” branches deployed across Asia. Each branch was fully operationalized as a digital 360 experience connected to mobile apps, serving technologically savvy Millennial customers.
Susan is a board advisor to various firms on the bleeding edge of marketing change. Examples of these companies include SoAmpli, which leverages A.I. to automate social selling, while Brand Foundry, a V.C., enables access to capital for disruptive E-commerce business models founded by and serving Millennials. Recent Brand Foundry investments include The Wing, Nineteenth Amendment and Lola. Susan also has a passion for Brand Economics and advises Strata Insights, the leader in proving and predicting the financial impact of Brand.
Proud to have been invited to the White House twice, Susan is also a TED, Forbes Women and Fortune Most Powerful Women participant. She was a speaker at; Oxford University’s “Power Shift 2016" and the Women’s Venture Fund recognized her innovative marketing targeting the “Double X Economy”. Susan was recently honored with a "Civic Spirit" award by the WCCNY for her work with under-served segments resulting in positive social and financial impact.
Deborah Mersino serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Oregon Community Credit Union, a $1.5B Credit Union with 137,000+ members. She oversees all aspects of marketing and strategic communications, including brand management, digital and traditional marketing, research and development, community relations, marketing analytics, and UX, as well as growth initiatives for the Credit Union. In 2015, OCCU launched a new brand and responsive website. Together in 2014 and 2015, she helped spearhead and execute strategies to grow deposits 19.6%, overall membership 17.8% and millennial memberships by 24.6%.
Ms. Mersino came to OCCU with 17+ years of marketing communications experience that including her role as CMO for an organization dedicated to serving education leaders and influencing public policy regarding the effective use of technology to improve education. Prior to that, she founded a consulting firm devoted to gifted education and marketing, where she launched #gtchat in 2010, a global Twitter chat which is still in existence today. She also previously served as principal of a national marketing agency in Chicago, and her work has been featured in Inc. and IndustryWeek magazines and dozens of trade publications. Ms. Mersino has served as a national keynote speaker on the subjects of gifted education and marketing. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Ms. Mersino currently serves as Chair of the Marketing Committee for the United Way of Lane County and also sits on the Strategic Market Task Force for the Northwest Credit Union Association.
Breffny O’Rourke is a payments strategy consultant for Visa. She supports top 10 financial institution clients with strategic consulting engagements across Visa’s product solutions (Debit, Credit, Commercial, Small Business, Consumer, Prepaid, Cobrand, Loyalty, Innovation), segments (Affluent, Mass, Millennials) and marketing disciplines (Brand, Insights, Digital/Social/Direct, Promotions, Analytics). She has deep expertise in product value proposition development, product positioning and launch, competitive assessment and market analysis, channel optimization, customer engagement and consumer research and insights development.
Prior to joining Visa, Breffny was a Senior Brand Manager at Campbell Soup Company, managing PNLs of up to $250MM in annual sales. There she led a variety of business lines, developed and executed annual brand plans, created multi-channel marketing campaigns and led cross-functional teams in new product development.
Breffny earned a bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College and an MBA from Temple University.
Korie Miller is Vice President and Director of Financial Services Marketing for the Federal Reserve System. Korie works for the Customer Relations and Support office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and resides in Kansas. In the 28 years she has been with the Federal Reserve, she has worked in bank operations, account management, and internal support roles in Denver, Kansas City, and Chicago offices. She is currently responsible for Financial Services product and promotions communications, electronic communication channels, and market research. Korie also serves on several work efforts including product and pricing, industry relations, sales and marketing, and product office projects.
Korie received her undergraduate degree from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO and MBA from Baker University in Baldwin City, KS. She also graduated from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Georgetown in Washington D.C.
Patrick Biggs is a Financial Advisor and founding partner of The RBK Group at Morgan Stanley, where he provides highly customized advice and investment solutions to financially successful individuals and young families. He focuses on wealth management services to professionals in several industries, including finance, law and medicine, as well as startup businesses. Patrick attended Princeton University where he earned his B.A. degree in History. A former athlete, Patrick was the senior captain of the men’s varsity swim team, achieving a school record in the 1650 Freestyle and helping his team win three straight Ivy League championships. Upon graduation, he joined Morgan Stanley, where he had the opportunity to work as an Analyst in the Strategy Group and an Associate in the Business Development Group before becoming a Financial Advisor with the RBK Group in 2015. Patrick calls Manhattan’s Financial District his home with his newly married wife, Alicia, and remains an active Princeton alumnus, serving as Board member of the Friends of Princeton Swimming and Diving and Co-Chair of the Princeton Class of 2011’s 5th Reunion.
Erin Lowry is millennial personal finance expert, speaker, and author of the book, “BROKE MILLENNIAL: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together.” Based on the successful blog, the book is a choose your own adventure guide to personal finance that uses wry humor and real-life examples to demystify the basics of money for millennials. Lowry's work has been featured by CBS Sunday Morning, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NBC News, New York Magazine, MarketplaceMoney, U.S. News and World Report, and Refinery29. Lowry spent most of her childhood living in Asia, but now settled in Queens, New York where she shares an apartment with her spunky rescue dog Mosby.
In his role as EVP Strategy and Executive Creative Director, Sean oversees Bond's Loyalty, Customer Experience and Creative practices—and blurs the line between breakthrough Creative and innovative Strategy. His extensive experience in above-and below-the-line advertising, coupled with a background in youth marketing, has garnered him a strategic understanding of how to acquire, engage and build meaningful long-term relationships between leading brands and their most valuable customers. He creates potent (and profitable) brand experiences by mixing traditional and non-traditional creative with a breadth of tactical knowledge governed by strategy derived from insights. Sean is a frequent speaker at leading conferences throughout North America, focused on Brand Experiences, Loyalty and Digital vocabularies like Social and Mobile.
John McWilliams is a Senior Vertical Solutions Consultant for the Credit Risk Management product suite at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role he works closely with clients and the sales team as a subject matter expert for the LexisNexis credit risk business, which includes the products RiskView, PowerView, FicoXD, Profile Booster and Lead Integrity. These products use behavioral data to help lenders gain deeper insight into fraud and credit risk at all stages of consumer lending and marketing. For the last 10 years, John held business development, sales and consulting roles at Experian, Equifax and D&B developing and selling credit risk and marketing solutions. Prior to that, John worked in Media at PR Newswire where he held a series of roles with business development and P&L responsibility.
Rina joined Publicis in 2016 after 15 years at Citigroup, where she held a number of Strategy and Execution roles in the Company’s Global Consumer business; most recently, she was a Managing Director leading the Consumer Banking Transformation office. Prior to Citi, Rina worked at Navigant Consulting, in San Francisco, where she was a Senior Consultant leading e-commerce and consumer product engagements. While in San Francisco, Rina also worked for a start-up called Vendio.com (now part of Alibaba) where she led their business development efforts. Before earning her MBA from Chicago’s Booth School of Business, she worked at Goldman Sachs Corporate Finance and Equity Research teams in both NY and Zurich respectively. Rina also has a B.S. from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Chris Knepp is the Vice President of Sales for e-Spirit North America. He is a well-known industry expert and thought leader with nearly 20 years spent helping businesses—including financial services and technology firms—realize their digital marketing strategies by transforming and future-proofing their digital marketing ecosystems. Chris is an expert in content management, content-as-a-service, personalization, and all digital experience-enabling technologies including the Internet of Things.
Jimmy Cushingham is a financial advisor with Edward Jones. Helping others reach their goals has always been his passion. He believes that anything is possible with accountability and a plan. Jimmy has found that there are many memories and goals his clients want to accomplish before retirement. He and his clients work toward their goals through documented steps. This is accomplished through a variety of investments and strategies catered to the client. The concept of retirement has shifted in recent years, from a point in time, to a phase of life. Retirement was once accomplished from working in a single job for many years and earning the right to a pension. The shift came as younger generations starting to view work as projects rather than career. Jimmy works with clients to seize the opportunities given to them and rise above in a new era of “retirement.”
Steven Gray is Vice President/Managing Editor at JPMorgan Chase. He leads a team of editors, writers and producers building content about personal finance, entrepreneurship, leadership, travel, food, and culture, for digital platforms that reach more than 1 million people every month. In addition, he develops content with publishers and video production firms.
Before joining JPMorgan Chase in 2016, he was an editorial consultant. In 2015, he was editorial director for Participant Media’s digital magazine, and before that was director of corporate social responsibility and global public affairs at Laureate Education, a US firm that expands access to higher education, mostly in the developing world. In this role, he built content that explained the firm’s CSR initiatives, and developed youth-focused social entrepreneurship programs.
Most of his career has been in journalism. Between 2010 and 2012, he was a Time magazine correspondent covering the intersection of politics, policy and business. In 2009, he opened Time Inc.’s Detroit editorial office, helping develop content for the company’s flagship magazines: Time, Fortune, Money, and People. From 2004 to 2007, he covered the global food industry for The Wall Street Journal, including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Whole Foods, and General Mills. He began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post.
He received a B.A. degree in journalism from Howard University and was a graduate student at the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies. He has been a Poynter Institute ethics fellow, and a fellow at the University of California, Berkeley’s Knight Digital Media Center. In addition, he has spoken at the Aspen Ideas Festival, and provided analysis on MSNBC, CNBC, PBS, Fox, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He lives in New York.