CEO’s Management Team has more than 40 years of combined experience operating consumer lending programs for new Americans. This core CEO team works in close collaboration with IRC economic empowerment staff in the locations where CEO is operational.
CEO is guided by its Board of Directors and an Advisory Committee.
CEO’s Members and Board of Directors:
- Sean Carpenter, Chairman
- Hans Van de Weerd, President
- Ellen Beattie, Treasurer
- Radha Rajkotia, Secretary
Follow this link to see the members of the CEO Advisory Committee.
Kasra has led CEO since 2014. Prior to CEO, he worked as the Deputy Director for the IRC in San Diego, where he implemented a consumer lending program that would serve as the basis for CEO’s national efforts. He offers support and guidance to IRC’s U.S. network of 27 community-based offices – which serve over 50,000 primarily refugee and immigrant families each year. Away from work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and their puppy, hanging out at the beach, or playing video games. Kasra holds a BSBA in Economics and an MA in International Business from the University of Florida. He is fluent in Farsi.
Senior Lending Manager
Senad oversees the entire lending process for clients from the initial application through the final payment. He was resettled in the U.S. by the IRC in 1998, and began working with the organization in 2000. Senad has lived the refugee experience, and understands the difficulty of transitioning to a new country. He believes CEO aides those struggling financially as he did many years ago. Originally from Bosnia, he speaks Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian as well as English. Senad enjoys traveling and reading in his free time, and going to the beach with his family and friends
Mary Grace Ner
Finance & Admin Director
Mary heads CEO’s finance and accounting functions and ensures CEO is in compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations. She joined the CEO team after serving as the Site Coordinator for the VITA Tax prep program at the IRC in San Diego. Mary also provided clients with financial literacy education, credit counseling, coaching and assisted with loan applications. She enjoys cooking and spending time with her family. Mary speaks Tagalog and holds a BS in Business Administration from San Diego State University.
Senior Operations Manager
Zachary oversees customer and partner support, offers training to our non-profit implementing partners and identifies data-centered solutions to increase efficiency in a scaling enterprise. He previously worked for the IRC in San Diego, in their microenterprise program, helping entrepreneurs navigate the new business process in the U.S. He believes all financial institutions should prioritize the financial well-being of their clients over profit. Zachary enjoys biking in the California sun and hanging out with his dog. He has a BBA from James Madison University, speaks Spanish and has TEFL certification.
Senior Microlending Coordinator
Gokcen leads CEO's small business lending efforts as the Senior Microlending Coordinator. Gokcen previously worked for an international accounting firm in her native country, Turkey, before working at the IRC in San Diego for three years. She graduated from Ankara University with a degree in Business Administration.
Admin & IT Coordinator
Nawfal handles many responsibilities at CEO, lending technical and customer support to CEO’s 25+ partner organizations. Nawfal previously worked at the IRC office in San Diego, as a senior financial education specialist, working with CEO products and IRC clients. He joined the CEO team, taking on a new challenge and bringing his valuable experience from working on the other half of the IRC-CEO model. Nawfal enjoys video games and hiking. He has a Bachelor’s of Science from Al-Mustansiryia University, focused on computer science, and speaks Arabic.
Josh serves as the Communications Coordinator, developing and executing communication plans for the organization. He joined CEO after serving for a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA. He brings experiences from a major Detroit PR firm and his previous AmeriCorps service year at a mental health nonprofit in South Carolina. He believes no one can ignore a compelling story. Outside of work he can often be found at museums or watching baseball. He graduated from Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations with minors in Public Affairs and Leadership.
Communications AmeriCorps VISTA
Through Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic, Terrence serves as an AmeriCorps VISTA with CEO because he believes every resident in the United States deserves the same financial opportunities to achieve higher economic mobility regardless of social or legal status. Terrence has a bachelor’s degree in Food Science from the University of Nebraska and previously worked as a quality assurance professional. He recently graduated with a second degree in Information Technology from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He enjoys traveling and visiting unique attractions. Terrence is an immigrant from Malaysia of Chinese descent and can speak Chinese Mandarin and Cantonese.
IRC Economic Empowerment Team
CEO was born after years of economic empowerment work from the IRC, championed by current CEO staff. IRC’s National Economic Empowerment leaders collaborate closely with CEO on nearly all areas of operation, including serving on CEO’s Internal Loan Committee.
INTERNAL LOAN COMMITTEE
Erica is a member of CEO’s Internal Loan Committee, in addition to her responsibilities with the IRC as Director of Economic Empowerment. She has worked at the IRC for 10 years after time spent in higher education and economic development. Erica knows moving the needle on poverty moves the needle on so much more, and that accessible finance is an important part of lifting people out of poverty. Her work at the IRC helps integrate CEO products into IRC’s work. She can be found outside hiking or running, and enjoys a good book and being with her family. Erica earned a PhD in International Studies and MBA from the University of Denver and speaks French.
INTERNAL LOAN COMMITTEE
Jon is a member of CEO’s Internal Loan Committee, in addition to his responsibilities with the IRC as Deputy Director of Economic Empowerment. Jon is a licensed trainer of financial coaches, training nationally under a CNM Ingenuity license, and holds a master-trainer license for Credit as an Asset through Credit Builders Alliance. Jon believes CEO can directly address systemic issues facing low-income families and help make climbing the ladder a little easier. Jon is an active biker, loves to cook and makes homemade beer. He attended Minnesota State University, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature, with a post-graduate teaching certificate in ESL.