Financial Opportunity Center® Resources
Financial Opportunity Center® Resources
LISC National Contacts
LISC Local Office Directory
LISC National Contacts

LISC National Contacts

Laura D'Alessandro, Director of Financial Health

As co-director of the national Income & Wealth Building program, Laura leads LISC’s Financial Opportunity Center® (FOC) and Bridges to Career Opportunities work, with a focus on wealth-building strategies—including access to safe and affordable financial products, building short- and long-term savings, and creating opportunities for credit-building through accessible, fairly-priced financial products—micro-entrepreneurship, and FOC site’s role in creating pathways to asset building and homeownership. Prior to joining LISC, Laura worked at Helen Keller International and has a breadth of experience in program design, non-profit capacity-building and grants management. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and a master’s in public administration from New York University and is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.

Katrin Sirje Kärk, Director of Workforce Innovations

As co-director of the national Income & Wealth Building program, Katrin leads LISC’s Financial Opportunity Center® (FOC) and Bridges to Career Opportunities work, with a focus on national partner stewardship, program sustainability and innovations including career pathways, digital skilling and access, green jobs, integrating FOC work with homeownership and housing stability programming.  After starting her career in communications at PolicyLink, she joined LISC to help grow the FOC and Bridges models, then launched a $32M financial capability grant program at NeighborWorks America and spent time in Rural LISC collaborating with local partners to expand workforce and asset building innovations in rural America before rejoining the national IWB program in 2019.  Katrin earned a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and a master's degree in public administration from the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College-City University of New York. 

Lorena Avillaneda, Assistant Program Officer

Lorena has over eight years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including work in workforce development, fundraising, community engagement, database design, and customer relationship management (CRM) administration. Lorena supports multiple LISC national programs including the Financial Opportunity Center® (FOC) network, Business Development Center (BDO) network, and Supplier Diversity and the Emerging Developers initiatives by providing Salesforce user management, technical assistance, grant performance management, data visualization, and data analysis support. Lorena graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in human development & family studies and earned a credential as a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP). In her free time, you will find Lorena rock climbing, playing soccer, and having multiple active ferments in her kitchen. 

Candi Blake, Senior Program Officer

Candi provides oversight to grants management operations for LISC's Income & Wealth Building (IWB) and Economic Development teams. This includes grant financial management and administration including budgeting, compliance, reporting, grant processes design and implementation. Candi has over 15 years of experience working in public service and the nonprofit sector. She has a passion for community action and service. Candi holds both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Political Science from Rutgers University.

Thomas Brande, Program Officer for Communications

Thomas Brande executes marketing campaigns for LISC’s Income & Wealth Building and Economic Development teams. This includes managing and creating website, newsletters, social media, client stories, graphics, and other promotional content. Thomas has over ten years of experience as a communications professional, serving at non-profit organizations on the local, regional, and international levels. He is passionate about magnifying the voices of community members and creating a more equitable society through his work. Previously, he acted as Marketing and Communications Manager at Phipps Neighborhoods, a community development organization based in the South Bronx. Thomas holds a Bachelor’s in Peace and Justice Studies and a Master’s in Public Communications from Fordham University. He currently lives in Queens, New York with his family.

Julia Brown, Senior Program Officer

Julia provides technical assistance, grants management and program support to LISC’s Financial Opportunity Center® (FOC) and Bridges to Career Opportunities programs, with a focus on workforce development and digital equity and inclusion. She currently leads LISC’s SNAP Employment & Training initiative that connects FOC partners to sustainable federal funding, ultimately building local capacity to better serve community members. Julia has over 12 years of experience in nonprofit and corporate responsibility, including direct service, program and grant management, capacity building and cross-sector partnerships. She holds a BA from Lafayette College and a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on Public and Nonprofit Performance Measurement from Rutgers University-Newark.

Jessica Clements, Program Officer

Jessica Clements brings over a decade of public sector experience, spanning direct service and program management. As Program Officer, she provides data analysis support and technical assistance to LISC’s Financial Opportunity Center® (FOC) partners, co-managing the Family Financial Tracking Template™ in Salesforce. Jessica guides users, ensures accurate data tracking, and utilizes raw datasets to derive valuable insights to support data-driven decisions, enhancing network evaluation efforts. Additionally, Jessica co-manages the Learning Management System, ensuring user accessibility and engagement. With a Bachelor’s in Social Work from Bowling Green State University and a Master’s in Social Work from Eastern Michigan University, she is deeply committed to community empowerment through insightful data analysis, strategic decision-making, and capacity building. Jessica resides in Bowling Green, Ohio with her family. 

Valerie Moffitt, Senior Program Officer

Valerie joined LISC’s Family Income & Wealth Building Team in June 2022 to increase equitable access to safe, affordable financial products for people living in underserved communities. She first joined LISC Toledo in January 2014 to establish and grow the city’s network of Financial Opportunity Center® partners. During her tenure with the Toledo office, she also provided capacity building and technical assistance to local non-profit and grassroots organizations, spearheaded local policy initiatives leading to a moratorium on new payday lenders in the city and partnered with statewide coalitions to effect Payday Lending Reform in Ohio.

Valerie is an attorney licensed in Ohio, a Housing Development Finance Professional, and a Board Certified Coach with over 20 years of experience serving in government and nonprofit positions. She completed her undergraduate studies in her hometown of Murray, Kentucky at Murray State University. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Toledo College of Law. She currently resides in Toledo, Ohio with her husband, Judge Joseph V. McNamara, and their merry band of four-legged family members.

Sandylane Oquendo, Program Officer

Sandylane provides technical assistance, grants management, and program support to LISC’s network of Financial Opportunity Center® (FOC) and Bridges to Career Opportunities programs, specializing in financial products, housing, and micro-entrepreneurship. With over 20 years of combined strategic and management experience, she leads some of our innovative cross-departmental work. 

Sandylane is a retired Army veteran and spent 11 years serving in the logistics operations field. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science in Business Occupations and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis on Management & Leadership from Texas A&M University-Central Texas. She is pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration from Prairie View A&M University. Sandylane is passionate about volunteering with various philanthropic organizations, especially those focused on closing the various opportunity gaps. 

Carolina Rendon, Senior Program Officer

Carolina has over 14 years of experience working in nonprofit in the Chicago area, including in grants management, data evaluation, contract regulations, fiscal management, programmatic design, and CRM administration. Carolina supports multiple LISC national programs including the Financial Opportunity Center® (FOC) network, the Business Development Organizations (BDO) network, and the Emerging Developers initiative as the Salesforce System Administrator managing over 750 users. In addition, Carolina provides the FOC network with technical assistance and model implementation support. Carolina holds a dual bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in finance and management and is a Certified Salesforce Administrator.

Amber Stewart, Assistant Program Officer

As assistant program officer, Amber supports a range of grants management and reporting activities for the Income & Wealth Building team. She has 10 years of experience in program design and federal grant management within nonprofit, local government, and public-private partnerships centered on social entrepreneurship, wealth building, youth recreation, and recidivism with agencies including the Atlanta Hawks, WeWork, and the Office of the District Attorney for the Macon, Georgia Judicial Circuit. Prior to joining LISC, Amber served as the grant director for Mercer University College of Education's GENERATE Teacher Residency Program, a $9.1 million teacher preparation grant awarded by the US DOE to address the teacher shortage.  

She holds a bachelor's in public management and governance from Georgia State University and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Georgia. She is passionate about addressing social and economic justice issues professionally and through her volunteer work. She currently lives in Washington, D.C. 

Talia Vasquez Rader, Program Officer

Talia manages projects and grants focused on workforce development programming, capacity building and technical assistance initiatives for LISC’s Income & Wealth Building program. She also collaborates closely with team members and leadership to develop and raise funds for new initiatives and innovations, fostering the growth and support of LISC's Financial Opportunity Center® (FOC)network in alignment with the organization's mission. Talia started her career as a first-grade teacher and has a decade of non-profit experience, primarily in skills training and workforce advancement. Talia holds a bachelor's degree in Applied Learning and Development from the University of Texas at Austin and currently resides in her hometown of San Antonio.
LISC Local Office Directory

Local LISC Office Contacts

Office Target Market 
Contact Person
AtlantaAmit Khanduri, Program Officer
BostonEmily Jones, Senior Program Officer
Silvana Bastante, Program Officer
CharlotteHiba Asalih, Program Officer
Harold Lloyd, Program Officer
ChicagoJennifer McClain, Financial Opportunities Director
Sarai Garza, Program Officer
CincinnatiValerie Daley, Senior Program officer
ClevelandWalter Morris, Program Officer
ConnecticutRaQuasia Smith, Assistant Program Officer
DetroitJackie Burau, Program Officer
Karista Gallick, Assistant Program Officer
DuluthEmily Mowchan Drevlow, Assistant Program Officer
FlintJuan Zuniga, Executive Director
Shaina TinseyAssistant Program officer 
Hampton RoadsRosalyn WolfeProgram Officer
Hawai'iMatt Hara, Program Officer
HoustonRushka Tcholakova, Director, Community Programs
Ellary Makuch, Program Officer
IndianapolisBrandon Taylor, Program Officer
JacksonvilleMelissa ChesterEconomic Development Program Officer
Kathie Silva, Program Assistant
Sonja DeanSenior Program Officer
Kansas CityKelli Hearn Assistant Program Officer
Los AngelesVicky Rodriguez, Director, Field Services & Program Management
Memphis Katie Midgely, Program Officer
MilwaukeeChristopher KempDeputy Director
Gabrielle Charles, Assistant Program Officer
New York   Talor Crawford, Community Development Officer
NewarkElijah Dixon, Senior Program Officer
PeoriaAngela BoldenExecutive Director
Tara Lindsay, Assistant Program Officer
PhiladelphiaJessica CollazoProgram Officer   
Phoenix Mariana Torres, Assistant Program Officer
Rhode IslandClaudia Staniszewski, Program Officer
 Sue Leonardi, Assistant Program Officer
RuralEmily Avery, Director of Rural Financial Opportunity Centers 
Justin Burch, Program Director
Francesca Santos, Assistant Program Officer
San DiegoKarina Velazquez, Program Officer
Ivonne RojasAssistant Program Officer
San Francisco (Bay Area)Sasha Werblin, Senior Program Officer
Hellena Ruiz, Assistant Program Officer
Seattle/ Puget SoundTina VlasatyDeputy Director
ToledoSelena ColeyAssistant Program Officer
 Shaulonda JonesAssistant Program Officer
Twin Cities Rachel Speck, Consultant
Orissa Ramnarine, Program Assistant
VirginiaShanika McClellandProgram Officer, Community Development/FIWB
Western New YorkTyra Johnson Hux, Deputy Director
Kate Rehban, Program Officer

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