Volunteer Instructors

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Our Team

These awesome people make it all possible

 

Luz is an ex-corporate executive turned passionate personal finance educator and speaker. Since 2008 Luz has participated in different programs and projects to promote knowledge and understanding of personal finances. She was the Executive Director of Qualitas of Life Foundation, an organization that provided financial education to Hispanic immigrant families in New York. Luz holds a B.S. in Economics and two master’s degrees both from Pace University. Currently, she is working toward her Financial Planning Certification – CFP©.

Luz Barrera
Volunteer Instructor

Althea Brown is a District Preseason Manager for H&R Block. Her role is to partner with the District General Manager in business partnerships efforts, recruit and hire tax professionals, clients service leaders and receptionists, as well as ensure the staff is in compliance with IRS federal, state, and the company requirements. Althea has an MBA, Enrolled Agent license, and Certifying Acceptance Agent license. Althea lives in Stamford, CT.

Althea Brown
Volunteer Instructor

Elizabeth Brown is a leading practitioner in the field of financial empowerment. She started her career as an auditor for Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co., now KPMG. In 1995, she started her own tax consulting firm where she specialized in helping high net worth clients and small-to-medium size businesses in the Tri-State marketplace improve their company finances. Elizabeth graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. degree from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. where she received a four-year academic scholarship. She is a native New Yorker who loves living in the Lower Hudson Valley. Elizabeth is married with one adult son, three adult stepchildren, and one step granddaughter.

 

Elizabeth Brown
Volunteer Instructor

Eric Cassalina has been a volunteer instructor with My Money Workshop since 2015. With his financial background in banking, financial planning, and wealth management, Eric has been servicing the financial needs of the Hudson Valley area since 2011. Eric was born and raised in Marlboro, New York where he lives with his wife and two dogs. Eric enjoys golfing, traveling, and community involvement.

Eric Cassalina
Volunteer Instructor

James started his career as a Financial Advisor in 1988, at First Albany Corporation before joining Merrill Lynch in 1991. James was formally appointed by Merrill Lynch as the National spokesperson for their “Families of Children with Disabilities” program. He has been featured on local, national and syndicated shows such as “Money Talks” and “Good Day New York.” In September 2001, Worth Magazine recognized James as one of their “Names You Can Trust” among Financial Advisors. James is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. He currently resides in Cross River, New York and loves spending as much time as possible with his wife, Cory and their three children.

James Cotto
Volunteer Instructor

Rick Fishkin has been a financial professional for the past 27 years. He is currently the owner of a mortgage brokerage and financial planning firm in Nyack, NY. While advising clients over the years, Rick has been concerned with the lack of financial knowledge people have regarding their own fiscal matters. Educating people financially is very important to him and necessary for people to succeed in today’s economy. Rick is married, father of 2 boys, leads an active outdoor oriented lifestyle, loves music and helping others.

Rick Fishkin
Volunteer Instructor

Kevin grew up in a household where being financially responsible was taught from an early age. His passion for investing started with stories of his great grandmother down on Wall Street watching the tickers and investing to build her family’s wealth. After graduating Skidmore College in 1994, his career detoured into advertising and marketing for 20+ years. In 2017, Kevin finally went back to his passion for fiscal responsibility, becoming a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch. He works with affluent individuals and families to help build, manage, and preserve their wealth. Kevin lives in Scotch Plains, NJ with his wife and three kids.

Kevin Gannon
Volunteer Instructor

Vicki Gold has a background in Personal Financial Planning and Investing and has worked in the Financial and Banking Industries. She has been a volunteer instructor for My Money Workshop for over four years. Vicki holds a B.A. from Binghamton University and an M.B.A. from C.U.N.Y. Baruch College. She has two daughters in college and lives with her husband in Westchester County.

 

 

Vicki Gold
Volunteer Instructor
Andrew graduated from Villanova University in 2018 with a degree in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience and minor in psychology. He currently works for RBC Capital Markets supporting US and Canadian trading desks through multi-functional asset servicing. Andrew is extremely passionate about markets and personal finance. He lives in downtown Manhattan and enjoys sports, travel, and food.
Andrew Goldstein
Volunteer Instructor

Gary Gordon’s career was on Wall Street, where he was primarily a stock analyst covering the housing, mortgage, and consumer finance industries. He also served as a U.S. investment strategist and as a portfolio manager. The bulk of his work career was at PaineWebber and UBS (1988 to 2005). He is now retired. Mr. Gordon does volunteer teaching at a junior high school and at Taconic Women’s Correctional Facility. He also presents financial literacy seminars to college and high school students. Mr. Gordon is married with two young adult children. He has degrees from Colgate University (BA ’74, philosophy) and The Wharton School (MBA ’77, finance).

Gary Gordon
Volunteer Instructor

Nina Gunderson is a Financial Advisor on the Gunderson Embree team at UBS Financial Services. Nina adds a multigenerational dimension to the team, working with families and the team to create customized investment plans to help grow and protect clients’ wealth. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University, with a major in political science, and minor in entrepreneurship. Nina is dedicated to giving back to her schools and sits on the Wake Forest New York Alumni Board and the Chapin School Alumnae Development committee. She also enjoys sports, travel and photography.

Nina Gunderson
Volunteer Instructor

Andrea “Kelli” Higgs has a strong legal, higher education, and program management experience.  She is admitted to practice law in CT and NY (EDNY and SDNY) and is a licensed real estate broker. Kelli received a J.D. from the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center at Touro College, and a B.S. in Business Administration from Old Dominion University.  Name “Best Lawyer” by the White Plains/Greenburgh Branch of the NAACP, Kelli has covered special events and written columns for the Westchester County Press; Financial Fortitude and HBCU Pride.  She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.-Westchester Alumnae Chapter and Greater Centennial AME Zion Church. She also serves as the Program Director for the New York Legal Education Opportunity Program, which is sponsored by the New York State Judicial Institute.

Andrea “Kelli” Higgs
Volunteer Instructor

Born in Palmira, Colombia, Yolanda Infante came to the United States in 1991 and moved to New York in 1993 where she started working as a receptionist and administrative assistant for Robin Bikkal, Esq. Yolanda has her Associate Degree in Marketing from Westchester Community College, is a certified IRS Tax Preparer and she is a certified Immigration Paralegal who now owns her own small business, Infante Immigration Connection, Inc., in White Plains, NY. She assists individuals, families and businesses in the preparation and submission of forms, documentation, and evidence in support of applications to diverse governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Yolanda Infante
Volunteer Instructor

Paul Katzenstein has an extensive background in the Information Technology market, having held sales, marketing and management positions with computer and software firms and start-ups. He currently is a business development executive with IBM’s Software Group, consulting in the use of software to enhance IT service delivery. Paul graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and received an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He also volunteers with At Home on the Sound to provide technology help to local elderly residents. He has two grown children and lives with his wife, Ann, in Westchester Co.

Paul Katzenstein
Volunteer Instructor

With a background in banking, brokerage, capital markets, and institutional investing, Paul Landolfe has been serving the wealth management needs of high net worth individuals, as a Director and Financial Advisor, for more than 30 years. Paul holds an MBA in Finance from Iona College, and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Economics from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. Paul has volunteered in the local community for many years. He has been married for 32 years and resides in Chatham, New Jersey. Paul has three children and two dogs.

 

Paul Landolfe
Volunteer Instructor

Ron Mandle was a highly ranked sell-side bank stock analyst for 30-plus years, including 14 years at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. He was ranked among the top analysts in his industry for 21 consecutive years by Institutional Investor Magazine and was ranked second in his final year on the sell side. He also spent 10 years as an analyst/portfolio manager at GIC, one of Singapore’s sovereign wealth funds, and was intimately involved in GIC’s large (and profitable) investment in Citigroup. Since retiring in 2012, he has been teaching MBA-level courses at Baruch College. Mr. Mandle holds a BS in Mathematics and an MS in Management from MIT.

Ron Mandle
Volunteer Instructor
Mani Nwaedozie

Mani Nwaedozie works in education. He is currently a STEM Implementation & Project Manager at the Research Foundation at CUNY and is the founder of HyperionMD—an enterprise blockchain company focused on linking disparate health data across healthcare providers. Mani graduated from Geneseo in 2013 with a degree in History. He also holds a degree from Baruch College in Finance & Economics. Mani, a Bronx native, envisions a world where access to high-level math and science becomes a matter-of-course in every community in the country. He believes that the lack of STEM access is a critical issue in education today; particularly for both urban and rural communities. He enjoys traveling, trying new foods, and local beer.

Mani Nwaedozie
Volunteer Instructor

Madeleine Polemeni comes to My Money Workshop with thirty years of volunteer experience as a trained facilitator for both small and large groups. Cooking healthy meals with concern for both cost and ingredients is a passion of hers. Madeleine is thrilled to be guiding new pilot programs on eating well on a budget for the benefit of everyone from their teens to their twilight years. She resides in Golden’s Bridge, NY.

Madeleine Polemeni
Volunteer Instructor

Dave Pottinger has over 20 years of experience working in the financial services industry. He is currently a Compliance Executive Director with JPMorgan Chase & Co., focusing on bank regulatory compliance. Dave has worked for several large banking organizations, including Credit Suisse, Barclays Bank and GE Capital, where he has held numerous positions spanning financial accounting and reporting, regulatory capital policy, and new business implementation. Dave holds a B.S. in Accounting from the State University of New York, at Oswego. He lives with his family in New Rochelle, New York.

Dave Pottinger
Volunteer Instructor

Erik has worked in private equity and investment banking since graduating from the University of Virginia’s undergraduate business school in 2012. He is passionate about personal finance and believes financial education is a critical (and rarely taught) component to overall well-being. Erik lives in Manhattan and supports mental health initiatives through the Prochnow Foundation.

Erik Prochnow
Volunteer Instructor

Ken Rabasco aka Bosco is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the New York State Association of Realtors, Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, and the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service. As a lifelong Westchester resident, Bosco has a vast and extensive knowledge of the intricate details that comprise the communities of Southern Westchester. Bosco is a member of the Rotary Club of Hartsdale – Greenburgh and went to Pace University where he received his Bachelor of Business Administration.

Kenneth Rabasco, AKA Bosco
Volunteer Instructor

Helene’s career in financial industries spans over thirty-five years. Currently, she is the Chief Operations and Administrative Officer for Eleven Canterbury, a unique boutique firm which is a cross between a consulting firm and an expert network offering the best of both worlds. Earlier roles included Assistant Vice President within ABN Amro’s MIS Reporting group and Assistant Treasurer at JPMorgan Chase. Helene holds a DM and MSM in Homeland Security from Colorado Technical University, a BA in Political Science from Niagara University, and has completed MBA course work in Finance / MIS from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. In addition, Helene is licensed in life, health and accident insurance in 14 states and certified for NYS Partnership for Long Term Care.

Dr. Helene A. Reda
Volunteer Instructor

Heather Reihs is a commercial real estate professional currently working as a Project Coordinator at Cushman & Wakefield (formerly Cassidy Turley and DTZ). Prior to commencing her career in real estate, Heather worked at Bank of America as both a financial analyst and client sales officer in the wealth management division. Heather graduated from the University of Florida in 2007 with a BS in Finance and currently resides in Manhattan. In 2015 Heather founded the People Who Eat & Talk networking group. The group was created with the goal to bring professionals of all backgrounds together in order to make connections through their existing people base, all in a casual dinner setting.

Heather Reihs
Volunteer Instructor

Kathleen Reilly is a Somers, NY resident with over 30 years of experience in small business banking, business development, coaching and the creation and delivery of successful sales programs. The banking veteran has coached hundreds of bankers in New York and Connecticut throughout her career, resulting in increased business relationships, product sales and loan growth. Mrs. Reilly earned her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut and her bachelor’s degree in mathematics & computer science from Mercy College. An active volunteer in her community, Mrs. Reilly is a member of the steering committee for T.E.A.M Tuskers, a one-to-one mentoring program for students in the Somers school system. Mrs. Reilly lives in Somers, NY with her husband, John Reilly. They have two grown children.

Kathleen Reilly
Volunteer Instructor

Greg Russo is an experienced hedge fund portfolio manager whose career has included several large multi strategy funds investing in relative value opportunities and equity long short. He spent twelve years focused on index arbitrage trading strategies. Earlier roles included accounting, operations, risk management, and trade execution across a variety of asset classes. Greg holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University at Albany and an M.B.A. in Finance with distinction from the Leonard Stern School of Business at NYU.

Greg Russo
Volunteer Instructor

Lynn M. (Chip) wagner is Senior Vice President – Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch and a Certified Financial Planner. He has over 35 years of experience in providing financial management advice and services to individuals, families, businesses and charitable organizations. He has taught adult education at Westchester Community College for many years. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of the Tarrytowns and has played a pivotal role in managing the investments of its scholarship program for high school seniors.

Lynn M. (Chip) Wagner
Volunteer Instructor

Ryan Gardner has been passionate about personal finance and the financial markets since a young age. Ryan previously worked for multi-national investment bank and now works for a private equity firm based in Connecticut. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a concentration in finance. Ryan was born and raised in New Jersey and now lives in New York City. He enjoys traveling, running, volunteering and spending time with family.

Ryan Gardner
Volunteer Instructor

Soumya Bansal is a firm believer in the diversity of perspective. With over 15 years of progressive experience that spans the private capital markets (Bear Stearns, RBC Capital), the Federal government (CFTC), and a Big 4 advisory (KPMG), she drives domestic and international banking initiatives specializing in strategy implementation, financial modeling, and analysis. Operating at the intersection of risk management, financial regulation, and strategy, she advises both small and large global financial institutions on multiple change initiatives, resulting in improved business processes, policies and procedures, and organizational governance. She holds a B.S. in math, with a minor concentration in economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).  She did postgraduate studies in financial mathematics at the University of London, King’s College.

Soumya Bansal
Volunteer Instructor

Michael Yu joined the Wealth Management division of Merrill in early 2019 with the focus to develop better financial strategies for families and high-net-worth individuals. He enjoys solving financial challenges with his team and strategic partners of local experts in business banking, law and accountancy services. With a B.S. in Physics and a minor in Philosophy, Michael graduated from Fordham University in 2016. He is an avid hiker and enjoys playing tennis as well as being an active volunteer for My Money Workshop and Tuesday’s Children.

Michael Yu
Volunteer Instructor

Alan I. Bey is the President of Premier Health Programs, Inc., a consulting company providing management services. He is both a faculty member at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY, where he teaches graduate courses in finance, medical quality, and strategy, and at New York Medical College in the Department of Medicine. In 1993, Alan formed a successful partnership with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey that resulted in the creation of an insurance company called University Health Plans. Alan holds a BA from the City College of New York and an MBA in accounting from Iona College. He is a thirty-one year resident of the Village of Scarsdale, where he lives.

Alan Bey
Volunteer Instructor