Our Team

 

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Chloe McKenzie
Founder, President, and CEO

After graduating from Amherst College, Chloe worked as a mortgage trader at J.P. Morgan. She found Wall Street intellectually stimulating, but felt as though she was not helping those truly disadvantaged. When she became a Financial Counselor for homeless families and completed an education fellowship where she pursued work related to strengthening teaching practice and curriculum innovation, she felt compelled to start an organization with a mission of teaching wealth and financial curriculum to women and girls of color.  

Chloe is Series certified General Securities Representative and Investment Adviser and has her graduate certificate in Financial Planning. She is currently completing her Master of Public Administration from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and has completed graduate coursework in general and special education. 


Learning Department

 

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toya hall
BlackFem At School Manager

Toya Hall has worked as a certified elementary teacher and manager in Title I schools for the past five years. She holds a Masters in International Education from New York University and a Bachelors in Political Science and African American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to her graduate studies, Toya was a 2013 Teach for America corps member in Houston, TX where she taught third grade (mainstream) and fifth grade (Two Way Dual Language Program). As a classroom teacher, she worked closely with her peers to develop and implement an inclusive curriculum to achieve student success. 

Toya joined BlackFem because she is passionate about the organization’s commitment to provide diverse women and girls’ the opportunity to become knowledgeable on how to build and sustain wealth, combating economical barriers. A firm believer in culturally responsive education, she wants to be a part of a movement that shifts the nation’s educational system, so ALL students and families can gain the capital needed to be successful, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Energized by education and its ability to empower marginalized communities and aid in social and economic mobility, Toya is excited to be a part of BlackFem. 

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Tara Spruill-Jones
Family Programing manager

Tara Spruill-Jones is a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and New Jersey native currently residing in Washington, D.C. She has "Big 4" accounting experience in the areas of expatriate and high net worth taxation. She holds a BS from Cornell University and an Masters in Accounting and a M.B.A. from Northeastern University. 

Tara joined BlackFem to regain the passion for her career and to answer the call to teach and inspire her community. During her time in Public Accounting, Tara found it extremely difficult to reconcile her purpose with her profession. She is immensely grateful to be able to align who she is with what she does at BlackFem.

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Clarke Wheeler
blackfem In House Manager

Clarke Wheeler is the Government Relations Associate at Planned Parenthood of New York City, and previously worked for the city's Office of Financial Empowerment on its NYC Free Tax Prep Initiative. She graduated from Barnard College in 2016 with a double major in Political Science and Africana Studies.

As a black woman, Clarke is inspired by the possibilities that financial empowerment offers her and her communities. She is enthusiastic about the opportunity to support BlackFem's mission and pedagogical model because the racial and gender wealth gap, as well as the lack of financial literacy and power in communities of color, are issues that are personally resonant to her. Clarke looks forward to a world in which women and girls of color can financially thrive, and is excited to support the critical work happening at BlackFem!

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Sarah Vistocco
curriculum writer

Sarah Vistocco has a Masters in General and Special Education and has taught elementary and middle school children for three years. When she first heard of the Time is Money program, she knew she had to be a part of this project because she did not want to pass up the privilege to work with a program that equips young women with the tools they need to become not only financially independent, but affluent leaders in a society. Sarah's expertise augments the process of developing our youth programs' curriculum and strengthens the performance of the rest of our team and students at BlackFem.

Tiffany Willis
curriculum writer, Parent Programs

Tiffany Willis has many years of experience in finance and as a financial coach and currently works as an operations specialist for fixed income securities, large denomination time deposits, commercial paper, and exchange traded funds. She has her MBA in finance from Golden Gate University and a bachelor's in economics from University of California, Davis.

Tiffany joined BlackFem because she wholeheartedly believes in the mission, creating opportunities for women and girls of color to sustain and build wealth. She believes there is a huge difference between coming into wealth (from whatever form) and building the tools that actually create wealth. Tiffany believes that if we as a community take part in building the tools, we have already built the basis for the investment. Creating a knowledge base around sound financial principles gives us the means that we need to help manage the risks that would threaten our financial growth.  Tiffany wants to help women of color be proactive about their financial independence and success as it will open opportunities for them to truly live the life they desire. She plans to use her education and experience to do just that.

amy cushman
Programs data analyst

Amy Cushman has a Masters in Special and General Education and currently works as a data analyst for a public charter school. When Amy learned about BlackFem's after school program, she wanted to get involved and help develop the data system for our student's credit reports. She is excited to join BlackFem, Inc to help empower young women of color by providing an education beyond that of the Common Core curriculum.

 


Business Development Department

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Emelyn Chew
co-director of fundraising | blackfem West Coast

Emelyn Chew began her career as an analyst at J.P. Morgan’s Investment Bank, working on structuring and originating fixed income securities for both private and public sector clients. While her professional work experiences allowed her to discover the transformative effect of capital markets, her volunteer work with nonprofits and social enterprises revealed the challenges faced by financially excluded communities in building wealth.

As a member of Funding Circle’s Capital Markets team in San Francisco, Emelyn works to connect small businesses with investment capital through the company’s online lending platform. She is excited to lead Blackfem’s West Coast expansion and see first-hand how financial education can empower communities to take ownership of their financial future. Emelyn has a bachelor’s degree from NYU. 

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Kerina Koch
CO-director OF FUNDRAISING | blackfem west coast

Kerina Koch currently works in investment operations at Wetherby Asset Management, a wealth management firm that emphasizes the importance of impact investing. Kerina previously worked at Funding Circle and has a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Davis.

She is excited to join BlackFem, Inc. because she recognizes the integral role financial education serves in empowering girls and women of color by giving them the tools needed to make their own financial decisions and build generational wealth.

 


Our Board of Advisors

BRIAN GRIMES, CFP®, CLU®

Brian Grimes is the co-founder of Bloyd Street Capital, a real estate development company in Philadelphia. Brian is a Certified Financial Planner™ and a Chartered Life Underwriter™previously worked at the New York Mercantile Exchange, AXA Advisors and Bridgewater Advisors Inc. He has spent his professional career providing an array of full financial planning services to both the masses and the classes. Brian previously served on the Board of Directors BlackFem and continues to share his knowledge and expertise with the BlackFem team and the communities we serve.

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Gaurav Ahuja

Gaurav Ahuja is an Investor at Thrive Capital and previously worked as a Growth Equity Investor at TA Associates in its Technology group. As an investment professional, he is responsible for sourcing and executing investments in growing technology companies with the goal of helping them scale to achieve the next level of success. Previously, Gaurav was a consultant with McKinsey & Co., where he helped several technology companies with growth strategy and go-to market decisions. When Gaurav heard about BlackFem's mission to improve financial literacy, he was immediately drawn to it. He'd always thought there was a gap in public education with regards to teaching practical personal finance skills and he is excited to join the team. Gaurav received a BBA with high distinction from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Jonny Price

Jonny Price leads the U.S. lending division of Kiva.org. Founded in 2005, Kiva has now funded over 2 million entrepreneurs around the world with $850 million of microloans. These loans have been crowdfunded by 1.5 million individual lenders, and paid back with a 97% repayment rate. After starting his career in the London office of Oliver Wyman, Jonny took a break from strategy consulting to volunteer at Kiva in 2009. After falling in love with Kiva's mission (and his wife Ali, who worked at Kiva at the time!), he returned to Kiva full-time in 2011, to co-found the Kiva Zip pilot program. The program focuses on supporting financially excluded entrepreneurs here in the United States with 0% interest loans and the social capital engendered by Kiva's crowd-lending model. The vision for the Kiva U.S. program is to reimagine a financial system based on people, not profit. Jonny studied History at the University of Cambridge.