Marlishia Aho is the Interim Executive Director at The Midas Collaborative. A seasoned social justice professional, Marlishia previously worked at 1199SEIU, a healthcare workers union, focused on economic justice and affordable healthcare. She is dedicated to lifting families out of poverty and empowering them to achieve financial stability while utilizing her skills of communications, project management, and community outreach.
Born in a small town in Florida, Marlishia is now a Dorchester, MA resident who loves to travel especially to escape the brutal New England winters. Marlishia has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Florida and a Master’s in Public Administration from Northeastern University. As far as bees, as a girl from the south, she loves honey on her biscuits but prefers to leave them to pollinating.
Anahit Fitzpatrick is the Asset Development Program Manager & the Financial Confidence and Coaching Program Coordinator at The Midas Collaborative. She primarily manages the matched savings programs, helping with management of the Invest in College Success project, works closely with Susan Wolfson on coordination and development of the FCCP, and many other initiatives. Anahit received a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with minors in Business and Spanish from Bentley University. She has been with The Midas Collaborative for six years now, and has learned a great deal about non-profit management, supervision and leadership through management of Midas’s Matched Savings Program. Through this growth, she has become well versed in how to successfully run a matched savings programs. This has led to opportunities to collaborate with CFED on projects to better improve Midas’s programs and working to improve the technical assistance that is provided to grantees for AFI’s programs. She has also learned a great deal about the financial education infrastructure in Massachusetts through the coordination of the FCC Program, and her work with the MassSaves Coalition in her first few years. Anahit always strive to learn more about the industry and is committed to her and her colleague’s professional growth. In May 2016 Anahit completed the Institute of Non-Profit Management and Leadership’s CORE Certificate program, to better improve her management and leadership skills. And of course, she thinks bees are okay, but honey is better.
Ginger Haggerty is the Asset Development Program and Policy Assistant at The Midas Collaborative. In this role she lends a hand to the management and coordination of the asset development program. She works closely with community partners to insure that participants are able to invest their savings and build their assets. In her policy role she helps coordinate the Policy and Program Committee and supports the policy initiatives that emerge from the committee and from the Midas Network at large. She is dedicated to the mission of asset building and recognizes that it is one way to empower people to build their own wealth through education, homeownership and more. She received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Politics with a minor in Sociology from The University of California, Santa Cruz. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy, with an emphasis in poverty alleviation, at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She is originally from California, but is quickly becoming a Massachusetts convert. She does not know much about bees and figures she should purchase a bee suit before any more exploration can occur.
Susan Wolfson is the Master Financial Coach at The Midas Collaborative. As the Founder & Principal of Wolfson & Associates, Susan comes to Midas with more than 20 years’ experience providing strategic guidance on communications, training, program design, development and assessment, policy/legislative advocacy and community outreach/ engagement to non-profits, state government, public private partnerships, foundations, social enterprise and multi-sector initiatives. In particular, her long-term focus and interests have been working with mission-driven organizations and initiatives focused on improving the well-being of children, youth, families and the environment. She also designs and facilitates educational trainings, workshops and events for non-profit organizations, boards, and government agencies on issues including staff/leadership development, constituency-building and community engagement, legislative advocacy, political organizing as well as effective communications, press and media relations. Susan’s interest in training, coaching, mediation and facilitation also led to her become a certified N.A.P.P.I. Violence Prevention/De-escalation trainer, and she currently trains human service professionals at Riverside Community Care, one of Massachusetts’ largest human service providers.
In addition to her consulting and training background, Susan was also a community and political organizer. She is the former Executive Director of the Massachusetts Legislative Children’s Caucus at the State House, former President of the Women’s State-Wide Legislative Network and Alliance and past President of Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America as well as the Mosaic Outdoor Mountain Club of Massachusetts. She also is the former Regional Director for World of Good, a fair-trade social enterprise company and international development organization. Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Politics & Sociology from Brandeis University and is delighted to be working with Midas on the important issues of economic development, financial education and coaching.
Susan has a deep appreciation of bees in the universe – and most certainly is a fan of honey!
Joan Gonzalez is a Financial Coach at The Midas Collaborative. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management from Boston University and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (TM) professional. Joan has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years, beginning with banking operations, client service, portfolio administration and defined benefit plan institutional marketing. She is experienced in personal financial planning, insurance and investment management, education funding, mortgage financing, and retirement planning. Throughout her career, Joan realized that obtaining goals was possible with the proper knowledge and discipline. Her passion lies in helping families learn the financial skills necessary to build assets and take control of their financial futures.
Joan is a Member of the Community Outreach Committee and past Partnership Director and Board Member of the Financial Planning Association® of Massachusetts.
One of her cats successfully swats bees away if they become too persist.
Sharmarke Osman is a Financial Coach at The Midas Collaborative. He has a strong background in finance, grants and program management in the nonprofit sector. He strategized, managed, supervised and monitored the successful implementation of international development programs in Eastern Africa. Sharmarke has a strong interest in economic development especially in poverty eradication. Sharmarke has also been a financial educator with Moving from Debt to Assets.
Sharmarke holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Framingham State University and has a Masters of Business Administration from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He believes that bees should be left alone to enjoy their honey after all they worked hard to produce it.
Jorge Colón is a Financial Coach at The Midas Collaborative. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a Juris Doctor from the University of Puerto Rico. Jorge is a licensed attorney. Prior to his work in the legal field, Jorge was a business and multimedia journalist for El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico’s main newspaper, and was also a successful blogger there for more than three years. Previously, Jorge worked at Somerville Community Corporation and Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation.
Jorge’s interests include: music, writing and cooking. His first experience with bees wasn’t very pleasant; since then they seemed to have kept a relationship of respect and significant distance.
The Midas Collaborative Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from full members of the Collaborative, and at-large professionals from around the state who are passionate about the mission of Midas.
Katherine Adam is a strategic communications professional at Denterlein, a public relations and public affairs firm based in Boston, guiding clients in managing the complexities of today’s multi-faceted communications landscape. Katherine previously served as the Director of Communications and Interim Chief of Staff for Massachusetts State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Education. In these positions, Katherine built the communications and digital strategies for bold initiatives to help close the student achievement gap, promote economic development in low-income communities and communities of color, and improve transparency and accountability in government. Katherine also managed Senator Chang-Díaz’s 2012 reelection campaign.
Prior to her time in Senator Chang-Díaz’s office, Katherine worked and consulted on a variety of political campaigns, specializing in communications and digital strategy.
Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Katherine is a graduate of Boston College, where she studied sociology and music.
Blair Benjamin is an asset development practitioner, managing Assets for Artists, an IDA program for low-income artists and artisans in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. He is a member of the Midas Collaborative, served on a working group of the Massachusetts Asset Development Commission, and writes about the asset development field on his Asset Almanac blog (assetalmanac.wordpress.com). He is also Co-Founder of SaveTogether, an innovative national fundraising website that partners with Midas and other leading matched savings programs around the country. His experience in community development includes serving as Director of Real Estate and Community Development for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). In that capacity, Blair is responsible for all commercial real estate development and leasing for 125,000 square feet of income-producing space that has played a major role in revitalizing the downtown business community of North Adams, Massachusetts. He serves on the board of the Berkshire Creative Economy Council and the Northern Berkshire United Way. Previously, he spent five years as Director of Development for MASS MoCA, worked as Director of Marketing, Development and Community Relations for the Flatbush Development Corporation (a nonprofit community development corporation in Brooklyn), and served as a Peace Corps volunteer supporting agricultural and craft-based microenterprise development in the Ivory Coast in west Africa.
Angela Gomes is an associate in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group in the Boston office of Skadden, Arps. Ms. Gomes concentrates in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and general corporate matters. She advises clients, including public companies, on a broad range of corporate and securities matters, including securities law compliance, disclosure and periodic reporting and corporate governance matters.
While attending Boston University School of Law, Ms. Gomes was an active member of the Black Law Students Association, serving as vice-president and president during her second and third years, respectively. Ms. Gomes also served as an articles editor for the Journal of Science and Technology Law. In April 2010, the Boston University School of Law Black Law Students Association awarded Ms. Gomes its Young Alumni Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the legal community, including the students of the BU BLSA.
Barbara Fern Greenberg is the Individual Development Account (IDA) coordinator at Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) Boston, running a matched savings program serving low income and largely immigrant students for post-secondary education. Barbara is also an instructor at JVS, teaching computer skills at all levels as well as mathematics. JVS is as a leading agency in the workforce development field, empowering individuals from diverse communities to find employment and build careers. Prior to working at JVS, Barbara taught middle and high school mathematics in the public schools.
Financial education and teaching are Barbara's second career. After many years as a software engineer, she wanted to help empower others to be successful in computer and math skills and have better access to post-secondary education. Barbara holds a M.Ed. in Mathematics Education from UMass Lowell, a B.S. in Mathematics with a Specialization in Computer Science and a Massachusetts teaching license in Mathematics.
Jennifer Lowe joined EMPath in 2008 and currently serves as the Assistant Vice President of Research and Knowledge Sharing. In this role, she leads the organization’s Economic Independence Exchange learning network and provides oversight and strategic direction of CWU’s outcomes initiative and research projects. She has authored Social Networks as an Anti-Poverty Strategy (2012), and has co-authored From Opportunity to Burden: Profiles of Low-Income Households Caught in the Credit Trap (2014) and Massachusetts Economic Independence Index (2013). Prior to joining EMPath, Jennifer served as the Associate Director of the Boston based civil rights organization, Organization for a New Equality. She has taught undergraduate courses in Sociology at Northeastern University and Bryant University. In 2010, Jennifer was presented with the annual Sociologist of the Year award from the New England Sociological Association (NESA). Since 2003, Jennifer has served on the Executive Council of the New England Sociological Association (NESA). Jennifer earned her PhD in Sociology from Northeastern University, specializing in social inequalities and urban sociology.
Nelson Ortiz is a communications and digital strategy expert with 17 years of experience across the financial services and non-profit health insurance industries. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Mr. Ortiz joined Liberty Funds (now Columbia Management) as a retirement plan customer service representative in 1999 holding NASD Series 6 and 63 licenses from 1999-2005. He joined Fidelity Investments Personal, Workplace and Institutional Investing in 2001 as a communications specialist on retirement and tax reconciliation topics, later becoming a Digital Communications Senior Manager with Fidelity Investments Corporate Affairs. He is now a Corporate Communications Project Manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
Mr. Ortiz has been a cultural competency and diversity & inclusion champion since 2008. He was the founder and Steering Committee member of Aspire, the Latino & Black Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Fidelity Investments and currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Employee Resource Group Council. As a Lexington resident, he serves on the Lexington Town Committee for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Mr. Ortiz has served these groups as part of their leadership teams, national events manager, and marketing and public relations representative.
Mr. Ortiz holds an MA in Integrated Marketing Communications from Suffolk University and a BA in International Studies from Universidad Central de Venezuela.
Bill joined The Colony Group in 2006 where he serves as a Senior Financial Counselor. The Colony Group is a comprehensive wealth management firm located in Boston, where Bill specializes in providing customized solutions to individuals, families, and corporate executives in all wealth planning areas including; investment management, financial planning, and tax planning. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Hamilton College and a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Northeastern University. He also has been a Certified Financial Planner™ since 2010. Bill is using his experience as a Financial Counselor to help Midas increase financial literacy.