2022 Annual Conference Program

Program

Welcome to Savannah

 

Hello and welcome to Savannah!

It has been more than two years since the NCHER membership has had an in-person conference. I’m pleased that we are here today for the NCHER Annual Conference, which will allow us to get back to what we do best – providing an opportunity for our members to learn about trends, best practices, and those important issues that will help them do their jobs better. That’s what sets NCHER apart from any other trade association in the higher education finance space – yes, we have strong contacts on Capitol Hill and the Biden Administration; yes, we put in hours and hours developing the NCHER Daily Briefing, so our members are up to date on breaking news and federal developments; and yes, we put together high-quality programming for our members. But no one else provides the operational, legal, and compliance support that we do across the industry – from FFELP [Federal Family Education Loan Program] holders, servicers, and guarantors to federal student loan servicers to private loan programs. Even with the immediate challenges facing our legacy members, we’ll spend a lot of time over the next two days hearing about what other members are doing and learning what’s working and what’s not working – moving forward. Simply put, it’s about embracing the future – together.

The NCHER staff and Program Committee have been hard at work for the last few months putting together an exciting and timely program agenda focused on those issues of interest to the membership. The main portion of the conference kicks off on Tuesday with sessions covering federal developments impacting the higher education finance industry, discussing the impact of the federal student loan payment and collections pause on students and our industry, and examining current and emerging trends in private education loans. The conference will then take a deep dive into two initiatives that are front-and-center for the U.S. Department of Education: Fresh Start and federal student loan forgiveness. We’ll end the day hearing about the COVID-19 pandemic’s toll on student plans and with our “Ask the Attorney’s” session, a staple of this conference. The conference continues on Wednesday with a session discussing promising employee retention and development efforts, which you don’t want to miss as more employers begin requiring employees to return to work, before ending with the NCHER Membership Meeting.

During the conference, please make sure that you reach out to our sponsors, get to know many of the new faces in the crowd, and connect with members of NCHER’s Board of Directors and staff to give your feedback. And of course, Savannah is a wonderful place full of southern charm, ready for you to explore and take some time to recharge your engines. Thank you again for your attendance and ongoing support of NCHER!

 

James Bergeron signature

James P. Bergeron
President
National Council of Higher Education Resources

General Information

 

Assistance

Information regarding the 2022 NCHER Annual Conference can be obtained from the registration desk. Managed by NCHER staff, you will find this a helpful aide in solving problems and answering questions. Whether you need details regarding logistics or general information, we are always pleased to assist you.

 

Badges

Name badges must be worn at all times in order to be admitted to sessions and meal functions. They can be picked up at the registration desk and are part of your registration packet. Please wear your badge during all NCHER related functions.

For identification purposes, each badge is color-coded to specify a specific role: Board of Directors Speaker / Moderator Sponsor Attendee  Staff

 

Evaluation Forms

Your feedback is important to NCHER as we strive to provide you with conferences that meet your needs. Evaluation forms will be sent electronically to all attendees at the conclusion of the conference. This easy-to-use online form will take just a few minutes of your time. Should you have any additional comments or ideas, please send an email to conferences@ncher.org.

 

NCHER Staff

James P. Bergeron, President
Stefanie Gramm, CMP, Director, Operations and Meetings
Sheldon D. Repp, Senior Advisor and Counsel
Vicki Shipley, Senior Advisor

 

Mission Statement

NCHER’s mission is to provide superior advocacy, communications, research, and operational support to its members so they may effectively help students and families develop, pay for, and attain their educational goals so they can pursue meaningful and rewarding work and become contributing members of society.

 

Upcoming Meetings

Be sure to join us for our upcoming meetings:

2022 Summer Legal Meeting

July 28, 2022
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
Washington, DC

2023 Legislative and Leadership Conference

February 6-8, 2023
Washington, DC

2023 Annual Conference

June 5-7, 2023
Hilton Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Program Committee

 

Kelly Lipinski, Member
McGlinchey Stafford

Elise Nowikowski, Founding Principal
Evidens Group

Scott Patterson, President and Chief Executive Officer
Credit Union Student Choice

William C. Shaffner, Director Business Development and Government Relations
Missouri Higher Education Assistance Authority

Kathleen Smith, Sr. VP, Director of Federal Relations
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency

Christiana Thornton, Chair
National Council of Higher Education Resources
President and Chief Executive Officer
New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation Network

 

Monday, June 6

 

All Times Eastern

 

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.                        

Registration Open

 

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Meeting of the NCHER Board of Directors

The NCHER Board will meet to receive reports from the Chair, Treasurer, and President on the organization’s advocacy, communications, and research strategies. The meeting is open to NCHER members.

 

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.                      

Lunch and Time on Your Own

 

2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Pre-Conference Meetings
Open to NCHER Members

 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.                        

Watch: Bipartisan Policy Center Event, “The Path Forward on Student Debt: A Conversation with James Kvaal, Under Secretary of Education

Join NCHER to watch the Bipartisan Policy Center event titled, “The Path Forward on Student Debt,” which includes a fireside chat with James Kvaal, Under Secretary of Education, about possible next steps for the student loan system, followed by an expert panel discussion about relief for struggling borrowers and a more sustainable system for all.

 

3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Looking Toward the Future: A Conversation with Industry Leaders

Since 2010, many NCHER members have refocused their organizations and the services provided to students and families so that they are better positioned for success in the future either as federal student loan servicers, private education lenders, third-party servicers, or philanthropic foundations. But the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) continues to be an important revenue source for member programs in states across the country.

In this pre-conference meeting, industry leaders will have an off-the-record roundtable discussion on their strategic approach to the wind-down of FFELP, especially in light of the recent announcement on Fresh Start and potential announcement of federal student loan forgiveness, and the necessary steps that it will take to realign their public service mission with their core competency services in order to help students and their families.

 

3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  

Refreshment Break

 

Thanks to our sponsor:Education Loan Finance Logo

 

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Looking Toward the Future: Lessons From the Financial Services Sector

Student lending – either from the federal or private side – has faced a wave of bad publicity over the last few years, led by consumer and progressive groups and regulators who are focused on increasing federal and state oversight over the industry. As part of this pre-conference roundtable discussion, industry leaders will share their experiences in dealing with federal and state regulators and how to effectively combat misinformation from outside interests.

 

5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.                        

Time on Your Own

 

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.                        

Welcome Reception

Recipients of the Jean S. Frohlicher Outstanding Service Award and the Chalmers “Gail” Norris Lifetime Achievement Award will be honored by the NCHER membership.

 

Thanks to our sponsor:

MOHELA Logo

Tuesday, June 7

 

All Times Eastern

 

8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.                        

Registration Open

 

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.                         

Breakfast Buffet

 

Thanks to our sponsor:
Equifax | The Work Number Logo 

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.                         

Conference Welcome

The NCHER leadership will welcome members to the conference and briefly discuss the conference program for the day.

 

Speaker

Christiana Thornton, Chair
National Council of Higher Education Resources
President and Chief Executive Officer
New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation Network

 

9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Looking Toward the Future: A View from the Federal Level

It has been a year and a half since the Biden Administration took office. Over that time, the White House and U.S. Department of Education have extended the federal payment, interest, and collections pause put in place to assist borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic; used its waiver authority under the HEROES Act to enact borrower friendly changes to the federal student loan program such as revisions to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and recently announced that it will allow defaulted borrowers to get a fresh start back into repayment; formed two negotiated rulemaking panels to review and revise borrower defense to payment, gainful employment, and other rules, and issued Dear Colleague Letter GEN 21-03, which requires guaranty agencies to pause payments, interest accrual and collection activities for their borrowers who defaulted during the pandemic and assign those loans to the agency. Congress has largely completed its legislative agenda for the 117th Congress after passing the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2022 and finding itself unable to pass the Build Back Better Act – now action turns to the November election. This session will provide an update on federal developments and the outlook as we head into the second half of 2022.

 

Moderator

Ron Gambill, Executive Vice President of Student Lending and Legislative Affairs
ELFI (Education Loan Finance Inc.)

 

Speakers

Vic Klatt, Principal
Penn Hill Group

Alex Nock, Principal
Penn Hill Group

 

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.         

Going on Three Years: The Impact of the Federal Student Loan Payment and Collections Pause on Students and Our Industry

Because of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act and subsequent Presidential memorandums, federal student loan borrowers have not had to make any payments on their federal student loans since March 13, 2020. The provision was recently extended until August 31, 2022. There is no policy basis for continuing to delay payment and collections of federal student loans especially since the nation’s economy continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic and every other pandemic-related provision has already expired. But progressives and consumer groups have stated that borrowers should not have to repay their loans until the Biden Administration implements a massive student loan forgiveness program and fixes the “broken student loan program.”

In this session, a panel of experts will provide an update on federal student loan payment restart, discuss the unintended consequences and long-term impact of an extended pause and the challenges faced by students and our industry, and highlight the support and opportunities that NCHER members can provide to student and parent borrowers as they face three years of nonpayment on their education debt and prepare for repayment.

 

Moderator/Speaker

Rob Lavet, General Counsel

SoFi

 

Speakers

Garry Reeder, Chief Executive Officer
American Fintech Council

Phillip Wambsganss, Executive Director
Higher Education Servicing Corporation and North Texas Higher Education Authority, Inc.

 

11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.                    

Break

 

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.         

Current and Emerging Trends and Practices in Private Education Loans

According to the latest reports, total outstanding private education loan debt currently stands as $131.0 billion, 7.61 percent of total student loan debt. During this session, a panel of experts will examine and discuss the past, current, and expected trends in the private education loan marketplace.

 

Moderator/Speaker

Scott Patterson, President and Chief Executive Officer
Credit Union Student Choice

 

Speakers

David Bailey, Vice President
Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority

Mark Shura, Senior Director, Principal Program Manager, In-School Loans
SoFi

Steve Winnie, President
University Accounting Service, LLC

 

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.                       

Lunch

 

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.                         

Policy Deep Dive: Fresh Start and Federal Student Loan Forgiveness

In April, the Biden Administration announced that it will soon implement Fresh Start, an initiative aimed at allowing all defaulted borrowers with federally held loans, including Federal Family Education Loans, to remove the adverse impact of delinquency and default and get a “fresh start” back into repayment. The administration is also openly contemplating instituting a new federal student loan forgiveness program that would provide $10,000 in forgiveness to low- and middle-income borrowers under pressure from Congressional Democrats and progressives. This session will provide a deep dive into both initiatives, discuss their potential impact on the NCHER membership, and explore legal considerations inherent in a potential student loan forgiveness program.

 

Moderator

James P. Bergeron, President
National Council of Higher Education Resources

Speakers

Dan Fisher, President
Educational Credit Management Corporation

Tom F. Burke, Partner
Ballard Spahr LLP

 

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. 

Refreshment Break

 

Thanks to our sponsor:

 

2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

Education Expectations: Overcoming the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Toll on Student Plans

Even with the unprecedented disruption to education plans at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and an enduring erosion of the belief that college is worth it, student likelihood to enroll continues to grow. Yet this growing reservoir of potential students is not flowing into our universities and colleges. Drawing upon research findings from Strada’s surveys, Dr. David Clayton, Senior Vice President of Research, will share insights and discuss with participants how individuals are viewing their education choices and the keys to giving them the confidence to move forward.

 

Moderator/Speaker

Nathan Hench, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Guaranty, and Strategy
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency

Speaker

Dave Clayton, Ph.D. Senior Vice President of Research
Strada Education Network

 

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

“Ask the Attorneys”

The “Ask the Attorneys” panel has been a staple of NCHER conferences, providing an opportunity for conference attendees to hear first-hand from legal experts on those hot topics impacting the higher education finance industry. During this session, a panel of attorneys will respond to questions from the audience to discuss current and anticipated legal proceedings impacting federal and private student loans.

 

Moderator/Speaker

John L. Culhane, Partner
Ballard Spahr LLP

Speakers

Kelly Lipinski, Attorney
McGlinchey Stafford

Grant Premo, Partner
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

Dino Tsibouris, Founding Principal
Tsibouris & Associates, LLC

 

4:30 p.m.                                            

Conference Adjourns for the Day

 

Wednesday, June 8

 

All Times Eastern

8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.                      

Registration Open

 

 

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.                         

Continental Breakfast

 

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.                         

Conference Welcome

The NCHER leadership will welcome members to the conference and briefly discuss the conference program for the day.

 

Speaker

James P. Bergeron, President
National Council of Higher Education Resources

 

9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.                      

Examining Employee Retention and Development Efforts

Every NCHER member knows that high-performing employees are the key to success, and that having to replace an employee can cost twice an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement. Not only are there financial repercussions, but high employee turnover can also lower the knowledge base in a company and decrease performance and morale. The COVID-19 pandemic and the ability to work-from-home on a full-time basis, along with the Great Resignation, has had a major impact on employers across the country and their efforts to retain and develop a productive workforce. This session will talk about promising employee retention and development efforts, especially as employers begin requiring employees to return to work.

 

Introduction

Elise Nowikowski, Founding Principal
Evidens Group

Speaker

Robin Bullock, Human Resources Strategist and Relationship Manager
Automatic Data Processing

 

10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Membership Meeting

NCHER members will receive an update on items discussed at the Board of Directors meeting, including reports of the Chair, Treasurer, and President.

 

Meeting Materials

View/Print PDF

 

Speakers

Christiana Thornton, Chair
National Council of Higher Education Resources
President and Chief Executive Officer
New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation Network

James P. Bergeron, President
National Council of Higher Education Resources 

 

11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.                    

Wrap Up and Closing Remarks

 

11:15 a.m.                                         

Conference Adjourns

 

Room Information

 

Lunch – Pulaski Room

General Sessions – Oglethorpe Ballroom

Registration, Breakfast & Breaks – Oglethorpe Ballroom Foyer

Reception – Harborview Room

Board Meeting – Madison Ballroom

 

Hotel Map

 

Desoto Floor Plan Map

Speaker Biographies

 

David Bailey, Vice President
Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority

David Bailey is Vice President of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) where he manages overall program development as the Program Sponsor for the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation’s Advantage Loan Program and di­rectly oversees the origination, underwriting, and disbursement functions. David is also responsible for the oversight of the guarantor functions for KHEAA and operations for Kentucky Higher Education’s School Services. He has worked in the student financial aid industry for more than 25 years. Da­vid has been an active participant in numerous National Council of Higher Education Resources committees over the course of his career and more recently with the Education Finance Council. Currently, he is the chair of the NCHER Private Education Loan Committee. He has also played an active role within the Kentucky Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, most recently serving on the Executive Board for the Association. David holds a B.A. in business from Midway College.

 

James P. Bergeron, President
National Council of Higher Education Resources

James Bergeron currently serves as President of the National Council of Higher Education Resources. Prior to joining NCHER, James worked as the Director of Education and Human Services Policy for the House Education and the Workforce Committee (now, House Education and Labor Committee). In this capacity, he advised Chairman John Kline (R-MN), members, and staff, and oversaw policy development on all areas of education and human services programs, including the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Workforce Investment Act, the Head Start Act, and other federal laws governing elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education.

Before joining the committee in 2006, James served as Legislative Director in Rep. Buck McKeon’s (R-CA) personal office where he was responsible for developing and implementing the legislative agenda within the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness. He authored important legislative initiatives on college affordability and financial aid simplification. James began his Capitol Hill service more than 25 years ago as a Legislative Assistant to former Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA), who chaired the House Appropriations Committee. James also served as Vice President of MARC Associates (now part of Holland & Knight), a government relations firm where he consulted for a number of elementary and secondary education and higher education organizations. He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

 

Robin Bullock, Human Resources Strategist
Automatic Data Processing

Robin Bullock is a Human Resources Strategist and Relationship Manager at Automatic Data Processing (ADP). Including her service with ADP since 2011, Robin has over 29 years of experience in human resources strategy and consulting, benefits, staffing, training, and professional development. Robin is active in the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), which is the world’s largest human resources association with over 300,000 members. She served as the President of SHRM-Jacksonville, FL from 2009 to 2010 and volunteered on the SHRM-Jacksonville Board for six years, including the Membership, Volunteer, and Conference teams. Robin is currently a Virtual Volunteer for Hire Heroes. In this role, she coaches veterans on job skills, résumé building, and interviewing. Robin has been a Certified Professional Human Resource since 2002 and was named one of the “Top 10 Ultimate HR Executives” in Jacksonville. She was a panel speaker for SHRM-Jacksonville in 2020.

 

Thomas F. Burke, Partner
Ballard Spahr LLP

Thomas F. Burke focuses his practice as a Partner at Ballard Spahr on internal investigations, regulatory compliance, and government enforcement defense. Tom joined the firm in 2015 after federal district and appellate clerkships and a four-year term at the New York County District Attorney’s Office. As an Assistant District Attorney, he tried 14 felony cases to verdict and supervised long-term investigations into narcotics trafficking, identity theft, and embezzlement. Tom also works on matters that involve complex federal constitutional law and statutory construction.

 

Dave Clayton, Senior Vice President of Research
Strada Education Network

Dave Clayton is Senior Vice President of Research at Strada Education Network. Dave leads a research team that conducts primary and secondary research to learn what students need so that educators, policymakers, employers, innovators, funders, and others can all share in the success of students well beyond completion of their credentials and degrees. Their work pays special attention to strengthening connections between education and the workforce. Through large-scale surveys, qualitative studies, and programmatic evaluations, Dave and his team also work to identify effective practices that help all individuals fulfill their personal and professional aspirations.

With expertise in psychology, market research, branding, and social impact marketing, Dave has broad and deep experience in bridging research into action on many of our society’s most pressing needs — education, health, financial inclusion — and how to engage all stakeholders in pursuing shared solutions at global, national, local, and personal levels.

He previously served as Vice President with the global survey research firm Wirthlin Worldwide/Harris Interactive, and later as Executive Vice President of the social impact marketing organization Neimand Collaborative. He earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

John L. Culhane, Partner
Ballard Spahr LLP

John L. Culhane, Jr. is a Partner at Ballard Spahr LLP where he is known for his work advising on interstate direct and indirect consumer and residential mortgage loan and leasing programs, through both traditional brick-and-mortar facilities and e-commerce. Before joining Ballard Spahr, John was Associate Counsel with Mellon Bank, N.A.; Associate Counsel with Bank of America NT&SA; and Senior Attorney (section chief) with the National Credit Union Administration, the federal agency regulating federal credit unions.

John addresses issues involving licensing, advertising and marketing, application processing, privacy, disclosure, pricing, substantive terms, servicing, collection, portfolio sales, and securitization. His regulatory practice includes preparing clients for banking agency and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) compliance examinations and assisting in the defense of attorney general investigations and banking agency and CFPB enforcement actions. His clients have ranged from a multibillion-dollar bank holding company, to one of the nation’s largest residential mortgage lenders, to a leading provider of financial institution forms and documentation. John is a member of the firm’s Fair Lending Task Force.

 

Dan Fisher, President
Educational Credit Management Corporation

Dan Fisher currently serves as the President of Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC), which is one of the largest guaranty agencies in the Federal Family Education Loan Program and the designated guarantor for eight states. He oversees all of ECMC’s operational activities as well as student success initiatives, including financial literacy, college access, and national training efforts.

In addition to his current role as President, Dan serves as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of ECMC Group where he serves as the primary legal advisor to ECMC Group and its affiliates, including its executive management team and Board of Directors. In addition to ensuring compliance with all laws and regulations, he has been critical in forming ECMC’s national bankruptcy litigation strategy. He has argued appeals involving student loan discharge ability standards, due process matters, and collection cost issues. Prior to joining ECMC Group, Dan served on active duty in the U.S. Army as a judge advocate in Georgia and the Washington, DC area, where his primary focus was court-martial litigation. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the nonprofit Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE), which has 60 state and local chapters focusing on teaching young people the skills to improve their financial literacy.

 

Ron Gambill, Executive Vice President of Student Lending and Legislative Affairs
Education Loan Finance, Inc. (ELFI)

Ron Gambill is Executive Vice President for Student Lending and Legislative Affairs of Education Loan Finance, Inc. (ELFI). Formerly, Ron was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Educational Funding of the South, Inc. (Edsouth), serving as a Director on the Edsouth Board since 1988. Prior to joining Edsouth, he was Executive Director of the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) for over 17 years and served as a financial aid director for Nashville State Technical Institute for over 11 years before his appointment to TSAC.

Ron is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Higher Education Resources where he has served for several terms including Chairman of the Board. He has served on the Executive Board of the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators in various positions and is currently a member of the Legislative Relations Committee. He is a member of the Executive Board of the Tennessee Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and is a member and Past President of the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb University, where he serves on the Board of Visitors for the Education Department. He holds a master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and serves as a Trustee on the Board of Williamson College. Ron has worked in state and federal legislative relations for over 30 years.

 

Nathan Hench, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Guaranty, and Strategy
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency

Nathan Hench is the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Guaranty, and Strategy for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). Nathan joined PHEAA in 2005 as the Vice President of Legislative and Board Affairs. In his current role, he oversees the functions of the Guaranty Agency, strategy, public relations, state legislative affairs, marketing and communications, public service, state grant and special programs, and human resources. That includes the PA State Grant Program, which is the third largest need-based grant program in the nation, as well as 12 other state programs administered by PHEAA at no cost to the Commonwealth and 10 other boutique programs.

The public service-minded department, under Nathan’s leadership, focuses not only on helping students afford their dream of higher education, but also on helping them navigate the path to higher education, providing Higher Education Access Partners to host free FAFSA Nights and Financial Aid Nights while also partnering with high school counselors to offer free resources and publications, as well as in-school guidance and assistance to students.

Nathan currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Council of Higher Education Resources. He is also a member of the PennSERVE Advisory Board, providing insight and guidance for the Pennsylvania State Civil Service Commission, a grantmaking partner of AmeriCorps.  He is also the designee for the PHEAA Board Chair sitting on the Pennsylvania Tuition Account Program Advisory Board, providing guidance on the Commonwealth’s 529 plans which have helped pay more than $4.8 billion in higher education expenses for nearly 146,000 account beneficiaries over the past 30 years. Nathan also teaches graduate studies in the discipline of Project Management as a member of Harrisburg University’s corporate faculty.

Prior to joining PHEAA, he was Executive Director of the Pennsylvania House Finance Committee. beginning his career there in 1999.

Nathan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Lebanon Valley College and a Master of Business Administration in Management from the Pennsylvania State University.

 

Vic Klatt, Principal
Penn Hill Group

Victor “Vic” Klatt, III, has been involved in federal education policy for more than two decades — as a senior education official in the executive branch, the top education staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives, and now a principal of Penn Hill Group. Before joining the Penn Hill Group, Vic served as a Vice President at Van Scoyoc Associates from 2000–2005 and 2008–2010, where he created one of the most significant education policy shops in Washington, DC. At Van Scoyoc Associates, Vic represented some of the biggest names in education policy, from early childhood providers to higher education institutions, nonprofits, for-profits, issue-specific coalitions, and large and small associations. Vic served three years as the Republican Staff Director for the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor. He helped guide the committee’s deliberations on education, workforce, and social policy issues, including higher education, elementary and secondary education, labor policy, Head Start, welfare reform, job training, and civil rights issues.

In the 1990s, Vic spent seven years as Education Policy Director for the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, coordinating the committee’s work on all education, training, and human resources issues within its jurisdiction. Vic first began specializing in education in 1989, when he served as Director of Legislation and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education. With Secretaries Lamar Alexander and Lauro Cavazos, Vic helped coordinate the legislative dimension of President George H.W. Bush’s education policy. Shortly after coming to Washington, DC, in 1984 to work for the Republican National Committee, Vic managed the initial campaign of Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), his hometown congressman. He directed campaign staff, implemented the election plan, and coordinated fundraising and advertising for one of only six campaigns to unseat an incumbent that year. Vic then joined Upton’s staff, serving as Deputy Staff Director and Press Secretary. Vic has a B.A. in political science from Kalamazoo College.

 

Robert Lavet, General Counsel
SoFi

Rob Lavet is the General Counsel of SoFi where he is responsible for managing all legal affairs, compliance, and government relations for the company and its affiliate entities. He also has management responsibility for SoFi’s Internal Audit group. SoFi is a leading online lender based in San Francisco and was named one of the ten top startup companies by CNBC in 2012. The company currently originates more than $1 billion per month in consumer credit and has originated more than $25 billion in loans since commencing operations in late 2012, including student loan refinance loans to early career professionals, mortgage loans, and unsecured personal loans. He has been instrumental in SoFi’s asset backed securitization program and has also led numerous transactions involving the sale of loan portfolios to depository institutions. At SoFi, he has built a compliance team from the ground up and was instrumental in establishing a business development function that accounts for approximately 20 percent of loan originations.

Prior to joining SoFi, Rob served as a principal in the education and litigation practice groups of the Washington, DC law firm of Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville (PPSV) where he represented financial institutions and postsecondary institutions on a wide variety of regulatory, litigation, and transactional matters. Prior to PPSV, Rob served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Sallie Mae, a Fortune 300 company, and the largest provider of education finance. At Sallie Mae, he was responsible for all legal affairs of Sallie Mae and its subsidiaries as well as Corporate Compliance and Loan Servicing Policy. He served on Sallie Mae’s Credit Committee and Operations Committee and was a board member in a joint venture between Sallie Mae and JPMorgan Chase. Before his 16-year career with Sallie Mae, Rob served as a Partner in the Washington D.C. law firm of Cole Corette & Abrutyn specializing in corporate and securities litigation, and before that as a Trial Attorney for the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice where he received a Special Achievement Award as well as a Commendation from the Office of the Judge Advocate General. Rob graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in economics and obtained his J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center.

 

Kelly Lipinski, Member
McGlinchey Stafford

Kelly Lipinski’s practice focuses on compliance and regulatory matters involving the consumer financial industry. She regularly advises depository institutions and their affiliates, mortgage companies, sales finance companies, and education lenders on federal and state consumer finance issues. Kelly has experience with the Truth in Lending Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Kelly also has experience with state compliance issues and frequently represents clients before state regulatory agencies, concerning licensing and examination issues. She received a B.A. in economics a B.S. in management from Case Western Reserve University and her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

 

Alex Nock, Principal
Penn Hill Group

Alex Nock brings over 25 years of experience in federal education, disability, labor, and health policy to the Penn Hill Group. During his time in Washington, DC, Alex has been a part of every major piece of federal education and disability policy legislation. Prior to his position with Penn Hill, he served as the Democratic Deputy Staff Director for the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee. From 2007–2010, Alex oversaw all aspects of the committee’s work relating to elementary and secondary education, higher education, disability policy, early childhood education, healthcare, retirement security, workplace safety, mine safety, workforce training, and national service. He has led numerous reauthorizations while working on Capitol Hill, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Workforce Investment Act, the Higher Education Act, and the Head Start Act. He was one of the lead staff members responsible for the No Child Left Behind Act and has played key roles in the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.

Alex previously served as the Director of the Commission on No Child Left Behind. During his time with the commission, he recruited Commission Co-Chairs Secretary Tommy Thompson and former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, as well as the 13 commission members. Alex managed the completion of the commission’s report, which laid out a comprehensive set of recommendations for improving the No Child Left Behind Act. Prior to the commission, he held several positions, including Education Coordinator for the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee, where he spearheaded all Democratic policy and politics on higher education, elementary and secondary education, workforce and job training, disability policy, and other social service issues. He also worked for Rep. Matthew G. Martinez (D-CA), the Human Resources Subcommittee, and Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD). Alex holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Maryland.

 

Elise Nowikowski, Founding Principal
Evidens Group

Elise Nowikowski is a Founding Principal of Evidens Group. Elise along with Eric Lee have been providing policy clarification, guidance, training, and compliance review services to organizations dedicated to the education lending industry. Evidens Group’s structured, reliable process provides clients with the tools and documentation needed to transform “policy to practice.” Elise began her career in student lending in 1984. Prior to forming Evidens Group in 2011, she worked for Nelnet, an industry leader in education lending.  Elise served on the National Student Clearinghouse board for eight years and on the Student Loan Servicing Alliance board for twelve years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of South Florida as well as a CPA license from the state of Florida. Elise is a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional, a designation of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics. 

 

Scott Patterson, President and Chief Executive Officer
Credit Union Student Choice

Scott Patterson is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Credit Union Student Choice, a credit union owned and directed student lending organization serving more than 250 credit unions across the country. He co-founded Credit Union Student Choice in 2008 to help families gain access to fair-value student loan assistance from their local credit union relationships. Since inception, the organization has originated nearly $4 billion in loans and has helped more than 100,000 students achieve their dreams of higher education and the rewarding career opportunities that follow.

Scott has 25 years of credit union industry experience and continues to be passionate about exploring new opportunities to better serve members evolving financial needs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, and earned his MBA from the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School in England.

 

Grant Premo, Partner
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

Grant Premo represents financial services institutions and other businesses across the country in a variety of commercial litigation and compliance matters. He has experience advising clients on lending, servicing, and operations in the areas of student lending, farm credit, and residential and commercial mortgage lending. Grant litigates matters involving state law tort and contract claims and claims of violations of federal and state laws, including the Telephone Collection Practices Act (TCPA), Truth in Lending Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, state unfair and deceptive trade practice statutes, government loan programs, and mortgage lending, servicing and securitization practices.

Grant also assists financial services clients facing investigations and enforcement actions by an attorney general, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other regulators. Grant also helps clients develop best practices for complying with complex state and federal regulations, including devising plans for telephone and text-message communications with consumers to comply with the TCPA and advising on credit reporting practices to comply with the FCRA.

In addition to his financial services clients, Grant defends corporations in complex litigation matters. He has litigated cases across the country, including in state and federal courts in Alabama, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Nevada, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, and Tennessee. He has led expansive e-discovery efforts, managing complex electronic reviews and productions utilizing the latest technology. Grant also advises on non-profit board governance and operations.

Grant takes a holistic approach to his matters, seeking to understand his clients’ goals and objectives. He appreciates that every matter is different and requires an individualized approach that accounts for the client’s overall goals. Ultimately, Grant finds that the most rewarding part of practicing law is helping his clients find creative solutions for their problems.

 

Garry Reeder, Chief Executive Officer
American Fintech Council

Garry Reeder currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the American Fintech Council – the nation’s largest fintech trade association. Garry has worked to advance consumer protection and innovation in the financial system from key roles in government and both the private and nonprofit sectors. At the US Treasury, he was a member of the original team charged with staffing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and setting its strategic, operational, and policy priorities.

In addition to serving as the CFPB’s Chief of Staff, he envisioned and helped develop the CFPB’s Project Catalyst program focused on fostering consumer-friendly innovation. He also served as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Deputy representing the CFPB and was a member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council Deputies Committee and Systematic Risk Committee. Before joining the CFPB, Garry was a member of the Treasury Department’s Auto Team, which managed the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s auto investments including the $23 billion IPO of General Motors.

Garry’s consulting experience includes leadership roles at Chain Bridge Partners, BlackRock, and Fenway Summer. He began his career in asset management at Sanford C. Bernstein and Ziff Brothers Investments.

Garry holds a BA in History from Yale College and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

 

Mark Shura, Senior Director, Principal Program Manager, In-School Loans
SoFi

Mark Shura has been in the student lending industry for nearly 20 years. He began his career working with large lenders on developing and optimizing their student loan programs while at First Marblehead. As Vice President of Client Services, he helped clients navigate legal and compliance issues, implement new programs, and deal with escalated borrower issues. He also managed a team of lender representatives and the Priority Service team at First Marblehead.

Mark was recruited to join the Consumer Finance Group at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as a Director to assist in building out the Student Lending Practice. While at PwC, he worked closely with student loan servicers and lenders on a variety of projects from internal audit, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau exam readiness, scaling operations, and program efficiency. While at PwC, Mark also consulted for a large global non-profit to build out their student loan practice and systems. He spent a year at Citizens Bank as Senior Vice President of Customer Experience for Student Lending and Unsecured Loans before joining SoFi as Senior Director, Program Manager, In-School Loans where he provides sales support, manages the Campus Relationship and Certification and Disbursement teams, and manages the develop of new features and functions. He holds a BA in Biology from Saint Anselm College and an MS in Management from Simmons University.

 

Christiana Thornton, President and Chief Executive Officer
New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation Network

Christiana Thornton became the fourth President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation Network in November of 2018, after serving briefly as President and CEO-Elect. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Higher Education Loan Corporation (NHHELCO) from 2010, including serving on NHHELCO’s Audit Committee, until her appointment as President and CEO-Elect in October 2018. Prior to joining the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation Network, Christiana served as President and CEO of the New Hampshire Bankers Association (NHBA) from 2011 to 2018 and as Vice President of Government Relations of the NHBA from 2008 to 2011. She has been a national leader in the banking industry serving in several appointed positions at the American Bankers Association, including the Community Bankers Council and Credit Union Executive Committee. Likewise, she has held appointed positions at the Independent Community Bankers of America, including the Capital Committee and Mutual Bank Council. Prior to joining the NHBA, Christiana served as a legislative aide to former Sen. John E. Sununu, working in the areas of education, finance, healthcare, and community development. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in communications from Rollins College.

 

Dino Tsibouris, Founding Principal
Tsibouris & Associates, LLC

Dino Tsibouris is the Founding Principal of the law firm Tsibouris & Associates, LLC. His practice concentrates in the area of technology and intellectual property law with specific expertise in electronic commerce, online financial services, software licensing, Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”), and privacy law. In addition, Dino’s practice includes the implementation of electronic signatures, records management, and information security.

He was previously an attorney with Thompson Hine LLP and a Vice President and Counsel for eCommerce and Technology at Bank One Corporation (now JPMorgan Chase).

Dino has conducted CLE and trade association presentations on various e-Banking and eCommerce matters and participated in many regulatory and industry task forces addressing new legislation.

 

Phillip Wambsganss, Executive Director
Higher Education Servicing Corporation and North Texas Higher Education Authority, Inc.

Phillip Wambsganss is the Executive Director for Higher Education Servicing Corporation (HESC) and the North Texas Higher Education Authority, Inc. (NTHEA) located in Arlington, Texas. For over 40 years, HESC and NTHEA have worked together to help Texas students and families pursue and achieve a higher education by providing low-cost education loans, borrower focused education loan originations and servicing, industry leading education loan servicing software and systems, and community-based outreach programs. Prior to joining NTHEA and HESC in 1998, Phillip worked in the banking industry for 10 years where he worked for multiple Texas-based community banks. Since joining NTHEA and HESC, he has served on many boards and service organizations including the Education Finance Council, United Way Tarrant County, Arlington Rotary Club, and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, among others. He currently serves as the Assistant Secretary of the Arlington Higher Education Finance Corporation and Greater Texas Cultural Education Facilities Finance Corporation, board member of the Grace Preparatory Academy, and trustee at Rush Creek Church. 

Philip holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas in Arlington and a Master of Business Administration from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas.

 

Steve Winnie, President
University Accounting Service, LLC (a TSI company)

Steve Winnie is a longtime leader in education finance and consumer lending. Currently the President of University Accounting Service, LLC (UAS), a loan servicer and TSI company, Steve provides strategic direction for the company and oversees the development and evolution of their best-in-class loan servicing platform, UAS Connect.

Prior to UAS, Steve served as the Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel of Campus Door Holdings Inc. helping grow the company from a startup to an industry leader in fintech loan origination. A graduate of Cornell Law School, he has over 20 years of legal and compliance experience. As general counsel to multiple big players in finance and consumer lending, Steve has provided regulatory guidance, corporate governance, internal audit, and risk management leadership throughout his career.

Sponsors

ELFI Logo

Education Loan Finance, Inc.

501 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 320
Franklin, TN 37067

Contact: Ron Gambill, Executive Vice President of
Student Lending and Legislative Affairs
Office: (615) 771-8505
rgambill@elfi.com
elfi.com

Education Loan Finance, Inc. (“ELFI”) is a Tennessee nonprofit corporation with its principal office located at 12700 Kingston Pike, Farragut, Tennessee. ELFI has received its 501(c)(3) determination. Established for the purpose of implementing programs to assist eligible borrowers in financing the costs of post-secondary education, ELFI’s primary mission is to fund higher education as a secondary market for (i) student loans originated under the FFELP and (ii) private education loan programs. Over the past decade, ELFI and its subsidiaries have provided funding for scholarships in excess of $25 million for Tennessee students attending eligible post-secondary educational institutions and has funded over $11 billion of student loans. ELFI hosts eCampusTours.com to provide information for college and career planning and it also supports financial literacy through a variety of other programs.

Equifax The Work Number Logo

Equifax

11432 Lackland Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63146
Contact: Celeste Anderson, Strategic Account Executive
Office: (314) 303-6518
celeste.anderson@equifax.com
theworknumber.com

Leveraging The Work Number® database, Equifax delivers cost-effective employment data and technology solutions to the collections industry. With 136 million active records representing 2.5 million small, medium and large employer contributors, The Work Number delivers insights that help collectors prioritize their portfolio to achieve optimal ROI.

Maximus Wordmark 2022

Maximus

1600 Tysons Blvd #1400
McLean, VA 22102
Contact: Mike Owens, Vice President
Mobile: (703) 200-6106
mikeccowens@maximus.com
maximus.com

At Maximus, we believe extraordinary missions call for extraordinary results. With expertise spanning transformative technology services, digitally enabled customer services and clinical health, we empower the federal government to innovate and, ultimately, better serve citizens. We operate with agility and scale, delivering impactful outcomes and exceptional experiences, always.

MOHELA Logo

Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority

633 Spirit Drive
Chesterfield, MO 63005‐1243

Contacts:
Will Shaffner, Director of Business Development & Government Relations
(317) 496-3996
wills@mohela.com

Ginny Burns, Director Borrower Experience & Servicing
(636) 733-3804
ginnyburns@mohela.com
mohela.com

Not only do we provide excellent customer service to our borrowers, we offer…

  • Private student loan servicing
  • FFELP servicing and portfolio acquisition
  • 3rd party professional grade print services (black/white, full color print) customized to your specific needs
  • Affordable, redundant first class mailing options (letters, postcards, custom envelope messaging, inserts, etc.)
  • Income Share Agreements (ISA) product servicing

What can we do for you?

 

Membership Meeting Materials

 

Click the button below to view or download a PDF of the complete set of materials for the NCHER Membership Meeting to be held Wednesday morning at 10:15am.

 

Downloadable Program

 

Click the button below to view or download a PDF of the complete Conference Program, including general information about the conference, daily agenda, hotel map, speaker biographies, sponsors information, conference attendees list, and more!