Director, Financial Counseling
Doug directs the Financial Counseling Unit at NYLAG, including managing financial counseling for UJA Federation of NY’s Connect to Care (C2C) and Safety Net programs, HRA/OFE Jobs-Plus program, the Robin Hood Single Stop Program and the launch of the Muriel F. Siebert Foundation financial literacy website learnmoney.org. Doug’s background is in microfinance lending, financial counseling, community banking, and economic development project management. He spent over two years in the Peace Corps in the rural Dominican Republic where he founded a savings and loan banking program for underserved women entrepreneurs. Doug worked in economic development and project management for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Federal Trade Commission, and various consulting firms in the Washington D.C. area. Doug also worked in community banking in the New York City area designing loan and banking products and providing financial counseling for local underserved clients. Doug holds a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from Tufts University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, and received his M.A. in International Relations and Economics from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Mark has been a Financial Counselor at NYLAG since 2009, and is currently involved with the UJA Federation’s Connect to Care (C2C) and Safety Net programs, as well as several Robin Hood Single Stop projects for low income New Yorkers. Prior to joining NYLAG, Mark spent over 20 years working on Wall Street, primarily in the areas of equity research and institutional portfolio management. Mark founded and managed a hedge fund consulting company, Breuckelen Capital Management, and was a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank Alex Brown as well as Bear Stearns & Co. He is a past President of the Bank and Financial Analysts Association of the New York Society of Securities Analysts. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and was previously elected to both the Institutional Investor All-American Research Team and The Wall Street Journal’s All-Star Analysts Survey. Mark received his Bachelor’s degree at Washington University in St. Louis and his MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Ervis Burda is an OFE certified Financial Counselor for NYLAG’s Storm Response Unit and the Human Resources Administration/ Office of Financial Empowerment Jobs-Plus program. Before joining NYLAG, Ervis was a Fellow with the Financial Clinic, where he provided financial counseling services to low income New Yorkers and taught financial literacy for Capital One student-run bank programs in Harlem and the Bronx. He was also involved with Ready Set Green Light- a United Way initiative to implement financial empowerment programs in domestic violence shelters across New York City. Ervis holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, Russian & Eastern European Studies, and Comparative Literature, from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Cami is a Financial Counselor for UJA’s Connect to Care (C2C) program. Cami is an accomplished financial professional and advocates for the rights, health and well-being of the LGBT community. She spent over 10 years as a professional in a variety of financial settings, in which she cultivated a devoted client base and became a fully licensed and registered financial consultant (with Series 7, 66 licenses), specializing in retirement, asset management, and estate planning. Cami is an OFE certified financial counselor. Furthermore, Cami has spent a great deal of time working as a volunteer for numerous LGBT organizations. As a member of the board of directors of Financial Services Industry Exchange (FSIX), she has organized and hosted numerous events and fundraisers, serving the needs and interests of the LGBT community. She is the founder and president of the newly created FSIX-W, a subgroup of FSIX, dedicated to women in the community. Cami holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Clark University in Worcester, MA.
Ruth is a financial counselor for NYLAG’s Single Stop CUNY work. Ruth is a certified consumer credit counselor by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and a volunteer with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). Ruth worked over 7 years with GreenPath Debt Solutions, where she served as a financial counselor and counseled clients in debt counseling, debt management, housing counseling services, student loan counseling, credit report review and pre bankruptcy financial counseling. Prior to joining NYLAG she was a financial counselor for Single Stop at Westchester Community College, where she counseled students and their families to help achieve financial readiness and financially empower students upon graduation. Ruth is fluent in Spanish and holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting with a minor in Visual Communications from Dowling College.
Ralph is an OFE certified Financial Counselor and works on the Human Resources Administration/Office of Financial Empowerment Jobs-Plus program, and the Robin Hood Foundation funded Single Stop program, which serves low to moderate income New Yorkers across the five boroughs. Ralph is a Certified Financial Planner Candidate, Tax Professional, Notary Public, and a paralegal with 20 years of experience working in public interest law. Through his affiliations with The Legal Aid Society of New York, STRIVE/East Harlem Employment Services, Inc., The Financial Clinic, The Family Resource Center, and most recently NYLAG, Ralph has, and continues to assist community residents with criminal and civil legal support, housing, public agency advocacy, workforce preparation, career development, consumer advocacy, financial development, and income tax related matters. He is committed to the establishment, and enhancement of financial education and counseling programs, designed to equip low-income people with the tools to attain financial security. Ralph holds a B.A. in Humanities from The College of New Rochelle, School of New Resources.
Supervising Financial Counselor
Mario Gutierrez is an OFE certified Financial Counselor for NYLAG’s Financial Counseling Division, and focuses predominantly on counseling clients and managing the Single Stop and NYCitizenship projects. Prior to joining the financial counseling team, he served nearly three years at The Financial Clinic as a financial coach and capacity builder. In that role he coached and counseled clients in 6 different locations across two programs on a variety of financial issues. Mario also worked on training financial coaches, counselors, and other front-line staff members in delivering financial development strategies and assisted in providing technical assistance to program managers. Mario has banking experience and interned for nearly a year at the United Nations and the Department of State in Washington, D.C. Mario is fluent in Spanish and holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management from Baruch College and received his M.A. in International Relations from City College.
Meghan Hudson is a NYLAG Financial Counselor working mainly on a HRA grant through the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island’s HRA Internship Placement Service program and also works with students through the Robinhood Foundation Single Stop USA CUNY Guttman program. Prior to joining NYLAG, she worked as an Economic Stability Specialist with Sanctuary for Families at the Manhattan Family Justice Center as well as at Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation where she counseled survivors of domestic violence on addressing economic barriers. She worked with clients on debt management, banking, credit building, identity theft, immigrant eligibility for benefits, and identifying resources. She has worked extensively with immigrant populations and is bilingual in Spanish. Meghan holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science and International Relations from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and International Studies from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC.
Senior Financial Counselor
Damara Parra is an OFE certified Financial Counselor working on several programs including the NYLAG’s FCD Housing program, the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island’s HRA Internship Placement Service program and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs’ NY Citizenship program. Prior to joining NYLAG, Damara was a financial counselor and tenant advocate and a program manager at the Urban Upbound’s OFE Financial Empowerment Center in Long Island City, financial and housing counseling services as well as financial literacy workshops to low income families. In addition, Damara trained financial counselors in delivering financial counseling services and developed and implemented financial inclusion programs in the community. Damara is Neighborworks certified in Homeownership Counseling and Foreclosure Intervention and Default Counseling. Damara is bilingual in Spanish and holds a B.A. in International Business from the Universidad Autonoma de Tlaxcala, Mexico.
Jorge Ruiz is an OFE certified Financial Counselor working across several projects such as the HRA/OFE Jobs-Plus program in East Harlem, and SingleStop sites at Kingsborough Community College, Center for Employment Opportunities, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Prior to NYLAG, he worked for nearly four years as a financial and senior financial counselor at Urban Upbound, one of the OFE Financial Empowerment Centers in the city. In this role he provided one-on-one financial counseling, housing counseling, and workshops to clients located in the Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Astoria, and Woodside Houses. Also, to clients city-wide through the 311 referral system, Workforce1 program, HUD housing counseling referral site, and HRA referrals for the One-Shot Deal. Jorge is Neighborworks certified in Financial Capability, Homeownership Counseling, and Foreclosure Intervention and Default Counseling. He is currently working on obtaining HUD Housing Counseling certification, and is passionate about helping low-income New Yorkers achieve homeownership, a college education, and financial stability. Jorge is bi-lingual in English and Spanish, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with a minor in English from Lehman College.
Ivonne is a Financial Counselor with Robin Hood Single Stop Program. Prior to joining NYLAG she was a Financial Advisor with Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners for over 8 years where she counseled clients at The Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union, Single Stop and OFE sites. She is dedicated to developing financial awareness and empowerment, and to provide support for individuals to achieve financial freedom. Ivonne comes to the financial counseling profession after 13 years in planning, development and financing of new and revitalized residential communities as VP in Development for Grenadier Realty. Ivonne has MBA and MSUP from Columbia University and a BS in Architecture from CUNY.