Mario Gutierrez

Mario is the Director for the Financial Counseling Division at NYLAG, which provides financial empowerment services to improve the financial security of NYLAG clients. He oversees a portfolio of projects that serve a variety of clients with issues ranging from housing instability, overleveraged finances, income and expense volatility, and student loan debt issues. Financial counseling also provides preventative services with a focus on budgeting, credit establishment and improvement, and long-term planning.

Current projects include financial counseling for tenants at risk, clients applying for naturalization, clients preparing for employment, public housing residents, and services at community-based organizations and CUNY colleges.

Mario’s background is in banking, capacity building, training, and financial counseling and coaching. He has over 7 years of experience in the financial development field and has developed his own online resource for financial counselors and coaches.

Mario holds a B.B.A. in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management from Baruch College, The City of New York University (CUNY) and received his M.A. in International Relations from City College, CUNY.

Mark Alpert
Senior Financial Counselor

Mark has been a Financial Counselor at NYLAG since 2009, and is currently involved with the UJA Federation’s Connect to Care (C2C), Career Connect and Safety Net programs, as well as several Robin Hood Single Stop projects  for low income New Yorkers and a JPMorgan Chase Foundation project for tenant rights. Prior to joining NYLAG, Mark spent over 20 years working on Wall Street 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.   Mark is a Certified Financial Planner™  practitioner and Charter Financial Analyst®.  Mark received his Bachelor’s degree at Washington University in St. Louis and his MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ervis Burda
Senior Financial Counselor

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 Capasso
Senior Financial Counselor

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 Cedeno
Senior Financial Counselor

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 Glover
Senior Financial Counselor

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.

Gwendolyn Hartstein
Financial Counselor, Financial Counseling

Meghan Hudson
Supervising Financial Counselor

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.

Katie Krumpter
Senior Financial Counselor

Katie joined NYLAG in March 2017 as a Senior Financial Counselor. She works on several projects, including  HRA/Goodwill Youth Pathways and Henry Street JobsPlus . Prior to joining NYLAG, Katie spent 19 years with Bessemer Trust, a private multifamily office, primarily as a Senior Client Advisor. During her time at Bessemer, Katie advised high net worth individuals on a wide variety of issues, including budgeting and cash flow, investment management, wealth planning and family office services. Her passion was working with families, especially in educating the “Next Generation” to achieve their goals. Katie is a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner and received a Bachelor of Science degree from American University.

Iran Lisser
Senior Financial Counselor

Iran Lisser is a Senior Financial Counselor working in the HRA–Youth Pathways Project at America Works in The Bronx, and the Single Stop project at Good Shepherd and The Fortune Society. Iran has a background is in corporate taxation, financial counseling and academia. She was a volunteer for over 9 years with Foodbank of NY in their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) and has worked with community based organizations in Staten Island providing financial counseling to underserved populations. Iran is a notary public in the State of New Jersey, Certified Tax Return Preparer with IRS, New York CPA candidate and Adjunct Professor of Taxation. She holds a B.S in Accounting/Economics from CUNY and a Master in Taxation from Rutgers University.

Damara Parra
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.

Alma Rojas
Financial Counselor

Alma joined NYLAG’s Financial Counseling Division as a Financial Counselor, and will be working on the EmpoweredNYC initiative, which seeks to financially empower people with disabilities throughout New York City. Prior to joining NYLAG, Alma worked at The Financial Clinic and New York City Financial Action Consortium in a variety of roles-from VITA Intake Counselor and Benefits Counselor  to financial coach Implementation Lead and Manager of Service Delivery for local and national financial security ecosystems. She volunteers often with New York Cares, and has been certified by the IRS as a VITA Income Tax Preparer. She holds a B.A. in America Studies, with a minor in U.S. Latino/a and Latin American Studies from Fordham University.

Jorge Ruiz
Senior Financial Counselor

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 Tarazona
Senior Financial Counselor

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.