D2D Staff

Sarika Abbi, Director of Ideation
Tatiana Brezina, Innovation Strategist
Kristen Bryant, Innovation Strategist
Winfred Fields, Innovation Strategist
Timothy Flacke, Executive Director
Amanda Hahnel, Innovation Manager
Megan Harrington, Innovation Assistant
Kara Kaminski, Innovation Strategist
Melanie Kwon Duch, Innovation Strategist
Nick Maynard, Director of Innovation
Preeti Mehta, Director of Project Incubation
Jonas Parker, Manager of Operations and Special Projects
Joanna Smith-Ramani, Director of Scale Strategies
Elizabeth Tutella Straghalis, Innovation Strategist


Sarika Abbi, Director of Ideation
391 At D2D, Sarika Abbi works on initiatives to design, pilot and scale new financial products and services, integrating research and consumer-centric design  into the development and distribution of new ideas. Prior to joining D2D her work focused on improving financial access for low income households in developing countries. While at Ideas42, she worked with researchers and practitioners in development finance to design financial products and managed a research center and team internationally to pilot test and evaluate the designs. Before entering the financial inclusion field, Sarika worked in the private sector consulting on issues of executive compensation. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from New York University and a Bachelors of Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Tatiana Brezina, Innovation Strategist
869 Tatiana Brezina is an Innovation Strategist at D2D Fund, where she focuses on mobile technology, savings bonds, and tax-time savings. Prior to joining D2D, she served as a VISTA member at The Neighborhood Developers in Chelsea, MA, where she helped to promote asset building, skill development, and financial stability among low-income clients. Tatiana holds a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Political Science and International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During tax season, she serves as a volunteer tax preparer at The Neighborhood Developers.
 

Kristen Bryant, Innovation Strategist
794 Kristen Bryant is an Innovation Strategist for D2D Fund, where she concentrates her efforts on Gamification and Financial Entertainment.  Before joining D2D, Kristen spent a year as a fellow at Wake Forest University where she worked in the Division of Student Life taking on projects in the areas of student development, cultural and behavioral change, space planning, and civic learning and democratic engagement. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Wake Forest University with a focus in understanding and empowering marginalized communities.

 

Winfred Fields, Innovation Strategist
816 Winfred Fields is an Innovation Strategist at D2D where his efforts focus on Financial Entertainment and gamification. Prior to joining D2D, Winfred worked towards effecting positive social impact through government and policy advocacy at the Massachusetts Democratic Party, the Massachusetts Statehouse and Be the Change, Inc. Winfred also spent a year working with a team of engineers and other business students to design and implement product ventures to advance economic development in Greensboro, AL. Winfred holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with concentrations in Technology, Entrepreneurship & Design, and Social Responsibility from Babson College.

Timothy Flacke, Executive Director
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Timothy Flacke is the Executive Director of Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund, serves on the organization's Board of Directors and helped launch D2D in 2001.  Drawing on twenty years’ experience in the private and non-profit sectors helping lower-income people focus on saving, Tim helped grow D2D from a start-up social venture to nationally recognized innovation incubator which partners with leading financial service firms and receives support from the world’s most respected philanthropic foundations.  Tim has directed signature D2D efforts, including the Refunds to Assets project linking federal tax refunds to savings and Online IDA, a scalable infrastructure for matched savings programs built on industry-leading 401(k) recordkeeping technology.  These and other efforts have twice impacted the federal tax code and spawned new financial products and public policies responsible for helping hundreds of thousands of Americans to save tens of millions of dollars.  Before D2D, Tim worked as an independent consultant, author and grant writer in the field of asset development, co-authoring The Individual Development Account (IDA) Program Design Handbook and a financial education curriculum.  He served as a VISTA volunteer in rural Vermont, and earlier in his career, held leadership positions in corporate human resources and risk management for Filene's Basement, Inc.  He holds a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Boston College.

Amanda Hahnel, Innovation Manager
667 Amanda is an Innovation Manager at D2D where she focuses on prize-linked savings business development and research, ideating, piloting, and scaling behavioral consumer financial products, and researching and developing strategies to encourage youth financial capability by leveraging standardized tests. Prior to joining D2D, she worked on microfinance policy in Chennai, India focusing on cost of capital reductions for microfinance institutions. She holds a Masters in Business Administration with concentrations in Strategy, Finance, and Entrepreneurship from Penn State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Spanish, and International Relations from Tufts University. She has worked with the Boston Debate League since 2006 to encourage urban students to engage in policy debate to improve their academic performance.

Megan Harrington, Innovation Program Assistant
870 Megan Harrington is the Innovation Program Assistant at D2D Fund, where she provides marketing, communications, and project development support for the Financial Entertainment and Tax Times Savings Bond teams. Through her International Affairs program at Northeastern University and her participation in Northeastern’s Cooperative Education program, Megan has done research and development projects in the Dominican Republic, Thailand, India, and Rwanda in the fields of microfinance, community development, and media. Megan is excited to be a part of the D2D staff through June 2014.

 

Kara Kaminski, Innovation Strategist
885 Kara is an Innovation Strategist at D2D. In this role she works on the research, design, and testing of pilot products and behavioral interventions that help low income consumers manage financial challenges. Prior to joining D2D, she served as the Program Analyst for Zidisha Microcredit, where she designed and lead their first impact evaluation. Kara brings a variety of other research experience to the table, including qualitative research for a project on religious environmentalism with the Earth Institute's Center for the Study of Science and Religion, and leading the qualitative research on and analyzing the household survey data for a project on seasonal fluctuations in food insecurity in the greater Udaipur region of Rajasthan, India for Seva Mandir. She holds a Master of Science in Economics from Suffolk University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Boston College.

Melanie Kwon Duch, Innovation Strategist
730 Melanie Kwon Duch is an Innovation Strategist at D2D Fund where she focuses her efforts on both tax time and prize-linked savings. Before joining D2D, she spent a year as a fellow with the Financial Clinic in New York where she leveraged on-the-ground experience providing free financial counseling to inform her work on financial policy and product innovation. Prior to the fellowship she worked in Seoul and New York for Standard Chartered Bank covering international development and microfinance organizations. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University with a double concentration in public policy and modern culture and media. Melanie is also the co-founder of Gosen Community Effort, a nonprofit that promotes academic achievement in Namibia, and a member of Brown University's TBGALA Alumni Board.

Nick Maynard, Director of Innovation
670 Nick Maynard is the Director of Innovation for D2D Fund. Since joining D2D, Nick has led initiatives improving marketing to LMI families, piloting prize-based savings in the credit union industry, and offering US Savings Bonds at tax time. In addition, he directs the financial literacy video game initiative. Prior to joining D2D, Nick spent almost a decade providing customer, market, and operational strategy consulting to Fortune 1000 executives while at Deloitte Consulting and Braxton Associates. Nick holds both a Masters in Business Administration and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University. He also holds a Bachelors of Engineering and Operations Research from Princeton University.

Preeti Mehta, Director of Project Incubation
344 Preeti Mehta is Director of Project Incubation for D2D Fund.  Preeti leads the Tax Time Savings work including the national savings promotion SaveYourRefund and the mobile app challenge FinCapDev and created the original design of the Prize Linked Savings project "Save to Win" in Michigan.  Prior to joining D2D, Preeti was a management consultant in the private and nonprofit sectors, first with PricewaterhouseCoopers Management Consulting Services and then as a self-employed consultant, specializing in business process design, operations improvement and strategic planning. Her private sector clients included a range of Fortune 500 companies in several industries. In her capacity as consultant to the nonprofit sector, Preeti served as the Director of Economic Development for a local community-based organization. Prior to her consulting career, Preeti worked at GTE Laboratories in Waltham, MA.  Preeti is a member of the Policy Advisory Group of the Financial Clinic in NYC, and has served on the Board of a Low Income, Community Development Credit Union in Boston. She holds a Master of Science in Mathematics from Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, VA, and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from St. Xavier’s college, Mumbai, India.

Jonas Parker, Manager of Operations and Special Projects
672 Jonas Parker is the Manager for Operations and Special Projects for D2D Fund, where he manages day-to-day operations and develops systems to increase organizational capacity. Previously, Jonas spent six years focused on financial education research, curriculum design, and policy projects at the Institute on Assets and Social Policy. In addition, he spent two years as a private consultant in the financial literacy field. As a math teacher at the innovative MetWest public high school in Oakland, California, Jonas got his start in financial education by connecting algebra to his students' real world experiences with money. Jonas holds a PhD in Social Policy from the Heller School, and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University, where he graduated with honors.

Joanna Smith-Ramani, Director of Scale Strategies
346 Joanna Smith-Ramani is the Director of Scale Strategies for D2D Fund, working on the expansion of successful innovation pilots. Currently, Joanna leads the Prize-linked Savings team and the Prep for Change team and is on the Tax Time Savings Team, leading the policy and advocacy work. Prior to joining the D2D, Joanna was the Director of the Baltimore CASH (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope) Campaign, an asset building, tax preparation, and EITC coalition in Baltimore, MD. Joanna has over 12 years working in community development, community development finance, and personal finance/asset development. She has worked for Self Help Credit Union, ShoreBank, several Habitat for Humanity affiliates and the Policy Development and Research Division of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Joanna holds a master's in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a B.A. in Urban Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University. Joanna services on the Baltimore and Maryland CASH Campaign Board and on the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition Board.

Elizabeth Tutella Straghalis, Innovation Strategist
348 Elizabeth Tutella Straghalis is an Innovation Strategist at D2D Fund. She primarily works on the research, design and pilot stages of new financial risk management products for lower income households. Before D2D, she spent seven years working in the financial services sector in risk management roles. In addition to her private sector experience, she also spent time in the community economic development field, working as a Program Manager for a Boston-based Community Development Corporation. Her graduate work focused on increasing financial access for East Boston's Latina immigrant mothers. She holds a Masters in Community Economic Development with a specialization in Microfinance from Southern New Hampshire University's School of CED, and a Bachelors of Political Science and Economics from the College of the Holy Cross.