Meet the team committed to serving Oregonians through financial education.
We're working toward a stronger Oregon tomorrow through financial education today. Here's how we do so, and the passion behind our roles.

Kate Benedict - Executive Director
"Whenever I tell someone about our work, they say, 'Where were you when I was in school?!' It happens Every. Single. Time. The real-life impact is undeniable, and keeps me passionate. I believe financial education is an upstream, public health intervention. Financial education is an incredible tool in our toolbox to help us achieve a more just, equitable, and thriving Oregon."

Kate partners with her incredible team, Board of Directors, and all of FB Oregon's volunteers, educators, and community partners in pursuit of a more financially resilient Oregon.

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Tom Moosbrugger - Development Director
"Whenever you tell a person about the Financial Beginnings mission, you almost always hear the same response: 'I wish I had that when I was growing up!' The same is true for me, who, like most people, immediately connected with our organization's core mission, and saw the critical need for our work in the community. Whether we like it or not, personal finances are a part of our lives. Every day, we make decisions about how to allocate our financial resources. Those decisions can and do have a big impact on our lives, so it's incredibly important to me that we teach folks to make those decisions wisely and well."

Tom secures funding to ensure that Financial Beginnings Oregon can deliver free financial education programs across the state and collaborates closely with the team to secure funding for new programs, special projects, and capacity-building initiatives.

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Alex Manoogian - Program Director
"I am incredibly privileged to have a career that is centered around supporting communities to be more secure and resilient. For the past 15 years, I've worked across the globe supporting education and economic empowerment initiatives that have made a real difference in people's lives. I'm ecstatic to be continuing that work here in my home state with Financial Beginnings Oregon. Financial education is important to me because it works to de-center money - and the stress it causes - from our everyday lives. By giving each of us tools and a roadmap, financial education allows us to manage our money, and our expectations around it, in a way that is more likely to make us live healthier and happier lives."

Alex M. works toward making programs more impactful and accessible across Oregon.

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Maree Beers - Program Manager
"I come from a career in banking and mortgage lending and have seen firsthand the barriers that arise from not understanding personal finance. It made me become aware of my own role in the industry and how it was affecting, either positively or negatively, the people I was committed to serving. As a result, I found myself needing to directly focus on providing financial services through the social responsibility lens of education. I am proud to be here to do that work and be in the middle of that action by helping to facilitate access to knowledge and resources that spark financial confidence and empowerment. I believe that individual financial empowerment is the key to community financial empowerment. When individuals are financially stable and have the tools to handle the financial changes that inevitably happen through their lives, then more focus can be given to their community's well-being. This is achieved through financial education."

Maree sustains the existing relationships developed with hosts, and recruits to engage new connections with new hosts for additional and exciting class opportunities within our Oregon communities.

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Jasper Brokaw - Program & Volunteer Coordinator
"I had always wished that I was taught about credit, insurance, loans, and investing in college and high school. When I found Financial Beginnings and saw they were actively providing the financial education I had sorely missed when I was growing up, I knew I had to support that mission. There are so many parts of the economy that individuals have no control over. Finances can often be overwhelming and leave one with feelings of defeat and hopelessness. Financial education helps individuals to exercise some control over their lives by providing them the tools to better their livelihoods within their unique situations."

Jasper helps connect Financial Beginnings Oregon's community partners to its abundant volunteer base and helps ensure provided services are impactful and effective.

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Melissa Ontiveros - Fellow
"I first started working at age 16. I felt overwhelmed at first because I had to learn how to manage paying expenses while saving up for college. After I got a budget in place and differentiated between needs and wants, I felt more at ease. Looking back, I'm happy I started working in high school since I was able to grow my financial skills before living on my own. Being proficient at financial education will lead to a better way of life. Once someone has an understanding of how to handle their finances, it can lessen their stress and anxiety. It's something that a lot of people avoid discussing. But I believe the more people talk about finances, the more opportunities there are to learn."

Melissa is located in Dallas, Oregon, working in partnership with Polk County Family and Community Outreach Center to bring Financial Beginnings programs to their community members.

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Grasiela Quevedo-Ramos - Fellow
Grasiela is located in Portland, Oregon, creating new partnerships with CBOs in the area.

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Kaelynn Simmons - Fellow
"I am an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and am very passionate about giving back to my community. I'm blessed to be able to serve them through this fellowship. I think finances can help push a lot of people, including myself, to their goals. Whether it's an education, buying a house or car, or being able to put food on the table, finances help pay for it. Having a financial education lets individuals make informed decisions to provide them with their necessities and aspirations."

Kaelynn is located in Dallas, Oregon, working in partnership with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde to bring Financial Beginnings programs to tribal youth and beyond.

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"I continue to feel thrilled and humbled that I get to spend every day leading our critical mission forward."
Executive Director Kate Benedict
Financial Beginnings Oregon Board Members

Carlie Blackburn - Umpqua Bank
FBOR Board Member
Ken Calhoun
FBOR Board Member
Sean Edwards - Village Family Capital
FBOR Board Treasurer

"Financial Beginnings (FB) provides vital and real-world education that's critical for all. I grew up in a home where money wasn't discussed, and did not receive the financial education that I needed. I wish I had access to the educational resources that FB provides at that time in my life."
Joe Herrle, CFA, CAIA - Ferguson Wellman Capital Management
FBOR Board Member

"I have long believed that financial literacy is among the best ways to help individuals successfully navigate life and avoid the pitfalls that reinforce the cycle of poverty. I see Financial Beginnings' mission of empowerment through personal finance education as imperative to achieve a more fair and equitable society."
Denys Isordia
FBOR Board Member
Logwone Warrior Mitz - Eagle Strategies LLC
FBOR Board Secretary

"The vision of FBOR aligns perfectly with my urge to educate both new and established generations on financial literacy. This has been a struggle for the general population but could significantly impact underprivileged communities."
Michael Navarro, MEd - Open School East
FBOR Board Member

"Financial Beginning's Mission means we can set up generations of families with stability and opportunities for years to come."
Amy Theuma - U.S. Bank
FBOR Board Chair
Feel connected to our mission?
We're continually seeking new volunteers and staff to help us deliver our programming to a growing number of Oregonians.
Come join the team!