Board of Trustees

Molly Auld, President

Molly attended UCLA, where she graduated with honors and received a BA in Latin American Studies and a minor in Spanish Literature. After graduating she moved to Central America where she worked with an organization dedicated to bringing educational opportunities to impoverished rural communities and teaching English. Motivated by wanting to help create real positive social change in her local community, she attended graduate school and pursue a degree in Urban Planning with a focus on Community and Economic Development. She graduated from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service in 2008 and moved to St. Petersburg, FL the following summer. She has been a part of the Board of Trustees since 2009 and has served as President of the Board since 2011. Additionally she volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay and Community Tampa Bay working to empower young people to make positive changes in their communities.

 

Robin Warren, Co Founder/Vice President

 Robin was Executive Director of the Florida Council on Economic Education from 2009 to 2013. Previously, she spent 21 years with Bank of America and its predecessor banks in various roles including Associate General Counsel, Public Policy Executive and Compliance Risk Management Executive. Robin has served in leadership roles with the Wealth Building Coalition of Pinellas County (now the Pinellas Prosperity Partnership) including Asset Building Committee Co-Chair,  the Steering Committee for Bank on St. Pete, a program to bank the unbanked in the City of St. Petersburg, and as Vice Chair of the Board of the Florida Holocaust Museum.

Jared Abelman, Treasurer
Jared Abelman was born and raised in St. Petersburg and attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. He was active in student government and other leadership positions in high school and at Penn . He graduated with a dual degree in Finance and Public Policy and, and moved to NYC immediately thereafter. After spending 3 years on the FX desk at Citigroup in both New York and London, he moved back home to the Tampa Bay area where he currently resides. After spending nearly 9 years trading municipal bonds, he currently is the Director of Fixed Income at Amuni Financial Inc. in downtown St. Petersburg.  In his free time, he is involved with the Shorecrest Alumni association, volunteers at Temple Beth-el, is on the Board of Directors at Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services and serves on the Board for the Gulf Coast Cares endowment. He joined the Project Prosper Loan Committee in 2012 and has served as a Project Prosper board member for the last 5 years, where he is the Treasurer.

Lena Rogachevsky, Secretary
Project Prosper serves a population that is very near to Lena’s heart. Mrs. Rogachevsky’s husband Alex came to America as a refugee from the former Soviet Union. She has observed firsthand the impact that mentoring and support can have for immigrants, noting that small bits of advice and financial help can make all the difference during a newcomer’s difficult first years in the United States. Lena has been part of Project Prosper since 2009.  She served as the Loan Committee Chair  2011-2015, Treasurer from 2015-2017 and is thrilled to serve as the 2018 secretary.

 Kristin Smith, Loan Committee Chair 

With nearly 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, Kristin understands the needs and concerns many people face in today’s volatile market environment. She has been with Raymond James since 1997 and worked with A.G. Edwards & Sons for nine years prior. Active in her community, she is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of Suncoast Center Inc.,  and also volunteers on several committees for the Business & Professional Women of St. Petersburg-Pinellas. Her hobbies include playing golf, going to the gym, the theater, traveling, and riding her Harley Davidson motorcycle.

David Gonzalez, Loan Committee Vice Chair
David has been volunteering with Project Prosper for the last two years on the Loan Committee as well as teaching financial literacy courses.  He recently joined the Project Prosper Board and is excited to continue his advocacy for new immigrants.  His parents emigrated from Cuba to the United States in the 1960’s.  David is the youngest of six brothers, four of whom were born in Cuba.  He has been in the financial services industry for over 15 years and has extensive knowledge in lending, compliance, and auditing.  In his free time, he enjoys playing sports, travelling, and volunteering for several civic organizations throughout Tampa Bay.

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Bala Iyer, Financial Literacy Program Chair

Bala is a first-generation immigrant hailing from India. He passionately believes that “where you come from should not decide where you get to”. He struggled to find his financial and professional footing in his new country during his first six years. He understands the plight of recent immigrants and would love to help them acquire life-long practical skills. With his background in Finance, he would love to facilitate the provision of financial integration services to them. He has a Ph. D in Finance from Columbia University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He has 30 years experience in the Finance profession, culminating with the role of Chief Investment Officer of a Columbus-Ohio based team within JP Morgan. After retiring as a Managing Director at JP Morgan in late 2014, he immediately moved with his wife to the Tampa Bay community. He is ready and eager to help his new community.

Zachary Watts, Governance

Zachary, “Zach”, is an associate for the law firm, Hill Ward Henderson.   Zach has represented financial institutions and borrowers in numerous commercial lending transactions.  He also represents companies in public offerings and private placements, preparation and review of SEC filings, other securities law compliance, and general governance matters. Prior to joining the firm, Zach was an associate in the Philadelphia office of Ballard Spahr LLP.  Zach received his J.D. from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2010 and is admitted to the Bar in Florida and Pennsylvania.  He has served on the Project Prosper loan committee since 2016 and joined the board of trustees in 2017.