Board of Trustees
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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, “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.
John C. Garcia
John C. Garcia is the president and founder of a national medical supply company. Since its inception in 2001 and along with his leadership, the company expanded to all 50 states while providing quality rehabilitation and pain management-related healthcare products, supplies, and services to tens of thousands of clients nationwide. John and his family moved to Florida in 1968 and has been a Tampa resident for over 52 years.
Mr. Garcia has developed a wide range of expertise during his very successful and diverse career path. Prior to working in the medical field, Mr. Garcia gained vast experience while performing in many capacities with a large, local homebuilder. For over 11 years, he utilized his entrepreneurial skills and quickly was promoted to VP of Operations and Sales, directly responsible for managing the affordable housing division, aiding over 1,000 families to fulfill their dream of home ownership while improving their lives. In addition to building healthcare and commercial real estate businesses, Mr Garcia acquired a high-level of leadership skills while working in the insurance and the funeral industry.
Being greatly involved in the community, Mr. Garcia served on the Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Advisory Board, The Life Center of The Suncoast Inc, and is a member of the Tampa Rough Riders. Mr Garcia enjoys giving back and charities that are big part of his life include; the Florida Sheriffs Association, Minority Women & Florida Veterans Business Association, Warrick Dunn Charities, 2013 Police Unity Tour, Project Prosper, Florida Association of Medical Equipment Services, Metropolitan Ministries, Florida Marine Corps Toys for Tots, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society, and the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation-Tampa Chapter.
John and his wife Stephanie live in Tampa, Florida. They have two children and three grandchildren. When not working, John adores spending time with his family, enjoys boating, golfing, and loves watching his children play various sports.
Ron is a business owner and entrepreneur. He develops corrosion protection and control products and procedures for his company Corrosion Protection and Solutions. In addition, through his Organic Resource company, he develops microbial consortiums for soil/water bioremediation. He has served as an Admissions Liaison Officer (ALO) for the United States Air Force Academy for the past 18 years and he was civilian ALO of the year in 2004. He was named Businessman of the Year for Apollo Beach, Florida in 1996 Ron is President of the Board for the Matthew A. Knight Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, which sponsors a Cub Scout and Boy Scout troop. Active in the local Rotary International Club, he has served as president and is a Paul Fellow. With his entrepreneur and business background, he enjoys mentoring immigrants in their business ventures.
Sandra “Sandy” was a teacher and reading specialist for 29 years with Hillsborough County Public Schools and the Beaverton, Oregon Public Schools. As a teacher, she is very aware of the issues and challenges facing the immigrant/migrant population. She was Teacher of the Year in 1990-91. Active in her community and church, she volunteers with the Literacy Program, Clothes for Kids, and serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Matthew A. Knight Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. She joined the Board in 2019 and continues to teach financial literacy classes.
Michelle Christie currently serves as Senior Community Financial Educator for GTE Financial, a $2.2 billion credit union serving Tampa Bay, Florida since 1935. A New Jersey native, Michelle has lived in Florida for over ten years, focusing her efforts on health and education program development. Studying Health Sciences and Public Health at the University of South Florida, she remained in the Tampa Bay Area to design and deliver financial empowerment workshops with GTE Financial Credit Union. Her passion for sharing knowledge and empowering the community is expressed when helping others set personal and professional goals to achieve optimal wellness.
Ayled Ramos Amador
Ayled was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and attended the University of Puerto Rico, where she received her BBA in Finance and Human Resources Administration in 2008. She also attended the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, where she obtained her dual degree: a Master’s degree in Finance and Business Management and her Juris Doctor in 2013.
Ayled has been in the Banking and Compliance Industry for 7 years. She joined Banco Popular of Puerto Rico as a Compliance Officer in 2013 until she moved to the Tampa Bay Area in 2017. She started working with Farm Credit of Central Florida as a Sr. Compliance Manager until 2018, where she then decided to work in Raymond James Bank as a Sr. Compliance Advisor.
Ayled started volunteering with Project Prosper since 2019, teaching financial literacy courses as well as mentoring borrowers from Project Prospers’ Loan Program. In her free time, she enjoys travelling and spending time with friends and family. Music is her passion and she has played the piano for over 26 years.