Kasra has led CEO since 2014. Prior to CEO, he worked as the Deputy Director for the IRC in San Diego, where he implemented a consumer lending program that would serve as the basis for CEO’s national efforts. He offers support and guidance to IRC’s U.S. network of 27 community-based offices – which serve over 50,000 primarily refugee and immigrant families each year. Away from work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and their puppy, hanging out at the beach, or playing video games. Kasra holds a BSBA in Economics and an MA in International Business from the University of Florida. He is fluent in Farsi.
Senad oversees the entire lending process for clients from the initial application through the final payment. He was resettled in the U.S. by the IRC in 1998, and began working with the organization in 2000. Senad has lived the refugee experience, and understands the difficulty of transitioning to a new country. He believes CEO aides those struggling financially as he did many years ago. Originally from Bosnia, he speaks Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian as well as English. Senad enjoys traveling and reading in his free time, and going to the beach with his family and friends
Mary heads CEO’s finance and accounting functions and ensures CEO is in compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations. She joined the CEO team after serving as the Site Coordinator for the VITA Tax prep program at the IRC in San Diego. Mary also provided clients with financial literacy education, credit counseling, coaching and assisted with loan applications. She enjoys cooking and spending time with her family. Mary speaks Tagalog and holds a BS in Business Administration from San Diego State University.
Zachary oversees customer and partner support, offers training to our non-profit implementing partners and identifies data-centered solutions to increase efficiency in a scaling enterprise. He previously worked for the IRC in San Diego, in their microenterprise program, helping entrepreneurs navigate the new business process in the U.S. He believes all financial institutions should prioritize the financial well-being of their clients over profit. Zachary enjoys biking in the California sun and hanging out with his dog. He has a BBA from James Madison University, speaks Spanish and has TEFL certification.
Josh serves as the Communications Coordinator, developing and executing communication plans for the organization. He joined CEO after serving for a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA. He brings experiences from a major Detroit PR firm and his previous AmeriCorps service year at a mental health nonprofit in South Carolina. He believes no one can ignore a compelling story. Outside of work he can often be found at museums or watching baseball. He graduated from Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations with minors in Public Affairs and Leadership.
Nora joins CEO via the AmeriCorps VISTA program, working on training programs for CEO partners. She was drawn to CEO because of the importance of financially empowering New Americans, and believes CEO has a meaningful mission and impactful results. Originally from Kyrgyzstan, Nora grew up speaking Kyrgyz and Russian, and has learned English and Turkish. She loves to read books, as well as swim when she can find a swimming pool. Nora has a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Economics from Baruch College, and brings prior experience working in a congressional district office in Brooklyn.
Karanina joins CEO as the Communications AmeriCorps VISTA. She has a BA from American University School of International Service. Her prior experiences include conducting political research at think tanks and online marketing for a small craft business. She was drawn to CEO for her AmeriCorps term because of her desire to work in public service and her prior work with Amnesty International. She is interested in the refugee resettlement component of CEO’s work and the financial factors that make it possible, and believes economic empowerment is vital to refugee acclimation. Away from work, Karanina enjoys traveling, reading and learning about other countries’ politics and culture, cooking, learning about the stock market, and learning new languages.