On June 6, 2018, Peninsula Family Service presented the second event in its Thought Leader Series, a dynamic and interactive event with the goal of raising awareness of financial empowerment and increasing financial knowledge to all in San Mateo County.

The event video is now available! Please click here to view.

To view the Break-Out Groups summary, simply click on the Resources tab below.

Check back soon for updates on Survey Results!


Financial Empowerment for All: How do we Make True Progress? 

Financial empowerment for all of our community, especially low- to middle-income families struggling to gain a foothold, is a big challenge in today’s society.  A lack of knowledge, training and tools for financial management and planning can impact stability and wellness for members of our community, including teenagers, working families and older adults.

On June 6, 2018, Peninsula Family Service will present the second event in its Thought Leader Series, a dynamic and interactive gathering with the goal of raising awareness of financial empowerment and increasing financial knowledge to all in San Mateo County.

June 6, 2018 | 9:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Includes working lunch.
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
1300 S El Camino Real #100, San Mateo, CA 94402

With this event, Peninsula Family Service is looking to start the conversation on how we can:

* Build on the positive actions already occurring in our community
* Improve access to financial education to those who need it most
* Strengthen our collaboration and partnerships
* Work together to maximize the impact of our existing programs


9:30 AM | Check-In

10:00 AM | Welcome
Heather Cleary
Peninsula Family Service
Maeve Elise Brown
Founder & Executive Director
Housing and Economic Right Advocates (HERA)

10:15 AM | Opening Speaker
José Quiñonez
Founder & CEO, Mission Asset Fund
and 2016 MacArthur Fellow

10: 40 AM | Panel: Moving Toward Universal Access to Financial Tools

11:15 AM | CFPB Presentation
Yuliya Rzad
Program Specialist
Office of Financial Empowerment, CFPB

11:40 AM | Peninsula Family Service Presentation
Rob Lajoie
Financial Empowerment Vice President
Peninsula Family Service

12: 15 PM | Working Lunch
Break-Out groups
Financial Education Universal Access, Advocacy,
Education, Partnership Building

Event Video
You can view a recording of the event by clicking here.

Break-Out Groups Summary
You can view the Break-Out Groups summary by clicking here.

You can view the event presentation by clicking here.

Event Speakers

Peninsula Family Service is honored to present the line up for the upcoming Thought Leader Series. Together, these experts will provide a broader perspective on Financial Education, the Financial Empowerment tools available and how we can work together to guarantee universal access for all.

Maeve Elise Brown
Executive Director and Co-Founder | HERA
A graduate of UCLA Law School, Ms. Brown has 28 years of experience as a public interest attorney. She organized and opened a community development credit union, designed and has taught a course on mortgage lending and home-ownership at UC Berkeley School of Law and was Chair of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Advisory Board. She has published various articles on affordable housing issues and authored a chapter in the American Bar Association’s Legal Guide to Affordable Housing Development.

Heather Cleary
Chief Executive Officer | Peninsula Family Service
Heather is at the helm of Peninsula Family Service since January 1, 2017. A San Mateo resident and a Bay Area native, she joined Peninsula Family Service in 2010 as Chief Financial Officer. She received her Masters in Public Administration from San Francisco State University. She also has a degree in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She started her professional career as an accountant at Arthur Andersen where she earned her CPA license. Heather joined the nonprofit world 15-years ago, working at a private foundation and public charities. In 2015, Heather took on the added role of Associate Executive Director/CFO, overseeing our Early Learning Program as well as partnering with former Executive Director Arne Croce, to increase our impact and sustainability. Upon her promotion as Chief Executive Officer, she continues ensuring strong financial and risk management and focuses on measuring and improving outcomes for all our program participants.

Rob Lajoie
Financial Empowerment Vice-President | Peninsula Family Service
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Rob joined Peninsula Family Service in 2012 after spending over 30 years in the financial services sector. As Vice President of Financial Empowerment, he oversees our DriveForward Vehicle Loan, Lending Circles, Second Careers Employment and financial workshop programs. Rob is actively involved in the community by serving as Treasurer for the San Mateo Sunrise Rotary, and has been a Kainos sponsor for the past 20 years. Rob received his bachelor of science degree in business management from San Jose State University.

Vera Jacobson-Lundeberg, D.Ed.
CTE Director | SMCOE
Dr. Jacobson-Lundeberg is passionate about aligning student Career and Technical Education needs with the needs of industry within San Mateo County’s K-14 education system.  She obtained a doctorate with a focus on empowering students using 21 Century Skills. She was the fellow for California’s CTE Professional organization and participated in the year-long Leadership for Development Institute (LDI) creating a new CTE delivery design for California’s K-12 Educational system. Her recent article, Power Skills, was published in ACTE’s Techniques Magazine, January 2017.

Keith Ogden, Esq.
Senior Housing Attorney | Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA)
Keith Ogden joined Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto in 2011 after completing a UC Hastings sponsored fellowship with Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA), where he assisted clients on loan servicing and loan modification related matters. Keith’s initial housing work with CLSEPA focused on foreclosure prevention for lower-income homeowners. From 2011 through 2017, Keith spearheaded the collaborative Anti-Payday Lending Initiative, working with allies and local governments to craft and secure passage of anti-payday lending ordinances in several San Mateo County jurisdictions. Starting in 2015, Keith has practiced in tenants’ rights, representing tenants in eviction and habitability cases. He has also litigated on several fraudulent eviction cases brought under East Palo Alto’s Just Cause for Eviction ordinance. Keith collaborates with community partners to advocate for local policies aimed at preserving and creating affordable housing and also manages community presentations and tenant education for the Housing Program. Keith earned his Juris Doctor from U.C. Hastings College of the Law in 2010, where he received a Public Interest Certificate and was a member of the Pro Bono Society.

José Quiñonez
CEO & Founder | Mission Asset Fund (MAF)
2016 MacArthur Fellow
José’s leadership built MAF into an award-winning nonprofit with innovative nationwide models for integrating financially excluded, low-income communities into the financial mainstream. For his work, he was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, the Ashoka Fellowship, and the Aspen Institute Fellowship. He also received the James Irvine Leadership Award and Princeton University’s WWS Distinguished Alumni Award, among others. José is a visionary leader, highly regarded in the consumer finance field. Currently, he serves in Consumer Advisory Boards for the Federal Reserve Bank of SF, US Bank, Experian, and Capital One. In 2012, he was appointed by the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as the inaugural Chair of the Consumer Advisory Board. Governor Brown enacted legislation recognizing MAF’s Lending Circles program, making California the first state to lift up credit building as a force for good. José graduated from University of California at Davis, and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.

Yuliya Rzad
Program Specialist | CFPB
Yuliya Rzad is the Your Money, Your Goals Program Specialist with the Office of Financial Empowerment, at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  She is responsible for managing the program’s partner relationships, ensuring continued content relevancy, and managing training, and technical assistance.  Prior to joining the Bureau, Yuliya worked at the Administration for Children and Families, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She also spent five years administering LIHEAP, weatherization, and a variety of specialized projects serving the low-income community at a non-profit organization in California.  Yuliya holds a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s of Arts in international relations from the University of California, at Davis.

Sponsors & Supporters

This event was made possible by our generous sponsors and supporters:

Humanitarian Event Co-Sponsor

Community Event Co-Sponsor

Event Supporter