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AFSA Staff

AFSA Staff

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ACCOUNTING

Danielle McLean | Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Danielle oversees all financial and budgeting activities for AFSA, its Education Foundation, its Political Action Committee & AFSA’s other entities. She is the staff liaison to the Audit, Investment, and Independents Accounting Committees.

Prior to joining AFSA, Danielle was a Staff Accountant at Paradigm Companies, Inc., a development, construction and management company in Washington, D.C.

Danielle received her Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor’s in Accounting from Trinity Washington University. Danielle has also earned an executive certificate in Forensic Accounting from Georgetown University. And the designations of Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), from Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and Certified Association Executive (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

Contact Danielle.

Ruijia Yang | Staff Accountant

Ruijia joined AFSA in 2021 as an accountant on the accounting team. In her role, she works to support the team in day to day accounting tasks and financial transactions for AFSA, EF And AFSAPAC.

Ruijia holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Master of Science in Data Analytics Engineering from George Mason University.

Contact Ruijia.

COMMUNICATIONS

Ed McFadden | Senior Vice President, Communications

Ed serves as AFSA’s senior vice president for communications, leading the association’s internal and external communications efforts and coordinating with the association’s membership, government relations, compliance, meetings and conferences, and educational foundation teams. Ed joined AFSA in June 2019 after serving for more than 15 years in communications and public affairs leadership roles in both the corporate and nonprofit worlds of Washington DC. Prior to his private sector roles, he served as a speechwriter and special assistant in the administration of George W. Bush. The earlier stage of his career was in journalism, including stints with The Wall Street Journal editorial page in Europe, Dow Jones in Washington, and as a senior editor with Reader’s Digest.Ed is a graduate of the University of San Francisco and its Great Books program, the Saint Ignatius Institute.

Contact Ed.

Grace McGurn | Communications Manager

Grace McGurn joined AFSA as an intern in July 2020 and progressed into a full time position as Digital Coordinator in January 2021. She oversees AFSA’s social media channels. She also assists in managing AFSA’s event conference webpages and AFSA’s main website as well as any other AFSA digital properties.

Grace holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing and Management from Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana.

Contact Grace.

CONFERENCES & MEETINGS

Michele Battaline | Senior Director, Conferences & Special Events

Michele manages the logistics for AFSA’s six annual meetings as well as all of the association’s committee meetings and special events. Michele has extensive experience producing domestic and international conferences, as well as special events. Prior to joining AFSA in 2007, she worked for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) for five years as Director of Meetings and Special Events.

Prior to NAB, Michele worked for a government contractor, where she served as Project Leader for more than a dozen government contracts primarily for the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education.

Before moving to Washington, Michele worked as the Assistant to the Director of Communications, Culture & Tourism, for the city of Pittsburgh, where she assisted in the coordination of citywide special events, including the 1994 Major League Baseball All-Star Week festivities. She also wrote speeches, organized press conferences, and responded to media requests.

Michele is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, where she majored in Political Communications.

Contact Michele.

Tom Morano | Vice President, Meetings & Conferences

Tom oversees all aspects of the association’s six annual conferences and expositions as well as the board and committee meetings. He works with the advisory boards responsible for developing the content, programming and marketing of each conference. In addition, Tom manages the meetings department staff, negotiates vendor contracts with speakers and hotels, and manages the department’s budget.

Tom has more than 25 years experience in the association industry, having worked at the National Automobile Dealers Association, United Ski Industries Association, American Osteopathic Healthcare Association, and the Snack Food Association. Tom began his career doing political advance work for the White House during the 1980s. He joined AFSA in 1998.

Tom has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

Contact Tom.

ECONOMICS

Timothy Gill, Vice President & Chief Economist

Timothy Gill is AFSA’s Vice President, Research and Chief Economist. Tim has nearly 30 years of business economics and industry analysis experience spanning a variety of industries and subject areas.

Previously, Tim was chief economist of the American Iron and Steel Institute, where he established the economics and industry statistics department and supported the Institute’s commercial research, market development, communications, and advocacy efforts. He also worked for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the American Petroleum Institute and the economics consulting and forecasting firm DRI.

Tim is a member of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) and has chaired its business conditions and outlook survey committees among other leadership roles. He holds a B.A. from John Carroll University and an M.A. in economics from Miami University and was awarded the Certified Business Economist (CBE) designation by NABE in 2015.

Contact Timothy

EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Rhonda Ashburn | Executive Director, AFSA Education Foundation

As Rhonda leads the American Financial Services Association Education Foundation (AFSAEF), she is focused on the mission of educating consumers of all ages on personal finance concepts and helping them realize the benefits of responsible money management through the free financial literacy education program MoneySKILL. To date, more than one million students have completed the on-line curriculum comprised of 37 modules.

Rhonda is also responsible for two continuing education programs for mid-level and senior employees at member companies. The EDGE management program is conducted annually at Mercer University in Atlanta and the second leadership development opportunity is held at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Rhonda Ashburn has had many years of experiences working in the nonprofit arena. Most recently she was with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the largest and longest-serving national nonprofit financial counseling organization in the United States.

Prior to joining the NFCC, Rhonda spent nearly 24 years working for a career and technical student organization, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). During her tenure at FCCLA she oversaw, administered, and managed 13 major programs including Financial Fitness, which focused on helping individuals learn to make, save, and spend their money wisely.

She and her husband live in Alexandria, VA.

Contact Rhonda

Olivia DiBiase | Director of Financial Education & Outreach

As the Director of Financial Education and Outreach for the AFSA Education Foundation, Olivia manages the implementation of the MoneySKILL® curriculum, which provides free financial education to primarily middle school, high school, and college students in the U.S. and internationally. She works closely with educators, administrators, education officials, and AFSA members to raise awareness about and expand enrollment in the online curriculum.

Before joining the AFSA Education Foundation, Olivia spent six years at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), the leading association for nonprofit financial counseling organizations. She held leadership roles focusing on the delivery of innovative, consumer-focused programs and resources to improve consumer financial health. Prior to her work at the NFCC, Olivia served as a Youth Educator with the Peace Corps in Morocco.

Olivia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis. She and her family live in Washington, DC.

Contact Olivia

EXECUTIVE

Bill Himpler | President & Chief Executive Officer

Bill was elected President of AFSA in October of 2018. In his tenure at AFSA, his federal government relations team have enhanced AFSA’s presence in the political debate affecting a number of issues that impact member companies’ ability to offer affordable credit options to American consumers. He has been called on to sit in the hot seat at the witness table in congressional hearings and has served as an industry spokesman on a number of pressing topics.

Bill came to AFSA in 2004 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he headed the congressional relations office. Prior to joining HUD, Bill was director of legislative affairs for BGR Holding, LLC, where he worked as a lobbyist for Haley Barbour, who went on to become governor of Mississippi. While on Capitol Hill, he served as tax counsel and legislative director for Rep. Jerry Weller of Illinois, as well as a senior legislative assistant with Rep. Charles Canady from Florida.

Bill holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Steubenville, a master’s degree from Dominican House of Studies, and a law degree from The Catholic University of America.

Contact Bill.

Perla Manuel | Corporate Secretary & Office Manager

Perla serves as the corporate secretary to the association and the staff liaison to the AFSA Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Nominating Committee. She works closely with the Chairman of the Board during his/her tenure on speaking engagements, visits to AFSA and coordinates the Board, Executive and Nominating Committee meetings. She provides support to the President & CEO of AFSA and serves as the office manager, overseeing the day to day operations.

Perla oversees the association’s annual spring recognition program known as the Outstanding Employee Awards Program held during the Independents Conference & Exposition. Perla joined AFSA in 1987 and served as the AFSAPAC manager and legal assistant in the government affairs department before moving into her present position in 1997 as corporate secretary. Previously, she was a database administrator for Data Resource Management in Rosslyn, Va.

Perla has a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from George Mason University.

Contact Perla.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

Celia Winslow | Senior Vice President

Celia is a Senior Vice President and has been with the association since 2006. She leads AFSA’s federal government affairs department, which promotes AFSA’s mission of expanding and protecting access to consumer credit with policymakers on Capitol Hill, the administration, and federal regulators. In addition, she oversees AFSA’s legal efforts. Her expertise covers a wide range of regulatory, legislative, and legal issues associated with consumer credit and she is a frequent speaker on those topics. She serves as the liaison to AFSA’s Law Committee and Diversity and Inclusion Working Group.

Before joining AFSA, Celia worked in the Development Office at the Pontifical North American College. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from The Catholic University of America.

Contact Celia

Ann Harter | Vice President, Congressional Affairs

Ann joined AFSA in 2017 as the Vice President, Congressional Affairs. Ann is responsible for developing and delivering to lawmakers and policymakers AFSA’s message of protecting access to safe, responsible consumer credit.

She most recently served as the Associate Director of Advocacy and Counsel at the Credit Union National Association, and previously, was Legislative Counsel in Governmental Affairs at the American Bar Association.

Ann also worked for President George W. Bush as a Presidential Writer in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence and was then promoted to Director of Legislative Correspondence for the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.

Contact Ann

Michael Grimes | Director, Congressional Affairs

Michael joined AFSA in March of 2020 as the Director of Congressional Affairs. In this role he is responsible for managing policy and political issues that affect the consumer credit industry. A veteran of Washington, DC’s public and private sectors, Michael has worked with a range of clients in emerging and specialty industries, and managed political fundraising efforts at the American Council of Engineering Companies.

Prior to entering the private sector, Michael worked to organize and administer constituent services for several Members of the Ohio Congressional delegation. Michael graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.A. in Business Management and now lives in Arlington, VA.

Contact Michael

Brigid Ueland | Manager, Congressional Affairs

Brigid joined AFSA in 2022 as a Manager on the federal government affairs team. In her role, she works to support the team in fulfilling AFSA’s mission of expanding and protecting access to consumer credit with policymakers on Capitol Hill, the administration, and federal regulators. Prior to joining AFSA, Brigid worked for the Senate Finance Committee as a legislative aide for Chairman Chuck Grassley, and previously as deputy press secretary for Chairman Orrin Hatch. Brigid holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and History and a master’s degree in business administration from Benedictine College.

Contact Brigid

COMPLIANCE

Philip Bohi | Vice President, Compliance Education

Philip joined AFSA in 2017 as Vice President, Compliance Education. Philip is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership for the Association’s compliance activities, including AFSA University. Philip is the staff liaison to the Operations and Regulatory Compliance Committee and Technology Task Forces that are launching in 2018.

Philip brings significant consumer finance legal and compliance experience to AFSA, having served as in-house counsel at Toyota Motor Credit Corporation and Fannie Mae. At those companies, Philip worked closely with compliance staff supporting technology projects, legislative tracking, and vendor management. Philip’s private practice included work on manufactured housing, residential mortgage compliance, and consumer finance matters at McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC and Lotstein Buckman, LLP.

Philip is a member of the Virginia State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar. He was awarded his J.D. from the College of William and Mary School of Law in Williamsburg, Virginia, and earned a B.A. in Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.

Contact Philip.

MEMBERSHIP

Dan Bucherer | Senior Director, Member Services & Engagement

Dan joined AFSA in January 2013 and has primary responsibility for AFSA’s relationship with the association’s lender and vendor members, promoting engaging programs and services for members and developing campaigns to demonstrate the value that membership can bring to prospective members. He also heads up AFSA’s Business Partner program which encompasses sponsorships, advertising and thought leadership programs.

Previously, Dan worked as the Director of Communications where he was responsible for developing and implementing AFSA’s overall strategic communications plan, directing AFSA’s digital properties and working closely with industry on messaging.

Before joining AFSA, Dan worked with the  E. W. Scripps Company, tracking, reporting and building political television ad data in the Political & Advocacy Media Sales department.

Dan holds a Bachelor and Master of Arts in Political Science, with an emphasis in congressional & presidential studies; both degrees are from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Contact Dan.

Marilyn McKinnis | Senior Marketing Manager

Marilyn  manages advertising for the AFSA Daily Connect and AFSA Newsbriefs, AFSA’s daily and weekly electronic newsletters.  In addition, she manages website and print advertising for the Vehicle Finance, Independents, and Annual Meeting conferences; and manages exhibitor listings for the Vehicle Finance and Independents conferences.

Marilyn has spent over 30 years in association management working for the National Agricultural Aviation Association and Helicopter Association International (HAI) with a broad range of experiences in publishing and communications, finance, government affairs, meetings and expositions, and membership. Marilyn began her professional career as a teacher, earning her degree in Education from Oklahoma State University.

Contact Marilyn.

STATE GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

Danielle Fagre Arlowe | Senior Vice President

Danielle is Senior Vice President at AFSA and has been with the association since 2003. She oversees all aspects of AFSA’s extensive state government affairs activities and is counsel to the association. She works with her federal counterpart on various law committee efforts, and serves as the lead liaison to AFSA’s Women’s Leadership Council and Women’s Forum.

Before joining AFSA, Danielle led government affairs for a large U.S. credit card company where she oversaw their state and federal lobbying efforts, their political action committee, and their new law compliance program. Prior to that, she worked for DC law firms Venable and O’Connor & Hannan, advising major U.S. financial institutions on privacy, credit reporting, political law, and many other issues.

She earned her J.D. cum laude from American University in DC, where she worked all three year as Dean’s Fellow for Professor Jamie Raskin. She earned a BA in Politics & Government from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

She lives near Minneapolis with her husband, two daughters, and their dog, Gary. In her free time she co-hosts a pop-culture podcast.

Contact Danielle.