Meet the Accion Chicago Team
organization is diverse, dynamic, passionate about our work, and ready to
collaborate with the business owners, partners, and supporters who play key
roles in our ongoing success. Here are just some of the people who are part of
the Accion Chicago team:
served as Chief Executive Officer since October 2004. During his tenure
the organization has made more than 1,100 loans and disbursed $9 million into
the local economy, supporting small business owners and stabilizing
neighborhoods. Accion Chicago is now one of the top five microlenders in
the country and is a member of the Accion U.S. Network which connects the five
regional Accion affiliates to maximize resources nationally. Accion
Chicago operates with a staff of 24 and serves the Chicago metropolitan area. Jonathan also manages Accion’s new first-of- its-kind initiative, the Chicago
Microlending Institute (CMI) which, in essence, is training the organization’s competition
to help meet the growing demand for microlending in the region. He joined
Accion in November of 2000 as a Community Outreach Coordinator through the
AmeriCorps*VISTA program. Following his year of service, Jonathan became
Director of Operations, expanding Accion’s outreach through public, private and
community partnerships. In addition to his Chief Executive role Jonathan
is also the organization’s Chief Lending Officer. In 2009 he was an
SBA Financial Champion of the Year, and in 2011 was named a Chicago Ideas Week Fellow. Jonathan is a member of First Eagle Bank’s Community
Advisory Committee and served on the Small Business Advisory Group Access to
Capital Sub-Committee for the City of Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs
and Consumer Protection. Jonathan graduated from Wheaton College with a
degree in Business and Economics. His introduction to microfinance came
through volunteer work in Haiti while in college and he currently volunteers
through his church on initiatives focused on the homeless.
Robin Lee Greiner
the executive team as Chief Operating Officer in June 2012. She combines
more than twenty years of experience in strategic planning, operations,
marketing, and consumer services with a passion for economic justice. As
Vice President at Working Assets, Inc. (aka Credo Mobile) in San Francisco, CA,
she helped grow the company into a successful $150 million social
enterprise. Most recently, she was a Managing Partner in Greiner, Schonberg
& Associates, LLC where she provided business development expertise to
start-ups and private investors. At Accion, Robin is responsible for Accounting
& Operations, Development & Communications, and Government Programs
& Compliance. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from
Smith College where she double-majored in Economics and Government. Robin has
been active on several boards focused on education, health and the environment.
President, Lending & Marketing
President of Lending and Marketing Jill leads a team of 11 loan officers
supporting more than 2,400 customers annually and is responsible for client intake
and local community outreach efforts. In 2011 the team made 301 loans
totaling more than $2 million and the small businesses supported by those loans
created or retained nearly 1,000 jobs in the Chicagoland area. Jill has been
with the Accion Network since 2003, starting at Accion New York as a loan
officer in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Before moving to Chicago in
2009 she oversaw lending, intake, and customer service branches in New York and
New Jersey. Prior to her work at Accion, Jill served as a Peace Corps
volunteer at a rural microfinance loan fund in the Dominican Republic. Jill
holds a BSBA in Marketing, International Business, and Economics from
Washington University in St. Louis and is fluent in Spanish.
Mary Fran Riley
President, Development & Communications
joined the Accion Chicago team in July 2006 as Vice President of Resource
Development and in 2012 her role expanded to include Communications. Mary
Fran and her team of three development officers are responsible for fundraising
to support the organization’s lending and education initiatives which in 2011
included 301 loans totaling more than $2 million and consultation with 2,477
clients. She regularly shares her experiences and knowledge with several
organizations and serves as Board Chair of archi-treasures, board member of the
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, and an active volunteer for the Chicago
Community Media Workshop, Oak Park Regional Housing Center, and the Oak Parks
Area Arts Council. Mary Fran is a graduate of St. Mary of the Woods College
where she received a BA in Liberal Arts. She attended graduate school at the
University of Illinois, Chicago, in Education. She has provided training in
fundraising, communications, and special events through the Association of
Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Chicago, NeighborWorks America, and other
Jordan joined Accion Chicago in January of 2007 as an accounting intern through the Chicago Semester Program. At the conclusion of the three month program, Jordan graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a concentration in Finance from Dordt College, a private school which is located in northwestern Iowa near his hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. After graduation, Jordan accepted a permanent accounting role with Accion and within three months became solely responsible for the accounting and operations department, including back-end lending operations, human resources, and information technology. In the five years since, Jordan has responsibly managed company cash flow and expenses during tough years, has ensured sound accounting and lending processes, and has played a crucial role in the development, execution, and reporting of several major company programs which have helped enabled Accion to be where it is today. After five years of clean audits amid incredible growth, development, and change for both the company and his department, Jordan continues to play a key leadership role in both accounting and operations, leading a team which has grown from one in 2007 to four in 2012.
Accion Chicago in April of 2010 as an Accounting & Operations Associate and
became a Loan Officer in 2012. He received his undergraduate degree from
Indiana University and later earned his MA in Economics from Roosevelt
University, where he concentrated in macroeconomic policy and community
development. Nic was a research assistant in the Department of Economics at
Roosevelt and studied issues in the Latino labor market in Chicago. He is an
adjunct instructor at St. Augustine College, a community college in the Uptown
joined Accion in April 2012 and brings more than 5 years experience in small
business development and community lending to the lending team. Most
recently, he was Loan Analyst for Chicago Community Ventures where he assisted
clients in gaining access to capital for their small businesses. Hussain
graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BA in
Economics and holds a Master’s in Public Service Management from DePaul
University. He assists his father in operating a small business in the near
west suburbs and he also plays a major role in the annual Asian American
Business Expo here in Chicago.
Team Manager - Lending & Special Programs
joined Accion Chicago in 2008 and today manages a team of three loan officers
plus the organization’s year-round internship program. When she first
moved to Chicago from India Nitika volunteered with community development
financial institutions and microfinance organizations such as the National
Community Investment Fund and the Global Alliance for Africa. In her homeland
she worked for Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA), a leading microfinance
non-profit. Nitika has a degree in finance and a post-graduate Diploma in
Advertising and Public Relations from Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi,
and a Masters in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
She is fluent in Hindi and is learning Spanish.
Loan Officer & Marketing Associate
Accion as the Marketing and Community Outreach Coordinator through the AmeriCorps*VISTA
program in 2011 and became a Loan Officer at the end of her AmeriCorps tenure. Before coming to Accion, she was a young fellow
for Sé Más Microfinanzas in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where she focused on new
product development and social impact monitoring. Amy graduated from Hope
College with a B.A. in International Studies and Business Management. During
her time at Hope, she studied and interned in Chile, India, and the Dominican
Republic. She serves on the executive committee and the marketing committee of
Women Advancing Microfinance (WAM) – Chicago/Midwest Chapter. She is
fluent in Spanish.
joined Accion in 2004. In her tenure, she has lent over $2.6 million
25% of the organization’s entire production. She currently supervises a
team of three loan officers and heads up bank outreach in the
Chicagoland area and marketing efforts in the south suburbs of Cook
county and Northwest Indiana. She has worked in the financial
industry for more than a decade, including several years as a loan
specialist at the Women’s Business Development Center where she
facilitated $1.9 million in financing for small business owners.
Priscilla has a Bachelor's of Science in Economics with a concentration
in Economic Development from the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign. She is a native Chicagoan from the Pilsen community
and is fluent in Spanish.
Senior Associate, Programs and Impact
joined Accion Chicago in 2011 to manage Accion's expanded programmatic initiatives
and government relations. Prior to joining Accion, Elizabeth worked abroad
designing and implementing USAID-funded capacity building projects and
microsavings initiatives a Program Manager in Catholic Relief Services country
offices in Sri Lanka, Brazil, and Peru. She has worked with local community
development organizations in Nairobi and Rio de Janeiro, and led the Latin
America communications team at Rotary International. She began her career in
Washington, D.C. as a project manager at Intellibridge (now Eurasia Group) and
as a consultant at The World Bank, while studying for her M.A. in International
Development at American University. Elizabeth is an Associate Board member of
the Center for Economic Progress, where she volunteers as a bilingual financial
counselor and tax preparer helping low-income families move from financial
uncertainty to financial security. She is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.
joined Accion Chicago as a temporary receptionist and loan assistant in March
2006 before transitioning from a temporary position to fulltime as an
AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer later that year. After her year of service she
assumed the role of Client Intake Specialist, helping customers through the
loan prequalification process in either English or Spanish. In 2012 she
was promoted to Operations Associate and now assists with loan closings.
Claudia, a native Chicagoan from the Little Village neighborhood, holds an
associate's degree from Fox College.
Senior Accounting and Operations
joined Accion Chicago in February 2012 as an Accounting Associate, responsible
for monthly financial reports, internal audits, and providing documentation for
loan closings. She received a Bachelors of Accountancy from the
University of Colorado, graduating with honors, and, having successfully passed
all CPA requirements, is currently waiting for her license. Prior to joining
Accion Chicago, Mariana worked in governmental accounting at the City of
Edgewater, a suburb near Denver, CO, and as an Internal Auditor at First Data.
She is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
& Communications Associate
to Accion Chicago in 2011 and ssumed responsibility for the new role of
Individual Giving Officer in 2012. She spent more than 10 years at ShoreBank where she was a Project
Manager in Community Affairs. She
managed outreach focused on education initiatives, including an award-winning
scholarship program that provided $1 million in funding to students from
inner-city schools and a program that matched employees with elementary school
children for a weekly tutoring session. As an independent consultant she worked with Fortune 100 companies,
training new and mid-level managers on team development and leadership
skills. Marilyn attended Wheaton
College and has a BA in theology from Elmhurst College. She serves on the board of WITS
(Working in the Schools) Chicago.
Accion Chicago as a Loan Officer in February 2012 and is part of a team focused
on lending in the south and near west suburbs. At Suburban Bank &
Trust he had been a personal banker and his experience in sales and training at
an Apple store also taught him the importance of great customer service. Kyle
grew up in northern Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota
with a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art, Communications and Hindi plus an
emphasis in nonprofit finance. While in college he interned and worked at
several arts and education organizations, including In the Heart of the Beast,
Minnesota Film Art’s international film festival, and the Higher Education
Consortium for Urban Affairs.
Accion Chicago in January 2010 and was promoted to Senior Loan Officer in 2011.
One area of his responsibility focuses on loans for ‘green’ businesses. He was born in Kenya and grew up in
Grand Rapids, Michigan where he attended Calvin College, graduating with a BS
in Political Science. Kyama also has a Masters in Public Policy from the Gerald
R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan with a concentration
in international economic policy and development.
Corporations & Foundations Officer
the Development & Communications team at Accion Chicago in October 2012. While a Coordinator in the Legal Department at McDonald's Corporation she managed real estate and business information for more than than 14,000 restaurant sites. Her move to the nonprofit sector from the corporate world was not a large leap as Jill has consulted with several nonprofit organizations for many years. At archi-treasures she supported the implementation of new fundraising initiatives and designed tools to measure impact, and as Vice President of Net Impact at the University of Illinois at Chicago, she planned and managed events. Jill has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from DePaul, a Master of Arts in Film Studies from Ohio University, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago where her concentration was in social innovation leadership and management. She is a member of Arts Alliance Illinois and Net Impact.
Jennie joined Accion as a Loan Officer in February 2013. Before coming to Accion, Jennie worked as an auditor of not-for-profits for a large national public accounting and consulting firm. During her time as an accountant, she earned her CPA designation and volunteered as a Spanish speaking tax preparer in Pilsen. Jennie graduated from the University of Notre Dame, where she majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Accountancy and minored in Theology. After completing her undergraduate studies, she spent two and a half years in Honduras, working for a not-for-profit in both Trujillo and La Ceiba. She is fluent in Spanish.
Communications & Events Officer
Betsy joined the Development & Communications team at Accion in October 2012, bringing more than eight years of experience in nonprofit work, public relations, and marketing. Most recently she was Director of Communications & Development at Protestants for the Common Good here in Chicago. In Nashville, Betsy was Director of Development at the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation where she created and implemented the organization's communications and development plans, acheived $1 million annually in fundraising, and managed all communications and publications. Betsy is an accomplished and published writer and photographer with works featured in galleries, magazines, and websites. She graduated from Furman University with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and holds a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School.
as a loan officer in February 2011, bringing a decade of experience in the
financial services and community development fields to the lending team. Previously, as Associate Director at Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and
Human Rights, she focused on workforce development and also worked at Bank of
America as a credit analyst with the bank’s global insurance clients. Her
internships included assignments at Opportunity Finance Network and IFF
(formerly known as Illinois Facilities Fund). Trina holds a B.A. in finance
from Millikin University, an M.A. in education policy from Loyola University
Chicago, and an MBA from University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business
where she helped to launch Darden’s first student-run microloan fund for local
entrepreneurs. She currently volunteers at several organizations focused
on community development and is involved with youth mentoring programs.
Accounting & Operations Associate
Svilena joined Accion Chicago in 2012 as an Accounting intern and was later offered a full-time position as Accounting & Operations Associate. Her responsibilities include processing of payables and receivables, vendor managment, collecting and managing documents related to government programs, assisting with the preparations of loan documents, and filing for collateral. She has a Bachelor's degree in Business Management from her home country, Bulgaria, where she graduated with honors in 2010. During her studies she was part of AIESEC, the world's largest youth-run organization focused on providing a platform for youth leadership development, where she gained experience working in a nonprofit organization.
Loan Intake Specialist
joined Accion Chicago as a temporary receptionist in April 2012. After a
few months she was asked to permanently join the Accion team. She is now the Loan Intake Specialist. She
helps customers through the prequalification process in Spanish as well
as English. She was born and raised in the city of Chicago and has a
heart for helping the community. Before joining, Accion she was a Q.C
Technician for the number one safety company in the U.S. She works part
time at her own non-profit organization and she dedicates her time
in joining forces with others in the community to provide help for cancer patients. She
is fluent in Spanish and English.
joined Accion Chicago as a loan officer in February 2011 and focuses her
lending activities on the southern and western suburbs and the City’s
populated Latino neighborhoods through the organization’s Latino
Outreach Program. Before coming to Accion she taught Economics at St.
Augustine College. Idaima graduated from the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign and holds a Master's degree in Economics from the
University of Illinois at Chicago. She was born in Mexico but raised in
South Chicago and is a fluent Spanish speaker.