Opportunity Fund is excited to welcome new members to our Board of Directors and Leadership Council! Todd Baker and Dickson Chu have been elected to the Board of Directors, and Susan Ehrlich and Jennifer Tescher join the Leadership Council.
“I am thrilled to see Susan, Jennifer, Todd and Dickson —incredible leaders in the financial services industry—join Opportunity Fund’s leadership,” said Opportunity Fund CEO Luz Urrutia. “These individuals not only bring exceptional experience across areas where Opportunity Fund is focused on growth, but also the resolve to serve our clients and communities in more ways than we ever have before, helping us not only dream bigger but also take bigger actions to achieve our strategic goals.”
Meet our new Board members
“Opportunity Fund has been making a difference in the lives of people in California for most of my professional life. I hope to use my business and academic experience to help the fund expand credit opportunities for underserved businesses across the U.S. in a creative but prudent way. It’s a big challenge for Opportunity Fund and the board, but we’re up for it!”
Todd is a nationally recognized authority on financial services strategy and the development of innovative solutions to the financial challenges of low-income working Americans. He is currently the Managing Principal at Broadmoor Consulting, LLC, which provides strategic consulting services to boards of directors, management and shareholders of domestic and international financial services and financial technology companies at all stages of development. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Before founding Broadmoor, Mr. Baker was the Managing Director and Head of Americas Corporate Development for MUFG Americas Holdings, the Americas banking operations of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Development for Union Bank NA, the U.S. commercial banking operation of MUFG. Prior to joining Union Bank, Mr. Baker served as Executive Director of Corporate Development for TD Bank, N.A., where he was a member of the Managing Committee and had responsibility for leading Toronto-based TD Bank Financial Group’s acquisition activities in the U.S. market, and Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Development at Washington Mutual, Inc. where, at various times, he served on the Executive Committee and had responsibility for acquisitions & divestitures, strategic planning, investor relations, venture investing and competitive intelligence. Prior to his executive roles, Baker was a partner with the international law firms Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Morrison & Foerster LLP.
“I’ve spent most of my professional life developing innovative financial solutions for the underserved, whether low income individuals or small businesses. The mission of Opportunity Fund is entirely consistent with what I’ve been doing for years commercially. I’m excited to be a part of Opportunity Fund and hope to be able to lend my experience in leveraging technology to deliver impactful solutions to its small business borrowers thereby creating a large, sustainable enterprise.”
Dickson Chu is an accomplished General Manager and innovative product builder with over 30 years of experience working at the intersection of financial services, customer insights, and the strategic use of technology. He has held leadership roles at prominent companies – BBVA, Wells Fargo, Yahoo!, PayPal, Citi – where he created and/or grew sizeable new businesses. He is also an investor, board director and active advisor to a number of emerging companies working to redefine the next generation of payments, commerce and business services. He is currently the head of portfolio management for BBVA’s New Digital Businesses where he has overall responsibility for the governance, budget and strategic direction of BBVA’s growing portfolio of Fintech businesses, such as Simple in the US, Holvi in Finland, Atom Bank in the UK, Muno in Spain and OpenPay in Mexico.
Previously, Mr. Chu was Chief Product Officer and EVP Corporate Development at Ingo Money where he was responsible for strategy, product management, strategic alliances, and M&A; SVP Merchant Solutions at LivingSocial where he was charged with creating a new business unit to go beyond the ‘daily deal’; and Managing Director, Digital Networks in the newly created Citi business unit, Global Enterprise Payments (GEP) which included leading Citi’s efforts to create and launch Google Wallet. Prior to joining Citi, Mr. Chu was part of the initial leadership team that created the PayPal Merchant Services business serving as Global General Manager where he grew the Merchant Services business from $50M to $1B+ in 5 years. He then served as Vice President, Global Product and Experience, leading product strategy, product management, and user experience design. Prior to PayPal, he was General Manager for Yahoo! PayDirect and has held various senior management roles at companies such as I-Impact, Wells Fargo, and, CSC Index. He is currently a board member at Ingo Money and Boomtown, and previously served on the boards of Bluefin Payments and CFY.org. Chu is a Strategic Advisor to LoopPay (acquired by Samsung), Leapset (acquired by Sysco Foods), Cortex MCP (acquired by Uphold), Anywhere Commerce, Confirm.io, and Sequent.
Meet our new Leadership Council members
“I’m inspired by the work Opportunity Fund is doing to help promising entrepreneurs achieve their visions. Small businesses are the life blood of our economy, the engine of job creation and the seed bed of ingenuity and innovation. I want to help Opportunity Fund leverage the digital transformation in lending—so we can help more budding Steve Jobs and Sofia Vergaras achieve their dreams to start and build successful new businesses!”
Susan Ehrlich is Chief Financial Officer of Simple, one of the industry’s leading fintechs combining innovative technology, impeccable user experience, and expertise in behavioral economics to help its customers spend smarter and save more. In addition to her position at Simple, Ms. Ehrlich also serves as Chair of the Audit Committee and a Member of the Board of Directors of BECU, the nation’s fourth largest credit union, headquartered in Seattle, WA.
Susan has spent the past 4+ years in fintech—serving as Vice President of New Credit Products at Lending Club and the General Manager of Global Credit Products at Amazon prior to her role at Simple. Ms. Ehrlich’s arrival in tech follows a successful career in retail and consumer financial services. As the President of Financial Services at H&R Block in Kansas City, Ehrlich was responsible for the company’s Emerald suite of financial products (including Emerald Card, Emerald Advance and Money Express kiosks) and for the H&R Block Bank where she was also a Director. As President of Sears Financial Services in Chicago, Ms. Ehrlich was responsible for the iconic Sears Card program, Kmart Layaway, and the innovative Christmas Club Card and Kmart Financial Centers. For 3 years in a row, from 2009-2011, she was selected one of the ‘Top 25 Women in Finance’ by U.S. Banker.
“I am excited to join the Council to advise Luz and her team as they envision Opportunity Fund’s next chapter and take the organization to the next level. For all of the impact the organization has had so far, there is so much more to be done to capitalize and support the next generation of small businesses in America.”
Jennifer Tescher is the President & Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), the nation’s authority on consumer financial health. CFSI leads a network of financial services innovators committed to promoting high-quality financial products. Through its Compass Principles and a lineup of proprietary research, insights and events, CFSI connects members of its network to build a more robust financial services marketplace.
Ms. Tescher founded CFSI in 2004 and has since achieved notable success in championing increased access to high-quality financial products and services for underserved consumers as an objective for the industry. Tescher launched CFSI’s annual conference, “Emerge: Consumer Financial Health Forum,” which presents cutting-edge thought leadership and showcases innovators, executives, and emerging companies in the financial services industries. She is also a nationally recognized expert on financial services innovation, frequently quoted in national and financial press including The New York Times, NPR’s Marketplace, and The Washington Post, with major speaking engagements at a broad spectrum of industry and policy convenings. Ms. Tescher is an advisory council member of Accion’s Center for Financial Inclusion.