Keynote Speaker:  Meagan Johnson
Generational Expert, Speaker and Author

Meagan is known as a "Generational Humorist" and has an outspoken, take-no-prisoners Gen X attitude and challenges her audiences to think differently and act decisively when dealing with multiple generations. 

Meagan graduated from Arizona State University Business School with a BS in Marketing. After working several years in a sales environment Meagan became discouraged to hear all the negative comments about Generation X. (Generation X is the 50 million people born between 1965 and 1980.) As a Gen Xer herself, she felt these comments were of course unfounded. She was further frustrated by the blinders her own managers seemed to have.

Meagan began to research everything from small to large corporations in order to find successful ways to work with the younger generation. From that ZAP THE GAP Solving the Multi-Generational Puzzle was born.

Since 1997 Meagan Johnson has entertained and educated thousands of audience members. She has written a variety of articles about the multiple generations and has been interviewed for many publications and audio programs. She has been quoted in The Chicago Tribune,, US News & World Report and many other publications. She wrote the Generational chapter in the book Success is a Team Effort. Meagan and her Baby Boomer father, Larry Johnson are the authors of Generations, Inc - From Boomers to Linksters, Managing the Friction Between Generations at Work.

Nothing changes perceptions more than a passion for life, work and success. To complicate matters, each generation has a different perception of what motivates them. Meagan says, "Every generation gets a negative label when it enters the workforce. For example Baby Boomers were called trouble-making hippies when they first went to work. Once we take time to understand the motivations and mind-set of each generation, working with them, communicating with them and managing them becomes a more successful effort".

What seemed like a perfect solution yesterday is the source of tomorrow’s problem. Learn from Meagan what you can do now to make the most of each generation in your workplace!


Chad V. Echols, Attorney
The Echols Firm, llc

A Rock Hill native, Chad graduated in 1998 from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resource Management. He received his law degree in 2002 from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he was a member of the South Carolina Environmental Law Journal. Following law school, Chad was a law clerk for the Honorable John C. Hayes III in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of South Carolina. Before forming The Echols Firm, LLC, Chad served as Vice President and General
Counsel for Williams & Fudge, Inc., a national student loan collection agency located in Rock Hill, and was an attorney with the law firm Hamilton, Martens & Ballou, LLC. He continues to serve as outside general counsel to Williams & Fudge, Inc. The firm’s practice focuses on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, compliance for collection agencies and debt purchasers, business law, litigation, and commercial collections. He is a member of the South Carolina Bar Association. Chad serves on the Board of Directors for the Good Folks of York County, Upper Palmetto YMCA Camp Cherokee, York County Clemson Club, and is a Vice Chairman for the 2018 Come-See-Me Festival.


Blas Villalobos, Director of Veteran Affairs
Chapman University

Blas Villalobos currently serves as Director of Veteran Affairs at Chapman University, where he addresses the unique needs of student veterans, military personnel and military families. Mr. Villalobos is responsible for certifying U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, California Department of Veterans Affairs education, and vocational rehabilitation benefits for eligible students.

As part of Chapman’s strategic plan, Mr. Villalobos also provides enrolled military personnel, veterans, and military families with information and referrals on academic, career, personal, financial, and social matters, and will implement strategies to monitor and increase the retention and graduation rates of students while organizing events and functions to create a military community at Chapman.

Responsible for developing and maintaining essential communication and outreach activities for the VRC with both internal and external constituencies, Mr. Villalobos will provide training and workshops to faculty, staff, and students to help them better understand and respond to the needs of military personnel, veterans, and military families.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Villalobos served as Veterans Affairs Manager for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Veterans Affairs. Under this position, Mr. Villalobos was responsible for the development, and implementation, of Mayor Garcetti’s strategic vision to leverage private and public resources to assist veterans and their families reintegrate into civilian life. Mr. Villalobos also served as the Executive Director of Community Programs and Veteran Services for U.S.VETS, where he managed/supervised the Outside the Wire program, the Career Development Initiative, and Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.

Mr. Villalobos served in the United States Marine Corps from October 1999-October 2003. During his military service he was deployed to Iraq during the invasion in March 2003, and served as a Squad Leader during combat operations. After his military service, Mr. Villalobos attended Long Beach City College, then graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA degree in Psychology, and received a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California with a concentration in Community Organization, Planning and Administration, and a sub-concentration in Military Social Work. Mr. Villalobos is currently a Doctor of Social Work candidate at USC.

In 2010, he was selected as the Veteran of the Year for California’s 54th district, and was recognized at the State Assembly by Bonnie Lowenthal. In 2013, he was recognized as the Alumni of the Decade for the 2000’s by Long Beach City College.


Pattyl Aposhian Kasparian, MBA, CIE

Pattyl Aposhian Kasparian is the Vice President of Marketing and Development for Caltech Employees Federal Credit Union, a $1.7 billion member-owned financial institution exclusively serving the California Institute of Technology and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).  She is active in campus life as a board member of the Caltech Y, a body composed of Caltech leadership and students dedicated to the enhancement of student life.

Concurrent to her full time responsibilities, in 2015, Aposhian was appointed as a Commissioner for the State of California Commission on Judicial Performance, an independent state agency responsible for disciplining judges and enforcing rigorous standards to maintain the integrity and independence of the judicial system.
She earned her undergraduate degree in journalism and her graduate degree in business with an emphasis in marketing and finance.  In 2016, Aposhian received her Chief Innovation Executive (CIE) accreditation—completing her first year at MIT Sloan School of Management and her second year at Stanford Graduate School of Business.  She is a regularly featured speaker on topics such as personal finance, credit scores and branding.


Brenda Scherer, CPA National Director of Student Financial Aid, Higher Education CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP)

Brenda is National Director of Student Financial Aid in the public sector group at CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen). She has over twenty years of public accounting experience, working exclusively with higher education institutions. She has extensive experience in working with federal grant programs, amongst them student financial aid, including policy and procedure development, as well as single audits, and has extensive knowledge in related regulations and requirements. Brenda also serves as a firm wide assurance resource where she oversees compliance with professional standards, provides technical assistance, and assists with training curriculum. She also has presented at various association conferences and webinars including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Career Education Colleges and Universities, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators as well as various regional associations. Brenda is a graduate of College of St. Benedict.

Dena Zlatunich, Stanford

Dena Zlatunich is a Financial Analyst for Stanford University's Student Financial Services (SFS) and Program Manager for their Third Party Contract invoicing program which services students receiving funding from an external organization or government agency. Prior to joining SFS is 2013, she was a member of Stanford's Student Services Center team. Dena has a passion for student success through social justice innovation, diversity & inclusion, and social equity.


Leena Abonasser, UC San Diego

Leena Abonasser began working for Student Financial Solutions (SFS) as a student employee in 2014 and transitioned to full-time staff after graduating in 2017. As Service Center Operations Analyst, she oversees the customer service center of the Student Accounts unit where staff assists students and parents with questions regarding billing, refund disbursements, and various account issues. She is a work lead and assists with on-boarding, training, and task assignment for SFS student employees. She also facilitates third party billing for students sponsored by various international entities and serves as point of contact for various campus process partners.


Harrison Wadsworth, Executive Director of COHEAO

Harrison M. Wadsworth III serves as Executive Director of the Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations, a position he has held for 16 years, and works with other clients as a principal of the government and public relations firm Bose Public Affairs Group.  Mr. Wadsworth has over 25 years of experience in public policy and communications, including many years working on higher education, student financial assistance and financial services.  Previously he served as managing partner of Washington Partners, LLC, a firm he co-founded in 2002, and before that as vice president of the Education Finance Council, a trade association of non-profits involved in student loan finance. Mr. Wadsworth served for eight years as legislative director and press secretary for former U.S. Representative Bart Gordon, chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, and for seven years as a daily newspaper reporter and editor.  He is a frequent speaker at higher education conferences on federal student aid and consumer finance issues. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from the University of California, Davis, and a Master of Arts degree in International Economics and American Foreign Policy/Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.


Amanda Bierbrauer, MBA, CPFM

Portland State University Director of Student Financial Services, The Financial Wellness Center & Interim Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Amanda Bierbrauer is the director of Student Financial Services, The Financial Wellness Center & Interim Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at Portland State University. Student Financial Services provides support to students, faculty, staff, and community partners through providing cashiering services, student accounts, ID card services and non-credit solutions. The Financial Wellness Center is designed to give all students a place to learn about tools and resources to make informed financial decisions and create a financial plan to graduation. Prior to joining PSU in 2009, Amanda spent 10 years in a variety of accounting and Controller roles with private companies. She earned a BS in Accounting from Eastern Oregon University, a MBA from Maryhurst University and is currently earning a JD at Lewis and Clark Law School.


Carissa Uhlman, Vice President of Student Success, Inceptia

Carissa has over 15 years of experience working in higher education. With roles in academics, records, admissions, advising, student services and financial aid, she comes to Inceptia with a well-rounded perspective on helping students achieve their educational goals. As a Financial Literacy Consultant at DeVry University, Carissa saw the benefits of incorporating financial wellness into the student success equation, and utilized that knowledge to create a financial literacy program for adult learners at Franklin University. As part of the Financial Education team at Inceptia, she enjoys partnering with colleges and universities to increase student financial wellbeing.


Phil Schuman, Director of Financial Literacy, Indiana University

Phil Schuman serves as Director of Financial Literacy for Indiana University and Co-Chair of the Higher Education Financial Wellness Summit. Since the establishment of the Office of Financial Literacy, student debt levels at IU have decreased by 19%. The decline is, in part, due to the creation of peer-to-peer financial education,, and the implementation of a debt letter provided to student loan borrowers at IU. Phil is also Co-Founder of MoneySmarts U, an interactive financial education platform that provides financial education to students. Phil graduated with a BA in Psychology from DePauw University and an MBA from Indiana University.


Arthur Turi Honegger, Ph.D.

Arthur Turi Honegger, Ph.D., received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, San Francisco in 2007.  He completed his predoctoral internship at Stanford University and his postdoctoral fellowship with University of San Francisco.  His research interests have focused on normative gender attitudes, behavior, and their clinical impact on individuals.  He has focused his research on aspects of masculinity, emotional intelligence, and alexithymia.  Prior to his graduate degree, he had worked for seven years in activity therapy with adolescent and chronically mentally ill populations in Santa Cruz and San Francisco.  During that time he conducted many staff trainings on verbal and physical interventions for verbally aggressive and violent patient behaviors.  While completing his doctoral studies, he worked as a crisis specialist and shift leader assessing psychiatric emergencies at Marin General Hospital.   He has extensive experience assessing dangerousness in hospital populations as well as treatment and crisis interventions with university populations.  
Since 2008, Dr. Honegger has been a Clinical Psychologist, Consultation Coordinator, Assistant Clinical Director, and for the last five years Clinical Director at University of California, Santa Barbara.  Part of his professional philosophy involves maintaining a balance in his work duties that integrates learning, doing, and teaching.  He finds that this balance allows him to maintain curiosity about his patients and supervisees such that he can be as effective as possible.