Chris White, Co-Founder & Lead Instructor
In my 24-year career in financial services, I’ve been fortunate to work for one of the most successful fixed-income fintech companies in the world (MarketAxess) as well as several major financial institutions (Barclays and Goldman Sachs). Despite having different roles throughout the years, my work has always been primarily focused on market structure, technology, and innovation.
About 10 years ago, I built a curriculum to help people bridge the gap between traditional finance and fintech. Since that time I’ve led hundreds of seminars and workshops for major educational institutions (Columbia Business School, Fordham Business School, Brown University), industry conferences, companies, and high schools.
My approach to teaching about finance and technology is to make it relatable to everyday life. This way my students can grasp the concepts, mechanics, and theories through their own personal experiences. The best part about teaching the ViableEdu curriculum is witnessing the transformation of the student from learning the basics to formulating their own ideas about disruptive technology solutions.
Joel Brown-Christenson, Co-Founder & Program Director
Over my six-year career, I have been primarily focused on business development, relationship management, and client support.
My career began in 2014 when Income Research + Management, a buy-side fixed income asset management firm in Boston, gave a 21-year-old kid a shot in their Client Service department. Over my five years at IR+M, I strengthened my relationship management skills and became involved in our business development and project management effort. In 2019, I made the jump to the fintech startup space and landed a business development and content creation role at BondCliQ, led by CEO and our ViableEdu lead instructor, Chris White.
As COVID-19 hit, Chris and I began brainstorming creative ways to elevate the educational and professional opportunities of college-aged students, who continue to face substantial obstacles due to the pandemic. Following a 100% remote summer internship with 21 incredible ViableMkts interns, we were inspired to move forward on this idea and laid the groundwork for what is now ViableEdu: a fintech-based remote learning program built on live synchronous learning and professional development.
As ViableEdu’s Program Director, I hope to cultivate entrepreneurial leadership, disruptive thought, and innovative ideas to create a more inclusive, efficient, and equitable future for the financial world.
Valisha Graves, Senior Instructor and Strategic Advisor
Valisha Graves is an Executive Director in Consumer & Community Banking at JP Morgan Chase and is the Senior Product Lead for the API Marketplace team within Digital & Connected Commerce.
She has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry and has spent over a decade translating complex financial and data intensive problems into user-centric fintech applications. She is a product evangelist who promotes the need for the consumerization of IT – translation – making enterprise software as easy to use as an iPhone.
Prior to joining JP Morgan Chase, she was at Morgan Stanley for 16 years starting as a Product Manager on the ModelWare innovation team responsible for a portfolio of Fintech applications - Stock Valuation (Intrinsic Value), Supply Chain, Profitability Maps, Leveraged Buyout (LBO) and Cross Asset Analytics. She also served as the Business Technology Officer for Investment Banking and Global Capital Markets. In Wealth Management she managed the execution of the Wealth Management One Client data strategy and led the Account Onboarding Fraud Controls and Product Strategy team.
Valisha chairs the CFANY Fintech Thought Leadership Group and has passed the Level I and II CFA exams. She sits on the NYU Fubon Center Fintech Advisory Board. She has been a guest lecturer at Columbia Business School, Case Western Weatherhead School of Management and the UMass Lowell Manning School of Business where she taught Fintech Strategy, Fintech 101 and Alternative Payments. She is also an instructor at the New York Institute of Finance where she teaches Corporate Treasury Management.
Dale Favors, Instructor & Strategic Advisor
Dale Favors is an inspirational sales coach and strategic business leader. He spent 26-years as a financial professional working in sales and sales management for firms such as Morgan Stanley, Bloomberg, Royal Bank of Canada, Piper Jaffray and Thomson Reuters, where he built relationships with some of the world’s largest hedge funds, asset managers, corporations, and public pension plans.
Dale is the Managing Partner at Adaptive Growth Leadership, a professional services firm focused on sales and leadership training, coaching and strategy business initiatives centered on customer engagement and corporate culture development.
Christine Kenny, Instructor & Strategic Advisor
Christine Kenny enjoyed a 33 year career in financial services, 28 of which were spent at major buyside firms in the US and the U.K. She spent half of that time as a fixed income trader in Boston, MA and almost ten years as the Managing Director of Loomis Sayles Investments Limited (LSIL) in London.
While in London, she also served as a Board member for LSIL, as well as for Natixis International Funds (Dublin), where she gained a much broader look understanding of the inner workings of the businesses, as well as the rules and regulations safeguarding the financial markets. She was also often called upon to participate in panel discussions at conferences around Europe, with topics including trading, fintech and regulatory changes and she enjoyed the chance to interact with and learn from experts across Europe.
During her time as a trader, Christine traded through multiple major market dislocations, including the Asian Financial Crisis, the dot-com bubble burst, and the Global Financial Crisis. Even throughout the turmoil, she enjoyed the challenges she faced and the lessons she learned along the way. The most important thing she learned was that the relationships she had built along the way proved instrumental in doing her job as successfully as possible under the circumstances.
Regardless of what role Christine was in at the time, one thing she always enjoyed was helping and mentoring younger people in the business, or those interested in financial services. Sharing her time and knowledge with those who showed a curiosity for learning was a highlight of her career, and something she looks forward to continuing to do.
Nancy Wheeler, Instructor & Strategic Advisor
Nancy Wheeler is the founder and CEO of Financy, LLC, a financial education firm to empower teens to grow knowledge and wealth. Prior to founding Financy, Nancy worked with start-ups and entrepreneurs to define and defend their business case through her consulting firm, Wheels Up Consulting. Nancy has also worked as a consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Andersen (now Accenture) Consulting helping business clients drive strategic, organizational and technological change.
Nancy is an expert organizer and operated a successful event planning business, Nancy White Events, for ten years, culminating in a NYC fundraising event for President Barack Obama’s senate pursuit. Nancy also served on the Trustee Board of Miss Porter’s School for nine years, primarily as the Chair of the Finance Committee and on the Investment Committee.
Throughout her career, Nancy identified the lack of fundamental financial knowledge in herself and her peers. She realized the importance of mastering personal finance and it quickly became one of her passions. Nancy has now been presenting personal finance workshops to high school and college students for over 20 years. Her teaching style assumes that all students are already economic decision makers with varying levels of financial experience. The Financy curriculum covers essential financial information peppered with personal stories from experienced experts so her students can meet their life goals and achieve financial well-being.