Presenter Biographies


Find biographies of our seminar and webinar presenters below.


Lora Babb, M.E.L.P.; Sustainable Economies Program Manager, Manomet

Lora Babb manages Manomet’s U360 Business Sustainability Internship Program, which aims to create a more sustainable world through the engagement of both college students and small businesses. Students in the U360 program learn firsthand how sustainability practices may be applied in the real world while simultaneously working to reduce environmental impact by connecting Manomet with hundreds of small businesses. Prior to Manomet, Lora founded and directed an environmental education nonprofit; was the director of marketing and sustainability for a regional, independent restaurant chain; and held other positions that allowed her to work with countless small businesses on sustainability. Her areas of expertise include business sustainability, climate change, toxins, food systems, and environmental communication. She holds a B.A. in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic and an M.E.L.P. from Vermont Law School.


Ina Bachman, L.I.C.S.W., T.I.W.C., C.E.A.P.; Founder and Coach, Bachman Coaching

Ina Bachman is a licensed clinical social worker whose work with individuals and couples focuses on how money impacts relationships. Since launching Bachman Coaching in 2014, Ina has helped couples find their money roadblocks and has supported them in building fun, abundant, and resilient lives together. She also has over 25 years of experience in the field of personal development and transformation, and is a Certified EAP consultant. Ina received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts and an M.S.W. from Boston University. 


Jimmy Becker, M.B.A.; Founder, Financially Speaking

Jimmy Becker is the founder of Financially Speaking, where he coaches adults of all ages on the different dimensions of financial decision-making. He began his career on Wall Street as an options arbitrageur, and has since used his deep understanding of the financial services industry to advise and present publicly on topics such as healthy budgeting and saving strategies, the college financial aid process and student loan repayment, retirement planning, and financial advisor assessment. He also authors an advice blog on various finance-related topics. Jimmy earned a B.S. in economics from Brown University and an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management.


Patricia C. D’Agostino, J.D.; Partner, Margolis & Bloom, LLP

Patricia C. D’Agostino is a Partner at Margolis & Bloom, LLP, practicing in the following areas: estate and long-term care planning, MassHealth applications and appeals, planning for children with special needs, settlement planning, guardianship and conservatorship, and probate administration. Patricia has developed a specialized practice in the area of advising clients on how to supplement the cost of care at home or in an assisted living facility through the use of myriad MassHealth, Veterans Administration, and low-income programs.


Ken Davies, E.A., C.E.B.S., B.S.; Retirement Programs Manager, MIT

Ken Davies, the MIT Retirement Program Manager, manages MIT’s retirement plans and the team that delivers retirement services to members of the MIT community. Prior to joining MIT, Ken was a pension consultant and actuary providing advice about the design, administration, and funding of large corporate pension plans. Ken holds a B.S. in Finance from Babson College, and is an Enrolled Actuary and a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist.


Chandi Deitmer, L.I.C.S.W.; Care Advisor, Care@Work Adult and Senior Care Advising

Chandi Deitmer is a Care Advisor with Care@Work Adult and Senior Care Advising, where she offers guidance and support to families planning care for their loved ones. Prior to joining Care@Work, Chandi was a social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she worked with psychiatric inpatients and their families—providing education on managing psychiatric illness and partnering to develop long-term plans for psychiatric stability. Chandi brings her particular passion for supporting mental health throughout the lifespan to her current work with aging populations. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literary Studies from Northwestern University and an M.S.W. from Simmons University.


Steven Dimitriou, A.I.F., Q.P.F.C.; Managing Partner, Mayflower Advisors

Steve Dimitriou is a co-founder and managing partner at Mayflower Advisors, with more than 27 years of experience in the retirement plan industry. He has been named Retirement Plan Advisor of the Year by PlanSponsor Magazine, and is the former president of the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA). Steve is currently the president-elect of the American Retirement Association (ARA), the largest retirement plan advocacy group in the nation, and meets regularly with congressional members and various governmental agencies. Steve has earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) and Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC) designations, and is a graduate of Colby College, where he earned a B.A. in both honors physics and economics. 


Chris Espinoza, M.A.; Navigator, EdNavigator

Chris Espinoza, a first-generation college student, has dedicated his career to expanding educational opportunity for students of all backgrounds. He has worked at colleges and universities across Boston, including Bridgewater State University, Boston College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology. Today, he utilizes his expertise in student leadership, college housing, academic advising, multicultural education, and high school-to-college bridge programs to guide EdNavigator’s families and students along their own path to a college degree. Chris completed a B.S. in psychology and English at Bridgewater State University and an M.A. in higher education administration at Boston College.


Paul Fulton, Ed.D.; Founding Member, Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy

Paul Fulton is a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, and founding member and former president of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. He is currently a Lecturer in the Harvard University Department of Psychiatry, and directs the Certificate Program in Mindfulness and Psychotherapy offered to mental health and other healthcare professionals. Paul is co-editor and co-author of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy (Guilford Press), and has authored many articles and book chapters on mindfulness and Western psychology. He has lectured nationally and internationally. Paul is in private practice in Newton, MA, and holds an Ed.D. from Harvard University.


DeAnna Glass, M.Ed., B.C.B.A.; Clinical Supervisor, The Speech Pathology Group

DeAnna Glass is a board-certified behavior analyst with more than 10 years of experience assisting children on the autism spectrum. She has overseen behavioral programming in non-public schools, provided extensive training and consultation to large groups of special educators, and has supported intensive in-home programs. DeAnna holds a B.A. in environmental education from the University of Vermont and an M.Ed. in applied behavior analysis and children’s mental health from Johnson State College. 


Angela Hanscom, M.O.T., O.T.R./L.; Pediatric Occupational Therapist and Founder, TimberNook

Angela Hanscom is a pediatric occupational therapist and founder of TimberNook, an award-winning developmental and nature-based program that has gained international popularity. She is also the author of Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children. Awarded a “Hometown Hero” by Glamour magazine for her innovative work with TimberNook, Angela has also been a frequent contributor to The Washington Post, and was featured on the NPR education blog, Children & Nature Network, Edutopia, and Johnson & Johnson TEDx Talks. She holds a B.S. in kinesiology and exercise science from the University of Maine and an M.O.T. from the University of Southern Maine.


Jason Jay, M.Ed., Ph.D.; Senior Lecturer and Director, MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative

Jason Jay is a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and director of the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative, where he has helped secure the school’s leadership position in the field of sustainability through its teaching, research, and industry engagement. Through his work and research, he helps people manage the tensions among personal, organizational, and societal objectives as they navigate the rocky terrain of sustainable business. Jason lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children who keep him honest and remind him of the future we all share. He holds an undergraduate degree and an M.Ed., both from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from the MIT Sloan School of Management.  


Kathy Kasabula, B.A.; Program Specialist, MIT Work-Life Center

Kathy Kasabula oversees the many services that support MIT’s Technology Childcare Centers (TCC) and works closely with MIT’s child care management vendor, Bright Horizons, to ensure that TCC centers are able to meet the needs of the families they serve. Kathy oversees campus lactation rooms, and is a contributor to many Work-Life Center projects offering support to MIT children and families. Kathy holds a B.A. from Rhode Island College.


Christine Kenyon, M.A.; Director of Educational Counseling, Bright Horizons College Advising

Christine Kenyon is the Director of Educational Counseling with Bright Horizons College Advising, where she strives to help each and every student find the right fit for life after high school. Prior to joining Bright Horizons, Christine served as an application reviewer and interviewer for highly selective scholarships affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. She has also worked in the Office of Undergraduate Admission at Babson College where she focused on scholarship review, transfer admission, and multicultural recruitment. Christine holds a B.A. in Secondary Education and History and an M.A. in Developmental Psychology, both from Boston College.  


Allie Kirchner; Senior Academic Advisor, Revolution Prep

Allie Kirchner, with more than 15 years of experience in the field of education, takes great pride in having helped thousands of students define and then achieve their educational goals. As a mother of three, she has a keen understanding of the pressure students face as they contemplate their academic futures. Allie is a compassionate advisor who first started her career in education as an instructor teaching courses in adult education. Prior to joining Revolution Prep, she worked as an academic advisor at one of the country’s largest online universities, Walden University.


Joan Klagsbrun, Ph.D.; Certifying Coordinator, Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapist and Focusing Trainer, The International Focusing Institute

Joan Klagsbrun is a practicing psychologist and certifying coordinator in Focusing, a mindfulness practice. She currently lectures at Lesley University, and has taught Focusing internationally for over three decades. Joan has written articles on Focusing for professional journals, and in 2010 received the Alice Ladas award for her research on Focusing with women with breast cancer. She holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, an M.A.T. from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.


Francine Kollias, B.A.; Social Security Consultant and Educator

Francine Kollias brings over 42 years of experience working with the United States Social Security Administration, where she conducted educational seminars and outreach as the Public Affairs Specialist and liaison for Massachusetts. Francine has presented on Social Security to MIT employees for over 35 years, and since 2014 has consulted on Social Security programs and services with state, local, and private employers. Francine holds a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 


Becky Leichtling, M.A.; Senior Manager of Educational Consulting, Bright Horizons College Advising

Becky Leichtling found her passion for college admissions early on and has made it her life’s work. During her undergraduate years at Carleton College, she held a variety of positions with the admissions office, first as a tour guide and ultimately as a senior intern and alumni interviewer. Her admissions career continued at Tufts University, where she was responsible for the recruitment, applications, and enrollment of students from the Southwest, Midwest, and northern New England. She also coordinated the tour guide and student outreach programs and managed the accepted student open houses. Becky worked closely with coaches as an athletic liaison at Tufts, has consulted with multiple college-access non-profit organizations to improve their curriculum and training practices, and has volunteered as a college counselor for schools and summer programs around the country. Becky holds a B.A. in American studies from Carleton College and an M.A. in education, policy, organization, and leadership studies from Stanford University.


Stacey MacPhetres, M.A.; Director of College Finance, Bright Horizons College Advising

Stacey MacPhetres is a former senior financial aid officer at Emerson College and Elms College, and a former financial aid consultant at Mount Holyoke College. She also spent over a decade working in education finance at JPMorgan Chase, where she was responsible for managing loans for both federal and private loan portfolios. Stacey is a member of the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. She holds a B.A. in political science from Marist College and an M.A. in political communication and marketing from Emerson College.


Jeanne Mahan, M.A.; Senior Manager of College Finance, Bright Horizons College Advising

Jeanne Mahan served as a Financial Aid Coordinator at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and as a Senior Financial Aid Counselor at Quinsigamond Community College before joining College Coach. She also has served as an ambassador for the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA), visiting high schools and meeting with parents and students to discuss how to fund a college education, and has presented to various groups involved in college awareness and readiness. Jeanne graduated from Emmanuel College with a B.A., earned a Certificate of French Language from the Sorbonne, and earned an M.S. in Non-Profit Management at Worcester State University.


Jim Porter, M.A.L.S.; CEO, StressStop

Jim Porter is the CEO of StressStop and has authored dozens of books, workbooks, audios, and videos on managing stress. These include The Stress Profiler, Stop Stress This Minute, and The Employee Stress Reduction and Resilience Handbook, which together have sold over 400,000 copies. Jim has lectured on stress management at universities, at major corporations, and for government agencies, and has presented at numerous professional conferences. He has also appeared on CBS This Morning, and his work has been reported on by Good Morning America, Ladies Home Journal, the Associated Press, and the New York Daily News. His articles on stress have been published online by Forbes, HuffPost, Apple News, and Inc. Jim holds a B.A. and an M.A.L.S., both from Wesleyan University.


Carolyn Romano, J.D.; Special Education Practice Leader, Bright Horizons TorchLight Special Needs Advising

Carolyn Romano is an attorney and education specialist with over 20 years’ experience. As the Head of Product and Content for Torchlight, she oversees the development of all education and disability-specific content and is an expert consultant to clients. She also conducts webinars on a range of education, special education, and special needs planning topics. Carolyn has worked as an attorney; project director of national and state education projects; consultant to non-profit organizations, schools, and school districts; and lead grant writer for federal, state, and foundation proposals. Carolyn received a B.A. from Drew University and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law.


Heidi Roth, R.D., L.D.N., B.S.; Owner, Heidi Roth Nutrition

Heidi Roth is a Registered Dietitian, a Massachusetts State Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist, and a Certified Holistic Health Coach. Heidi owns her own corporate wellness consulting business. She teaches nutrition and wellness through seminars, individual counseling, and healthy food demonstrations, and brings her passion for an active and healthy lifestyle to her clients. Earlier in her career, she worked as a critical care neonatal dietician. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and holds a certificate of training in Adult Weight Management. In her spare time, she enjoys creating healthy new recipes, skiing, hiking, and tennis. She earned a B.S. in Nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh.


Susan Schwartz, M.A.Ed.; Lower School Learning Specialist, Friends Seminary

Susan Schwartz is a lower school learning specialist at Friends Seminary, with an extensive background in child development and special education. She was previously the senior director of the Learning and Diagnostics Center at the Child Mind Institute. Susan holds a B.A. in psychology from Binghamton University and an M.A.Ed. in early childhood special education from George Washington University.


Elysa Severinghaus, B.A.; Master Navigator, EdNavigator

Elysa Severinghaus has a decade of experience in schools and education organizations across Boston, including at KIPP Academy Boston Middle School, where she built the English Language Education program and taught fifth and sixth grades. She now serves as Master Navigator for EdNavigator, a nonprofit organization that partners with MIT and other leading employers to connect busy families with expert education advisors who provide ongoing, personalized education support. Elysa holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and speaks Spanish and French.


Geoff Sittler, O.T.R./L.; Occupational Therapist

Geoff Sittler is an occupational therapist specializing in utilizing Mind-Body modalities with both individuals and groups. He has worked for the Portland VA Medical Center and Central City Concern at their Old Town Clinic site with a focus on holistic interventions to address trauma and chronic pain. Certified in both Neurofeedback (BCIA) and Mind-Body Medicine (Center for Mind-Body Medicine), Geoff has practiced Mind-Body modalities personally since 2001 and has worked with all ages teaching these techniques in multiple settings, including home health, primary care, K–8th grade, skilled nursing facilities, and outpatient clinics. He has also presented these concepts at professional conferences, in-services, and as part of the Pacific University Occupational Therapy program. Geoff holds a B.B.A. in management information systems from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A.T. from the University of South Australia.


Megan Stubbendeck, M.A., Ph.D.; Managing Director of Operations, ArborBridge

Megan Stubbendeck has more than 13 years of teaching experience. She has privately tutored students of all backgrounds for the SAT, ACT, PSAT, ISEE, SSAT, SHSAT, IGCSE, GCSE, TOEFL, IB, AP, and Subject Tests. Her students have been admitted to all of the top 20 universities in the United States, including the Ivy League schools. She has also counseled students on research essays published in The Concord Review and Columbia Undergraduate Law Review. Megan has headed multiple teams of tutors, overseeing tutor training and management. She has written curricula and workbooks for the SAT, ACT, PSAT, ISEE, AP, and Subject Tests used by a number of companies in the United States. In addition to tutoring for ArborBridge, she oversees curriculum and professional development of a 70-person tutoring team. She also serves as the company’s subject specialist in U.S. history, designing the history curriculum and serving as a resource for history tutors. Megan holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. from the University of Virginia and a B.A. from Binghamton University.


Tova Tolman, M.A.; Director of Educational Counseling, Bright Horizons College Advising

Tova Tolman’s introduction to college admissions was as a student tour guide and interviewer for her alma mater, Barnard College. She began her professional career at Barnard as well, working as a senior admissions officer. In that capacity, she was a member of the admissions committee and a liaison to the athletic department, and provided oversight of campus programs. Following her time at Barnard, Tova moved across the street to Columbia University to complete her master’s degree and served as an application reader and selection committee presenter. She then worked as an associate director of admissions at both Fordham and Montclair State Universities. She has managed the athletic recruitment process of a Division I, Patriot League school; directed alumni recruitment efforts; implemented online application review; and reviewed more than 10,000 applications. Tova holds a B.A. in sociology from Barnard College and an M.A. in higher education administration from Columbia University. 


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