Taking on A Powerful Challenge
Gradifi was founded in January 2014 by Boston entrepreneur Tim DeMello, and acquired by First Republic Bank in 2016. Today, Gradifi is leading the way in providing innovative financial benefits that empower employers to help their people work toward brighter financial futures with contributions to their student loans, options to refinance their loans and help to create nest eggs for their children’s educational futures.
As employers have raised their hands to help, our team has grown, yet we remain as dedicated to hard work and service as the people we serve. We remain grounded in the pillars that have led companies large and small to choose Gradifi to build the engaged and loyal workforce that will empower their futures.
David comes to Gradifi having helped shape the Boston innovation and technology scene for over a decade. His most recent roles were as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School (HBS) and Director of the Babson Summer Venture Program, and he has played hands-on roles at six companies, all of which were acquired or IPO’d.
Earlier in his career, David led the PayPal Boston office and co-founded the Start Tank innovation space. He’s acted as the VP of Product at Where, Director of New Products at TripAdvisor and Director of Product Marketing at m-Qube (Verisign), and led successful efforts at edocs (Siebel) and Goldman Sachs.
As a leader in the entrepreneurship community, David holds several advisor/board memberships and has made 40 angel investments in early-stage startups. Awards include Boston Business Journal's Power 50: Most Influential Bostonians, BostInno’s 50 on Fire: Education Winner / Investment Winner / Tech Finalist, and Finalist for NEVY Angel of the Year.
David holds a BS with Distinction in Computer Science from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Kathy came to Gradifi with over 20 years of financial management experience, having held leadership positions across the financial services, technology and professional services industries, most recently at Upromise by Sallie Mae where she held the title of Chief Financial Officer. Prior to that, as a senior finance executive, Kathy led successful strategic initiatives at JPMorgan Chase and Fidelity Investments.
Kathy holds a B.S. in Accounting from Oakland University in Michigan and an MBA in Finance from Bentley University. She is a certified CPA and is a FINRA licensed Securities Broker/Dealer Financial Principal, as well as being an avid golfer, traveler and active volunteer to a variety of causes.
Rick brings more than 30 years of experience in Operations, Business and Compliance Management to Gradifi, where he manages compliance across Operations, Education Lending and Education Payment.
Prior to joining Gradifi, Rick was Vice President of Operations at SimpleTuition where he led compliance initiatives that developed and launched SmarterBucks, a consumer rewards and financial products program acquired by Gradifi in 2015. He has also held leadership positions at major banking organizations; as Vice President of Originations and Operations for Key Education Resources - in the student loan division of Key Bank – and Vice President of Client Service Sales and Operations at First Marblehead Corporation.
Rick holds a B.A. from the Boston Conservatory of Music and lives on the glorious Massachusetts North Shore today. He still loves music and travels whenever he can, especially to St. Croix.
Joe joined Gradifi with over 20 years of software industry experience in building scalable, compliant B2B and B2C software, and a history of delivering on large multi-million dollar projects on budget and on time. As manager of Vistaprint’s product customization platform at VistaPrint, he led efforts to re-architect and rebuild Vistaprint's aging B2C product customization platform, widely considered best in class in the industry. Prior to that Joe was CTO of Karmaloop—a late stage start-up ecommerce retailer, helping to grow the company $80 million in revenue - 80% year-over-year growth.
Joe holds an M.S. in Software Engineering from Brandeis University and a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He’s a U.S. Naval veteran as well as a former Economics teacher in Europe. Today, Joe lives in Somerville with his family, and spends whatever time he has traveling, reading or running.
Meera has over 15 years of hands on B2C and B2B marketing experience and carries with her a history of testing creative ideas and driving results for everything from major brands and media organizations to scaling start-ups. She was VP of Marketing at Valore (formerly SimpleTuition), launching SmarterBucks student loan program which was acquired by Gradifi in 2015 and has driven consumer marketing goals at global consumer brands including Sports Illustrated and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (where she learned to make the world’s most astonishingly good macaroni and cheese). Meera has a B.A. in Psychology from Brown University and an MBA with a specialization in marketing from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Meera lives in Newton, MA with her husband and three young sons and loves cooking, writing - and paying down her student loans with the help of her Gradifi account.
Kate has over 20 years of sales experience and a substantial track record of revenue-generating business development and sales at B2B & B2C enterprises. Kate has held key management and leadership positions at First Republic Bank – where she led their east coast expansion and technology sector growth - PNC Bank and SunTrust Bank. An active member of the startup ecosystem, she mentors and advises several early-stage companies between Boston and NYC and serves as a Mentor member of McCarthy’s Venture Mentoring Network at Northeastern University.
Kate graduated from Northeastern with a BS in Business Administration dual concentration, Supply Chain Management/Logistics and Marketing and lives today in Holliston with her husband and their two daughters, spending as much time as she can at the beach with her family or crafting epic meals at home.