Gradifi is Gratitude

We want to provide more than just a job perk or benefit. We want to provide a thank you. Thank you for studying. Thank you for learning. Thank you for working so hard.

Our Story

Student loan debt is a problem affecting over 40 million people in the United States. It has a dramatic impact on people’s lives with many feeling the burden of a monthly payment exceeding $500 - $1,000 per month. In 2014, Gradifi’s founder, Tim DeMello, came up with a solution to the problem. Employers can make contributions to their employees’ student loans, helping them get out of debt up to 25 percent faster.


Gradifi has quickly become the industry-leading student loan repayment solution for employers looking to offer meaningful benefits for an engaged and empowered workforce. In December of 2016, Gradifi was acquired by First Republic Bank, one of Gradifi’s first clients. Together we continue to achieve our mission and work with companies that believe in the timeless truth: Take care of your people and they will take care of you.

Our Leadership

Tim DeMelloFounder & Chief Executive Officer

As the founder, CEO and chairman of Gradifi, Tim leads the vision for Gradifi and finding the solution to paying down student loans. He has over 25 years of entrepreneurial experience and has founded 7 start-ups including Replica, Streamline.com, Ziggs.com and Spotlight Media. Many of Tim's ventures have gone public or been acquired by companies like Peapod, Reputation.com and Mattel. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Tim began his career as a stockbroker in Boston.

Tim was also a long-serving member of the Board of Trustees at Babson College, where he earned his B.S. in Finance. Tim initiated important philanthropic programs at Babson including the Founder's Fund, which has generated over $3 million in cash proceeds for the college. He has spoken at numerous Inc. Magazine and Fast Company conferences and was selected by Inc. Magazine as a top entrepreneur in the “Birthing of Giants” program.

He is an active competitor in open water swim races, road races and the sport of triathlon. He lives in Downtown Boston and has two children.

Doug LowensteinChief Operating Officer

Doug brings 25 years of experience to Gradifi which spans across consumer financial services and strategy. Doug brings a valuable combination of success as a senior strategy executive in a corporate environment with extensive entrepreneurial experience. He spent 11+ years as a senior strategy executive at Capital One where he led the strategy development of many initiatives to diversify the company outside of its core credit card business.

Prior to joining Gradifi, Doug spent four years at Simple Tuition where he built from scratch and launched SmarterBucks, a consumer rewards and financial products program acquired by Gradifi in 2015. Doug has a B.A. from Brown University where he double majored in Business Economics and Computer Science, and an MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg Graduate School of Management where he received an Academic Achievement Award for graduating with a perfect 4.0.

Doug lives in Walpole, MA with his wife and two children. He is actively involved in youth sports and has coached youth baseball, basketball, tennis, and flag football.

Kathy BorowyChief Financial Officer

Kathy brings over 20 years of financial management experience to Gradifi. She has held financial leadership roles throughout her career with rapidly growing financial services, technology and professional service companies. Most recently Kathy spent five years at Upromise by Sallie Mae, where she was the Chief Financial Officer, growing their market leading college-savings loyalty and 529 plan programs.

Kathy has extensive experience as a senior finance executive at leading financial institutions. She spent three years at JPMorgan Chase growing and eventually selling their on-line discount brokerage business and leading strategic initiatives for its large-market 401(k) recordkeeping business. Prior to that, she held a series of financial positions of increasing responsibility over a 10-year period with Fidelity Investments. While at Fidelity, Kathy led planning, pricing, analysis and strategic decision support functions for its U.S. and Canadian Institutional business lines during periods of significant business growth and market volatility and led financial planning and analysis for a significant portion of its outsourced 401(k) and benefits administration business at the height of “total benefits outsourcing” market growth. She 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.

Kathy is an avid golfer, a volunteer for a few of her favorite causes and enjoys traveling.

Joe FinsterwaldChief Technology Officer

Joe has over 20 years of experience in the software industry and has a demonstrated expertise in building scalable and compliant B2B and B2C software. He has a solid track record in building and managing engineering teams and he has successfully delivered on a number of large multi-million dollar projects.

Most recently, Joe led a multi-year project to re-architect and completely rebuild Vistaprint's aging B2C product customization platform. The result was a new product customization platform delivered on-time and on budget that is widely considered to be best in class in the industry and resulted in a substantial lift in Vistaprint's annual revenue. Prior to Vistaprint, Joe was the CTO of Karmaloop—a late stage start-up ecommerce retailer. He helped to grow Karmaloop from 40 million to 130 million in revenue which represented 80% year over year growth during his tenure. Joe received an M.S. in Software Engineering from Brandeis University and a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to his software experience Joe has lived and worked in Italy as an economics teacher.

Joe is a veteran of the US Navy and currently lives in Somerville, MA with his family. He enjoys travel, non-fiction and running along the Charles River.

Meera OlivaChief Marketing Officer

Meera joins Gradifi with over 15 years of B2C and B2B marketing experience. She has had her hand in everything from email marketing and online acquisition to brand strategy, PR and traditional direct mail. She has a history of testing creative ideas, driving results, and developing high-functioning teams for a number of brands from major media organizations to small start-ups, particularly focused on the education finance space.

Most recently, Meera spent over 5 years at Valore (formerly SimpleTuition) as VP of Marketing, where she led a team responsible for a number of education brands including SimpleTuition, ValoreBooks, and Boundless . At SimpleTuition, she was also part of the team that helped build and launch SmarterBucks, a student loan rewards program acquired by Gradifi in 2015. Prior to Valore, Meera worked in consumer marketing roles with increasing responsibility at major consumer brands including Sports Illustrated and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where she learned to make the world’s best 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 sons. She enjoys cooking, writing, and paying down her student loans with the help of her Gradifi account.

Kate WingetChief Sales Officer

Kate brings over 20 years of sales experience to Gradifi. Kate is a high-energy professional with a successful track record of revenue generating business development and sales at B2B & B2C enterprises. She is a strategic business advisor with significant leadership and team building experience. In February of 2017 Kate joined Gradifi. As a member of the Gradifi management team she oversees the development and implementation of the sales strategy, with an eye towards growth. She is also responsible for management of the various Gradifi sales channels, the national sales team, and creating the sales infrastructure including sales operations and support.

Prior to joining Gradifi, Kate has held management and leadership positions at several banking institutions, including First Republic Bank, PNC Bank and Suntrust Bank. Over the last five years at First Republic Bank Kate held several roles with increasing responsibility. Most recently, with Kate’s background in consumer credit, corporate cash and treasury management, and business development, she led the Bank's east coast expansion and growth within the technology sector. An active member of the startup ecosystem on the east coast, Kate mentors and advises several early-stage companies between Boston and NYC. She serves as a Mentor member of McCarthy’s Venture Mentoring Network at Northeastern University and is deeply committed to the entrepreneur community on campus. Kate graduated from Northeastern in 2003 with a BS in Business Administration dual concentration, Supply Chain Management/Logistics and Marketing.

Kate lives in Holliston, Massachusetts with her husband and their two daughters. A native Floridian, Kate’s favorite pastime is being at the beach with her family. Due to inclement New England weather, she actually spends more time in the kitchen crafting creative and delicious meals to pair with a good bottle of wine.

Rick CiminoChief Compliance Officer

Rick brings more than 30 years of experience in Operations, Business and Compliance Management to Gradifi in Operations, Education Lending and Education Payment industries.

Prior to joining Gradifi, Rick spent 5 years as Vice President of Operations at SimpleTuition where he was part of the team focusing on student payments and compliance initiatives that built and launched SmarterBucks, a consumer rewards and financial products program acquired by Gradifi in 2015.

Rick held the title of Vice President of Originations and Operations for Key Education Resources, the student loan division of Key Bank where he managed the strategic operations and origination of a 1.8 billion dollar Federal and Private Student Loan Portfolio. Rick was the business lead for a project to simplify all application, origination, credit and disbursement processes that successfully led a substantial increase in booked loan volume and increased consumer satisfaction.

Prior to joining Key Bank, Rick held the position of Vice President of Client Service Sales and Operations at First Marblehead Corporation. In his role at FMC, he was responsible for the operations and loan application design, origination, funding and servicing of the GATE and GATE Universal private student loan portfolio. Rick was part of the core team of 18 and participated in the successful IPO in 2003. He holds a B.A. from the Boston Conservatory of Music.

Rick lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts and loves to travel, especially to St. Croix.

Our Team