The Ascent Team has been working collaboratively in the student loan industry for more than a decade and constantly evolve our loan program to the specific needs of students and schools. Together, we can help power bright futures.
Ken has more than 20 years of management, finance, and business development experience as an integral part of management teams that grew companies in fast-changing environments. Prior to becoming Chairman and CEO of Goal Structured Solutions, Inc. (GS2), Ken served Goal Financial, LLC for five years as CFO and then one year as President and COO. During his tenure at Goal Financial, the company originated more than $8 billion in student loans, becoming a top 10 student-loan provider. Prior to joining Goal, Ken was CFO of eAssist Global Solutions, a $70 million venture-funded call-center software company. Previously, he was CFO of INTERVU, a NASDAQ-listed company that merged in 2000 with Akamai Technologies in a $2.8 billion transaction. Earlier in his career, Ken held management positions with NBC’s Internet Division and Arthur Andersen. He received his CPA in New York, an MBA from Columbia University and a BBA in Accounting from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts.
Matt has more than 15 years of experience in consumer finance spanning credit risk, forecasting, analytics, ABS, debt financing, valuation, and operations. As Chief Operating Officer of GS2 and its subsidiary Turnstile Capital Management, Matt currently oversees Product Development, Information Technology, Business Intelligence, Borrower Services, and Private Loan Services. Private Loan Services manages more than $7 billion in private loans across 10 servicers and 15 collection agencies. The division optimizes collateral performance and cash flows for more than 50 clients, including hedge funds, traditional banks, investment banks, insurance companies, securitization trusts, colleges, and universities. Product Development oversees the origination programs at GS2, which include the FAQS Loan Program and Ascent Student Loans, designed to serve students in need across all types of higher-education institutions. Matt chairs the Operational Implementation Team at GS2 and is a member of the Investment Committee, Compliance Governance Committee, Information Security Governance Committee, and GS2 Board of Directors. Prior to joining GS2 in January of 2007, he worked as a Sr. Credit Risk Analyst at GE Capital for six years, managing HELOC and retail-card portfolios. While at GE, Matt was twice the recipient of the coveted GE Americas Award given to employees for outstanding contributions to the business. Matt has a BA in Economics and History from Macalester College and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Ryan is Chief Financial Officer of Goal Structured Solutions and also heads GS2’s trust administration services business. Ryan is also responsible for capital markets, accounting and tax, financial reporting and investor relations. Ryan has over 16 years of experience in structuring, executing and managing student loan and auto loan asset-backed securitizations. At GS2, Ryan has built an SSAE 16 SOC 1 compliant administration and data warehouse platform that manages $18 billion of assets over 75 transactions. Previously, Ryan managed $8 billion of student loan ABS for Goal Financial and implemented a Regulation AB compliant issuance program. Prior to Goal, Ryan was a senior financial analyst for Capital One’s internet auto division. He also served as Accounting Manager for PeopleFirst and led the accounting integration team during the acquisition of PeopleFirst by Capital One. Ryan began his career as an auditor for PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Utah and an MBA from Brigham Young University.
Steve joined the Ascent Team in February 2018 and currently leads Operations for GS2’s Ascent lending business, which includes underwriting-processing, customer service and school certification. Steve has 25 years of leadership experience, 18 in financial services, leading teams in Marketing, Operations, Quality, Asset Management while also having had full P&L responsibility both domestically and globally. Prior to Ascent, Steve held broad leadership roles at GE Capital culminating as President & CEO Capital Aviation Services-Asset Management business, he led the Outdoors business for The Active Network, and was the EVP of Operations for Corelogic’s credit services businesses. Most recent, Steve was CEO, COO and Board Director, for a local fintech start-up in the point-of-sale lending space, which successfully exited via a sale of the company. Steve has a B.B.A. from the University of San Diego and is a Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt.
Kim has more than 25 years of management experience in marketing, innovation and leadership development. Prior to joining Ascent, Kim founded CMO Mojo, teaching lean marketing practices, enabling technology based start-ups to effectively scale their product and marketing impact. Prior to CMO Mojo, Kim was VP Marketing and User Experience (UX) at Global Analytics, tripling UK market share while creating marketing and UX capabilities in the US, UK and India. Kim was also previously the Marketing Director at Intuit, leading the Marketing Strategy Team for TurboTax, and previously created the innovative New Initiatives Team within Intuit’s Consumer Group. While there, Kim was recognized as a catalyst for consumer driven innovation and employee leadership development. Prior to Intuit, Kim, a Marketing/Brand Manager at General Mills, focused on bringing new consumer branded products to market within Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury & Nature Valley. Previous to his career in business, Kim was a US Navy nuclear submarine officer. Kim received his MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, a Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute, and his undergraduate degree from the US Naval Academy.
Michael is responsible for Product Development at GS2 which includes research and development of new products and services, as well as oversight of existing product and service line enhancements and improvements. Michael has over 20 years of experience in consumer and commercial finance, with over 16 years in the student loan industry. Before joining GS2, Michael built out the loan operations infrastructure that supported the first $3 billion in federal student loan originations for Goal Financial, and subsequently oversaw the successful launch of two credit based private student loan products as their Vice President of Product Development. Prior to his time at Goal Financial, Michael served as the Director of Loan Operations and Credit Manager for the Education Finance Group division of Academic Management Services. Michael has a B.A. in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Dennis has over 28 years of experience in the student loan industry, with the last 14 years heading up the National Sales Teams for Sallie Mae and Next Generation Insurance. Dennis has been responsible for developing, implementing and leading the overall sales strategies, marketing, communications and development of numerous sales professionals, focusing on higher educational products/programs for colleges and universities. He has expertise in sales, marketing, consumer lending, insurance, business banking, operations, customer service, and risk management. Dennis received a BA Degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota and a MS Degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
Rick has over 25 years’ experience in the student loan industry with 18 years at National Education as Senior Vice President of sales and marketing. He was instrumental in establishing a name brand in the student loan industry with National Education. He has created and led a national sales team along with implementing the client services division and operations. Rick attended West Chester University and his life passions are spending time with his wife, son and family, boating, surfing, golf, disabled ski racing and being with positive people.
Brice has over 25 years of experience and success developing, negotiating, signing and managing partnerships and new business pursuits. The businesses he’s worked for include startups as well as Fortune 500 companies in the fintech and higher education industries. He started his career in the industry in 1992 as a college intern at ACS (acquired by Xerox), one of the largest student loan servicers in the country at the time. After graduation, he joined the company where he was part of their original school channel sales team. Over the years, he progressed within the organization, holding a variety of positions in business development, marketing and product development. Since then, Brice has held individual contributor and leadership roles with student loan providers, student loan servicers, and other companies focused on helping students and families meet their higher education goals. Most recently, Brice has worked as a consultant with the Ascent sales and marketing team, helping sign agreements with partners including Credible, College Raptor and more.
Brice attended the University of Alabama, earned his bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University, and has earned additional certifications from Pepperdine and Wharton.
Lauren joined the Ascent team in April 2016 to launch Ascent Student Loans, elevate marketing strategies and spearhead consumer campaigns. Lauren possesses over a decade of expertise in integrated marketing and niche branding strategy within the sports, education, and self-development industries. Lauren’s passion for marketing education began while she attended college at San Diego State University and served as Marketing Lead Supervisor for the SDSU Aztec Recreation Center. After graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Integrated Marketing Communications, she became the Online Marketing Manager for Road Runner Sports and then went one to lead the Digital Marketing teams at ACTIVE Network and Tony Robbins. Prior to joining GS2, Lauren was the Director of Marketing at Heritage Golf Group where she developed and executed sustainable, niche marketing and advertising plans for 9 brand divisions to increase leads and sales across multiple channels (social, partner sites, PPC, email, online, print, etc.). Lauren is a Certified eMarketing Associate (CeMA) and received the “Outstanding Achievement in Mobile: Best Mobile Application m.WebAward” for launching the ACTIVE.com Couch-to-5K app.
Trixie joined the team in 2010 bringing her vast experience in customer relationship management. Trixie’s broad experience includes managing existing relationships and assisting in the cultivating of new customer relationships. Additionally, Trixie has over 10 years of experience in the student loan industry. As an integral member of Ascent Student Loans team, she is responsible for creating and maintaining relationships with schools and service providers, as well as internal departments. Prior to joining Ascent, Trixie led school account manager teams as well as providing sales support functionality to national sales teams. She has experience in sales and marketing, customer service, training and translating including serving as liaison with staff from the African field offices at the World Bank in Washington D.C., as well as running a music label and managing bands in the U.K. Trixie received her BA in Foreign Languages from the University of Maryland, College Park.
With more than 20 years experience in student finance, Kevin joined Ascent in 2019 to expand Ascent’s assistance to schools across the South and Southwest. Throughout his career, Kevin has been a passionate advocate for students and schools in need of unique solutions, with over 15 years spent focusing on the needs of graduate and professional schools as well as international students. Kevin maintains an office in Cleveland, Ohio, where he also volunteers as a higher education counselor for disadvantaged youth. Kevin received a BS in Marketing from John Carroll University in Ohio and an MBA from Auburn University in Alabama.