CDRI is thrilled to feature a combination of highly acclaimed speakers and industry experts on the main stage throughout its power-packed Edge conference. These juggernauts will address everything from leadership insights and emerging trends to the everchanging regulatory landscape. Learn more about what to expect, and keep checking back as we reveal additional details leading up to the event.
KELLY McDONALD – KEYNOTE SPEAKER
To kick off our inaugural event, we’re thrilled to welcome four-time best-selling author and marketing master Kelly McDonald. Considered one of the nation’s top experts in diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), leadership, marketing and sales to people “not like you,” consumer trends, and leveraging the customer experience, Kelly will wow even the most discerning audiences with her insights and upbeat delivery. Watch the video to hear more about what she’ll cover.
Cliff Andrews joined CDRI in May of 2021 to serve as its Executive Director. He is responsible for oversight and management of CDRI’s corporate governance, membership ROI, and legislative activities, as well as executing the Board’s strategic vision. Cliff’s passion for collaboration and member engagement are positioning CDRI as a driver of positive change for the debt relief industry and its customers. With more than 20 years of experience serving as a chief advocate and advisor to non-profit trade associations on public policy issues management, coalition building, and mission-focused association management, Cliff has earned a stellar reputation for engaging constructively with diverse people and building productive relationships.
Michael Barsoum, an early adopter of mobile technology, started his first successful T-Mobile business right after high school and became one of the top dealers in Southern California. After selling the business, he transitioned into mortgages before realizing the potential that existed in the consumer debt industry. In 2007, Michael founded his first successful debt relief business which evolved into starting Alleviate Financial Solutions in 2018. He and the team at Alleviate believe deeply in the company’s mission to help clients rebuild their financial lives, helping tens of thousands of client accounts settle hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.
Hurshell K. Brown, Esq., CPA, serves as the General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer for Beyond Finance, LLC. Hurshell has over 20 years of experience providing legal and regulatory compliance counsel for debt settlement companies, consumer finance lenders, and fintech operations, with a specific focus on online operations. His experience includes representing clients with debt settlement compliance and enrollments, online loan originations, online commerce, electronic payments, and interest/APR issues.
Shawn Burdick joined the debt settlement space in 2002. Over his 19-year career in the industry, he has worked in all areas of the business, with his current role being the President of GRT Financial, a full-service company located in Southeast Michigan, servicing clients across the United States. Shawn plans and directs all aspects of GRT’s operations, as well as new business development initiatives. He is driven by creating best-in-class Company Culture, with stated Core Values that all his employees embrace and exemplify.
John Caron is Chief Revenue Officer of DMB Financial, a specialty financial services company focused on helping consumers consolidate, restructure, and repay their credit card and unsecured debt. Prior to joining DMB Financial, An entrepreneur, company builder, and sales and marketing innovator, John has more than 20 years of experience leading organizations and driving growth and expansion for FinTech, venture-backed startups and large industry leaders. John’s expertise includes leading product, marketing and sales teams. Additionally, he co-founded Lendah, a personal loan matchmaker.
Corey Butcher saw the need to empower and support consumers buried by debt after witnessing friends and family struggling in this arena. As a result, he started Financial Freedom of America in 2006. He envisioned a company that would directly engage its clients’ creditors and negotiate a successful resolution. This would not only assist the client in ending their credit card debt but also give them immediate relief and peace of mind. Through the years, Corey has built the reputation of building successful organizations. Financial Freedom Group is proof of this track record.
Camilo Concha is the founder and CEO of LendingUSA, an online marketplace lender with a mission to provide smart financing for the important moments in life. LendingUSA focuses on point-of-sale financing. Through its next generation platform Its able to provide financing in the physical (POS). Borrowers are provided fast, paperless loans within minutes with affordable financing options serving a large network of merchants covering debt settlement financing, elective medical and consumer service verticals. LendingUSA was awarded the Emerging Lending Platform of the year at Lendit.
Jason Cutter, CEO of Cutter Consulting Group, is a mindset and scalability expert. Even though he didn’t have a sales upbringing or background (his bachelor’s degree is in Marine Biology), he knows what it takes to be successful in sales and build profitable teams. His books, podcasts and work with clients are focused on helping close more deals, make more money, and produce scalable results.
Kelly Decker joined Beyond Finance in 2020 as its VP of Creditor Relationships to build and strengthen relationships with banks, lenders, creditors and any company within the spectrum of accounts receivable management to ensure the best outcomes for the clients enrolled in their programs. With 17 years of experience in the third-party debt collections industry and the last 6 years devoted to managing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of distressed receivables enrolled in debt relief programs across hundreds of debt relief companies in the country, it’s no wonder she saw an opportunity to bring her expertise to the industry and to truly help people get out of debt.
Charles DeGryse serves as General Counsel for GRT Financial and Chief Counsel for Huron Law Group, both headquartered in Southfield, Michigan. He advises on compliance and procedures for attorney and non-attorney debt settlement models, as well as third party legal club products. Charles has 13 years of consumer law experience and a broad knowledge of debt settlement law and licensing at all levels and uses his experience to guide firms through a difficult regulatory landscape.
Tomas Gordon founded ClearOne Advantage in 2008 with the mission to help people find financial freedom and regain control in the midst of the economy and job market rollercoasters. He brings more than 20 years of experience in executive management, board and investor relations, financial management, and business development to the role of CEO. As a leading specialty finance executive, he has a proven record of helping companies flourish, even in the most challenging economic and business environments.
Kurt Grossheim joined Global Holdings in December 2021 as President and Chief Executive Officer. He is dedicated to leading the company in its mission to support consumers on their journey back to financial health. Kurt’s extensive career has spanned both domestic and international financial services including roles in business leadership, banking, operations, client development, business development and integration, risk management, and regulatory affairs.
Janneen Jackson, CEO of Monarch Beach Corp, a consulting firm, recently served as vice president of operations and business relationship management for Americor Funding. With 20+ years of executive and operational management experience in financial services, she has an intimate, hands-on knowledge of the debt settlement industry. Janneen is an experienced leader and practitioner who can navigate and manage complex projects, working effectively across diverse business and technology organizations.
Kris Kehler is an innovator and entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in design, corporate branding, digital media and software engineering. Having started his first company at the age of 15, he’s pursued an evolving career on the quest for knowledge, growth and people that has led him to his current role as CEO of DebtPayPro and CTO of DebtPayGateway.
Nick Kosmas, Esq., oversees ClearOne Advantage’s national legal functions, navigating the specialty finance industry’s compliance and regulations. He also serves as general counsel for the Consumer Debt Relief Initiative, the premier trade association for the debt relief industry. Previously, Kosmas served as managing counsel for Laureate Education, Inc., an international leader in the educational services industry.
Michael Lamm, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Corporate Advisory Solutions, oversees and executes on M&A engagements, investment opportunities, compliance/regulatory assessments, “board room” strategic consulting, valuations, expert witness litigation matters while also charting the firm’s corporate direction and strategic growth plan. Previously, he served as a Director at Kaulkin Ginsberg where he executed on more than 70 M&A transactions and acted as a strategic adviser to both service providers and creditors.
Rob McGregor is a co-founder and Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of Coromandel Capital where he is responsible for all aspects of the investment process. Prior to Coromandel, he was Vice President of Investments at a private credit fund where he sourced, performed due diligence, structured, and managed a portfolio of specialty finance companies. He also has previous experience working at Credit Suisse within the Asset Finance function and at Moody’s Investors Service as a fundamental credit analyst within the Financial Institutions Group.
Jennifer Moore joined Debt Pay Gateway in 2017 and currently serves as its Compliance Manager. She has worked with the DPG management team to design a holistic compliance system based on industry risk and ever-changing regulatory concerns. Jennifer has a degree in Business Management and Accounting Information Systems and more than 20 years of experience in payment systems, audit, and risk management.
Janette Rubino is the Vice President of Negotiations for ClearOne Advantage. During her 12+ years at the company, Janette has continually increased her scope and responsibility moving from manager to director to her current role. Janette is focused on driving strategic initiatives around process improvement, revenue goal attainment, and cost efficiencies. Additionally, she has built strong partnerships with creditors, debt buyers, and law offices all in the spirit of helping COA’s clients find a path to financial stability.
James Shanahan started his career in finance after graduating from The Anderson School of Business at UCLA with an MBA in 1999. Working in finance and evaluating unique opportunities to deploy capital led to James founding NexGen Financial in 2017. NexGen deploys capital in the debt settlement industry to provide working capital to fast growing companies that are well positioned strategically to accelerate their growth and take market share in the industry.
Felix Shipkevich is the founder and principal of Shipkevich PLLC, a New York City-based law firm focusing on transactional and litigation services in global financial services, debt relief and settlement, FinTech, and emerging digital currency sectors. He is also a Special Professor of Law at his alma mater, the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University and an entrepreneur. He founded Hotspot Law, a revolutionary new app that connects consumers with free consultations with local attorneys, as well as Payment Week, a payments industry news magazine covering mobile payments, which he sold in 2015.
Josh Stomel began his career in the internet startup world in 2004 as one of the early employees of LowerMyBills, spending seven figures a day in programmatic media buying. From there, he was part of a handful of internet startups including Overture/Yahoo, Oversee.net, TrueCar and Headspace. In 2019, Josh and his partner, Bonnie, decided to evangelize the financial services vertical. With Josh’s expertise in marketing and Bonnie’s operational and sales ops knowledge, they sought to disrupt an old-school industry, launching and scaling what is today’s fastest growing debt settlement front end, Turbodebt.
Jonathan Yong currently serves as General Counsel of Alleviate Financial Solutions. Previously, he was a partner at Paraclete Law Office and the director of the Orange County Korean American Bar Association. Jonathan Yong attended Trinity Law School and graduated at the top of his class. After passing the California State Bar he began growing a team of dedicated and compassionate advocates in the Korean community. While working at the US-Korea Law Foundation, Jonathan was on the Editorial Board of the legal textbook “The Laws Of Korea.”
Michael Thurman is a regulatory defense attorney who represents businesses, executives and employees in lawsuits, arbitrations and regulatory actions. He regularly defends business clients in consumer protection class actions and government regulatory actions and investigations brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and state regulators, and counsels clients in various industries on advertising, marketing and other compliance issues.