Gina is originally from Denver, Colorado but moved to beautiful Arizona in 1989. Her career in financial aid began in 1997 as a Customer Service Representative for the University of Phoenix. During her time with UOP she worked as a Financial Aid Officer, Pell Reconciliation Specialist, Electronic Data Exchange specialist as well as worked with the Business Process Analysis Team to test new software. After almost 10 years with UOP she decided she was ready for a change of scenery and went to work for the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences where she worked one on one with students on navigating the financial aid process. After the Conservatory she went to the lender side of financial aid and worked for the Arizona Higher Education Loan Authority in default management, managing and reconciling loan portfolios and writing policies and procedures. In 2008, she began her journey with FATSTAF as a Financial Aid Administrator and later added Quality Assurance. She enjoys working with our clients and building a strong relationship with them. Each and everyone of them have a special place in her heart.
One of the most exciting parts of financial aid is that you almost always learn something new every day! In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her children and parents. She's a lover of Rock n’ Roll, going to the movies and Las Vegas.
Jason started working for SMART in July of 2013 and
transitioned to FATSTAF when it was created.
Jason is a dedicated Financial Aid Administrator with a strong desire to help students meet their educational goals. He holds a Masters degree in accounting and has over 15 years of experience in Student Financial Aid administration. He has a methodical, mathematical mind and is experienced in all areas of financial aid packaging and processing. He is also highly skilled in his use of various types of software programs and USDE systems used in the administration of Title IV funds.
Jael has over 36 years of financial aid experience proprietary schools. She started her financial aid career in 1984 with Lamson Colleges as a financial aid clerk. From there she went to work for other colleges like Arizona Career College, Career One and Apollo College, American Institute of Technology and Phoenix Therapeutic Massage College at all of these colleges she worked as Director of Financial Aid. She then went to work for Scottsdale Culinary as a Default manager for about two years and then became the Assistant Director of financial aid until 2011. From 2011 to 2012 she worked as the Financial Aid Director for the Refrigeration school.
She started with FATSTAF in 2012 and has enjoyed working on the other side of Financial aid as a third-party servicer. The ability to utilize her organizational and training skills has led her to be a strong team player. She is bilingual in Spanish and has good communication skills with all of the schools that she services. Her attention to detail and knowledge of auditing procedures provides a strong resource for coworkers not only Title IV funding, but to all aspects of Financial Aid.
Her and her husband coached baseball for their three kids when they were little, now they are coaching for their grandkids and taking them on trips (this was before COVID19).
Elliot Howard has a combination of twenty years of Financial Aid experience interacting directly with students and their parents while working at non-profit and for-profit Postsecondary Institutions and at the policy level working at the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FISAIC), Tribal Government and the Arizona’s Governor’s Office for the Commission for Postsecondary Education.
Elliot, like most Financial Aid Administrators, began their career as a work study student for a small, independent career college while working on a double major consisting of an Associate’s degree in Justice Administration and an Associate’s Degree in Computer Information’s Systems with an emphasis in Networking. Pearson Government Solutions had recruited Elliot to work in FAFSA On the Web’s Technical Support Division. It was at FOTW Technical Support that Elliot demonstrated an aptitude in learning Federal Regulations, along with the merging of FOTW Technical Support and FISAIC, which lead to Elliot becoming a generalist in assisting students and their parents with both the policy interpretations and technical support issues.
This foundation allowed Elliot to work at start up for profit institutions such as Anthem College and Brookline College, established not for profit institutions such as IIA College and CollegeAmerica, and for government entities namely the Gila River Indian Community and the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education. Elliot has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management emphasis in Marketing conferred and earned a Master’s Degree in Innovative Leadership/Organizational Development in addition to the previously mentioned credentials. This combination of experience and education is what Elliot brings to serve FATSTAF’s clients and partners in the postsecondary education arena.
Melanie Sumner came to us with an array of office experience ranging from general management skills, bookkeeping, data entry, loan processing, HR, and customer service. Her positive attitude, dedication and willingness to help in addition to her great multi-tasking ability makes Melanie a very valuable asset to FATSTAF.
Lynn came onto the FATSTAF stage at a time when we needed a designated person to take over doing the R2T4s for all of our schools. She came to visit old friends one day and we hired her on the spot. Having been trained in this area by the owner of FATSTAF in a former school setting she was welcomed with open arms. Lynn also has a number of years of experience in the Financial Aid industry as a Financial Aid Advisor and a Corporate Compliance Officer. She is extremely conscientious and her accuracy is stellar. She is a no-nonsense individual who gets the job done. We appreciate her hard work and think that you will too!
Cindy is an Arizona transplant from a small town in upstate NY, moving here in the fall of 1992. She began her work in higher education in 1996, where she started as a temp-to-hire at the new and upcoming University of Phoenix. She learned the basics as a Customer Service Rep, and worked her way up to Financial Aid Officer, Associate Team Lead, and Pell Reconciliation Specialist. She left UOP in 2006 to explore other financial aid opportunities working for a Golf Academy, The Art Institute, and lastly, Toni & Guy academy where, for 4 years, she worked directly with students and parents putting together financial aid packages, and processing their aid. In 2013, her financial aid career took a different turn, and she began working for FATSTAF until 2016, when she moved back to her hometown in upstate NY. In NY she worked in the banking industry as a Relationship Banker at Chemung Canal Trust Company, but soon realized the Arizona desert was calling her back. She moved back to Arizona in 2019, back to FATSTAF, and hasn’t looked back. She loves her clients and strives to give them the best customer service, while ensuring federal rules and regulations are being followed.
In her spare time, Cindy enjoys spending time with family and friends, experiencing the amazing Arizona landscape, camping, and 4-wheeling out in the desert.
Regina has worked in the realm of higher education for well over 27 years. Her experience extends into Administration in both Academia and Finance.
She joined the company four years ago after being away for a while. She takes great pride with communicating with all the staff as well clients we provide services for. She has always tried encouraging others in continuing their education no matter the institution or course of interest. Education comes in a variation of forms and should be gained in many thing you do in life. During her spare time she enjoys reading and listen to relaxing music, be it classical and jazz. Her passion is knowing that education is the one thing that can never be taken from you.
Nettie started with the company a few years ago as the office assistant. She works behind the scenes keeping processes moving, handling the tasks like filing, organizing, emailing, report retrieving, and data entry, basically anything she can to help spare time for the Fiscal Office and keep processes running smoothly. She never expected to work in Financial Aid and by chance fell into the position after a history of security, dispatch, and office related jobs.
Born and raised in Arizona, she knows the valley very well, and still isn't used to the heat. Currently, she a happy mother of 3 rabbits, enjoys art and crafty hobbies, and most things nerdy.
Presley is native to Arizona. She graduated high school in 2019 and started FATSTAF in 2020 as a Verification Specialist. In 2021, Presley assumed the role of Financial Aid Administrator as well.
She is an animal lover and is pursuing a degree in Veterinary Science. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her sister and dog, Cookie.
Sabrina comes by her skills honestly as she was raised in a Financial Aid family. She is the daughter of Renee and sister to Vanessa. She graduated from San Francisco State University in 2021 with a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice. While she pursues her dream of working with troubled youth in the juvenile system, she is assisting at FATSTAF by playing a support role on the Operations Side.