The Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology of 2020

The Financial Technology Report is pleased to announce The Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology of 2020. In uncertain economic times and as the demand for financial technology increases, these women have stepped up to the plate to aid the companies they serve in producing innovative, secure, and user-friendly solutions for businesses and individuals alike. They were nominated by their colleagues and peers for their notable company and industry contributions and were selected for their demonstrated successes. This year’s awardees span executive leadership, marketing, HR, compliance, and security positions, among others, and all have adeptly and passionately fulfilled their unique leadership roles.

The fintech industry is rapidly evolving, and to meet complex standards is no easy task. Each of the women represented has demonstrated an expert ability to adapt to changing markets, strengthen company procedures, and pilot new initiatives. The exemplary leadership they demonstrate has made a significant impact on the success of their companies and will continue to drive innovation and growth now more than ever. Please join us in recognizing The Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology of 2020.


1. Vidya Peters, Marqeta
Chief Marketing Officer

Vidya Peters is the Chief Marketing Officer of Marqeta, a company that is the first global modern card issuing platform designed for businesses seeking a simplified and flexible way of managing payment programs. A multi award-winning company, Marqeta provides the most advanced infrastructure and tools for building highly configurable payment, allowing the businesses they service to create world-class experiences for their customers and power new modes of commerce.

Since joining Marqeta in September 2019, Peters has led the company’s global marketing efforts and driven marketing strategy and execution including the brand, social media, corporate marketing, demand generation, product marketing, and events. Well regarded for her leadership career, Peters is particularly credited for her gift for crafting simple, compelling narratives about complex enterprise platform products for a large global audience. Prior to Marqeta, Vidya served four years at MuleSoft as the vice president of corporate marketing, and, finally, chief marketing officer. At MuleSoft, she led its global marketing team of more than 100 employees to establish MuleSoft as a category creator with an integrated go-to-market strategy across product feed and demand generation. Vidya also previously spent six years at Inuit in various leadership positions, including director of marketing and group marketing manager. Peters earned her Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University, and a Master of Business Administration degree in marketing and finance from Northwestern University.


2. Amnah Ajmal, Mastercard
Executive Vice President, Market Development, MEA

A determined trailblazer, Amnah Ajmal is the Executive Vice President, Market Development, MEA for Mastercard. Having been featured on multiple top 100 and top 25 women in fintech and fintech leaders lists around the world, she has shaped and led important transitions for companies around the world including in Egypt, Poland, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Dubai, London, and the U.S. At Mastercard, Ajmal oversees acceptance, acquiring, merchants, digital partnerships, strategy, and M&A for the region (Dubai). She first joined Mastercard in 2015 as Head of Products for the Middle East & Africa where she drove innovation across consumer and commercial payments based on technology and led the development, commercialization, and management of the company’s core product offerings. In five years at Mastercard, she has redesigned consumer experience across commercial, prepaid, and consumer credit products by digitizing and streamlining end-to-end processes.

Ajmal acquired a Master of Science degree finance at The London School of Economics and Political Science and went on to earn a Master of Business Administration at Harvard. Her tenaciousness and desire to improve the human experience saw her quickly land a role at Citibank where she spent seven years in various leadership positions across Europe and Egypt before taking on leadership roles in Asia at Standard Chartered Bank. Amjal values respect and professional development in the workplace, and works hard to ensure that her team feels good at the end of the day.


3. Emily Larkin, Abrigo
Chief Information Security Officer

A veteran in the information security field, Emily Larkin is the Chief Information Security Officer at Abrigo a leading technology provider of compliance, credit risk, and lending solutions for community financial institutions. With over 20 years in information technology and security, Larkin leads a team that monitors and secures all connections to Abrigo, including a substantial amount of sensitive data. Her team is responsible for business continuity and disaster recovery, technology-related audit and compliance initiatives, as well as enterprise security capabilities that protect company assets, accelerate business growth, and protect customers’ data.

Larkin joined the company at its inception in January 2019 after serving six years within its heritage company as CISO. One of her first key achievements for Abrigo is overseeing the company’s transition from four separate entities (Banker’s Toolbox, FAFRIN, MainStreet Technologies, and Sageworks) into one seamless, cohesive, and secure business positioned for growth. For her success at Abrigo, she was named CISO of the year by NC Tech in 2019. Prior to Sageworks, Larkin spent almost 10 years in leadership positions at Infosys McCamish Systems. With her areas of expertise across enterprise security and compliance, risk management, disaster recovery, and more, Larkin is a regular speaker and columnist on technology issues.


4. Porter Gale, Personal Capital
Chief Marketing Officer

Porter Gale is a marketing powerhouse, business builder, author, and the current Chief Marketing Officer of Personal Capital, an Empower Company. Personal Capital is a remote-delivery, industry-leading digital wealth management company that helps people transform their financial lives through technology and advisory services. Millions of people use their free financial tools and Personal Capital manages over $14 billion in assets for their wealth management clients. As an entrepreneurial executive with over 25 years of experience, Gale joined the company at an essential growth stage to drive the rebrand of the company as well as hone and build a new marketing team.

Gale is widely referred to as a marketing leader by various organizations and distinctive media within the industry such as The Advertising Women Of New York and AdAge. She has advised over 20 businesses across consumer, fintech, mobile gaming, and AdTech industries. While her resume could fill a page, her notable roles include four years as the vice president of marketing for Virgin America, where she defined and launched the brand.

She currently sits on the Board of Directors for Reddit and served two years as a board member of the San Francisco Travel Association. Early in her career, Gale founded Porter Pictures, a production company that directed and managed documentary-style videos and commercials. In addition, her documentaries have appeared on Lifetime, PBS and in film festivals around the globe. She is also the author of “Your Network is your Net Worth” and has been a popular keynote speaker at hundreds of events. Gale has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Boston University’s School of Management and a Master of Arts in documentary filmmaking from Stanford University.


5. Ana Sirbu, BlueVine
Chief Financial Officer

Ana Sirbu is the Chief Financial Officer of fintech startup BlueVine, which provides financing facilities for small businesses. Since its founding in 2013, BlueVine has serviced over 125,000 small businesses, delivering over $6.5 billion in funds by combining the latest technological innovations and security with the expertise of their team. Sirbu’s promotion came after only one year at the company, signaling an important management milestone for the fintech leader and breaking the proverbial glass ceiling. With a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Harvard, Sirbu swiftly ascended to the top within 11 years.

Credited for playing a critical role in BlueVine’s growth and success, Sirbu spearheads the leading fintech’s capital markets strategy to build their finance and analytics functions. Since joining the company four years ago, she has helped strengthen BlueVine’s position in the online business lending market through her leadership in strategic finance, accounting, and capital markets. She has successfully led BlueVine through three funding rounds that raised over $270 million in debt and equity financing. In 2017, she was recognized by the Women in Fintech Powerlist, acknowledging the contributions of female professionals in the industry. A passionate advocate of fintech, Sirbu’s career began in investment banking on Wall Street, a pursuit she left to become a technology investor at Silver Lake Partners and Google Capital prior to accepting her role at BlueVine. A conscientious leader, Sirbu’s goal is to contribute meaningfully to building a lasting business that helps millions of customers and contributes to community.


6. Josephine Scesney, Cadre
Managing Director of Finance and Operations

Josephine Scesney is the Managing Director of Finance and Operations at Cadre, the prominent fintech focused on real estate investment and providing individuals and institutions with direct access to large commercial properties. Founded in 2014, Cadre has managed over $3 billion in owned transaction value, with 18.2% realized net IRR, while maintaining a 1.5x realized net multiple value for customers.

Scesney has over 20 years as a senior real estate professional, and has been with Cadre for five years, overseeing fund management operations. She is well placed to be a seamless leader at a fintech that gives more users the chance to accelerate and improve their financial futures. She also serves as the Secretary of the Cadre Investment Committee. Scesney is well reputed for achieving success in global merchant banking and fund franchises. Scesney’s extensive experience scales investor relations and reporting, tax planning, transaction, execution, fundraising, valuation, budgeting, IT re-engineering and management reporting. Before Cadre, she was the senior vice president and managing director of real estate investments at AllianceBernstein. She also counts within her experience an impressive 16 years at Goldman Sachs in leadership roles within the merchant banking division, including 15 years as managing director across different divisions.


7. Jan Chong, Tally
Vice President of Engineering

There are no shortage of startups working on interesting technology, but what stood out most to Chong about Tally was the opportunity to eliminate a huge source of financial anxiety and hardship for countless Americans. As the company’s vice president of engineering, she is tasked with scaling the team as it builds a financial autopilot capable of making smarter money decisions for consumers and helping them achieve their financial goals more effortlessly. She is no stranger to overseeing large technical teams, having joined Tally from Twitter where she was a long-time top executive managing over 300 engineers. Her many accomplishments include playing a critical role in launching and growing Twitter’s core mobile and web products, as well as fostering a more diverse and collaborative workplace that has had a lasting impact on the organization. Chong holds multiple degrees from Stanford University, including a B.S and M.S. in Computer Science, and a Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering.


8. Rebeca Minguela, Clarity
Founder and CEO

Rebeca Minguela is a successful entrepreneur, currently the Founder and CEO of Clarity AI, a company that seeks to resolve the issue of inefficient and unequal allocation of capital by helping investors understand the social and environmental impact of their investments through software and technology. She founded the company in 2017. Prior to this she was the Founder & CEO of Blink Booking, an award-winning last-minute hotel booking app in Europe that was acquired by Groupon in 2013, almost two years after its inception.

After Groupon’s acquisition of her first company, Minguela joined Groupon as the senior director of product and technology. Minguela has also logged time as a senior associate at Bain Capital Private Equity, a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group, and as an engineer at German Aerospace Agency, Siemens, and IBM. Minguela acquired a Master of Business Administration degree with distinction from Harvard Business school. Among her many accolades, business awards, and press recognitions, Minguela was selected Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2017 and European Young Leader in 2018.


9. Shyama Rose, Amount
Chief Information Security Officer

Credited as a top employer in Chicago, Amount has produced two top female leaders this year. One is cybersecurity veteran, Shyama Rose, who is the Chief Information Security Officer at Amount. While she started this role in 2017, she also maintained the same role at sister company and tech unicorn Avant. Rose left Avant in January of this year to focus full-time on growing Amount. Rose brings with her 18 years of experience in cybersecurity, with a record for assessing risks and building ground-up security initiatives for Fortune 100 companies. Leading with curiosity, she is well regarded for her business acumen and technical aptitude, attributes that have helped her build teams, world-class security initiatives, and mitigation controls for enterprise infrastructures and business applications. At Amount, she leverages her experience to help the platform enable customers to align their digital financial experiences with the way they live, enable financial institutions to scale the digital divide, unify data, and gain insight to improve overall client experiences.

Since earning her computer science degree in 2005, Rose’s first role was at Leviathan. Today, she is an active leader in the community, often speaking on female leadership in the industry, as well as frequently being a keynote speaker at industry conferences. She has been featured in Wired, New York Times, CNN, and Glamour Magazine as a top cybersecurity professional.


10. Jeanniey Walden, DailyPay
Chief Innovation and Marketing Officer

A leadership veteran, Jeanniey Walden is the Chief Innovation and Marketing Officer of DailyPay Inc., a company that changes the world by enabling workers to access pay on demand through transparent and authentic methods. With DailyPay, employees are able to receive instant access to earned wages. Walden has logged nearly 30 years in leadership positions across a wide range of industries, leading global marketing and growth efforts for Fortune 1000 companies. She is an award-winning leader, renowned business expert, keynote speaker, and author.

At DailyPay, Walden oversees marketing and communications, enabling the company to expand its footprint in the DailyPay benefit space where currently 1 in 6 Americans have access to the payroll service. She is regarded for her unique ability to encourage innovation, accelerate growth, and create impactful brand experiences, having coaxed companies from startup to global businesses. She is considered a respected, experienced, and accomplished woman in marketing, having substantially influenced the companies she has worked with. She has held positions at Zinio, Barnes and Noble, OgilvyOne, and JCPenney. An active voice and influencer in the marketing sector, Walden has written and contributed to multiple books, blogs, and articles. She is a columnist for ClickZ, a blogger for Huffington Post, and a popular keynote speaker.


11. Catherine Kraus, Fundation
Partnerships Director

Catherine Kraus is the Partnerships Director at Fundation, a company that enables SMBs to access capital through its partners and balance sheets. Focused on helping partners serve small to medium sized business clients, Fundation was founded on the premise of re-engineering the credit delivery process to small businesses through technology and advanced analytics. Its mission is to empower the small business economy through banks, B2B vendors and suppliers, and the other critical institutions that SMBs rely on.

With a key focus on marketing, business development, and strategy, Kraus’s trajectory to her leadership position has been quick and smart since she acquired her Juris Doctor of Corporate and Securities Law from Washington and Lee University School of Law. While starting out as a corporate transactional attorney for Capital One, she soon pivoted into management roles in digital and marketing operations, business development, and the corporate development group. She then served two years at TD Bank as their business development strategy and execution manager. At Fundation, Kraus joins a leadership team of experts in small business and consumer lending, with deep technology and analytics expertise. Her legal background and management expertise enable her to adeptly lead the company in providing custom digital lending and capital solutions.


12. Angela Loeffler, Plastiq
Head of People

As the Head of People at Plastiq, Angela Loeffler helps grow profitable companies by creating great workplaces. Plastiq has revolutionized how its more than 1 million customers optimize working capital by enabling them to pay or accept payment for anything with a credit card, even where credit cards are not accepted. The Plastiq payment platform has signed up more than one million clients, processing billions in payments for a wide range of expenses, from business supplier payments to contractors, taxes, and rent. Plastiq has won a number of notable awards and recognitions, including being named to the 2020 Forbes FinTech 50. At Plastiq, Loeffler works closely with the CEO and executive team to establish values and data driven processes to inform people decisions and a purposeful culture to help the company achieve its mission. She has been a member of several other executive teams, where she has been a key player in influencing company and team success, including those of and

Loeffler works in fast-paced and evolving environments, with a proven ability to direct the entire spectrum of people policies, talent acquisition, performance management, and compensation. In her experience as chief people officer at, she helped them grow from $33.8 million in revenue and 125 in headcount organically, through an acquisition and IPO, to $574.5 million in revenue and just over 1,800 employees. Now at Plastiq, she also leads the people team to acquire key talent, shape culture, and help make Plastiq a coveted place of employment and has already doubled the company size in her short time with the company. One of Loeffler’s first initiatives at Plastiq was making a commitment to 100% fair pay for all employees at Plastiq. She invested in the best data and designed a philosophy to make Plastiq not only competitive in the market, but equitable to every person who chooses to join them.


13. Elena Ionenko, TurnKey Lender
Co-Founder and Business Development Leader

For just under six years, Elena Ionenko has served as the Co-Founder and Business Development Leader at TurnKey Lender, a global leader in unified lending management and a multi award-winning SaaS platform. TurnKey provides complete automation for the lending process, offering sophisticated solutions for the different avenues of lending. In five years, Ionenko funneled her twenty years of business development, sales, and management experience into evolving her startup into a global leader in unified lending management solutions and services.

Under Ionenko’s direction, TurnKey has entered over 50 local markets, raising many fruitful funding rounds from respected investors. Ionenko maintained several leadership positions prior to becoming an entrepreneur. She was the controller for Neo Digital, CFO of Unicon Systems, assistant controller at Mizuho Bank, and the business development lead Plug&Score. Prior to TurnKey she also founded two other successful companies, where she oversaw finance, sales, and marketing. A well-regarded leader, Ionenko is often nominated for and has won numerous respected IT awards. For two years in a row Ionenko was shortlisted for Women in IT’s Woman of the Year award for Asia. She is a Forbes council member and contributor as of 2020 and regularly shares her expertise at events, webinars, and in the media.


14. Laurel Hesch, Arcesium
Senior Vice President and Relationship Manager

Laurel Hesch joined Arcesium in 2015 as its Senior Vice President and Head of Operations after an 11-year career at the D. E. Shaw Group. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, Hesch helped Arcesium’s nascent growth, focusing on finance, strategic development, and human capital. After two years in this role, she transitioned to a Relationship Management role and today oversees Arcesium’s largest client relationship with D. E. Shaw. Hesch is known for being an excellent manager and mentor, and for her clearheaded decision-making.

Arcesium is a leading global financial technology and professional services firm offering integrated technology platforms and services solutions. Launched in 2015, Arcesium has grown to deliver a technology platform, which, combined with its team of hedge fund professionals, solves complex post-trade challenges for asset managers. The company’s cloud-native technology seamlessly streamlines and systemizes complex tasks for hedge funds, banks, and institutional asset managers. Arcesium currently has more than $380 billion in assets and employs a staff of over 1,000 software engineering, accounting, operations, and treasury professionals. Most recently, the company has expanded into the European market and has opened an office in London.


15. Lynn Cherry, Brightwell Payments, Inc.
Chief Compliance Officer

With more than 20 years of financial services and payments experience, Lynn Cherry is an industry veteran. As Chief Compliance Officer at Brightwell Payments, Inc., Lynn leads regulatory compliance and risk management which touches all areas of the organization. Having previously served as Chief Compliance Officer for Skylight Financial (acquired by Netspend, a TSYS company), and after years of cross-training in every business unit within Skylight, Cherry has always been focused on meeting the unique needs of the underserved.

Cherry’s varied background and multi-disciplinary approach have cultivated her ability to take practical yet non-linear approaches to address business opportunities and customer experience. She has crafted programs and helped drive thoughtful and compliant innovation throughout her career and has been instrumental in developing the manner in which Brightwell creates and delivers products and services to global workers through its internal offerings and partnerships. Cherry holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Shorter University and is currently pursuing a Juris Master degree at the Emory University School of Law.


16. Luan Cox, FinMkt
Founder, President, and CEO

Luan Cox is a seasoned fintech veteran. Going back to the mid-90’s in Silicon Valley, Cox joined a group of fintech pioneers that democratized access to stock quotes and “Wall Street Quality” information for the masses via the web. Since then, she hasn’t stopped innovating and introducing revolutionary fintech products to the market. Prior to founding FinMkt, Cox was general manager and co-founder of Interactive Data’s Managed Solutions Group, Americas executive vice president of global sales and marketing for Stockpoint, and executive director of partner solutions for She is an alumna and advisor to the Springboard Accelerator Program, comprised of the world’s leading women-led media and technology companies, and is a Techstars mentor for its fintech accelerator.

In 2019, Cox was included in NYC FinTech Women’s Inspiring Fintech Females list in recognition of her outstanding leadership and support of women in financial technology. Now at FinMkt, she directed the company’s launch of its flagship multi-lender platform, Lending Gateway, and the recent launch of the company’s omnichannel, multi-vertical, point-of-sale loan origination platform, FinFi. This state-of-the-art technology has paved a pathway for banks, credit unions, and alternative lenders to quickly and seamlessly enter the rapidly growing point-of-sale consumer financing marketplace.


17. Sheila Monroe, TrueAccord
Chief Operating Officer

Financial industry veteran Sheila Monroe is the Chief Operating Officer of TrueAccord, the very first tech platform that transforms the old-fashioned debt recovery industry by using machine learning to execute consumer friendly, digital first interactions. With Fortune 100 top bank experience, Monroe is one of five top female executive appointments at the startup, and one of two within the C-suite. TrueAccord delivers a revolutionary consumer experience with high Net Promoter scores, compelling liquidation results, and built-in compliance measures.

TrueAccord’s CEO has commented that Monroe’s extensive financial and recoveries experience, along with her adept ability to navigate complex regulatory environments, is a driver of TrueAccord’s continued growth and impeccable execution. Before TrueAccord, Monroe was the chief operating officer of Simplicity Payments at Echo Health Inc. She was also the chief operating officer of global operations, cards, and partnerships, as well as managing director of global risk operations for retail banking and consumer affairs for Barclays Bank and Barclaycard for 10 years. Throughout her career, she has successfully attracted talent and created high performing teams in multi-cultural markets across the U.S., U.K., India, South Africa, and Europe, making her a truly exciting leader in the industry.


18. Doreen Hoffman, Credibly
Director of Compliance and Portfolio Recovery

Doreen Hoffman is the Director of Compliance and Portfolio Recovery at Credibly, the leading supplier of small business loans, working capital, and financing solutions. Founded in 2010, Credibly’s mission is to facilitate the growth of small and medium-sized businesses by providing efficient access to capital solutions through cutting-edge data science, technology, partner relations, and customer support.

An experienced compliance leader with considerable experience in financial law, commercial litigation, and debt collection, Hoffman offers 35 years of legal expertise and leadership acumen. Hoffman joined Credibly after founding her own law practice, Trott Recovery Services (TRS), PLLC, where she was the CEO and managing partner for six years. She started her career as a trial attorney for Muller Law Firm, a role she held for 17 years before gaining further experience in compliance, collections, and business leadership as a partner at Markoff Law, LLC. Hoffman is active in the community, volunteering as a financial literacy speaker and mentor for over 10 years and supporting high school and college students in their pursuit of a sound and stable financial future. She was also the Michigan Chair for ACA International.


19. Caecilia Chu, YouTrip
Founder and CEO

Caecilia Chu is the Founder and CEO of YouTrip, a fintech startup dedicated to simplifying overseas spending for travelers and revolutionizing the payments landscape in Southeast Asia. Offering a single product with laser focus, YouTrip provides a multi-currency mobile wallet with prepaid Mastercard that abolishes fees for users in over 150 currencies with wholesale exchange rates.

Graduating from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Chu honed her education through the finance industry during the boom of Wall Street at companies such as Merrill Lynch, McKinsey, and Citibank. However, it took the financial crisis for her to discover her itch for entrepreneurship. After returning to Harvard to acquire a Master of Business Administration degree, she graduated with classmates who have since gone on to head their own unicorns, which inspired her to create her own company. She developed her tech knowledge in Silicon Valley working in enterprise sales, where she interacted with Facebook, Airbnb, and Uber before gaining fintech experience in China at companies such as Lufax and QFPay. Today, YouTrip is Singapore’s first multi-currency travel wallet, and Chu has facilitated her company’s growth to 120 employees across three offices and facilitated two live markets with considerable partners.


20. Megan Staton, Amount
Vice President of Client Services

Megan Staton is the Vice President of Client Services at leading financial services company Amount. Founded in 2017 as a sister company of tech unicorn Avant, Amount provides technology to banks and financial institutions that powers their lending activity and runs online fraud prevention to customize their retail banking experience. Despite being a young company, Amount has already been credited as one of 2020's best companies to work for in Chicago. Prior to Amount, Staton worked for Avant where, over four years, she was director of marketing and senior director of marketing.

An experienced marketing leader within financial services, Staton brings to Amount almost 20 years of leadership experience defining and executing strategy while driving profitable results. Skilled in customer acquisition, business development, marketing strategy, team development, and marketing operations, Staton is credited with having the rare ability to balance an entrepreneurial spirit with innovative marketing strategy in leadership positions. Staton’s leadership experience includes an almost eight-year tenure at Enova International where she worked her way up from marketing analyst to senior marketing manager prior to accepting her role at Avant. Staton acquired her Bachelor of Science in marketing from the Illinois State University.


21. Andrea Collins, Hippo Insurance
Vice President of Marketing

At the helm of the global InsureTech movement is Andrea Collins, a leading D2C marketer with 20 years experience. As the Vice President of Marketing at Hippo Home Insurance, Collins joined the company around the time of its launch as the first marketing hire to take the company’s modern, direct-to-consumer approach and turn it into a national leading brand. She founded Hippo’s brand and communications divisions, developing creative to launch its multi-channel marketing campaigns, including leading TV, radio, and outdoor advertising across 30 regional markets. The company is now recognized as one of the rare InsureTech Unicorns surpassing a valuation of $1.5B with $359 million in funding raised.

Prior to Hippo, Collins earned her stripes leading marketing and communications strategies for tech-centric startups and global businesses until she made the jump to InsureTech as it emerged into its own category in 2015. After becoming the Vice President of Communications and PR of InsureTech Policygenius, she spearheaded the company’s external communication channels, doubled the traffic of the company’s magazine site as the Editor-in-Chief, and developed a SEO program that saw a 130% increase in organic traffic. An influential leader, Andrea is an advisor to companies across InsureTech and technology sectors.


22. Lisa Hennessey, Happy Money
Chief People Officer

Lisa Hennessey is the Chief People Officer at Happy Money, a company focused on building a movement that leaves mindless capitalism behind for a world of more mindfulness. With a simple but powerful mission to help borrowers become savers, Hennessey is well positioned to lead the altruistic team, which emphasizes the values of love, trust, and hustle as a culture. She oversees a staff of 305 individuals that charted revenue of $55 million in 2019, and is on pace to almost double that to $100 million in 2020. She was promoted to this leadership position two months ago, after serving for two years as the Head of People and Culture.

Hennessey transitioned from being a business leader to supporting and influencing business results as an HR leader, one that is focused on how people drive success. Her passion for leadership development, building and retaining high performance teams, and elevating organizational effectiveness is combined with her deep business knowledge, setting her apart from other leaders. Prior to Happy Money, Hennessey worked as an HR leader at Amazon for four years, and as a talent leader at Capital Group, where she devoted 10 years across various roles in clients and HR. Hennessey has actively donated almost four years to volunteering, from serving as a pro bono consultant and project manager at Taproot Foundation between 2014 and 2015, to volunteering at the National Diversity Council for two and a half years. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications at the California State University-Fullerton.


23. Julia Markiewicz, Silent Eight
Chief Operating Officer

Everyday Julia Markiewicz has a goal: to fight money laundering and terrorist financing, specifically the human costs associated with these crimes. As the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Silent Eight, a technology company that has developed an award-winning artificial intelligence solution for regulatory compliance, Julia is passionate about people and technology. Her innovative management style is credited as a primary catalyst behind Silent Eight’s heavy investment in research and development, a key driver in the expansion of the team’s geographical footprint. In addition, she strives to inspire and motivate employees by playing a core role in the company’s HR initiatives and advocating for nonprofit engagement.

Prior to Silent Eight, she was the CEO and founder of startup Fabryka Kadr, a leading European provider of human resources services that elevated many modern HR concepts to the market. This year she was also recognized as one of’s 100 Women in Finance.


24. Courtney Kelly Peters, FreedomPay
Director of Business Development

Courtney Kelly Peters’ path to becoming a fintech executive was guided by a passion for human interaction and natural leadership skills. Today, she is the Director of Business Development for FreedomPay, the global leader in next level commerce. Founded in 2000, FreedomPay has had the advantage of time in the industry to mature into becoming the world’s leading consumer-centric commerce platform.

Starting out at FreedomPay as a solutions sale executive in 2017, Peters progressed to being the senior sales executive for a year and a half before landing a role at the director’s table. Prior to joining the company, Peters paved her way through a hospitality career. After being a bartender from 2008 to 2012, Courtney landed a management role at NYC Best Bars before sinking her teeth into sales at Oracle Hospitality as a sales account executive. She credits her communication, networking, and management skills to her 10 plus years in hospitality. Today she incorporates a love of travel with interpersonal communication to drive partner channel expansion, enterprise, and midmarket sales among other responsibilities. With her out-of-the box thinking and keen passion for professional growth, Peters has avidly volunteered for numerous causes, contributing years across the United Methodist Church, City Harvest, the and the Saved Me Adoption Center.


25. Jen McPhillips, Coalition
Head of Business Operations

Jen McPhillips is the Head of Business Operations at Coalition, Inc., a CB Insights Fintech Top 250 company providing a state-of-the-art cybersecurity platform and insurance provider and democratizing access to cybersecurity for everyone. Coalition services over 10,000 customers and includes 24/7 monitoring, employee training, and security services to prevent and mitigate security incidents. Prior to Coalition, McPhillips held leadership positions at Airbnb, Sidewalk Labs, and The Boston Consulting Group. She was also a research assistant for both The University of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department, specializing within the Crime Lab and Education Lab.

McPhillips received her Master of Business Administration from the Stanford University Graduate School and graduated with High Honors from the University of Chicago where she received a Bachelor of Arts in public policy. She is well published, speaking on public safety and business protection across various platforms.