Our staff and our Board of Directors power our mission and vision in some pretty amazing ways. Their energy, dedication, and talent allow us to strive for a financially prosperous St. Louis.
Jamal Cooper (he, him)Associate Financial Coach
Jamal comes to Prosperity Connection after several years of being an educator as a high school math teacher. His passion to help educate comes from his experience of lacking knowledge pertaining to finances and going on a deep dive to educate himself about the world of finances. His ability to educate and understand clients makes him an asset to the Prosperity Connection team.
Fun Fact: Jamal played football for the University of Wisconsin, where he majored in History.
Ben Feimer (he, him)Lead Financial Coach
As a Lead Financial Coach, Ben works one-on-one with Prosperity Connection’s clients to achieve their financial goals. Ben got his start in finance as a stockbroker and has been working in personal finance for over 10 years. As a HUD certified Housing Counselor and a CBA certified Master Trainer, Ben has the knowledge and skills to make your financial dreams a reality.
Fun Fact: Ben was in the Peace Corps and taught English in western Mongolia!
Veronica Guerrero (she, her)Lead Financial Coach
Veronica assesses participants financial health through one-on-one coaching and then develops a tailored set of recommendations to help participants improve their financial position and pursue their goals. Veronica has worked in the finance industry for the past 4 years in various areas from teller to wealth management, making her financial knowledge and experience diverse. She hopes to provide financial support and education to everyone she coaches, giving information in a clear and simple way that will bring about success. As a fluent Spanish speaker, Veronica will be a valuable resource to Prosperity Connection and the Spanish-speaking community here in St. Louis.
Fun Fact: Veronica helped stop a car theft once and the police bought her an In N Out burger.
Sasha Moore (she, her)Lead Financial Coach
Sasha was born into a struggling low-income family in South City where she was raised along with her six siblings. Like so many other families in similar situations, she was not taught how finances/credit work, how to budget, or the importance of saving. Sasha worked in education for 10+ years before she found her calling in the world of finances. She enjoys relationship building and is excited to be putting her knowledge and personal experiences to use while helping people reach their financial goals. Sasha wants to make sure that everyone in the St. Louis region and beyond has the financial education, security, and support that they not only need but also deserve.
Fun fact: Sasha loves leaving Google reviews (only nice ones) and is ranked a local guide level 5 on Google.
Heather Jaconis (she, her)Director of Finance and Operations
Heather oversees the organization’s finances including the annual budget, audit, and cashflow management. Additionally, her role works with the senior leadership team to develop and maintain processes that produce efficient and manageable operations for the staff. Heather earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Truman State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She is also a graduate of the Focus St. Louis Emerging Leaders program for the Spring of 2022.
Fun Fact: Heather has toddler twins that take up most of her time away from work.
Sara Middendorf (she, her)Director of St. Louis Builds Credit
Sara leads planning and implementation of St. Louis Builds Credit by bringing partners together to create shared goals and strategies. She also oversees the implementation of classes, credit fairs, and a public information campaign to promote the importance of building credit. Sara holds her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Notre Dame, her Masters of Social Work from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, and has worked within the social work and community development fields for several years.
Fun Fact: Outside of work, you can either find Sara on a sand or indoor volleyball court or working on cross stitch projects.
Robert Nelson V (he, him)Director of Coaching
After being a Lead Financial Coach for several years, Robert Nelson V was promoted to Director of Coaching. In this role, Robert ensures the success of the entire coaching team from onboarding to fostering a collaborative and growth environment. Using his past experience and knowledge, he mentors, motivates, trains, engages, and grows the coaching staff, creating a Best in Class coaching environment and team. Robert is certified as a homeownership counselor through NeighborWorks America and as a credit specialist through Freddie Mac.
Fun Fact: Robert could (almost certainly) beat you in a bowling match.
Kathy Siddens (she, her)Executive Director
Kathy is responsible for leading the strategic direction of the organization with the guidance of the Board of Directors and assistance of staff. Additionally, her role focuses heavily upon partner relationship management and fundraising. Kathy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Westminster College. She completed a graduate fellowship with the CORO Foundation and holds the Accreditation in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America. In addition, she is a Focus St. Louis Leadership St. Louis program graduate and currently serves on the board of directors of several St. Louis area nonprofit organizations.
Fun Fact: Kathy loves football and is a HUGE New Orleans Saints fan!
Nikki Whetsell (she, her)Director of Communications and Advancement
After being a Lead Financial Coach for 2 years, Nikki was promoted as our new Director of Communications and Advancement. She is now responsible for the organization’s marketing strategies, external communications, brand management, and institutional advancement. She is also a key thought leader and strategist for advancing and communicating Prosperity Connection’s mission, strengths, and brand in creative and meaningful ways. Nikki holds her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Olivet Nazarene University and her Master of Arts in Organizational Communication from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.
Fun Fact: Nikki loves to travel and has visited 20 countries, 35 states, and 20 US National Parks!
Program Management and Support Staff
Clayton Bruce (he, him)AmeriCorps Marketing VISTA
As the AmeriCorps Marketing VISTA, Clayton will be with Prosperity Connection for one year. While he is here, his goal is to develop a comprehensive marketing plan for Prosperity Connection. Some of his responsibilities are to help design graphics, develop communication plans, enhance our social media, and further promote our services. For the year he is with us, he hopes to learn all sorts of skills that he can take with him throughout his life and career. Clayton earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and professional certifications in Google Analytics and Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce.
Fun Fact: Clayton is an Eagle Scout.
Carol Harris (she, her)Executive Project Manager
Carol assesses client needs and assists in connecting people with a financial coach or finding a class that meets their financial goals. She manages class registration, assists with marketing and social media, and supports coaches and directors within the organization. She also serves as the liaison to our board of directors. Carol holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a Master of Science in Education from Lindenwood University. She is a former middle school science teacher and education administrator in North St. Louis County school districts.
Fun Fact: Carol enjoys running, crochet, learning to play the violin, and being an avid birder.
Heather Schindewolf (she, her)St. Louis Builds Credit Coordinator
Heather is our St. Louis Builds Credit Coordinator and is responsible for planning and executing credit fairs. She also oversees the volunteer program which includes assessment, recruiting, and training for STLBC events and programming. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from Missouri Baptist University with a focus on Social Work and Counseling. She is also a graduate of Rung for Women where she completed Prosperity Connection’s one-on-one coaching and classes. She wants to utilize what she learned by bringing her experiences and skills to Prosperity Connection’s team to help others achieve their financial goals.
Fun Fact: Heather loves being outdoors and recently graduated from the University of Illinois Master Naturalist training program.
Cassie (she, her)Director of Safety and Well-Being
Cassie is the resident office dog of Prosperity Connection. She is in charge of office safety and often naps with one eye open to ensure the office is always under her supervision. Her main jobs include monitoring kitchen activity, lunch supervision, and greeting guests as they enter the office. She provides wellness to all team members by providing love and snuggles during much needed times.
Fun Fact: Cassie is an Australian Cattle Dog mix and is now 14+ years old and deaf. Cassie’s longest run was 15 miles back in her younger years. While her running days are behind her, she still enjoys a good two mile walk from time to time.