Monica Smiley

Monica Smiley

Board Chairman

Monica Smiley comes to The Institute of Consumer Money Management Board with a strong background in business and journalism. She is the editor and publisher of Enterprising Women, a magazine published for women business owners which reaches one million women entrepreneurs around the world. She is a highly regarded thought leader on the topic of women’s entrepreneurship.

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Ms. Smiley serves on the National Association of Women Business Owners National Advisory Council, is a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization, and is an Institute of Economic Empowerment for Women (IEEW) board member. She has been a United States delegate to the Global Summit of Women seven times, traveling the globe for the gathering of women entrepreneurs from around the world. For the past seven years, Ms. Smiley has mentored women through the IEEW Peace through Business program, hosting women business owners from Rwanda and Afghanistan in her home. In 2011, she founded the Enterprising Women Foundation to benefit the growth of women’s entrepreneurship around the world.

Ms. Smiley earned her journalism degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. She now lives with her husband in Cary, NC and is the proud mom of two adult sons, three step-children, and grandmother of five grandchildren.

Jeff Leiter, Ph.D.

Jeff Leiter, Ph.D.

Board Director

Jeff Leiter is an organizational sociologist with substantial training and experience in research design and implementation.   He earned his B.A. at Williams College in 1970 and his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in 1977.  Michigan is a world center for survey research.  Starting with his dissertation research and continuing throughout his career, Jeff has added to his survey research training and expertise from Michigan expertise in such qualitative methods as depth interviewing and observation.  As he puts it, “Each method has its place, its purpose.  Design the research and pick the method according to the goal and the question. Using a combination of targeted methods to reach your goal can multiply the payoff.”

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Jeff has studied textile workers, elementary school children, middle school teachers, abused and neglected children, the chocolate industry, and most recently, nonprofit organizations.   He has also done work on the problems of surveying organizations (as opposed to individual people). His experience has convinced him that different research methods have different strengths, so deciding what research strength the problem requires is a crucial first step.

Jeff retired from the sociology faculty at NC State University in 2014. His 36 years of teaching focused on the sociological study of work, organizations, and the economy.  Whether teaching undergraduates or graduates, he always asked his students to take what they learned in the classroom out into the real world of workplaces and organizations.

In addition to his academic work, Jeff has contributed to many community endeavors, including Raleigh’s new Unified Development Ordinance and the ongoing efforts of the Triangle Labor Group. He was recently appointed to the GoTriangle Citizens Advisory Council.

Dr. Diane Chen

Dr. Diane Chen

Board Member

Dr. Diane Chen is the Founder and Executive Director of Institute of Consumer Money Management (ICMM), a nonprofit research-centered organization. ICMM’s mission is to conduct and provide funding for research and studies that promote positive spending behaviors and consumer asset building with the focus on improving low and moderate income population’s financial well being.  Diane is the founder and served as Chief Executive Officer of Consumer Education Services Inc (CESI), a 501C3 credit counseling agency from 1998 to 2017. In the last two decades, she has lead CESI to become one of the top credit counseling agencies in US. Prior to founding CESI in 1998, Dr. Chen was the President of New China Development Corporation for six years. In that capacity, she helped many North Carolina businesses, government agencies, and educational institutions establish partnerships with China, and worked as a consultant to facilitate the trade and business missions between the US and China.

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In August of 2010, Diane was awarded the prestigious Triangle Business Journal Women In Business award as an Entrepreneur. She was also a recipient of the 2010 Business Leaders Women Extraordinaire award. She currently holds positions as the member of Community Development Steering Committee of BB&T Bank, the Advisory Board Members of National Foundation of Credit Counseling(NFCC), First Citizens Bank, and Enterprising Women Magazine. In addition, she is on the board of UUFR Foundation at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh. Diane has one adult son – he is an Associate US Attorney at Southern District US Attorney’s Office of New York.

Diane earned her master and doctorate degrees in adult education from North Carolina State University.

Dr. Graham Swift

Dr. Graham Swift

Board Member

Dr. Graham Swift comes to The Institute of Consumer Money Management with more than 50 years of a successful career in science and research. Born in the UK, Dr. Swift was an under-graduate of London University in Chemistry. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, also at London University. Dr. Swift’s Post-doctoral Fellowship was at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Since 1966, Dr. Swift has held positions in both the UK and the US with a variety of prestigious organizations including Imperial Chemical industries, Rohm and Haas Company, and Folia. He is the president and founder of GS Polymer Consultants.

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Dr. Swift’s work has appeared in more than 150 publications and he is the holder of 150 patents. He is a member of the American chemical Society, The ASTM; Biodegradable Plastics Committee and has served on the editorial board for Biomacromolecules, Journal of Polymers and the Environment.

Dr. Swift has been playing an active role in a number of the civic organizations and the community where he lives. He is the chair of the Environmental Committee at The Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and a member on the Episcopal Diocesan Committee for the Environment for Eastern NC. He is also an environmental committee member in Chatham County, North Carolina.

Dr. Swift is a member with ASTM Biodegradable Plastic Committee and has worked on several task groups developing new standards.

Dr. Swift has been married to his wife, Shirley for over 50 years and raised two adult sons who have found success as a surgeon and a computer scientist.

Lee Tate

Lee Tate

Board Member

Mr. Tate retired from IBM Global Business Services as a consultant in 2014.   He is a seasoned Senior Manager with extensive business process experience in the Financial Services Industry with special emphasis on financial systems and insurance systems.

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He has performed in many roles on client engagements, from Release Management to Technical Project Management, from implementation leadership
to business analysis and roadmap development.

He focuses on delivery excellence through leadership, accountability, collaboration and continuous process improvement. His career spans 35+ years with a blend of business and technical perspectives.

Mr. Tate values his experiences working nationally and internationally with variety large and medium sized businesses as well with many diverse and inclusive teams.

Mr. Tate started his early career as an Internal Auditor for a number of banks and insurance companies before moving on to PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Senior Consultant.

Mr. Tate is an undergraduate of Delaware State University with degree in Business Administration.  He received an MBA degree in Computer & Information Science from the Fox School of Business at Temple University.  He is a Certified Public Accountant  (CPA) and a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Currently, Mr. Tate serves on the Advisory Council of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute “OLLI” at NC State University.  He is also an active volunteer at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh and serves as the Lead for the UUFR Anti-Racism Ministry Team.

Mr. Tate is a member of the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs and a member of the North Carolina Project Management Institute.

Mr. Tate lives with his wife in Wake Forest, NC and has two adult daughters and a grandson.