OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
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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Diane earned her master and doctorate degrees in adult education from North Carolina State University.
Dr. Jennifer Pupard
Dr. Jennifer Pupard began working with ICMM in October 2016 after ten years as a school psychologist, a behavioral clinical psychologist, and a research methods instructor. She holds a Ph.D. in school psychology and brings a background in behavior analysis, psychological assessment, and single-subject and qualitative research design and analysis to the ICMM team.
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Her interests include income inequality, the impact of financial well-being on other life areas, and helping people make better financial decisions with as little effort as possible. She lives in Florida with her husband and three children.
Patrick Royal is a researcher from Raleigh, North Carolina. He did his undergraduate degree in Economics and Computer Science at Duke University, and his master’s degree in Economics at NC State University.
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Patrick started working for ICMM in December 2016. His main research focus is understanding the causes of and solutions to financial vulnerability among low- and middle-income households. He has also worked to develop video tutorials aimed at encouraging small business employees to save money using 401(k)s.
Dr. Karen St. Clair
Karen St.Clair’s academic background is based in the liberal arts (BA, Wayne State University, MI: Psychology and Human Development), human psychological development (MA and PhD, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, TN: Developmental Psychology), and counseling (MEd, North Carolina State University, NC: Counselor Education).
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Throughout her career her focus had been teaching and academic administration, yet she maintained a research agenda, published professional articles, conducted workshops, and presented at conferences. Upon her retirement, she began applying her teaching and research skills in financial literacy education. As an educator, she joined the outreach education team at Consumer Education Services, Incorporated, which is the Institute of Consumer Money Management’s founding organization. She conducts interactive sessions on a variety of financial literacy topics for community partners in North Carolina’s triangle region. Upon the Institute’s founding, she has been serving as consultant for education and research efforts that will enable the Institute to reach its vision.
Dr. Charlotte Zeamer
I am a research psychologist with a special interest in applied and basic studies of human attention and social interaction. I have over eight years of experience using qualitative and quantitative methodologies to explore the problems of auditory distraction and effective linguistic communication in work and learning settings.
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My work with ICMM allows me to follow lines of research in education and interpersonal communication in an area where new findings can really make a difference for the better in peoples’ lives. I am delighted to be a part of this team.
Dr. Brian Zurowski
Dr. Brian Zurowski teaches economics and has research interests in behavioral and financial economics. His focus within the Institute of Consumer Money Management has been in the area of 401(k)’s, specifically employee education and the views that employees and employers have toward retirement savings accounts.