2022 FASFAA Conference Featured Speakers & Special Guests

FASFAA would like to recognize and thank all our speakers, special guests, and presenters for contributing to the success of our Annual Conference!

Bill Ayers



Bill is currently the Head of Campus Development at College Ave Student Loans. He has over 25 years of experience in higher education finance with previous management positions at Sallie Mae and JP Morgan.  

Bill is currently serving on the 2022-23 FASFAA Executive Board as the Business Partner Advisory Council Chair. 

Nadine Bailey

Nadine Bailey is the Vice President of Student Finance at Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) in Tampa, FL. She has worked for UMA for over 11 years and has been in financial aid for over 28 years.

Nadine loves her financial aid community and has served the associations of FASFAA, NASFAA and SASFAA over the years. She likes sharing best practices with her colleagues and is always eager to add new FAA’s to the association to serve.

Nadine is passionate about students understanding the financial aid process, especially the FAFSA. She wants every student and their families to be informed and make the right decisions when it comes to their postsecondary goals and dreams.

Nadine is currently serving as the President-Elect of the Florida Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (FASFAA). She will be FASFAA’s 2022-23 President. 

Daniel Barkowitz


Daniel Barkowitz is Assistant Vice President of Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs at Valencia College, a position he has held since July of 2017.

He is a past President of the Florida Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (FASFAA) and served as the inaugural Chair of the National Commission of the Certified Financial Aid Administrator (CFAA) Program under the auspices of NASFAA.   He was also recently elected to serve on the 2022-23 Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA) Executive Board as President-Elect.

Daniel is not new to financial aid having served 30+ years in institutions of higher education. Previous roles include Director of Financial Aid at MIT, Dean of Financial Aid / Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Columbia College and Columbia Engineering at Columbia University in the City of New York, Director of Operations and Training for the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority, and Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Boston College.

Daniel earned his Bachelor of Science in History from Northeastern University and his Master of Education in Human Resource Education from Boston University. Daniel has led presentations on Financial Aid and College Financing to many audiences (more than 500) ranging in size from 2 to 2000.

He has been interviewed for television, radio, and newspapers on the topic of financial aid. Daniel lives with his wife and two children in Orlando and is a published poet, musical theater actor, and Tarot card collector. He promises an enjoyable and informative presentation.

Brittany Beimourstrusting 


Brittany Beimourtrusting serves as a Veterans Benefits Administration VetSuccess on Campus Counselor attached to Florida State College at Jacksonville.  She has been employed with the Department of Veterans Affairs for 13 years.  Her initial 5 years were as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with Chapter 31 Veteran Readiness and Employment VR&E (formerly Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment).  Brittany holds a Master of Health Science from the University of Florida and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, as well as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.  She is currently participating in the VA’s 2022 Competency Development for Leadership program.

Brittany provides Chapter 36 Personalized Career Planning and Guidance to help Veterans, Servicemembers, and eligible Dependents succeed and thrive through a coordinated delivery of on-campus benefits assistance and counseling, leading to completion of their education and preparing them to enter the labor market in viable careers.  She conducts outreach at school and community events to deliver information about VA benefits.  

Kate Brabandt


Kate joined College Aid Services in 2019 as a consultant, working her way to her current position as Coordinator of Business Development.  Just like our CAS leadership, she continues to provide consulting services to our clients.

Kate has over 15 years of financial aid experience, working for Public, Private, 2-year, and 4-year colleges and universities. Her knowledge of both the processing and the customer service side of financial aid allows her to be a valuable member of the CAS team. Kate is particularly knowledgeable in the areas of compliance, verification, student eligibility, and professional judgment. She is a skilled presenter, having given presentations to potential students and financial aid professionals alike.

Kate holds NASFAA credentials in Verification, Student Eligibility, R2T4, Administrative Capability, Need Analysis, and Campus-Based Programs. She has also taught NASFAA credentialing sessions at various conferences. Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Transylvania University.

Katie Conrad


Katie Conrad is the Sr. Associate Director of Financial Aid at Florida International University.  Her previous positions include Director of Financial Aid at Midway University in Kentucky, and Associate Director of Student Financial Aid at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  

Katie has served in many leadership positions on the KASFAA and FASFAA Executive Boards, has served as a New Aid Officer Workshop Instructor for SASFAA, and is currently the President of FASFAA.

Katie enjoys the warm Florida sunshine and scuba diving with her husband, Bill, and their daughter, Sam.

Charles Harper


Charles Harper serves as the Director of Financial Aid at Belmont University.  

He is currently serving on the 2021-22 Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA) as the President of the Tennessee Student Financial Aid Administrators Association (TASFAA).

Chris Hessberger


Chris Hessberger serves as a Special Agent in the Pembroke Pines Office of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General. Agent Hessberger is a graduate of the Federal Law Enforcement Center’s Criminal Investigator Training Program and Inspector General Academy. He possesses a degree in Business/Management from the University of Florida.

In 2005, he joined the Office of Inspector General as a Special Agent in Washington, D.C. In 2006, he relocated to the OIG office in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Prior to 2005, he served as a Federal Agent for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. He has conducted numerous Department of Education fraud investigations, which have resulted in successful criminal prosecutions, federal sentences, restitution orders, and civil recoveries. Many of these investigations involved Public Corruption, Charter Schools, and Title I and IV programs. He is currently a firearm and defensive tactics instructor for the Southeast Region. Prior to 2005, he was a Special Agent with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division (CID), where he successfully conducted numerous cases ranging from Capital Crimes (Homicide and Sexual Assaults), Drug Enforcement, and Economic Crimes (Fraud).

Agent Hessberger has conducted numerous Department of Education fraud investigations, which have resulted in successful criminal prosecutions, federal sentences, restitution orders, and civil recoveries.  Many of these investigations involved Public Corruption, Charter Schools, and Title I and IV programs.  He is currently a firearm and defensive tactics instructor for the Southeast Region as well as an Alternate Evidence Custodian. 

 Dana Kelly


Dana currently serves as the vice president of professional development and institutional compliance for NASFAA. In this role, she oversees all products and services assigned to the training and regulatory assistance and certification and credentialing departments, supervises DC-based and remote training staff, manages the annual Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo, and develops session content for NASFAA's national conference. As a member of NASFAA's executive team, she is instrumental in ensuring NASFAA is working toward the vision, mission, and goals established by NASFAA's Board of Directors.

Prior to working at NASFAA, she held positions at Nelnet Diversified Solutions as a national trainer, at Nelnet as a regional director, and at High Point University as the director of student financial planning. She holds a bachelor’s degree in justice and policy studies from Guilford College, a master's degree from the University of Phoenix in organizational management, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 

Joshua Peach


 Sara Reese


Sara joined College aid Services (CAS) in 2019, as a Senior Consultant to share her financial aid expertise with clients in data analysis, reporting, and compliance. Her experience makes her a valuable resource for the CAS Team that enables her to support our interim staffing, compliance, assessment, and remote processing and verification services to our clients.

Sara has been working in the financial aid profession since 2005. She started as a Financial Aid Advisor. Based on her ability to quickly grasp her financial aid responsibilities she was promoted quickly – ultimately becoming the Director of Financial Aid within 3 years. Based on her extended knowledge of compliance coupled with her Title IV experience she became an invaluable member of the Internal Audit team in 2012. As a Senior Field Auditor, Sara dove into all business processes in financial aid, student accounts, admissions, and registrar that impact Title IV management.

Sara holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from Fort Hayes State University. She also has a Master of Science in Management from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Sara holds various NASFAA credentials and enjoys volunteering with state financial aid associations.  She has served on state and regional committees and enjoys supporting training efforts by serving in the capacity of a trainer, instructor, or presenter for webinars, workshops, and conferences.   

Celena Tulloss


Celena Tulloss serves as the Director of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at the University of Tennessee. She has 20 years of experience in financial aid, having served in community action scholarship programming, as the Executive Director of Financial Aid at Lincoln Memorial University, and in progressively responsible roles at Tennessee since 2008. She holds a BS and MS in Educational Leadership from Union College.   

Celena is actively involved in leading professional organizations dedicated to the advancement of student financial aid, through training and advocacy. She has served in many roles, including the President of the Tennessee Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (TASFAA) and is the current President of the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA) which encompasses 9 states- Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Celena also serves the national association (NASFAA) as a member of their Rapid Response team and an observer on the board of directors.