Savi is a social impact technology startup in Washington, DC that is working to solve the student debt crisis by helping the 44 million student loan borrowers better understand their debt, lower their payments, and enroll in a plan that will help them on the path to student loan freedom. Savi is a Public Benefit Corporation. We were founded by long-time student loan experts and advocates committed to fighting for borrowers. Savi works with all types of partners, from Fortune 500 companies to membership organizations to financial institutions, to provide our tools to their networks.
Aaron Smith, Co-Founder
Before Savi, Aaron co—founded and served as the original Executive Director of Young Invincibles, one of the largest and most impactful youth advocacy and policy non—profits in the country. Aaron started YI in 2009 while still a student at Georgetown Law School (for which he still has substantial student loan debt). Through his work at YI, Aaron worked with the Department of Education, the White House, and Congress to make concrete fixes to higher education funding and the student loan process. Aaron lives with his wife, daughter and son in Washington, DC.
Tobin Van Ostern, Co-Founder
Before Savi, Tobin co—founded YI Advisors, a social—impact consulting firm focused on millennial engagement. Through that work, he helped employers ranging from non-profits to Fortune 500 companies better reach and engage millennial audiences on numerous topics including technology, workforce, and financial literacy issues. Previously, he was the Deputy Director of a team at the think-tank the Center for American Progress where he led work on a number of areas, including student loans. Tobin built on his background as a web developer to begin his career using technology to mobilize young adults when he served as the National Director of the Student Engagement Program for President Obama’s 2008 campaign. Tobin lives with his wife and daughter in Virginia.
Aitanna Ferez, Savi Associate
Usually focusing on international relations, this is Aitanna’s first foray into domestic policy. As a Savi Associate, Aitanna works on customer relations, policy research and basic social media marketing for the Startup. As a recent graduate and research assistant from the University of San Diego, Aitanna has continued her learning in the day to day technology-based environment of work at Savi. In her free time, she can be found on a hike, baking, or practicing yoga.
Alex Lea, Senior Engineer
Before Savi, Alex lead as manager of the UI engineering team at Society6.com - an online marketplace home to hundreds of thousands of artists, empowering them to sell original works as premium consumer goods. During his tenure, Alex helped more than quadruple the annual revenue via initiatives such as responsive design, native iOS app, and social networking features. Alex's passion lies in building beautiful and intuitive products that users can pick up instantly. In his free time, Alex enjoys competitive drone racing, which has seen him compete against top ranked pilots from many countries.
Andrew Mitchell, Full-Stack Engineer
Andrew is a full stack developer working on all areas of our application development. Before Savi, Andrew worked as a technical project manager at Asurion, an insurance provider for mobile phones, consumer electronics, and appliances. He holds a bachelors degree from American University, but his development know-how is thanks to Hack Reactor. Andrew lives in Washington, D.C.
Carina Alden, Savi Associate
Recently graduating with a Bachelors in Applied Mathematics and minors in Atmospheric Science and Physics, Carina brings a different realm of knowledge to the Savi Team. Before Savi, she interned at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center with the Heliophysics Division researching solar prominences while working on her programming skills. Now at Savi, she combines her interest in data science with her knowledge of student debt to ensure each user has a great experience while receiving the assistance they need throughout the process. (And on the occasion, she provides weather updates during stormy days to her co-workers). Carina lives with her significant other and two cats in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Hoon Kang, Junior Full-Stack Developer
Hoon graduated from UCONN with a chemical engineering degree. Afterwards, he worked at Sightlines as an analyst, a role completely unrelated to his major. At Sightlines, Hoon worked with various universities across United States, helping create solutions to manage their physical assets in the most efficient manner. After about a year, he found passion in software engineering. He attended Hack Reactor, where he learned software engineering, and now working as a Junior Full Stack Developer at Savi. Hoon likes food, history, sociology and nature, and currently lives in Alexandria, VA
Ian Coon, Communications Associate
Ian is a recent D.C. transplant from Iowa and a graduate of Wartburg College. Before Savi, he was a leader in the K-12 education reform field co-founding a student advocacy nonprofit in Iowa that worked with over 200 school districts and serving as the associate director at Student Voice, scaling social impact communications efforts to over 35 states. Ian brings strong skills in integrated marketing communications and diversity, equity & inclusion.
James Atto, Director of Customer Success
James arrived at Savi with a wealth of Customer Support experience spanning several different segments, including: Crowdfunding/Tech (CrowdRise), Automotive (General Motors), Retail Merchandise, Healthcare, Meal Kits, and his own CPG Food startup. Graduating from Western Michigan University in 2002 with a Communications Degree, he aims to optimize the entire Customer Experience. He has helped scale the CS function at CrowdRise leading up to their acquisition by GoFundMe, and specializes in internal process and workflow improvements. James will bring an ownership mentality to the Support team, with a focus on being accountable to our customers and our mission.
Kevin Kawaguchi, Director of Engineering
Before Savi, Kevin worked as an engineering manager at Livestrong.com - a health and fitness website with content and tools dedicated to helping people live a healthier life. During his time there Kevin helped scale the site to accommodate over 50MM unique readers per month and built a subscription-based fitness program which paired streaming workout videos, custom meal plans, and a meal-tracking app. In his free time, Kevin enjoys traveling with his wife and kids.
Lindsay Clark, Director of Partnerships
Lindsay oversees development and management of national partnerships, driving growth and impact through synergistic collaborations. She is a fierce champion for the student loan borrower - having accumulated enormous student debt over the course of her undergrad & graduate studies at Yale and Columbia, respectively. Lindsay began her career as the first Executive Director of the Concordia Summit, a non-profit fostering cross-sector partnerships for social impact. She then transitioned industries and worked for the Private Investments Group at Two Sigma, a quant-tech hedge fund where she developed a passion for startups. She later went on to launch the first on-demand tennis class app in the NYC-metropolitan area. Lindsay currently resides in Washington, D.C. and is the sleeper favorite to win Savi’s Fantasy Football League this season.
Luke Keller, Designer
Luke is an experienced designer, entrepreneur, and strategist who co-founded an emerging technology team, xD, based at the U.S. Census Bureau. As a designer at Savi, Luke is helping to make Savi's products user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to use. Luke also supports the development of Savi's marketing strategy to ensure student loan borrowers are getting the best experience possible.
Marle Hylton, Savi Associate
Marle’s exposure to social entrepreneurship began after an internship at CHAT (Church Hill Activities and Tutoring), an educational program in the East End of Richmond. After her graduation from the College of William and Mary, it became clear that she wanted to mix her fascination with small start-ups and her desire to make a social impact. Her most recent role was as Small Business Manager at UnBound RVA, a non-profit accelerator for underrepresented founders in Richmond, VA. She also uses her free time to collaborate with local businesses, especially those focused on social change. Notably, her favorite businesses to work with have been those like Arrabon, a cultural intelligence training hub, and Catalyst Wedding Company, a disruptive wedding publication nationally recognized by Time and BuzzFeed for their proud display of the diversity of love.
Peyton Swift, Savi Fellow
Peyton recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice from The George Washington University. While at GWU Peyton captained the GW Women’s Club Rugby team which went undefeated during her junior year and made it to Nationals her junior and senior years, and brings energy and leadership to Savi. This is her first introduction to domestic policy. At Savi Peyton hopes to combine her passion for making a difference in the lives of others with a social impact company to help provide users with practical solutions to tackling student debt. Peyton has two sisters and two brothers who are her best friends. Her parents (and the rest of her family) are also super awesome. In her free time, Peyton likes to watch sports, do nothing with her roommates, and read. Peyton lives in Alexandria, Va with her unbelievably cute dog Sally.
Solomon Park, Full-Stack Engineer
Graduating with a degree in Materials Science and Engineering, Solomon worked in hardware at Keurig Green Mountain before transitioning to software engineering and data science at Wayfair. At Savi, Solomon is a Full Stack engineer, learning the ins and outs of the Savi product and America's student debt crisis. He lives with his Fiance and very cute dog in Washington, D.C.
Tariq West, Full-Stack Engineer
Tariq has spent the past decade crafting digital experiences as a software engineer, product manager and technical project manager. Most recently he worked as a Software Engineer at PeopleGrove, building a platform that helps students at hundreds of universities navigate college to achieve academic and career success. Previously he worked in product and project management roles in digital consultancies including Deloitte Digital, Razorfish and AKQA. In these roles he worked with strategists, designers and engineers to build web and mobile experiences for clients including T-mobile, Nike, Delta, the U.S. Postal Service and Stanford Health Care. He received his bachelors from the interdisciplinary Science, Technology and Society Program at Stanford University. Tariq is a DC native and currently lives in DC. He loves traveling, poetry, politics, puns, scifi and dancing to funky, soulful music.
William Huster, Senior Engineer
William is a full-stack web developer, entrepreneur, information architect, and designer with more than 10 years of experience building beautiful and user-friendly web applications. His past work includes visual design, branding, interaction design, and full-stack development for organizations large and small, including Social Impact 360, Modavanti.com, Aspire (acquired by Raffa/Marcum in 2017), and SmartBear Software.