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West Virginia Association of
Student Financial Aid Administrators

Committed to making Higher Education a reality in West Virginia

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Business Partners

Citizens is committed to delivering exceptional value for our customers and we’ve worked continuously with students and families to finance educations for more than 40 years. Our team of dedicated relationship managers has over 210 years of combined experience, providing a deep understanding of the industry as well as Citizens’ products and services. We provide personalized service to help make your job easier, offering customized workshops on an individual or group basis for your staff, students, and their families including debt management, credit counseling, financial literacy, and professional development.

Patty Peterson

Vice President/Relationship Manager, Student Lending

College Ave Student Loans is a national lender with a mission to help students, graduates, and their families finance higher education. Solely focused on student loans, we’re dedicated to simplifying the private student loan experience for families when savings, scholarships, and federal student loans don’t cover the full cost of college. We deliver a best-in-class customer experience and offer the most consumer-friendly product suite in the industry, delivering on our brand promises of simple, clear, and personal.

Kevin Holman, Head of Campus Development - Mid South States

Kevin Holman

Head of Campus Development -- Mid South States

Customized private student loans. (Earnest logo)

ELM Resources is a not-for-profit service organization focused on private loan processing.  We take the complexity out of gathering data and maximizing data.  ELMOne is your centralized hub to communicate with the many different loan providers you work with.  We are the answer to all your private loan certification and disbursement needs.

Raina Chezem (ELM Resources)

Raina Chezem

AVP, Growth & Development

Laura Helmich

Laura Helmich

Business Development Officer

Laura is a Business Development Officer with First United Bank & Trust and has over 30 years of experience helping students and their families in financing their college education and also managing the repayment of their student loans.  Laura takes pride in offering quality customer services to her customers from the beginning of their college experience through repayment of their student loans.

Along with being the dedicated Student Loan Specialist with First United Bank & Trust, Laura is a Certified Credit Counselor and the Financial Literacy Coordinator for First United Bank & Trust.  In these roles Laura is able to also help students after graduation achieve their goals of owning a home and saving for retirement.

During her 30 years Laura has been involved with several state, regional and national associations and is currently serving on the WVASFAA Long-Range Planning Committee and on their Executive Board as the Associate Member Representative.

Inceptia Logo

Let's uncomplicate financial aid. Inceptia

Carrie brings over two decades of invaluable higher education experience, embodying an unyielding commitment to effecting positive change for clients and their students. Her journey has been driven by a genuine desire to confront the unique challenges faced by institutions of higher learning.

Before joining Inceptia, she served as a Cybersecurity Grant Specialist, where her pivotal role in securing funding for critical initiatives fortified the digital infrastructure of educational institutions. Carrie's diverse skill set, coupled with her unwavering passion for higher education, propels her mission to empower schools in their pursuit of helping students succeed.

Inceptia enables colleges and universities to strengthen relationships and boost enrollment using dynamic tools and personal outreach programs that empowers students to successfully navigate admissions and financial aid. With tailored solutions and a nonprofit’s commitment to service, we remove barriers for students so schools can focus on what matters most — guiding them toward a rich and rewarding life through higher education.

Carrie Stone

Assistant Vice President, Business Development

Chester is a senior marketing representative at KHEAA, where he has worked 23 years. Before joining KHEAA, he spent eight years in admissions and financial aid at Union College in Barbourville, KY.  Chester has held positions in both state and regional associations, including serving as KASFAA President in 2009-2010.

He and his wife, Jennifer, who is the financial aid director at Transylvania University in Lexington, KY, have been married for 12 years. Chester has one son, Tyler, who also lives and works in Lexington.

Chester Priest, Senior Marketing Representative

Chester Priest

KHEAA Senior Marketing Representative

Sallie Mae is on a mission to power confidence as students begin their unique journeys—helping them understand their options and make smart choices. This includes free resources that make planning and paying for college simpler, and loan products for undergraduates and graduates.

As Director of Relationship Management at Sallie Mae, Joe works closely with colleges, universities, and high schools in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky to help students plan and pay for school, earn their degrees, and feel ready for what’s next.

Joe’s been a WVASFAA member for nearly 20 years, presenting at a number of conferences and supporting association initiatives. He’s also an active member of the Ohio and Kentucky financial aid, bursar, and admissions associations. Joe holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati and a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife, Wini. Together they have three grown daughters.

Photo of Joe Fries, Sallie Mae Director of Business Development

Joe Fries

Director of Relationship Management

Matt Lehmann, Director of Campus Relationships

Matt Lehmann

SoFi Director, Campus Relationships

West Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
                                   Glenville State University, PO Box 5, Glenville, WV  26351        

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