Meet Our Financial Services Team

We look forward to working with you!

Senior Director | Brainerd, MN

Becky Pakarinen is the Senior Director of Financial and Employment Services. When people first come to see us about their financial situation, they are sometimes unsure of what to expect.

Program Director, Partnerships & Financial Education | Willmar, MN

Cherrish Holland has worked with thousands of individuals and families to increase their financial well-being since beginning her career with LSS Financial Counseling in 1996. She has had the honor of hearing their stories and walking with them on their financial journeys.

Program Director, Debt Management Plan Operations | Duluth, MN

Elaina is the Program Director of Debt Management Operations and Support and has been a major contributor to LSS’s personal finance blog, Sense and Centsibility. She is passionate about everyone thriving in their lives and not just surviving.

Economic Empowerment & Employment Services Director | Saint Paul, MN
Steve Kaari is the Economic Empowerment and Employment Services Director.  He is responsible for the management, strategic planning and visioning for LSS’ MFIP Employment Services in Minneapolis and the LSS Financial Counseling services at the St. Paul University location.
Program Director, Homeownership Services | Mankato, MN
Sandi oversees the housing counseling programs, including: homeownership counseling, foreclosure prevention counseling and reverse mortgage counseling.
Program Director | Minneapolis, MN

Shawna Faith Thompson is a Program Director for LSS Financial Counseling. She oversees the service’s statewide financial counseling, scheduling and finance/reporting activity.

Senior Program Manager | Duluth, MN

Ashley Hagelin is a Senior Program Manager for Financial Services. She came to LSS Financial Counseling as an intern in January of 2005 as a graduate from UMD with a major in Sociology.

Senior Program Manager | St. Paul, MN

Jenna Perez is a Senior Program Manager who supervises the counselors in our Twin Cities offices and manages all of the state licenses for the Debt Management Plans (DMPs).

Senior Program Manager | Willmar, MN

Nichole Szczesniak is a HUD-certified housing counselor with LSS Financial Counseling. She oversees foreclosure prevention, reverse mortgage and pre-purchase homebuyer counseling services.

Senior Program Manager | St. Paul, MN

Viva joined LSS in 2012 and is now a Senior Program & Communications Manager. He brings more than twenty years of experience that spans the nonprofit, philanthropic, communications, journalism and international education sectors.