Sense & Centsibility Blog

About Sense & Centsibility

Welcome to Sense & Centsibility, the official blog for LSS Financial Counseling, where you can learn about financial topics and find tips and resources.

We specialize in financial wellness: how to make and stick to a budget, save for emergencies, get out of debt and achieve your financial goals. We also offer training in our local communities, stand up for people in a foreclosure crisis, and are thought leaders on topics such as medical debt and student loan debt.

Our goal is to provide accurate, practical information that you can use in real life. We post a few blogs every month.

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Meet Our Financial Counseling Bloggers

Shannon Doyle

Shannon Doyle

Program Manager, Partnerships and Financial Education

Shannon earned her degree in social work from the University of St Catherine in St. Paul, MN. She joined the LSS Financial Counseling staff as a Certified Financial Counselor in 2007 and has worn many different hats since. Shannon is passionate about economic opportunity for all, consumer protection and coaching people towards financial success.

Earlier in her life, Shannon made many money mistakes – one reason for her dedication to working with others to avoid or fix their mistakes and reach financial stability and growth. Shannon offers practical professional tips, personal experience and humor to educate and encourage others to take control of their financial lives. Shannon enjoys cooking and grilling with her husband, Jay, and learning to be a good mom for Ella, her rescue dog.



Katie Eastman

Certified Financial Counselor

Katie has been working as a Financial Counselor since December of 2014.  Prior to that she worked at a credit union for just under 11 years, the later years as a loan officer. This experience gave her an inside look at the whole world of finance; Katie knows first-hand the criteria creditors are looking for, plus the rules and regulations they must follow.  She has enjoyed the transition to helping people reach their goals of getting out of debt instead of putting them further into debt. Coming from a large family and now raising a large family of her own, Katie knows how difficult it can be to stretch every dollar and she loves sharing creative ways her family has reduced expenses in their household. Born and raised in the Brainerd Lakes area, Katie is happy she is able to work out of our Brainerd office and help people in the community create manageable, workable budgets, review their credit reports, and come up with a game plan to get out of debt.


Cherrish Holland

Cherrish Holland

Program Director, Partnerships and Financial Education

Cherrish 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.

Cherrish is a passionate advocate for consumer protection and normalizing conversations about money. She has conducted financial education workshops nationwide for in-person and webinar audiences.

She has been a consultant to several denominations that are addressing economic challenges facing pastoral leaders. Cherrish serves on the Board of Directors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has served on the New London-Spicer, Minnesota school board.


Sarah JannuschSarah Jannusch

Certified Financial Counselor

Sarah became an NFCC Certified Counselor in 2019. She is a certified financial counselor and a HUD-certified reverse mortgage counselor. She has 20 years of financial experience in corporate banking, primarily in mortgage underwriting, as well as six years of experience as a landlord. She has the utmost respect for people taking the necessary steps to take control of their financial lives, and she is inspired by their stories of resilience. Her favorite part of her work is assisting people to develop the most effective strategies for managing their finances. Sarah finds great joy in nature, cooking, riding her bike, being with loved ones and friends and finding time to make things out of wood or fabric. She is a graduate of Hamline University.



Elaina Johannessen

Program Director, Debt Management Plan Operations

Elaina is passionate about everyone thriving in their lives, not just surviving, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge about the importance of saving for emergencies and retirement. Elaina has been interviewed by NerdWallet, and her blogs have been published by America Saves and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). She has presented at local and national conferences, discussing financial wellness and debt management plans.

Prior to joining the LSS team, Elaina was a financial and employment planner for the Wisconsin Works (W2) program, providing case management to low-income families. Elaina started with LSS in 2009 as a budget and housing counselor. Over the years, she also supervised counselors as well as the scheduling team. She has a B.A. from Hamline University in Latin American Studies and received an M.A. in management from the College of St. Scholastica. 


Mary Ellen Kaluza

Mary Ellen Kaluza

Certified Financial Counselor

Mary Ellen is a HUD-certified housing counselor in the Minneapolis office. She primarily focuses on reverse mortgage and pre-purchase homebuyer counseling. She also does budget, debt and credit counseling, along with financial education. When Mary Ellen isn’t working, she is a major home gardener, tending a plot the size of a city lot. Fortunately for Mary Ellen, she lives in a world-class biking city because she bikes all season long. Her most-cited accomplishment was acing Statistics at age 56 and loving it. Who knew? Bonus: She finally got a college degree after 37 years of fits and starts in her college career and a mountain of credits. Mother to a 24 year old Stanford graduate, Mary Ellen is happy the Bay Area didn’t hold its grasp on her daughter who now lives within biking distance.


Marjorie KlimekMarjorie Klimek

Certified Financial Counselor

Marjorie provides advice and support to individuals and families on homebuying, foreclosure prevention and reverse mortgages. She enjoys her role as homebuyer advisor, providing education and encouragement to people she serves.

When an individual is in need, Marjorie’s goal is to give them direction and hope. She finds great satisfaction when she can assist them in finding financial stability. 

Marjorie’s early work experience included a collection agency, a car dealership and a local credit union. She found her niche with LSS Financial Counseling as a financial counselor and has been here since 1999. She attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and finished her education at the University of Redlands with a B.S. degree in business and management.


Mei Lin Kroll

Certified Financial and Student Loan Counselor

Mei Lin graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Speech Communication. She has been with LSS Financial Counseling since May 2018 and was recently certified as a student loan counselor. She knows how finances are woven into our daily routines and lives, and she prefers to approach client’s financial situation holistically and realistically. As a mother and wife, she knows what it is like to juggle life and finances and how to be realistic about one’s financial situation.


Kim MillerKim Miller

Certified Financial Counselor

Kim was drawn to LSS Financial Counseling in 2004 because of her passion for financial education and helping people manage their budgets. She graduated from Bethel University with a B.A. in business and finance. In her years as a financial counselor, Kim has worked for various non-profit agencies in different parts of the United States. She has listened to and worked with many wonderful people of all different backgrounds as they figured out their next steps to move their financial life forward.

Kim rejoined LSS Financial Counseling in 2020 after returning to Minnesota. Her goal is to provide financial wellness encouragement in a holistic manner.


Dan Park

Dan Park

Financial Counseling Supervisor

Dan works full-time as a Financial Counseling Supervisor at the LSS Eustis location in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has over 10 years housing and financial counseling experience in the nonprofit sector and is certified to offer Student Loan Counseling as well. Dan likes to take an honest approach to counseling and enjoys helping all members of the community meet their financial and credit goals. He is a lifelong Minneapolis resident and enjoys spending time outdoors with his family. Dan holds a B.A. in Sociology from Hamline University.


April Sanderson

April Sanderson

Certified Financial Counselor

April came to LSS Financial Counseling in 2008 with a background in helping homeless youth regain stable financial footing.  While working with the youth she found a love of helping people achieve their financial goals, so the move to Financial Counseling fit her personal mission perfectly. April is a member of the Student Loan, Partner Relations, Financial Education, and Blog Teams.

A few years ago, April helped a single mother develop a budget that she could feel comfortable with and confident in knowing that everything balanced.  “Felicia” called her a few months after the appointment to let April know that she was still sticking to the budget and was able to put away and KEEP money in savings.  “Felicia” said she was going to make sure her kids knew how to do this so they never had to feel lost and hopeless like she did with their finances. When the people April serves pay off their debts through a DMP she calls to congratulate them every time. April says: “It’s a great feeling to be able to tell someone that all their hard work paid off and to hear the pride in people’s voices when they acknowledge they made that choice to take action and eliminate their debt.”