Leadership

Helene Raynaud

President/CEO

Helene Raynaud is Guidewell Financial’s President and CEO. She comes to us with extensive experience in the credit and housing counseling industry.

Prior to joining Guidewell Financial, Helene worked at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) for 10 years, most recently as their Chief Operating Officer. During her tenure Helene was responsible for strategic planning, program and partnership development, and fundraising. Helene also held the position of Senior VP of Business Development where she focused on federal and non-federal grants and programs in the areas of housing counseling, financial counseling, and financial coaching.

Prior to the NFCC, Helene worked with Fannie Mae where she developed foreclosure prevention programs with nonprofits, and at American Express in the United Kingdom. Helene brings a great mix of leadership, operational experience, technical breadth, and a deep passion for our industry.


Jim Craig

Chief Operating Officer/EVP

Jim Craig is Guidewell Financial’s newly appointed Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President. Jim is responsible for the agency’s Counseling, Client Services, IT, Creditor Relations, and Data Analytics. His focus is on customer and employee satisfaction as well as efficient and effective operations.

Jim joins the agency with more than 23 years’ experience working in the financial counseling sector. Prior to joining Guidewell Financial, Jim served as Chief Operating Officer at Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions. As COO at Clearpoint, Craig instituted quality assurance measures and incentives that resulted in a customer satisfaction rating of nearly 95 percent. Over a five-year period, he also led the agency's effort to increase employee productivity and manage cultural change through seven mergers and acquisitions.

Jim holds a Masters of Business Administration from William and Mary and is a retired Army Officer.


Nick Beser

Director, Housing and Community Development

Nick Beser is Guidewell Financial’s Director of Housing and Community Development. Nick is responsible for the leadership and oversight of our housing counseling department. His team works with families to help them achieve their housing goals.

Nick joins us from the financial services industry having worked in mortgage sales, servicing operations, and nonprofit relationship management, most recently with Wells Fargo. Nick has expertise in affordable housing finance and economic development as well as a strong track record of developing successful collaborations among government, private sector, nonprofit, and community partners. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Salisbury University.


Melissa Dornan

Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

Melissa Dornan is Guidewell Financial’s Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. Leveraging her experience in business management, Melissa oversees Guidewell Financial’s strategic partnership and fund development.

Melissa builds partnerships with nonprofits, government agencies, and private sector companies whose missions align with our work. Prior to joining Guidewell Financial, Melissa spent 15 years in the banking industry from regional retail leadership roles to private wealth management.

Melissa received her Bachelor of Science from Virginia Tech and her Masters of Business Administration from The George Washington School of Business. She is on the National Board of Directors for the Society of Financial Service Professionals and a Member of Leadership Premier Howard County.


Devon Hyde

Director, Business Development

Devon Hyde serves as Guidewell Financial’s Director of Business Development. She supports our outreach and community education, grant and proposal development, and helps manage strategic partnerships.

Prior to joining Guidewell Financial, Devon was with Public Allies Maryland. Her professional experience is in workforce development, service learning, and financial social work.

Devon is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker who is focused on bringing her knowledge of human behavior and social work interventions to help individuals and families overcome barriers to reach financial stability. She has a Masters of Social Work in Social Action and Community Development from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Boston University.


Nancy Stark

Director, Public Affairs

Nancy Stark has helped shape and drive Guidewell Financial’s marketing and communication effort since 1989. She has worked in media for 30 years and is always looking for fresh ideas. She has extensive experience writing and producing for print, video, web, social media, and interactives.

Nancy is responsible for crafting communications to enhance Guidewell Financial’s visibility and publicize its program initiatives and community outreach efforts. She networks with press, broadcast, cable, and online news sources, facilitates interview opportunities for service staff, and works closely with other members of the Communication Team to help ensure the organization’s message is vibrant and responsive.

One of Nancy’s favorite activities is interviewing staff members and clients, so she can share their stories. She says, “Their dedication and insights remind me why I’m here.” Nancy has a Certificate in e-Learning and Interactive Design from University of California, Irvine. She develops, designs, and authors Guidewell Financial’s self-paced online education courses. Nancy can be reached at nstark@guidewellfs.org.