Students of Georgetown, Inc. and the Georgetown University Alumni and Student Federal Credit Union both selected their new leadership teams for 2016 this past week.
Taylor Tobin (COL ’17) will serve as chief executive officer of The Corp. Chris Grillo (SFS ’17) will serve as chief executive officer of GUASFCU. Both Tobin and Grillo will begin their terms in early March.
Joining Tobin on The Corp’s leadership team will be Chief Financial Officer Katie Smith (MSB ’18) and Chief Operating Officer Alex Donovan (SFS ’17). The leadership team of Tobin, Smith and Donovan is the first all-female executive team in Corp history.
Samin Rai (MSB ’17) has been appointed as COO of GUASFCU and Tony Pezzullo (MSB ’17) has been made CFO, joining eight other members on the board of directors.
GUASFCU introduced a new leadership position this year: chief strategy officer. Ashish Pandya (MSB ’18) will be the first GUASFCU intern to hold the position, which will focus on mapping out GUASFCU’s long-term goals and expanding the credit union’s outlook past the four-year undergraduate period.
Pandya said the position will help GUASFCU plan for the future.
“Ideally, the addition of the CSO spot to the board will really help with continuity and knowledge transfer,” Pandya said.
Tobin joined The Corp in the fall of her sophomore year, shortly after transferring to Georgetown from New York University. Tobin started out as a barista in Uncommon Grounds and soon branched out to other parts of the company.
Over the past year and a half, Tobin has worked shifts at other Corp storefronts, including The Hilltoss and Vital Vittles, and has worked with The Corp’s marketing department. Tobin is also a part of The Corp’s “Green Team,” a working group of Corp employees that focuses on sustainability issues.
Tobin said she is eager to embrace some of the particularly complicated and unique aspects of a student-run company.
“I think what makes The Corp special is that it’s always going to change, because all of our employees turn over every four years,” Tobin said.
Tobin said she sees her role as facilitating the goals and ambitions of Corp employees, ensuring that they can have a positive impact on the company during their time at Georgetown.
“I think the officers are in this lucky position where we get to talk with all the employees and kind of see where people want to push change towards,” Tobin said.
According to Tobin, The Hilltoss and Kickback are examples of employee-driven projects that have become reality. But while major changes are always possible, Tobin said she and the rest of the new Corp leadership are especially focused on making The Corp’s current services as efficient as possible.
“I think we’re in a position to take a year and really strengthen what we already do, to strengthen our day-to-day and our operations so that we can serve the Georgetown community to the best of our ability,” Tobin said.
Grillo joined GUASFCU as a teller in the fall of his freshman year. After a semester at GUASFCU, Grillo joined the credit department, eventually working his way up to credit chair.
During his time in the credit department, Grillo developed a new product called 3L, a loan program for students transitioning from law school to employment in the workforce.
Grillo’s main goals for the next year are to further expand on some of the credit union’s success in the past year, including expanding GUASFCU’s credit builder program, a secure loan system that helps students build their credit score.
Grillo said he also hopes to increase GUASFCU’s brand awareness among both undergraduate and graduate students.
“Deeper engagement with the community is going to be our first and foremost priority,” Grillo said.
Grillo wants to fully realize GUASFCU’s role in the Georgetown community as both a financial service provider and a philanthropic organization.
“Above all else we’re a not-for-profit that runs like a business. It’s not an investment banking experience and it’s not a common banking experience,” Grillo said.
Pandya, who worked under Grillo in the GUASFCU credit department, said Grillo’s ambition and persistence are evidence of his preparedness for the CEO position.
“He has the ability to think long-term and enact his plans, but I think the most impressive thing on Chris is really his work ethic and his ability to follow through on projects that he helped originate,” Pandya said.