2024 Blue and Gold Pathway Conference

Mapping Your Financial Journey: Education | Planning | Action

The Center for Financial Wellness, partnered with ASUC Office of Senator Grottel-Brown will be hosting its first annual financial wellness conference this April. Stop by to learn about tools, strategies, and advice that will help you along your financial journey. This conference offers an interactive workshop, a discussion panel, and insightful sessions on budgeting, saving, investing, and more. Join us, in-person, at the ASUC Senate Chambers, located on the 4th floor of Eshleman Hall. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain valuable insights and tips on managing your finances. Space is limited. Register today!!

The 2024 Blue and Gold Pathway Conference

ASUC Senate Chambers, 5th floor of Eshleman Hall
MLK+Eshleman directory map


Date and Time
Friday, April 12, from 9-4pm

Register Now


What to Expect:


  • 8:30 AM Registration and Check-In (Coffee, Tea & Bagels)
  • 9:00 AM Opening Remarks | Cruz Grimaldo | Financial Aid and Scholarships Office
  • 9:15 AM Understanding Credit Scores and Budgeting | Gustavo Guzman & Gregory Quirarte | BMO
  • 10:05 AM Top Ten Negotiation Tips | Andrew Green | Career Engagement Center
  • 10:50 AM Raffle
  • 10:55 AM Understanding Tax Returns for Students | Sage Kasick & Alex Leung | VITA UC Berkeley
  • 11:45 AM Funding Your Future: A Guide to Financial Aid & Student Loans | Catherine Custodio | Financial Aid and Scholarships Office
  • 12: 25 PM Raffle
  • 12:30 PM Networking Lunch (lunch will be provided)
  • 1:10 PM Introduction to Investing | Robert Shaye | Haas School of Business
  • 2:15 PM Health Insurance 101 | Warren Whitfield | MPH Student Health Insurance Office Manager
  • 2:50 PM Raffle
  • 2:55 PM Alumni Panel Discussion |
  • 3:45 PM Closing Activities – Mapping Your Financial Journey
  • 3:55 PM Raffle
  • 4:00 PM Informal Networking & Wrap Up


Speaker Highlights


Cruz Grimaldo | Associate Vice Chancellor Student Affairs | UC Berkeley

Cruz helps make dreams come true in her role as Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs leading Financial Aid and Scholarships and Cal Student Central at UC Berkeley, where she leads a team of 70+ professionals and over 30+ students across two departments. Cruz provides strategic vision to the campus on the awarding of over $950 million in student support to over 32,000 students. Cruz also operationalizes care at scale via navigation of financial aid, billing and enrollment processes, holistic advising, and promoting kindness and community at Berkeley. Cruz is the chair-elect of the Berkeley Administrative Management Professional organization and former co-chair of both Alianza, the campus Chicanx/Latinx staff organization,  and the campus-wide Chicanx/Latinx standing committee, charged with advising the Chancellor’s Cabinet on strategies for improving campus equity, inclusion, and belonging for Chicanx/Latinx identifying faculty, staff, and students. Originally hailing from Huntington Park, CA, Cruz has spent the last 25+ years of her career advocating for students and working to keep Berkeley as accessible and affordable as possible for all students. Cruz was a grateful recipient of financial aid as a low-income college student and truly treasures Berkeley and her Berkeley education.



Gregory Quirarte | BMO

Gregory Quirarte has over 20 years in the banking industry, with various positions in a bank, from Personal Banker, Financial Center Branch Manager, Mortgage Banker, Small Business Banker to his current role as a Relationship Manager, Managing BMO’s Financial Wellness and Group Banking Segment in Northern California. Gregory has worked for an array of well-respected financial institutions such as US Bank, Umpqua Bank, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan and BMO.  Gregory’s interest in banking was to one day operate many successful small businesses. Outside of his work, Gregory is a family man who prides himself as a #GIRLDAD with his two young daughters. Gregory coaches both of his daughters’ sports teams and is active in his community sharing financial literacy to nonprofits throughout the bay area.



Gustavo Guzman | BMO

Gustavo Guzman is the Bank Manager for BMO Bank, UC Berkeley. Gustavo has seven years of banking experience focused on retail consumer and business banking. Gustavo graduated from the University of San Francisco and a Bay Area native. In his free time Gustavo likes to play and watch soccer.



Andrew Green | Berkeley Career Engagement

Andrew Green earned his PhD in political science at UC Berkeley and has over 25 years of experience working with graduate students, PhDs and postdocs as a career advisor. Before returning to Berkeley where he serves as Associate Director at Berkeley Career Engagement, he spent six years on the faculty of Connecticut College where he served on numerous search committees. He has given invited presentations at major scientific meetings and research universities across the country; and appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, NatureJobs, and The Atlantic Online.



Sage Kasick

Sage Kasick | Berkeley VITA

Sage is a third-year studying Business Administration and Data Science. In her free time, when she’s not volunteering with VITA as a tax preparer, she enjoys reading, running, and playing the tuba.



Alex Leung

Alex Leung | Berkeley VITA

Alex is a third-year majoring in Economics. He has been a part of Berkeley’s VITA program since his freshman year and enjoys playing the guitar in his free time.



Catherine Custodio | FASO

Catherine is a Financial Aid Counselor in the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office (FASO) who works with students to make a Berkeley education an affordable reality. Catherine provides students with application assistance, advising to better understand awards and eligibility, and general financial aid support. Catherine has worked as a Financial Aid Counselor in the Bay Area for over a decade and hopes her experience can help students feel knowledgeable in their finances while navigating their academic careers. In her free time, Catherine enjoys playing board games and hiking with her furry companion Professor.



Robert Shaye, CFP® | Haas School of Business

Robert is the founder and CEO of Fireside Finances, an independent fiduciary firm that’s sole focus is providing custom Financial Wellness programs for some of the nation’s leading companies, including Twilio, Spotify, and Asana. Robert previously served for ten years on active duty in the United States Coast Guard and continues to serve as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. He is also a faculty member at U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where he teaches a personal finance class to over 1,500 students per year. Robert has previously taught personal financial management at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and also worked for BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. Robert holds an MBA from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.  Robert lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and their three young daughters.



Warren Whitfield | MPH Student Health Insurance Office Manager

Warren Whitfield joined the UHS SHIP team in 2014 as the Insurance Case Coordinator. Within two years he was promoted to the Supervisor of Billing and Cashiering for Berkeley SHIP. In October of 2020, Warren accepted the position of Insurance Office Manager. Prior to working at Tang, Warren spent over 13 years with University Hospitals of Cleveland as a supervisor of claims processing and the billing supervisor for their 7 hospitals. Warren’s main job as the manager is to empower the staff to actively engage with students on how their Berkeley Student Health Plan works. In addition, to help train insurance terminology they will need throughout their adult lives. Warren moved back to his birthplace, Oakland, in 2012 where he worked at Laguna Honda Rehab as the billing supervisor and Genentech as a case manager before starting with the University of California, Berkeley. Warren enjoys golf, March Madness, painting by numbers, and reading. Warren has three grown children, four grandchildren and a college aged niece who just graduated from Sac State.



Amanda Gill (’04, ’19) | Department of Nuclear Engineering UC Berkeley

Amanda Gill (English ’04; Global Studies ’19) was born in Sacramento, California and grew up in the Bay Area. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in English. After college, she spent seven years working in the mortgage industry before shifting her career into higher education administration. Amanda has worked for UC Berkeley for twelve years including four years at UC Berkeley Extension and eight years at the Haas School of Business. During that time she completed a Master’s degree in Global Studies–also at UC Berkeley. Her area of specialization is public policy in Latin America. Now she works in the Department of Nuclear Engineering where she supports undergraduate, master’s and PhD students with all aspects of their academic journey. She serves the UC Berkeley community as a member of the Berkeley Staff Assembly’s Governing Council, co-chair of the New Professionals Network, founding member of the Graduate Student Affairs Officer Coordinating Committee and founder of the Master’s Degree Professionals Community of Practice. She loves to give back by mentoring, coaching and volunteering for the Berkeley Staff Mentorship program and Cal Alumni Association scholarship programs. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys traveling to places that are “off the beaten path”–most recently Antarctica in 2022–and spending time with her family which includes six brothers and twelve nieces and nephews!



Ashley Njoroge (’21) | RingCentral

Ashley Njoroge (Graduate School of Journalism ’21) is an accomplished marketing leader, specializing in scaling B2B SaaS brands through integrated campaigns and strategic brand development. She is a UC Berkeley-trained journalist and former TV presenter, celebrated for her work producing and hosting a business show spotlighting young entrepreneurs. Her dynamic career has spanned roles in investments, media, and her current position in marketing at RingCentral. Additionally, Ashley is a startup founder working to bridge Silicon Valley with Sub-Saharan Africa, aiming to unlock the region’s digital potential.



Daniel Shepard (’18) | Data Analyst, Uber

Daniel Shepard (Bus. Admin. ’18) is a Data/Finance professional with over 12 years of experience across software, technology, nonprofit, legal, and hospitality industries. He is passionate for teaching all the shared lessons learned along the way, having taught over 1,300 young professionals globally across over 70 events. In the realm of personal finance, he has built and distributed free-to-use Budgeting templates to help anyone feel more confident in their financial well-being. Daniel lives in the SF Bay Area with his wife, 2 children, and feisty dog.



Jennifer Ly (’08) | Environmental Justice and Land Use Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Jennifer Ly (Conservation and Resource Studies ’08) is currently the Environmental Justice and Land Use Manager at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. She earned her master’s degree in City Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jennifer has primarily worked in local government where she has focused on environmental sustainability, land use, and equity. Jennifer’s main approaches to financial wellness have been obtaining academic financial aid, using public sector retirement plans, and living below her means. She likes to splurge on memorable Airbnb rentals for trips with family and friends.



Trae Sebastian (’23) | West Monroe

Trae Sebastian (Economics, ‘23) is currently a Consultant at West Monroe, specializing in IT Strategy & Outsourcing. He is deeply passionate about personal finance, having served as a Peer Tutor & Senior Peer for Center for Financial Wellness throughout his time at Berkeley and is a regular guest high school personal finance guest lecturer. In addition, Trae worked with the fintech startup MoCaFi in 2021 to develop a personal finance curriculum for underbanked communities in the greater LA area. Other interests of Trae’s include land use policy, LA Metro expansion plans, geopolitics, the aviation industry, and much more.


If you have questions, please contact us at financialwellness@berkeley.edu.