a Focus on Empowering Women
The BFB Foundation’s goal is to educate and empower women through financial education. We believe that a woman who understands how to use, save, and invest her money wisely will have a great impact on her family and her community. One woman can positively alter the outcomes of generations to follow.
Women perform over half of the world’s work, produce half of the world’s food and yet they represent 70 percent of the world’s poor. Any solution that would alleviate these issues must involve those that are most directly affected. The BFB Foundation believes social and financial education is essential in helping women end the cycle of poverty for their families and their communities.
The BFB Foundation partners with education-oriented organizations in Guatemala, which is the most populous country in Central America. It is a country in transition, and a country reaching out to connect with the world. Since its 36-year-long civil war ended in 1996, the Guatemalan government and people have been working toward a greater presence in the world economy. Yet despite advances in that direction, more than half of the population lives below the national poverty line, and 13 percent of the population lives in extreme poverty. Among Guatemala’s indigenous groups, which make up 38 percent of the population, those numbers climb even higher with 73 percent living below the poverty line and 28 percent living in extreme poverty.
The BFB Foundation was organized in 2011 by Christine Burns-Fazzi, a Principal of Burns-Fazzi, Brock & Associates (BFB). BFB has been serving Credit Unions nationwide for more than 10 years and during that time has come to fully appreciate this unique industry. Credit Unions are member-owned, not-for-profit organizations centered on community and volunteerism. Not only has BFB been immersed in the values and ideals of this industry, but they have also had the opportunity to witness what can be accomplished when an individual or group is supported by the community. It is the Credit Union philosophy and vision that inspired Christine to create the BFB Foundation.
Christine’s goal was to help developing communities move forward by providing an opportunity for young women to obtain a formal education. This idea stemmed from her belief that a woman’s dedication to sustaining her family will ultimately affect the rest of the community. A confident, educated woman can accomplish much more and a foundation will be set for individual and community success.
Elizabeth Love Maddrey | Executive Director
A Charlotte native, Elizabeth earned PMP certification (Project Management Professional) in 2015 and established the The Studio Projects. She worked most recently with Hodges Taylor Art Gallery/Consultancy. Before that at Arts Teach, a grant-making nonprofit supporting arts education. After graduating with a degree in Art History from UNC-Chapel Hill, she moved to New York City to work at Sotheby’s auction house.
Christine Burns-Fazzi | Founder & Board Chair
Christine has focused her experience in finance on Executive compensation. She specialized in nonqualified plan design, implementation and administration in both public and closely held corporations, notably in the Banking and Credit Union industries, since 1981. Christine was the Principal of Morehead Consulting as well as Founder and Principal of Burns-Fazzi, Brock. Christine has an undergraduate degree in Accounting and an MBA in Finance from Rutgers University.
Thomas Farrell | Board Member
Thomas is Vice Provost for Global Engagement at the University of Nebraska where he is responsible for coordinating the international engagement strategy for the four university campuses. Prior to joining the University, he served in the U.S. Department of State for 7 years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Mr. Farrell also worked at the Institute of International Education, America’s oldest and largest international education NGO. Tom has served as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer and a Peace Corps Volunteer and holds a BA from Providence College and an MA from Claremont Graduate University.
Gary Lenz | Board Member
Gary is the founder of Streamline Data Solution, an information technology firm specializing in custom business software for the financial services industry. He is an expert in database-driven systems to help people work together more efficiently, enable business growth, and improve customer service. Gary holds a Bachelor degree in Computer Science from Iowa State University.
Pilar Fitzgerald | Board Member
Pilar is a co-founder of Pili and Talli Events, a full service event planning and management company located in Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Georgia as well as a Masters in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from Creighton University. Pilar has been involved with the BFB Foundation since 2011 and is passionate about our mission to educate and empower women and girls throughout the world.
Jennifer Jackson | Board Member
Jennifer has more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, specializing in the design, implementation and administration of executive benefit plans. Throughout her career, she has held several roles related to executive benefit plans for banks and credit unions which gives her a unique perspective in overseeing her client plans. Her expertise includes regulatory compliance, financial analysis, and retention strategies. Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
James Patterson | Board Member
Jim is a partner with Sherman & Patterson, a law firm focusing in the areas of tax, nonqualified deferred compensation (e.g., 409A and 457(f)) and employee benefits. Most of his deferred compensation clients are healthcare systems and credit unions. Jim also practices in the areas of estate planning, probate and corporate law. Jim holds a BA in Economics and Italian from Brigham Young University, and a Juris Doctor from J. Reuben Clark Law School.
Marlene Schwartz | Board Member
Marlene is a Senior Advisor at the Department of State providing guidance to senior Department officials on the utilization of resources internationally in support of foreign policy objectives. Concurrently Marlene serves as Chairman of the Board for the State Department Federal Credit Union. Ms. Schwartz’ areas of expertise include management issues and organization efficiencies. Marlene has experience in both the public and private sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Jeff Ziliani | Board Member
Jeff is the Director of Finance and Administration for Burns-Fazzi, Brock. Before joining BFB, Jeff spent 12 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers as a corporate auditor. He has been a CPA for the past 10 years and is a member of NCACPA and AICPA. Mr. Ziliani and his wife own a small business music school in Matthews, North Carolina called the Charlotte Academy of Music. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Accounting from Trenton State College in New Jersey.