“Geoff and Tom have greatly contributed to the Institute’s success and we are now in a unique position to affect change in our priority area – financial services reform,” said Dory Rand, Woodstock president. “We believe we can have a significant impact on our issues and successfully reshape the financial system to ensure that low-wealth people and communities of color can build and preserve assets.”

Smith, 34, of Logan Square, formerly served as the Institute’s vice president.   In this position, he authored numerous Woodstock publications and testified on predatory lending issues at hearings by the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, the Federal Reserve Board, and the State of Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.  Smith received a B.A. in Geography from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.S. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Feltner, 30, of Ukrainian Village, formerly served as the Institute’s policy and communications director.  He worked to shape the public debate around payday loans, automobile title loans, and refund anticipation loans in favor of stronger consumer protections.  Feltner received a B.A. in Philosophy from DePaul University and a Master of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Woodstock Institute is a leading nonprofit research and policy organization in the areas of fair lending, wealth creation, and financial systems reform.  Woodstock Institute works locally and nationally to create a financial system in which lower-wealth persons and communities of color can safely borrow, save, and build wealth so that they can achieve economic security and community prosperity. Its key tools include applied research, policy development, coalition building, and technical assistance.