Sandi O’Connell, Partner and Vice President of Operations of FAS and Genesis-SMSS, has worked closely with founder and owner, Al Gillis as his daughter and colleague for over 26 years at Financial Aid Services, Inc. After earning her Business Management Degree, Sandi began learning the art of consulting and servicing in an unpredictable Federal Aid environment from the ground, up. Through the 26 years Sandi has been with FAS, she has tackled the numerous and complex Federal regulations that burden schools daily and created a revealing news periodical called FASTimes, which keeps schools informed of the changes and issues in the financial aid industry. Sandi has also had numerous opportunities to visit schools to conduct audits and review files, as well as, train a variety of school personnel in the financial aid process.
As an owner/partner, Sandi is using her financial aid systems knowledge and management background to continue to successfully evolve FAS services and software to be an undeniable valuable asset to schools. Sandi’s passion for creating genuine lasting relationships with each school and going the extra mile to help in all areas of school management has kept FAS schools loyal clients for many years.
Ron Berton, Partner and Vice President of Finance of FAS and Genesis-SMSS, has worked closely with founder and owner, Al Gillis, as his colleague for over 25 years at Financial Aid Services, Inc. After earning his Business Management Degree, Ron ambitiously set out to gain expertise in consulting and servicing in the ever-changing Title IV programs and in school management in general. Through the numerous years Ron has been with FAS, he has visited schools across the U.S. to perform school management assessments, training and compliance audits. He has researched many Federal regulations and clarifications thus establishing a close professional relationship with the U.S. Department of Education.
Ron’s most significant achievement has been his heading up and coordinating the design, development and deployment of Genesis-SMSS, currently, “the most integrated and easy to use” school administrative software. His software design experience also carries over redesigning FAS’ internal application and school internet based software, FASLine, which FAS provides to schools to process and package Title IV aid. Ron also spearheaded the design of FAS’ newest web based application, EDGE, which will brings all software into one web package.
Ronda Dolan, Senior Sales and Client Relations Director, has been with FAS for the past 15 years and has been serving as a the friendly first contact for newly DOE approved Schools, as well as, our FAS and Genesis School Management Software users. Ronda represents the company by attending numerous conferences and workshops around the country and strives to build personal relationships with present and future clients. Ronda has a strong customer relations and legal background which includes five years as a New England Patriots Cheerleader and additional years as the Manchester Wolves Arena Football Dance Squad Coach and Fan Event Coordinator, as well as, 7 years as a legal secretary for a prestigious law firm in the Boston area. Ronda also brings experience from the technical industry in working as an account manager for a major wireless phone company for over 4 years.
Ronda has a passion for positivity and a contagious energy that defines FAS and our genuine aspiration to help schools through the complex regulatory environment and the many strict processes of aid disbursement in the Title IV arena. Her effective communication skills help the client relations team focus on streamlining the school’s transition into Title IV seamlessly.
David Nichols, Client Solutions Manager/Senior Consultant, has been with Financial Aid Services for over 23 years working in all areas of Title IV management including Pell Grants, Direct Loans, Budget Creation, ECAR updates, Training and Compliance. David is a key customer contact for newly DOE approved Schools in creating Cost of attendance budgets, as well as, satisfaction assurance for existing FAS clients. David is a well-known expert in the industry with client institutions and the Department of Education and represents FAS at many workshops and conferences. FAS clients look forward to seeing David at regular meetings and new and prospective school staff love David’s friendly expert advice. David has a solid background in Student Financial Aid and School Management. Before coming to FAS, David was the FA at a large career school.
Susan Barber, Senior Consultant, recently celebrated her 25th work Anniversary with FAS in April 2018. Prior to coming to FAS, Sue headed up a group of nationwide salespeople for fashion merchandising and reported to the company president as his executive assistant.
At FAS, Sue is a senior member of the Compliance Team and the Pell Department. As a member of the Compliance Team, Sue assists client school staff and faculty with all aspects of Title IV Administration including Award letters, Pell Grant Calculations, R2T4, Campus Based Programs, Cash Management for credit balances, Audits, Closeouts, FA Trainings and compliance questions. Sue is available by email and phone for consulting and compliance questions. Sue likes to always follow up any call with an email containing backup information for reference. Sue is standing by to take your questions. When not assisting clients, Sue enjoys wine, cooking, watching her son, Kyle , play travel basketball, and spending time watching scary movies with her college-age daughter, Shannon.
Kathy Hunt, Senior Consultant, has worked with the Proprietary School sector for over 16 years, 8 of which have been with Financial Aid Services. Prior to coming to FAS, she worked at a Proprietary School as the Director of Training and Curriculum Development, as well as an Instructor of Anatomy and Physiology.
At FAS, she oversees the Verification and C-Code Departments, assists with the Quality Review Process, and HCM2 processing, and serves as a member of the FAS Compliance Team. As a member of the Verification Team, she assists clients with verification processing, interpretation of regulations and verification training. As a member of the Compliance Team, she assists clients in various levels of Title IV Administration including Program Reviews, R2T4 calculations, and general compliance issues. When she’s not assisting clients, you most likely will find her at an Ice Rink watching her oldest son, Hunter, play hockey, or watching her youngest son, Cooper, on the football field.
Jackie Tuthill, Senior Consultant, has been working in Title IV Administration for 15 years, 10 of which have been with Financial Aid Services. Prior to coming to FAS, she worked in proprietary education as a Financial Aid Counselor, Assistant Director of FA and Director of FA. At FAS, she is a member of the Compliance Team and Direct Loans Lead.
As a member of the Compliance Team, she assists clients with all aspects of Title IV Administration including program setup, FA Training, Gainful Employment, cost of attendance, Program Reviews and Audits, just to name a few. As a member of the Direct Loans team, she assists clients with processing of overlapping academic years, SULA limitation issues and general disbursement issue troubleshooting. When she’s not assisting clients, you can find her in her Jeep enjoying the beautiful sights of Tennessee with her husband, Bryan, and their 3 dogs, Dozer, Mia, and Diesel.
Joslyn Darling, Senior Consultant, has worked with the Proprietary School sector for over 18 years, 13 of which have been with Financial Aid Services. Prior to coming to FAS, she worked at a Proprietary School wearing many hats but predominantly in the Business Office and Financial Aid Office. At FAS, she is a member of the Compliance Team & oversees the HCM2 Dept. along with the Genesis User Support Dept.
As a member of the Compliance Team, she assists clients with all aspects of Title IV administration including COA budget creation, R2T4’s, Program Reviews, Cash Management and New Client Reviews. As part of the Genesis User Training Department she assists clients with the setup and maintenance of their Genesis School Management Software. She also assists in the process of release schedules and updates. When she’s not assisting clients, you will find her spending time with family, being outdoors and taking pictures.
Angelyn Piazza, Reconciliation Manager, has been working at Financial Aid Services for over 10 years. She started at the front desk as the Senior Office Manager and held that position for 8 ½ years. Over the past 1 ½ years, Angelyn is now managing the Reconciliation Department. This involves reconciling monthly all our schools’ federal fund bank statements, as well as their Pell and Loan Disbursement/DOE refund reports. She also assists clients with Enrollment Reporting and NSLDS questions. When not assisting clients, Angelyn enjoys travelling, country music, cooking, playing games on her IPAD, and spending time with family, especially her husband, kids, Dad and sister.
Al Gillis, Founder of FAS and Genesis-SMSS, possesses over 45 years of experience in financial aid and school management prior to retirement. This experience includes acting as Director of Financial Aid at a well-known business university in Massachusetts for over 10 years. Then, Al took on the role as Vice President for a large chain of career schools for several years where he was involved in all aspects of the beauty career school industry, In 1980, Al formed his Financial Aid Services, Inc., as a consulting company which has evolved into full third-party servicing and processing including its own school management software, Genesis-SMSS and is now recognized as one of the oldest and largest consulting companies in the country. Many institutions, along with state and Federal agencies continually seek Al’s assistance in all aspects of the school industry including accreditation, Application to the Title IV programs, Annual Compliance Audits and Federal Program Reviews.