Meet Our Team

Jonathan Asmis

Jonathan Asmis

CEO & Co-Founder

Jonathan Asmis is a former strategy consultant and engineer who expects more from finance. His experience includes stints at Accenture – where he worked on projects across health, nonprofit, and retail industries – as well as Tesla Motors and Sanofi Pasteur. Jonathan holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Engineering from the University of Toronto as well as an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

What should people know about your hometown?
Toronto is one of the most diverse places in the world – over half the city was born outside of Canada.

What life experience would you say defines you best?
Attending public schools from age 4 - 23. Through public school, I met and connected with some of the most incredible people from all socioeconomic worlds. It forced me to face how lucky I was (and still am) to have the opportunities that I do.

DAndre-Ball

D'Andre Ball

Customer Development

D'Andre Ball is a former college access professional who has supported high schools in San Francisco and Chicago in advancing their post-secondary culture. He previously served as Human Capital Recruiter for Diversity Initiatives at San Francisco Unified School District, where he led the district's efforts to recruit, retain, and sustain teachers of color. D’Andre is a graduate of Morehouse College and holds a master’s in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I like to meet up with friends at Lake Merritt in Oakland or check the box scores from some of my favorite NBA teams and players. I also enjoy having random group chat debates with my friends about sports and music while I’m commuting to work on the train. 

What’s the top reason you decided to join Landed?
As a former educator recruiter focused on diversity here in the Bay Area, I see Landed as an opportunity to support school districts with the retention of their staff, and also as an avenue to combat the out-migration of people of color from large urban areas like the San Francisco Bay Area.

Kat Clark

Kat Clark

Engagement Marketing & Communications

Kat Clark is a marketing professional dedicated to serving students and teachers. Prior to joining Landed, she was the Head of Marketing & Community at Khan Lab School and worked at schools in Illinois, California, and New Jersey. She has been a communications consultant for organizations such as Health for America, Higher Expectations for Racine County Youth, and The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts, and she is a member of the Aim High Young Leaders Board. Kat is an advocate for mastery-based learning and is currently an MBA candidate at Haas School of Business.

What should people know about your hometown?
In 2017, my hometown was rated “the most affordable place to live in the world.” Racine, Wisconsin also has “The World’s Best Prom,” hosted all night by the Rotary Club. Nine schools have the prom together, and everyone comes to prom in police-escorted motorcades.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I spend most of my time outside of work doing homework for part-time school! #lifelonglearning

Siobhán Cronin

Siobhán Cronin

Data Engineering

Siobhán Cronin is a software engineer with a passion for data engineering, mathematics, and evolutionary computing. She began her career studying how humans learn at Harvard University & Harvard Medical School, and now explores the frontiers for how computers and humans can learn together. Before joining Landed she worked as a software engineer for two San Francisco-based startups, Avisell and Uncountable, and was a 2018 Insight Data Engineering Fellow. She is also a guest researcher at Slow Research Lab and a youth engineering mentor at dev/Mission.

What was your first job?
My family had a family construction business, so starting at 8 my job was to organize the equipment and hold the flashlight on tricky plumbing projects (which is, incidentally, harder than it sounds).

It's the weekend. What you are doing for fun?
I cook with friends, garden, read lots of science articles and poetry. Oh, and sleep. I love dreaming!

Paula-Davis

Paula Davis

Colorado Engagement

Paula Davis is a former dogsled trainer, outdoor educator, and middle school teacher. After teaching at an independent school in Denver, Paula studied philosophy of education, which led her to a fellowship with the Donnell-Kay Foundation. At Donnell-Kay, Paula researched the housing challenges educators in Denver and across the country face and the attempts to solve them. That’s how she first heard about Landed. Paula holds a B.S. from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University.

What’s your favorite thing to cook?
Granola! My sophomore year of college, one of my suitemates’ mom sent us granola every so often. I’d never tasted better granola, so I eventually asked for her recipe. Now, it’s the best dish I cook. It’s easy, delicious, and baking it makes the whole house smell like cinnamon rolls.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I really like walking. Whether it’s hiking in the mountains of Colorado, walking my yellow lab, Goose, or just strolling through neighborhoods listening to podcasts, I’m a strong believer that walking is one of the best ways to experience a place.
Emily-Eshman

Emily Eshman

Customer Operations

Emily Eshman is a former educator who is dedicated to ensuring all children, regardless of their background, have access to a high-quality education – which starts with great teachers. She began her career as an elementary school teacher with KIPP public schools in Washington, D.C. teaching kindergarten, first grade, and special education. Making the move back to the best coast, Emily was a founding first grade teacher at the first KIPP elementary school in the Bay Area. Emily holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University.

What should people know about your hometown?
The elevation (5,853 ft.) of Ketchum, ID is greater than the population (about 3,000 people).

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I love doing anything outside, preferably in the mountains, but the California beaches aren’t too shabby either – biking, hiking, surfing (does laying on a surfboard in the ocean count?).

Norma-Hilary-Gibson

Norma Hilary Gibson

Business Operations

Norma Hilary Gibson is a former educator who believes that teaching and learning don’t stop inside the classroom. She began her career as a high school Special Educator with Denver Public Schools through Teach for America and later transitioned to teaching middle school English with Denver School of Science and Technology. Since leaving the classroom, she has continued to work with social impact organizations including the Connecticut Mental Health Center Foundation, Yale University’s Office of Strategic Analysis, and Simplifi (now Summer). Norma holds a B.A. from Wheaton College (IL), an M.Ed. from University of Colorado, and an MBA from Yale School of Management.

What should people know about your hometown?
Denver has 300 days of sunshine per year and all four seasons – it is truly the best of all worlds.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I love to read (fiction recommendations only please), hike (especially those Colorado 14ers), and putz on my mandolin (primarily bluegrass, folk, and a few Irish jigs).

Alie Kelley

Alie Kelley

Customer Account Management

Alie Kelley is a former educator who is driven to find innovative solutions that remove barriers and open doors for greater social mobility and equity. Alie has a background in strategic philanthropy and education with a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.Ed. from Loyola Marymount University. After building an academic program for strategic philanthropy at Stanford GSB, she joined Teach for America as a Special Education teacher in Richmond, CA. As an educator Alie worked for both district public and charter schools. She transitioned out of the classroom into a program development and instructional coach role at Summit Public Schools as a member of their research and development team. Alie loves the Bay Area and has called it home for 12 years. She supports the local community and builds capacity of nonprofits as a member of the Full Circle Fund.

What does “home” mean to you?
I have had many homes across four states (FL, MD, CA, and CO) throughout my life, and the one that remains constant as home is where my family (and cats) are. My main home is in the Bay Area where I live with my husband and have amazing “framily.” My second home is Colorado where my mom and brother are.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I love to be outside in the California sunshine as much as possible either hiking, picnicking in the park with friends, or reading a book. Otherwise, I am at the yoga studio where I teach classes or at home cooking or crafting.
Alex-Lofton

Alex Lofton

Growth & Co-Founder

Alex Lofton is a native of Washington state who believes in the productive potential of design, compassion, and digital technology. He worked as a member of Barack Obama's field team in 2007 and 2008, managing hundreds of paid staff who organized thousands of volunteers for the then-Senator's successful presidential primary and general election campaigns. Alex then served as a Founding Regional Director of Obama for America – the political mobilization wing of the Democratic National Committee – until 2010. Alex has since served as Managing Director of Groundwell, VP of Customer Development for NationalField, Business Development Lead for Organizer, Inc., GOTV Director for Organizing for America, Vice President of 270 Strategies, and Founding Manager of Peers.org. He holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

What was your first paying job?
I was a swamper at a restaurant in Seattle starting when I was 15. I took dirty dishes from bussers and organized them for the dishwashers.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
My decompression methods = time outdoors, playing the “funcle” (fun-uncle) role, and the dance floor.

Nikki-Lowy

Nikki Lowy

Partnerships & Business Development

Nikki Lowy has spent her career at the intersection of real estate, education, and social impact where she’s been driven to find innovative solutions to increase access and equity across diverse communities. Her past experience includes stints at Project Frog, where she worked with California public schools to replace aging portable classrooms with greener, healthier, prefab buildings, and the Urban Land Institute (ULI), where she co-developed programming and strategy with the Bay Area’s 2,000+ members. Outside of Landed, Nikki is actively involved in her native Bay Area community where she proudly serves as the programs co-chair for ULI San Francisco and an assistant swim coach for the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco. Nikki holds an MBA from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I love spending time on my bike - whether it’s navigating the streets of San Francisco (carefully!) or conquering the hills in Marin - and perusing one of my many local Oakland farmers markets.

What does “home” mean to you?
Home to me means safety, security, warmth, and comfort. It’s a place to flaunt your personal style and display your most meaningful artifacts, to gather friends and family for a gloriously endless dinner, and a refuge to decompress after a long day.
Ian-Magruder

Ian Magruder

Partnerships & Business Development

Ian Magruder is a former startup executive and campaign director who is dedicated to bringing people together to improve communities. Prior to Landed, he led the Business Development team at Organizer, a mobile field management app used by nonprofits, schools, unions, and political campaigns for community organizing. Ian is active in the Bay Area community and spent two years at Co-Director of the San Francisco New Leaders Council, training the next generation of young professionals seeking to create social change. He is also engaged in policy as a Truman National Security Partner and a former Public Policy and International Fellow at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. Ian graduated magna cum laude in Political Economy from UC Berkeley as a Regents’ and Chancellor's Scholar.

What’s the top reason you decided to join Landed?
Beyond knowing our co-founder, Alex Lofton, and trusting that I’d be working with an incredibly collaborative and well-supported team, I was drawn to our mission of building financial security. My mom and sister are both educators, and I’m dismayed by how little teachers and other essential professionals earn for the extraordinary work they do. Being able to help empower them with new financial tools is incredibly rewarding.

What life experience would you say defines you best?
The year that I spent traveling the country campaigning for Barack Obama in 2008 – organizing events, building teams, and knocking on thousands of doors in many states across America. You really get to see the true diversity, beauty, and struggle of America up close when you do community organizing.

Kelley Nayo-Jahi

Kelley Nayo Jahi

Community Resources

Kelley Nayo Jahi is passionate about supporting people as they work toward improving their financial condition. Following a 14-year trajectory in the commercial insurance industry that took her to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and San Francisco, Kelley owned and operated a diverse array of businesses (retail sales, personal services, and residential real estate) including her business consultancy, Nayo Partners. Kelley holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Spelman College and a master's degree in Finance from St. Joseph's University. Kelley lives in Oakland, California with her family.

Jay-Plant

Jay Plant

Customer Development

Jay Plant is a former organizer who is dedicated to bringing people together to advocate for fairness and economic opportunity in their communities. Prior to working at Landed, Jay worked on President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns and served in the Obama Administration as Senior Analyst in the White House Office of Correspondence. In addition to political advocacy work, Jay has also worked at organizations that advocated for health care, gun safety, and renewable energy. Originally from Northeast Ohio, Jay has proudly visited all 48 of the contiguous states in the U.S. and is excited to visit Hawaii and Alaska in the next few years. He is new California resident and has enjoyed most enjoyed hanging out in Golden Gate Park and at Ocean Beach with his corgi, Lady Bird.

What is your favorite Ken Burns documentary?
This is SO difficult because I am obsessed with Ken Burns documentaries. I would have to say my favorite is Civil War, followed closely by National Parks and then Baseball. I love history, and I love the way Burns uses individual stories to help tell the story about some of the most impactful lessons of history. Also, how is it possible to make video shots of still pictures look so cool??

What’s a fun fact about your childhood?
As a toddler, my favorite TV show was Wheel of Fortune. Apparently I not only enjoyed singing along to the theme song, but I also like scream out the letters as they were called out, which makes me the only person I’ve ever known to learn the alphabet from Vanna White.
Tiffany-Testa

Tiffany Testa

Administrative Operations

Tiffany Testa is a former senior litigation defense paralegal and the happy spouse of an educator. She spent a decade working in fast-paced large national law firms, where she honed her keen eye for detail and organization on key federal and state actions such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Freedom Industries MCHM chemical spill disaster, and various Federal Black Lung litigation matters. Seeking greater personal fulfillment from her career, she left the litigation world in 2017 to pursue an opportunity with Landed that allows her to combine her passion for supporting those employed in education with the sense of excitement and personal pride that only a startup can bring. A fiercely proud native West Virginian, she holds a degree in Multidisciplinary Studies with concentrations in History, Communication Studies, and Professional Writing & Editing from West Virginia University.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I love world travel, learning new languages, yoga, cooking, and hiking with my German Shepherd.

What should people know about your hometown?
Located about an hour outside of our nation’s capital, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia is considered America’s first spa town. The healing waters of the natural warm mineral springs have been drawing visitors from around the country since the 1700s. George Washington even had his own personal bathtub there!

Annie-Vasishta

Annie Vasishta

Customer Account Management

Annie Vasishta is an educator, community organizer, and most of all, a student of life. Since moving to the United States from Punjab, India at a young age, Annie connects her roots from her motherland to the community of South Hayward, where she grew up. Growing up as a low-income, first-generation woman of color, Annie finds it important to give back to the community that raised her. Vasishta believes the youth are our future and the best way to love her community is to serve the youth, which led her to be an AmeriCorps Member with City Year in Boston, work at Teach For America Bay Area, and work as an Urban Leaders Fellow with the City of Oakland.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?

I love to travel – it allows me to gain a new perspective, learn histories, and listen to people’s life experiences outside of my own comfort zone(s). I also love to spend time with loved ones even when they root for different sports teams. Lastly, always open to new book recommendations!

What’s the top reason you decided to join Landed?

Working in various settings involving educators made it clear that teachers and other essential professionals are not able to afford to live in their communities. As someone who grew up in the Bay Area, this reality has been hurtful and I am here to empower those who uphold us with the resources they need to continue their extraordinary work.

Jesse-Vaughan

Jesse Vaughan

Finance & Co-Founder

Jesse Vaughan believes in the power of building wealth to help people free themselves from fear. Money may not buy happiness, but confidence that one can feed and house their family is vital to feeling secure. Prior to returning to his home state of California, Jesse was based in Yangon, Myanmar where he helped to arrange $300M of social impact investments. Jesse holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from New York University, and in 2018, he was listed in Forbes 30 Under 30.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
Pretty much anything that involves moving fast in nature: bicycling, open-water swimming, motorcycling, skiing, surfing, etc. I also try to slow down intentionally and have meditated daily for about two years.

What life experience would you say defines you best?
I grew up with dyslexia and couldn’t read a book until I was 12 years old. This taught me to take things step-by-step and not look to others for comparison. The experience also built immense gratitude for my parents and teachers who taught me to chart my own course to success.
Jess Zhao

Jess Zhao

Customer Experience

Jessica Zhao is a former consultant who spends her days helping teachers buy homes. Prior to joining Landed, Jess was the R&D Lead at EdSurge and the Director of Strategic Initiatives at College Track, a national program that empowers students from underserved communities to graduate from college. While working with Monitor Deloitte from 2011 through 2014, Jess consulted across a diverse array of industries with a focus on the social sector. Her work included designing the AgResults international development prize and developing pricing strategy for a $5B manufacturing company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Psychology from Northwestern University as well as a certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications. Jess is also proud to have served as an Entrepreneurship Mentor at BUILD and Co-Lead of the Cambridge Racial Diversity Network.