FinTech Female Fridays: Meet Founder and CEO, Dana L. Wilson
This inspirational and purpose-driven founder is focused on empowering the Black and Latinx financial professional network through her platform. Dana L.Wilson is the Founder & CEO of CHIP (Changing How Individuals Prosper), a B2B2C financial services marketplace that makes it easy to find Black and Latinx financial professionals. Through the expansion of her platform, Dana is reaching out to consumers of financial products, specifically Black and Latinx people who are currently underrepresented among wealth creators in society. Her efforts continue to create a positive impact on the community and help individuals and businesses to financially succeed.
Full name: Dana L. Wilson
Current job title: Founder & CEO
Current company: CHIP (Changing How Individuals Prosper)
Current location: New York Metro Area
“My experiences in Financial Services, particularly as a person of color, changed my perspective, which led me to want to ensure change needed to be made in financial services.”
Dana L. Wilson is navigating swiftly through the FinTech industry and bridging the gap to create better visibility and easier access for those who have gone unseen in the financial services industry as wealth creators. An experienced financial professional with over fifteen years in the financial services industry, her journey began with a BBA in Marketing from North Carolina Central University. She is currently an Executive MBA candidate at Penn State University, Smeal School of Business, where she will be studying Strategic Leadership and will complete a concentration in Corporate Innovation. Before starting CHIP, Dana worked as a financial advisor at large and independent firms and most recently ran her independent advisory practice, Active Financial Planning, before joining Manhattan Wealth as an Independent Financial Advisor.
The lack of support, upward mobility, and empathy for people of color in certain parts of the financial industry led Dana to create a FinTech platform that would bring easy access and better visibility to both consumers of financial products and financial professionals of color, with a hyper-focus on Black and Latinx financial professionals. She believes that the integration of technology into financial services is vital in changing the global perception of how people of color are viewed with respect to wealth creation. The visibility of Black women in FinTech is also an important part of forwarding her purpose.
“I am excited about all of the FinTech companies that are extremely loud about their efforts around inclusivity. Most companies are creating tech solutions to bring underrepresented individuals to the forefront. I believe that FinTech will continue to play a vital role in the pathway towards helping close the racial wealth gap in the years to come. FinTech is empowering the next group of generational wealth leaders.”
CHIP helps identify the financial needs of businesses and individuals and offers services to meet those needs via Black and Latinx financial professionals. The company is working on a multitude of partnerships and has recently finished updating the second version of its platform which is to be released soon. Dana is focused on increasing the number of financial professionals available on the platform as CHIP scales its technology.
As an entrepreneur, being caught up in societal expectations is inevitable. However, Dana’s ideology of self-acceptance has set her apart. She believes in the power of taking ownership and control of one's own journey and further letting go of any preconceived notions dictating one’s narrative. “The challenge that I have overcome is letting go of the fear of failure. We need to believe in our ability to lean into who we are authentically and let go of what we thought ‘failure’ was.”
More on Dana
Hometown: Montclair, NJ
Favorite hobby: Cycling, Reading, Traveling
Favorite part of your day: The morning, when I go to the gym and start my day
Productivity hack: My productivity starts with my workout and meditation routine. When either of those two items is out of balance, everything is out of balance. I have dedicated space on my calendar for both and that is non-negotiable.
Favorite show to binge: Greys Anatomy, Station 19, Anything Space related (proud Astro geek)
6:30 am: Alexa goes off and I yell at her to be quiet. Then my mini-boss (My almost-two-year-old Frenchie, Bryson) begins his day by banging on the door to tell Mommy he is hungry. When in actuality he wants to continue laying down with me and snore loudly for the next 5-10 minutes. Which is followed by an attitude when it’s really time to get moving (It’s like clockwork).
7:30 am: I’m off to the gym. I took some time from going but recently started going back in February when I felt comfortable.
10:00 am: I’m catching up on emails and catching up on items that were flagged. I am reviewing notions and updating various items to ensure they were completed. I have tried not to take any calls on Mondays, so that I can focus on getting work done. Therefore, I’m working hard to intentionally set clear boundaries, which is becoming more important in the virtual work world.
2:30 pm: Finally, there is food in sight. I try my best to eat earlier, but I give myself grace when it just doesn’t happen.
3:00 pm: It is quiet hour. I hadn’t realized how much time I was spending sitting in front of the computer, even after “normal” business hours. Therefore, I finally put a quiet hour on the calendar and whatever I feel the need to do in that hour, that is usually not gadget related, I do it.
6:00 pm: My mini-boss (Bryson) rushes in and is ready for his dinner, he is on a good schedule and knows exactly when it is 6 pm. We walk around the neighborhood and people watch.
8:00 pm: I’m still plugged in working on internal and external decks and other materials that need finalizing. I am also catching back up on emails before unplugging from the gadgets. Then it’s all about winding down and prepping for the next day.
10:00 am: Had an interview with Financial Planning. Who reached out to get my thoughts on current lawsuits in the financial industry that have been filed by people of color who have felt mistreated by their firms.
12:00 pm: A round-robin of calls around partnership and ironing out the details before we officially announce things.
2:00 pm: I am on a call to work out details for a financial wealth series that will feature a few of our CHIP professionals. We are planning out different aspects of the series with another organization around financial education.
4:00 pm: I am following back up on emails and working on more platform technology updates to ensure everything is working properly. Having back and forth calls with our tech team to fix minor bugs.
7:00 pm: Walking my boss who is pulling me down the street, so he can say hi to his neighborhood girlfriend only to ignore her when we get close. Typical.
9:00 am: This is my day off from the gym. I’m filling out forms and graciously asking friends and colleagues to nominate me for specific diversity and inclusion awards.
10:00 am: Have a call with my team from the Supernova Scholars Program where we are working on several initiatives for HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) students to have better success when entering the financial industry. We are updating each other on the progress that we have made within our perspective team.
11:00 am: On a call with a nonprofit to see how I can support the work that they are doing with educating children on entrepreneurship and finance. They have asked me to take part in their master class series this coming summer.
2:00 pm: Lunch is happening.
4:00 pm: Hoping on a call with my executive leadership team at CHIP to discuss the next phase of how we begin to roll out other initiatives. Talking through various strategies and how we continue to scale the company.
5:00 pm: On a call with a faculty professor for the EMBA program I will be entering in the fall.
8:00 pm: Tired!
10:00 am: Having a call to discuss me speaking for a virtual community event.
11:00 am: Emails…more emails…more emails…
2:00 pm: Live virtual speaking engagement with some powerhouse women in financial services.
4:00 pm: Need to run to UPS and make amazon returns.
6:00 pm: Working on a few marketing decks that need to get finalized.
9:00 pm: Finally Done.
11:00 am: Networking call with a few financial professionals on our platform to get feedback on and thoughts on items we are working on releasing soon.
2:00 pm: On a partnership call wrapping up compliance details and how we move forward and what the benefits will be for all parties.
3:00 pm: Starting laundry and hopefully finishing it.
5:30 pm: Board call and a final end of the day after a busy week!!!
6:30 pm: It’s a beautiful evening so we go to the dog park.
Reach out to Dana on LinkedIn.