Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors

Alexa von Tobel, CFP® | CEO & Founder
Alexa is the founder and CEO of LearnVest.com, and the New York Times-Bestselling Author of Financially Fearless. Alexa launched LearnVest in 2009 with the goal of making financial planning affordable, accessible and even delightful.

Alexa serves as an inaugural member of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE), and she was selected as a 2011 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, named to the Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2011, honored as a 2012 Fortune Most Powerful Women Entrepreneur, and named a Scholar at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival. She has been included on a variety of lists such as: Vanity Fair’s 2011 Next Establishment; Fortune’s “40 Under 40: Ones to Watch”; Business Insider’s Silicon Alley 100; Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30; Businessweek’s “Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs”; and Marie Claire’s“Women on Top.”

Since launching LearnVest, Alexa has been widely quoted as a personal finance expert and entrepreneur in top tier business and consumer outlets. She is a columnist for Cosmopolitan and Inc. Magazine and hosts a weekly radio show on SiriusXM. She has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, Fast Company, Inc., Elle, Forbes, InStyle, Mashable, TechCrunch, VentureBeat and many more. In addition, Alexa has appeared on several local and national television shows including The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Katie, CNN’s Your Money, and The Rachael Ray Show. Alexa has spoken at nationally renowned events and conferences including TEDxWallStreet, SXSW, Inc.’s GrowCo Conference, NY Ideas Festival, Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored, and Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference.

Originally from Florida, Alexa received an A.B. in Psychology at Harvard College. Upon graduation, she worked as a trader at Morgan Stanley on their Proprietary Trading Desk before leaving to serve as Head of Business Development at Drop.io, a venture backed startup in NYC. She enrolled in Harvard Business School in the fall of 2008, but took a formal leave of absence shortly after to launch LearnVest.


Joann EisenhartJoann Eisenhart
Joann (Jo) Eisenhart is senior vice president for human resources at Northwestern Mutual. In this role, she leads the Human Resources, Facilities and Philanthropy function, which includes the Human Resources, Facility Operations, and Strategic Philanthropy & Community Relations Departments. Prior to joining Northwestern Mutual in 2011, Eisenhart was senior vice president for human resources at Pfizer Inc. From 1985 to 2001, Eisenhart worked at the Rohm & Haas Company where she spent eight years in human resources and organizational effectiveness and eight years as a research scientist in the polymers division. Eisenhart holds a doctorate in human and organizational development from The Fielding Graduate Institute, where her dissertation research focused on the topic of women, leadership and power in large corporations. She also holds a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin Madison, and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois Urbana. Eisenhart is on the Board of Advisors for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Chemistry and the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross of Southeastern Wisconsin.


Christian MitchellChristian Mitchell
Christian Mitchell is vice president – corporate strategy for Northwestern Mutual. He was appointed to this executive officer position, effective November 2012. In this role, Mitchell is responsible for overseeing the company’s strategic planning and reporting; corporate, consumer and competitive research and analytics; and corporate project portfolio management. From November 2010 to October of 2012, Mitchell served as director of strategic planning and competitive analysis in the Corporate Planning Department. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the financial performance, investment performance and market share trends of the company’s competitors. He also led a team that facilitates strategy management in the company through departmental consulting and strategic initiative reviews at the Strategy Execution Committee. Mitchell joined Northwestern Mutual in 2006 as an associate in Northwestern Mutual Capital, where he was responsible for the analysis, evaluation, and execution of private debt and equity investment opportunities. Prior to joining Northwestern Mutual, Mitchell completed internships with Russell Investments and GE Energy Financial services. Previous to graduate studies, from 2002 through 2004, Mitchell was vice president of sales and engineering for Salt Lake City, Utah-based Spectra Symbol Corp., a manufacturer of position sensors for the medical device industry. Mitchell received his B.A. from Indiana University and his M.B.A. from Yale University.


Gregory C. OberlandGregory C. Oberland
Greg Oberland is president of Northwestern Mutual leading the agencies, sales and marketing function. In this role, Oberland is responsible for the company’s strategy of growing and enhancing its field force and delivering financial security to clients. He is also a member of the Executive Leadership Team, which oversees Northwestern Mutual’s strategy and operations. Oberland joined the company in 1982 as an attorney. In 1987, he moved to the business side and has had increasing executive level responsibility for a variety of product line and operational areas including disability income, life underwriting, policy owner services and information systems. Oberland received a bachelor’s degree with honors in 1979 from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree with honors in 1982 from Georgetown University. He also completed an executive development program at the Kellogg School at Northwestern University in 1997. In the community, Oberland is on the boards of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. He is married to Rhonda, and they have four adult children.


Timothy G. SchaeferTimothy G. Schaefer
As executive vice president – operations and technology, Timothy G. Schaefer is responsible for Northwestern Mutual’s integrated customer operations and enterprise technology. He also is a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team. Schaefer joined the company in June 1988 as a programmer in the Information Systems Department. He held several positions there before joining Policyowner Services in 2002. From 2002 to 2005, Schaefer worked in several leadership capacities before becoming vice president of life benefits. In this position, he was responsible for Northwestern Mutual’s life insurance claim processes, leading several other life insurance benefit areas. In May 2007, Schaefer was named an executive officer, responsible for the development and support of application systems. A year later, he was named chief information officer and department head of the Information Systems Department. In 2013, he became executive vice president of Operations and Technology. Currently, Schaefer is a member of the company’s Enterprise Operations Integration Committee and the Business Technology Committee. A native of Milwaukee, Schaefer graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1988 with a B.B.A., and later earned a master’s degree in Management and Organizational Behavior from Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, WI. In 2007, he completed the Leadership at the Peak program at the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs, CO. In the community, Schaefer is a member of the board of the Next Door Foundation. In the past, he served on the iStrategy Executive Leadership Committee of Children’s Hospital and Health System, and is a past board member of Silver Lake College. Schaefer lives in Whitefish Bay with his wife, Rosalie, and their two children.


Raymond J. ManistaRaymond J. Manista
As senior vice president–general counsel and secretary, Raymond J. Manista is responsible for the company’s law and public affairs function, including the Law, Communications, Compliance/Best Practices and Government Relations departments. He also chairs the company’s Executive Leadership Team. Manista has held various leadership roles since joining Northwestern Mutual in 1998, including vice president–Corporate Planning, where he oversaw the company’s strategy development and planning, and vice president–Litigation Counsel. Prior to joining the company, he was a shareholder at Godfrey & Kahn, S.C., in Milwaukee, where he practiced commercial litigation.