Our Executive Team

Alexa von Tobel, CFP®

  • Founder and Chief Executive Officer, LearnVest
  • New York Times-Bestselling Author of Financially Fearless
  • Founding team member of Drop.io (acquired by Facebook)
  • Formerly worked at Morgan Stanley’s Proprietary Trading Desk
  • Received an A.B. in Psychology Honors at Harvard College
  • Harvard Business School
  • She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Series 65 licensed.

John Gardner

  • Chief Financial Officer, LearnVest
  • Former Sr. Product Manager for Global Equities at SEI Investments
  • Director of Product Strategy at Finaplex, Inc a wealth management start up in San Francisco (acquired by ADP)
  • Founding Partner and Chief Operating Officer for Cabezon Capital Management, a Global Macro hedge fund based in San Francisco
  • Received a B.S. from Lehigh University, with a double major in Finance and Marketing

Ainslie Simmonds

  • Chief Operating Officer, LearnVest
  • Former SVP of Innovation at Maddock Douglas, a product innovation agency
  • Former Chief Marketing and Product Development Officer at Investools/Thinkorswim, an online education and brokerage company, acquired by TD Ameritrade ($850MM transaction).
  • Former Partner at Markitecture, an innovation focused research firm, Vice President of Marketing for Coors/Molson and Director of Marketing in the soup division for the Campbell Soup Company.
  • Received MBA from Harvard University, and a BA from the University of Western Ontario.


image01Emilia Sherifova

  • Chief Technology Officer, LearnVest
  • Prior to joining the team, she was the CTO at Pulsepoint, Inc., an award-winning new media company, with properties including a content marketing platform, RTB/ad exchange, ESP, audience platform, and data analytics.
  • Served as the Chief Information Officer/Chief Tchnology Officer at OTC Markets Group, Inc, the largest US electronic trading venues for unlisted OTC equities.
  • Built one of the largest US Equity Trading Systems
  • Holds B.A. in Journalism from University of Bridgeport, graduated Summa Cum Laude
  • Holds Masters with concentration in International Business from Columbia University


image02Kelly Leyden

  • Vice President of People, LearnVest
  • Experienced Human Resources leader with 14 years in multiple industries including technology, ecommerce, industrial manufacturing, entertainment and information management services.
  • Former Director of Human Resources Business Partner at eBay, Inc. supporting upward of 3000 employees both domestic and internationally across a $28 Billion portfolio
  • Led the creation of $7B globally consistent B2C sales and account management model and organization, including consistent segmentation; scaled and enhanced, pre-and post-sales capability/capacity; scaled merchant operations, global compensation plan and introduction of commercial finance to become the partner of choice for brands and merchants
  • Former Talent Acquisition Program Manager at Ingersoll Rand
  • Former Human Resources Representative at Iron Mountain
  • Holds B.A. in Political Science from University of Kansas


image00Stephany Kirkpatrick, CFP®, AIF®

  • Vice President of Operations and Financial Advice, LearnVest
  • Former Director of Retirement Planning at Pension Architects
  • Specialist in retirement planning, debt management, asset allocation and estate planning.
  • She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® and holds her Series 6, 63 and 65 FINRA licenses.
  • Received a B.A. in International Management and Spanish from Pepperdine University.