We are Certified Financial Education Instructors (CFEI) that is highly-qualified personal finance educators, with the ability to teach essential money management concepts effectively to people of all ages.

Crystal D. Smith, CFEI
PEC Finances President / Founder

Over 20 plus year of experience various segments of the financial and insurance industries from National Bank of Detroit (currently JP Morgan) to Auto Club (AAA) of Southern California and Michigan, to John Hancock and MetLife Insurance Companies to finally settling into the banking segment working for Standard Federal and finally retiring from Bank of America.

While at MetLife Resources, MetLife Insurance Company financial planning division specializing in 403(b) retirement planning; she excelled as a leader and was recognized in five different areas of accomplishment at a national conference.

While appointed as GPD Regional Youth Director for Michigan, Ohio & Indiana and Crystal developed “Pimpin Wall Street: A Guide to Investing for Youth”.

This lead to a partnership with Marygrove College, Detroit, Michigan where she co-developed and provided a six-session comprehensive financial planning course with continuing education credits to General Motors Corporation Auto Worker Union members.

After retiring from Bank of America, Crystal decided to follow her passion for educating the community on financial topics by founding Peciaum Education Center for Finances, PEC Finances. After extensive research Crystal graduated NFEC’s Certified Financial Education Instructors (CFEI), taking her place among the most highly-qualified personal finance educators, with the ability to teach essential money management concepts effectively to people of all ages.

Toni Stokes Jones, Ph.D.
Vice President

A professor of educational technology at Eastern Michigan University. She is also a former middle and high school teacher, trainer, instructional designer, and consultant.

Dr. Jones served as a member of the Board of Examiners for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) from 2003 – 2015 and the Board of Directors of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) from 2000-2003. Dr. Jones received a Ph.D. in instructional technology from Wayne State University in 1998. Her research looks at technology access and capabilities of college students, especially African American female students; digital literacy and e-learning; and technology capabilities of preserve teachers.

Dr. Jones is Interim Associate Dean, College of Business; Professor, Educational Media & Technology, from faculty fellow in the EMU Honors College and as co-principal investigator of the Wayne County U.S. History & Geography Project: Building Competence in History through the use of Geographic Information Systems, a Michigan Department of Education Improving Teacher Quality Grant.

Louis Jones,
Ph.D Secretary

The Field Archivist for the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University (2012-present) as well as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Library and Information Science at Wayne State University (2013-present).

For many years, he served as the archivist and lead records management consultant for the Service Employees International Union, also based at the Walter P. Reuther Library (1993-2012).

Dr. Jones received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Morehouse College and a Master’s degree in Afro-American studies from Cornell University (1983-1985). He has also earned a Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Delaware while at the same time pursuing studies in archival administration (1990-1992). More recently, he received a doctorate in American history from Wayne State University, where his dissertation concerns the development of public sector unionism in metropolitan Detroit in the immediate post-World War II era (2010).

Dr. Jones has been a certified archivist for the past 20 years and has served – and is serving on the board of the Academy of Certified Archivists, first as the Regent for Outreach (2010-2012) and then as Vice President/President-Elect (2015-2017).

Gwen Wong
Director of Youth Programs

Gwen Wong is currently Vice President – Business Banking at the Meriwest Credit Union in San Jose, CA. She joined MCU in 2013 to re-engage the credit union in offering business and commercial loans to business members in their field of membership. She achieved profitability in the first year after the previous 10 years of unprofitable operations. She almost tripled the loan portfolio size in the first 2 years and regained regulator confidence almost immediately. Regulators have recognized her Team as having one of the strongest underwritings in the industry. Gwen has full oversight and strategic direction of Commercial and Business Banking at the Meriwest Credit Union.

Gwen has over 35 years’ experience in the banking industry with a deep background in commercial lending and private bank lending. Her expertise is in credit approval and credit administration, with a background that spans middle market business development, internal loan, and credit review. She has held senior level positions; SVP and SCO Northern California-California Bank & Trust, SCO First Republic Bank, and SCO The Private Bank- Silicon Valley Bank.

Gwen also has a long history in her community, serving in executive positions with various community groups. She has been Treasurer and Finance Chair of The United Way of the Bay Area, Treasurer and Executive Committee with Girl Scouts USA; Board of Directors with the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc.; Leadership Director on the Board of the American Association of University Women, just to name a few. She is a strong advocate for women and girls and holds a special interest in financial literacy and engagement.

Janet Bentley-Ewers

Director of Community Outreach & Compliance

Janet Bentley-Ewers is a financial advisor employed by IFS Advisory in Mt. Pocono, Pennsylvania. With over 15 years of experience and 5 exams passed, Janet maintains the following registrations:

Investment Advisor:

Janet is registered with the SEC as an Investment Advisor, which is defined as someone who is paid to provide advice about securities. Investment advisors can also be paid to manage investment portfolios or offer financial planning services. Other terms commonly used for investment advisors include Investment Advisor Representative (IAR) and Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).

Broker:

Ms. Bentley-Ewers is also registered with FINRA as a Broker (sometimes referred to as a broker-dealer registered rep or RR). Brokers are the sales personnel who work for larger brokerage firms. These firms (also known as broker-dealers) are in the business of buying and selling securities such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investment-related products. These firms are also registered with FINRA and can engage in securities transactions on behalf of its customers (as a broker) or for its own account (as the dealer).

Phillip B. Hollon

Director of Social Services
The Salvation Army

Phillip was born in San Diego, California and graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Speech Communication. He immediately accepted a position with United Airlines where he spent 17 years traveling through 5 continents in various roles including flight attendant, human resources, and Inflight Services management. Phillip relocated to Nevada from Chicago, Illinois in 1995. In 2004 he decided to pursue a career in Social Services and has spent the past 13 years working in this incredible field

For the past 4 years, he has served as Director of Social Services for The Salvation Ar, y, serving Southern Nevada. His responsibilities include oversight of a variety of Social Services programs including, Homeless Services, Veteran Services, Human Trafficking, Vocational Services and Family Services. Phillip enjoys traveling, both by air and sea, and spending time with family and friends.

Jimmy Navarro

PEC Finances

Jimmy Navarro is a native of New York City. Jimmy worked for Chase Manhattan Bank in Manhattan for 6 years as an Assistant manager. Jimmy moved to northern California and worked for Westamerica Bank in the position of Customer Service Manager where he traveled the northern California area trouble shooting branches that had failed their regulatory audits or were on the borderline of failing.

Jimmy went on to manage a branch for California Federal Bank in Mountain View California. There, he worked on increasing the branch deposit base and loan portfolio by increasing business clients and new venture capital clients.

Jimmy moved on the Bank of The West as their Vice President and Business Relationship Manager. This is when Jimmy moved to Las Vegas and assisted in coaching the managers of the newly acquired six branches of Bank of The West. Jimmy has worked with Bank of America Merchant Services as a Small Business Specialist and moved on to run his own Merchant Services business here in Las Vegas.

Emanuel Jones

Social Media Specialist

Emmanuel Jones is a Second-year student at Eastern Michigan University where he is studying to be a teacher. On top of being one of the most award winning High School journalist in the state of Michigan, he was the first African American Editor in Chief of his High School's Newspaper "The Perspective" in their 128 years of existence and he and his staff have won over 150 awards during his 2014-2016 tenure as member of the paper; making them the most award-winning high school paper in the country.

After graduating with honors from Plymouth High School he was very sought after as a student leader when he committed to Eastern. He was immediately selected at one of the Captains of the Eastern Michigan University Student Section and one of the leaders of the Student Section student organization named “Eagle Nation”. He plans to continue his education with the love and support of family and friends.

Emmanuel will represent the Millennial population for PEC Finances Board of Directors.