Champion Spotlight: Meet Elle Creel
Elle Creel has been searching for a place to set roots. At MAF, she’s found fertile ground.
“I learned early on that finance is personal,” she reflected. “It’s not just functional, it’s deeply emotional.”
Elle is bringing this personal view of finance into her new role on MAF’s Tech Advisory Council (TAC). As a TAC member, she supports the MAF team by sharing insights, reflections, and best practices from her work in the fintech space.
Elle is a product manager at Chime where she builds offerings in service of people living paycheck to paycheck. Chime provides banking services that are helpful, easy, and free. These days Elle has her hands full managing an organization growing at break-neck speed.
“It’s been amazing to be a part of Chime’s growth and see us realizing our mission to enable financial peace of mind,” she shares. “I’ve been honored to work on products that make our members’ lives better.”
Elle led the launch of Chime’s high yield savings account and in the early days of the pandemic built the strategy for supporting members navigating unemployment benefits. She brings her experience keeping teams aligned through rapid change to MAF, where her learnings about how to scale organizational dynamics after an unprecedented year are particularly relevant.
Elle views finance as a distinctly human experience and is motivated by the way it touches people in real ways. This understanding is what drew her to MAF as she found inspiration in our community-centered approach.
“I’m excited to join an organization with strong roots in the community that’s working on a similar mission as I am, but from a different vantage point.”
As the daughter of a tax accountant, Elle learned how to balance a checkbook and log daily expenses from an early age. She watched as her mother sat across their dining table from friends and family members who came seeking advice. The guests brought their own financial strategies to the table, and learned new strategies to build on. These conversations, Elle saw at a young age, made a real impact. People who came to her mother’s table walked out the door with stable confidence, ready to chart their own financial futures.
Feelings of fear, insecurity, and uncertainty could be transformed through a listening ear and information. A single conversation, Elle learned, could make a difference in people reclaiming the reins over their own lives. This is precisely what Elle hopes to pass forward.
Elle’s passion blossomed through an internship at an early stage impact investor. She worked with a Kenyan startup offering small business owners access to loans. Most of the customers were individuals providing for their families. They had grit, dedication, and motivation in spades, yet structural barriers including lack of access to capital stunted their ability to grow.
“Just having access to financial services could be transformative,” she learned. “The role of capital in unlocking human potential became very real and tangible to me.”
This was a lightbulb moment for Elle.
Her professional skills and natural curiosity could be put to use for the good of others by working to improve “the essential nature of finance” in people’s lives. She’d found a path that allowed her to show up as her full self, going beyond the professional toolkit and drawing on the personal experiences that had shaped her upbringing.
“People need to feel peace of mind, that they have control over their financial lives. MAF is at the cutting edge of that.”
We’re excited to welcome Elle to the MAF team and offer her a seat at the table.