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ELM Team

Our products and services are developed and supported by our exceptional ensemble of team members who are committed to striving for excellence each and every day. And, they have the experience to back that up! On average, our customer support teams’ tenure with ELM is over 12 years and they have maintained average Customer Satisfaction ratings of above 95%+ since 2009!

Below is our National Service Center Team Members and Production Services Team Members:


Karen Cooper

Manager, National Service Center 

Karen Cooper has been a key member of the ELM Team for 25+ years, providing training and support to ELM’s school and lender clients. Before that, she enjoyed her work in the Financial Aid offices at Milligan College in Tennessee and Wheaton College in Illinois. Outside ELM, she spends time with her husband, two grown children and friends. She is passionate about singing and helping others be/do their best. She loves working at ELM because it allows her to help schools and lenders in their mission to assist students make their dreams come true.


Kirk Nelson

Lead, NSC Technology & Implementations

Kirk has been in the financial aid industry since 1997 and with ELM for over 20 years.  Prior to ELM, he worked for Illinois State University, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois Wesleyan University, MOHELA and Wachovia.  In addition to providing general support to ELM’s clients, he spends most of his time training, testing, and troubleshooting.  In his spare time, he enjoys life and its adventures with his spouse, four children, and their church family.  He enjoys working with his hands in the garden, on projects around the house and exploring the countryside on a four-wheeler.


Sharon Richardson

Lead, Lender Relations

Sharon has been with ELM Resources since 2006 and has worked in the student loan industry for over 35 years.  Having worked with different loan providers over that time, she brings a combination of lender processing and school support knowledge.  Sharon resides in western New York with her husband and enjoys spending time outdoors and with her church family.  She is also very active in her community, including volunteer work for her local farmers' market, homeless shelter and conservation club.


Eddo Hojilla

NSC Analyst II

Eddo joined ELM in 2019, bringing nearly ten years of experience in the financial aid industry.  Prior to joining ELM, Eddo was the lead on a service desk, providing support and training to over 40 campuses. He enjoys assisting customers in every way he can and is very excited to be part of the ELM team. In his spare time, Eddo enjoys trying new food and window shopping with his wife. He also likes going to the gym and staying active.

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Staci Lolan

NSC Analyst I

Staci joined ELM in 2019 in the multi-functional role of Client & Team Support Associate.  Her primary responsibility is working with our National Service Center team to provider Tier 1 Support, along with executive administrative and office management functions. In her spare time, Staci enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, watching TV, and spending time with her friends.


Juan Ortiz

NSC Analyst II

Juan joined ELM in February 2022, bringing nearly 20 years of experience in customer service. Prior to joining ELM, Juan worked in the insurance industry focusing on supporting client needs. He enjoys working with customers to ensure their requests and needs are met to their satisfaction and is excited to be part of the ELM team. In his spare time, Juan enjoys being active, spending time with his family and friends and searching for ways to support and encourage others.


Katie Gawronski

NSC Analyst II

Katie joined ELM in 2024 with more than 10 years of experience in financial aid administration. Prior to joining ELM, Katie worked as a financial aid counselor at public universities in her state including Winthrop University, her alma mater.  She enjoys assisting customers and working to make their day easier.  In her spare time, Katie enjoys spending time outdoors, reading and traveling. 


Gordon Silver

NSC Analyst II

Gordon joined ELM in February of 2024, bringing 23 years of experience in the fields of finance, student lending, and project management. As part of the ELM team, he enjoys meeting and interacting with customers from around the country. In his spare time, he enjoys sailing, woodworking, and raising alpacas with his wife.


Paulette Leach

Manager - Production Services & NDN

Paulette started in the student loan industry in 1988 at Unipac/Nelnet. She became the supervisor of the ELM National Disbursement Network in 2000 and later the manager in 2003. Today, she manages ELM's Production Services team, which supports the origination, disbursement, and refund processes at ELM. Her team creates and updates customer profiles, supports ELM's NSC team's internal requests, and reconciles the movement of funds. Paulette works from her home office in Colorado and enjoys hiking with her husband and dog, Lulu.


Stacey Nibbe-Cadam

Senior Financial System Analyst

Stacey is ELM’s Senior Financial System Analyst on the Production Services team and has been with ELM since 2000.  She began her career in 1990 working at Unipac/Nelnet where she gained her experience in the Loan Origination, Client Accounting and ELM NDN departments.  In her spare time she enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, car shows, scenic drives with the Mile Hi Cobra car club and spending time with her husband and dogs, Roanan & Loki.

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