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Get to Know OCC’s Investor Education Team

July 31, 2023

The Investor Education team manages The Options Industry Council (OIC®), an industry and investor resource provided by OCC. OIC, established in 1992, is dedicated to educating individual investors, financial advisors and institutions on the benefits and risks of exchange-listed options. OIC offerings are provided at no cost.

The team, consisting of five experienced options educators and five operational staff members, is responsible for the creation and delivery of OIC educational offerings. Together, the team delivers educational content through the comprehensive OIC website, OptionsEducation.org, that features articles, podcasts, webinars, courses, tools, and videos. OIC option professionals also represent OCC at industry conferences, provide live instruction in collaboration with market participants, and offer daily support to investors and industry personnel via inquiries made to the communications desk.

Ed Modla

Executive Director, Investor Education 

Professional Background:

  • Leads strategy and execution for OCC’s options education initiatives
  • 20+ years of experience in financial services, including 13 years as a trader
  • Futures trading background in energy & metals
  • Skilled in derivatives trading, portfolio management, financial risk, public speaking and sales

Fast Facts:

  • Former CBOE market maker in AMZN trading pit
  • Named Best Options Educator in 2022 by TradersWorld

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Lindsay Burke

Director, Investor Education Marketing & Operations

Professional Background:

  • Leads marketing and operations strategy
  • 10+ years of experience in financial services, education, digital marketing and market research industries
  • Skilled in project management, email marketing, marketing automation, lead generation, analytics, social media and customer relationship management

Fast Facts:

  • Certified Pardot Specialist, Salesforce
  • Learned to scuba dive in the Kankakee Quarry

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in international relations and affairs from University of Colorado Boulder

Mark Benzaquen

Principal, Investor Education

Professional Background:

  • OIC Instructor; leads strategy and execution of  options-related digital education content 
  • Nearly 30 years of experience in financial services industry, including 15+ years in brokerage operations and execution
  • Skilled in proprietary trading, options, electronic trading, and ETF trading 

Fast Facts:

  • Was the lead broker for his firm in the NDX/RUT trading pit for more than a decade

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in economics from Illinois State University

Ken Keating

Principal, Investor Education 

Professional Background:

  • OIC Instructor
  • Nearly 30 years of experience in financial services, including 25+ years in trading and equity derivatives analysis
  • Skilled in proprietary trading, volatility arbitrage, equity derivatives, market making, and trading systems

Fast Facts:

  • Series 56 certified
  • Traded as a self-backed sole proprietor for nearly two years, making markets in 100 different issues as a remote market maker on the CBOE
  • Worked for a SaaS start-up for 3 years tracking and analyzing derivative and equity flows for publicly traded companies

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in economics from Golden Gate University

Mathew Cashman

Principal, Investor Education

Professional Background:

  • OIC Instructor; manages options education resources
  • 20+ years of experience in financial services and derivatives trading
  • Skilled in electronic trading, equity derivatives, trading strategies, and trading systems

Fast Facts:

  • Helped launch the London trading desk of DRW, a Chicago-based options trading firm, and was instrumental in building DRW’s presence in London
  • Former partner at Toro Trading and helped build the Chicago market-making firm over the course of a decade

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in music/philosophy from Northwestern University
  • Master’s degree in music from University of Houston

Tricia Perl

Principal, Investor Education

Professional Background:

  • Manages planning and execution of meetings and events, including annual Options Industry Conference
  • 25+ years of experience in financial services industry
  • Skilled in corporate meetings and events, strategic planning, and project management

Fast Facts:

  • Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)
  • Current board member for Women in Listed Derivatives (WILD)

Education:

  • Pursued bachelor’s degree in finance from DePaul University

Roma Colwell

Associate Principal, Investor Education

Professional Background:

  • OIC Instructor
  • 25+ years of experience in the securities industry, including 18 years as a floor broker, market maker, and risk manager
  • Skilled in proprietary trading, derivatives, volatility, trading strategies, and market making

Fast Facts:

  • Started her career on the Pacific Stock Exchange in San Francisco before moving to Chicago to trade on the CBOE
  • Was an educator at Group One LP teaching new traders about market making

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in math-economics from UC Santa Barbara

Chris Nichols

Associate Principal, Investor Education

Professional Background:

  • Manages development backlog for theocc.com and MyOCC, reports website analytics and creates content
  • 25+ years of writing, editing and content creation experience in the financial services and business news industries
  • Skilled in editorial content development, agile methodologies, publishing, website analytics, and copy editing

Fast Facts:

  • Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®)
  • Has written and edited content for Dow Jones Newswires, The Street, Bloomberg, and Yahoo Finance

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Master’s degree in business administration from University of Texas at Tyler

Giang Ngo

Associate Principal, Investor Education

Professional Background:

  • Executes marketing and operations strategy
  • 9+ years of experience in the advertising, consumer goods, gaming, and financial services industries
  • Skilled in marketing communications and strategy, market research, strategic planning, and branding

Fast Facts:

  • Was a professional life skill coach and conducted nearly 600 hours of training
  • Has visited Petra, Jordan, founded in 312 B.C and one of the oldest cities in the world

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in international business from Foreign Trade University Vietnam
  • Master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Loyola University Chicago
  • Master’s degree in business administration from Loyola University Chicago

Jamie Kolar

Senior Associate, Investor Education

Professional Background:

  • Executes digital media and events strategy
  • 5+ years of experience in healthcare, education, real estate, and financial services industries
  • Skilled in content writing, customer relationship management, social media, and marketing

Fast Facts:

  • Formerly a competitive swimmer for many years, starting from age 10, and was a 2016 Olympic Trial Qualifier
  • Was an assistant property manager for two years

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary health sciences from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Master’s degree in marketing from University of Cincinnati
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