executive thinkers

Martin Wong - Chief Executive Officer

Martin Wong has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry with the majority of his time spent in the consumer finance sector. In his role as CEO, Martin is dedicated to ensuring that Think Finance helps its clients offer the highest quality, most innovative products to consumers. Before his role at Think Finance, Martin held executive business, legal and compliance roles at Citigroup, Western Union Company and the Cigna Corporation. Martin graduated with a Bachelor of Public Administration degree from Loyola University-New Orleans and he also holds a JD from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

When not in the office, Martin enjoys traveling with his three children and playing tennis.

Nina Vitagliano — Chief Financial Officer

Nina Vitagliano brings over two decades of finance and accounting experience to Think Finance. Prior to joining Think Finance, Nina was the Controller for Cash America International, which gives her unique insight into the needs of Think Finance's lending clients. In addition to Cash America, Nina has also held similar positions with Citibank and Chase Bank.  She began her career with Coopers & Lybrand after graduating from Arizona State University with a degree in accounting.

Nina enjoys almost any type of shopping and spends most of her spare time with her two children and energetic dachshunds Dolce and Gabbana.

Bill Kontgis — Chief Information Officer

Bill Kontgis has over 20 years of leadership experience in the Financial Services industry; and has held a number of executive level positions at major corporations such as CountryWide Bank, Digital Insight, and First Nationwide Bank. Prior to joining Think Finance in September 2011, Bill was CIO at Green Dot, a leader in the Prepaid Debit Card industry, where he led the IT organization. As CIO of Think Finance Bill is responsible for all IT and operations including development, security, quality assurance, and IT strategic planning. Bill graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics.

In his spare time, Bill enjoys hiking with his two Australian Shepherds, Mick and Murphy, reading Tolkien-like fiction, and is a sports enthusiast. He follows all sports including international soccer, basketball (the Lakers are his favorite), baseball and college football - he remains a loyal Utah fan.

Stephen Costas — General Counsel

Stephen Costas utilizes his extensive legal experience with banks and other financial institutions to provide leadership for Think Finance's legal and regulatory affairs. Stephen recently served as General Counsel at Beal Bank where he worked extensively with federal and state regulators. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for CitiCapital Commercial Corporation and Director of Law for White Motor Corporation - Financial Services Group.

Stephen holds a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and a Bachelor's degree from Ohio Wesleyan University. In his free time, Stephen enjoys swimming, reading and keeping up with his family.

Ranga Kothamasu — Chief Risk Officer

Ranga has over 12 years of experience in analytical environments spanning academics, manufacturing, retail and finance industries. He brings extensive leadership experience in credit risk management across various functions including Originations, Account Management, Fraud Risk Management and Decision Sciences. Earlier in his career, Ranga worked to create solutions based on statistical analysis, linear and non-linear optimization and machine learning algorithms. Ranga holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a Master's and Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Toledo and BITS Pilani, India respectively.

When Ranga is not eating dry Ramen noodles while analyzing statistical equations, he spends his time reading non-fiction literature in science & technology, finance and history. Luckily his family helps to balance him out.

Michelle Nguyen — Chief Product Officer

Michelle Nguyen came to Think Finance in 2006 and is responsible for all aspects of Product Management and Marketing. Simply put, she ensures that all the services provided by Think Finance help its clients to solve the needs of their customers. Prior to becoming a Thinker, Michelle has held leadership positions in product, marketing and finance that included a range of industries from telecom to financial software to internet start-ups. Michelle graduated from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelors in Business Administration in Finance and Organization Behavior and also holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Michelle describes herself as an original foodie and says her favorite food is bacon-before it was cool. She loves restaurants of all calibers, and watches Food Network regularly. Luckily for her family, she also loves to cook.

Stephen Smith — VP of Compliance

With more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, Steve Smith oversees Think Finance's compliance management program. Prior to joining Think Finance, Steve had various leadership roles in loan servicing and consumer compliance for California Federal Bank and Citigroup as well as running a community bank in Dallas for four years.  Steve is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with a minor in Finance.

Steve is a sports junkie who regularly attends Dallas Stars games, though as a native New Yorker, he remains a die-hard Yankees fan.

Krista Pender — Senior Human Resources Manager

Krista Pender joined Think Finance in 2006 and is responsible for overseeing all Human Resources functions including: benefits administration, recruiting, employee onboarding, employee relations and training and development. Krista has extensive experience in HR and has been an HRCI certified professional for 7 years. Prior to joining Think Finance Krista served in HR roles at VarTec Telecom, LSG Sky Chefs, and CBCA, Inc.

Krista is a busy wife and mother with three active teenagers. Her fourth child is a five year old blue heeler who rarely leaves her side.