Congratulations to the 2023 BAI Rising Star Award Winners and Nominees

As part of the BAI Global Innovation Awards, BAI also honored ten individuals and two teams with the BAI Rising Star Award. These up-and-coming leaders in financial services innovation were nominated by their organizations and were selected based on their impact on and passion for innovation and their ability to drive positive change in their organizations.

Ashish Garg

Co-founder and CEO

“Being named a 2023 BAI Global Innovation Rising Star Award winner is a remarkable recognition, and it means a great deal to me. For one, it’s a testament to the incredible work and dedication of the Eltropy team. It also helps fuel our mission to help transform the credit union and community banking AI communications experience for future generations. I’m truly excited about the innovative journey that lies ahead.”

Bradford Tierney

Commercial Director

“Accepting the BAI Rising Star Award is both an honor and a testament to the collective efforts of the JUMO team. This recognition fuels our drive to continue innovating and reshaping the future of fintech. Thank you for seeing the potential in our vision and for celebrating the value that JUMO brings to the African market.”

Crystal Anderson

Vice President of Product
MX Technologies, Inc.

“I enjoy the continuous challenge of building products that improve the money experience for consumers, and am honored to be recognized among the industry’s best and brightest.”

Deniz Johnson

Chief Operating Officer

“I am proud to be recognized as a mission-driven leader with my colleagues, as we power more inclusive finance with innovative technology. Through transparent AI and our cutting-edge machine learning solutions, I look forward to addressing bias, expanding more equitable credit and making a positive change in financial services and communities.”

Jacob Payne

Assistant Vice President, Learning & Development Manager

“Being named a 2023 BAI Global Innovation Rising Star Award winner is a testament to the transformative potential within the financial services industry. This recognition celebrates the spirit of innovation, passion, and positive impact. For me, it signifies a commitment to continuous learning, creative problem-solving, and driving meaningful change. I am honored and inspired to be part of a community dedicated to shaping the future of finance, and I am excited to contribute further to this impactful journey.”

Jayne Sibley

Sibstar Ltd

“I am delighted to have won a BAI Rising Star Award. It is a great privilege to have been chosen from so many amazing innovations being driven forward by incredibly talented people around the world. Thank you BAI for recognizing Sibstar and our mission with this award.”

Jennifer Upton

Senior Vice President, Manager of Strategy and Innovation
Commerce Bank

“I am honored to receive the Global Innovation Rising Star Award from BAI, and to be a part of this group of innovative leaders. I’m also grateful for Commerce’s commitment to innovation. I have a safe space to take measured risks and I am encouraged to be proactive in response to our customers’ changing needs.”

Kara Parkey

Chief of Staff
MX Technologies, Inc.

“I’ve had an extraordinary journey building and helping move the financial industry forward. It’s truly a privilege to be named among these incredible leaders.”

Kate Bulger

Vice President of Business Development
Money Management International

“The BAI Global Innovation Rising Star Award is so much more than recognition. It’s a celebration of an unwavering spirit to challenge the status quo and a symbol of one’s dedication to making a lasting impact on the world. The award is also motivating – it’s a challenge to continue to lead, innovate, and change the world for the better. I am incredibly honored to be this year’s award winner and I look forward living up to the challenge.”

Laura Kornhauser

Co-Founder & CEO Stratyfy

“I am honored to receive this Team award, alongside my colleagues who drive us to push ourselves harder every single day. Our mission at Stratyfy is to help financial institutions make informed, equitable, and profitable decisions. This recognition is a testament that what we are doing works.”

Ross Pringle

Head of Strategy, Digital Innovation & Change
Citizens Financial Group

“I’m fortunate to have one of the most creative jobs in banking. Being named a BAI Global Innovation Rising Star is wonderful recognition of the creative and inventive solutions the Commercial team at Citizens is building for our clients and colleagues.”

Shannan Herbert

Executive Vice President

“Representation in financial services is essential and we are proud of and humbled by this recognition. Being identified as a BAI Rising Star Team Award winner underscores that our work at Stratyfy is consequential. It also emphasizes the value of leveraging technology to effect meaningful and long-lasting change in the financial decisions that for too long have shortchanged women and people of color.”

Silvina Moschini

President and Founder

“I am grateful to receive the 2023 BAI Rising Star Award as a tribute to the relentless spirit of innovation and dedication that fuels Unicoin and our mission to create a platform for investment that democratizes the very essence of wealth creation.”

Sunita Jennings

Senior Engineering Manager
MX Technologies, Inc.

“I’m humbled and honored to be recognized among so many brilliant and talented leaders making an impact within financial services.”

Vimal Panjwani

Founder & CEO

“Winning BAI Rising Star Award means that our efforts and hard work are in the right direction and our vision of Empowering Farmers & Rural households with Renewable & Green Energy to fight Climate Change aligned with UN SDGs. BAI is one of the reputed and internationally acclaimed organization getting an award from them is a testament to our mission and going to be a big push in helping us make AgriVijay a Global Agtech Climate Action Enterprise impacting lives and environment together. We are honored to received the award & recognition.”

Yitz Mendlowitz


“Honored and humbled to receive the BAI Global Innovation Rising Star Award! It’s a privilege to be recognized by industry colleagues. First-party fraud has reached unprecedented levels in the ecommerce industry, but together we’re building solutions to provide the best in fraud prevention to the North American market. Excited to continue the work.”

2023 BAI Rising Star Award Nominees
Lizette Nigro

Chief Product Officer
Owners Bank, a division of Liberty Bank

Rachele Carraro

Marketing Manager

Kelsy Cowell

Training & Instructional Design Specialist
Northrop Grumman Federal Credit Union

Manny Tocco

Head of Strategy, Credit Operations and Data Analytics
Citizens Business Banking Citizens Financial Group

Justin Fischer

CEO and Co-Founder

Luan Cox


Eve Varner

Head of Advice Enablement
Wells Fargo Wealth & Investment Management

Natalia Mykhaylova



Amy Florian

Corgenius, Inc.

Trevor Lain

Founder & CEO
LexAlign PBC

Vashon Gonzales

Carat Card Club

Shobha Chanchlani

Co-Founder & Director

Kate Conroy

Senior Vice President, Enterprise Payments
Citizens Financial Group

Michael Nelskyla

Founder and CEO