Ryan Mack graduated from the University of Michigan Business School (ranked number one in the country) with a concentration in Finance. His career in equity markets began in Detroit, Michigan as a stock trader and later as a trader for the largest NASDAQ trading firm in the nation, Knight Securities. Having a passion for teaching he established his own financial awareness group in 2003 where he began to publish regular newsletters about various financial related issues that were of interest to people of all income levels. Having had the opportunity to continue his career with several of the nation’s largest and most prestigious financial planning firms, Mr. Mack believed there was an industry void relative to providing advice and services to a broader spectrum of individuals. He saw a need to provide personal attention and elevated client service to all individuals of all income levels and not solely the high net-worth clientele. This prompted him to establish his own financial planning firm, Optimum Capital Management, LLC.
Ryan Mack can be regularly viewed on television networks such as GMTV, CNBC, CNN, Thomson Reuters, and BET discussing economic/social issues that impact American citizens. He has written and published the book “Living in the Village” which has received rave reviews from Christine Romans and Ali Velshi of CNN along with Doug Flynn, Alfred A. Edmond Jr., and others well known for their expertise in the financial world. Ryan has also been profiled in Tavis Smiley’s Covenant and Action (a New York Times Bestseller); co-authored a book with Kevin Powell entitled “The Black Male Handbook”; featured in Black Enterprise, African American Family, The Source & NV Magazine; contributes regularly to Huffingtonpost.com, The Network Journal, Fortune, and Black Enterprise; received the Top 40 Ander 40 Achievement Award from The Network Journal; was inducted by Medgar Evers College (where he currently serves as a board member) into its national honor society PI ETA KAPPA as a honorary member; and received Tom Joyner’s “Hardest Working Financial Advisor Award” because of his efforts to empower the community with the crucial life skills of financial literacy. Having completed a 13 city national tour promoting financial literacy in 2012, he has received numerous awards for his work in schools and communities.
Manyell L. Akinfe, Senior Financial Advisor
Manyell Akinfe’s career in financial services began, when in search of a strategy to pay off her student loan and achieve home ownership, she met with a financial services representative. After meeting with the representative she realized how little she knew about personal finance. Determined to improve her financial IQ, and commited to empower others to do the same she left her ten-year career in luxury merchandising to work in financial services.
Staying true to her belief that people have a responsibility to uplift themselves, their family, and then their community she has been a financial presenter for the New York Urban League, NAACP, NYU Silver School of Social Work, WBLS Circle of Sisters, and has facilitated a host of seminars for churches, community centers, and non-profits. She is a regular radio show guest, and has appeared on New York’s Hot 97 as well as several Blog Talk Radio shows. She is a Reuters, CNBC, TIMES NOW, JET Magazine and Black Enterprise Business Report contributor, and has been featured on Essence.com. Manyell is a regular volunteer for the Emmanuel Community Economic Development Corporation, and the World of Money.org. In addition to her public service, she has helped several clients reach their goals by providing sound investment advice, creative budgeting strategies and realistic solutions to debt elimination. Despite her untraditional beginnings, Manyell is a true financial literacy advocate.
Akinfe currently serves as Optimum’s Senior Financial Advisor. Within her career at Optimum, she has organized an economic town hall with the Harlem Children Zone, created a first time home buyers workshop for Carver Bank, and assisted the New York City’s DA’s Office and Department of Juvenile Justice design a program to fight recidivism through economic empowerment. She is the Co-Chair of The Optimum Institute of Economic Empowerment, and the creator of their social campaign The Money Movement, which uses pop culture to promote financial responsibility.