Management Team

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Dr. Diane Chen, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Diane Chen, founder, president and CEO of Consumer Education Services Inc., offers a vast knowledge of business and education services. At CESI, she is responsible for the Board of Directors and oversees all the operational functions of the company.

Dr. Chen earned both her Master and Doctorate degrees in adult education from North Carolina State University in 1993 and 1995 respectively. Prior to founding CESI in 1998, Dr. Chen was the president of New China Development Corporation for six years. In that capacity, she helped many North Carolina businesses, government agencies and educational institutions establish partnerships with China, and worked as a consultant to facilitate the trade and business missions between the U.S. and China.

Diane has been honored professionally as recipient of the Triangle Business Journal Women in Business Award, Business Leader Women Extraordinaire Award and Enterprising Women of the Year award for 2012 by Enterprising Women magazine. This award honors women business owners who have demonstrated that they have fast-growth businesses, mentor or actively support other women and girls involved in entrepreneurship, and stand out as leaders in their communities. In addition to that honor, Diane was also featured as News & Observer’s “Tar Heel of the Week” in June of 2012. Today, besides her work at CESI, Diane holds membership with:

  • Advisory Board of First Citizens Bank
  • Advisory Board of Enterprising Women Magazine
  • Women Presidents’ Organization

Volunteer work:

  • Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS Mentorship program 2013
  • Sam’s Club/Woman’s President Organization Leadership Program 2013

Diane is a member of the Encore Program at North Carolina State University and a committee member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh.

Steven Cole, Treasurer/Director of Finance

Since 2006, Steve has led CESI’s Finance and Accounting departments. With over 24 years of experience in the accounting and finance field, Steve’s expertise ensures that corporate assets are safeguarded through internal controls and accurate financial records. Steve is a graduate of National College of Business in South Dakota and has held multiple positions in finance and management for Fortune 500 companies. He has worked with internal auditing, finance, long range plans and served as subsidiary controller position for operations in excess of $30 million annual revenue. Steve has been licensed as a CPA for more than 20 years and is also a certified BV auditor.

 Jean Elias, Vice President of Marketing


Jean Elias joined CESI in 2015 as Vice President of Marketing bringing with her over a decade of experience in the financial services industry, including the debt relief and structured settlement verticals. Passionate about customer experience and financial education, Jean has spent over a decade connecting highly leveraged consumers to products and services aimed at improving their financial outlooks and achieving their goals.

Jean began her career in public accounting before moving over database and digital marketing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in Economics and is a member of Delta Gamma Fraternity.

 Christel McDuffie, Director of Creditor Services and Compliance

Christel began her career at CESI Solutions in 2002 as a credit counselor. Since then, she has also served as Assistant Education Director, State Licensing Coordinator and is currently the Director of Creditor Services and Compliance.

In her current role, Christel is responsible for ensuring CESI adheres to all state and federal regulations concerning debt management as well as creditor guidelines. Her other responsibilities include managing all functions of the Creditor Services and Resolutions departments.

Christel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as a Credit Counselor Certification from the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education.

About Us

Consumer Education Services, Inc. is a non-profit organization committed to empowering and inspiring consumers nationwide to becoming debt free

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Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.

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