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Meet Kelly Uphoff, Tala’s new CTO

Where are you from? 

I am from the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Easton, specifically. Named the 8th best small town in America!

What do you do at Tala? 

I’m the Chief Technology Officer so my job is to ensure that we have strong teams of engineers and data scientists who effectively build towards a product that delights our customers and adds value to their lives. Tala can be thought of as a data science company, so ensuring we have quality data and machine learning models that add value to the day-to-day lives of our current and future customers is a big part of my role. 

Did you always know you wanted to work in tech? 

I actually didn’t know early on. I joined the Peace Corp as a business entrepreneurship volunteer and my job was to help small-scale entrepreneurs in the former Soviet Union get small loans to start and build their businesses – which is why Tala is full circle for me. I found my path in tech through a 10-year journey at Netflix. Above all, I love “making things happen” and when you are in tech, you are in the drivers’ seat of enabling amazing, world-changing vision.

What’s something people may not know about your job? 

I spend a lot of time recruiting amazing talent to join Tala. So, the job is inherently technical but you are also in the “people business”; I love learning what motivates people and getting them excited about our mission and the amazing problems we get to solve.

Why did you decide to join Tala? 

I thought it combined an amazing, unique, and REAL mission with innovative technology and data. I thought I could apply my skills to truly make a difference. And, I liked that data was at the forefront of this vision. I was also inspired by Shivani and what she has built so far.

What are you most excited about that’s coming up?

I am excited for “Tala for All” – expanding beyond our current lending product to become a financial hub for all of the globally underestimated. More products, features and functionality as part of the Tala customer experience and more opportunities to use data to bring value to the customer.

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