Round Rock, TX – Trellis Company, a nonprofit 501(c )(3) corporation and leading provider of loan and contact center support and financial education services for the U.S. Government and commercial businesses, today announced that the Board of Directors has selected Debra J. Chromy, Ed.D. as President & CEO of Trellis Company effective May 31, 2021. Dr. Chromy takes over from interim President and CEO Renard Johnson, who stepped down from the Trellis Board to steer the company in January of 2021. Johnson will return to the Board upon Dr. Chromy’s arrival.

“The Board is exceptionally pleased to have Dr. Chromy join Trellis,” said Ed Escudero, Trellis Board Chair. She brings a wealth of industry experience in the areas that most directly align with the company’s needs going forward. In addition to her passion for higher education and her skill in successfully navigating the industry, Dr. Chromy’s track record for developing strategies that deliver business growth and inspiring those around her to be successful represents some of the most impressive results we have seen.”

“Dr. Chromy is a fantastic choice to lead Trellis into the future,” said Renard Johnson, Trellis’ Interim President and CEO. “I’ve been very impressed with the work the Trellis and Waypoint teams have done over the past 90 days to preserve our momentum. Dr. Chromy’s expertise will be a huge complement to those efforts. She is coming in at a great time to build on our existing opportunities and create new ones.”

Most recently, Dr. Chromy served as the President of the Education Finance Council (EFC), where she led advocacy efforts on regulatory and legislative issues related to student loans and higher education. Dr. Chromy is a finance and higher education veteran who has worked in the student loan industry her entire career. She has worked in student loan servicing, lending, and for a FFELP guarantor. During her time at EFC, Dr. Chromy was responsible for leading the organization’s advocacy efforts on related regulatory and legislative issues. She is well-known and respected in the industry and regularly collaborates with industry partners, the White House Administration, and Congress.

Dr. Chromy has volunteered on a number of higher education and nonprofit boards and is currently a member of the National Student Clearinghouse Board of Directors.

“This is an exciting time at Trellis, and I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the organization during a period of unprecedented change in this country,” remarked Dr. Chromy. “The Trellis mission resonates with me on both a personal and professional level. As a first-generation college student, I understand how educational opportunity can improve not just an individual’s life, but their entire family’s future. I have spent most of my career developing strategies to help organizations expand and execute against their mission; I look forward to working with the Trellis team as together we embrace the change in front of us and continue to deliver exceptional value and positive outcomes for all Trellis customers.”

Prior to EFC, Dr. Chromy served as the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and the Vice President of Government Affairs for American Student Assistance (ASA). Dr. Chromy holds an A.B. in economics from Smith College, an M.B.A. from Boston University, and an Ed. D. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania.


About Trellis Company
Trellis Company is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation with the dual mission of helping student borrowers successfully repay their education loans and promoting access and success in higher education.

For over 40 years, we have had a successful track record of delivering positive outcomes for students and institutions. Our strong philanthropic heritage of giving through grants to colleges, universities, and research groups remains focused on improving student outcomes, especially to assist underserved students and families, and to help institutions navigate the changing landscape of higher education.

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