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Who we are | AllowanceTree.com
Who we are:
Our Goal:

We know (and love) kids, finance,, and building fun, educational web platforms. We believe the next generation needs to be trained how to use money wisely, because, let's face it - the current generation hasn't delivered the economy we hoped for.

Our goal is to provide a safe and effective tool for children (and their families) to learn good money management by doing with real money, and experiencing the benefits of their success, and the consequences of their missteps...all under close supervision of their parents.

Students enjoy a degree of financial independence and ability to grow their money. Parents enjoy the security of supervision and interaction.
Who we are
Our Team:
Arnie Benn
Arnie Benn
CEO, Co-Founder
AllowanceTree was inspired by my background teaching teenagers of all ages, and by the economic challenges we face — as a country and as individuals.

As a former middle and high school teacher (Math, Chemistry, Music, Filmmaking), I believe the skills essential for the next generation of adults must be taught during adolescence, and that the most effective learning is fun, experiential and not condescending.

Currently, our youth are not being taught how to approach money effectively. And I share their experience. As a child, my parents couldn't effectively teach me how to manage money because they were not taught. We all had to find our way as adults, and it was disturbing to me how many people are in the same position. AllowanceTree is designed to address that.

In addition to education, I spent the last decade working in the fields of video content production and online marketing and distribution. As an entrepreneur at heart, it seems fitting to me that the business I am building is one that teaches children to manage money wisely, and hopefully enable them to start their own businesses in the future.

A few boring bio details if you want them: I grew up in South Africa, and I have two ferrets that live with me, cage-free, which is fun.

I hope you find AllowanceTree a useful system. Please share your feedback, comments or questions with us. Our aim is to develop AllowanceTree into the most powerful, practical, financial teaching tool available for teens.

Speciality: Educational UI and Application Design, Online Marketing

Daniel Desatnik Daniel Desatnik
CTO, Co-Founder
When Arnie approached me with the idea for AllowanceTree, I immediately knew it was something I had to be a part of. As a former student of Arnie's, I have benefitted from his passion and enthusiasm for teaching. His ability to make sessions engaging, interesting, and entertaining helped me learn and apply new concepts, that, even though our lessons were many years ago, I still recall to this day. That is why, at a time when our society is collectively experiencing the ill effects of poor financial decision making at the individual, household, and governmental level, I jumped at the opportunity to create a platform that teaches the next generation financial responsibility.

While developing AllowanceTree, I wanted to create a tool that taught the important lessons while being something that I could honestly have seen myself using growing up. I began making websites when I was 10 years old. The web offered a new and exciting frontier where anyone, regardless of age or background, could achieve success with the right ideas and skills. Rather than having the traditional "lemonade stand" that many kids that age would have had, the Internet served as my entrepreneurial playground. Working as a freelance web developer, by the time I was 12 I was making websites for thousands of dollars at a time. I incorporated my first company at the age of 14. My experiences during this time were invaluable to my development. By the time I was in high school I had navigated my way through countless business negotiations. Along the way I had authored contracts, filed tax returns, invested in the stock market, written business plans, sought investment, and much more. These early forays into the business world helped lay a foundation of financial knowledge that has proven useful for me. As a result, I am strongly of the belief that the sooner you start learning about real world financial decision making, the better.

I attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where I graduated at the age of 21 with a simultaneous BA and MA in political science magna cum laude. After achieving an LSAT score of 175/180, I was admitted into Columbia Law School. I have since deferred my admission to CLS in order to pursue AllowanceTree.

In many ways, AllowanceTree is a reflection of our mutual desire to share knowledge with the younger generation through an innovative, interactive, and rewarding platform. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we enjoy providing it for you.

Speciality: Product Development, Website Interface Design, Website Programming

Basil Luck Basil Luck
Basil Luck was born in South Africa. Graduated as an Accountant. Practiced as a Public Auditor in Johannesburg, South Africa for two years and then joined one of his clients as the CFO operating a chain of motor vehicle service stations. Purchased the chain from the owner who retired in 1966. Built the chain from one location in 1966 to seven locations by 1977. In 1977 sold the company to an investor group.

In 1978 Basil took over a company providing medical supplies to both hospitals and home health care. Expanded the company to have branches in the three major cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. The Staff did an employee buy-out in 1985.

Immigrated to the United States in 1985.

Basil Luck purchased a Direct Mail company in 1986; The Company was operating out of 1,600 square feet and had 5 employees. Sold the Company to the Chief Operating Office in 2008. The company then operated out of 74,000 thousand square feet and had 87 employees.

During the period 1989 to 1994 Basil also built a chain of retail stores in Malls. The company sold the chain to Sunglass Hut in 1994. At the time of the sale the company operated 19 stores. The stores were in California, Nevada, Arizona and Minneapolis.

October 2008 Basil joined AWI as a consultant and presently holds the position of CFO and COO.

Speciality: Financials and Strategic Partnerships

Lara Franks Lara Franks
Business Development
Lara Franks hails from South Africa, where she received a post-graduate degree in Education from the University of Cape Town. After graduate school Lara worked for a management and leadership training consultancy, facilitating workshops and weekend retreats for high school leaders in preparation for the rebuilding of a post-Apartheid South Africa.

On arriving in the US in 1991, Lara went on to hold several Marketing and Communications positions in the non-profit sector. In 1997 she joined her husband in the establishment of a food service company, and currently serves as Vice President of Marketing and Development. In 2008 Lara created a pilot program to mentor young employees in self development and financial management.

As the current CEO of Frankly Healthier Living, a Holistic Wellness and Nutrition Practice located in Maryland, Lara has a deep and long-standing commitment to human development in the areas of wellness and self-advocacy. She currently holds the position of Vice-President of the Board of a non-profit agency that case manages and provides direct services for special needs children in the private Jewish school system in Baltimore. She was recently invited to participate in an advanced communal leadership training program.


Speciality: Business Development and Operations

Rohan Thakkar
When I heard about the concept of Allowancetree, I was immediately interested and wanted to be involved in the company. I was able get in contact with Daniel and Arnie and we quickly realized we all shared same passion and ideas for AllowanceTree.

As a son of a financial planner, I understand the importance of knowing finance at such a young age. My childhood dinner talks were full of discussions about the stock market and the economy, and it is because of the financial knowledge, that was instilled in me at such a young age that I am now able to balance my finances smartly.

I am currently entering my senior year at Purdue University and will be graduating with a degree in Marketing/Management. I hope to take my knowledge that I have gained from Purdue and implement


Speciality: Community Outreach, Marketing Strategy and Execution

Board Members:

Alex Maghen Alex Maghen

Former CTO of MySpace & MySpace Music, Yahoo Music, MTV Networks Online, as well as Israeli Technology Venture Capital consultant. Prior to that, VP of Production & Technology at Nickelodeon.
Sean Flynn Sean Flynn

Professor of Economics, Author "Economics for Dummies" and best-selling college Economics text book "Economics: Principles, Problems, and Policies."
Samir Thakkar Samir Thakkar

Owner, 20/20 Financial Advisors, LLC.
Samir has 20+ years’ experience in industry, leading edge solutions for executives, professionals and business owners.
David Warschawski David Warschawski

CEO, Warschawski, Inc.
David is CEO and Founder of the award-winning marketing and PR firm Warschawski since 1996.