About the Rocket Dollar Team
Rocket Dollar was founded in 2018 with the belief that retirement is changing. We believe that people should not be limited in their investment options as they work towards the retirement they envision for themselves. We're here to make it safe, simple, and fast for people to take control of their retirement savings.
Where we’re from
Who we are
Our team brings together over 100 years of combined experience in the retirement industry. We knew that there was a better way for folks to prepare for retirement, and not only invest in the things they want, but to be able to do so safely, securely, and quickly.
Co-founder & CEO
Prior to Rocket Dollar, Yoshida was the co-founder of Honest Dollar, a robo-advisor retirement platform that was acquired by Goldman Sachs, as well as a founder of MY Group LLC, a $2.5-billion assets under management investment firm.
He is a NextGen Venture and Central Texas Angel Network Partner, as well as a Techstars and Capital Factory mentor. In addition, Yoshida is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and a former Merrill Lynch Vice President. He was a two-time finalist for PLANSPONSOR’s Retirement Plan Advisor of the Year and a 401(k) Leadership finalist for the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries.
Yoshida graduated from The University of Texas at Austin and holds an MBA from both the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University and Queen’s University in Canada. He resides in Austin with his wife and two daughters.
Co-founder & VP Marketing
Thomas Young is a marketing professional with years of experience in the start-up community. He started his career at AngelSpan, Inc., before founding a marketing agency catering to financial professionals. His experiences with clients led him to the self-directed space, where he quickly realized that people are yearning for more control and that there was a need for a company to make it safe, secure, and fast for people to invest their retirement savings in the assets of their choice.
Young's close contact with many self-directed investors led him to identify a strong need for a platform combining the best attributes of a self-directed account while leveraging the best technology of the day to make it easy to operate these accounts.
Young currently lives in Austin and enjoys running around town lake when he’s not thinking of ways to share the Rocket Dollar story. He is from Mexico City and attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he pursued a degree in Economics.
COO & CRO
Chris Palmisano is Chief Operating Officer/Chief Revenue Officer and Board Member at Rocket Dollar. He has held leadership roles in sales, marketing, business development, and operations at Khorus Software, SolarWinds, and Google.
He is a mentor at startup accelerators, a guest lecturer at business schools, an angel investor, Founding Venture Partner at NextGen Venture Partners, and an advisor to CEOs.
Chris is a former Marine Corps officer and lives in Austin, Texas. He holds an MBA, Beta Gamma Sigma, from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, an MS from Boston University, a BS from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a US patent in mobile computing.
CTO & CPO
Mike Panzarella is Chief Technology Officer and Chief Product Officer at Rocket Dollar. Mike has held leadership roles at design-focused companies where he innovated financial products touched by millions of people.
Prior to Rocket Dollar, Mike served as the Deposit Operations Lead at Square Financial Services, where he successfully helped initiate the first De Novo ILC Bank approved in 14 years. Mike also served as Chief Design and Product Officer at Green Dot Corporation, leading the design of fintech products used by over 8 million customers via partnerships with large corporations including Apple and Uber. Mike’s experience spans 20 years across product, financial services, and consulting with Fortune 500 companies, startups, venture capital and consulting firms.
Mike founded Better Fintech, a company focused on financial equality for underserved communities. Panzarella graduated from Franklin University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and attended The Ohio State University. He resides in Phoenix, AZ.
Principal Architect & Engineer
Martinez lives in Austin and spends his time exploring the social and biological ecosystems of the city when he’s not at work building Rocket Dollar software.
VP Finance & Strategy
Brooke Borden is a seasoned corporate finance and private equity professional. He has been an M&A advisor, worked on Wall Street underwriting IPOs, a senior member of management for a Bahrain-based commercial and investment bank, managed hundreds of millions of private equity investments for Bahrain and Geneva, Switzerland based institutions, as well as served on the Board of Directors, Advisory Board and Investment Committee for a $100 million Singapore venture capital fund.
He earned a Bachelor's in Economics and MBA in Finance from San Diego State University.
Originally from Texas, Brooke and his wife returned to Austin two years ago after living in the Middle East and Europe for a decade.
Lead Product Manager
Bryan is a product manager at Rocket Dollar with a background in business analysis and project management. He and the team build products using a Scrum framework under Agile & Lean methodologies. Bryan focuses on optimizing the user experience and delivering new features for our customers.
Prior to joining Rocket Dollar, Bryan led various teams at different Austin-based startups in the home and construction industries. He holds a BBA in Finance and a BS in Communication Studies from the University of Texas.
Bryan lives in Austin, Texas. Outside of work, you can find him spending time outdoors with his dogs. He also enjoys playing sports, improving his culinary skills, and exploring new topics in personal finance.
Lead Customer Success
Joe began his financial services career with Merrill Lynch in 2007 after a successful career co-managing an import/manufacturing garment family business in New York. He has been a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo Advisors and held an operational position with Merrill Lynch. Joe graduated from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, earned a law degree at Brooklyn Law School and admittance to the New York State Bar. He is originally from Garden City on Long Island, moved back to Texas in 2018, and loves calling Texas home again, previously having lived in Dallas from 2006 through 2010.
Rodney is an experienced designer and front-end engineer at Rocket Dollar. He is a well-rounded creative with technical and product development experience. Rodney is a former Techstars Associate and the former Head of Account Management at BlueCheck, Inc., an Identity Verification platform for online transactions.
Martinez currently lives in Austin and enjoys cooking gourmet meals, enjoying the great outdoors, and practicing yoga when he’s not busy building assets for Rocket Dollar. He graduated from The University of Colorado at Denver with a BFA in Film Production.
Colton lives in south Austin and enjoys spending time outdoors, specifically Zilker Park and Lady Bird Lake Trail. On the weekends he often travels to his hometown of Corpus Christi where he spends most of his time in Baffin Bay fishing and helping out with his family's fishing charter business.
José Mata has worked over 20 years as a Software Quality Assurance Engineer, working in Austin, San Francisco, New York, and Paris. He writes automated tests using Selenium and Python and co-wrote an introductory Selenium course in 2018. As a member of the American Software Testing Qualification Board (ASTQB) Technical Advisory Group, he wrote questions for qualification exams and facilitated their translation to Spanish. José is conversational in Spanish and French and is an award-winning maker of short films.
Aditya graduated with a Master's degree in Computer Science from Florida International University (FIU). He has worked as a Full Stack Engineering Intern and Software Engineer earlier. He has received his Bachelors Degree in Computer Engineering. Aditya also had the opportunity to work as a Graduate Research Assistant during his time at FIU. While working as Graduate Research Assistant, he was exposed to aspects of Machine Learning Models, Full Stack Web Development etc. Further, he had the opportunity to work on several academic projects and published a paper in an International Journal.
In addition to academic and professional interests, Aditya has been an indispensable part of the Rotaract Club of Thane Downtown, which is a global youth organization which works towards community service through fellowship. During his association with this organization, he served in vital positions like the Club Secretary and Vice President. Aditya also takes keen interest in soccer and enjoys playing it over weekends.
Sales Operations Manager
Brendan Walsh is a fintech entrepreneur and Wisconsin-Madison graduate, coming from the financial advising and the retirement industry in Chicago. Before joining Rocket Dollar, He consulted various fintech, crypto, and blockchain startups growing throughout his home city. He is also the first to relocate from outside Austin to join the growing Rocket Dollar home office.
He specializes in sales and customer service automation, operations, and partnership management. Brendan has a talent for recognizing opportunities in new markets and creating efficiencies to accelerate the speed of a fintech organization. Using his experience as a financial planner and a 401(k) advisor, Brendan also manages the ever-expanding customer knowledge base for Rocket Dollar.
Brendan can usually be found enjoying the live music scene of Austin, local tech events, biking outdoors, as well as sailing on Lake Travis and around the world.
Nick began his financial services career with AIG SunAmerica in 2003, directly after graduating from the University of California Santa Barbara. He comes to Rocket Dollar with over 15 years of financial services experience such as retirement plan consulting, investment analysis, mega-affluent client services, and establishing a retirement services division at CLS Partners, LLC. He is originally from California, but moved to Austin in 2007 with his wife. His son and daughter are native Texans (hook ‘em), while his wife roots for the Iowa Hawkeyes during football season.
In the press
“When it comes to possible investments, ‘the sky’s the limit’ for those who board the Rocket Dollar...rocket.”
“One of the more interesting startups that I learned about and that launched during SXSW is an Austin-based company called Rocket Dollar...”
“Austin’s Rocket Dollar is Shaking up the way Individuals Invest Their Retirement Dollars.”