First Lady Doyle: To Present First-Ever Financial Literacy Awards

Contact: Megan Perkins, Office of the First Lady, 608-266-7116

April is Saving and Investing Awareness Month

First Lady Jessica Doyle will present the first-ever Governor’s Financial Literacy Awards at a ceremony at the Executive Residence on Monday, April 3, 2006. The presentations will be part of a proclamation-signing occasion that highlights the month of April as Saving and Investing Awareness Month in Wisconsin.

Eleven individuals and five organizations will receive the 2006 awards which were created by the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy to recognize excellence in increasing financial literacy among Wisconsin citizens. Mrs. Doyle is honorary chair of the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy.

The awards were based on four criteria: innovative implementation, demonstrated measurable results, collaboration with partners and scope-either statewide or having the potential to be statewide or focused to need-based groups.

Winners of individual awards include:
+ Karla Cornell-Wevley, Information Studies Teacher, and Connie Blackman, Information Studies Teacher (joint nomination), River Bluff Middle School, Stoughton, WI
+ Ricardo Diaz, Executive Director, United Community Center, Milwaukee, WI
+ Jim Guenther, President, EconomicsWisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
+ Lori Koenig, Financial Literacy Teacher, Stanley Correctional Institution, Stanley, WI
+ Jodi Owens, Consultant, Financial Education and Economic Development, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Madison, WI
+ Dr. Mark Schug, Director, Center for Economic Education, UW-Milwaukee
+ Dr. Thomas Scullen, Superintendent, Appleton Area School District, Appleton, WI
+ Deloris Sims, CEO, Legacy Bank, Milwaukee, WI
+ Sharon Waukau, Purchasing Manager, Menominee Tribal Enterprises, Neopit, WI
+ William Wilcox, President, CBM Credit Education Foundation, Inc., Madison, WI

Winners of organizational awards include:
+ Asset Builders of America, Inc., Madison, WI
+ Precision Information Systems LLC, Madison, WI
+ Wisconsin Bankers Association Personal Economics Program, Madison, WI
+ Wisconsin Credit Union League (REAL Solutions program), Pewaukee WI
+ Wisconsin Jumpstart Coalition on Personal and Economic Education for Youth, Madison, WI

“These individuals and organizations have distinguished themselves and truly deserve this tribute,” said Mrs. Doyle. “Their hard work and dedication have made Wisconsin the national leader in promoting financial literacy and I thank the Council for recognizing them. It is appropriate to honor them at a ceremony that raises awareness of the need to improve financial literacy.”

Saving and Investing Awareness Month is part of a nationwide effort to raise consciousness of the value of saving and investing plans and to promote the continued need for improved financial literacy.

The social and economic costs of financial ignorance are great. Money problems are the leading cause of divorce and a leading cause of suicides. Stress caused by money worries among workers results in low morale, low productivity, theft, fighting, absenteeism, tardiness and other problems that hurt the bottom line of employers and ultimately the economy. Numerous surveys by the National Jumpstart Coalition (NJC) have found that high school students achieve failing scores on tests of their financial knowledge and seem to be following in their parents’ financial footsteps. Results of the latest nationwide NJC survey will be released at the Federal Reserve in Washington on April 6. Wisconsin specific results will be available.

DFI Secretary Lorrie Keating Heinemann will participate in the proclamation-signing ceremony along with representatives from the Wisconsin Bankers Association, Community Bankers of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Credit Union League and Credit Union National Association, CBM Credit Education Foundation, Inc., Madison Financial Literacy Network, Wisconsin Jumpstart Coalition, Milwaukee Saves/Wisconsin Saves, and DFI. A group of student finalists in a financial literacy poster contest recently conducted at Menominee Indian High School to promote Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites will also be recognized at the ceremony.

“DFI is happy to support Saving and Investing Awareness Month and to promote financial literacy throughout the year,” said Secretary Keating Heinemann. “The more people understand about their own money, the better they will be able to provide for themselves and their families.”

WHAT: Financial Literacy Award Presentation

WHERE: Executive Residence
99 Cambridge Road

WHEN: Monday, April 3, 2006