Press Releases

For Immediate Release
June 2, 2005  

Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy Inaugural Meeting a Success
Study Shows Need for Improved Financial Savvy

(Madison) Governor Doyle's newly created Council on Financial Literacy met for the first time on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 in the State Capitol. The Council is charged with measurably improving the financial literacy of Wisconsin’s citizens.

“The Council has a broad mission, but with this energetic group of both public and private sector appointees, I am confident we will succeed in elevating the level of financial literacy across the state,” said Council Chair and Department of Financial Institutions Secretary Lorrie Keating Heinemann.

The Council consists of 20 members including the heads of six state agencies as well as top-level representatives from Wisconsin businesses, financial institutions and non-profit organizations. First Lady Jessica Doyle serves as the Honorary Chair of the Council.

The Council discussed five key areas that they would like to focus on: formal education in schools, employee education, emerging markets, fraud prevention and family financial literacy. These areas broadly cover the most important targets for improved financial literacy.

Marsha Courchane PhD, an economist with Freddie Mac, presented the findings from a Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation) study entitled, “Consumer Literacy and Credit Worthiness” to the Council. Interestingly, the Freddie Mac study found that many people think they know about and understand financial matters more than they actually do. In fact, the study revealed that 60% of Wisconsin citizens who think they know a fair amount about financial matters actually know very little. The general conclusion of the Freddie Mac study is that financial knowledge is the key factor in improving financial literacy and that this knowledge is best gained through formal education, both for children and adults.

These results will be considered by the Council as they move forward in promoting the importance of financial literacy and in advising the Governor and the State on how the public and private sectors can best collaborate to deliver financial literacy in the most efficient and effective ways.

Council members include:

Mr. Richard D. Ackley
Sokaogon (Mole Lake) Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Governor Appointee

Ms. Wendy Katherine Baumann
WI Women's Business Initiative Corp
Governor Appointee

Ms. Deborah Blanks
Social Development Commission
Governor Appointee

Mr. Jeremiah Boyle
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Governor Appointee

Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster
WI Department of Public Instruction

Secretary Roberta A. Gassman
WI Department of Workforce Development
DWD Secretary/Designee

Commissioner Jorge Gomez
Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
OCI Commissioner/Designee

Mr. David Hackworthy
RW Baird
Governor Appointee

Secretary Lorrie Keating Heinemann
WI Department of Financial Institutions
DFI Representative

Mr. David D. Mancl

Wisconsin JumpStart Coalition
Governor Appointee

Ms. Kathryn Marczak
Harley Davidson Financial Services, Inc.
Governor Appointee

Ms. Meridee J. Maynard
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co
Governor Appointee

Mr. Kevin McKinley
Author, Certified Financial Planner & Co-Host – NPR’s On Your Money
Governor Appointee

Secretary Michael L. Morgan
WI Department of Revenue
DOR Secretary/Designee

Ms. Ann Peggs
WI Women's Council
Women's Council Representative

Mr. Antonio R. Riley
WI Housing & Economic Development Authority
WHEDA Representative

Dr Mark C. Schug
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Governor Appointee

Ms. Cathie Tierney
Community First Credit Union
Governor Appointee

Mr. Douglas J. Timmerman
Governor Appointee

Mr. William Wilcox
CBM Credit Education Foundation, Inc.
Governor Appointee