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For Immediate Release
January 31, 2006  

First-Ever Governor’s Financial Literacy Awards Announced

(Madison) The Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy (GCFL) has selected the first-ever winners of the Governor’s Financial Literacy Awards. Eleven individuals and five organizations will receive the 2006 awards which were created to recognize excellence in increasing financial literacy among Wisconsin citizens. The selections were made at a January 18 meeting of the GCFL. DFI is assisting the committee in arranging an awards ceremony and details of that event will be released at a future date.

The honorees were selected by the GCFL based on nominations received from the Council’s Awards Committee. The evaluation of nominees was 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-Weyley, 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

“Congratulations to each of these distinguished individuals and organizations,” said Governor Jim Doyle. “Their hard work to promote financial education has made Wisconsin the recognized national leader when it comes to financial literacy. They richly deserve this honor for their sustained, enthusiastic commitment and I thank the Council for recognizing them. I also encourage them to continue their efforts to improve financial literacy in Wisconsin,” added Governor Doyle.

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.

Today’s youth appear to be following in their parents’ financial footsteps. In a nationwide study conducted in 2004 by the National Jumpstart Coalition (NJC), Wisconsin 12th graders achieved an average score of 54.7 percent on a test of their financial knowledge. While it was above the national average of 52.3 percent, the score remains an “F” on any grading scale. The NJC will release the results of a new nationwide survey in April.

Governor Doyle created the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy in early 2005 to advise him on how to improve the financial literacy of Wisconsin’s citizens. First Lady Jessica Doyle is the Honorary Chair of the Council. DFI provides coordination and administrative support for the GCFL.

For more information about the Governor’s Financial Literacy Award contact David Mancl, Director, Office of Financial Literacy at 608-261-9540 or email him at david.mancl@dfi.state.wi.us.