Press Releases

For Immediate Release
February 07, 2008 Contact: Charles Evenson

Winners of Governor’s 2008 Financial Literacy Awards Announced

(Madison) Governor Doyle’s Council on Financial Literacy (GCFL) has selected 5 individuals and 10 organizations to receive its 2008 Governor’s Financial Literacy Awards. The awards recognize excellence in promoting financial literacy among Wisconsin citizens and will be presented at a ceremony to be scheduled in the future.

The winners were selected by the GCFL last week 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:

  • Janet Bewley, WHEDA Representative and Tribal Liaison, Ashland, WI
  • Donna Kennedy, LaFollette High School, Madison, WI
  • Stephanie Pelliterri, Wausau East High School (retired), Tomahawk, WI
  • Teri Schult, WI Indianhead Technical College, Spooner, WI
  • Fay Wagner, Lakeshore Technical College, Manitowoc, WI

Winners of organizational awards include:

  • Altra Federal Credit Union, LaCrosse, WI
  • Asset Builders of America, Inc., Madison, WI
  • Community First Credit Union, Appleton, WI
  • CoVantage Credit Union, Antigo, WI
  • M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank, Milwaukee, WI
  • Make a Difference—Wisconsin, Inc., Milwaukee, WI
  • Milwaukee Asset Building Coalition, Milwaukee, WI
  • WI Credit Union League, Pewaukee, WI
  • WI Family, Career, Community Leaders of America Foundation, Inc., Madison, WI
  • WI Women’s Business Initiative Corp., Milwaukee and Madison, WI

“I congratulate the individuals and organizations for their wonderful contributions to financial literacy,” said Governor Jim Doyle. “They are enhancing Wisconsin’s economy by making people more knowledgeable about their own money. We all benefit from that.”

The social and economic costs of financial ignorance are high. 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 2006 by the National Jumpstart Coalition (NJC), Wisconsin 12th graders achieved an average score of 53.1 percent on a test of their financial knowledge. While it was above the national average of 52.4 percent, the score remains an “F” on any grading scale. A similar survey is currently taking place and results will be announced later this year.

The GCFL was formed in early 2005 to advise Governor Doyle on how to improve the financial literacy of Wisconsin’s citizens. Two years ago it launched Money Smart Week Wisconsin in conjunction with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. It was the first-ever statewide campaign in the country to promote financial literacy. DFI provides coordination and administrative support for the GCFL and Money Smart Week Wisconsin. 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