Membership Spotlight: Madeleine Greene, 2014 AFCPE® Financial Counselor of the Year
Madeleine Greene is an award-winning educator, speaker, author, TV and radio show host and value-oriented penny pincher at heart. In 2014, she added AFCPE Financial Counselor of the Year to her list of accolades. As a longtime, active member of AFCPE®, Madeleine has played an instrumental role in AFCPE’s history and growth, but this past year she was honored by the professionals in our membership for the incredible work that she does as an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®).
Madeleine retired as a tenured member of the faculty of the University of Maryland-College Park in 2007, but continues to work tirelessly as a military consumer financial services consultant and money counselor. “Madeleine has a passion for helping individuals understand the importance of their actions today and the impact that these actions have on the stability of their financial futures,” said a nominator. “She helps clients establish a budget, track their spending, understand the impact of credit use and creating a savings plan using available resources to track and reach their financial goals.”
Her clients are diverse – ranging from service members returning from Afghanistan with significant savings and no understanding of how to build wealth to a young widow having to make financial decisions in order to provide for herself and her child. She also does pro bono work with senior citizens, helping them apply for property tax credit, file income taxes, qualify for Medicaid, conserve their resources and avoid scams.
In addition to one-on-one financial counseling, Madeleine has been highly involved in curriculum development and educational programs. She was part of a team that developed the personal finance curriculum used by the military life consultants, and she has presented more than 100 seminars to service members of all groups and sizes. Since 2008, her educational presentations have reached more than 50,000 individuals a year. Madeleine is also currently serving as the Chair of the AFCPE Certification Council.
Her passion for the field and for consumers is evident in her work as a Maryland Financial Literacy Coalition Member. She recently testified before the Maryland Legislature in support of legislation requiring a personal finance class as a graduation requirement and she worked with the Fredrick County Commission for Women to develop the MD Women’s Conference, providing knowledge and skills that positively impact the financial future and quality of life for women and families in Maryland.
Colleagues and clients alike value Madeleine’s unique approach to counseling and education. She makes financial topics that can seem overwhelming or complicated, understandable. Life savers, payday candy bars, 100 grand bars, larger than life currency, shredded money and flashing dollar signs are just a few of the tools she uses when teaching basic money concepts to groups. Madeleine understands her audience and uses real life events as the basis of her financial lessons.
Madeleine educates, counsels and mentors with a level of commitment felt by all whom she serves. Her level of expertise in a variety of areas has allowed her to affect positive change in many different ways within the field. The legacy that Madeleine has built will be the tremendous impact she has had on our organization and on the field of financial counseling and education.