Margaret Sherraden, PhD

Financial Capability and Asset Building in Vulnerable Households

Margaret Sherraden, PhD’s
current research focuses on adult and youth savings in the US and abroad, financial capability, and place-based community development. She also publishes on international volunteering and service, microenterprise, and immigrant birth outcomes. Professor Sherraden received the UM-St. Louis Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2004. During her tenure as President of the Missouri Association for Social Welfare (2000-2003), it celebrated a centennial, invested in a headquarters, and grew its endowment tenfold. Over several years, she has lived, worked, and conducted research overseas, including Mexico on a Fulbright fellowship, and in Puerto Rico and Singapore.

She is author of four books, including a forthcoming edited volume, Financial Capability: Research, Education, Policy, and Practice (with Julie Birkenmaier and Jami Curley), Oxford University Press; Striving to Save: Creating Policies for Financial Security of Low-Income Families (with Amanda M. McBride), University of Michigan Press, 2010;  Kitchen Capitalism: Microenterprise in Poor Households (with Cynthia K. Sanders and Michael Sherraden), State University of New York Press, 2004; and Community Economic Development and Social Work (with William C. Ninacs, Eds), Haworth Press, 1998.

Michael Thomas, Jr., AFC®

Why Financial Empathy Matters

Michael G. Thomas Jr.
is an Accredited Financial Counselor® and 4th-year PhD Financial Planning Candidate at the University of Georgia. He has co-created and facilitated financial literacy programs for kids and adults as well as given a TED talk on the importance of financial empathy. Michael co-hosts an NPR affiliated radio show, Nothing Funny About Money, and provides financial counseling services to underserved populations. His research focuses on understanding what factors influence financial well-being in low to moderate-income populations.

Financial counselors/coaches do an extraordinary job of providing clients with the necessary financial knowledge and resources to help their clients achieve financial stability and a sense of well-being. Sometimes, however, these efforts are not enough.

In this session, we will explore how demonstrating financial empathy can help support current efforts to build rapport with clients as well as improve outcomes.

Brent Neiser, CFP®, AFC®

Financial Stacking: Easing the Financial Weight of Your World… While Paving a Path Toward Prosperity

Tackle Financial Stacks of personal finance “to-dos” through choices and actions that pave a path toward prosperity. 

Where do these Financial Stacks come from? They come from the media, advertisements, experts, employers and even family members. This myriad of financial choices, opportunities and expectations is creating a heaviness of jumbled priorities that often lead to inaction, frustration, confusion and despair.

Move clients from financial bewilderment and inaction to an orderly process of choice and control. From Spending and Debt — to Savings and Retirement — Housing or Health Care – to College or Credit

Financial Stacks are cluttering and weighing on the minds, emotions and sense of well-being for many Americans. Our Financial Stacks add to America’s collective financial fragility.

In this session, we will explore Five Steps to sort and de-clutter the stack; master the nagging “to-dos” and build financial momentum, control and service to others. Together we’ll discover how to:

  1. Sequence short- and long-term financial actions
  2. Tackle tax opportunities/savings in your “stack”
  3. Overcome barriers that thwart employment and earnings growth
  4. Automate essential financial decisions that accomplish lasting goals like:  housing, small business and retirement savings
  5. Adjust your “stack” for life events/opportunities and plan for the unexpected

Brent Neiser, CFP®, AFC® is Senior Director of Strategic Programs and Alliances for the Denver-based National Endowment for Financial Education, a private operating foundation that inspires empowered financial decision making for individuals and families through every stage of life. Brent creates national programs on personal finance for the American public including Youth, College (in over 1,000 colleges), Low Income, Community, and Retirement as well as over 100 partnerships with groups like Sesame Workshop, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, American Indian College Fund and National Military Family Association.

Brent leads Strategic Intelligence and does public policy and innovation work for NEFE including working with executive agencies and testifying before Congress. He was appointed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Consumer Advisory Board through 2020.

Neiser served as executive director of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (now Financial Planning Association), a national professional association. Brent won the Financial Planning Association’s Heart of Financial Planning Award in 2010. Next Avenue named him as a Top 50 Influencer in Aging for 2017.

Brent holds masters’ degrees in Business, Global Studies (Public Diplomacy), Urban Studies and was a National CORO Foundation Public Affairs Fellow including work with Walt Disney Imagineering.

Brent has appeared on NBC’s “Today” and PBS’s “NewsHour” and in the Wall Street Journal. He has spoken at OECD conferences in Rio de Janeiro and Washington, and financial literacy summits in Seoul and Beijing.

Jorge Cham, PhD

Closing the Communication Gap

We live in a time where, despite amazing advances in technology, clear communication seems more difficult than ever. Finding common ground and establishing a common language is harder in an increasingly isolated digital world. For professionals immersed in their fields, it is all too easy to forget the skills and empathy needed to break down complex information for an outside audience. In this talk, Jorge Cham will relay his experiences helping scientists and researchers, perhaps one of the most isolated groups of professionals, communicate what they do and why they do it to the general public, and will show that even Quantum Physics and Microbiology are explainable with the right skills and the right attitude.

Jorge Cham, PhD is the creator of “PHD Comics“,  the ongoing comic strip about life (or the lack thereof) in Academia. He is also the co-founder of PHDtv, a video science and discovery outreach collaborative, and a founding board member of Endeavor College Prep, a non-profit school for kids in East L.A. He earned his Ph.D. in Robotics from Stanford University and was an Instructor and Research Associate at Caltech from 2003-2005. He is originally from Panama.

Yoram Bauman, PhD

What’s Funny about Finance?

Yoram Bauman,
“the world’s first and only stand-up economist”, performs regularly at colleges and corporate events, sharing the stage with everyone from the late Robin Williams to Paul Krugman. He has appeared in TIME Magazine and on PBS and NPR, and is the co-author of the Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change and the two-volume Cartoon Introduction to Economics, which is now available in Mandarin, Mongolian, and a dozen other languages. Speaking of foreign languages, he is also the organizer of the humor session at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association.

Yoram now lives in Salt Lake City but spent the prior two decades in Seattle, where he was the founder of Carbon Washington, which in 2016 placed the first-ever carbon tax measure on the ballot in the United States. He has a BA in mathematics from Reed College and a PhD in economics from the University of Washington. His goals in life are to spread joy to the world through economics comedy; to reform economics education; and to implement carbon pricing.

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