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Fall 2015 conference

Connecticut Asset Building Collaborative

Fall Conference November 5th, 2015 --

Next Steps in Asset Building in Connecticut


Conference Sponsors

Liberty Bank

State of CT Bureau of Rehabilitation Services/Department of Rehabilitation Services

State of CT Department of Labor/Office of Workforce Competitiveness

State of CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services



State Panel:  Progress and Challenges in Asset Building in Connecticut

Moderator:  Lilian Gutierrez, Vice President for Planning and Program Development, Community Action Agency of New Haven

ALICE Report:  Jennifer Heath,  Executive Vice President, United Way of Greater New Haven -- Presentation

Prize Linked Savings:  Chris Whalen, Communication and PR Manager, Credit Union League of Connecticut -- Presentation

Financial Education: Christopher Lee, Director, Connecticut Jumpstart Coalition -- Presentation

Financial Coaching: Denise Smith, Connecticut Money School Coordinator, Connecticut Association of Human Services

Consumer -  Debra Soares, LifeBridge

Baby Scholars Program:  Emily Bjornberg, Director of Financial Education, Office of the State Treasurer

Keynote Address:  Jonathan Mintz, CEO, Cities for Financial Empowerment

Progress and Challenges in Asset Building Nationally

Jonathan Mintz will be speaking on progress and challenges nationally since the CABC launch in November, 2013

Jonathan Mintz is Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund, a national non-profit organization that supports municipal efforts to help low-income families and individuals achieve long-term financial stability. He also founded and co-chaired the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition (CFE Coalition), which brings together pioneering municipal governments from across the country to advance innovative financial empowerment initiatives on the municipal, state, and national level. At the CFE Fund, Mintz provides resources to local government leaders and their partners across the world looking to expand financial empowerment programs, policies, and research.

From 2006-2013, Jonathan served as the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), having been appointed to the role by former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. During this time, Mintz redefined the Department’s regulatory enforcement powers toward a focus on consumer financial stability, re-envisioning consumer rights in fields such as debt collection.


Roundtable Sessions :  Next Steps in Asset Building For:

Youth/Young Adults  

Facilitator:  Faye Griffiths-Smith, Family Economics and Resource Management Educator, University of Connecticut Extension

 Next steps for the Coalition:

1.  Mandated curricula in schools that includes youth financial products/savings and support for college readiness/financial student loan readiness.
2.  Examining the quality of existing program through data gathering and establishment of best practices to design for interactive youth relevant/oriented program and services.


Growing  Families

Facilitators:   Liz Krebs, Program Coordinator of Financial Education, Lifebridge, Inc. and Cynthia Watson, Administrative Director, Christian Community Action

Next steps for the Coalition:

•Advocacy Committee
•Asset development day at the Capitol
•Service at one location
•Getting success stories out to the public
•Suburban/rural stories
•Quality/quantity = data
•Homeless prevention fund
•Chamber of Commerce
•Go to people/outreach
•Advocacy with Action plan
•Grassroots website – email writing campaign
•Committee dedicated to this


Older Adults

Facilitators: Sue Greeno, Medicare Advocate, Center for Medicare Advocacy and  Darylle Willenbrock, Western Area Agency on Aging

Next steps for the Coalition:

•Act as a central resource to make connections through website
•Google groups as a possibility
•Educate and advocate
•Financial industry
•Civic groups


Persons with Disabilities

Facilitators:  Annie Harper, PhD, Consultant, Financial Health Project, Connecticut Mental Health Center and Denise Smith, CT Money School  Coordinator, Connecticut Association of Human Services

 Next steps for the Coalition:

•Improve connections in field
•Effective networks, maintain personal contacts
•Informational resources – checklists? Flow charts? “mythbusters”
•Advocacy – efficiency, cost-effective way – expert voices from the field
•Incentives (financial) matter for people who are poor – but make it accessible, maybe through collaboration (eg; Derby IDA)
•Raise asset limits – ABLE act (2017)
•Prepare for rollout/participate – make sure it works for ALL
•Training/support for those who manage other people’s money


Lunch Remarks Representative Matt Lesser