NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Bankers Association (TBA) Young Bankers Division recently honored outstanding banks and bankers for excellence in educating the public about personal finance, banking, and economics through the Personal Economics Program (PEP). More than 80 awards and certificates were announced during a special ceremony at the TBA’s 2014 Leadership Convention held April 27-29.
Increasing financial literacy and fiscal responsibility is a mission that bankers take seriously. The Young Bankers Division has been involved in these efforts in Tennessee since 1962 when they first launched an aggressive campaign to assist teachers in broadening the public understanding of banking. From June 1, 2013, the beginning of the “PEP year,” through March 1, 2014, 193 bankers in Tennessee contacted over 45,000 individuals through 1,710 presentations to students from kindergarten through college, civic and business organizations, seniors groups, and other consumers to help them understand personal money management, the wise use of credit, identity theft, predatory lending, and other such issues. The PEP awards are one way of bringing public recognition and awareness of the contributions these bankers make to their communities.
OUTSTANDING PEP BANKER AWARD
Tennessee’s 2013-2014 Outstanding PEP Banker Award was presented to Kathryn Love, of Citizens Bank, New Tazewell, TN. This recognition is awarded to a Tennessee banker for superior educational contributions to the local community.
Love attended the Leadership Convention and accepted her award. She received a plaque and complimentary registration for the convention.
Kathryn Love has been active with the TBA’s financial literacy program for more than 20 years, and it is one of the primary aspects of her job with Citizens Bank. The bank’s market area covers six communities, and she works with 16 schools each year. Known as The Bank Lady, she visits these area schools collecting deposits and registering new savings accounts with the Save for America Program.
FINANCIAL LITERACY TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Financial Literacy Teacher of the Year Award is presented to a Tennessee teacher, at any level, for outstanding contributions to economic education. This year’s winner was Wes Wilkerson who teaches at Hardin County High School in Savannah, TN.
Ashley Dennis, who works in The Hardin County Bank’s Savannah office, nominated Wilkerson. He has worked with her for three years, and she cited the top-notch financial education he delivers to her students.
Wilkerson teaches personal finance classes at Hardin County High School, educating students on the importance of income, budgeting, and check writing. He has implemented the EverFi Financial Education program, which is endorsed by the Tennessee Bankers Association, in his school, and this program reached 156 students in the fall of 2013.
Wilkerson received a plaque, free accommodations at the Leadership Convention hotel, and $200 to use in his future education efforts.
TOP PEP BANKER / GRAND DIVISION AWARDS
The Grand Division Awards are presented to the banker in each division of the state who makes the most presentations concerning financial literacy during the PEP year. The 2013-2014 Grand Division Awards went to:
• Top PEP Banker for East Tennessee – Diane Riggs, Community National Bank, Dayton, with 421 presentations and 7,198 contacts
• Top PEP Banker for Middle Tennessee – Wonda Turnbo, Wayne County Bank, Waynesboro, with 144 presentations and more than 3,217 contacts
• Top PEP Banker for West Tennessee – Kathleen Turner, Commercial Bank & Trust Co, Paris, TN, with 41 presentations and 750 contacts.
Each of these winners received a plaque and complimentary registration to the Leadership Convention.
SAVE DAY & CREDIT DAY AWARDS
Teach Children to Save and Get Smart about Credit are two nationwide consumer education initiatives established by the American Bankers Association Education Foundation. Save Day, held in the month of April each year, focuses primarily on younger students, instilling in them the need and desire to save by helping them differentiate between “wants” and “needs.”
For Credit Day, held in October, bankers work with young people, particularly teenagers and college students, on the importance of managing credit wisely. The Teach Children to Save Award and Get Smart about Credit Award recognize the banks that made the most presentations in conjunction with each of these national financial literacy initiatives.
This year’s Teach Children to Save Award went to Community National Bank, Dayton, while First Volunteer Bank, Chattanooga, received the Get Smart about Credit Award.
GOLDEN PEP BANKER AWARD
The TBA also presented the Golden PEP Banker Award to individual bankers who completed 75 or more presentations between June 1, 2013, and March 1, 2014. Seven bankers received this distinction:
• Diane Riggs, Community National Bank, Dayton - 421 presentations, 7,198 contacts
• Kathryn Love, Citizens Bank, New Tazewell – 341 presentations, 5,728 contacts
• Wonda Turnbo, Wayne County Bank, Waynesboro – 144 presentations, 3,217 contacts
• Elizabeth Teeftaller, Wayne County Bank, Waynesboro – 138 presentations, 2,680 contacts
• Stacey Brewer, Wayne County Bank, Waynesboro – 98 presentations, 2,044 contacts
• Dorothy Howell, Wayne County Bank, Waynesboro – 98 presentations, 2,044 contacts
• Holly Floyd, Wayne County Bank, Collinwood – 94 presentations, 2,282 contacts
Other awards presented at the TBA Leadership Convention were the Certificate of Achievement, Certificate of Outstanding Bank Participation, and Certificate of Recognition.
To be eligible for the Certificate of Achievement, individuals had to complete 12 or more
in-school bank activities before March 1. The in-school bank program fosters the savings habit of children by offering a real-life savings program to students within the school environment.
The Certificate of Outstanding Bank Participation was presented to each bank with two or more bankers who completed a combined total of 12 or more individual PEP presentations.
The Certificate of Recognition was presented to bankers who completed 12 or more PEP presentations of any kind to any age group.
The awards ceremony during the convention was sponsored by the First National Banker’s Bank and FNBB Capital Markets, Alabama.
The Personal Economics Program, established by the American Bankers Association in 1977, is a volunteer effort of bankers working with educators and other community groups to teach consumers of all ages about personal money management skills, banks, and banking services. The Tennessee Bankers Association’s Young Bankers Division began administering PEP in Tennessee in 1980. For more information about PEP, contact Jennifer Bennett or T’Lanie Luu in the TBA office.
The Tennessee Bankers Association is a not-for-profit organization representing all of Tennessee’s commercial banks and thrift institutions. The association provides continuing education, develops and monitors state and federal legislative agendas, disseminates information on all facets of the financial services industry, and promotes the public image of financial institutions.