Search Resources

William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award Criteria

Purpose: To recognize individuals whose clear and unique vision led to substantial gains in the financial literacy of American youth or significant improvements in the financial literacy field.

Eligibility: Any worthy individual, other than Jump$tart awards committee members, officers, and staff.

Eligible to Submit Nominations:  Employees or officials of Jump$tart national partner organizations; officers of affiliated state coalitions; and the current awards committee.

Deadline: Nominations must be submitted by November 20, 2023.

More information about the Odom Award

Selection: The honoree will be selected by a committee of Jump$tart Board and Partner representatives.  Results will be announced in early 2024.

Participation:  The honoree will be invited to receive his/her award at the Jump$tart Coalition Awards Event in Washington, D.C. in April 2024. The honoree will be invited to address event guests, including leaders from the business, finance, and education communities, as well as government agencies and the media.

Previous Honorees:  William E. Odom, 1999; Rosella Bannister, 2000; H. Randy Lively, Jr., 2001; John E. Clow, 2002; William L. Anthes, 2003; Lewis Mandell, 2004; M. Susie Irvine, 2005; Jane Schuchardt, 2006; Elizabeth Schiever, 2007 (posthumously); Stanley Breitbard, 2008;  Barbara O’Neill, 2009; William E. Wilcox, 2010; Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, 2011; three Founders of the Ariel Academy, 2012; Annamaria Lusardi, 2013; Ted Daniels, 2014; Maxine Sweet, 2015; Richard Ketchum, 2016; Ted Beck, 2017; Tim Ranzetta, 2018; David Martin, 2019; Judge John Ninfo, 2020-21; and William Cheeks, 2022; Michelle Singletary, 2023.


The committee will consider:

  • Nominee’s demonstration of leadership and vision. How the nominee’s contribution has altered the landscape of the financial literacy effort and/or has led to other individual/organizational achievements.
  • The significance and effectiveness of the nominee’s contribution(s) to personal financial education for students—how important, unique and/or widespread the contribution is—and its spirit of inclusiveness.
  • Length of time the individual has “labored in the vineyard of personal financial education.”

Background: The Jump$tart Coalition established the William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award in 1999. Today, the Odom Award is the highest award given for individual contributions that further personal financial education/literacy among students in pre-kindergarten through college.  Mr. Odom, former chairman of Ford Motor Credit Company, is both the inspiration for the award and its first recipient.  While at Ford, he played a key role in starting “Credit Drives America,” a program begun by Ford Credit in 1990 to educate community college and high school students about the importance of credit.  A long-time supporter of consumer education, it was his central vision that led to the formation of the Jump$tart Coalition.

Nomination Form