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Jump$tart Coalition to Honor Ted Beck with the William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award

At its Annual Awards Dinner April 5, the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy will honor Ted Beck, president and CEO of the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), with the William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award.

The dinner, which recognizes accomplishments of individuals and organizations that are working to create a financially literate future, takes place at the Renaissance Washington, D.C., Downtown Hotel and is a central event during the organization’s Financial Literacy Month (#FLM2017) celebrations.

“In any discussion of the most influential leaders in financial literacy, Ted Beck’s name will always come up in the top few. It has been Jump$tart’s good fortune and my personal privilege to have worked with Ted over the past decade to shape the coalition’s mission and the progress of the field,” said Laura Levine, president and CEO of the Jump$tart Coalition. “Ted’s significant contributions to the financial literacy field have focused on effectiveness and innovation, so it seems fitting to bestow the Odom Visionary Leadership Award.”

Ted Beck’s career and dedication to financial literacy have spanned more than 40 years. He has been NEFE’s president and CEO since 2005 – the same year he joined the Jump$tart Coalition Board of Directors; he became the chairman in 2011. Beck is one of only two people named to all three President’s Councils that addressed financial literacy. (Under President George W. Bush it was the Advisory Council on Financial Literacy and under President Barack Obama it was Advisory Council on Financial Capability and later changed to Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.)

In addition, he serves on the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion. Before his appointment at NEFE, Beck served as Associate Dean of Executive Education and Corporate Relations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business and previously spent more than 20 years in senior management positions for Citibank/Citigroup.

Under Beck’s leadership at NEFE, the organization developed Cash Course (college-focused), Smart About Money (consumer-focused), and Financial Workshop and Evaluation Toolkits (both intermediary-focused). In addition, while NEFE has always been known for conducting and funding research, Beck led several new initiatives including the Quarter Century Project, which examined 25 years of financial education research and brought together a very significant body of researchers and practitioners.

“Under Ted’s leadership, the Jump$tart Coalition expanded its reach toward helping more children and teens on the road to a financially literate future,” said Mike Staten, Jump$tart Chairman and director of the Take Charge America Institute at the University of Arizona. “And Ted has led NEFE – and the financial capability field as a whole – to make significant contributions to research and to financial education.”

Odom Award

The William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award was named in honor of Bill Odom, former chairman of Ford Motor Credit Company, whose vision led to the creation of the Jump$tart Coalition. The award recognizes individuals for their significant contribution to financial education, their leadership, vision and the length of their service to the financial literacy effort. Recent past winners were:

2016 – FINRA Chairman and CEO Richard Ketchum
2015 – Maxine Sweet, vice president for Experian
2014 – Theodore (Ted) R. Daniels, founder and president of the Society for Financial Education and Professional Development
2013 – Annamaria Lusardi, Ph.D., professor George Washington University
2012 – U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Sarah Duncan, and John W. Rogers, Jr., who together founded Ariel Community Academy
2011 – Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, board chair and president, Charles Schwab Foundation; senior vice president, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. and board chair, Schwab Charitable

Financial Literacy Month

As the original promoter of April as Financial Literacy Month, Jump$tart Coalition will once again champion a month-long campaign to raise public awareness about the importance of financial literacy and the need for financial education; encouraging collaboration and acknowledging the many and diverse contributions its partners have made—and continue to make—to the field. National Financial Literacy Month, sometimes referred to as National Financial Capability Month, is marked by local, regional and national events and initiatives.

About Jump$tart
The Jump$tart Coalition is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the personal financial literacy of students in pre-kindergarten through college. Jump$tart’s nearly 150 national partners and 51 affiliated state coalitions work individually and collectively to educate and prepare our nation’s youth for life-long financial success. Jump$tart is the original promoter of April as Financial Literacy Month and publisher of the National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education. For more information about the Jump$tart Coalition, go to or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.