FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tacoma, WA – Suzanne Mayo-Theus, Director of Black America Saves, will be a guest presenter at the Washington Asset Building Conference, “Survive and Thrive—Building Assets, Strengthening Communities” in Tacoma on November 5. Suzanne will discuss how to capture the unique spirit of our diverse communities to drive local savings campaigns, attract multicultural, multi-generational savers, and engage community- and faith-based organizations in strategic collaborations.
The U.S. has moved from a negative savings rate in 2008 to the current rate of 3%–still a far cry from a high rate of 14.6% in 1975 (FRB St. Louis). The recession has caused people to be more mindful of their spending and to set aside some of their money as a buffer against unemployment and work reductions, but is this a sign that we’re learning from the mistakes of our devil-may-care financial habits of the recent past? Research proves that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to convincing people to learn effective savings strategies and build a personal emergency fund or a nest egg for future goals. There are huge differences in savings behavior by race and age, and men and women make very different financial decisions.
All across the country, Black America Saves is helping African-Americans learn to “Start small. Think big.” and overcome challenges to building savings and assets. By providing tips, tools and resources, Black America Saves helps its members set goals, develop saving strategies, and start saving. Suzanne will share her experiences in building this national campaign that engages diverse and hard-to-reach populations in personal savings, how to create exciting events that have whole communities talking about individual and family savings, and how to bring national resources to local savings campaigns.
Suzanne Mayo-Theus is the Director of Black America Saves and has served as the Graduate Coordinator of K-State Students Save in conjunction with the America Saves national campaign. She is a doctoral candidate in the field of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University while also working as a consultant and fundraiser for various not-for-profit organizations in the United States and abroad. Suzanne worked in fundraising and government relations for more than 30 years. While at the Kansas State University Foundation as the Director of Diversity and Multicultural Fundraising, Suzanne started the many corporate partnerships for diversity at KSU, creating diversity programs that are cutting edge and innovative and raising over $16 million. She spent more than 19 years on Capitol Hill working as a professional staffer in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, The Congressional Black Caucus and The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
About Washington Asset Building Coalition (WABC), www.washingtonabc.org
WABC represents 70 members including financial institutions, community action and social services agencies, Department of Commerce, the Department of Financial Institutions, tribes, advocates for people living with disabilities, housing and micro-enterprise groups, United Ways, foundations and advocacy groups. The WABC has become the leading voice and learning network for community leaders and practitioners involved in this growing and timely movement. WABC has set the following policy agenda:
- Expand Financial Skills for Success by increasing financial fitness in schools and for adults.
- Help People Save and Invest by supporting small business development, IDA, home ownership, savings and the federal EITC.
- Remove Barriers to Gaining and Keeping Assets by expanding lower cost lending alternatives, regulating predatory lending, eliminating asset limits.
About America Saves, www.americasaves.org
America Saves is a nationwide campaign in which a broad coalition of nonprofit, corporate, and government groups helps individuals and families save and build wealth. Through information, advice, and encouragement, we assist those who wish to pay down debt, build an emergency fund, save for a home, save for an education, or save for retirement. Black America Saves is an affiliate campaign that offers specialized outreach to the African-American community.
About the WABC Conference: Survive and Thrive: Building Assets, Strengthening Communities
Greater Tacoma Convention Center, 1500 Broadway, Tacoma, WA
November 5 & 6, 2009
Come join leaders and practitioners from across the Northwest to learn about the range of elements critical to the financial future of our low and moderate income residents. These challenging economic times have illustrated the need for financial education, savings and responsible borrowing, and the behaviors, strategies and policies that support them. Whether you work in the private, public or non-profit sector, you will be able to create more opportunities for people to build assets that will increase positive financial behaviors, stability and progress for individuals and families.
Contact: Barbara Gorzinski, Program Manager
Pierce County Asset Building Coalition
Pierce County Saves
PH 253-383-3056 x118