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CFO Sink Appoints Financial Literacy Council

4/30/2007

CONTACT: Tara Klimek or Brannon Jordan               
(850) 413-2842

New Financial Literacy Council will work to educate Floridians about important financial issues
 
TALLAHASSEE –Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today appointed nine Floridians to serve on the state’s first Financial Literacy Council.  The Council was created by the Florida Legislature in 2006 to provide a single state resource to the general public on financial literacy. 
 
“As the Chief Financial Officer, one of my highest priorities is educating consumers about money,” said CFO Sink.  “I am pleased to appoint nine highly qualified individuals to the Financial Literacy Council, and I look forward to working with them to empower Floridians to take control of their financial futures.”
 
CFO Sink will use the Financial Literacy Council to help educate Floridians about important financial issues, such as avoiding excessive debt, the importance of saving, making sound investment decisions and planning for retirement.  Financial literacy education is essential, as recent news reports show that American consumers are living paycheck to paycheck and spending every dollar they earn.  In fact, the U.S. government recently calculated consumer savings at the lowest levels since the Great Depression.  In essence, too many consumers are spending more than they earn.
 
The Council, authorized in 2006 by House Bill 825, was created to study the financial problems that affect consumers, particularly young persons, seniors, working adults and small business owners, which arise from a lack of basic knowledge of financial issues.  The Council will also develop recommendations to aid CFO Sink’s department-- the Department of Financial Services-- in developing programs and resources aimed at increasing financial literacy among Floridians.
 
The following nine individuals have been appointed to the state’s Financial Literacy Council:
• Paul Auslander, CFP, President, American Financial Advisors (Orlando)
• James R. De Santis, M.Ed., Executive Director, Florida Council on Economic Education (Tampa)
• Liana Fox, Ph.D., Professor, Hillsborough Community College (Tampa)
• Richard George, President, Junior Achievement of West Central Florida (Safety Harbor)
• Cassandra J. Grayson, M.Ed., Sr. Vice President, Administration, Florida Credit Union League (Tallahassee)
• Doug Heinlen, Member of Florida Executive Council, American Association of Retired Persons (Sarasota)
• Deidre Newton, M.B.A, President and CEO, Community Real Estate Services, Inc. (West Palm Beach)
• Obdulio Piedra, Miami-Dade Market President, Great Florida Bank (Pinecrest)
• Dulce M. Suarez-Resnick, Senior Account Manager, HBA Insurance Group (Miramar)
CFO Sink is a strong proponent of financial literacy.  Through outreach coordinators, the Department of Financial Services aggressively reaches out to local communities to educate consumers on topics such as the wise use of credit cards for teens, credit card identity theft, hurricane preparedness, small business security, life insurance and first-time homebuyer workshops. 
 
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.