I Don’t Teach or Work in Personal Finance–Why Should I Go to the AAFCS Conference & Expo?

SDSU_profileBy Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, CFCS, CPFFE, Family Resource Management Field Specialist for SDSU Extension

Even if you do not specialize in personal finance, there are many reasons for family and consumer sciences and related professionals to attend the AAFCS 108th Annual Conference & Expo, “Financial Fitne$$: Trends, Innovations & Impacts,” in Dallas this June!

director-cordray-3238x3672.c698283fc796hire.width-170170Capstone Luncheon Speaker Richard Cordray–if you know who he is and what he has done, I don’t need to say more. If you do not know him, think about the topic of consumer rights. In the 60’s when President Kennedy presented a special message to Congress on protecting the consumer interest, he recognized that consumers are the largest economic group in the economy because two-thirds of all spending is done by consumers. The Bill of Consumer Rights was needed because consumers were not being fairly treated by all businesses. Cordray, as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), has continued to work to protect consumers. The CFPB works on behalf of consumers by holding companies accountable for illegal practices and returning $11.8 billion in relief to consumers. Additionally, the CFPB has responded to over 1.1 million complaints from consumers. This one agency has worked to improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. Hmmm, what other organization does that work?

Newcombheadshot.pngBehavioral economics may not seem like a topic for FCS professionals, but integrating this information can really enhance our work to help others reach their full potential. Understanding why we make the decisions that we do regarding our finances is what Opening General Session Keynote Speaker Dr. Sarah Newcomb focuses on in her work. She looks at the human side of money by considering the correlation between values and financial decisions. She works to bridge the gap between psychological barriers and good financial management. Not only will this information be valuable for our work, but it can also be used in our personal lives.

The speakers for the “FITtalks” Lunch and Learn are top of the line (seen below in ordered mentioned)! Susan Sharkey, Director of Youth Programs for the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), is a former business teacher whose mission is to provide opportunities for youth to improve their financial literacy skills. I have heard her speak a number of times. She is very engaging and delivers a great message. Next Gen Personal Finance, developed by Tim Ranzetta, is a non-profit organization that connects educators with free resources, yes FREE. So if you come to the conference, you can learn about these resources and use them in your work or share them with anyone in your community who teaches personal finance. The third Lunch and Learn speaker, Courtney Collins, is a broadcast journalist who currently is the lead reporter for the series “One Crisis Away,” which is about life on the financial edge. As professionals, no matter what our role is, financial crises affect the wellness and stability of the individuals and families in our community. Courtney can provide insight on how to meet the needs of our audiences.


So, have I provided you with enough enticing reasons to attend the 108th AAFCS Annual Conference & Expo, even if you do not teach or work in the area of personal finance? If I have not, read or reread AAFCS staff member Sara Tantillo’s post about places to visit in Dallas–there is a lot to see and do. Remember, Early-Bird registration is only good through April 14th!

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