On Thursday, Nov. 21, bankers and Wisconsin banks from across the state received awards or certificates from the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation (WBF) in recognition of their efforts to educate the customers and community during the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The awards were presented during a special breakfast held in conjunction with the WBA LEAD360 Conference in Wisconsin Dells. 

The WBF Excellence in Financial Education awards honor banks and individual bankers for their dedication to promoting financial education in Wisconsin. This year, a total of over 460 bankers from across the state reported nearly 1,850 personal finance presentations. Those volunteer bankers educated nearly 33,500 consumers of all ages about the importance of saving and budgeting, how to use credit responsibly, the ins and outs of obtaining a home mortgage or car loan, and many more financial topics. 

This year's top winners include:

Banker of the Year Award
Monica Walk, FVSBank, Fond du Lac

Financial Literacy Banker Award
Cynthia Roeck
, Cleveland State Bank

Wisconsin Teach Children to Save Day Award
Sarah K. Rogers
, Mound City Bank, Platteville

For the first time ever, the Financial Education Innovation Award was given to not one, but two banks! This award recognizes a bank or individual banker who contributed a new or innovative approach to financial education, or has exhibited exemplary dedication to expanding financial education in their community.

The Bank of Prairie du Sac and The Stephenson National Bank & Trust (SNBT), Marinette, both were honored for their efforts.

The Bank of Prairie du Sac, in conjunction with local high school teacher Joel Chrisler, created a series of personal finance classes. Classes covered money resolutions, managing credit, buying a home, investing basics, and paying for college. The bank also offered video recordings of the classes which were available on their website and YouTube page. 

For the past few years, SNBT bankers have been providing a six-week financial literacy class to inmates at the Marinette jail. These classes are held weekly, in a classroom right at the jail. Each session focusses on a particular topic; Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Budgeting, Credit and Lending. Other topics may be covered as well, depending on questions the students bring up. The program has received such positive feedback that the bank is considering extending it beyond six weeks or adding another session later in the year.

Thank you to all the bankers who dedicate their time and talents to promoting consumer education in Wisconsin. 

You can view the full list of winning individuals and banks online at www.wisbank.com/EFEawards. If you have any questions about the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation Excellence in Financial Education Awards, please contact WBA's Amber Seitz at 608-441-1237 or aseitz@wisbank.com.