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NFCC Honors Achievements In Financial Literacy

Making the Difference Awards Bestowed on National Leaders

Making a difference is the definition of a life well-lived, and the NFCC is proud to recognize four people who have done exactly that. The NFCC’s Making the Difference Awards honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to assisting consumers with financial literacy, awareness and education.

At its Annual Leaders Conference held in San Francisco, CA from September 19 – 21, the NFCC honored the following distinguished and deserving leaders with their 2011 Making the Difference Awards:

Suze Orman, in addition to being a household name, is a financial advisor, author, motivational speaker, and television host. With her message of economic empowerment, Orman reaches millions of consumers through her weekly television program, columns, books and speaking engagements. She is a tireless crusader, dedicated to improving the financial well-being of consumers through education. Orman has won an unprecedented six Gracie awards recognizing the nation’s best radio, television, and cable programming for, by and about women.  Her achievements and dedication to improving the financial well-being of Americans earned her the 2011 Making the Difference Advocate Award.

Ken Wade has more than 35 years of experience in community development with a number of organizations.  Prior to his appointment as CEO of NeighborWorks America in 2004, he served as the director of national programs, initiatives and research as well as district director for New England for the organization. While at NeighborWorks, Wade led the organization in providing training as well as technical and financial assistance to more than 3,000 community development nonprofits throughout the US. Through his leadership, hundreds of thousands of homeowners have been able to save their homes.  Wade currently serves as a Senior Community Affairs Executive of Global Marketing & Corporate Affairs for Bank of America. For his contributions to the homeowners of America, the NFCC awarded Wade with the Making the Difference Partner Award.

Debbie Bianucci, president and CEO of BAI, has chaired the NFCC Advisory Council since 2010, and played a critical role providing guidance for the organization through one of the most difficult times in the history of the credit counseling sector.  Her dedication, leadership, selflessness and generosity have resulted in the NFCC being able to advance initiatives that benefit consumers and the industry as a whole, making her the deserving recipient of the Making the Difference Chair’s Award.

Mike Cherry, president and CEO of Consumer Credit Counseling of Springfield, Missouri, Inc. is the 2011 winner of the Making the Difference Member Award. With more than 40 years experience in finance and credit counseling, he remains passionate about his work and is an inspiration to those around him.  He has been actively involved in the leadership of the NFCC, serving as chair of multiple committees and boards, while staying involved at the local, regional and state levels in Missouri. This award is particularly meaningful since the NFCC Members voted to select Cherry as most representative of all the good that nonprofit credit counseling stands for.

“It is our privilege to recognize these professionals for their outstanding accomplishments,” said Susan C. Keating, president and CEO of the NFCC.  “They have each advanced financial literacy and consumer protection through their professional channels.  We, individually and as a country, benefit from their passion and dedication to improving lives through financial education.”

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