Treasurer Allison Ball has appointed five members to the inaugural Kentucky Financial Empowerment Commission Board, her office announced. The appointments follow a new law giving the State Treasurer authority to appoint members to the statewide board.
“I am proud of the selections I have made for the Financial Empowerment Commission Board,” Treasurer Ball said. “These appointees are highly qualified and each bring a unique perspective to the Financial Empowerment Commission. I look forward to leading the efforts of the entire Board as we work to increase financial empowerment across the Commonwealth.”
Treasurer Ball has selected five individuals to fill the positions appointed by the State Treasurer. Dr. Abdullah Al-Bahrani of Fort Thomas is the Director of the Northern Kentucky University Center for Economic Education and an Associate Professor of Economics at NKU. Daniel Douglas of Owensboro is the President of Junior Achievement of West Kentucky and has over thirty years of experience in non-profit management. Edward King of Louisville is an attorney whose practice areas include bankruptcy, digital currency, lending, and finance and who serves on the Kentucky Bar Association’s Credit Abuse Resistance Education Executive Committee. David Sandlin of Walton teaches business at Walton-Verona High School and served on the Kentucky Standards Revision and Writing Committee for Financial Literacy. Carolyn Wheeler of Lexington works with the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky and has over thirty years of experience in program development, training, and advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities and their families.
The Financial Empowerment Commission is an innovative method of addressing an important problem facing Kentuckians. It is tasked with developing and implementing plans to improve the financial literacy of all Kentuckians, but most specifically for those who fall into six target communities: Kentuckians with Disabilities, Aging Kentuckians, Commonwealth Employees, Low-Income Families, Students, and Veterans and Military Personnel. It will operate as a 501c3 and, thanks to a partnership Treasurer Ball reached with Kentucky credit unions, will operate without use of taxpayer dollars.
The Commission will be governed by an eleven member board. Other members include Debbie Painter of the Kentucky Credit Union League, April Perry of the Kentucky Bankers Association, and David Perkis of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis—Louisville Branch. Treasurer Ball will serve as Chair of the Board, while Commissioner Wayne Lewis of the Kentucky Department of Education and Commissioner Charles Vice of the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions will also serve as members of the board in their official capacities.
HB 139, the Financial Empowerment Commission bill, passed the Kentucky General Assembly with unanimous bipartisan support, became law last month, and was codified as KRS § 41.450.
The Commission is Treasurer Ball’s most recent achievement towards improving financial literacy in Kentucky. In 2018, she was an outspoken advocate of HB132, which made a financial literacy course or program a high school graduation requirement. She also launched Kentucky’s Financial Empowerment Coalition and Database in 2018 and serves as Chair of the National Association of State Treasurer’s Financial Education and Empowerment Committee.