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Thought Leader Thursday

NAST Thought Leader Thursday banner

Showcasing Treasury and Public Finance Thought Leaders

One of the goals of NAST’s Strategic Plan is to develop our members to be the “recognized thought leaders relating to state treasuries and public finance issues.” We welcome State Treasurers and other NAST leaders to submit columns for our weekly newsletter.  Because, once you’ve seen one Treasurer’s office, you’ve seen one Treasurer’s office!

Submission guidelines: Principal members of NAST are invited to write a column for Thursday’s Thought Leadership column.  The articles are generally 6-8 paragraphs, written in first person, consider this a “Dear Colleague” letter.  We encourage hyperlinks for additional information. See below for the library of past editions. Scroll to the bottom for content ideas. To reserve your date, please contact Kari Arfstrom at Kari@statetreasurers.org.

Thought Leader Columns 

Rachael Eubanks
Michigan's Review of XBRL
By: Rachael Eubanks
February 28, 2024
I now have additional data and information to bolster my thoughts from last October, and my concerns that this costly, unfunded mandate could jeopardize data quality and authentic transparency are even more solidified.
Patti-Wilson-2023
A Successful 4th Annual #UnclaimedPropertyDay
By: Patti Wilson
February 15, 2024
I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed to the overwhelming success of our 4th annual Unclaimed Property Day on February 1st!
Diossa
"When Treasurers speak, federal decision-makers listen."
By: James A. Diossa, Rhode Island General Treasurer
January 24, 2024
Get ready to make a lasting impact as we convene in Washington D.C. for the highly anticipated NAST Legislative Conference this March. This gathering is a pivotal platform for us to collectively champion our shared priorities on Capitol Hill.
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In 2024, Together We’ll Expand NAST’s Educational Activities, Federal Engagement, and Savings Networks
By: Michael Frerichs, Illinois State Treasurer, NAST President
January 4, 2024
I’m honored to serve as the new President of NAST and, in my first note to the membership and affiliates, I’d like to start by wishing each of you a happy new year. I hope that 2024 is a year of happiness and health for all of us.
ShaunSnyder23
NAST - 2023 Year in Review
By: Shaun Snyder
December 21, 2023
Reflecting on the past 12 months, we want to highlight some of our successes and share news...
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Thank You From NAST President Josh Haeder
By: South Dakota Treasurer Josh Haeder
December 5, 2023
Thank You From NAST President Josh Haeder. You know the saying “Time flies when you are having fun,” well that’s how my term as President has gone. I can remember starting off the year with many goals in mind, and in “the blink of an eye” I’ve reached the end of my term. The overarching goal of my term was to ensure the sustainability of NAST long-term....
The Power of National Earned Media
By: Christina Lambert
November 16, 2023
Our collective voice on this day has demonstrated power and allows us to continue the success of our programs that have returned over $5 billion dollars last fiscal year to its rightful owners.
nast_michael_frerichs
Deploying State Funds to Invest in State Infrastructure and Housing
By: Treasurer Michael M. Frerichs, Illinois State Treasurer
November 1, 2023
Infrastructure serves as the backbone of our daily lives and communities. It underpins economic activity and activates growth and development across regions. Investing in well-designed infrastructure can cause a boom in development, boosting regional economies all while creating opportunities and businesses.
Rachael Eubanks
Risks of Financial Data Transparency Act
By: Rachael Eubanks, State Treasurer, Michigan & NAST Midwestern Region Vice-President
October 18, 2023
Late last year, the Financial Data Transparency Act (FDTA) was signed into law. Since then, many of us have drilled into the document to see how this unfunded mandate improves data reporting for our agencies and states. From what I can see, it doesn’t.
Zach Conine
Bridging Gaps in College Savings
By: Zach Conine
September 28, 2023
To bridge the gap, the College Savings division must develop innovative initiatives to inform and engage families about the importance and value of post-secondary education.
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We Help Parents Save More When We Incentivize Them to Start Early
By: Michael W. Frerichs
September 21, 2023
For parents, the word early is loaded with meaning.
Kimberly Yee
Empowering Financial Futures: College Savings Month and Beyond
By: Hon. Kimberly Yee
September 14, 2023
September not only marks the beginning of a new school year, but it is also the start of College Savings Month.
Colleen Davis
Saving for College...Automatically
By: Colleen Davis
September 7, 2023
By participating in workplace savings programs, employees develop a habit of saving regularly, allowing them to build a strong financial foundation.
John Schroder
Giving Back to Employees through the Unclaimed Property Program
By: John Schroder
June 22, 2023
State Unclaimed Property Programs do an excellent job of returning money to the rightful owners, and I enjoy learning about the creative ways your teams market and reach your constituents
bette ann
Introducing the 2023 Disability Inclusion Pledge
By: Bette Ann Mobley
June 1, 2023
The 2023 Disability Inclusion Pledge aims to provide HR professionals and business executives with the necessary resources and tools to create more inclusive workplaces for disabled workers including the opportunity to highlight how employers can promote ABLE accounts in the workplace. 
DSC_5977 Rachel Biar CSPN
Happy 529 Day! Supporting the Big Dreams of Our 529 Savers
By: Rachel Biar
May 25, 2023
Each May 29, the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) recognizes National 529 Day, a day we celebrate to promote the significance of state-sponsored 529 college savings plans.
Kimberly Yee
Expanding Education Opportunities for Arizona Families
By: Kimberly Yee
May 18, 2023
Ensuing that the AZ529 Plan was inclusive to all Arizonans was a top priority for me.
Tobias Read
Exploring Portland this June
By: Tobias Read
May 11, 2023
We look forward to welcoming you to Portland, Oregon for the NAST Treasury Management and Training Symposium June 12th-15th.
nast_bio_deb_goldberg
Investing in our families beyond Financial Literacy Month
By: Deborah B. Goldberg
April 27, 2023
Financial Literacy Month may be coming to an end, but the relevancy of our programs and initiatives should not.
Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard
Financial Education in the Classroom
By: David Lillard
April 20, 2023
Over the past 10 years, the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission and its supporters have made strategic investments in financial education to equip Tennesseans with the knowledge and confidence to make informed financial decisions – improving economic trajectories and invigorating local communities. 
Robert Sprague
Fostering a Brighter Future through Financial Education
By: Robert Sprague
April 13, 2023
As we all know, April is National Financial Literacy Month – a time to highlight the importance of sound financial education and to emphasize the value of planning for long-term financial success.
Young Boozer 500x600 2022
Starting Young with Financial Wellness
By: Young Boozer
April 6, 2023
In recognition of Financial Literacy month, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share the progress we’re experiencing in Alabama.
Treasurer Ball Official Photo
Overcoming Obstacles to Financial Education Through Creative Thinking and Private Sector Partnerships
By: Allison Ball
March 30, 2023
Financial Literacy Month is approaching and it is an exciting time for the Kentucky State Treasury: this year marks the five year anniversary of the Kentucky General Assembly’s creation of a financial literacy high school graduation requirement.
Stacy Garrity
A Prudent and Responsible Approach to Public Pensions & Investments
By: Hon. Stacy Garrity
March 23, 2023
As the new chair of NAST’s Pension & Trust Investment Committee, I’m excited to build on the great work and advocacy our organization is known for.
Colleen Davis
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
By: Hon. Colleen Davis
March 16, 2023
While it’s something we should all do all year long, March highlights the need to both applaud and help enhance the lives of people with developmental disabilities.
NIPF attendees, banner
Building Foundations for the Future
March 9, 2023
Our four days together allow you to step back from your day-to-day and have the opportunity to learn and share the latest within your fields, while creating a continuing network for after the institute.
The Power of a United Front
By: Laura Hudson
February 9, 2023
Thank you for your support in making February 1st, 2023 – Unclaimed Property Day - an overwhelming success in raising awareness of these critical programs that protect consumer and property rights, and returns over $4 billion dollars annually through our shared efforts!
Dave Young 2021 500x600
Is Remote Work Here to Stay?
By: Dave Young
February 2, 2023
Before COVID, the Colorado Department of the Treasury operated with staff at two locations, some staff worked at the State Capitol and some staff worked at an office building two blocks away.
John Murante
Are you ready to search for missing money on Unclaimed Property Day?
By: John Murante
January 26, 2023
State programs already do an excellent job reuniting property. In our most recent Annual Report, states collectively returned $4,020,939,375.39 to its rightful owner! We need to ensure we are making these successes known and continue to raise awareness of these vital consumer protection programs...
Josh Header
Bipartisanship at the Helm of Success
By: Josh Haeder
January 5, 2023
NAST is truly a bipartisan organization that is focused on the betterment of public finance.
Kelly Mitchell, Treasurer, State of Indiana
The Honor and Privilege of Serving as State Treasurer
By: Hon. Kelly Mitchell
December 8, 2022
529 Plans Are Investing Millions to Help Families Of all Incomes and Backgrounds Save for College
By: Alyson Luszcz and John Mitchell
November 17, 2022
American higher education institutions are welcoming increasingly diverse students from a range of family backgrounds...
John Schroder
Working Together to Create Efficiencies for Constituents
By: John M. Schroder
November 10, 2022
For the first time ever, two states are joining forces for an Unclaimed Property outreach event!
Kari Headshot New
Providing Learning Resources to Help You Make an Impact
By: Kari Arfstrom
November 3, 2022
One of our membership benefits is to provide our members with continuous learning opportunities. NAST is pleased to announce that we have even more learning options for you, your staff, and those you serve. We are often asked if we have online courses and explainers for the key programs your office administers. Over the last year, four different learning modules have been created that you can access for free. Partnering with Enrich, an online financial wellness learning platform, along with subject matter experts from the NAST community, we released the following digital assets:
Alayna Van Tassel
Over 90 Percent of Survivors Have Experienced Financial Abuse
By: Alayna Van Tassel
October 27, 2022
As October comes to a close, so does Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Working to increase awareness about this important topic requires a critical look at the connection between financial abuse and domestic violence.
Jim McDonald
Supporting the Next Generation of Learners
By: Jim McDonald
October 20, 2022
One of the key factors in providing an incredible education to our children is through investment into 21st century learning environments, where teachers are able to provide a top-notched education for all students.
Josh Header
Protecting Your Office During National Cyber Security Awareness Month
By: Josh Haeder
October 13, 2022
All kidding aside, this is a good opportunity to talk about our fiduciary responsibilities, which in many cases include protecting tax dollars against fraud and other cyber threats.
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National Cyber Security Awareness Month and NAST
By: Joseph Daniels
October 6, 2022
As we draw near the end of another year, we enter October and National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSA).
Tobias Read
Saving for College Today for Tomorrow
By: Tobias Read
September 29, 2022
Earlier this week I found myself on the sidelines of a small-town high school soccer game on the Oregon-Idaho border.
Shaun Wooden
College Savings is for Everyone
By: Shawn Wooden
September 22, 2022
To put a fine point on it: We are not reaching low-income families or families of color as well as we are reaching affluent and white families.
Colleen Davis
Making 529s More Obtainable
By: Colleen Davis
September 15, 2022
As we move through September, spreading the word about the importance of saving for higher education is probably easier than during any other time of year.
nast_michael_frerichs
Future Growth of College Savings Plans Driven by Opportunity to Serve the Broadest Possible Diversity of Families
By: Michael Frerichs
September 8, 2022
With a new class of students starting their post-secondary education (and many of their parents starting to draw down their hard-earned college savings accounts), College Savings Month is a good time to step back and consider the future of college savings, college attendance, and how 529 plans might best position themselves for future growth.
DSC_5977 Rachel Biar CSPN
Welcome to September and National College Savings Month
By: Rachel Biar
September 1, 2022
Parades, parties, and barbeques are on the horizon as we approach Labor Day Weekend. As you kick off your shoes and enjoy the last days of summer fun with family and friends, remember that this landmark weekend not only marks the end of the season, but the start of National College Savings Month.
monica-mezzapelle.
ABLE "the New Hampshire Way"
By: Treasurer Monica Mezzapelle, New Hampshire
August 25, 2022
As the summer ends and the school year begins all around the country, we continue to celebrate August’s National ABLE to Save month here in New Hampshire.
DiNapoli
Improving Access to ABLE
By: Thomas P. DiNapoli
August 18, 2022
Since the program’s inception, our goal has been to spread awareness about NY ABLE’s benefits, broadly enhance access to the program, and provide a positive experience to the individuals and their families that participate.
Stacy Garrity
Welcome to the City of... Just About Everything
By: Stacy Garrity
August 4, 2022
In just over a month, the 2022 NAST Annual Conference is coming to Philadelphia, and I can’t wait to welcome my fellow treasurers and their staffs to the birthplace of American democracy.
Fiona Ma
Celebrating the 32nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act 
By: Fiona Ma, CPA
July 28, 2022
July 26 marks the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Sarah Godlewski
Future of Retirement in Wisconsin
By: Sarah Godlewski
July 21, 2022
During the summer, saving for retirement is not always top of mind, especially for younger generations. Unfortunately, the retirement security crisis doesn’t take a summer break.
nast_bio_deb_goldberg
NAST's DE&I Progress
By: Deborah B. Goldberg
July 14, 2022
It was very clear that Treasurers all over the country had achieved much and that everyone was in agreement that these initiatives benefit all of our constituents and help to make our offices more responsive and successful within our states.
Josh Header
NAST Annual Conference Coming this Fall
By: Josh Haeder
July 7, 2022
You are invited to the City of Brotherly (& Sisterly) Love for our Annual Conference and business meeting this September 18th-21st in Philadelphia.
Eric Ochmanek May 2020 photo (1)
NAST Foundation launches ABLE today to empower people with disabilities through ABLE accounts
By: Eric Ochmanek
June 23, 2022
Earlier this month at the NAST Treasury Management Training Symposium the NAST Foundation launched its new national initiative, ABLE today, to support people with disabilities and ABLE Program members. ABLE today seeks financial empowerment and community inclusion for people with disabilities through increasing awareness and promoting the positive impacts of ABLE accounts.
David McRae
Financial Stability for Those with Disabilities
By: David McRae
June 16, 2022
Americans without disabilities have been able to return to the workforce en masse, allowing the national unemployment rate to fall to 3.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ April survey.
Josh Header
Don't Forget to Pack Your Boots!
By: Hon. Josh Haeder
June 2, 2022
With over 550 attendees, we know the NAST family wants to put on their boots, toss on a Stetson, and kick up a storm! We will have plenty of opportunities to meet new and old friends at the evening networking events and during the dozens of educational sessions.
DSC_5977 Rachel Biar CSPN
A Great Time to Promote a 529 Plan
By: Rachel Biar
May 26, 2022
May 29 is National 529 Day, a day set aside to promote the value of state-sponsored 529 college savings plans and the perfect time to promote the many benefits of a 529 plan. While 529 plans across the country will be celebrating National 529 Day this Sunday, I believe every day promoting a 529 plan merits celebration!
Glen Hegar
After the Pandemic: Celebrating Economic Unity, Community
By: Glenn Hegar
May 12, 2022
Events over the last two years have shown me just what my NAST colleagues are made of. From labor shortages to supply chain woes, state treasurers and staff have piloted wildly unpredictable and unprecedented terrain.
Kari Headshot New
Putting Financial Enrichment Tools In Your Hands
By: Kari Arfstrom
May 5, 2022
Not only do we want you to talk the talk when it comes to financial wellness, we want you to have the opportunity to walk the walk with your employees, their families, and other constituent groups. To assist you, we have a free digital platform for NAST members and supporters to use in supporting your financial education efforts....
State Treasury Commissioner Elizabeth Muoio.
NJ FinLit: An Opportunity to Improve New Jerseyans' Wellbeing
By: Elizabeth Maher Muoio
April 28, 2022
Our experiences and lessons learned during the pandemic helped build support for both stronger surpluses and the reduction of debt in subsequent budgets.   
Allison Ball
Financial Literacy is Different for Everyone
By: Hon. Allison Ball & Matt Frey
April 21, 2022
A 2018 FINRA study found that 70% of Kentuckians could answer only three or fewer out of five financial literacy questions correctly. At the Kentucky State Treasury, we have worked tirelessly to improve this statistic.
Dave Young 2021 500x600
How we measure financial literacy is just as important as teaching it
By: Dave Young
April 14, 2022
I challenge us during April, which is Financial Literacy Month, to think of creative ways we can implement financial literacy in the curriculum, while being able to accurately observe changes in financial behaviors over the course of a student’s lifetime that lead to financial empowerment.
Randy McDaniel
Financial Literacy Awareness Month
By: Randy McDaniel
April 7, 2022
It is a time to encourage those we serve to practice sound money management including assessing their financial wellbeing and planning for the future.
Mike Pellicciotti 500x600
The SAFE Banking Act is critical
By: Mike Pellicciotti
March 31, 2022
What I heard from you at our meeting in D.C. is that every state is in a different stage of this process. We as treasurers seem to agree that the SAFE Banking Act is the solution. With a clear solution, the only thing left to discuss is the path forward....
Michael Fitzgerald
March Madness Lessons Learned
By: Michael L. Fitzgerald
March 24, 2022
As I enjoyed networking with my colleagues at the NAST Legislative Conference last week, it was good to also share in the excitement of March Madness.
Gibbons Headshot
NAST 2022 Legislative Conference Recap
By: Dillon Gibbons
March 17, 2022
To say I enjoyed and got a lot out of this conference is an understatement. One of the aspects of the conference I enjoyed most was the fact that it was in-person. Like many of you, I feel like it’s been too long since I’ve been around other colleagues, and it was nice to talk and meet with the people that I’ve only seen on Zoom calls....
Colleen Davis
A Debt of Gratitude for Those Facing Debt
By: Colleen Davis
March 10, 2022
Simply put, public service is for people who want to make a difference.
nast_dennis_milligan
Opportunities for Technology Innovation
By: Dennis Milligan
March 3, 2022
Failing has never been an option for me in life, as I am sure is the same for many of you. That motto has been tested throughout my entire career, but never more so than the past two years. Leading a statewide office – one responsible for making sure the state’s bills are paid – through a global pandemic was a curveball that nobody could have predicted...
nast_conference_maroon-2022_legis
Legislative Conference Preview
By: Staff
February 24, 2022
There is still time to register and book your hotel room for our in-person legislative conference March 13-15. The hotel room block has been extended through Monday, but with the cherry blossoms starting to bud around the time of this event, room rates will increase so don’t delay. ..
meet_lynn_rogers
Preparing Students for Tomorrow
By: Lynn Rogers
February 17, 2022
Post-secondary education can often feel like a luxury to many families, and a faraway dream for students early in their K-12 path. But I believe we have the ability, and the experience, to lead our constituents on how our K -12 students are able to take the next steps needed to plan for affordable post-secondary education or training. Today, I would like to encourage you to consider how this leadership could look in your own state by sharing the steps we have taken in Kansas...
Zach Conine
We are the nationwide leaders on public finance
By: Zach Conine
February 10, 2022
We must seize this opportunity to advocate for our shared priorities and the enrichment of the lives of our constituents.
Robert Sprague
Supporting Ohio’s Agriculture Community During Challenging Economic Times
By: Robert Sprague
February 3, 2022
Agriculture is the backbone of Ohio’s economy. But recently, farmers across the country have faced skyrocketing inflation and massive supply chain issues. From rising energy costs to the soaring price of fertilizer and seed, the agriculture sector faces no shortage of dilemmas heading into this year’s growing season. For more than 30 years, Ohio’s Ag-LINK linked deposit program has helped farmers and agribusinesses drive down the cost of doing business by providing interest rate reductions on new or existing loans...
Kitty-pic-500x600-unsigned
Unclaimed Property Day is February 1st
By: Kathleen Lobell
January 27, 2022
We are looking to build off the success of our second annual Unclaimed Property Day this upcoming Tuesday, February 1st by educating the public and our local leaders about the unclaimed property programs our state governments provide. There are a number of ways your office can get involved to help spread the word:
Josh Header
We can't wait to see you in person!
By: Josh Haeder
January 13, 2022
As Treasurer Wooden said last week in this missive, I, too, am humbled and honored to serve as your Senior Vice President this year. In this elected role I am also the chair of the Program & Learning Committee. This committee oversees all the professional learning that occurs throughout the year. Not only for the various conferences, but also our webinars, reports, research and other collateral that advances our craft as Treasurers...
Shaun Wooden
2022: Collaboration, Talent Pipeline and DEI
By: Shawn T. Wooden
January 6, 2022
At a time when our nation and respective states are enduring unprecedented challenges, we have the unique opportunity to reimagine what’s possible. At a time when our nation seems more divided than ever, we are fortunate to have a bipartisan community of problem solvers...
Kelly Mitchell, Treasurer, State of Indiana
The End of Another Great Year for NAST
By: Kelly Mitchell
December 16, 2021
Already, 2021 has almost come to a close, and with it, my time as president of NAST. At the conclusion of December, my term will expire and my good friend, Shawn Wooden, will take on the responsibilities of President. Before that occurs, I thought it would benefit us to look in both directions - behind us and ahead - to fully appreciate NAST’s mission and vision....
Gibbons Headshot
"When State Treasurers Speak, Federal Decisionmakers Listen"
By: Dillon Gibbons
December 9, 2021
Shaun Snyder
Financial Education & Empowerment Breakthroughs
By: Shaun Snyder
December 2, 2021
As we near the end of 2021, I would like to highlight our work on financial education and empowerment. Financial wellness (FinWell) has long been a priority of our association and our members. Just prior to the start of the pandemic, the NAST Foundation....
Riley_2021_headshot
Providing the Needed Tools for Success
By: Riley Moore
November 18, 2021
While tuition for technical education and community college programs can be covered by the state, entering a skilled trade still brings additional costs.
Sarah Godlewski
Wisconsin Saves: Preparing for Emergencies to Strengthen Financial Security
By: Sarah Godlewski
November 11, 2021
Today is Veteran’s Day, a day we remember and honor the service and sacrifice made by the men and women of our armed forces. Every year on November 11th, I’m reminded of my grandmother, who left her small hometown of Hudson, WI to serve in the Navy during World War II. She’s someone who inspires me every day in my service as Wisconsin’s State Treasurer, and I hope we can all take a page from her book today to do all we can in service of others....
Scott Fitzpatrick
UCP Partnerships are Good Government at its best
By: Scott Fitzpatrick
November 4, 2021
When I became Treasurer, I wanted to make government work more efficiently for the citizens of my state. One way I’ve done this is by partnering with other state agencies to improve information sharing to help return Unclaimed Property to rightful owners...
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The "Public Finance Workforce Study" and the Future of Public Finance
By: Kelly Mitchell & Shawn Wooden
October 21, 2021
We are entering a potentially tumultuous era of employment and staffing in the public finance sector. With unpredicted rates of retirement coupled with fewer applicants, we asked our professional association to conduct a national study to challenge our assumptions about the workforce of the future, the "Public Finance Workforce Study"...
McRae Miss
The Promise of the ABLE Age Adjustment Act
By: David McRae
October 14, 2021
October is Disability Employment Awareness Month, and along with discussing the virtues of employment, my team is fighting to help those with disabilities save more of what they earn...
fingers typing on keyboard
October is Cybersecurity Month
By: Joseph Daniels & PN Narayanan
October 7, 2021
Unless you are using state of the art biometrics, it’s extremely risky to use the same password across multiple sites. Even with biometrics, using multi factor authentication remains one of the best practices to prevent fraudulent account activity...
Allison Ball
Preparing for the Cost of Education
By: Hon. Allison Ball
September 30, 2021
College prices are steadily rising, and with that, so is student debt.
Kimberly Yee
One Year Anniversary of Overseeing Arizona’s 529 Plan
By: Hon. Kimberly Yee
September 23, 2021
While the majority of State Treasurers around the country have been administering their state's 529 College Savings Plan for years, Arizona’s 529 Plan had been tucked away for more than 20 years in an unassuming governmental commission office unknown to most Arizona families.
Michael Fitzgerald
A Grandparent's Role in Saving
By: Hon. Michael Fitzgerald
September 16, 2021
We often hear the phrase, "All of the joy without the responsibility," tied to being a grandparent. While this is true at times, it’s not always an easy transition to this new stage in life.
Lillard
Reaching Nontraditional Savers
By: Hon. David H. Lillard, Jr.
September 9, 2021
As we celebrate College Savings month, we should consider ways to reach nontraditional savers.
nast_michael_frerichs
The Next 25 Years of 529
By: Hon. Michael Frerichs
September 2, 2021
For generations, access to good, affordable higher education and post-secondary training has helped millions of Americans improve their lives. I should know; I was the first in my rural Illinois family to graduate from college, and I’ve seen first-hand the impact a college degree can have on a life.
Michael Fitzgerald
Consider College Savings Iowa for your Advanced Child Tax Credit Payments
By: Michael L. Fitzgerald
August 26, 2021
Recently I wrote this op-ed here in Iowa and wanted to share it with you. Feel free to repurpose it in your state! Do you have a plan for your advanced child tax credit payment? Starting July 15, these advanced payments offer some families up to $300 per child, per month...
Joanne Jackson
The Value of NAST Corporate Membership
By: JoAnne M.K. Jackson
August 19, 2021
The value of NAST membership has never been more evident...
Stacy Garrity
Communication is Key to Financial Wellness Strategies
By: Stacy Garrity
August 12, 2021
The life of a state treasurer is dedicated to fiscal issues. Some are massive in scale – like state budgets, bond obligations and pension systems – while others are more important on an individual level – such as 529 accounts, ABLE accounts and unclaimed property. One of the individual-level priorities we need to focus on is the financial wellness of our employees and other public servants....
Dave Young 2021 500x600
Annual NAUPA Update: Collectively Returned $2.87 Billion
By: Dave Young
August 5, 2021
I’m proud to announce our successful strides in that mission with the release of our Fiscal Year 2020 NAUPA Annual Report...
John Murante
Going Virtual: An Online Financial Literacy Wellness Series for Public Employees
By: John Murante
July 29, 2021
As Treasurer, one of my focuses has been on expanding access to financial literacy. I’m proud to have been able to work with state senators this past legislative session to pass legislation establishing fiscal literacy courses in Nebraska schools,..
Kelly Mitchell, Treasurer, State of Indiana
Serving our State with Excellence
By: Kelly Mitchell
July 22, 2021
Leading in a time of such upheaval taught me that the human element in our work matters the most - that leading means more than finding efficient solutions and delivering good government...
Sarah Godlewski
Homeownership: The key to financial well-being and economic security for our state
By: Sarah Godlewski
July 15, 2021
For the average homeowner, a primary home accounts for a significant portion of the total wealth of a family in the United States, and is often the largest asset on a household balance sheet. Yet, many are unable to achieve homeownership...
Mary Headshot
There’s No Time like the Present: Supporting Maine Families on a Path to Financial Wellness
By: Mary Dyer
July 8, 2021
The goal of the program is to support elementary-age children in developing financial skills early in life, and also includes tools and resources for the adults in their lives...
Emma Heydlauf
We Are More Than Ready to See You!
By: Emma Heydlauff
July 1, 2021
We have great news today! After a year+ of virtual events we are thrilled to announce that registration is now open for our first face-to-face member event this fall. Join us September 19th -22nd in Chicago for NAST’s Annual Conference...
Shaun Snyder
Where Does NAST Go From Here?
By: Shaun Snyder
June 24, 2021
Having to take an organization that was very reliant on in-person events and make it entirely virtual when there is no playbook on how to do that was a challenge.
Catherine Seat
Questions Answered: Public Finance Workforce Study
By: Catherine Seat
June 17, 2021
As the "new" Communications Director at NAST (I’ve been told I can use that term for a year!), I wasn't familiar with the impetus for the soon-to-be released Public Finance Workforce Study that the NAST Foundation will be releasing in a few weeks, so I sat down (virtually) with my colleague Kari Arfstrom, NAST’s Deputy Executive Director for Learning, to learn more.
Colleen Davis
Treasury Talks
By: Colleen Davis
June 10, 2021
We hear comments that allude to communication every day: "Listen to me," "Talk it over," and "Hear me out." Clearly, communication is the key to success....
Scott Fitzpatrick
MO ABLE & Payroll Deductions
By: Scott Fitzpatrick
June 3, 2021
My staff recently received a note from Marleen, a City of Kansas City employee, who said, "Thank you so much for making the MO ABLE Program available to employees of the City of Kansas City, Missouri...
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25+ Years of Innovation, Struggle, and Success
By: Michael Frerichs
May 27, 2021
Saturday, May 29th will be a special "529 Day," one where we’ll celebrate the first 25 years of the college savings industry and the many steps the federal government, states, and program managers took to create new savings models, reduce fees, and expand the flexibility of 529 College Savings accounts...
John Schroder
Helping Small Businesses in Louisiana
By: John M. Schroder
May 20, 2021
Small businesses in Louisiana certainly are struggling. However, the situation is not as dire as it is in other states. Part of the reason for that may be the Main Street Recovery Program...
Catherine Seat
Taking Networking to the Next Level
By: Catherine Seat
May 13, 2021
I’m particularly thrilled to be part of the TMTS team and see how the conference is run behind the scenes.
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Enriching, Learning, and Collaborating
By: Melissa Waller
May 6, 2021
Throughout 2020 and 2021, we have all experienced a life-changing period in history, and it has reinforced priorities for each of us both personally and professionally. One of these reinforced priorities has been education. As a mother of five—and after homeschooling for more than a year—I have seen tremendous resilience from students, parents, teachers, and government officials...
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Setting Up Children for Financial Success
By: David McRae
April 29, 2021
Throughout Financial Literacy Month (or Financial Education Month, as we call it in Mississippi), I produced a weekly column for local newspapers and corresponding social media posts that shared tips about the ways families could improve their financial literacy and savings skills. But perhaps the most important element of that outreach was a piece about how to talk with kids about money....
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Financial Education Successes in Arkansas
By: Dennis Milligan,
April 22, 2021
As we wrap up the last couple of weeks of Financial Literacy Month, I thought I’d mention some of the great things that have been happening in Arkansas. Over the past five to six years, many state leaders have taken a renewed interest in the financial education of Arkansans, and for good reason...
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Tools for Financial Recovery
By: Seth Magaziner
April 15, 2021
Every American deserves the opportunity to reach financial security and achieve the American Dream. Unfortunately, far too many are struggling to make ends meet, and the economic and health impacts of COVID-19 have only deepened the disparities in our nation...
Alison Ball
The Empowerment of Financial Literacy
By: Allison Ball
April 8, 2021
I have long been committed to expanding financial literacy in Kentucky, and this April I look forward to new opportunities that will spark meaningful conversations with our families and youth with my first Treasurer’s Financial Bee Challenge...
Rachael Eubanks
Celebrating Financial Literacy Month
By: Rachael Eubanks
April 1, 2021
April is Financial Literacy Month and is a great opportunity to showcase the important work your state is doing around financial literacy and empowerment. We all have stories to share – I’ve seen what many of you are doing ...
DiNapoli
Under Pressure: Serving Through a Pandemic
By: Thomas P. DiNapoli,
March 25, 2021
Like many of you, we have had to improvise swiftly in New York State just to conduct our ordinary business. And we found – as we problem-solved and worked outside of our usual boxes – that the more we adapted, the more we saw opportunities. ..
Zach Conine
State Debt Management in 2021
By: Zach Conine
March 18, 2021
Despite the challenges posed by 2020, SMDN came together in a unique, but effective way and made tremendous strides on all of these fronts. If anything, the necessity to go virtual opened up opportunities and allowed us to spread our reach...
Sarah Godlewski
The Time Is Now To Tackle Retirement Security
By: Sarah Godlewski
March 11, 2021
As Chair of the Retirement Security Task Force here in Wisconsin, I worked with a diverse coalition of legislators, business owners, retirement experts, and workers to develop bipartisan, cost-effective, and innovative solutions to help tackle financial insecurity during retirement....
Robert Sprague
Unlocking the Power of the Private Sector Through ResultsOHIO
By: Robert Sprague
March 4, 2021
In Ohio and across the country, persistent problems like addiction, infant mortality, and poverty plague our communities and hold our families back. As an engineer, I was taught to evaluate the challenge before you and then find a solution...
Brian Egan
Eight Things You May Have Missed at the Legislative Conference
By: Brian Egan
February 25, 2021
It’s been a jam-packed week and we still have a full day of programming ahead of us! We wanted to recap some of the key takeaways from this week’s sessions so far...
Scott Fitzpatrick
NAST Advocacy in 2021
By: Scott Fitzpatrick
February 18, 2021
I urge you to make appointments to meet virtually with your members of Congress after these briefings to continue our mantra that when State Treasurers speak, federal decisionmakers listen...
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Promoting Personal Finance Education Through Collaboration
By: Curtis Loftis
February 11, 2021
Personal finance education has never been more relevant than it is today in the COVID-19 era. The virus has disrupted the finances of many hard-working citizens and left them wondering how to navigate their economic obligations....
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NAST Financial Education Directors Caucus
By: Alayna Van Tassel
February 4, 2021
I am honored to serve as Chair of the NAST Financial Education Directors Caucus. The focus of the Caucus is to provide an opportunity for staff to learn about promising practices and talk about common issues. Although our programs may vary state by state, we have the same goals and more often than not, we face the same challenges...
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National Unclaimed Property Day Is February 1st
By: Dave Young
January 28, 2021
It is our duty as unclaimed property administrators to reunite the money and property we hold in custody with its rightful owner, especially amid the extraordinary economic challenges facing the citizens of our country...
Shaun Snyder
New Year, New Administration, New Congress: 10 Things to Know and Consider
By: Shaun Snyder
January 21, 2021
Here are 10 Things to Know and Consider for State Treasurers in the 117th Congress....
Shaun Wooden
A Time For Vigorous And Positive Action
By: Shawn Wooden
January 14, 2021
As we approach our national Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, I reflected on what he might have said about America today and a particularly prescient quote of Dr. King came to mind. In his quote, Dr. King explained that, "We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny." ...
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Inaugural Message from NAST's 2021 President Kelly Mitchell
By: Kelly Mitchell
January 7, 2021
I am excited to assume my new role as president of NAST - the association I consider my professional home and family. I am honored by your faith and trust in me to lead this organization as we shift from stay-at-home orders to the promise of vaccinations so we can all be together again as soon as possible...
Shaun Snyder
Happy Holidays
By: Shaun Snyder
December 17, 2020
As we close out 2020 here at NAST world headquarters, meaning my dining room table, I reflect on changes we made to our Daily Newsletter. Last January we updated the format of our Daily Brief, based on your feedback...
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Recovering Creatively and Innovatively
By: Joe Torsella
December 10, 2020
The novel coronavirus changed the way we do business in many ways – from the overnight switch to remote work, to quickly executing pandemic relief programs for jobless constituents such as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and finally, our new focus as a society on doing the right thing...
Tobias Read
An Unprecedented Year of Unprecedented Advocacy
By: Tobias Read
December 3, 2020
I know it’s far from original. In fact, the cliché may have become a punchline. But I’m going to say it anyway: 2020 was a truly unprecedented year. In almost every way. From the public health crisis caused by the ongoing pandemic, to the ensuing economic fallout that pushed many of our states into making extreme budget decisions, 2020 has been a lot to deal with...
John Schroder
The People Of Louisiana Protect Unclaimed Property
By: John Schroder
November 25, 2020
This past August in this weekly column, I shared with you that the people of Louisiana would vote in November on whether to protect Unclaimed Property in a constitutional trust fund. I promised to update you on the outcome...