On Monday, April 3, 2023, Savvy Ladies kicked off Financial Literacy Month with the first-ever Building Connection Breakfast, an event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the organization. The breakfast, hosted at the Nasdaq MarketSite–an iconic Times Square experience–presented the inaugural Impact Award and officially launched the brand new Savvy Ladies App. It also featured two insightful panel discussions with seven financial and tech industry leaders, moderated by CNBC’s Kelli Grant.
Watch the full event recording below:
Savvy Ladies thanks Nationwide, JP Morgan Wealth Management and the Nasdaq Foundation for sponsoring this event.
Introducing the Savvy Ladies App
Building connections is what Savvy Ladies has been doing for the past 20 years through its Free Financial Helpline, which has matched thousands of women across America with Certified Financial Planners, CPAs and other professionals for pro-bono financial mentoring. The launch of its new Helpline App is taking these connections to the next level. During the event, Judy Herbst, Executive Director Savvy Ladies, officially presented the new platform, which provides a faster and easier user experience for Helpline clients to submit their financial questions in a trustworthy and safe space. These questions center around divorce, budgeting, debt management, investing, small business planning, and beyond. The app is also a hub for Volunteers, and allows Savvy Ladies to provide financial wellness check-ins to continue to empower clients to create their own financial roadmap.
A big round of applause went to Tracie Wheeler, Director of Client Experiences at Savvy Ladies, who has been leading the Helpline, coordinating its community of Volunteers, and spearheading the design and launch of the new Helpline app.
Savvy Ladies thanks the Nasdaq Foundation for the grant that made it possible to leverage technology to connect women in need with professional volunteers in a more accessible way!
Savvy Ladies Impact Award
The event also introduced the inaugural Savvy Ladies Impact Award, recognizing distinguished professionals who have demonstrated a deep commitment to the advancement of women’s financial well-being.
The first 2023 Impact Award Honoree was Holly Snyder, the first female president of Nationwide Life Insurance. The award was introduced by Kristi Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of the Nationwide Retirement Institute, which together with their corporate citizenship partners have collectively supported Savvy Ladies through event sponsorship and with volunteers sharing their expertise.
In a video accepting the Award, Holly expressed: “it means a great deal to be recognized by such an esteemed organization that is dedicated to empowering and educating women about the value of financial literacy and their financial future.” As president of Nationwide Life Insurance, Holly’s meaningful work is impacting women’s lives positively for a more secure financial future. “According to the 2021 Nationwide Retirement Institute Long Term Care Survey, on average, the life expectancy for women has increased by 25 years in the last 100 years, and women now have a three times greater chance of living until age 90 than men. With such a long life expectancy, I think we can all agree, it’s important for consumers, especially women, to understand how to financially protect themselves and their loved ones for generations to come,” she asserted.
Lisa Zeiderman, VP and Executive Member of the Savvy Ladies Board of Directors stepped onto the stage to announce the second recipient of the 2023 Impact Award, none other than Savvy Ladies’ very own Founder and Board Chair, Stacy Francis. Over the course of 20 years, Stacy’s work to promote financial literacy through Savvy Ladies has had a tremendous impact on thousands of women across the nation, helping them take control of their lives. She founded Savvy Ladies in 2003 as a way to honor her grandmother, who had stayed in an abusive relationship because she didn’t have the skills to deal with money.
In her acceptance speech, Stacy expressed her gratitude to the community of Savvy Ladies supporters: “I just want to tell that 26-year-old who had an idea and didn’t know how she was going to do it: you’ve got this. And the reason you’ve got this is that you’ve got a community of amazing people who are going to carry the torch and help you along”. She also talked about the future of the organization with the launch of the new platform: “This app is a game changer. We are making over 5,000 matches between women in need and financial experts. That number is only going to be able to grow now because of it.”
Panel Discussions: Celebrating Money Milestones & The Impact of Technology on Financial Literacy
Following the Impact Awards celebration, Stacy Francis welcomed Kelli Grant, CNBC Deputy Personal Finance Editor and Certified Financial Planner professional, who moderated the educational portion of the event.
In the first panel, Stacy Francis, Founder Savvy Ladies, Jennifer C. Williams, Regional Director, J.P. Morgan Wealth Management, and Leah Jones, CFA, CFP®, CDFA®, AEP®, Director of Financial Planning, Hightower, talked about money milestones for women. The discussion centered around investing, retirement saving and financial literacy. The experts on the panel, all of them Certified Financial Planners®, shared why investing is important for women, what are the most common misconceptions around investing, how much women should be saving for retirement, and what makes women’s wealth journey different than men’s, among other questions. Watch the first panel’s recording here.
The second panel featured Jailan Griffiths, Nasdaq’s Global Head of Purpose and President of the Nasdaq Foundation, Sunsy Hong, Managing Director Wealth Plan Product Owner J.P. Morgan, Cheryl Nash, CEO InvestCloud, Inc., and Bobbi Jo Allan, VP, NF Digital Product & Innovation, Nationwide. The four industry leaders discussed the role that technology and innovation plays in financial literacy. The conversation focused on how innovation can help make financial education more accessible and comfortable for women, as well as current trends in technology that have women in mind. The experts also discussed how technology can be leveraged to build personal wealth and to help bridge the racial gap in financial literacy. You can watch the second panel here.
Watch: Nasdaq Welcomes Savvy Ladies to Ring the Closing Bell
As part of its 20th Anniversary celebration, Savvy Ladies was invited to ring the closing bell at Nasdaq on March 31, 2023. Stacy Francis, Founder Savvy Ladies, Judy Herbst, Executive Director, Lisa Zeiderman VP Board, Board Members, Volunteers and Supporters joined in to ring the closing bell! Watch the recording below.