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RAISE Texas Training and Summit: Providing the Tools for Financial Stability

October 29–30, 2012 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch

Even as the Texas economy gradually climbs out of recession, too many families are working harder than ever, yet struggling to stay financially afloat.  Texas families are too often just one missed paycheck, one missed payment or one emergency away from economic peril. Conversely, one savings program, one piece of good advice or one financial tool can be the key for families to absorb these financial shocks and achieve economic security. These tools and opportunities framed the conversation at the annual RAISE Texas Training and Summit in Houston on October 29–30.

The annual summit brought together key community leaders and change agents to:

  • Discuss new initiatives
  • Share cutting-edge research and
  • Explore opportunities for partnerships within the asset-building industry

Building on the foundation of previous summits and regional meetings, the 2012 Training and Summit highlighted:

  • Payday lending alternatives
  • Financial coaching models
  • One-stop financial center opportunities
  • High-impact college savings initiatives
  • Savings innovations
  • Financial education best practices


Monday, October 29

12:30 p.m.

Registration and Networking

1:30 p.m.

Workshops and Trainings


Session 1A—Small Dollar Loan Alternatives
Learn about current alternatives offered in Texas to help people who need short-term loans. Find out about the small-dollar loans offered in Brownsville and key lessons learned from a recent study conducted in partnership with several statewide organizations.


Reshaping the Future of Small-Dollar Lending in Texas
Ann Baddour
Senior Policy Analyst
Texas Appleseed


Nick Mitchell-Bennett
Executive Director
Community Development Corporation of Brownsville


Kevin Jewell
Independent Contractor


Session 1B—Online Application and Information for Public Benefits Programs
Find out about three approaches to help your clients understand and then access public benefits. Learn about the self-sufficiency calculator, and understand what benefits your clients are entitled to. Hear how your organization can become a state navigator through the Community Partnership Program where families apply online for public benefits through a web-based portal with the Health and Human Services Commission. Find out about the Benefit Bank of Texas and how this web-based system can provide access to a number of public benefits and other services.


Celia Cole
Texas Food Bank Network


Jennifer Smith
Women’s Services Program Director
YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas


Jeremy Everett
Texas Hunger Initiative


Michael Jackson
Executive Director
St. Vincent's Episcopal House

3 p.m.

Session 2A—Financial Coaching
What is financial coaching? Should community-based organizations add this service to their existing activities? Learn how community-based organizations are providing financial coaching and hear about the training and certification modules for establishing a coaching component.


Money School: Financial Stability Initiative
Christie Mosley-Eckler

Program Manager
Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Worth


YW Financial Coaching Program
Heidi Tippetts

YW Financial Empowerment Coach
YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas


Session 2B—Texas Family Budgets
The Family Budget Estimator ( generates eight average family budgets for each of Texas' major metropolitan areas and creates a regional picture of family economic security without any public assistance. The 2012 platform also includes line items for household-appropriate savings and tools to compare these budgets with current wages and occupations in the local labor market. This session is designed to raise regional and statewide awareness about the tools and policies necessary for Texas families to “get by,” and more importantly, “to get ahead.”


The Better Texas Family Budgets
Frances Deviney
Director, Texas KIDS COUNT
Center for Public Policy Priorities

4:30 p.m.

Session 3—Designing and Implementing a Savings Campaign in Texas
What is currently going on to move a savings agenda forward across the country and in Texas? Learn about campaigns, platforms and activities that could build and sustain a savings culture in Texas


Woody Widrow
Executive Director


Designing and Implementing a Savings Campaign in Texas
Laura Rosen
Project Coordinator
Opportunity Texas

5:15 p.m.

Reception hosted by the United Way of Greater Houston

Tuesday, October 30


8 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m.


8:45 a.m.

Moving Forward with Financial Stability in Texas
Find out about recent successes and new initiatives through RAISE Texas and its members


Woody Widrow

9:15 a.m.

State Policy Update
In 2011, the Texas Legislature enacted several new laws covering payday and small dollar lending, financial education and college savings. Learn how these state laws are being implemented and what’s on the horizon for the 2013 session.


Ann Baddour


OpportunityTexasTM Having Impact in the 83rd Legislature
Don Baylor
Senior Policy Analyst
Center for Public Policy Priorities


Legislation For A Smarter Texas
Laura Ewing

Texas Council on Economic Education

10 a.m.


10:15 a.m.

Creating Financial Empowerment Cities in Texas
Exciting partnerships are occurring across the state bringing together local government, nonprofits and the private sector. Find out what is happening in Houston, our host city.


United Way THRIVE and Wells Fargo
Fran Rosebush

Program Manager, THRIVE
United Way of Greater Houston


Laura Jaramillo
Vice President, Manager of Community Development
Wells Fargo

11 a.m.

Expanding the Savings Agenda
Learn how the use of tax-time savings and children’s savings accounts has been growing in Texas and helping us build a savings movement in Texas.


Chris Giangreco
Program Specialist, Child Support Division
Office of the Texas Attorney General


Mark Nerio
Vice President and Community Development Officer
Citi Community Development


Expanding the Savings Agenda
Laura Rosen

11:35 a.m.

The Texas Regional Opportunity Index (TROI)
Learn about the TROI, a new data platform modeled after the CFED Assets & Opportunity Scorecard. The TROI includes over 60 county-based indicators across numerous categories, including savings and assets, health, nutrition, credit and debt, jobs and education. These actionable indicators enable community entities to benchmark key asset and economic development outcomes against their counties, various regional districts and the state as a whole.


The Texas Regional Opportunity Index: A New Platform for Encouraging and Evaluating Local Action
Don Baylor


Keynote Luncheon Address


Louisa M. Quittman
Director, Financial Education
U.S. Treasury Department

1:15 p.m.

The Now and Wow: Asset Building Technology and Innovation
Learn about the next wave of innovative tools in asset building across Texas.


Terry Johnson
President and CEO
New Seed Initiative


The Workplace Solution Story
Anthony Cacheria III

President and Chief Operating Officer
Ganart Technologies

1:45 p.m.


2 p.m.

Small Group Sessions


Session 1A—Moving Payday and Small Dollar Lending Legislation forward for the 83rd Texas Legislature
Find out ways you can be involved in helping improve payday and auto title lending through state legislation.


Wendy Hanson
Community Impact Director
United Way of Southern Cameron County


Tim Morstad
Associate State Director of Advocacy
AARP Texas


Session 1B—Preview and Preparation for the 83rd Texas Legislature
Review and discuss policy options to move a Texas assets and opportunity agenda forward for the upcoming legislative session and identify successful messages to communicate our issues to media and key policymakers.


Shari Flynn
Executive Director
Lubbock Housing Finance Corporation


The Devil's in the Details Lessons from the 82nd & an Agenda for the 83rd Legislature
Don Baylor


Session 1C—Financial Empowerment Centers and One Stop Shops
More and more communities are creating one stop financial centers that enable families to receive services and information on numerous financial products. Learn about a couple of cities in Texas that are advancing this strategy.


Foundation Communities' One-stop Financial Center
Julian Huerta

Deputy Executive Director, Community Services Staff
Foundation Communities


Berenice Yu
Senior Program Officer


Financial Opportunity Center
Joyce Foster

FOC Program Manager
Volunteers of America, Texas

3:30 p.m.