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Financial Empowerment Advisory Team

Financial Empowerment Advisory Team

Financial literacy helps everyone.

Created by State Treasurer Tobias Read, the Financial Empowerment Advisory Team highlights financial literacy and wellness efforts statewide. The Team also helps guide Oregon State Treasury’s efforts to make financial education and empowerment tools more prevalent, relevant, and accessible when people need them.

The Team includes citizen members and technical advisors from key Oregon government agencies where financial education is part of their goals. Their quarterly meetings are open to the public.

Treasury’s financial empowerment and education priorities were established based on guidance from a citizen workgroup in 2021. Those priorities include:

  • Augment and amplify financial education efforts inside and outside government;
  • Raise the visibility of financial education;
  • Recognize inequities and lower barriers;
  • Advance public policy solutions to bolster Oregonians’ financial wellness;
  • Ensure information is accessible to all; and
  • Identify measurable benchmarks.

Treasury advances financial literacy and wellness statewide in conjunction with outreach for our state-administered savings programs: OregonSaves, the Oregon College Savings Plan, and the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan.

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Calendar and Meeting Materials

DateMeeting Materials
Meeting Notes


Nov. 16, 2021 – 1 pm Agenda
Meeting Notes


Feb. 8, 2022 – 3 pm Agenda
Meeting Notes
April 19, 2022 – 1 pm Agenda
Spotlight Junior Achievement
Score Card Update
Public Policy Discussion
Award Presentation
Meeting Notes
Aug. 2, 2022 – 2 pm Agenda
Meeting Materials
Meeting Notes
Nov. 9, 2022 – 1 pm Agenda
Meeting Materials
Meeting Notes


Feb. 22, 2023 - 1:30 p.m. (virtual meeting) Agenda
Meeting Materials
Meeting Notes
April 4, 2023 - 2 p.m. (virtual meeting) Agenda
Meeting Materials
Meeting Notes
Aug. 1, 2023 - 10 a.m. (in-person meeting, Tigard) Agenda
Meeting Materials
Meeting Notes
Nov. 8, 2023 - 2 p.m. (virtual meeting) Agenda
Meeting Materials
Meeting Notes


Feb. 6, 2 p.m. (electronic) Agenda
Meeting Materials
2024 Financial Wellness Scorecard
Meeting Notes
Apr. 2, 2 p.m. (electronic) Agenda
Meeting Materials
Aug. 6, 2 p.m. (Tigard)
Nov. 12, 2 p.m. (electronic)

Advisory Team Members

Tobias Read, Chair

Oregon State Treasurer

Treasurer Read is the chair of the Advisory Team. As State Treasurer, he has prioritized efforts to help every Oregonian thrive financially, including the creation of the refundable Education Savings Credit that makes it easier than ever to save for career training and college costs. He previously served in the Oregon Legislature.

Julia Carlson

Investment firm founder and CEO, author of “Fit Money”

Julia is the Founder and CEO of Financial Freedom Wealth Management Group, LLC. An InvestmentNews 2020 Women to Watch honoree, Julia is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, educator and expert on the investment landscape. She was also recognized as one of Forbes’ 2018-2021 Top Women Wealth Advisors, Best in State Wealth Advisor, and a 2018-2021 Top Wealth Advisor Mom by Working Mother magazine and SHOOK Research. Julie participates in her community as a Rotary member, Chamber of Commerce member, and trustee for the Pacific Communities Health District Board. Julia works from Newport, Oregon, where she resides with her husband and their three children.

Scott Cooper

Executive Director of NeighborImpact, former Crook County Judge

Scott Cooper has been the executive director of NeighborImpact, the community action agency serving Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, since September 2012. He is also the president of the Community Action Partnership of Oregon, the state association of Oregon’s 18 community action agencies, working together to fight poverty. With nearly 40 years of nonprofit experience, Scott is currently chair of the Crook County School Board, on which he has served for 12 years. He previously served as a county judge and city councilor. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Scott and his family live in his childhood hometown, Prineville.

Margaret Doherty

Retired educator, former Oregon legislator

Margaret Doherty is the product of Portland Public Schools, and is passionate about education. She worked as a high school teacher and for the Oregon Education Association before serving in the Oregon House of Representatives from 2009 to 2020. She earned her undergraduate degree from Portland State University and her Masters from Lewis and Clark. She is an active volunteer in her hometown of Tigard, including serving as a mentor to students at Tigard High School.

George Katsinis

Contract financial counselor, Oregon National Guard

George Katsinis, Jr. has spent 22 years as a vocational instructor with certification and experience in Oregon and Washington in agriculture, industrial technology, and science. He earned national certification from the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE) as an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC). His experience includes eight years working as a personal financial counselor for Army National Guard and Reserve service members and families across the United States coming off active duty, plus another five years in private practice as a personal financial counselor. For the past two years, he has worked full time as a personal financial counselor for all Oregon service members and their families.

Cobi Lewis

Executive Director, Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO)

Cobi Lewis is the Executive Director of Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO). MESO brings a holistic array of services and programs to small businesses, including access to capital through loans and grants, real estate lending, business planning, market research, IDA, Bookkeeping, Classes, navigation and mentoring. Prior the coming to MESO, Cobi served as the Sr. VP and Director of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and Corporate Responsibility at Umpqua Bank, was comprised of Community Development, Philanthropy, Volunteerism, DEI and Government Relations. Cobi also served on the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation Board of Directors. Cobi currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Portland Housing Center, the Black United Fund of Oregon, Pioneer Courthouse Square, and the Audit Committee for the Oregon Youth Authority, the National Association of Minority Contractors and on the Leadership Council of the Albina Vision Trust. Just a few notable accomplishments include the Portland Business Journals 40 under 40, Women of Influence, Top 100 African-Americans in Business, 22 Leaders to follow in 2022, and on the national list of Most Influential Bankers. She is a proud mother of two, grandmother of one and a proud attendee of the University of Oregon.

Josie Molloy

President and CEO, Grants Pass & Josephine County Chamber of Commerce

Josie has been the President & CEO of the Grants Pass & Josephine County Chamber of Commerce since 2018. She has been in the Chamber industry for 12 years, previously working for a Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation in Laramie, WY. The Chamber is dedicated to helping local companies grow their businesses and create a thriving economy. It serves as the voice for businesses and focus on creating a strong business climate, and also promotes financial literacy education in Southern Oregon through programs like Lemonade Day. Josie also serves on the Josephine County Visitors Association Board, SOREDI Board, and is active in the Rogue Gateway Rotary Club. Josie was born and raised in Oregon. Her parents own and operate a cattle ranch and a feed and tack store in Crane, OR. When she is not busy representing the business community, she loves outdoor activities and exploring new places with her husband Ciaran and two children.

Prem Mathew

Oregon State University College of Business Associate Dean and director of the OSU Center for Advancing Financial Education

Prem Mathew is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Student Development in the College of Business at Oregon State University. He oversees undergraduate curriculum; recruiting, student engagement, and scholarship processes; and career and student advising. He also established and is the director of OSU’s Center for Advancing Financial Education. Prem leads multiple K12 partnerships that target communities historically underrepresented in higher education and has established robust college-level retention and emergency-based scholarship processes. Prem holds bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania; an MBA in Finance from the University at Buffalo; and a PhD in Business Administration (Finance) from the University of Missouri.

Erin Moore

Education Program Manager, OnPoint Community Credit Union

Erin Moore, an Oregon native, graduated from Willamette University, where she cultivated a commitment of service to others. Ms. Moore joined OnPoint Community Credit Union in 2007, assuming roles that helped shape the organization’s Community and Public Relations programs. Since 2018, Moore has led OnPoint’s financial education strategic imperative, which serves OnPoint members and all citizens of Oregon and SW Washington in their journey to financial prosperity. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, travel, and camping.

Pamela Ranslam

Homeownership Services Manager, Nixyáawii Community Financial Services

Pamela Ranslam has been serving the community of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) for over 18-years. As the Homeownership Services Manager for Nixyáawii Community Financial Services (NCFS) starting in January 2021, and previously under the CTUIR Housing Department. She oversees financial and homeownership education programs, homebuyer financial assistance programs, along with providing financial coaching, and homeownership counseling. Pamela has 10-years of banking and mortgage lending experience. She’s a certified facilitator for two native education curricula: Building Native Communities for Families and Pathways Home along with being an approved contractor with National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC). A graduate of Oregon State University, Pamela’s an avid baker, enjoys traveling, the outdoors, and gardening.

Guillermo Sandoval

Umpqua Bank

Guillermo is the Community Reinvestment Director for Umpqua Bank, soon to become the Financial Inclusion Director for the combined Columbia Bank/Umpqua Bank serving Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and Nevada. He will lead the bank’s financial inclusion program that will focus on serving underserved communities. Guillermo has held the title of CRA Officer for Tri Counties Bank in N. California and Banner Bank, headquartered in Washington State. He has over 25 years of community development experience and is well-known in the industry. Guillermo has a strong passion in community outreach, financial education and community development. He has previously served on the boards of Hacienda CDC – Portland, WCRA – Seattle, Impact Capital - Seattle, and the United Way of N. California. He has the distinction of Hacienda CDC naming their futsal court as the Guillermo Sandoval Futsal Court (near Cully and Killingsworth in Portland).

Jennifer Satalino

Executive Director, The College Place

Jenn Satalino is the director of The College Place-Oregon She has 30 years of experience helping students pursue higher education. In her work at The College Place, she enjoys working with a variety of students from around the state; every day is different. She holds a BA from University of Oregon and an MA from Portland State University.

Bandana Shrestha

Director, AARP Oregon

Bandana Shrestha is the State Director for AARP Oregon, where she leads and supports the AARP vision of health security, financial stability, and community engagement for over 500,000 members, as well as Oregonians 50 and older and their families across the state of Oregon. During her 20+ year career as a leader in community engagement, Bandana has worked to drive people-powered solutions to affect positive social change for local, national, and international organizations. Bandana is a graduate of Linfield College and University of Oregon and lives in Happy Valley with her husband and son.

Technical Advisors

Department of Consumer and Business Services

Lane Thompson is the Student Loan Ombuds for the Division of Financial Regulation. In this role, Lane helps resolve conflicts between student loan borrowers and servicers, ensures compliance with relevant statutes, and generally supports Oregon’s 552,000 student loan borrowers. Before working at the division, she worked as a housing counselor and technical assistance provider for a low income asset building program. Lane is an alumna of Portland State University and a lifelong learner.

Craig Vattiat is a Financial Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation. Craig grew up in Oregon City and was a business teacher at his alma mater, Oregon City High School, for 19 years. There, he developed and taught a personal finance course for juniors and seniors. This experience sparked his passion for financial literacy education. Craig brings this passion to his current role where he helps Oregonians to develop the knowledge and skills needed to build financial capacity and empowerment.

Department of Education

Amit Kobrowski is the Social Science Specialist for the Oregon Department of Education facilitating the implementation of K-12 standards for Civics, Economics, Financial Literacy, Geography, and History. Since joining ODE, Amit helped design and implement K-12 Ethnic Studies-integrated Social Science Standards for all Oregon students. Amit is also helping to support teachers in addressing Holocaust and Genocide studies and the social science portion of the Tribal History/Shared History lessons. Before joining the Department of Education, Amit spent nearly 25 years as a high school history teacher. Originally from Chicago, Amit now lives and bikes in Portland, Oregon.

Department of Human Services

Joel Metlen is the Human Services Strategic Projects Director for the Oregon Department of Human Services, where he leads initiatives to improve collaboration, equity, innovation, and systems transformation. Joel has two decades of public sector experience, including in New York City, the District of Columbia, and in Oregon. Prior to his work at ODHS, Joel helped start OregonSaves, the first-of-its-kind retirement savings program, for Oregon State Treasury. Joel has a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a master’s from Johns Hopkins University.

Department of Justice

Ellen Klem is the director of consumer outreach and education for the Office of the Attorney General. Her mission is to prevent financial harm to Oregonians, especially older adults, Oregonians whose first language is not English, and students with large education-related debts. Previously, Ellen worked at the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging in Washington, D.C., where she was responsible for research, policy development, advocacy, education and training. Ellen received her bachelor’s degree from James Madison College at Michigan State University and a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Department of Revenue

A proud lifelong Oregonian, Codi Trudell has more than 18 years of public civil service working for Polk and Benton Counties and the State of Oregon. In 2021, Trudell was appointed Oregon’s first Taxpayer Advocate in the Oregon Department of Revenue, where she works to be a voice and resource for Oregon’s taxpayers. A graduate of Oregon State University with a bachelor's degree in Political Science, Trudell provides fair and equitable access to Oregonian's economic opportunities, programs and services. Before joining the Department of Revenue, Trudell served as the manager of the Disadvantaged and Small Business program for the Oregon Department of Transportation. Trudell is a native of Albany, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Higher Education Coordinating Commission

Juan Báez-Arévalo currently serves as the Director of the Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) for the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), leading OSAC’s administration of financial aid and college access programs for Oregonians. Juan previously directed HECC’s Office of Private Postsecondary Education, merging the state’s licensing units for degree-granting institutions and career schools. He has led change, systematic improvements, public policy and management through diverse leadership roles in K-12 education, and workforce development.

2021 Recommendations

Formation of the Financial Empowerment Advisory Team was recommended by a separate citizen workgroup in early 2021. Treasurer Read convened the subsequent panel, known as the Financial Education Advisory Team, to consider the Oregon landscape and solutions in other states, and to help create a blueprint for Treasury financial literacy efforts.

The 15-member panel endorsed a set of interconnected, overarching priorities and action steps. The discussion and full recommendations are summarized in this report: “Elevating Financial Literacy and Confidence.

The archived web page for the Financial Education Advisory Team can be found here.