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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
Nov. 16, 2021 – 1 pm Agenda
Feb. 8, 2022 – 3 pm
April 19, 2022 – 1 pm
Aug. 9, 2022 – 3 pm
Nov. 9, 2022 – 1 pm

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.

Vicki Berger

Retired small business owner, former Oregon legislator

Vicki Berger is a fourth-generation Oregonian, born and raised in Salem. She is a former small business owner and was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2002 and served 12 years. She currently serves on the Oregon State Parks Commission and the Oregon State Fair Council.

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.

Carlos Garcia

Executive Director, Neighborhood Partnerships

Carlos Garcia was appointed Executive Director of Neighborhood Partnerships in September 2020 after serving as their Director of Economic Opportunity. In his current role, Carlos works with a team of dedicated leaders committed to building a more equitable Oregon. Their work includes increasing resources and improving public policy in support of housing and economic justice. Carlos is a first-generation college graduate and holds a degree in International Business from Oregon State University, where he worked throughout his undergraduate career on issues of access and retention for Chicano/Latino students. Born and raised in eastern Oregon, Carlos enjoys exploring the Northwest with his partner Joshua and two dogs Keo and Osito.

Bill Ihle

Executive Director, Credit Counseling Service of Southern Oregon

Bill Ihle is the Executive Director and CEO of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Southern Oregon, the state’s only community-based, nonprofit credit counseling agency. In the role, Bill has expanded CCCSSO’s service area from two counties to nine, with a clientele that is 80% low-income. Under his leadership, CCCSSO established secure live video link to connect to clients in rural Coos County and launched Financially Fit Women to break down financial barriers for women managing family and business finances. Bill completed his undergraduate degree at California State University, Chico, and later completed his studies at Harvard Business School. Previous service includes the Oregon State Lottery Commission. Bill and his husband live in Medford.

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.

Raven Manta

Business Services Manager, Nixyaawaii Community Financial

Raven Manta is the Business Services Manager at Nixyaawii Community Financial Services and an enrolled tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla. Raven is responsible for adult and youth financial education programming for the Native Community Development Financial Institution for Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. She previously was the Youth Education and Outreach Coordinator for Business Development Services, a tribal program under Wildhorse Resort and Casino. She earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, Business/Sociology, from Eastern Oregon University. When she isn’t providing capacity-building support for her community, Raven enjoys time with her family, the outdoors, and doing projects with her kids.

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.

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.

Chabre Vickers

Vice President and Oregon Community Development Officer, Wells Fargo

Chabre Vickers is the Vice President Community Development Officer for Wells Fargo in Oregon and S.W. Washington and leads the company’s community development initiatives and Community Reinvestment Act activities supporting low- and moderate-income communities. Chabre’s passion for community is demonstrated by her advocacy with many organizations where she utilizes the tenets of Critical Race Theory to enhance access and capacity toward tangible social change for the benefit of all. Chabre serves as a board member for the Oregon Symphony, Literary Arts, and the OHSU Avel Gordly Center for Healing. She also is a Governor on the Board of Governors for The Portland City Club and is a Board of Professionals member for the Trail Blazers’ make it better foundation. She previously served as an Executive Committee Member of the Portland African American Leadership Forum.

Technical Advisors


Department of Consumer and Business Services

Karla Martinez is an Education & Outreach Coordinator for the Division of Financial Regulation. She has been with the Division of Financial Regulation for 10 years. Karla has worked in compliance, advocacy and now outreach. Her prior work as an insurance agent for one of the nation’s largest insurance companies has made her a subject matter expert with nearly 20 years of insurance industry experience. In addition to her insurance background, Karla also works with community partners throughout Oregon to promote and engage in Financial Literacy.

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.


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