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Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman Receives National Award for Work in Financial Empowerment

April 28, 2014

For Immediate Release

SAINT PAUL, MN – Friday, Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman was presented the Desjardins Financial Education Award for State Government Policymakers at the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s (MNCUN) annual meeting in Bloomington. The national award given by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), recognized Rothman for his commitment to strengthening financial capability through outreach and education for all Minnesotans from Kindergarten to retirement.

“The Commerce Department is committed to empowering all Minnesotans from Kindergarten to retirement in their financial decision-making,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “I am honored that I can make a difference in my role as Commissioner – I know that financial capability can mean the difference between getting ahead or falling victim to the pitfalls associated with scams or complex financial products and what that can mean to a family’s budget.”

Appointed as Commerce Commissioner in 2011, by Governor Dayton, Rothman has been a tireless advocate for financial literacy and capability in Minnesota. The work started early in his tenure, when he convened the first Financial Literacy Roundtable that brought together financial literacy stakeholders from non-profits, business, financial institutions, and local, state, and federal government. The goal of the Roundtable was to identify action steps for the Commerce Department to help make a greater impact in the lives of Minnesotans.

As an action item out of the Roundtable, Commissioner Rothman convened a first-of-its-kind Interagency Work Group on Financial Literacy, bringing together ten state agencies involved in financial education. The Departments of Education, Human Rights, Higher Education, Human Services, Corrections, Commerce, Military Affairs, Housing Finance, Revenue, and Employment and Economic Development have come together to leverage resources and provide Minnesotans the tools to make sound financial decisions and avoid pitfalls.

April 2014 marks the Fourth Annual Financial Literacy Month and Roundtable. The partnerships continue to grow and strengthen across our state, this year alone, over 40 outreach events were planned during the month of April. Consumer protection, especially protecting Minnesota senior citizens from fraud and financial abuse are focal points of the Department.

The Desjardins Award for State Government Policymakers is determined by the CUNA State Credit Union Subcommittee and recognizes individuals for their leadership in financial education at the state level. This year, the award was expanded to state government policymakers in addition to legislators with Commissioner Rothman and Rhode Island’s General Treasurer Gina Raimondo were honored with the national award. The award is named after Alphonse Desjardins, a credit union pioneer who was instrumental in forming the Canadian and United States credit union movements.

Commerce Department Financial Capability Resources
In 2014, Commissioner Rothman launched a financial literacy blog, Commerce Sense, to serve as a companion to the podcast series Minutes with Mike. The blog features tips and guidance on financial literacy and highlight scams and pitfalls to avoid.

The Commerce Department partnered with the University of Minnesota Extension to develop a series of five financial literacy guides to help consumers take the steps to save, plan for retirement, build and repair credit, teach kids to save, and prepare for natural disasters.

Visit the Commerce Department’s website for more information about Financial Capability Month, the Interagency Work Group, and the Financial Literacy Roundtables.

Commerce is here to help
The Commerce Department is here if you have questions about insurance, or believe you have been the victim of a scam or fraud. Report the fraud, so that others do not fall victim. If you think you have been a victim, contact the Consumer Response Team at 651-539-1600 or (800) 657-3602.

Complaints can also be sent by email to consumer.protection@state.mn.us or by mail to Minnesota Department of Commerce, 85 7th Place East, Suite 500, Saint Paul, MN 55101.

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