The National Financial Educators Council has awarded Ben Joergens the Financial Education Instructor of the Year award. The award is set aside to recognize a single individual who has made markedly significant contributions to promoting financial wellness over the previous year. The NFEC contends that educators are the single most important influence on participant success; that’s why the council created this award to recognize distinguished financial education instructors for their contributions. Joergens was selected for this award because of his experience, serving as financial empowerment director and vice president at Old National Bank in Evansville, since 2013.
He was instrumental in leveraging ONB’s partnership with Ivy Tech College in Evansville to build mentoring relationships with students struggling financially or who needed guidance. Joergens and the ONB leadership team also partnered with Junior Achievement of Southwest Indiana to sponsor the Dollars Make Sense campaign, which taught parents how to leverage everyday teachable moments to help their kids understand money management. He is also a partner with the YMCA of Southwestern Indiana.
Many say Joergens’ most impressive financial education achievement to date has been spearheading the innovative "12 Steps to Financial Success," a program that teaches participants 12 steps they can take to change their lives for the better and achieve financial success. He has taught the program to hundreds of female inmates at the Henderson, Kentucky Detention Center who have been incarcerated for substance-abuse crimes, and it has been expanded to reach both males and females at a rehabilitation center in Evansville. This program not only empowers participants with financial knowledge, but also encourages them to empower others in their lives after they have left the detention center.
Joergens and ONB have worked with various partners to expand the program to other communities, and plans are in place to bring it to Daviess County, Kentucky and to the State of Michigan. For his efforts on this project he received the 2015 ABA George Bailey Distinguished Service Award, sponsored by the ABA Foundation and given to one non-CEO bank employee each year who demonstrates outstanding initiative, customer commitment, community involvement and inspiration to others.