Arkansas Financial Education Commission

Mission Statement

Helping Arkansans achieve financial well-being through education and networking, for now and for future generations.


The Arkansas Financial Education Commission was established by Act 1025 of 2021. Members of the commission include a mixture of government and community appointees with financial backgrounds. They include:

  • Treasurer of State, serving as Chairman
  • Commissioner of Elementary & Secondary Education
  • Campbell McLaurin, Interim Commissioner, Arkansas Securities Department
  • Susannah Marshall, Commissioner, Arkansas State Bank Department
  • Duncan Bellingrath of Simmons Bank, Arkansas Bankers Association designee, serving as Treasurer
  • Steve Brown, President & CEO of Alcoa Community Federal Credit Union, serving as Vice Chair
  • Patricia Ashanti, Founder & CEO of Delta Circles*
  • Abby Hughes Holsclaw, President & CEO of Proper Southern Strategies, serving as Secretary*
  • Marsha Masters, Associate Director of Economics Arkansas*

*Appointed by the Treasurer of State in 2021 to serve as at-large members.  

Financial Wellness Initiative

The Arkansas Financial Education Commission is pleased to announce a new financial wellness platform in partnership with the National Association of State Treasurers. The “AR Finance AR Future” platform is personalized for each user based on his or her answers to a few simple questions about the financial wellness topics they are most interested in learning. Visit the AR Finance AR Future wellness page today!

Financial Education Series

The Arkansas Financial Education Commission has partnered with the Central Arkansas Library System to host a series of financial education webinars geared toward educating the public on basic financial matters. Follow the links below to register for any of these free webinars!

April 12, 2022: Budgeting and Planning
  • Spending and saving wisely
  • Banking and payment methods
  • Emergency funds

Presented by Kris Bertelsen, Senior Economic Education Specialist, Little Rock Branch of Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Watch a video recording of the session here.

May 10, 2022: Avoiding Debt Traps with Educational Expenses

Many people have student loan debt but they don’t fully understand it. This session will help you decide if you should borrow money and what to know about your student loan debt if you already have it. You’ll leave with tools to help you figure out what’s right for you.

Presented by Taylor Leaphart, Manager of Service Delivery and Financial Coach, Change Machine

Watch a video recording of the session here.

June 14, 2022: Avoiding Debt Traps with Medical Expenses
  • How to avoid or minimize medical debt
  • Resources and options available to consumers who are navigating debt
  • Avoiding a negative impact to your credit score with mounting medical debt

Presented by Signe-Mary Mckernan with Urban Institute and Berneta Haynes (a Little Rock native!) with National Consumer Law Center)

Watch a video recording of the session here.

September 13, 2022: Housing Affordability: What You Need to Know

Is now the time to buy or rent your next home? Learn how to decide which is better for you, along with what responsibilities to expect along the way.

Presented by John Hurst, Vice President of Simmons Bank Mortgage, and Shawn Karnes, Executive Director of Arvest Bank Mortgage.

Watch a video recording of the session here.

October 11, 2022: Avoiding Identity Theft & Staying Cyber-Secure

Are you doing all you can to stay cyber safe? Learn about current threats to consumers, how to identify potential ‘bad actors’ online, and the 10 best practices for staying cyber safe. Presented by Lee Watson, Founder & CEO of the Forge Institute.

Watch a video recording of the session here.

November 8, 2022: Planning for Retirement

Watch “How to Save10 Into Retirement” presented by Sarah Catherine Gutierrez, Founder and CEO of Aptus Financial. Learn how to open your own retirement account and simulate a workplace retirement plan with automated savings.

Watch a video recording of the session here.

Meeting Documents

Nov. 30, 2021
Jan. 11, 2022
Feb. 10, 2022
April 6, 2022
Aug. 10, 2022
Oct. 27, 2022




For information concerning the commission, please address your correspondence to:

Arkansas Financial Education Commission
c/o Arkansas Treasurer of State
1401 West Capitol, Suite 275
Little Rock, AR 72201

If e-mailing, please send to: