MBA Financial Literacy Innovator Award 

2024 Financial Literacy Innovator Award Winner: The State Bank 

Congratulations to The State Bank for being awarded the 2024 Innovator of the Year award at the annual MBA BEST Conference. To be considered for the Innovator of the Year award, the bank needs to highlight a successful new and innovative financial literacy program that the bank has conducted in the past year. To select the 2024 winner of this prestigious award, Tammy Williford, Chair of the MBA Marketing Committee from Eastern Michigan Bank, and Eric McKinney, Vice Chair of the MBA Marketing Committee from Eaton Community Bank, reviewed each submission and ranked each in the following criteria: difficulty, employee involvement, and community effect.

The Winning Submission
The State Bank is dedicated to promoting financial literacy as a fundamental aspect of its mission. By delivering innovative and accessible programs, the bank aims to empower individuals and communities in their financial journeys. From educational workshops to digital platforms for youth, The State Bank strives to ensure everyone has the knowledge to make informed financial decisions.

Community Outreach and Programs:
In 2023, The State Bank provided over 1,700 hours of training to 31 organizations across three counties. Key programs included Savings and Budgeting, Understanding and Maintaining Credit, and Assessing Homeownership Readiness. Additional programs covered topics like Money Matters, Protecting Your Assets, and Financial Management for Small Businesses.

Partnership Initiatives:
The State Bank collaborates with diverse organizations, such as Carriage Town Ministries, Central Michigan University Research Corporation, and the City of Flint, to extend financial literacy programs. Noteworthy initiatives include the Basic Needs Program, where grants addressed property tax shortfalls, and a partnership with GreenPath, resulting in over $7.9 million in debt repayment.

GreenPath Financial Education Partnership:
In 2023, The State Bank's partnership with GreenPath facilitated 1,073 new Debt Management Plans (DMPs), helping members repay debts at lower interest rates. Financial counseling services, offered for free, reached over 3,800 individuals, with impressive results like 85% feeling more confident in their ability to reach financial goals after counseling.

Ramsey Education and EVERFI Partnerships:
Collaborating with Ramsey Education and EVERFI, The State Bank reached students in New Lothrop Schools and K-12 students, respectively. The programs offered financial education classes, supported teachers, and positively impacted over 700 students.

Innovative Program 
Working in partnership with The City of Flint’s Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control to deliver the Basic Needs Program, The State Bank provided grants to satisfy property tax shortfalls in helping participants meet program requirements. Twelve financial literacy participants received The State Bank grants totaling $14,000 that resulted in $463,500 in home improvement repairs to property located in low-to-moderate census tracts.

Results and Impact:
The financial literacy programs yielded significant outcomes, with 84% of participants expressing reduced financial stress and 85% feeling more confident in pursuing their financial goals. Serving predominantly low-to-moderate income communities, The State Bank's efforts reached a wide audience, positively influencing financial decision-making, budgeting, spending, income, careers, and credit among participants.