About the Coalition

We work to advance financial health and wellness throughout the St. Louis Region

Advancing Financial Health & Wellness

The Greater St. Louis Regional Financial Empowerment Coalition works to advance financial health and wellness throughout the St. Louis Region by organizing community personal finance education campaigns, promoting free personal finance classes, and by providing information and access to trusted local and national resources through this website.

Our Mission

Promoting equitable opportunities for financial health to build wealth and economic prosperity.


The Financial Empowerment Coalition is a diverse group of community stakeholders who are dedicated to increasing family self-sufficiency and prosperity through financial education, saving, banking access and wealth building strategies. 


The Financial Empowerment Coalition facilitates and aligns stakeholders in the Greater St. Louis area for the purpose of creating systems level change, economic mobility for low-wealth households and long-term economic security among all households.

Systems Change

The Financial Empowerment Coalition also seeks to transform how non-profit agencies and other community partners do business by integrating financial education, banking access, saving and credit building into program models and service delivery.

Board Members

  • Nakischa Joseph
    Leadership Board Co-chair,
    Simmons Bank
  • Katie Kristensen
    Leadership Board Co-chair,
    NeighborWorks America
  • Maurice Allen
    Bank On Products and Services Committee Chair,
    Midland States Bank
  • Crystal Avery-Morris
    Finance and Fundraising Committee Chair,
    Commerce Bank
  • Paula E.W. Carey
    Marketing & Communications Chair,
    Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Alicia Chestnut
    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • Karen Dickson
    Community Engagement Chair,
    FirstMid Bank & Trust
  • Georgie Donahue
    St. Louis County Community Action Agency
  • Chrissy Fitzpatrick
    City Treasurer’s Office of Financial Empowerment
  • Brian Gibson
    FirstMid Bank & Trust
  • Linda Harris
    United Way liaison,
    United Way of Greater St. Louis
  • Kyra Jefferson
    Beyond Housing
  • Melissa Jones
    VP Senior Business Banker,
    Enterprise Bank
  • Greg Miller
    Montgomery Bank
  • Amy Oliver
    Research Evaluation and Outcomes Chair,
    The Housing Partnership
  • Neelu Panth
    Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Lisa Potts
    St. Louis Mental Health Board
  • Nikki Woelfel
    Carrollton Bank

Our Story

The St. Louis Regional Financial Empowerment Coalition is a diverse group of community stakeholders dedicated to increasing family self-sufficiency and prosperity through financial education, affordable banking, asset-building and financial inclusion. Coalition members, called partners, represent national banks, regional banks and credit unions, nonprofit and community-based organizations, local government, business organizations and representatives from the FDIC and the Federal Reserve. United Way of Greater St. Louis supports the Coalition as the fiscal sponsor and backbone organization.

The Coalition was officially launched in September 2019 and is a merger of two organizations that had been working together for over 10 years: the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Task Force and the St. Louis Financial Education Collaborative.

Financial institution partners play important roles in the Coalition to help ensure that everyone has access to a safe and affordable bank or credit union account. Partners agree to support the Coalition’s efforts in advancing the national Bank On account or similar low-cost “safe accounts,” participate in community events, refer customers who need support to Coalition partners and support Coalition resource needs at designated sponsorship levels. To learn more about their role and benefits of being a financial institution partner, see our financial institution partnership agreement.

Community organizations are the trusted link between financial institutions and the unbanked or underbanked consumer and a key source for delivering financial education. Partners, typically nonprofit social service organizations, disseminate information, resources and referrals to financial institutions with safe and low-cost accounts and participate in community events that promote financial empowerment. You can read more about their role as well as the benefits of being a community partner in the community partner agreement. You can also find information about the services that area nonprofit organizations provide to help people (i.e. first time homeownership programs or credit coaching) on our resources page.

The Coalition is governed by a Leadership Board, and its activities are conducted by multiple committees, each of which are led by a balance of financial institutions and nonprofit partners. A subcommittee from this board forms the Executive Committee. In addition, one or more grant and donor-funded staff persons assist with carrying out the Coalition’s mission and goals.Beyond these roles, our community of stakeholders are all those invested in advancing financial empowerment across the Greater St. Louis Region. We invite all to join us at quarterly meetings, currently held remotely, and receive our email newsletter. Contact us to learn how.