Community Dividend

Community Affairs Manager's note - Issue 2, 2002

Community Affairs Manager's note - Issue 2, 2002

Jacqueline Nicholas | Community Affairs Officer

Published November 1, 2002  | November 2002 issue

New faces in Community Affairs

Since my arrival at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis earlier this year to assume the role of Community Affairs Manager, I have been struck by the diversity of the community development issues and opportunities in the Ninth District. In every corner of our region, dedicated individuals from community and economic development groups, financial institutions and other organizations are finding creative solutions to a broad range of challenges. Community Affairs recently welcomed two new members who will enhance our team's ability to be a partner in meeting those challenges.

Richard M. Todd, our new Community Affairs Officer (CAO), joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis as an economist in 1980. He has held a variety of management positions in the Bank's Research and Risk Management Departments and most recently served as vice president of information technology. He brings extensive research experience to his new role and has a keen interest in emerging community development issues.

With the addition of Senior Project Director Susan Woodrow, Community Affairs extends its home base to Helena, Montana. Woodrow joined the Minneapolis Fed in 1990 as an attorney in the Law Department and was later promoted to senior counsel. She transferred to the Helena Branch in 1999, assuming responsibility for a variety of branch functions. Although she is still involved in managing operations in Helena, Woodrow devotes the majority of her time to Community Affairs projects. Her expertise in banking regulations and Indian Country legal issues is a valuable asset for our program.

Our new team members' contributions are apparent in this issue of Community Dividend, which features a cover story by our CAO. Todd's article explores the assumption that financial literacy education is an antidote to predatory lending. It examines three major types of financial literacy training and finds support for cautious optimism that increased knowledge of personal finance can help consumers avoid abusive lenders. In "A Conversation With . . .," Todd joins Claudia Parliament, professor of applied economics at the University of Minnesota, in a related discussion of financial literacy education and predatory lending.

Predatory lending is the focus of our first feature, which explores a widespread property flipping scam that affected hundreds of low-income families in the Twin Cities. Our second feature reports on a community development tour of St. Paul that Community Affairs arranged for Federal Reserve Governor Susan Schmidt Bies, who recently visited the Ninth District.

As this issue of Community Dividenddemonstrates, Community Affairs offers a variety of resources—from information on specific community development topics to the skills and knowledge of our team members. We hope those resources will help you meet the diverse challenges in your community.