The National Association of State Treasurers has reappointed Mississippi State Treasurer Lynn Fitch to its Executive Committee as Southern Region Vice President.
"I am grateful for this opportunity to reprise my role on the NAST Executive Committee," said Fitch. "This organization gives me such a wonderful opportunity to better serve Mississippians by networking with and learning from other state treasurers across the country. And, it gives me a powerful voice to advocate for Mississippi's needs where federal regulations and laws are concerned."
In addition to this appointment, Treasurer Fitch will also serve on NAST's Financial Literacy Committee and its College Savings Plan Network. Treasurer Fitch has been a passionate promoter of financial education in Mississippi, which ranks at or near the bottom in nearly every indicator of financial literacy and healthy money habits.
Fitch developed Treasurer's Education About Money (TEAM), a public-private partnership, to bring financial education into Mississippi high schools. In its first year, TEAM reached 19,000 students with 67,000 hours of teaching time and trained 555 teachers.
"Sixty-eight percent of Mississippians lack a fundamental understanding of money," said Fitch. "I don't think it's any coincidence that we have the highest poverty rate in the nation. How can we break the cycle of poverty in Mississippi if our next generation doesn't understand the basics of savings, using credit, and accumulating wealth?"
NAST also announced that Tony Geiger, Director of the Unclaimed Property division in Treasurer Fitch's office has been named Southern Regional Vice President for the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. In Treasurer Fitch's first term, her office distributed more than $41 million in unclaimed property to its rightful owners. In the last fiscal year, claims totaling $9.3 million were processed, which is more than twice the annual average since 1982.
"I take my responsibility to return unclaimed money to the people very seriously," said Fitch. "And, Tony shares my commitment. He does a great service to the people of this state in the professional and courteous way he runs our unclaimed property operations."