University of Maryland Extension

2010 Speakers

2010 Speakers List

Lester M. Austin is a Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration in the Washington Metropolitan Area.  He has been with the Social Security Administration for 31 years and previously held the position of Field Representative for the District of Columbia. 

As a Public Affairs Specialist, Mr. Austin provides a wide range of public information services to local residents, federal, state and local agencies and private and non-profit local and national organizations.  He plans, develops, organizes and implements all major media and special interest group contacts for the Social Security Administration throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area. He also authors periodic news articles on Social Security programs, as well as highlights of any changes affecting those programs.  Mr. Austin has also hosted a monthly television program entitled "Social Security and You" which aired on the Bowie State University television station.

Mr. Austin will present an overview of the Social Security program specifically regarding Retirement, Disability, Survivors benefits, and Medicare, including various tools that are available online at the Social Security website.
Presentation Title: Social Security and You

Cathy Bowen
 is an associate professor and consumer issues specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education at Pennsylvania State University. She works with county-based extension educators to reach Pennsylvania residents with information on basic money management including credit, consumer rights and responsibilities, and fraud and scams. Bowen's work has received national awards by professional organizations and has been featured on national public radio and CNN's Open House.

Dr. Bowen earned a bachelor's degree from North Carolina A & T State University and completed graduate studies (M.S. and Ph.D) at Ohio State University. She is a member of The Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and The Financial Planning Association.
Presentation Title: Youth and Money: Practical Strategies to Teach a Wired Generation

James L. Chen is an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission, Division of Financial Practices. Prior to joining the FTC, Jim was in private practice with the law firm Sidley Austin. He has also served as a law clerk to Judge Ricardo M. Urbina of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Mr. Chen's workshop will discuss common consumer protection concerns for low and middle income individuals and families, including debt negotiation/debt relief, loan modification and credit repair. Chen will also discuss practical advice on where to go for legitimate services and how to identify potentially fraudulent operators.
Presentation Title: Consumer Protection in Financial Services

Diane Cipollone is a Maryland and New York licensed attorney and the Director of the Sustainable Homeownership Project at Civil Justice Inc., a nonprofit legal association in Baltimore, Maryland.  Diane is the Manager of the Maryland Mortgage Fraud Prevention Project at Civil Justice, which is a statewide effort to recruit and train attorneys to provide pro bono legal review of home purchase contracts and loan documents for First Time Homebuyers and those considering refinancing their mortgages.  Most recently, Diane was the lead trainer and mentor for pro bono attorneys in the statewide Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono Project. She has been a presenter at local and national conferences on issues concerning sustainable homeownership, predatory lending, abusive mortgage loan servicing practices and foreclosure prevention.  Her recent previous experience includes serving as the Project Attorney for the Hurricane Relief Project of the National Fair Housing Alliance in Washington, D.C. and as the Co-Coordinator of the Baltimore City Flipping & Predatory Lending Task Force.  Diane is a graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. 
Presentation Title: Resources for Homeowners In or at Risk of Mortgage Default & Safeguards to Avoid Predatory Mortgages

Gerri Detweiler.
 Helping consumers find reliable answers to their credit questions has been the theme of Gerri Detweiler's work for the past twenty years. As a consumer advocate, Gerri has been interviewed for more than 3000 news interviews including The Today Show, Dateline NBC, The New York Times, USA Today and Reader's Digest. She is also an international speaker and has testified before Congress on consumer credit topics.
As an educator, Gerri has spoken to audiences across the country, and is the author or co-author of five books:

  • Reduce Debt, Reduce Stress (Good Advice Press 2009)
  • Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights (2009)
  • The Ultimate Credit Handbook (Plume, 1993, revised 2003), which was featured in Money magazine as one of the five best new personal finance books of the year when released.
  • Invest In Yourself: Six Secrets to a Rich Life (Wiley, October 1998)
  • Slash Your Debt: Save Money & Secure Your Future (Financial Literacy Center, 1999).

Presentation Title: Debtors in Distress: Finding Solutions

Kathy Floyd, Deputy Director for Investor Education for the US Securities and Exchange Commission, comes to the SEC from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Foundation, where she was the Executive Director of the Stock Market Game.  The Stock Market Game taught savings and investing to almost a million students annually. She previously served as Director of Baltimore Academies for Baltimore City Public Schools. She is a graduate of Drew and George Washington Universities.
Presentation Title: Keys to Investor Education

Meizhu Lui is the Director of the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. A co-author of The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the US  Racial Wealth Divide, her articles and chapters on asset building in communities of color have been published in various books and magazines.  She has also been in the media.  Most recently in connection with the "Color of Wealth Summit" hosted by the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative in Washington DC in March 2009, her op-eds appeared in the Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle, and she appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal and CNN's Anderson Cooper show.  She writes for, Huffington Post, and New Deal 2.0.
Presentation Title: The Color of Wealth

Jerry Mason, Associate Professor, Financial Planning, College of St. Rose. Jerry Mason has spent most of his professional career involved with financial planning and counseling.  Currently he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in financial planning in the School of Business that is part of the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY. Prior to coming to St. Rose in the fall of 2007, he worked for Edelman Financial Services, a financial planning firm in Fairfax, VA.  During the 1990's he taught financial planning courses at Texas Tech University, started the Accredited Financial Counselor program and helped launch the Certified Financial Counselor certification program.  He was Director of Education for the International Association for Financial Planning (now FPA) during the latter part of the 1980's where he was responsible for the educational sessions at the IAFP's annual conferences.  During the first six years of the 1980's he taught financial counseling and financial planning at Brigham Young University. In 1983, with Virginia Langrehr, he hosted a financial counseling and planning conference that laid the groundwork for the founding of the Financial Counseling and Planning Association.  When not in Albany, NY, Jerry, and his wife Joyce, live in restored farm house in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Presentation Title: What can anyone do to get as much mileage out of their retirement portfolio as possible?

Judith Stern Peck, LCSW has had extensive experience as both a family therapist and a consultant to family businesses, family foundations and family offices. She is Director of the Money and Family Life Project at the Ackerman Institute for the Family. She has been selected as a participant in the consultant referral service on the Council on Foundations' Family Foundation Services department. She was recently given "Fellow" status by FFI, the professional organization for Family Business Consultants after her 15 years of experience working with family businesses and family foundations. In addition, she is presently serving on the Advisory Board of BBR Partners.

As principle of JSP Associates, a firm designed to provide educational and consultation services to family businesses and family foundations, Ms. Peck has worked with multiple families in the real estate, manufacturing and printing industries as well as the asset management and philanthropic arena. She has done training with professionals as well as families through conferences, seminars and workshops.

Her educational background includes a BA from Finch College and an MSW from Yeshiva University. She attended the Ackerman Institute for the Family for her post-graduate training.
Presentation Title: The Value of Values: How to use Values in Money Talk

Suzanne Randolph, Chief Science Officer, The MayaTech Corporation
Presentation Title: Cultural Competency for Financial Educators and Counselors

Michael B. Rubin, CPA, CFP®
Author of the bestsellerBeyond Paycheck to Paycheck, Michael B. Rubin is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional. Michael is the Guide toRetirement Planning at, a New York Times company and one of the web's leading producers of original content.  Michael also writes the popular Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck blog.

Michael has appeared in various media, including Fox News Chicago, radio stations across the country, and national media including CNN,, The Wall Street Journal,, Chicago Tribune, Financial Advisor Magazine, and Investment News. (View a more comprehensive list of his media presence.)
Presentation Title: Don't Be Cheap, Be Fiscally Responsible! Top Saving Strategies for the 2010s

Mike Schenk
 has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. He joined the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in 1992 and is currently Vice President of Economics & Statistics for CUNA. He conducts economic research and supports CUNA's public relations and lobbying efforts. His analyses regularly appear in trade publications such as Credit Union Magazine. He also is a frequent contributor in the financial media - including CNBC, Bloomberg, and CNN Money. Before joining CUNA in 1992, Mike served in Director-level positions in the mutual fund and in the savings institution industries.
Presentation Title: The Economy and its Impact on Consumers.

Nancy K Schlossberg
 spent most of her career as a professor of counseling psychology.  She taught at Howard University, Wayne State, and 26 years at the University of Maryland, College Park. Currently, she is copresident of TransitionWorks, a consulting firm; Professor Emerita at the College of Education, University of Maryland, College Park; and served as president of the National Career Development Association. She has been honored for her work by the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association. A frequent guest on radio and TV, Dr. Schlossberg's work was the focus of a 90-minute PBS special, "Retire Smart, Retire Happy." Author of nine books, her newest, Revitalizing Retirement: Reshaping Your Identity, Relationships and Purpose, develops more fully the importance of paying attention to one's psychological portfolio.
Presentation Title: Retirement Counseling--It's About More Than Money

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