August 26th, 2004 at Cincinnati Music Hall, SmartMoney
Community Services honored and celebrated the
successes of five individuals for the following
adult program graduate of the year
Larry joined the SmartBankers program
in the fall of 2003 while beginning his senior
year at Hughes Center. In the first nine months
of the program Larry maintained perfect attendance,
saved and earned $1500 of his income, all while
working as a manager of a fast food chain. In
the fall Larry plans to attend the University
of Cincinnati and major in Education.
program participant and/or graduate of the
In 2000 Sandra decided she wanted to
save for a single family home or a multi-unit
home, which she could then use as a rental property.
In order to achieve her goal she enrolled in
the SmartStep Savings program. Throughout the
program Sandra maintained perfect attendance
and received the maximum program match of $3,600.
Sandra was able to purchase a multi-unit home
in Camp Washington in 2004. She plans to renovate
the second floor of the property to use as extra
income. In addition to successfully completing
the SmartStep Savings program, Sandra is also
a graduate of the SmartBusiness/BYOB program.
Business/Build Your Own Business of the Year
In 1999 Sydney joined the SmartStep Savings
program to fulfill her dream of purchasing a
home for her family. Within two years she accomplished
her goal and was able to buy a house in Bond
Hill. In addition, to completing the SmartStep
Savings program, Sydney went on to successfully
complete the SmartBusiness Build Your Own Business
(BYOB) program. With the knowledge gained from
the SmartBusiness BYOB program, Sydney was able
to open a fast-food take-out restaurant in 2003.
Sydney currently maintains a full-time job,
works five days a week at her own restaurant
and still manages to have time for her husband,
three daughters and two stepsons.
Ron McSwain & Phillip Obermiller
and devotion to the long-term success of SmartMoney
In the 1980s, Over-The-Rhine lost
11 banks and savings and loans, leaving residents
of this community deprived of a safe and affordable
financial service provider. Ron & Phil worked
collaboratively with community leaders, two
ministers, concerned OTR residents and Cincinnati
Central Credit Union, to open a full service
credit union and a non-profit organization called
the Cooperative Fiscal Services (former name
of SmartMoney Community Services) in April of
1988. Phil served as the organizations
first President and Ron served as the SmartMoneys
first Treasurer. Together they worked tirelessly
to build the capacity of the organization to
help end the cycle of poverty by providing low
interest loans, financial services and comprehensive
financial literacy programs. In 1996, the two
organized and lead a capital campaign to buy
and renovate an abandoned bank building at 1800
Vine Street, where the OTR Branch of Cincinnati
Central Credit Union still stands today.
The luncheon was an exciting
celebration attended by over 100 program participants,
volunteers, supporters, and friends of SmartMoney.
The 2004 Bright Future
Awards Luncheon was presented by PNC Bank, sponsored
by Cox Financial and Procter and Gamble and supported
by Cincinnati Central Credit Union, Cooney Faulkner
and Stevens, FACS Group, Frost Brown Todd, McSwain
Carpets, Ohio Credit Union League, and US Bank.