SmartMoney Program




Bright Future Awards 2005


On Thursday, August 25th, 2008 at Cincinnati Music Hall, SmartMoney Community Services honored and celebrated the successes of four individuals for the following awards:


Bernie Sam  

SmartSuccess Award –
Bernie and Isabel Sam
Individual program participant
and/or graduate of the year

ernie and Isabel Sam became SmartHome clients in August of 2007. At the time Isabel was in school and was not working and they were trying to qualify for a mortgage loan with Bernie’s income alone. After receiving pre-purchase counseling they implemented the plan they formulated together with their counselors guidance.

Isabel soon begin working and rather then spending her income they used her income to save for a down payment, closing cost, a home repair and maintenance fund and an emergency fund in addition to paying off credit card debts from highest interest to lowest interest. They also followed their counselor’s recommendation to attend the SmartHome Ownership Workshop and graduated from the 2007 Winter SmartHome class.

In April of 2008 Bernie and Isabel came back to their counselor to prepare for buying a home. They have saved a large amount of money, reduced debt by paying off four credit cards, and raised their credit score. Together with their counselor they decided on amount of house they will look for by first determining an amount of mortgage payment that is truly affordable, allowing them to stick to their budget, continue to save and pay down debt even after the purchase. They have followed their counselors advise on how to choose a realtor and how to compare loan offers and in August of 2008 Bernie and Isabel purchased their first home. SmartMoney Community Services is proud to present the SmartSuccess Award to Bernie and Isabel Sam.

Amy Dorrington  

SmartPath Award –
Amy Dorrington

Individual program participant
and/or graduate of the year

s. Dorrington came to SMCS after attending a SmartDollars and Sense financial education seminar at the Health Alliance. Ms. Dorrington said she got a lot of useful information from the seminar but needed more to address her family’s personal financial situation. After meeting with Ms. Dorrington and assessing her household income and expenses it was reviled that she and her husband were spending more than the household was earning and had over $60,000 in credit card debt.

Ms. Dorrington financial situation was spinning out of control fast. Over a 10-month period, Ms. Dorrington completed the SmartChange financial counseling program and continued thereafter in order to address her financial goals and debt. The plan was to set a strict budget and address the 7 credit cards with balances totaling $63,300. Ms. Dorrington sacrificed things like eating out, shopping and getting her nails done while being creative in finding ways to increase the household income such as her husband taking a part-time job and having yard sales.

Ms. Dorrington works everyday towards staying on track and continues to meet with her financial coach, maintain a detail household budget for her family, save $400 a month and was able to pay $40,000 of a $63,300 credit card debt within a 10 month time frame. We are so very pleased to honor her as our SmartPath honoree.

Steve Ficklin  

SmartEntrepreneur Award –
Steve Ficklin
Smart Business/Build Your Own Business
of the Year

teve is the owner of an upscale barbershop in Carthage that has had some challenges meeting market demands in his trade area. As a result of the services rendered from SmartMoney, Steve has calibrated his marketing efforts to better communicate his current services and has added two adjacent services based on the market data assessment.

In an attempt to leverage his service capabilities and meet the unfulfilled demand in his trade arena, he has added massage and nail salon capacities. This holistic approach gives his shop a strategic advantage from other service providers in his area and leverages his skill, knowledge and abilities in serving his potential client requirements.

In is first quarter of these said business planning approaches, Steve has seen an increase in the foot traffic for his menu of services. Steve is a graduate of the SmartBusiness/B.Y.O.B class. He has also taken advantage of the small business technical assistance offered at SMCS and one-on-one business counseling and computer lab assistance offered on site. We are proud to present Steve with the SmartEntrepreneur Award.
William Herring  

SmartLeadership Award –
William Herring

Leadership and devotion to the long-term success of SmartMoney

William (Bill) Herring is the President and CEO of Cincinnati Central Credit Union and has worked several years promoting financial independence to those living in Over-the-Rhine. In 1988, he partnered with SmartMoney Community Services and community leaders to open a branch of Cincinnati Central in Over-the-Rhine. The branch now serves 3,600 members and processes 160,000 transactions a year.

The son of the late Louise McCarren Herring, Bill Herring has worked for Cincinnati Central Credit Union since 1969. As president and CEO, he has helped grow the credit union from less than $1 million in assets to nearly $57 million in assets, increased credit union membership from 1,500 to 25,000, added three branches, and increased staff from three to 40 full-time employees.

Bill has been imperative to the growth of SmartMoney and has helped create several of the programs SmartMoney provides. SmartMoney Community Services to pleased to present Bill with the 2008 Smart Leadership Award.

The luncheon was an exciting celebration attended by over 100 program participants, volunteers, supporters, and friends of SmartMoney.

The 2008 Bright Future Awards Luncheon was presented by PNC Bank.


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