Partnerships, Empathy, and Financial Health Intersections at Financial Health Network’s 20th Annual EMERGE

Partnerships, Empathy, and Financial Health Intersections at Financial Health Network’s 20th Annual EMERGE

Partnerships, Empathy, and Financial Health Intersections at Financial Health Network’s 20th Annual EMERGE

Last week, some of the SpringFour team attended Financial Health Network’s 20th Annual EMERGE conference, hosted this year in our home city of Chicago!

“The Power of Partnerships:” A panel featuring SpringFour and its partners OppFi, Patelco, and Self

On the first day of the event, SpringFour’s CEO and Founder, Rochelle Nawrocki Gorey joined a panel alongside financial health leaders at SpringFour’s partner organizations including Rania Zakaria, Senior Analyst, Corporate Strategy at OppFi; Jennifer Mink, Director of Member Experience and Financial Wellbeing at Patelco Credit Union; and Julie Szudarek, CEO of Self. The panel was called “The Power of Partnerships.”

It was exciting to share the stage with some of our clients to discuss the power and strength of partnerships between innovative, like-minded organizations looking to support their consumers’ financial health with impactful business strategies.

No One Organization Can Do It All: Strategic Partnerships are Key

A common theme throughout the conference was recognizing that no one organization can, or should, do it alone when it comes to financial health. Working together through strategic, mission-aligned partnerships enables all of us to achieve more for our organizations and consumers. 

 Julie Szudarek, CEO of Self, touched on this when discussing Self’s partnership with SpringFour during the panel discussion:

“While Self can help customers with some aspects of their credit building journey, we can’t help with everything. To date, we’ve passed 3 million referrals to SpringFour’s resources through our marketplace. And it’s things that our customers need: food insecurity, information on utilities, information on apartments and how to get affordable rentals. It’s been a great way to round out Self’s products in other ways to get them what they need.”

Empathy is Essential to Success

During sessions and in conversations among attendees, there was a major focus on empathy as a key component of successful financial health strategies. EMERGE made it clear — incorporating empathy into every component of your organization results in positive outcomes. 

Jennifer Mink, Director of Member Experience and Financial Wellbeing from Patelco Credit Union, a SpringFour partner, expressed Patelco’s shared focus on empathy and how partnering with SpringFour helps them better understand their customers’ needs and support their financial health.

“SpringFour has been an amazing contribution to what we are all probably seeing in the financial industry, which is, people are struggling. The economy is struggling. People are struggling to pay their bills. And this is where our partnership with SpringFour has been so instrumental in how we serve our members. When we’re talking to our members about how we can support them during these ups and downs, we bring up SpringFour. And we get a lot of positive feedback about the resources.”

Pictured above: Erin Mendez, President & CEO of Patelco Credit Union, and Rochelle Nawrocki Gorey, CEO & Founder of SpringFour

The Real-Life Impact of a SpringFour Partnership

Jennifer also shared a member experience story where SpringFour helped connect a Patelco Credit Union member to much-needed resources that made a tangible difference in their life.

“We had a member recently who came into one of our branches and she had just lost her job, and she was looking to have fees reversed. As one of our reps was talking to her, we learned more that there was food insecurity, there was inability to pay utility bills, and she was also fighting discrimination at her work. All three of those resources we were able to get from SpringFour for her, and she was brought to tears in our branch. Amazing, amazing resource, and we’re implementing it wherever we can within our membership base.”

Intersectionality Across Barriers to Financial Health

The SpringFour team at EMERGE, pictured from left to right: Phylicia Clifton, Senior Manager, Client Success & Impact; Morgan Pierce, Communications & Impact Manager; Yasmine Anavi, EVP Business Development & Strategic Partnerships; Rochelle Nawrocki Gorey, CEO & Founder; Missy Hansen, Business Development Specialist

So many sessions throughout the 3-day experience discussed the many financial health challenges that consumers are faced with today — especially challenges that are often overlooked. 

We heard stories of people with disabilities, each of whom faces even greater financial challenges than the typical American due to laws and regulations that restrict access to financial means, including income level caps and the inability to build wealth. 

We learned how natural disasters can affect people’s ability to access basic needs like food, water, and shelter; especially for those in rural or underserved communities. 

At SpringFour, keeping a finger on the pulse of current needs and researching how we can better support consumers remains a top priority. EMERGE provided an opportunity for our team to learn about unique financial health intersections, expanding our perspectives to be more inclusive, informed, and understanding of the compounding challenges that impact a person’s ability to succeed financially. This event shed light on the innovative strategies our industry is adopting to address these challenges and make a real difference for consumers’ financial health.

What Makes a Successful Partnership

When asked what advice she would give to organizations that are interested in forming partnerships to advance financial health, SpringFour’s Rochelle Nawrocki Gorey said this:

“Build trust with your partners, and really make certain that you are delivering what you say you’re going to deliver. And communication. Keep in touch, be talking throughout the journey. Sometimes things can take a winding road to get to where you wanted to be at the beginning, and I think as long as you’re communicating, and sharing, and building that trust and rapport, you’re going to have a great partnership.”

Time Well Spent with Financial Health Leaders

Our team had such a wonderful time together, attending exciting sessions at the event, networking with so many leaders focused on and passionate about financial health, and so much more.

“We are so appreciative when our clients, our partners, will share the journey that they have taken with SpringFour,” said Gorey. “When they share why they chose to work with us and what it’s doing for their business and their clients, I think that’s good for our company, it’s good for the movement. Yes, this is a movement for financial health, and really for the industry that has brought us all here today. I started in this work almost 30 years ago and there was not a conference like this. We did not have the term ‘financial health.’ It’s so exciting and I think it can only grow and improve and have better outcomes if we’re all willing to talk about the partnerships and the way that we’ve changed people’s lives. Each of these companies plays a part in changing people’s lives, and that’s really what it’s about.”

Pictured above: Jennifer Tescher, Founder & CEO of Financial Health Network, and Rochelle Nawrocki Gorey, CEO & Founder of SpringFour

The SpringFour team at EMERGE, pictured from left to right: Yasmine Anavi, EVP Business Development & Strategic Partnerships; Missy Hansen, Business Development Specialist; Rochelle Nawrocki Gorey, CEO & Founder; Morgan Pierce, Communications & Impact Manager; Phylicia Clifton, Senior Manager, Client Success & Impact

Connect with Us

If we met you at EMERGE but haven’t yet connected virtually, please reach out to us on the Contact Us page of the website or by emailing impact@springfour.com.

Thank you to the Financial Health Network for hosting such a wonderful event. We can’t wait for next year!

Morgan Pierce

Impact and Communications Manager, SpringFour

Awards and Recognition

          

           

       

    

 

 

 

 

 

                              

DRIVE IMPACT WITH US

info@springfour.com
866-732-2246

Chicago Office at 1871
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza

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Meet the SpringFour Team — 5 questions for Allie Poppe

Meet the SpringFour Team — 5 questions for Allie Poppe

Meet the SpringFour Team — 5 questions for Allie Poppe

Allie joined the team as SpringFour’s Operations & Account Specialist in November. She utilizes her expertise in client onboarding to guide SpringFour subscribers through the deployment process. Her experience in Real Estate and Banking as a Service (BaaS) gave her valuable insight into needs consumers are facing today and how the financial industry can support those consumers.

What excites you about being part of SpringFour?

Every single day, SpringFour has a positive impact on someone’s life. Knowing that my work is supporting people and families means so much to me. I genuinely enjoy seeing our partners’ passion and working together to help them better serve their customers.

What does financial health mean to you?

To me, financial health means access. Access to affordable necessities. Access to the tools needed to prepare ourselves for the unexpected and know where to turn when it happens. Access to vetted, local resources that so many could benefit from on their journeys to financial peace.

What financial health trends do you expect to see in the near future?

I expect we’ll continue to see more and more conversations around mental and physical health and how they directly correlate to financial health – and for good reason. Destigmatizing and furthering our understanding of this correlation can only mean good things.

What gets you up in the morning?

I’m typically awoken by the joyous and oddly dinosaur-like shrieks of my children ready to conquer the day! While I’m typically roused by their cheerful morning banter, it’s witnessing their unwavering, pure joy for life that serves as an inspiring reminder to be grateful for another day.

What is your financial health rule to live by?

Knowledge is power. The world of finance can be so confusing and overwhelming, but there are so many educational resources out there that can support you on your financial wellness journey. There are a thousand ways to get from point A to point B, and knowing what your options are for that journey is incredibly empowering and reassuring. What worked for your friend in their journey to live debt-free may not work for you, and that’s okay. You have options to explore to find the best solution for where you are at that moment.

Allie Poppe

Operations and Account Specialist, SpringFour

Awards and Recognition

          

           

       

    

 

 

 

 

 

                              

DRIVE IMPACT WITH US

info@springfour.com
866-732-2246

Chicago Office at 1871
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

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Meet the SpringFour Team — 5 questions for Phylicia Clifton

Meet the SpringFour Team — 5 questions for Phylicia Clifton

Meet the SpringFour Team — 5 questions for Phylicia Clifton

Phylicia Clifton joined our team in November 2023 to help ensure our clients get the most out of their SpringFour partnership as our Senior Manager, Client Success & Impact. She works closely with our clients to build and develop their campaigns, materials, and strategies to promote and market their SpringFour deployments to their customers and employees. Additionally, she works with clients to understand their usage metrics and how SpringFour is impacting their customers’ financial lives and their own bottom line. Phylicia brings with her four years of experience in financial technology and over 13 years in marketing. Previously, she studied to become a certified financial counselor to better understand the financial struggles many people face and the solutions available to them.

What excites you about being part of SpringFour?

The ability to impact change in our industry and help people find the answers and resources they need to make better financial decisions and ultimately improve their lives. Traditionally, so many people have been left out or left behind when it comes to financial health, often due to a lack of tools, resources, and knowledge that help them take control of their finances and build wealth. In recent years, the financial services industry has recognized this more than ever before and is primed to make a real change in people’s lives by providing services that bridge the gaps, educate consumers, and make help available when and where people need it. 

At SpringFour, we’re working with game changers in the industry who believe financial health should and can be accessible to everyone. We’re poised to help the industry shift to strategies that emphasize empathy, understanding, and support. Every resource accessed has the ability to change someone’s life for the better. What’s more exciting than that?

What does financial health mean to you?

To me, financial health is a reflection of your financial journey. We all start our financial journey at different places, with our own advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes, things go well and we feel financially stable and secure, while at other times our finances may be more strained and uncertain. Almost everyone goes through these financial ebbs and flows, and your financial health reflects that. We aren’t always “financially healthy,” but with the right help and support, we can make our way back to a more comfortable position.

What financial health trends do you expect to see in the near future?

I think we’ll see a rise in artificial intelligence leading to emotional intelligence. As more and more strategies become automated through AI, the most successful strategies will be the ones that use that information to gain the emotional intelligence needed to not only meet people where they are, but also to truly understand their individual situations and provide personalized help and recommendations when and where people need it. AI won’t solely be used to drive business results, but empathy as well.

What gets you up in the morning?

In a literal sense, usually a hungry cat or a dog that wants to go outside. In a mental and emotional sense, the potential in every day – to be better, to do better, to go further, to laugh more, to love harder, to leave the world a little brighter. I’m a glass-half-full, find-the-silver-linings kind of person and have a tendency to believe every day has the potential to be greater than the day before and that I have the ability within myself to make it so. Holding on to that belief makes getting up in the morning to feed the meowing cats or take those antsy dogs outside the first step in a new adventure.

What is your financial health rule to live by?

I’m a big fan of the 50-30-20 rule, which recommends putting 50% of your money toward needs, 30% toward wants, and 20% toward savings. Before learning about this budget rule, I struggled to understand how to build my budget and what to work toward. Since implementing this rule in my own finances, not only have I been able to better balance my budget, but I’ve also been able to better understand my own financial needs, set personal and professional goals, and gauge my own financial well-being. I may not always perfectly achieve the 50-30-20 balance, but I know where to focus my attention to get back on track.

Phylicia Clifton

Senior Manager, Client Success and Impact, SpringFour

Awards and Recognition

          

           

       

    

 

 

 

 

 

                              

DRIVE IMPACT WITH US

info@springfour.com
866-732-2246

Chicago Office at 1871
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

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