Executive Director Tracy Frizzell is the Executive Director of the Economic Awareness Council (EAC). The EAC is an Illinois non-profit organization that provides statewide financial education programs with attendance of over 20,000 individuals in typical years. The EAC also produces financial education materials that reach an additional 18,000 individuals each year. Frizzell chairs the Young Illinois Saves coalition which includes over 50 Illinois organizations committed to increasing youth saving and financial literacy. Through Saves, over 57,000 youth across IL have made a pledge to save monthly, with total pledges amounting to over $10,000,000 annually. The EAC also helped launch Saves programs at all University of Illinois campuses. The EAC leads the One Summer Chicago Banking Coalition and was recently selected to lead Bank On Chicago. Through these initiatives, over 25,000 youth have received their pay through banking & direct deposit. Frizzell serves on the Bank On Illinois Committee and has previously served on the Illinois Jumpstart Financial Education Board and the Illinois State Board of Saving Institutions. Frizzell has also served on the America Saves Advisory Committee, the Bank On Chicago Steering Committee, the Chicago Public Schools Financial Education Partner Committee, the Chicago FACED (Financial Capability for Individuals with Disabilities) Committee, and the Army One Source Financial Literacy Commission (representing IL). Under Frizzell’s guidance, the EAC has also led a statewide financial capability initiative for youth in care in partnership with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) since 2014. This initiative has provided training to over 500 DCFS or DCFS affiliate staff who work with youth in care. Through this initiative, over 1,800 youth in the care of DCFS have successfully completed this 8-12 hour curriculum. The EAC has also provided online financial education content and consultation to youth initiatives in New Jersey, Texas, Alabama and Wisconsin. Over 2,000 youth in NJ, TX and WI have utilized EAC online financial education resources. Under Ms. Frizzell’s leadership, the EAC’s work has been highlighted in research in the journal Child Welfare, in the national Jumpstart Financial Education Coalition’s quarterly journal, in reports from the CFE Fund, and in a special report from CFED and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The EAC has also been featured in a round table forum on Youth Employment and Financial Capability with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in Washington DC, a round table for the CFPB, RTI and the Administration of Children and Families, in a national webinar with the Department of Labor and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and through a visit from the President’s Advisory Council for Financial Capability. Ms. Frizzell has provided financial education programs to thousands of youth and families, primarily in low-income communities, and has presented at numerous state and regional financial education training conferences including the National Association for Workforce Development Conference, Illinois Asset Building Group’s Illinois Annual Conference, the University of Illinois at Chicago Financial Literacy Conference, Champaign County Financial Literacy Summit, American Saver Education Council/Consumer Federation of America National Saving Forum, Association for Financial Counseling Planning and Education Conference, and National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Conference. Frizzell and the EAC have been featured in numerous local media including: the Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune, CBS news, WGN news, Fox news, ABC news, Chicago Parent Magazine, Hinsdale Living and more and was selected as one of the ‘Best Under 40’ awards for Suburban Life news.
Teen & Young Adult Program Manager Toiria Baker, a native of Chicago, has been the Program Manager for the Economic Awareness Council (EAC) for over 10 years. Toiria is responsible for direct administration and overall program development for all of the EAC’s educational programs. She works with Chicago Public Schools and alternative schools to implement financial literacy programs in the classrooms and coordinates bank partner visits. She also manages the fall and spring On the Money magazine high school internship program as well as the EAC’s summer One Summer Chicago internship and acts as lead educational instructor within these programs as well. Ms. Baker is the primary educator in our Train the Trainer financial education program that serves all youth-in-care within Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). She is also charged with conducting parent/adult educational workshops and special events that enhance the EAC’s mission. She is a Certified Youth Practitioner as well as a Banking Operations Professional, with experience and proficiency in community-based program management, compliance and building partnerships with internal and external customers. Toiria has special skills in leadership, employee development and program administration. She also is a highly motivated, detail-oriented professional who communicates easily with all levels of personnel. Prior to joining the EAC, Ms. Baker worked in the banking arena for more than 13 years, completing her corporate career as former Assistant Vice President and Bank-at-School Program Director for TCF Bank. Ms. Baker is a board member and Co-President for Illinois Jumpstart Financial Education Coalition. She also is a Council Delegate, Adult Volunteer mentor, and a devoted volunteer of 17 years with the south division of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.
Operations & Events Manager Kristi Knapp has been the Events Manager for the Economic Awareness Council (EAC) for over 6 years, adding Operation Management in 2020. Kristi is responsible for planning and executing all EAC events associated with our partners and various affiliated programs, such as DCFS, CPS, America Saves, Young Illinois Saves, One Summer Chicago, Bank On and On the Money. She creates content for our various newsletters, oversees our scholarship program, and recruits our volunteers. Kristi also handles several financial and administrative roles within the EAC. Kristi was got her BA in Communications from Indiana University. Prior to joining the EAC, she worked in television and then in private corporate event planning. She has also been involved in various charities such as Children’s Home & Aid, Junior Women’s League, and Make-A-Wish in addition to serving on the board of various school committees and local non-profits.
Fin Educator & Bank On Asst Manager Ivon Guzman, is a first-generation college student. She is part of the graduating class of 2020 of Dominican University. She double majored in business administration and international business with a minor in Spanish. Ivon most recently got hired as a financial educator and Bank On assistant manager at the Economic Awareness Council. She is a former intern of EAC’s One Summer Chicago program providing financial literacy presentations and helping youth between the ages of 14-24 get banked at various Chicago youth organizations. Moreover, she has served as team lead for a group of four young adults preparing them to give these presentations to other youth in addition to helping them writing articles about financial literacy. She is thrilled to be back and transition as full-time giving her the opportunity to continue to help more families including adults get banked. In addition to this, she has recently started to provide financial literacy sessions to high school students. As she is beginning her professional career, she hopes to build her administrative and managerial skills in order to reach a managerial position in the near future.
Technology Director Lisa Kramer has been the Technology Director of the EAC for 3 years. Lisa is responsible for creating and updating our various websites as well as creating technology lessons for our youth. Lisa received her BS in Industrial and Systems Enterprise Engineering from The University of Illinois in 1994. Prior to joining the EAC, she worked as a systems consultant, a realtor, and a substitute teacher. She has also been involved in various charities such as Children’s Home & Aid and the Infant Welfare Society. She served as President of the Hinsdale Swim Club for several years.