Perhaps Ben’s most impressive financial education achievement to date has been spearheading the innovative “12 Steps to Financial Success,” a program that teaches participants 12 steps they can take to change their lives for the better and achieve financial success. Ben has taught the program to hundreds of female inmates at the Henderson Detention Center who have been incarcerated for substance-abuse crimes, and it has been expanded to reach both males and females at a rehabilitation center in Evansville, IN. This program not only empowers participants with financial knowledge, but also encourages them to empower others in their lives after they have left the detention center. Ben and ONB have worked with various partners to expand the program to other communities, and plans are in place to bring it to Daviess County, KY and to the State of Michigan.
On the strength of Old National’s 12 Steps to Financial Success program, Ben was named the 2015 ABA George Bailey Distinguished Service Award winner. The George Bailey Distinguished Service Award, sponsored by the ABA Foundation, is given to one non-CEO bank employee each year who demonstrates outstanding initiative, commitment to the bank’s customers and the communities they serve and inspires others. The ABA Foundation honors six banks annually for their commitment to their communities. “Ben Joergens has provided financial education to an at-risk and often neglected segment of his community,” said Frank Keating, former ABA president and CEO. “His work embodies the mission of the George Bailey Service Award and the recognition is incredibly well-deserved.”
Recognizing a critical need to increase awareness and focus on financial empowerment and literacy in all communities served by Old National Bank (Old National), the company’s President and CEO Bob Jones asked Ben to assume the role of Old National’s Financial Empowerment Director, VP, in 2013. Ben was the ideal fit for this newly created position based on his passion for financial literacy and empowerment, which is evidenced by his long record of philanthropic involvement and leadership with organizations focused on financial empowerment initiatives. This strong commitment led to Ben being named Old National’s Volunteer of the Year in 2011.
“This award is a welcome and tremendously humbling validation of Old National’s commitment to providing financial education and financial literacy resources in the communities we serve,” said Bob Jones, Old National president and CEO. “Ben Joergens’s passion for helping others is what truly drives our approach to financial education and we are thrilled that he, and Old National, were recognized with this prestigious honor.”
Most recently, Ben has worked with Old National’s internal Risk and Fraud teams to create a program called Money $afety for Seniors. This program helps keep seniors safe from fraud and financial exploitation. Ben has helped identify over 40 associates to conduct this workshop throughout the bank’s entire footprint. Since launching this program in late 2016, over 500 seniors have been educated on how to avoid financial exploitation.