Credit union leaders and financial education supporters attended the 2023 Richard Myles Johnson Foundation (RMJ) Donor Appreciation Gala presented by PSCU on Monday night at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ annual REACH 2023 conference — a yearly favorite for those dedicated to the funding of financial education in schools across California and Nevada.
(View and download event photos from the REACH 2023 Photo Galleries)
This year’s gala — which celebrates donors and displays the impact RMJ makes because of their support — was held at The Mob Museum in Las Vegas. Several exclusive silent-auction items would be featured during the week in the REACH Exhibit Hall to raise thousands of dollars for the financial education cause!
“This year’s Donor Appreciation Gala gives us the opportunity to thank all of our 2023 donors and share with them the successes the foundation experienced this past year because of their support,” said Tena Lozano, executive director of the foundation. “I want to thank you all for your support. We could not accomplish our mission without you.”
In 2023, the RMJ Foundation’s “Bite of Reality” program reached 48,000 students throughout the United States thanks to dozens of credit unions in California, Nevada, and across the country that support RMJ. About half of these students — as well as the bulk of donor credit unions and industry participants — are in California and Nevada.
Altogether, these credit unions took advantage of the foundation’s Bite of Reality App (in Apple Store and Google Play) to make an enormous financial education impact within their local school communities.
“Every new year, it’s exciting to see how we continue receiving inquiries from credit unions all across the country that are interested in licensing the foundation’s app for their own use,” Lozano said. “The app is now being used in 25 states across the nation and making an amazing impact in the world of credit union financial education for kids and teens.”
Lozano announced that during the past year, a new feature was added to the Bite of Reality App called Pay Yourself First. “We’ve always talked about how important saving is, but we never allowed students to actually make the decision to save prior to the ‘spending’ portion of the reality fair,” she said. “Now they have the opportunity to set money aside at the beginning.”
During this year’s REACH conference, local students in the Las Vegas, NV region are coming for RMJ’s onsite “Bite of Reality” event to embark on a fun, energizing, and educational experience. This onsite “Bite of Realty” session spotlighted to credit union leaders and professionals from across California and Nevada the importance of financial education and RMJ’s mission during the Leagues’ annual conference at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
This year’s gala was sponsored exclusively by PSCU, one of the nation’s premier payments CUSOs (credit union service organizations) that has been an important partner to RMJ for several years.
The RMJ Foundation is named after, and honors, credit union industry icon and former Western Corporate FCU (WesCorp) CEO Richard Myles Johnson, who passed away in August 2016 at the age of 92. He is remembered for his decades of dedication, commitment, and service to the credit union movement and philosophy.
REACH is one of the credit union industry’s premier annual events, attracting leaders and system partners from across California, Nevada and the United States. This year it’s held from October 22 – 26 at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, NV!