Junior Achievement of Greater Washington Announces Montgomery County Advisory Council to Lead Fundraising/Volunteer Efforts Around New JA Finance Park® Facility

Members of the JA Finance Park® Montgomery County Advisory Council on a tour of the JA Finance Park® Prince George's County facility. Pictured (left to right) is Ed Grenier, Pete Briskman, David Samuels (back), Larry Shulman (front), Rich LaFleur (back), Steve Simon, Shahnaz Tabibi, Derek Whitwer (back), Ginanne Italiano (front), Susan Burkinshaw, Jake Ginsberg, Mark Ellenbogen, Jeff Hearle, Mike Micholas, and Will Schroeder. 

Members of the JA Finance Park® Montgomery County Advisory Council on a tour of the JA Finance Park® Prince George's County facility. Pictured (left to right) is Ed Grenier, Pete Briskman, David Samuels (back), Larry Shulman (front), Rich LaFleur (back), Steve Simon, Shahnaz Tabibi, Derek Whitwer (back), Ginanne Italiano (front), Susan Burkinshaw, Jake Ginsberg, Mark Ellenbogen, Jeff Hearle, Mike Micholas, and Will Schroeder. 

JA Finance Park® Montgomery County Set to Open in 2018 and Serve Every Montgomery County Public Schools Seventh Grade Students

Washington—Today, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington announced the formation and membership of the JA Finance Park® Montgomery County Advisory Council to lead engagement and fundraising efforts to support the construction and operations of JA Finance Park® Montgomery County. JA Finance Park® Montgomery County will be the region’s third financial literacy center, in partnership with signature sponsor Capital One, and is set to open on the fourth floor of the new Thomas Edison High School of Technology building in Silver Spring, Maryland in 2018. The program represents a partnership between JA®, Montgomery County Public Schools, Capital One, and the local business community, and will serve every seventh grade public school student in the county, or about 12,000 students annually.

The Advisory Council is comprised of 21 of our region’s top business leaders, who bring varying industry expertise, and live and/or work in Montgomery County. The Council will be chaired by Richard LaFleur, Partner in Charge of Markets and Industries in the Atlantic Coast Market Territory at Grant Thornton LLP.

“Montgomery County is a place that understands the importance of coming together for the sake of our community’s future. The construction of JA Finance Park® represents a message that we believe in making this investment in our kids’ future financial stability and success,” said Advisory Council Chair and JA® Board Member, Rich LaFleur. “We are excited to see the business community prepared to rally around this project and serve as the catalyst for both fundraising activities and volunteer recruitment efforts.”

Other members of the Advisory Council and friends of the council include:

  • Susan Burkinshaw – Controller, CPR Multimedia Solutions
  • Pete Briskman – Regional Director, Brokerage, Jones Lang LaSalle Americas
  • Mark Ellenbogen – Assurance Office Business Line Leader, BDO 
  • Jake Ginsberg – Partner, Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker, P.A.
  • Jeffrey Hearle – VP Senior Wealth & Asset Management, Capital One 
  • Andrew D. Hess – President and CEO, HESS
  • Steve Hull – Editor and Publisher, Bethesda Magazine/Bethesda Beat
  • Ginanne M. Italiano – President & CEO, The Greater Bethesda Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce
  • Beth Johnson – Principal & CEO, RP3 Agency
  • Mike Knapp – CEO and Co-Founder, SkillSmart
  • James Martinko – Office Managing Partner- Bethesda, CohnReznick LLP
  • Mike Micholas – Co-Regional Managing Partner - Mid-Atlantic, CohnReznick LLP
  • Harold C. Redden – Manager, Fitzgerald Auto Mall, Inc.
  • Sean P. Roddy                        
  • David Samuels – Chief Financial Officer, DrFirst, Inc.
  • Will Schroeder – Attorney, Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker, P.A.
  • Larry Shulman – Senior Counsel, Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker, P.A.
  • Steve Simon – Vice President, Van Eperen
  • Shahnaz Tabibi – Senior Vice President, Non-Profit Division, Monument Bank
  • Derek Whitwer – SVP, Team Leader/Commercial Lending, EagleBank

About JA Finance Park®
Before students travel to JA Finance Park®, they take part in JA’s unique 14-lesson classroom curriculum taught by their teacher. Students' experience culminates at JA Finance Park®, where they have the opportunity to put their newly-learned skills to the test in this digital, 21st century, innovative learning environment. As these young people enter the doors of the facility, they leave behind their lives as middle school students and take on a life scenario: an avatar with a career, salary, credit score, debt, a family, and financial obligations. On tablet computers and guided by adult role models from the community, students make their way through various phases of the day. The "mini-city" houses a variety of storefronts and kiosks, correlating to the personal budget lines each student must manage during their JA Finance Park® visit, such as applying for a mortgage, budgeting for transportation and healthcare costs, and saving for entertainment and retirement.

In Fall 2010, in partnership with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), Junior Achievement of Greater Washington opened the doors to the first JA Finance Park® in Greater Washington on the grounds of Robert Frost Middle School in Fairfax, VA. JA Finance Park® Fairfax County brings in-depth, experiential financial literacy education to 14,000 8th grade students each year. In partnership with Prince George's County Public Schools, JA Finance Park® Prince George’s County opened during the fall of 2015 in Landover, MD and will serve approximately 9,000 students annually. It is located on the campus of Cora L. Rice Elementary/James G. Gholson Middle Schools just down the road from FedEx field.