Jacksonville hosts Military Financial Wellness Summit
‘Over 30 pro bono attorneys, several financial advisors, and a multitude of volunteers took time out of their Saturday to assist with and bring this summit to fruition’
Jacksonville community partners and veteran organizations came together recently to host the First Annual Military Financial Wellness Summit at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena to assist active military, as well as veterans, in learning how to make informed financial decisions and avoid certain financial pitfalls.
The program covered a variety of financial topics including bankruptcy and consumer law, budgeting and credit management, and information for first time home buyers, said Aaron J. Irving, director of pro bono for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc.
“Just one seemingly small financial mistake can lead to lots of stress, health issues, and the bankruptcy court,” said Bankruptcy Judge Jay Brown, who helped to plan the event. “We want to arm our veterans with the knowledge and skills necessary to make solid financial decisions that promote their financial stability and well-being.”
Emceed by Melissa Ross, director of Strategic Initiatives for the City of Jacksonville, the program kicked off with brief presentations from several local veteran affiliates.
Attendees heard from Harrison Conyers, director, City of Jacksonville, Military Affairs and Veterans Department; Tiffany Cummins Nick, assistant United States attorney for the Middle District of Florida – Orlando Division; David Walton, senior vice president of VyStar Commercial Services; Patty Dodson, chief of staff and general counsel, K9s For Warriors; and Judge Brown. The program also included two pre-recorded video messages by Maj. Gen. and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Chuck Walker and U.S. Rep. Aaron Bean, R-Florida.
Irving said attendees were also provided with a free lunch and were able to meet one-on-one with volunteer attorneys and financial advisors.
“Over 30 pro bono attorneys, several financial advisors, and a multitude of volunteers took time out of their Saturday to assist with and bring this summit to fruition,” said Irving, adding many local veteran organizations were present to provide information about their respective organizations.
In total, over 150 people attended the summit that Irving said would not have been possible without the support of the City of Jacksonville, Vystar Credit Union, the Veterans Council of Duval County, and the Bankruptcy Law Educational Series Foundation, Inc. Other partners included Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, the Jacksonville Bar Association, the Jacksonville Bankruptcy Bar Association, the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar, Florida Blue, and the Chester Bedell American Inn of Court.
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