Bill Mills, President, Florida Prosperity Partnership Shares a Favorite “AHA” Money Moment!
We are pleased to have Bill Mills share an “aha” money moment and part of what inspires his passion for financial literacy education.
Bill Mills is the President/CEO of Florida Prosperity Partnership (FPP), a nonprofit dedicated to elevating Financial Capability for all.
He loves to find innovative ways to reach audiences! Previously, he was a banker for eleven years. During that time, he served as a Regional Community Development Manager working with non-profits and government agencies on behalf of a large bank.
Bill holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Marketing from the University of Central Florida. Bill has also written, directed, and produced marketing videos, short films, and a full-length feature. He is a proud father of three and is married to the love of his life, Emma.
In His Own Words
When I was growing up, my brother and I would hop from carefully placed sofa cushions to other carefully placed sofa cushions on the floor to avoid the bite of vicious imaginary alligators or sharks that lie beneath the shag carpet of the living room.
A few years back, I had the pleasure of watching my kids do the same (sans shag carpeting). Where did they learn this?
This is just one example of something that my kids picked up on – that many kids pick up on – somehow, in regular day-to-day activities. This activity has probably gone on for centuries (again, sans shag carpeting). How long have kids dodged the evil imaginary alligators or sharks?
This really helps us to understand that no man is truly an island. We are a product of our parents, friends, family, neighbors, education, society, etc. We pick up on things, whether we like it or not. Some things good, some things – not so much.
Often times, you don’t know who is going to be in an audience when you are teaching. You never know who you are going to reach.
In 2013, Lesley Mace from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, did a series of short presentations at the Fifth Annual Florida Prosperity Partnership (FPP) Financial Capability Training Conference. The title of that series was “Personal Finance on the Big Screen”.
I don’t think I have ever had such an “Aha” moment when it comes to teaching personal finance as I did watching that presentation.
Lesley touched a nerve with me as I was specifically looking for ways to influence attitudes and behaviors around money. I was looking for something beyond standard financial education. I was looking for something that really made a difference.
Her presentation pushed me deep down the rabbit hole (not Sammy’s, of course) looking into Financial Edutainment. Edutainment is a word coined by Walt Disney, combining education and entertainment. While researching, I learned of studies that have been done outside of the U.S. in regards to using entertainment to educate people on personal finances. These studies proved that it works, because people create emotional attachments to characters which reduces the barriers to learning. This really helps in subjects that people are not necessarily interested in. Personal finance being one of them.
The studies showed that financial edutainment can change attitudes and behaviors!
My personal study led me on the path to creating the first-of-its-kind financial edutainment broadcast platform, Spondulics. It is now available on Spondulics.org, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, Android TV, and mobile downloads! This platform, launched in November of 2020 with 6 hours of new programming a week, from content providers all over the world, now averages over 200 viewers a week. How many instructors are able to get 200 people in a financial education class each week?
This initiative has allowed me to meet some wonderful people, including Sam Renick! I hope it brings more, as we look to expand to 24/7 broadcasting at some point!
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