8. with Arizona’s State Treasurer Kimberly Yee, building a solid foundation with Financial Education

In The Movement Podcast

Episode 8

with Arizona’s State Treasurer Kimberly Yee

Building a solid foundation with fianancial education

Welcome to In The Movement Podcast with your show hosts Christopher Kemm and Austin De Bey discuss all things happening in the credit union movement. Each episode will feature leaders talking about history and current affairs and how we can utilize our expertise to educate, communicate, and mobilize to better serve our movement.

Today, our special guest is State Treasurer, Kimberly Yee who oversees the cash management of Arizona’s $40 billion state budget and payments to agencies, local governments, and schools. Upon taking office in January 2019, assets under management were at $15.4 billion. Today, assets under management stand at $21.9 billion, increasing over 42 percent in two years. Treasurer Yee led the effort to pass a state law requiring students to have financial education in high school before graduation and was the first State Treasurer to have visited all 15 counties in Arizona during the first year of her administration.

Guest Bio

Born and raised in Arizona, Treasurer Kimberly Yee is the first Asian American elected to a statewide office in Arizona’s history. She is also the first Chinese American Republican woman to win a major statewide office in the history of the United States. In 2010, she became the first Asian American woman elected to the Arizona Legislature, where she served for eight years in the House and the Senate.

Kimberly served as Senate Republican Majority Leader and became the second woman elected to this position in Arizona’s history, following U.S. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who served the role in 1973, forty-four years earlier.

Before elected office, she worked in the administrations of two governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former State Treasurer Dean Martin.

Kimberly Yee is a graduate of Pepperdine University, where she earned degrees in English and Political Science, and she holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Arizona State University.

Intentionally Diversifying Law Making

Daughter of a US Army Veteran and Public Teacher, Kimberly grew up living in public service.  After attending college, Treasurer Yee went to work for two California Governors and then worked with State Treasurer Dean Martin in Arizona. She decided to run for office when someone suggested she run for the State Legislature in Arizona. “All of the opportunities allowed for me to be a better elected official.”

She doesn’t run party lines when creating policy; she wants to bring everyone to the table. “You bring everyone to the table, whether you agree with them or not. There are so many important perspectives when you’re making important laws.” She states the importance of bringing great thinking leaders from different perspectives to create a more robust policy and better laws. “It’s really important to have a diverse set of voices when we are making policy.”

Financial Education at the Core of Her Service

“For me, financial education comes from the heart.” Her mother grew up in a family with nine children who shared one bathroom. Her mother intentionally taught in a Title One school district for 38 years because those were the kids who needed caring and education the most. When it comes to financial education, it’s more than just policy to Treasurer Yee as she has a passion to bring families out of poverty and give them success.

“When I look back at my family’s history and what I experienced as a child, it helps me to have that perspective when I’m choosing which laws to promote and what I can do as a legacy piece.” Financial education and literacy are vital to essential financial stability, and those who are poor don’t get that education.

Listen in to find out how Treasurer Yee manages Arizona’s state assets, how she is promoting Arizona’s Education Savings Plan, and tips on educating your kids on financial education.

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Show Highlights

[05:45] Treasurer Yee talks about her background and how she decided to run for state treasurer.

[11:09] The importance of ignoring political party lines when you want to create policy.

[15:33] Why Kimberly is passionate about financial education.

[22:19] How Treasurer Yee manages the state budget for Arizona. 

[27:14] The role of credit unions in the state tax force committee.

[33:28] Details of Arizona’s 529 program.

[37:15] Educating children about financial education.

Episode Links and Resources

Subscribe to our show on Podbean

Connect with us on social media

Tweet with us on Twitter

Contact Chris via email ckemm@mwcua.com 

Visit Kimberly Yee on the web

Find out more about Arizona’s Financial Education Portal

Enroll your children in Arizona’s Education Savings Plan