Get Smart About Your Money

Get Smart About Your Money

Workshop Presenters

Michael Buchas
State of Connecticut Department of Banking

Michael Buchas has been with the Connecticut Department of Banking since December 1994.  As a member of the Consumer Affairs group, Michael handles telephone and mailed consumer complaints and inquiries concerning a variety of banking and consumer credit issues and concerns.  As part of Consumer Affairs’ outreach mission, Michael often gives informative talks and presentations on topics including credit repair, fraud, banking scams and identity theft.  In 2006, in cooperation with the Governor’s Office, Michael was part of the Identity Theft Information Team which conducted a series of identity theft prevention seminars for veterans throughout the state.  He participated in a second round of seminars following the theft of a state laptop, which were held in the fall of 2007.

Deborah Buckley
State of Connecticut Department of Banking

Deborah Buckley has been with the Department of Banking since 1998.  She is an Associate Financial Examiner in the Consumer Affairs Unit of the Government Relations and Consumer Affairs Division at the Department of Banking.  She holds a Certificate in Taxation from the Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford and Law Degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law. Her State service includes the Department of Revenue Services and Assistant Legal Counsel to the State Senate.

CT Money School

Connecticut Money School (CMS) is a project led by Connecticut Association for Human Services (CAHS).   Founded in 1910, CAHS promotes family economic security strategies that empower low-income working families to achieve financial independence.  Since 2009, CMS has provided free financial education to over 3000 CT residents statewide. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to become financially stable and successful. One way to achieve financial stability and success is through a better understanding of how to manage your money and your assets.

Peter Everett
Public Services Librarian, Housatonic Community College Library

Peter Everett has worked at as a librarian at Housatonic Community College for nearly fourteen years. His main responsibility during that time has been to conduct library instruction sessions on research methods to HCC students in a wide variety of disciplines including business classes.

Holly Franquet
Educational Credit Management Corp: The College Place

Holly Franquet has been the director of The College Place-CT since November 2010.  She previously worked as director of Fairfield University Academic Talent Search (TRIO) and director of adult education at Native Americans for Community Action in Flagstaff, Arizona.  Holly has also been an adjunct instructor of Spanish, English, and ESL at six postsecondary institutions in the U.S. and Japan as well as a teacher of GED and U.S. citizenship.  Her degrees include B.S. Linguistics and Spanish (Georgetown University), M.S. Foundations of Education (Troy University, Okinawa, Japan), and M.S. Teaching English as a Second Language (Northern Arizona University).  The College Place-CT provides free college access services to students of all ages as well as group presentations and workshops on college and financial aid topics.

Sheryle McMillan
Money Management International

Sheryle McMillan is Regional Director of Education and Community Relations in the East Hartford, Connecticut office of Money Management International. MMI is a non-profit, full-service credit counseling organization dedicated to providing community education and in-person counseling.  Ms. McMillan conducts financial literacy workshops for audiences in educational settings. Participants frequently include employees of government agencies, corporate /business establishments, healthcare providers, financial institutions, students, and community and/or professional groups.  This past year, she reached over 2400 Connecticut and Rhode Island residents by facilitating160 financial education workshops.

Shelley Strohm
Director, Housatonic Community College Library

Shelley Strohm has been the Director of Library Services at Housatonic Community College since 2007.  Previously she was the director of Berkeley College Library in New York and has experience in public and school libraries.   She has experience with the creation and presentation of workshops including The Art of Thrift, a workshop that focused on tips for saving money offered by the Continuing Education Department at Manchester Community College

Mary Ann Vlahac
Team, Inc.

Mary Ann Vlahac has extensive working experience in the financial services industry. She is considered a "financial feminist" who cares deeply about personal financial literacy and conducts financial workshops for everyone from preK to senior citizen. She understands both worlds of banking and consumer personal finance. She is a follower of Clark Howard. Mary Ann is an HCC alumni and adjunct in the business department.