Summit Credit Union selects four new teams to compete in Sixth Annual Project Money

MADISON, WI (June 17, 2014) — “Being a family with young kids – and cancer – has made it feel like we have been treading water.” “We’ve been leading separate financial lives for 20 years!” “I want to be debt-free by 30.”

These are a few comments from the four teams who have just begun competing in the sixth annual Summit Credit Union Project Money reality-based financial challenge.

Project Money provides an opportunity for participants — as well as the community at large — to learn how to do more with their money and achieve financial success.  From 172 applicants, four teams were selected, each with different backgrounds and financial situations.

Between June and December, each of the teams will work one-on-one with a Summit financial coach, who will provide them with the plans, tools and advice they need to accomplish their financial goals.

“So many of our goals in life are tied to money,” said Kim Sponem, CEO and president of Summit Credit Union. “Project Money helps educate and empower people about smart money management so they can make changes and start getting ahead.”

The 2014 Project Money teams include:

·         Louise Latterell and Dave Huttleston Jr., with son, Will, and daughters, Ellie and Celine, from Madison, Wisconsin — a family managing the impact of chronic illness and the costs of three children in private school, learning how to map their course to more secure financial times.

·         Andrea Den Otter and Jason Tish, from Madison, Wisconsin — a couple who has been splitting everything from their mortgage and bills to groceries and restaurant tabs, gaining a better grasp of their combined financial picture.

·         Katie Press, from Waukesha, Wisconsin — an academic advisor at a local college and young homeowner, working to pay off student loans and credit card debt, and looking forward to teaching her students some of the strategies she’s learning along the way.

·         Connie Samuels, from Fitchburg, Wisconsin a young, single sales professional who recently relocated to Madison, setting her sights on being debt-free by age 30.

“Each year, Project Money teams are selected from a variety of stages of life, so there’s a situation or scenario that many people in the community can relate to and learn from,” said Sponem. “We also have our first participant from the Milwaukee market this year, which broadens the scope of folks who will have the opportunity to learn from the Project Money participants’ experiences.”

Their ongoing progress and unique stories will be chronicled through weekly blogs, Facebook posts and videos at  Participants will be sharing advice and tips they receive from their coaches so that anyone following along can relate and apply the advice to their own financial goals.

Additionally, starting in July, WMTV will be reporting on the participants’ challenges and progress in an ongoing series airing on Channel 15 during the 5 p.m. newscast.

In February 2015, a $10,000 prize will be awarded to the team that earns the most points during the competition. Points are awarded for percent increase in savings, decrease in debt and participation in program events. Runners-up will each receive $2,500.

Summit Credit Union’s first five Project Money competitions made a huge difference in the lives of the four participant teams each year (20 total participating teams), as well as community members who followed their progress. Not only did they learn how to do more with their money and achieve financial success, the competing participants collectively boosted their savings by $151,957 and decreased their debt by more than $221,569.

About Summit Credit Union:

Established in 1935, Summit Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative open to anyone in Wisconsin. Summit holds $2 billion in assets and has more than 136,000 members with a total of 29 locations throughout the Madison and Milwaukee areas. For more information, visit or call 608-243-5000 or 1-800-236-5560.

Editor’s note: Sources for the opening quotes are as follows:
First quote: “Being a family with young kids – and cancer – has made it feel like we have been treading water.” Source: Louise Latterell & Dave Huttleston Jr.
Second quote: “We’ve been leading separate financial lives for 20 years!” Source: Andrea Den Otter & Jason Tish
Third quote: “I want to be debt-free by 30.” Source: Connie Samuels
Editor’s Note:   Project Money participant images and program logos are available for your reference at:

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