Chad Rieflin: Youth Financial Education Advocate


Chad Rieflin, Director of Programs and Grants at Consumer Credit Counseling of Greater Rochester.


So, how would someone describe you or how would you describe yourself to someone?

Hahah this is like a job interview! So, in the context of work someone would describe me as an advocate of financial literacy whose partnered with a many different organizations to work to integrate modern financial education components into the greater context of what happens here.

And personally?

I guess it depends on who you’re asking haha I would say I’m someone who is primarily focused on my family, who really enjoys disc golf, and playing music.

I actually just went to millennium games and saw all of their disc golf selection!

Oh my gosh yeah that’s the place to be … yeah I have a hard time getting out of there ….

DO you play an instrument?

Yeah I play guitar and my other job-  I work at a local church – and so for a number of years I was the head of worship and music. I still help out on that team and now I oversee all of our teams that operate various aspects of the church.

Do you like that job?

Oh yeah. That’s what I went to school for actually.


Is your life today what you thought it would look like?

I don’t think there are too many people who could say yes to that haha. Yeah I went to school in Tulsa, Oklahoma Rhema Bible college, it’s a school for ministry I went to pastoral ministry and when I came back (I’m from Rochester) I started working at the credit bureau of Rochester which was right down the street on prince street and I started working as a debt collector; please don’t hate me- haha!! At the same time I started working at this same local church as a youth pastor and things just kind of took their own turns over many years to where I’m at now!
I’m on the light side now not on the dark side. But I can use my knowledge of the dark side to help people avoid those same kinds of problems.

The other cool think is that my experience from my secular work and my ministry work have a lot of crossover, and feed into each other.

How so?

For one I used to focus on youth financial education when I was doing youth ministry, and obviously in ministry there’s a big focus on teaching and having good teaching skulls and understanding how people learn and how to form messages so people receive them as best as possible, so that’s kind of informed some of the approaches I’ve taken on the financial education side. And then going the other way, a lot of the things that I’ve been blessed to learn about leadership and organizational management have helped inform the ministry side.

What are you most grateful for?

My family. I’ve been married for 21 years and my son just turned 17 and then my daughter will be 15 in February.

Cool! Do they save money? Haha
They do! Especially my daughter haha we have to like force her to spend it.

What has encouraged you to stay in this community? What makes you passionate about  Rochester?

All the great people that are doing a lot of great things that I’ve been able to make contact with and learn from and observe them make an impact. I think the greatest lesson that I’ve learned is networking is your most valuable asset – and doing it in a real way. Where you are providing value to someone else, thinking creatively how you can take what your doing and tie it in with what they’re doing. Even if it doesn’t seem like theres a real fit there at first. More often than not, there is if you look deep enough. And it might not be a robust collaboration, but even if it’s a small one there can be a lot of value.

Like your CEO giving our VISTA’s breakfast! That was so sweet.

Exactly! Haha

Where does VISTA fit in to CCCSR’s plan?

We are so excited to get approved for a VISTA this year. I’ve worked with VISTA’s since RYY started through Biz Kids. We just kind of got to the point where we were ready to really move forward with our youth financial education programming that we’ve wanted to do and be more informed about the best way to do it. As far as capacity building in that area, it was a good time to bring on a VISTA!

And Molly, your VISTA, is awesome. 

Oh Molly has been great. A perfect fit. 

 Thanks Chad! To find out more about Consumer Credit Counseling of Rochester and their service, visit their website here. 






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