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The 2020 Smarty Award Winners

Do you ever wish that you could celebrate all the people who have made a difference in your life? Yeah? That’s how we feel too! And in a year like this one, it’s especially important to honor these folks for the everyday heroes that they are.   

Here at SmartDollar, we’re SO proud of all the good we see being done by dedicated men and women in HR (and the companies they represent). These folks are passionate about helping their employees not just win with money, but also go from surviving to thriving. And in the year of coronavirus, no less!   

So, to show our gratitude and brag on them a bit, we want to give these champions the recognition they deserve. Y’all are the real MVPs!   

Join us in congratulating the 2020 Smarty Award Winners! While you're at it, check out the complete list of nominees here

The Smarty Award Categories

HR Heroes of the Year

Every year, we choose three HR Heroes, one for each business size using SmartDollar:

  • Small business (499 employees or fewer).
  • Midsize business (500 to 2,999 employees).
  • Large business (3,000 employees or more).

Each winner is someone who is passionate about seeing life-change in their team and has a heart for helping others. These heroes stand out at their companies by going above and beyond in encouraging their teams to sign up for and use SmartDollar.

The Vision Award

Although relatively new to SmartDollar, this company has gone above and beyond to get their team started on the program. Bringing real financial wellness to their employees means so much more than just checking the “financial wellness benefit” box. And this company is the perfect example of what it means to truly care about changing the lives of its team members.

Company of the Year

Our Company of the Year award goes to the company that most reflects the principles and mission of SmartDollar. They go the extra mile to encourage their teams to sign up for and continue using SmartDollar. They’re dedicated to helping their employees win with money.

The Smarty Award Winners

HR Hero of the Year for Small Business

Name: Chris Dehning

Company: United Prairie Bank

Chris is always trying to get people into the program—even his customers! He wants so badly for his team to experience real life-change that he gives them a $50 gift card just for going through their first lesson. Wow! Chris is helping both his employees and customers take control of their money once and for all and find lasting hope. That’s why we’re pumped to give him the HR Hero of the Year for Small Business award! Chris, man, you’re doing great things! Keep up the good work!

“I bonded with the Ramsey program when I saw the big effect it was having for our employees. And that feeling gets reinforced every time we get a new hire who already has gone through the program. They usually make some comment about how they chose the right company to work for—a company that puts the well-being of its employees and customers first. All in all, our people now know how to handle their money and can sometimes make some sound suggestions to struggling customers or point them to the Ramsey program.” — Chris Dehning

HR Hero of the Year for Midsize Business

Name: Tiffany Horton

Company: St. Bernards Medical Center


Click here for free, SHRM-accredited webinar content on all things HR and business leadership.

Tiffany has a huge heart for helping her St. Bernards Medical Center team find financial freedom. She’s constantly coming up with incredible ideas to encourage employees who are going through the program, and she helps them celebrate their victories. She touches everything from video production to prizes and celebrations. And she goes out of her way to share her own personal story with SmartDollar as an encouragement to employees working the plan. Tiffany, when your team has paid off more than $1 million, you know you’re doing something right. You’re incredible!

“This program not only provides a special benefit to help change our employees’ lives in the here and now for the better, but also provides invaluable knowledge they can take with them the rest of their lives! It has personally changed my life, and that’s why I had such a strong desire to help bring this knowledge here to St. Bernards [Medical Center] to be shared with our employees. The gift of financial freedom is one of the best gifts any company could provide for their employees.” — Tiffany Horton

HR Hero of the Year for Large Business

Name: Angie De Winter

Company: U-Haul

There is no one who cares more about their team than Angie. She cares deeply that they find financial wellness and works tirelessly to see that they succeed in SmartDollar. Angie has worked the plan herself, and she’s always finding ways to be a cheerleader for her team! Angie, you are such an asset, and we’re so excited to give you the HR Hero of the Year for Large Business award!   

“Hundreds of U-Haul team members have taken their first ‘baby step’ toward financial freedom with SmartDollar, and I couldn't be happier to see our team members take advantage of a benefit that will change their lives forever. Every story shared is a milestone to be celebrated. Since starting SmartDollar, many team members are achieving their financial goals.” — Angie De Winter

Vision Award

Company: American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society launched SmartDollar in July 2019 and has shown the perfect balance of heart, compassion and process. In just a short time, their team has made a $2 million financial turnaround thanks to efforts like student loan and credit card webinars and a rewards system for team members as they make progress in the plan. They’ve even gone so far as to integrate SmartDollar into their company culture! We can’t wait to see what the next year holds for the dialed-in team at the American Cancer Society, and that’s why we’re giving them the 2020 Vision Award!   

“When we were looking for a financial wellness product, we wanted a program that would meet our staff where they were (at every level) and something that wouldn't overwhelm those just starting out or working on steps 1–2. SmartDollar was that solution.” — Yesica Donohoo, Director, Retirement Benefits

Company of the Year

Company: Veterans United Home Loans

Veterans United Home Loans embodies SmartDollar. They’re constantly striving to grow themselves and their team, and they genuinely walk through life together. Through celebrations and learning from mistakes, they are a family. And they want to see everyone on their team win with money. You can see it in the way they tie benefits to company core values, guide new team members into SmartDollar, and offer programs and events to that end. They offer company-wide events, small groups, and individual coaching on SmartDollar and are always looking for new ways to encourage their team in the program. Their passion for financial wellness has even overflowed to their community, as they strive to teach the same SmartDollar principles to at-risk high school students. We couldn’t be more privileged or proud to present our 2020 Company of the Year award to Veterans United Home Loans! Keep fighting the good fight!

“SmartDollar gives us a consistent resource to point people to when they need help with personal finance. Because we've seen so much positive life-change as a result of our employees using it, we know it's helping to grow our culture in a positive way.” — Kimberly Earnest, Financial Fitness Coordinator

Will You Be One of Next Year's Winners?

It’s no secret that the next year presents unique challenges to businesses of all sizes. Take it from these award winners, though, that now more than ever is the time to get financial wellness for your employees. Why? Because your employees don’t need to just survive this time—they need to thrive. And your company needs them to! So, come see what’s possible with SmartDollar! Who knows? You might just end up being one of next year’s winners!

Learn More About SmartDollar Today

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Ramsey Solutions

About the author


Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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