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Meet the Panel of ALICE: A Long Way From Wonderland

Jul 08, 2014
MetroHartford Alliance


The Alliance and United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut will host
a special Rising Star Breakfast on August 1 focused on the ALICE report. 

When United Way of Northern New Jersey and Rutgers University released the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) report in 2012, the facts about people making ends meet financially drew statewide attention.

Learn more about the study’s impact on New Jersey and what it will mean to us when the ALICE Report for Connecticut is released on Labor Day 2014.  What impact will it have on your life?

Click here to register.

Meet the panel of ALICE: A Long Way From Wonderland


Ron Insana (Moderator) - Senior Analyst, CNBC and Financial Industry Expert

Ron Insana is a contributor to CNBC and MSNBC, where he discusses the most pressing economic and market issues of the day. He also delivers The Market Scoreboard Report to radio stations around the country.

He has written for Money magazine and USA Today and has hosted two nationally syndicated radio programs.

In addition to his work as a business journalist, Insana was the CEO of Insana Capital Partners, from 2006-2008, which, at its peak, managed the $125 million Insana Capital Partners "Legends Fund."

For nearly three decades, Insana has been a highly respected business journalist and money manager, who began his career at the Financial News Network in 1984 and joined CNBC when FNN and CNBC merged in 1991.

Insana is well-known for his high-profile interviews, which included Presidents Clinton and Bush; billionaire investors Warren Buffett, George Soros and Julian Robertson, among others: captains of industry from Bill Gates to Jack Welch and to the late Steve Jobs, top economists, analysts and global heads of state, from Former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, to Jordan's current Queen, Rania.

Insana was named one of the "Top 100 Business News Journalists of the 20th Century" and was nominated for a news and documentary Emmy for his role in NBC's coverage of 9/11.

He has authored four books on Wall Street and is a highly regarded lecturer on domestic and global economics, financial markets and economic policy issues.

John Franklin (Panelist) - President and CEO, United Way of Northern New Jersey

John Franklin was named CEO of United Way of Northern New Jersey in March 2011, after spearheading the merger of five individual United Ways into one regional organization. Equipped with the benefit of his 14-year tenure at the former United Way of Morris County, Franklin has successfully unified the region to focus on creating a stronger future for all residents in northern New Jersey.

With Franklin at the helm, United Way has emerged as a regional leader. Prominent representatives of key sectors – from academics and social service agencies to business and government officials – have joined with United Way to tackle the region’s greatest challenges.

Franklin is leading a charge to look beyond temporary fixes and instead find solutions that result in long-term, sustainable change for the betterment of all families. At the heart of this strategy is Franklin’s belief that no one organization can accomplish this task alone; it takes diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and talents to achieve the greatest outcomes for those most in need.

Franklin is committed to placing a spotlight on an at-risk population often overlooked in a region and state typically regarded as affluent. He is a champion for the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population, the 100,000 working households in the region that cannot keep up with the state’s high cost of living. Franklin recognizes the health and well-being of the region, state, and country is directly tied to the financial security of those working in vital positions such as child care teachers, mechanics and home health aides.

Franklin’s determination to focus on improving community conditions for ALICE stemmed from his experience as executive director at the Community Soup Kitchen in Morristown for four years prior to joining United Way. It was at the soup kitchen that he saw firsthand how individuals could quickly tumble from ALICE into poverty, despite histories of good jobs, good education, and good families.  

Once becoming United Way’s CEO in Morris County, Franklin sought to understand and address the underlying causes that lead individuals into poverty. In 2009, he undertook the first ALICE Report, a comprehensive data-driven research project. In 2012, within one year of forming the regional United Way, Franklin oversaw the unveiling of the first statewide ALICE Report.  He is currently pursuing the feasibility of a national study.   
 
Franklin took to the nonprofit world after choosing to trade in a career as a corporate executive in manufacturing and marketing. While serving as senior vice president of Manufacturing and Product Development for Arrow Group Industries, he cut costs and increased sales through quality product development and savvy marketing. In addition, he taught courses in communication at the College of Saint Elizabeth and industrial design at the University of Cincinnati.

Franklin’s commitment to improving his community has been a lifelong pursuit both on and off the job. He has devoted much of his private life to the work of mentoring and advising teens. For many years, he volunteered more than 700 hours annually working with his church youth group, Habitat for Humanity, the community soup kitchen, and other human service organizations.

A familiar and valued member of the Morris County community for nearly 30 years, Franklin clearly makes it a point to LIVE UNITED each and every day.

Scott Gaul (Panelist) - Director of the Community Indicators Project, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Scott Gaul is director of the Community Indicators Project, a new initiative of the Hartford Foundation to support the collection, analysis and sharing of broad community data about the quality of life in metro Hartford.

Gaul joined the Hartford Foundation after serving as director of analysis in the Washington, D.C.-based Microfinance Information Exchange. Prior to that, he worked for the World Bank, Mercy Corps, and Quantitative Risk Management. He holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Johns Hopkins and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago.

William M. Rodgers, III, PhD (Panelist) - Professor and Chief Economist at the Heldrich Center at Rutgers University

William M. Rodgers, III is Professor of Public Policy and Chief Economist at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.  Rodgers is a member of the graduate faculty of Rutgers' School of Management and Labor Relations, and a senior research affiliate of the National Poverty Center, University of Michigan. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, and serves as the Academy’s Vice President. Rodgers also serves on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Technical Advisory Committee.

Prior to coming to Rutgers, in 2000, Rodgers served as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, appointed by Alexis Herman, U.S. Secretary of Labor.

His research interests include income inequality, with a focus on labor and workforce development issues. His policy work spans from developing child support guidelines to working on social insurance to government efficiency and reform. He has developed child support guidelines for Virginia and New Jersey. The guidelines for New Jersey were enacted. Currently, he sits on the National Urban League’s Council of Economic Advisors, and he served on President Obama’s Department of Labor Transition Team. At the state level, he served on the Acting Governor Codey's Pensions Benefits Review Task Force and was a member of Governor Corzine's Commission On Government Efficiency And Reform.

Rodgers' expertise is frequently called upon by journalists for articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Financial Times, and other publications. He is a frequent guest on numerous television and radio talk shows such as PBS’ Nightly Business Report, NBC’s Meet the Press and Nightly News, CNN’s Your $$$$, CNBC’s Squawk Box, Power Lunch, and Street Signs, and National Public Radio’s Market Place.

Professor Rodgers serves United Way Worldwide in a variety of capacities. At the national level, he is a board member of United Way World Wide's U.S. Board of Trustees. At the regional level, Rodgers served as a member of the United Way of Northern New Jersey’s Board of Trustees.

Rodgers holds a BA from Dartmouth College, MA’s from UC Santa Barbara and Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Dr. Rodgers was a key player and researcher on the Essex Disparity Study. Dr. Rodgers will collaborate with the Roy Wilkins Center team. He will be responsible for the private sector market and self-employment analysis.


Join us August 1 at the Hilton Hartford Hotel for this special Rising Star Breakfast.  Click here to register We look forward to seeing you.