Interviews, Speaking and Workshops

Joanne Kuster - Financial Educator, Entrepreneur

Joanne recognized the voids in financial education decades before it hit the radars of schools, academia and industry. Frustrated by the lack of teaching tools for her own children, Joanne went to work to develop some. Her efforts expanded and soon reached into dozens of schools and thousands of homes, earning her the label, "The Money Godmother." As her notoriety grew, she was invited to lead various financial literacy initiatives, including the Iowa Jumpstart Initiative and Money Smart Week® Iowa. She is currently at the forefront of the corporate financial wellness movement.

Since graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in consumer economics and journalism, the Iowa native has written for major national publications, interviewed influential business people and researched, wrote and published educational books, classroom curriculum, and games. She is co-owner of several businesses and provides marketing consultation to others. The mother of three and grandmother of five, Joanne is hands-on when it comes to educating young savers, investors and entrepreneurs.

Joanne and husband Chuck make their home near Des Moines, IA, where she is active in investment clubs, boards and foundations and enjoying five grandchildren..

Joanne Seymour Kuster
Financial Educator, Journalist, Speaker, Entrepreneur

Chuck Kuster - Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur

Chuck enjoyed a 25-year career in various publishing, advertising agency and corporate communication management roles, where his work won numerous awards. Yet, even in the corporate world, Chuck gravitated towards entrepreneurial endeavors, so it was inevitable he became a full-time entrepreneur with his spouse, Joanne. Today, the Iowa State University graduate splits his time as an international strategic communications consultant and as publisher of DynaMinds Publishing. He also works in new business development in the areas of renewable energy, biotechnology and big-data and sits on several boards.

While Chuck has been the ghost writer behind numerous books, guides, adult education software programs and book chapters, he had never authored a full book of his own. While he had likewise written dozens of speeches, he seldom delivered them himself. But all that changed when two separate events motivated him to get serious about preparations for his own retirement. The first incident was watching colleagues struggle after taking early retirement packages following a merger. Next came an eye-opening six-year stint helping his parents through their last years of life. Combined, these experiences made him realize how different today's retirement environment has become and how unprepared he was.

Concerned, he applied strategic communications skills to rethink this thing society calls "retirement." He identified trends, myths, flaws, obstacles and many opportunities. After sharing his ideas and insights with friends, the common response was, "You ought to put that into a book." The end result is the ebook,
Is This Your Plan To Retire? (see our books section)

Chuck draws on his research and conceptual skills when he speaks on the topic of preparation for the new retirement environment. He is also available for interviews.

Now semi-retired, Chuck intends to promote strategic retirement planning and support DynaMinds Publishing to help keep "his mental knife sharp." He also continues to consult with several startup companies and non-profits. Two items in his retirement bucket list are (1) learning to play the banjo gathering dust in his office, and (2) writing a historical novel based on his family's Irish heritage.

Charles (Chuck) Kuster
Author, Journalist, Speaker

General Speech Topics:

We offer workshops, after-dinner talks and motivational speeches in three general areas. While we do have standard presentations, we customize talks to the audience and needs. Fees vary, based on the topic, prep required and travel time. Please contact us for availability, rates and terms. It's best to call us to discuss availability. (515-991-3990)

Financial Education

Teaching the Teachers - With states mandating financial literacy curriculum, knowledgeable financial educators are in high-demand. Joanne has presented numerous talks and workshops to help teachers get comfortable with the content and develop teaching strategies and tools that work. She also talks to K-12 students as well as college students and college classes on teaching methods.

Joanne has visited dozens of classrooms through her career, where she chats with young students about a variety of money-related topics (saving, investing, wants and needs).

Another topic is how to become a successful author, which Joanne has presented at library events, schools and Talented and Gifted meetings.

One of the challenges in teaching financial topics is keeping the topic interesting and children engaged. With this in mind, Joanne has a number of one-of-a-kind support elements, such as the Wants and Needs Game. In this instance she explains what wants and needs are and then involves students in playing the card game she co-developed.

Corporate Financial Wellness

Another high interest area is
financial wellness in the workplace. More companies and organizations see the need to help employees understand and apply good money management skills. Joanne specializes in workshops for employees and presentations to Human Resources groups interested in the topic as well. Joanne recently presented at the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists on this topic. (Picture below)

Joanne fields questions from employee benefits specialists at a recent Symposium in Boston, MA. Attendees said they were surprised at the number of different areas of financial education that could be developed into employee benefit programs.

Developing Entrepreneurs

Another area of current interest is
how to develop young entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur herself and the mother of entrepreneurs, Joanne understands how to recognize and nurture these traits using her book, Entrepreneur Extraordinaire: Grandpa Helps Emily Build A Business. It's worth noting that Joanne and Chuck have been leaders in the home-based business development effort for a number of years and have individually received awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Joanne is always happy to talk and brainstorm ideas with entrepreneurs, no matter what age!

Retirement Planning

As retirees, their families and employers start to recognize that traditional approaches to retirement no longer apply, Chuck's talks target various contemporary retirement issues, obstacles and opportunities for wide-ranging audiences. These talks are based on concepts developed as he wrote his book,
Is This Your Plan To Retire? … How to thrive and not just survive.
Topics include:
  • Your Retirement Reality Check
  • Why the Old Retirement Model Doesn't Work - And What You Can Do Instead
  • Why You (and Your Family) Should Care About the Changing Face of Retirement
  • How to Select and Prepare Your Retirement Advocates

Chuck can include a copy of his eBook, "Is This Your Plan To Retire" for workshop attendees.

We welcome your inquiry. Give us a call at 515-991-3990 or use the contact page to ask questions. Thanks.