MONEY MATTERS: Young Boozer shares insight with studentsPublished 9:54pm Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Alabama State Treasurer Young Boozer was the guest speaker at the Business and Finance Academy at Pike County High School Wednesday.
Jimmy Ramage, chair of the FNB’s board of directors, introduced Boozer by saying that he is the state’s first treasurer with a background in finance.
“On the first day, he knew how to handle money,” Ramage said. “We are fortunate to have Young Boozer handling the finances of our state.
Boozer told the academy students that the Business and Finance Academy at PCHS pioneered bringing financial literacy to Alabama schools.
“This academy is way ahead of the curve,” Boozer said. “It is leading the pack in career development and financial literacy. You are carrying on the work of pioneers.”
The Business and Finance Academy at PCHS was the first of its kind in the state and has a proven record of success. Boozer congratulated the Business and Finance Academy and its sponsor First National Bank of Brundidge on the role it is playing in fostering financial literacy across the state.
As the “banker for the state,” Boozer said he sits on 25 boards or authorities that have money needs. His office manages bond issues, the state’s college savings and scholarship programs, the Alabama Trust Fund, the SAFE program and unclaimed property.
He is personally responsible for overseeing the handling of the $100 million that comes through the state’s coffer each day.
Boozer’s career included 34 years in financial investment. He could have retired and spent his days in leisure activities, but he was encouraged to use his expertise and experience in finance to help the people of Alabama.
“It’s not often that you get an opportunity to do something that will benefit every citizen in your state by what you can do and accomplish,” Boozer said.
He shared the story of his campaign and how television talk show host Jay Leno brought fame to his name.
“It was April 2010 and I was in bed asleep when my phone rang,” Boozer said. “I reached over and turned it off. I would return the call in the morning. When I got up, I had about 25 calls telling me, ‘You’re on Jay Leno.’ Someone had sent one of my campaign signs to Jay Leno and it was one of the headlines he read. He said that the candidate was qualified but he had the worst name in politics. That created a buzz all across the state.”
It also sent college students out onto the highways and byways in search of a Young Boozer sign for their dorm rooms.
“I never had to go out and pick up my political signs,” Boozer said. “Somebody did it for me.”
Boozer will run for a second term as state treasurer in the upcoming election but so far he is unopposed. Who wants to run against a Young Boozer?
The “banker for the state” has a good sense of humor but he is serious about the state’s financial condition and about bringing financial literacy to all citizens.
“If our citizens had been better trained, we could have avoided the big downturn in our economy, he said. “What tipped me over to the side of running for state treasurer was a quote by Edmund Burke I got on email. ‘The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.’”
Boozer challenged the students to use their educations to do good things.
“You have a great opportunity,” he said. “Make the best of it.”