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Voya Financial and American College Partner to Enhance Diversity and Inclusion in Financial Services


NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that it has awarded its third and fourth scholarships to veterans and/or their spouses seeking to further their careers in financial services. In partnership with the American College of Financial Services, the scholarships are designed to support veterans and to create a more diverse and inclusive financial services industry.

Scholarship recipient Andrea Clark is the wife of a retired Air Force Colonel. She became interested in financial counseling due to the numerous moves and house purchases she and her husband made during his military career. In 2009, Clark was awarded the FINRA Fellowship and earned her Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) credential. She calls herself an "educator at heart" and, as an on-demand financial counselor, she spends considerable time coaching young soldiers and cadets on their finances. She believes that the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designations, which the scholarship will help her achieve, will be a strong complement to her AFC credential and help her provide critical support to the military community around her. 

"My work in recent years as a military financial counselor has given many women the tools and resources to make wise financial decisions," said Clark. "Recently, I supported an event where four young female service members asked questions for an hour after a presentation, getting answers they needed to start really planning their financial futures. There is a gap to fill, and the CFP education will supply me with the detailed professional knowledge to help women attain a secure financial future."

Scholarship recipient Ron Killian transitioned from the Navy at the rank of petty officer second class. In his post-Navy career, he completed his bachelor's in pastoral studies and served full time in pastoral ministry for 12 years. He then felt called to serve in a different way — within the insurance industry, specifically the senior market. He started his financial services career at Prudential Financial and Banker's Life and Casualty, achieving success early on and then transitioning to an independent insurance agent. Now that he has completed the Retirement Income Certified Professional designation, he is moving on to the Chartered Life Underwriter program.  

"I have been in the people-helping business the majority of my adult life and, as such, I find myself always wanting to be a resource that helps people get what they want and, more importantly, what they need," said Kilian. "Seniors, more than anyone else, need someone they can trust. The scholarship I am blessed to have been awarded is making it possible for me to have access to the quality professional training that equips me to be an authority in my profession, so that I can truly make a difference in the lives of those whom I have the opportunity to help."

"The goals of The American College of Financial Services align with our vision to arm individuals with the tools and knowledge to make better financial decisions that will lead to a secure retirement," said Angela D. Harrell, SVP, Corporate Responsibility, and President, Voya Foundation. "This partnership also helps us to advance the goal of increasing diversity and inclusivity within the financial services industry."

"The American College's partnership with Voya is a great way to not only honor those who have served, but also to strengthen the talent pool in the financial services profession," said Ted Digges, executive director of the school's Penn Mutual Center for Veterans Affairs. "Individuals like Ron and Andrea, through their military experiences, have acquired so many of the soft skills required to be successful. By providing educational support, we are really setting them up for successful futures. Voya's commitment to both veterans and the financial services profession is fantastic. "  

The American College of Financial Services is a non-profit, accredited, degree-granting college founded in Bryn Mawr, Pa., in 1927. Scholarship recipients are independently selected based on their application and without any conditions to their future career path or professional affiliation. To learn more about the veterans' center and scholarship opportunities, visit Veterans.TheAmericanCollege.edu.

Media Contact:
Mary Beth Conklin
Voya Financial
(423) 596-1449
[email protected]

About Voya Foundation
Voya Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where Voya Financial® operates and its employees and customers live. Voya Foundation provides grants and establishes signature partnerships in the areas of financial literacy and children's education and fosters employee engagement to deepen our positive impact on the community. For more information, visit voyafoundation.com.

About Voya Financial®
Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), helps Americans plan, invest and protect their savings — to get ready to retire better. Serving the financial needs of approximately 13 million individual and institutional customers in the United States, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $11 billion in revenue in 2015. The company had $466 billion in total assets under management and administration as of June 30, 2016. With a clear mission to make a secure financial future possible — one person, one family, one institution at a time — Voya's vision is to be America's Retirement Company™. The company is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is ethically, economically, socially and environmentally responsible — Voya has been recognized as one of the 2016 World's Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute, and as one of the Top Green Companies in the U.S., by Newsweek magazine. For more information, visit voya.com. Follow Voya Financial on Facebook and Twitter @Voya.

About The American College of Financial Services
The American College of Financial Services is the nation's largest non-profit educational institution devoted to financial services. Holding the highest level of academic accreditation, the College has served as a valued business partner to banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies and others since 1927. The American College faculty represents some of the financial services industry's foremost thought leaders. For more information, visit TheAmericanCollege.edu.

SOURCE Voya Financial, Inc.