09.23.2021 By Kia Young


America Saves announced today that George Barany, its Director, plans to retire from his position at the end of 2021. The Organization Looks Ahead to Its Next Chapter as Two Women Prepare to Take the Helm as Co-Directors in 2022.


Contact: Kia Young, kyoung@consumerfed.org

America Saves Looks Ahead to Its Next Chapter as Two Women Prepare to Take the Helm as Co-Directors in 2022

Washington, D.C.  America Saves announced today that George Barany, its Director of more than 20 years, plans to retire from his position at the end of 2021. Barany grew the organization tremendously during his tenure; America Saves now has over 7,000 partner organizations and reaches nearly 1 million people who have pledged to save effectively. "It has been a privilege and an honor to be one of the founders of America Saves and to have led the organization as the Director for the past several years,” Barany said of his service to America Saves. America Saves promotes establishing a saving habit by incorporating behavioral science in its direct-to-consumer outreach and resources provided to businesses and institutions for their own constituents. The national campaign, an initiative of the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. 

In light of Barany’s retirement, CFA Executive Director Jack Gillis has appointed Co-Directors to lead the organization effective January 1, 2022: Amelia O'Rourke-Owens, America Saves' current Associate Director; and Kia McCallister-Young, America Saves' current Director of Communications. “These two women are well-equipped to continue the growth of America Saves that George has been responsible for during the past 20 years,” said Gillis.

Over the next few months of the transition, Barany’s focus will include celebrating the organization's 20th Anniversary and the launch of upcoming research projects. On what’s to come, Barany said, “America Saves is a leading voice in saving and personal finance. I am confident that these two excellent leaders will continue our success and expand our vision during the next twenty years.”

“We have made an extraordinary impact during my twenty years; reaching millions of people and motivating them to save effectively and bringing about fundamental institutional changes, such as persuading financial institutions to provide no and low fee savings accounts that made it possible for low and moderate-income earners to actually save,” Barany concluded.

O'Rourke-Owens is an attorney who worked in community economic development prior to joining America Saves in 2016. Under her leadership, the America Saves for Young Workers program expanded by over 60% in its first year, and the number of young people reached has quadrupled.

“We welcome the challenge of supporting everyday Americans to save, especially in the challenging economic landscape resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic,” O'Rourke-Owens said of her upcoming role. “America Saves has a strong legacy and a critical mission, and I am looking forward to building financial stability for more American households.”

McCallister-Young is an Air Force veteran and former military spouse, who brought her marketing and communications background to America Saves in 2019 and has since led a revitalization of the organization’s marketing, branding, and community outreach.

She indicated this is a role she's eager to take on: “We are excited about what's ahead, and it's an honor to become Co-Director of America Saves. At a time when so many Americans are still navigating the effects of the pandemic, we are committed to continuing to be a trusted resource and leading voice for Americans who want real-life perspectives and strategies as they work to save effectively, reduce debt, and begin to build wealth.”

Their combined experience and the existing great working relationship between the two women sets America Saves up for even greater success as they look toward the next twenty years.

“The diversity of their backgrounds and the contributions they have already made to the program, give me the utmost confidence America Saves will continue to lead the savings community and improve people's lives,” Gillis said of the appointment.

In a tumultuous year that's made it difficult for half of working adults to achieve their financial goals, Barany said it is the right time for a leadership change at America Saves. “Launching our next twenty years under the direction of these two women ensures that our support to savers will remain relevant and cutting edge.” 

“Their professional backgrounds and successes so far give me every confidence that the organization will remain on the forefront of improving the financial well-being of America’s families,” Barany said.

Looking ahead to 2022, McCallister-Young indicated that America Saves’ message to savers remains the same despite the change in leadership. "To build successful saving behaviors, you need both information and support,” McCallister-Young said. “Our commitment is simple: we're here for you, you can reach your financial goals, and America Saves will meet you where you are to help you achieve them.”

America Saves is a campaign managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America that uses the principles of behavioral economics and social marketing to motivate, encourage, and support low-to-moderate income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. America Saves encourages individuals and families to take the America Saves pledge and organizations to promote savings year-round and during America Saves Week. Learn more at americasaves.org.