Common Wealth Charlotte Names New Executive Director

November 2018

Growing nonprofit on pace to serve 5,000 clients this year as grants increase

Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 15, 2018 -- Common Wealth Charlotte (CWC), a nonprofit organization that serves Charlotte's low-income wage earners through financial literacy education and access to non-predatory financial services, has named Chuck Jones its new executive director. Jones succeeds Darren Ash, who founded Common Wealth Charlotte in 2014 and continues to serve as a board member.

"Chuck is deeply committed to the improvement of our community and brings a depth of business experience and innovative ideas that will be invaluable as we take the next steps in our mission," said Cristy Travaglino, board chair of Common Wealth Charlotte. "We are delighted that he has accepted this new responsibility."

A 31-year resident of Charlotte, Jones joined Common Wealth Charlotte in early 2017 and previously served as its director of financial services. Prior to that, he served as president and CEO of Chuck Jones Direct Response, a full-service marketing and communications firm.

Common Wealth Charlotte is the exclusive financial literacy provider to 36 local nonprofits and workforce development agencies, and the organization recently expanded its Opportunity Loan program to include Credit Builder, Asset Builder and Payday-Loan-Payoff options.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Common Wealth Charlotte, an organization that is critical to our community's efforts to address its economic mobility challenges," said Jones. "We are excited about the outcomes we have produced with our clients and the future impact we can make as we grow and expand our reach."

Common Wealth Charlotte serves the estimated 150,000 Charlotte residents who work full time yet make only 30 to 35 percent of the area median income. On pace to serve 5,000 clients this year, CWC provides the following services:

  • Financial literacy: CWC provides Charlotte's low-wage earners with complimentary trauma-informed financial education (TIFE), an approach to financial literacy that incorporates a deep understanding of the physical, psychological and emotional trauma experienced by the working poor.
  • Access to banking: Through partnerships with banks and credit unions, CWC connects its clients with traditional, non-predatory financial services, steering them away from fringe services such as high-fee check cashing and prepaid debit cards.
  • Opportunity Loans: CWC provides Opportunity Loans up to $750 in size with a maximum six-month term at a 3.15 percent annual percentage rate (APR). These loans are substantially below market rate due to a donor-funded collateral pool. Proceeds from the loans can be used for financial emergencies, to pay off predatory loans or to address priority items such as evictions and auto repossessions that substantially affect clients' credit scores. The successful repayment of this loan can materially increase a client's credit score.
Over the past 18 months, Common Wealth Charlotte has received more than $300,000 in grants from companies and foundations including Ally Financial, Bank of America, Foundation For The Carolinas, The Leon Levine Foundation, The Merancas Foundation, Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation, Social Venture Partners, United Way Central Carolinas and Wells Fargo.

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