Addition of Two Trustees Enhances Extensive Leadership Assembly

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLORADO—The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) has appointed Sara M. Bentley and Hugh H. Makens, JD, to its Board of Trustees. The new trustees were nominated by the current members of the 14-person board, which is the governing body responsible for setting the policies of the foundation. NEFE is an independent, nonprofit foundation committed to educating Americans about personal finance and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach financial goals.

“The skills and backgrounds of the new trustees complement perfectly the already exceptional leadership of our current board,” said NEFE president and CEO Ted Beck in welcoming the new members. “The vision of this board, with its members’ broad range of experience, interests and professional affiliations, will help NEFE to further advance its mission of helping Americans acquire the knowledge and tools necessary to take control of their finances.”

Bentley currently serves as chief operating officer of the Oregon Catholic Press (OCP), where she is responsible for strategic planning and new product development, as well as managing the daily operation of the organization. Founded in 1922, OCP is the oldest and largest Catholic nonprofit publisher of worship resources, such as programs, music and a newspaper for the Catholic Dioceses of Oregon. Its materials are used in two-thirds of all Catholic churches in the United States. In addition to her current position, she also serves on the Ethics in Ministry Review Board for Mt. Angel Abbey.

Previously, Bentley worked for the Gannett Company in Arlington, Virginia, as group president for the corporation. There, she managed the Northwest Newspaper Group, which consisted of eight daily and three weekly newspapers in seven states. Bentley also has worked as a publisher and advertising director for the Gannett Company. From Gannett, she received the President's Ring for excellence in publishing and the Diversity Award for initiatives related to her newspaper work.

Her past leadership roles have included serving as president of the Mid-Willamette Valley United Way and the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association, as well as having been a leader of an award-winning governmental relations committee within the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Bentley earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Cornell University.

Makens is of counsel with, and formerly a partner of, Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP, which is the largest law firm headquartered in West Michigan and the sixth largest in Michigan. As chair of the Warner Norcross Securities Group, Makens specializes in securities and corporate law. He is also an adjunct professor of Law at Michigan State University. Makens currently is a council member of the American Bar Association’s Section of Business Law and sits on the Editorial Board of The Business Lawyer. He also serves on the Securities Board of Editors’ Board of Trustees for the Lexis Nexis Publishing Company.

Makens has been involved in the securities industry for over 35 years as an attorney, regulator and advisor. He was a director at the Michigan Corporation & Securities Bureau and president of the North American Securities Administrators Association. In addition, he was a trial attorney in the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. Makens is the previous chair of the State Regulation of Securities Committee, and the Meetings Committee and the Institutes and Seminars Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Business Law. He is a co-author of Michigan Securities Regulation and has served as a member of the National Association of Securities Dealers Legal Advisory Board and the Nasdaq Market Operations Review Committee.

A frequent author, lecturer and panelist for trade and professional associations, Makens is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, Michigan Super Lawyers, Who’s Who in the Midwest and Who’s Who in American Law. In 2006, he was honored by the State Bar of Michigan for his lifetime contributions to the legal profession with the inaugural Stephen H. Schulman Outstanding Business Lawyer Award. Makens graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, cum laude, from Michigan Technological University. He received his Juris Doctorate from Northwestern University School of Law.

“Our trustees work tirelessly to ensure that NEFE has an influential role in progressing the movement of helping all Americans achieve financial well-being,” Beck said. “With the addition of these highly-accomplished professionals, the future for our organization remains bright.”

Bentley and Makens will participate in their first full meeting of the NEFE Board of Trustees in April.



  • Paul Golden

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