Retiring Crestview county extension agent 'has had national impact'

Courtney retires

Dorothy Frangioni, 90, a volunteer home-community educator, congratulates her retiring boss Elaine Courtney.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 15:58 PM.

CRESTVIEW — When American soldiers, sailors, airman, guardsmen and Marines graduate from basic training, they have a Crestview woman to thank for newly acquired personal financial skills.

Though University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Okaloosa County Extension agent Elaine Courtney has retired, the program she created continues at boot camps nationwide.

"She has had just a remarkable career," County Extension Director Larry Williams said. "She has had national impact with her programs here."

Inspired by the America Saves personal finances program she observed in Washington, D.C., Courtney brought the program home and in 2002 reworked it into today's Okaloosa Saves.

"She has really built up the community through that program," Eglin Federal Credit Union spokeswoman Sherry Harlow, Okaloosa Saves Coalition chairman, said. "The drive is to build wealth and reduce debt."

Courtney tweaked Okaloosa Saves into Air Force Saves, which became standard training for new Eglin Air Force Base airmen. The Department of Defense, impressed by its impact, implemented the program throughout the armed forces.

As the extension's consumer and family services agent, Courtney also oversaw extension nutrition programs and supervised a team of volunteer home/community educators.



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