Valerie Coleman Morris is a former CNN domestic and international business anchor, Peabody Award winner, three-time Emmy Award winning journalist, and continues to write and narrate the nationally syndicated ratio column which she created in 1986 called “With the Family in Mind” on CBS Network Radio. These segments focus on family and sandwich generation issues and their money implications. Morris is also a professor in the Multimedia Communications Department at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California and an author. Her first book, “It&
Valerie Coleman Morris is a former CNN domestic and international business anchor, Peabody Award winner, three-time Emmy Award winning journalist, and continues to write and narrate the nationally syndicated ratio column which she created in 1986 called “With the Family in Mind” on CBS Network Radio. These segments focus on family and sandwich generation issues and their money implications. Morris is also a professor in the Multimedia Communications Department at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California and an author. Her first book, “It’s Your Money So Take It Personally®”, provides doable, incremental ways for individuals and families to start "banking on the future”: building wealth and passing it on to the next generation.
During her many years at CNN, where she gained great visibility and a loyal domestic and international audience, Valerie’s dozen daily reports were seen by more than 290 million households, businesses and airport networks. She discovered that the business news of the day did not always speak to everyone or to all levels of need and understanding. Morris came to believe that financial intelligence should be taught to those less likely to have access to financial information and continue through all the changing needs of one’s life. Morris states, “I want to inspire and inform people so that they can start ‘banking on the future’ and begin not only building wealth – but passing the importance of that goal to their children.”
A popular lecturer on financial literacy, Morris also works as a facilitator, keynote speaker and Mistress of Ceremonies for senior executive conferences and corporate staff and employee special events.
Morris’ broadcast career spans more than four decades and includes both coasts. She came to CNN in 1996 from WPIX-TV in New York where she was both a general assignment reporter and weekend anchor. She began her career as a broadcast journalist in San Francisco where she worked for KRON-TV and KGO-TV as a researcher, general assignment reporter and ultimately an anchor. Morris was also the morning drive anchor at KCBS Radio in San Francisco and midday anchor at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles.
She has received a roster of awards including three California Emmy awards for both breaking news events and special reports. She was a major contributor to KCBS-Radio’s Peabody Award team coverage as co-anchor in the days immediately following the 1989 California earthquake in which a portion of the San Francisco Bay Bridge collapsed.
Valerie, a product of an Air Force family, lived in England, France, Scotland and Japan by the time she was a junior in high school, perhaps contributing to her ability to comfortably connect to a variety of audiences.
She has a Master’s Degree in Broadcast Communications from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and attended San Jose State University for her undergraduate degree. Valerie is a former professor, a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, a mother of two daughters, co-parent to three more, and grandmother to a preteen girl and a teen aged boy. She and her businessman husband Robert, live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
We cannot lead with yesterday's leadership skills. While character, intelligence, and judgment are still important and essential for good leadership, there are new tools that need to be added to the mix. I believe leadership encompasses the ability to be a storyteller; to assist people in discovering their own identities which will lead to more cooperative productivity. Leadership also means to understand, assume and nurture financial literate and responsible people. Today's new leaders understand the importance of work/family integration that members of the younger, global workforce are demanding.
Noticing differences is politically correct these days. Diversity is "in". Its value is being recognized just about everywhere. While it's being courted in the global workplace, many American businesses operate without maximizing the added value of their diversity bottom line. I believe diversity is more than a headcount. It's about cultures and lifestyles counting, too. Since culture is an acquired, learned skill, in the workplace of the 21st century, cultural expertise will give businesses a proper sense and attitude to the world's people and communities. The cultural overlays regarding money must be recognized and discussed – especially given the ongoing recession and multi-generation family living situations it’s creating.
The Financial Futures of Women:
There's nothing like a financial crisis to change attitudes. Women everywhere are dealing with daunting, if not massive, financial dilemmas for a number of reasons: divorce, downsizing, children, stepchildren, aging or frail parents, career changes-and-ceilings. All of them are attitude-changing situations, and all of them - in some way - are enormously impacted by money. Since 90 percent of women at some point in their lifetime will be solely responsible for the financial needs of their family, every woman needs to get a financial life. Right or wrong, good or bad, money is an immediate measure of what you can do with your financial future.
The Sandwich Generation:
The Sandwich Generation is made up of adults caught in the middle. Adults 45 to 65, most often, facing the dilemma of raising their own children while assisting aging parents, or actively monitoring a frail parent's decline. The financial concerns are real. Retirement nearing but perhaps now re-set; kids going to college or boomeranging home to get their financial feet under them; elder parents frail and often outliving their carefully stashed retirement savings. It's the portrait of the vast majority of American adults. It's no easier for the old to get older than it is for their adult children to deal with the role reversal of becoming the "parenting child". Respecting elder independence, managing aging parent healthcare needs long-distance, transitions with growing and grown children, new families/stepfamilies, divorce, widowhood and second marriages. Balancing all the needs and cooperating in assisting resolutions.
With the Family in Mind:
Part of achieving a healthy state of the family is to know who's responsible for its life-cycle orchestration. With the Family in Mind knows where the responsibility lies. Being a caregiver for those at the beginning of the life cycle - our children - or, for those at the end of the life cycle - our aging parents, is stressful under the very best of circumstances. With the Family in Mind reminds each of us that family - matters. The intent is to look at family dynamics or experience and remind us how much we have in common. I've written several thousand of these commentaries on topics that are the familiar, daily struggles for many families as they juggle the needs of multiple generations.
Money Has No Conscience; It Depends On Yours:
When it comes to money, women need to be far sighted, start saving early and stick to their money plan. The world we’re living in demands more and more that we accept responsibility for our lives – physical and fiscal - no matter how complicated. Women are more vulnerable as we age because we have very unique money issues. While it’s important to look to professionals for advice, in the final analysis, women must first commit to the mindset that personal financial intelligence – matters, and that they are capable of accumulating money and protecting it. Taking charge of improving and maintaining fiscal health starts with putting one’s own financial oxygen mask on first meaning making a plan, committing to it, having a metric for what that plan can do for you and the time frame in which it will be done. Act with urgency. No movement; no improvement. Whatever age, women cannot allow themselves to become victims of money paralysis.
“Get a Financial Checkup” – discussion with Barbara Waters and the women from “The View.”
Press & Articles
View Valerie’s TEDxTalk for Intuit on “The Art of Play”
Valerie’s complete blog archives from the popular blog, ‘The Thin Pink Line’ are now available to view here!
Press release: Emmy-winning journalist to speak at NLC / Valerie Coleman Morris presents on financial literacy and self-reliance.
Featured panelist at the 2009 Circle of Sisters Conference: Think Rich, in a Poor Economy
A Woman’s Wealth
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? / News Anchor Coleman Went National