New Face for Family Finance at ISU Extension

AMES, Iowa – Timothy Griesdorn is the newest addition to the family finance team at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The new ISU Extension specialist and faculty member is part of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State.

Griesdorn has a unique background. He spent the first 20 years of his career in corporate accounting before pursuing a doctoral degree. At Iowa State, he will add expertise to future research and work to integrate more family finance research into ISU Extension efforts.

“I was working full-time as a plant controller when my employer encouraged me to pursue an MBA,” Griesdorn said. “While I was taking MBA classes, I discovered my passion for learning. A professor noticed that love and encouraged me to consider a career in higher education. His expression of confidence gave me the spark of hope I needed.”

At that time, Texas Tech University was the only college in the country to offer a doctorate in personal financial planning, Griesdorn explained. The college allowed him to take classes part time so he could continue working full time to support his family. His coursework complete, Griesdorn quit his job to prepare for the comprehensive exams and write his dissertation.

“I’m grateful to the people who worked with me and helped me along this path,” he said. “For me, a Ph.D. in financial planning is a license to learn and serve. I look forward to working here and making a difference in the lives of all Iowans.”

He holds the Certified Retirement Counselor (CRC), Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC), Certified Financial Manager (CFM) and Certified Managerial Accountant (CMA) designations. He recently passed the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) exam.

“My wife says I’m a collector of certifications; she’s right,” Griesdorn joked. “I can now say that I have more letters after my name than are in my name.”

Griesdorn’s role is to help Iowans do a better job of managing their money. Seventy-five percent of his time will be devoted to extension work and 25 percent of his time will be spent publishing and researching in the field.

“The need for basic financial education has never been greater,” Griesdorn said. “My focus isn’t just the student population, but all residents of Iowa. My goal is to help people spend and invest their money in such a way that they will get the greatest satisfaction from their financial decisions.”