By Airman Grace Nichols
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
“Everybody wants to do a job where they can see customer satisfaction, and the only way I can see that is if I actually make a positive impact,” said Rick Tomaskovic, a Community Readiness Consultant at the Airman and Family Readiness Center.
Tomaskovic has served as the lead financial guru at the A&FRC since 2013 and has tirelessly toiled to help military members and their families reduce the financial difficulties they encounter.
With the combination of annual programs like the upcoming Military Saves Campaign from Feb. 22 through Feb. 26 and weekly financial classes offered at the A&FRC, the amount of Air Force Assistance Fund aid needed by military members has dropped by approximately 17 percent out of the usual four hundred cases a year.
That might not seem like a lot, but Tomaskovic said that it’s all about the process that was started with events like the Military Saves Campaign.
“The first year we started a conversation, the second year we added to that conversation and the third year is when we really started to see results,” said Tomaskovic. “We wouldn’t do any of this if we weren’t having an impact.”
Sharon Thompson, A&FRC chief, said Tomaskovic refined the process used to help military members and their families get needed basic financial insight.
“What Rick has done, the changes that we made and him continuing all year long on the education is what’s responsible (for the improvements),” said Thompson.
The A&FRC offers basic financial information and tools to help people improve their money woes.
“It’s that part of the campaign that drove the numbers down,” said Tomaskovic. “Programs like the Military Saves Campaign are all about that. It’s an awareness campaign: teaching people why they should set a budget, save for emergencies and things like that.”
Due to the efforts of Tomaskovic and the entire A&FRC staff, who work hard to hold events and programs promoting positive financial habits, clients with no financial difficulties have started to come in to take preemptive action to improve their money matters.
“I don’t want people to wait until something is broken before we fix it, I want people to know that they can take control of their finances and make a plan for their life that is going to work,” said Tomaskovic. “We have seen more people come in for things other than just a budget. People are beginning to realize that we are a resource they can use.”
Helping people develop good money habits and change their fortunes is very rewarding for Tomaskovic.
“Seeing someone come back and thanking us for helping them is the best thing,” he said. “That’s kind of it for me.”
For more information about A&FRC events and opportunities, call 987-2667.