Herzog honored with Lifetime Achievement Award in Beijing

John E. Herzog

John E. Herzog

John E. Herzog, vice president of the Fairfield Museum and History Center and founder of the Museum of American Finance, received the International Federation of Finance Museums (IFFM) Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the field of financial literacy on October 30. The award was presented at the third annual IFFM meeting and Finance Museum Expo in Beijing, China.

A resident of Southport, Mr. Herzog is no stranger to the IFFM. He encouraged the organization’s launch in 2013, and the inaugural meeting was held at the Museum of American Finance in New York City. Co-founded by the Museum of American Finance, the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) in Washington, the Museum of Saving in Italy and the Chinese Museum of Finance, the IFFM provides a framework for collaboration among museums, sharing exhibits, scholarly resources, information and knowledge.
The IFFM includes leaders of finance, savings and money museums around the world – as well as scholars from the financial literacy field – and develops innovative ideas and programs to advance financial literacy globally. According to the IFFM, financial literacy levels around the world have reached a crisis point. People are expected to take responsibility for their own financial security, yet they are unequipped to do so. The consequences of their decisions have far-reaching implications not only for themselves, but also for society.

“Just as it was not possible to live in an industrialized society without literacy — the ability to read and write – so it is not possible to live in today’s world without being financially literate,” said Dr. Annamaria Lusardi, founder and academic director of GFLEC and co-founder of the IFFM.

The Museum of American Finance, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, has financial education at the core of its mission. The Museum conducts outreach initiatives to promote financial literacy, including public events, education programs for elementary through graduate students, educator training courses and publications.

The Fairfield Museum and History Center opened to the public in 2007 as an educational and cultural facility that uses history to strengthen the community and shape its future.  During his six-year tenure on its board of directors, Mr. Herzog has helped advance the Museum’s belief in the power of history to inspire the imagination, stimulate thought and transform society.  It connects people around the complex history of Fairfield and neighboring communities.

Mr. Herzog conceived of the Museum of American Finance after the Crash of 1987, when the market plunged a staggering 22% in one day. As CEO of NASDAQ market maker Herzog Heine Geduld, he saw the shock, frustration and chaos and realized that the lessons of the 1929 Crash had been forgotten.

“What was missing in the confusion and panic of 1987 was historical perspective,” said Mr. Herzog. “I wanted to contribute to people’s enhanced understanding of the capital markets through the history of our amazing American financial experience.”

Mr. Herzog has more than 40 years in the trading business and also owned R. M. Smythe & Co., a numismatic auction firm. With that background and his own extensive collection of financial memorabilia, he began the Museum of American Finance in 1988. Currently housed at 48 Wall Street in the historic former Bank of New York, the Museum is dedicated to preserving, exhibiting and teaching about American finance and financial history to people of all ages.

The Fairfield Museum and History Center is located at 370 Beach Road in Fairfield.

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