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Placer Sentinel

SAFE Credit Union Employees Star in Quirky Ads

Aug 13, 2020 12:00AM ● By By Carole Ferguson, SAFE Credit Union

SAFE Financial Educators Gina Richardson, left, and Jason Fonseca, far right, film an ad at Ohana Moon Yoga in Cameron Park with owner Gretta Smith. Photo: SAFE Credit Union

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) – SAFE Credit Union created a unique – and affordable – way to showcase its dynamic financial education experts and promote free, community workshops on social media. An ad-hoc team of do-it-yourselfers writes, directs, shoots, and stars in a series of quirky ads that provides quick financial education tips while teasing upcoming seminars.

The series stars financial educators Gina Richardson (LinkedIn: Gina Richardson) and Jason Fonseca (LinkedIn: Jason Fonseca) who bring their larger-than-life personalities to the spots. They believe that people better learn and incorporate the changes that help them improve their financial well-being through workshops that are engaging, interactive, and presented with personal truth and reality.

“SAFE Credit Union takes its mission to provide quality financial education to the community seriously, but that doesn’t mean that the workshops are stuffy,” says Carrie Johnson, who manages the financial education team in SAFE’s Workplace Financial Wellness program. “We are so fortunate to have Gina and Jason lead our workshops. They bring so much energy and genuineness to the workshops that really help people relax and feel open to learning important life-changing lessons.”


Financial education is at the heart of SAFE’s mission to help our members and the community improve their financial well-being. Just last year alone, SAFE financial educators connected with nearly 4,500 employees in the greater Sacramento area through the Workplace Financial Wellness program. And about that same number also took mini financial courses at SAFE’s online Financial Fitness Academy. They also helped 1,227 students gain real-world financial insights through financial literacy events held on high school campuses.


The video series touches on a series of free community webinars SAFE launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: Navigating Your Debt During Challenging Times; Managing Your Finances During Challenging Times; and Mindfulness and Money. They also promote SAFE’s popular First-Time Home Buyers webinar.

The video series team is comprised of Fonseca, who writes the scripts as well as directs and edits the episodes; Richardson, who joins Fonseca in the leading roles; and Steve Joves, who helps coordinate the locations, shoots the scenes, and provides a final edit of the videos.

The no-frills production is an all-hands on deck enterprise. “The fun part about the production process is if you’re not on camera, you’re part of the crew,” Fonseca says. “You’re holding the boom mic. You’re setting up the camera, and someone else may be hitting record.”

In every script, Fonseca includes a financial education fact shared in one of the workshops that people may not know. Then he adds a funny twist. Visual humor is also incorporated, with Fonseca and Richardson wearing professional business attire in incongruous situations, such as striking a yoga pose in a yoga studio or sitting poolside in inflatable floats.

“My thought was to put our financial educators in real-life situations because what we teach in our workshops applies to everyday life,” Fonseca says.

Joves helps find the locations with an eye on supporting local businesses, including Ohana Moon Yoga featured in the Mindfulness and Money video.

Richardson says the secret to the videos is the use of comedy to make it fun and accessible for viewers. “It works to be personable,” she says about the videos and what she brings to her financial education webinars and workshops. “You have to bring it to where people are. We make it real. We talk about our own stories, how we went through it, how we became accustomed ourselves to being mindful about money in our own lives.”

For more about SAFE’s Workplace Financial Wellness program, go to

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