Mid-Atlantic Board Member Since: December 2005
Bernie Wilson is the former Vice President, Business Development and Community Outreach of H&R Block.
In his role in community outreach, he worked to build partnerships with foundations, government, and nonprofit organizations to enhance the lives of low-wealth working families. This year, his team launched special initiatives in several markets. The goal is to build assets to enable low-moderate income clients to save for education, retirement, and home ownership as well as improve financial literacy and access to healthy food. These services are designed to help existing clients as well as attract new clients. In the coming years, the hope is that these initiatives can be replicated on a significant national scale to create financial resources for communities most in need.
In previous business development efforts in 2001, Bernie helped H&R Block create Express IRA, a retirement account that allows clients to automatically deposit funds directly from their refund and simultaneously receive the related tax benefits and credits. Currently there are 400,000 Express IRA accounts with an average balance of about $850. Additionally, this past tax season his team piloted a low cost bank account, Debit Plus, designed as an alternative to refund anticipation products and high-cost check cashing. An introduction of Debit Plus is expected this year.
Prior to H&R Block, Bernie spent 12 years with American Express in a number of product and new business development and marketing roles.