Shawn B. Young, M.A., M.F.A.


Recognizing the strong relationship among money, stress and health, Shawn B. Young has devoted the past decade to creating and delivering educational programs, seminars and workshops focused on life skill development, specifically targeted at helping people make changes to their financial and health behaviors. Based on extensive research into behavioral and neuro economics, and the physical and psychological effects of financial stress on individuals, families, and organizations, Shawn created the Financial Health Institute in 2012.

In his effort to help people make changes to their financial and health behaviors, he founded the non-profit organization Frontier Asset Building (2007), created the Colorado Asset Building Coalition (2008), and founded the Financial Health Institute in 2012.

Shawn has created numerous educational programs, including: Bootstraps Asset Building Education Program (2009), Financial Health for Case Managers (2013), and the Personal Economics Program (2015). He has published three books, Bootstraps Asset Building Education Workbook,” “Resolving Resolutions,” and the “Success Journal.” In the summer of 2016, Shawn led the development of “The Symposium on Scarcity,” a two-day educational program that explored the impact of organizational scarcity on client outcomes.

Over the last 11 years, his organizations, programs, and efforts have helped over 55,000 people across the United States. Shawn delivers keynotes and trainings to hundreds of agencies across the U.S. He has been a featured presenter for the AARP Colorado, the National Head Start Association, Region 8 & 10 Community Action Conference, SCSEP 50th Anniversary Conference, Colorado TANF Professional Development Academy, Colorado Family Support Council, Power of Partnership Conference, and regularly presents at the Colorado Conference on Poverty. He has also been featured on two occasions at

Shawn and his organizations have been contracted or funded to create numerous curricula on topics like, Financial Literacy for Public Schools (State of Colorado), Finances and Health (Kaiser Permanente), Finance, Stress and Relapse Prevention (Salvation Army), Introductions to Personal Finance (Community College of Denver), and ResourceAbility – A systemic approach to improving Financial Health in the I/DD community (Rocky Mountain Human Service). Additionally, he sits on several Boards for organizations focusing on personal economic development and has served as a consultant to many organizations working on life skills/financial education development.

He has been recognized on multiple occasions for his innovation, service, and dedication by organizations such as the National Disability Institute and the Internal Revenue Service. In 2016, FHI received the “Right on the Money” Award from the Consumers United Association for FHI’s Personal Economics Program.   

Shawn holds Master’s Degrees from the University of Arkansas and Michigan State University.  

Joanne McLain, PhD.

Director of Curriculum Design & Research

IMG_5983Joanne McLain is a counselor, coach, curriculum designer and writer. She has over thirty years of experience working with people to help them gain skills to create the life they want to live. Her experience includes six years with a county Department of Human Services, where she was the Deputy Director and managed Family Programs including services for families involved in Child Welfare, Adult Protection, and all benefits programs. She has been a mental health and substance abuse counselor in a variety of settings, including community mental health centers, private practice, nursing homes, a volunteer fire department, emergency rooms and inpatient units. Joanne has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Addictions Counselor. She also earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Innovation from the University of Colorado-Denver.

Michael D. Kilgore, B.S.

Director of Operations and Program Delivery

IMG_5996Michael has over 25 years of experience in human service organizational development, education management, and training. He has served as Executive Director, Director of Finance and Operations, Vice Chairman, Board Member, and Ambassador while advancing national culture change organizations, creating successful educational programs, and mentoring disadvantaged teens and adults in personal economic growth. His engaging presentations skills and creative wisdom enable individual learning, employee operational efficiencies and sustainable organizational growth. Michael’s international, Cuba, Russia, and Uganda, national, and local diverse culture and military experience enhance his personable program and training delivery.

Steph Gustafson, B.A.

Communications Manager

Steph is the communications manager at FHI and also manages the subscriptions. She has more than 10 years experience working for various human services and grassroots organizations in communications, fundraising, digital organizing, and training. Steph also worked for a startup company and worked for a performance-based B2B growth solutions service company. Steph has her bachelors degree in Communication from the University of Oklahoma.

Peter D. Johnson, B.S.

Operations Assistant and Facilitator

Having had an Accounting Practice for over 30 years and direct involvement in a number of businesses,Pete has a vast knowledge of business operations and organization. His teaching background began with the U.S.A.F Intelligence School and then nine years at AuroraCommunity College. His passion for teaching is reflected in engaging and challenging classes with the FHI curriculum. He has a business degree in accounting and finance from the University of Colorado.