529 Conference 2016: Interview with Wayne Weber, Chief Executive Offer and Founder of GiftofCollege.com

By Paul Curley | paul.curley@strategic-i.com | March 23, 2017

What is Wayne Weber’s perspective on 529 gift cards and their ability to solidifying college financial planning as a family goal to achieve together?

This article features a transcript of a video interview with Wayne Weber, Chief Executive Offer and Founder of GiftofCollege.com from Day 1 of the 529 Conference 2016. At the event, Wayne presented on the “Effective Direct-Sold Marketing Strategies” panel at the 529 Conference 2016, and moderated the “Financial Advisor Perspectives on Selling 529 Plans” panel in prior years. This year’s session covered emerging technology for client engagement through smart video, insights on parent’s perspective on late stage college planning and trends in grassroots efforts, online presence and robo solutions. Last but not least, the session covered innovative trends in partnerships, gifting strategies and social media. Since 2008, Wayne has been building Gift of College into the powerful social savings platform that it is today, and has been able to get college savings gift cards in retailers across the nation including Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” US. As such, GiftofCollege.com has created innovative technology that encourages awareness and usage of 529 college savings investment plans. Along the way, Wayne has built partnerships that ensure GiftofCollege.com supports not only the needs of families but also the high standards of the investing community as well. Prior to GiftofCollege.com, Wayne led business development efforts for software and hardware solutions to Fortune 500 companies including NCR Corporation and CDW. Last but not least, Wayne graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. You can watch the video on YouTube at https://youtu.be/LwdRURGa7Kw, and learn more about Wayne Weber and his organization at https://www.giftofcollege.com/. Last but not least, thank you Wayne for your time, insight and support in working with me on the interview, and we look forward to learning more about marketing strategies at the 529 Conference 2017. Please read the question and answer to learn about his perspective on 529s and gifting, and hope that the article provides you with an opportunity to learn more from your peers.

Question 1 (Paul Curley, Editor of the 529 Dash): My name is Paul Curley. I am the Director of College Savings Research (with Strategic Insight). We are here day 1 of the 529 Conference and we are asking Wayne Weber his insight on gift cards and college financial planning.

Answer 1 (Wayne Weber, Chief Executive Offer and Founder of GiftofCollege.com): Thanks Paul. We are actually very excited. It’s a great opportunity for 529s. Gift cards are relatively familiar with everyone in the market place, and we have created one at Gift of College that is redeemable into any 529 plan or student loan account. So we think it’s going to be a pretty powerful thing to get families to start saving for college.

Editor’s Final Note: Thank you Wayne Weber for your time and insight at the 529 Conference 2016. Also, thank you for reiterating the importance of college financial planning as a family goal, and we look forward to your team helping to make college financial planning easier for more families to achieve together. Last but not least, I would like to provide a special thank you to the readers for learning from your peers, for your support and your engagement. Learn more about the 529 Conference 2017 at www.529conference.com.