ING DIRECT USA's Arkadi Kuhlmann Honored As Champion For Financial Education

'CEO of Savings' Receives 2010 Visionary Award

Oct 28, 2010, 10:00 ET from ING DIRECT USA

WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The Council for Economic Education (CEE) and the CEO of the nation's largest direct bank, ING DIRECT USA, have a lot in common.  They both walk the talk in empowering young people to make the very most of their lives by teaching them the essentials of earning, saving, spending and investing.  To recognize his work furthering the financial education of children and adults, Arkadi Kuhlmann, CEO of ING DIRECT USA, will receive the 2010 Visionary Award from the CEE on October 28, 2010.

Arkadi Kuhlmann started ING DIRECT USA in 2000 with the mission of helping Americans save their money through simplified financial products. During the past decade, he has been a crusader for teaching adults and children alike about responsible money behavior.  In 2002, in response to parents' request for a tool to help them start their children on the path to saving, ING DIRECT USA launched Planet Orange –  – an interactive, space-themed online program that takes children on an exploration of four continents while imparting valuable money lessons.

Planet Orange has become a favorite among parents, teachers and children. Over the past several years, the site has been showcased by USA Today's Education "Best Bet," "Best of Web" award, and the Wall Street Journal as one of the "Best Educational Websites."

The site comes fully equipped with a Teacher's Resource Center that includes:

  • Teacher tutorials;
  • Free grade-specific lesson plans; and
  • Supplemental information to enhance the learning experience.

In a 2009 survey conducted by ING DIRECT USA, nine out of ten parents and teachers who visited the site said they "felt confident in using the adventures to teach children about money and would highly recommend it be used at home and in the classroom."

This summer, more than 200 of ING DIRECT USA's Associates from around the country brought Planet Orange 'Summer Camps' into classrooms, giving more than 2,000 children lessons in financial education.

The Visionary Award was designed with a broad mission to honor champions of economic empowerment in all of its many forms – from those who have raised awareness about the need for economic and financial literacy, to those who, having succeeded in their chosen field by using sound economic decision-making, have turned that success into good public works.  The 2010 Visionary Awards will take place on Thursday, October 28, 2010 at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City.  Honorees for the evening include:

  • Arkadi KuhlmannThe "CEO of Savings," is the Chairman, President and CEO of ING DIRECT USA, the nation's largest direct bank, Founder and Chairman of the ING DIRECT Kids Foundation and author of The Orange Code;
  • Lawrence KudlowHost of CNBC's primetime "The Kudlow Report," co-host of CNBC's "The Call," and host of WABC Radio's "The Larry Kudlow Show;"
  • Joan HolmesFounding President of The Hunger Project, which she built into an influential strategic organization that aims to end world hunger by mobilizing grassroots people, empowering women and forging partnerships with local governments; and
  • Riza LaudinHigh School Economics Teacher at Herricks Public Schools in New Hyde Park, New York.

The Council for Economic Education (CEE), headquartered in New York City, is one of the nation's leading not-for-profit service provider and advocate for K-12 economic, personal finance and entrepreneurship education.  


ING DIRECT USA, the nation's largest direct bank and largest thrift, is dedicated to inspiring Americans to become a nation of savers. Since its inception in 2000, more than 7.6 million Americans have entrusted their savings with ING DIRECT, building the bank to $91.3 billion in assets. ING DIRECT has developed a comprehensive social media Savers Community, including Twitter, Facebook and its We, the Savers blog. For more information about ING DIRECT call 1-800-ING-DIRECT, and for information about its commitment to financial education, visit Planet Orange.

Style note to Editors: ING DIRECT is always capitalized and never referred to as ING.