Don Stenberg was honored today for his eight years as Nebraska State Treasurer and for his exemplary service to the State of Nebraska. He was honored at the historic Ferguson House near the State Capitol.
Treasurer Stenberg was elected State Treasurer in 2010 and re-elected to a second term in 2014. Because of term limits, he could not run for re-election in 2018. Before serving as State Treasurer, he served 12 years as Attorney General.
State Sen. John Murante, who was elected Treasurer in November, will take over State Treasurer responsibilities on Wednesday.
Earlier in his career, Stenberg served in a variety of administrative positions in state government, including as legal counsel to his mentor and friend, the late Governor Charley Thone. He also was Director of the Governor’s Policy Research Office and Director of the Department of Administrative Services.
During his two terms as State Treasurer, Stenberg has been a strong advocate of families saving for higher education through the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST 529) and has sought ways to make more Nebraskans aware of the state-sponsored, tax-advantaged college savings program. In part, because of his efforts to bring greater awareness to NEST 529, total assets in the trust more than doubled during his two terms in office and now approach $5 billion and the number of accounts grew by 43 percent to 261,000, including 84,000 accounts in Nebraska.
In a proclamation, Gov. Pete Ricketts declared Tuesday, January 8, to be “Don Stenberg Day” in Nebraska. In the proclamation, the governor praised Stenberg’s service. “Don Stenberg has been a watchful steward of the financial resources of the state of Nebraska and has worked diligently to reduce his office expenditures and eliminate waste and duplication,” the proclamation said.
“Believing in the need for financial education for all young people, Don Stenberg undertook an ambitious initiative to provide an online financial literacy program for all students in the state with no cost to the students, the schools, or the taxpayers. Since 2013, when the Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars program began, more than 42,000 Nebraska students have increased their knowledge of financial subjects, including college savings, banking, payment types, credit scores, renting vs. owning, insurance and taxes, consumer protection, and investments,” the proclamation continued.
“In other responsibilities of the office, under Don Stenberg’s guidance, the Unclaimed Property Division has returned more than $96 million to owners; the Child Support Payment Center has streamlined its operations, moved into smaller quarters, and remains among the leaders in the nation for use of electronic payments; and a new signature program was introduced, the Enable Savings Plan, which allows people with disabilities to save without affecting public benefits,” according to the proclamation.
The core function of the Treasurer’s Office as the state’s banking institution has been well served by the office’s Treasury Management Division.
Stenberg also received national recognition while State Treasurer. He is a past president of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) and a past Midwest regional vice president of the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST). In 2018, he received the NAUPA Lifetime Achievement Award, which cited the wealth of legal experience he brought to “advocacy for consumers.”
He also received the Harlan Boyles/Edward T. Adler Distinguished Service Award from NAST and the President’s Award from the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (NASACT).