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ASH Alumna and VP at Hancock Whitney Reflects on Financial Literacy Education at Sacred Heart
hartley with daughters

Hartley Meric Crunk, Sacred Heart graduate from the Class of 2003, is one of the many employees at Hancock Whitney with strong ties to the ASH community. She currently serves as Vice President of Corporate Banking, responsible for developing new business for the financial institution. Outside of work, Hartley serves in many other volunteer roles – including serving on the board of the Preservation Resource Center, an advocate for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and as the Treasurer of the Rosary Alumnae Association. Hartley is also the mother of two current Sacred Heart students – Elsie in PreKindergarten and Mina in Little Hearts.

hartley with family

Through her various lenses as an ASH alumna, daughter of an ASH alumna (Mina Eagan Meric ’73),  financial professional, treasurer for several nonprofits and parent of young children, Hartley has a unique perspective of the evolution of the financial literacy program at Sacred Heart and plays a key role in our partnership with Hancock Whitney. Most recently, Hartley visited the 6th grade, with colleague and fellow ASH Alum Elise Thomas Ryan ’05, to discuss their recent project in social entrepreneurship and the fundamental concepts of profitability. She returned a few weeks later as a judge in the annual Upper School Shark Tank contest, presented by the Financial Math Literacy class. After these events, we asked her to share some of her observations about Sacred Heart’s financial literacy curriculum.

hartley with HW

Have you noticed the increased focus on financial literacy at ASH compared to when you were at school?

Yes, absolutely. I specifically noticed an increased focus on financial education when I got to know Aubry Miller (Upper School Financial Math Literacy teacher and owner of multiple PJ’s Coffee franchises). In working with her, I’ve learned a lot more about her specific program which has a large financial education component. In addition, Hancock Whitney has been a long-time partner with ASH. We work with schools and organizations throughout the city to share our financial knowledge. This includes basic financial concepts that are the cornerstones of good money management as students enter colleges and careers.

Is there anything you'd like to share about Hancock Whitney's mission to support its community and particularly to support women in business?

Establishing and maintaining strong and vibrant communities doesn’t happen on its own. Our local businesses—particularly small businesses—are the lifeblood of many of our communities across the region; and many of those businesses are owned and/or managed by women. I’m honored to work with amazing clients that are making a difference right here in South Louisiana, especially women who are entrepreneurs and business leaders working hard to keep our economy strong. We see it as our privilege to work together with these and other businesses to help create opportunities for people and the communities we serve as we help promote affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization, community service and small business development.

Can you speak to Hancock Whitney's partnership with ASH, its strong support of our school, events and contributions to its curriculum?

At Hancock Whitney, we believe in a lifelong learning philosophy of financial education. It’s important to start early to help young people and adults have the right information at the right times in their lives to make informed financial decisions, particularly when they reach certain life milestones. ASH has leveraged our partnership to share the vast knowledge that our team members have about good money management skills.  Varying from alumnae to current and past student to parents, our associates are eager and willing to help the students learn important life skills around financial matters that will help them develop into well-rounded, financially knowledgeable, and confident women empowered to change the world. 

As a parent, what are the things that ASH is doing that you think are key to your daughter's and other students' success?

I love the way the school is teaching the same fundamentals that we learned while we were students, but taking it a step further to show them the types of careers they can make out of certain interests. ASH has done an exceptional job in incorporating the academic curriculums students need to succeed with real-world perspectives from experienced professionals. Those school-business-community partnerships are more important now than ever before in helping students understand and prepare for life beyond graduation from high school and college.

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