Eastern Michigan University professors Annemarie Kelly and Lewis Hershey receive a 2023 Author Award from the Journal of Financial Service Professionals

YPSILANTI —Two Eastern Michigan University professors from the College of Business and Health and Human Services are second-place winners of the 2023 Kenneth Black Jr. Author Award from the Journal of Financial Service Professionals.  

Lewis Hershey

Lewis Hershey, a professor of marketing, and Annemarie Kelly, associate professor of health administration, were selected by a panel of judges for their article, “Coordinating an ABLE Account and a Special Needs Trust: Eight Best Practice Considerations

Annemarie Kelly

The journal recognized Kelly and Hershey’s article as one of three original pieces that “advance scholarly research and the financial services field.” The award-winning piece was published in January 2023. It discusses how to coordinate using two financial planning tools for people with disabilities, Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts and Special Needs Trusts, while remaining eligible for public benefits like Medicaid.  

ABLE accounts allow people to save tax-free, like a college savings plan, for a wide variety of expenses, such as food and shelter, not covered by public benefits. Special Needs Trusts can be used to save for supplemental expenses, such as educational, entertainment, and in-home personal assistance with daily living activities.  

Because each tool can be used for different expenses, careful financial planning is necessary to coordinate and maximize the benefits they create for people with disabilities.  When used together, they help those recipients afford a higher quality of life and financial independence.

“This publication is the 10th in our ongoing series of articles for this inter-professional research stream,” said Hershey.

Hershey and Kelly’s partnership was also noted several years ago when they earned the first-place Kenneth Black Jr. Author Award for their 2017 article, “Enabling ABLE: Five Potential Positives for Implementing the ABLE Act.” Then, in 2019, they also earned the second-place Black award for  their article, “Using Roth Conversions of Legacy Retirement Plans to Fund Special Needs Planning.”  

Hershey is a professor in the marketing department at the EMU College of Business.  Kelly is an associate professor in the EMU Department of Health Administration in the College of Health and Human Services.  Together, they serve as Co-Directors for the EMU Disability Planning and Policy Center


 About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 13,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.


April 10, 2024

Written by:
Media Relations

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher