Advisors Giving Back: Holiday Slideshow, Part I

In our latest slideshow, we pay homage to advisors and their partners who share of their time and talents with their local, national and global community.

The winter holidays are a special time to reflect on the real meaning of giving each year. Sadly, given the horrific events that occurred recently in Newton, Conn., it’s also a poignant moment to focus on the importance of community during the ’12-’13 holiday season.

This slideshow is one of several on AdvisorOne that aim to honor those advisors and associates who serve their local, national and global communities. We've also created a special landing page for you to view all three of our slideshows. In addition, we also feature regular news stories on charitable giving and volunteer activities on our Philanthropy webpage.

To these and other advisors, of course, we say, “Many thanks and happy holidays!”

We look forward to putting together future slideshows to recognize advisors active in their communities and will accept future contributions throughout the year (via e-mail at jlevaux@sbmedia.com).

Carl Bailey

Practice: Bailey & Beatty Financial Services in Danbury, Conn.; affiliated with Commonwealth Financial in Danbury, Conn.

Community Work: Bailey (center, left) supports the Connecticut Quest for Peace, which provides assistance to multi-generational families such as these in Managua, Nicaragua.

Several years ago, Bailey spent almost a month living in a barrio in Managua and, since then, has been bringing medical teams to Nicaragua twice a year to do cleft palate surgeries.

“It’s a far more complex medical issue than I ever realized,” he explained to the University of Fairfield Magazine. “In the worst cases, these kids were born without a roof in their mouths, so they can’t eat or breathe properly. Without the surgeries, these children are forced to live on the fringe of society, so a $400 surgery forever changes their lives.”

In addition, Bailey has worked to raise and donate over $500,000 and has sponsored several Fairfield University students on mission trips.

He’s also founded Danbury Grassroots Tennis, an organization for city youth.

“It sounds corny, but the Jesuit message of embracing diversity and of seeing the world on a broader level than what is in your own backyard, really resonated with me,” he told the Fairfield publication. “It taught me the link between spirituality and success, not the least of which is that it’s incumbent upon graduates to do something good with their lives.”

Jayson Bales & Richard Davis

Practice: Baird Private Wealth Management, Dallas

Community Work: Baird financial advisors Jayson Bales (left) and Richard Davis help area school children learn how to play mini golf during an outing in May sponsored by Baird’s Dallas office in partnership with the Dallas AfterSchool Network.

AfterSchool Network says it aims to improve the quality of 2,200 after-school and summer programs in the greater Dallas area by providing students with access to quality after-school and summer programs that promote their intellectual, emotional and creative development. This work allows the community to benefits from successful students, safe neighborhoods and the development of a qualified workforce for tomorrow.

Matthew Barbis

Practice: Creative Wealth Management in Islandia, N.Y., affiliated with Royal Alliance Associates

Community Work: Founded by Matthew J. Barbis (right) after his 11-year-old cousin, Carlie Brucia, was abducted and murdered in Sarasota, Fla., in 2004, the Rose Brucia Educational Foundation’s goal is to reduce the number of child abductions in the U.S. by educating and empowering young minds with the knowledge necessary to avoid abduction.

Using puppets and a formalized educational curriculum, the foundation provides elementary-aged children with the Stranger Safety Awareness Program, free of charge.

Debra Brede

Practice: D.K. Brede Investment Management Co., Needham, Mass; affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network.

Community Work: Brede (right) supports Agape International’s orphanage in Hyderabad, India, where more than 250 children affected by the AIDS crisis are given a home and an education. She has traveled to the center during each of the past four years with her family.

She is a trustee of Agape International, which was founded by a long-time D.K. Brede Investment Management staff member. The advisor also is involved in a number of charities and social causes in the Boston area and is an active alumna of her alma mater, Pennsylvania State University.

Some of her most recent community-service commitments include serving on the advisory council of the Boston Rescue Mission for the homeless and on the board of overseers, as well as the institutional review board, of the Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

Mark Chamberlain & Tim Rice

Practice: Lakeside Wealth Management in Chesterton, Ind., affiliated with First Allied

Community Work: “If you’re lucky enough to be in a position to give back, then I think it is one’s moral responsibility to help their communities,” said Mark Chamberlain (above).

“Socializing and doing good also connects us with like-minded individuals in our community,” Chamberlain said. While he and his staff never go to such events with any business intentions, they inevitably make new connections. “People notice who we are in the community, and those are exactly the type of clients we want to work with,” he added. “There’s an implied mistrust of financial advisors unfortunately, and the nature of our collective charitable work tends to take the edge off that misconception and combats the fear that we’re just another firm trying to make commissions.”

His colleague at Lakeside, Tim Rice (above), sits on the board of the local Boys and Girls Club. Rice helped organize a fundraiser to support its needs and made a donation of $50,000 on behalf of their firm to resurface the gym floor. But the impact of this original good deed went far beyond the original intent to support the positive development of their community’s children.

As an unexpected gesture of gratitude, the Lakeside logo was painted prominently in the center. This immediately imbued a sense of pride among the Lakeside staff and stimulated additional charitable acts. In fact, philanthropy is such an integral part of business at Lakeside that employees receive a paid day off to volunteer for the charity of their choice, and they have a matching gift program.

As a natural extension of their own do-good pursuits, Lakeside encourages and assists its clients with planned giving strategies. They personalize this experience to each client or family, interviewing them to discover what is meaningful to them.

Michelle “Shelly” Marie Church

Practice: Church & Sawin, Raymond James & Associates in Naples, Fla.

Community Work: Church is a former member of the board of directors and president for the TECH Foundation, which honored her as Humanitarian of the Year in 1994 for raising over $450,000 to help build a new Step-by-Step school, an early intervention program for children with disabilities. 

In 2005, Shelly was named to the board of Camp Boggy Creek, a facility in central Florida started by Paul Newman and Norman Schwarzkopf to serve chronically ill and terminally ill children. She currently serves as treasurer of the board and heads the investment and finance committee.

She was president of the board of the American Heart Association in Collier County from 2001 to 2004 and chaired the 1999 and 2000 Heart Walks. Shelly received the Volunteer of the Year award from the AHA in 2001 from the local Chapter. In 2006, she was awarded the prestigious Special Services Award at the Florida Affiliate level of AHA. Shelly has been “top walker” in the state of Florida for more than 10 years as measured by the dollars she has raised and in 2010 she was named the Top Walker in the U.S.

“My passion for working with the American Heart Association started shortly after my son, Kyle, was born on June 18, 1986.  The hospitalizations started immediately, when he was airlifted on Day One to Miami Children’s Hospital,” Shelly explained.

“He had his first surgery at six weeks at Shands Hospital in Gainesville… and our journey began. Kyle had a total of four heart surgeries by the time he was six. We began involvement with the heart association when he was eight, when we formed ‘Kyle’s Team.’

We walked the first year and raised a little over $8,000… each year it has grown and the number of walkers has grown. When Kyle lost his battle to heart disease in February 2005 at the age of 18, I continued ‘Kyle’s Team’ to continue his legacy.’ ”

“Shelly has been a top fundraiser every year for our Heart Walk and sets national benchmarks for our market size. She has personally raised over $500,000 over the years in addition to the funds she raised for our events she chaired,” explained Regan Goldberg from the Southwest Florida (SWFL) chapter of the American Heart Association. “Shelly helped us launch our national Go Red for Women Campaign. She is an excellent public speaker helping us share our mission in various communities and corporations at a moment’s notice.”

Broker-Dealer: Commonwealth Financial of Waltham, Mass.

Community Work: More than 200 Commonwealth financial advisors, staff and sponsors helped renovate eight homes with Habitat for Humanity during the group's 2012 National Conference, which was held in early November in San Antonio.

Practice: Connecticut Wealth Management of Farmington, Conn., affiliated with LPL Financial.

Community Work: The Connecticut Wealth management team held a canned food drive during their Client Appreciation Party on Nov. 15, 2012.

Group members were able to collect over 200 non-perishable items for the Farmington Food Pantry.

They include:

Chad Coe

Practice: Coe Financial Group, LLC, affiliated with First Allied in Deerfield, Ill.

Community Work: Coe’s early struggles with learning disabilities taught him valuable life lessons about dedication and helping others. When he was in a position to give back, one of his goals was to expand the resources and mentorship available to clients and colleagues.

To accomplish this, he founded ReferGroup in 1997 (now known as MasterMind Connections, which is an invitation-only business networking organization in the Chicago area. The organization assists business owners and executives in transition by building business relationships, exchanging leads and forming strategic alliances.

Coe dedicates significant time to mentoring professionals one-on-one to assist them with their transition strategy. The group has had outstanding success, placing four to six individuals a month in new professional positions as a result of leads generated within the group. 

In addition to aligning his professional career with benevolent causes, Chad devotes a significant amount of his time outside of work to far-reaching efforts as a volunteer and founder of charitable organizations.

Coe founded the Special Kids Network  in 1999 with his wife Debbie to raise awareness and funds for organizations that believe that every child and young adult, regardless of the nature of their background or disability, should be able to enjoy life to its fullest and to participate in the mainstream of their community. To date, they have contributed more than $1.5 million to children’s charities.

The advisor also sits on the board of trustees of Keshet, a program that provides educational, recreational and vocational programs for children with disabilities.

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Please check out the other parts of Advisors Giving Back:

Check out previous slideshows, such as Advisors Who Serve(d).

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