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 the second 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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kevin & Carrie Dick
Practice: Kevin Dick Investment Management Group of Payson, Ariz.; affiliated with Commonwealth Financial
Community Work: Commonwealth advisors Kevin and Carrie Dick, along with their staff—led by Pam Bossert—have knitted and collected over 500 hats for Commonwealth's Chemo Caps for Kids program, which provides hats for children undergoing cancer treatment.
Practice: Dunavant Wealth Group of Mandeville, La., affiliated with LPL Financial.
Community Work: Eric Dunavant, CFP and president of the practice, was crowned the Real Man of St. Tammany Parish in March 2012 and helped raise over $70,000 to benefit Safe Harbor, a domestic violence prevention program.
Dunavant and his wife Angel (above) attended the Real Man of St. Tammany Gala as part of his community recognition
Practice: Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles
Community Work: Feldhorn is actively involved in several community organizations.
For the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, for instance, he organized a team of more than 50 Wedbush colleagues to participate in the organization’s Walk to End Epilepsy fund-raiser at the 2012 Rose Bowl in Pasadena , Calif. (See photo above, with Feldhorn in the center with the forward-facing hat).
The advisor serves as chairman of the organization's finance committee and also has served two terms as its president and three terms as its treasurer.
In addition, Feldhorn supports the Frostig Center, a Pasadena- based organization serving children with learning disabilities. He is on the group’s board.
Practice: Robert W. Baird & Co., in Charlotte, N.C.
Community Work: Floyd (right) and Kristy Williams, registered client relationship associate, recently helped make 600 sandwiches for the homeless out of Baird’s Charlotte, N.C., as part of the Urban Ministry Center’s Operation Sandwich program.
Practice: Hillis Financial Services of San Jose, Calif.; affiliated with LPL Financial
Community Work: Hillis, who is president of the practice, was awarded with the prestigious Distinguished Service Award from the Boys and Girls Club of Silicon Valley for his longstanding involvement with the organization. Hillis has been affiliated with the club for 25 years and was on the group’s board of directors for 15 years.
Last year, Hillis Financial implemented its Hillis Gives Back program, which donates $100 per month to a charity of a client’s choice. The group donated about $1,400 through December of 2012 to local and national charities.
Bill Keen, Managing Director, Investments
Practice: Keen Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors LLC in Kansas City, Mo.
Community Work: Keen is an advisory committee member for the Campfire Heartland program with an emphasis on financial literacy. In addition, he extends his support and makes substantial donations to the program and its youth-leadership events, which are organized by Campfire USA, a national youth agency that provides all-inclusive, co-educational programs throughout the U.S.
Keen also is a major backer of the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired–-a Kansas City-based organization that helps children with visual impairments reach their highest potential in the sighted world. He is a board member of this organization and supports it financially and in other ways through several fund-raiser events and galas.
The advisor is also the title sponsor for the Big D Cycling team that competes throughout the U.S. and participates in bicycle rodeos to conduct helmet fittings and bicycle repair for children in the local community.
In addition, he is actively involved in supporting the Children’s Cancer benefit, St. Pius X High School and Martin Luther Academy located in Kansas City.
Practice: Princeton Wealth Advisors of Raymond James & Associates in Princeton, N.J.
Community Work: As a respected member of the local business community, McLaughlin was recently invited to join the Princeton Chamber of Commerce. In 2002, Princeton Wealth Advisors, under Jim’s leadership, sponsored a 5K run to benefit the Princeton Community Foundation which serves various charities in the Princeton area.
Typically each year, the team employs finance majors from local colleges and universities as interns to help learn the financial-services business, improve their chances at graduate school and get a good foundation for future careers.
Practice: Merkel-Damer Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in Indianapolis, Ind.
Community Work: Ginger Merkel is very involved with the local Red Cross. She has been on the board of the Central Indiana Red Cross and has acted as president. She also was responsible for forming the Tiffany Circle, a new division devoted to bringing more participation from female executives and donors. She is now on the national council for the Tiffany Circle.
In addition, Merkel is involved with the arts and is active in the Eideljorg museum in Indianapolis. She volunteers in excess of 80 hours/ year for various non- profits including Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. She is an active member of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).
In the past, she has been on the boards of, or served as a leader of, Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, Women’s Rotary Club of Indianapolis, the Business Unit Group of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Humane Society of Indianapolis, YWCA, Martin Luther King Multi- Service Center, Indianapolis Symphony Women’s Committee, United Way Volunteer Action Center, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and the Second Presbyterian Church.
Practice: Ricciardi Financial Group in Taunton, Mass., affiliated with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.
Community Work: Over the years, Ricciardi has served several chair and co-chair positions within his community. For instance, he joined the board of the Bridgewater State University Foundation in 1990 and served as the chair from 1996-2004.
He also co-chaired the university’s first capital campaign, which raised $10 million. In 1994, he proposed and founded the university’s annual Chairmen’s Dinner, a high-end benefactor’s dinner, which has now come to be one of the premier fund-raising social events in Southern Massachusetts.
In 2010, he established the first endowed internship with $200,000, enough to generate a one year of tuition and fees for one student pursuing an entrepreneurial internship. Donating not only his money, but also his time to BSU, Ricciardi was honored in 2011 with the name change of the business college to the Louis M. Ricciardi College of Business, making him the first person in the school’s 170-year history to have a college named after him.
From 1993-1996, he served as the co-chair of a separate fund-raising campaign to build the school’s Alumni Park Baseball/Softball Complex, the first-ever privately funded state college capital project in the state of Massachusetts.
Ricciardi was appointed vice chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education in 2010, and he was appointed vice chair of heritage in 2012.
He’s also served on local corporate boards, including those of the Morton Health Foundation, Morton Hospital and Medical Center, Taunton Development Corporation, Bristol County Savings Bank and Bristol County Savings Bank Charitable Foundation.
In addition, every Christmas, Ricciardi and others take the time to buy and wrap a vanload of Christmas presents and personally distribute them to needy children.
In 2009, he received the Boys and Girls Club of America National Medallion, one year after being named the Associates for Human Services-Southeastern Massachusetts Man of the Year.