Tash Elwyn had a busy May. The head of Raymond James’ employee-advisor division in the Atlantic region just wrapped up organizing the firstRaymond James Cares Month. The effort included almost 300 volunteers from 15 branch offices in an equal number of states, who dedicated more than 1,000 hours to giving back to their communities, the company says.
Some of the charities and events that received the support of Raymond James’ volunteers last month included Habitat for Humanity, the Philadelphia Chapter of Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, Outrun the Sun Race against Melanoma in Indianapolis, Stutz Artists Association of Indianapolis, Ronald McDonald House of Louisville and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Greenwood, Ind.
The strong participation of its advisors has led Raymond James, and Elwyn, to plan another Raymond James Cares Month next May. And the company says it hopes the program can be expanded to include all regions of the United States in which Raymond James & Associates operates in 2012.
How did you get started in the business and volunteerism?
Elwyn: I joined the Raymond James’ training program in 1993 and spent my first 10 years with the company in Atlanta, where I grew up. I’ve also been a producing manager in Chattanooga, Tenn., as well as a divisional sales director.
I’ve been a member of Kiwanis International as a club president and member, and have been active also on the college alumni board of Emory University, as well as a board member of the St. Petersburg, Fla., opera company. In addition, I supported Ronald McDonald Charities when I was in Chattanooga.
Thus,Raymond James Cares Month, you could say, was a normal outgrowth of my community involvement to date.
How did you get the idea for Raymond James Cares Month?
Elwyn: The concept was created last summer by a group in the division – the Atlantic Division Advisory Council. This is similar to a client-advisory board that some advisors have, and I have one for my division. It includes several branch managers, operations managers, clients and service associates. We meet once or twice a year in person and do regular phone conferences calls.
I created the idea and then brought it to group’s 15 members. In October 2010, they enthusiastically embraced it. We then worked with our home office to get the infrastructure going for it. That’s how it happened.
Why do you think volunteerism is important for advisors?
Elwyn: I believe it is is tied to our profession and the importance of what we and the industry do. We are taking on the task of supporting of our community, which is a lot like supporting our clients. It’s a good match that we hope our FAs will want to be a part of and have similar interests with.
My specific volunteer activities inspired me to really focus our collective efforts as Raymond James advisors, and we are currently involved in a variety of events and non-profits.
I asked if we could have a concerted effort and thoughtful plan to recruit volunteers within our