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FPA Names Heart of Financial Planning Award Winners for Good Works

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The Financial Planning Association this month announced its 2011 Heart of Financial Planning Award winners, honoring people who give back to the community through their financial planning work.

The Denver-based FPA is the largest membership organization for personal financial planners in the United States. It seeks to recognize individuals, financial planning firms, FPA chapters or organizations that represent the core values of competence, integrity, relationships and stewardship with their “extraordinary work,” the FPA said in a news release.

This year’s seven winners, in alphabetical order, are:

Marco Chavarín, San Francisco – Chavarín manages the Bank on San Francisco and Payday Plus SF program for the San Francisco treasurer’s Office of Financial Empowerment. He connects low-income San Franciscans to “healthy” financial products and provides financial education “to ensure success in the mainstream,” the FPA said. Chavarín also serves as chair of San Francisco’s Financial Education Network of nonprofit service providers, philanthropic funders and public sector representatives.

John Comer, Minnesota – Comer serves FPA of Minnesota as a member of the Financial Literacy & Stability Committee and is on the Steering Committee for the Twin Cities Financial Planning Day event. Comer is  also a past chapter board member and regularly volunteers for FPA national committees. He is on the Steering Committee for Financial Matters at Best Prep, a statewide organization with a mission to prepare Minnesota students with business, career and financial literacy skills.

Robert Glovsky, Massachusetts – Glovsky has spent more than 20 years helping develop the CFP program at Boston University, and is director emeritus of its Program for Financial Planners. Glovsky has practiced as a financial planner for more than 30 years and is president of Mintz Levin Financial Advisors in Boston. Glovsky was 2010 chair of the CFP Board of Standards and also led its Board of Examiners, which sets standards for professionals worldwide. Nicholas Nicolette, New Jersey – Nicolette, in the financial planning profession since 1981 and a principal of Sterling Financial Planning in Sparta, N.J., served as the 2007 national president of the FPA. He was the first FPA spokesperson to appear before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, where he testified regarding fraudulent or inappropriate investment advice given to seniors. Nicolette was also active on the post 9/11 relief effort assisting victims’ families with pro bono planning help.

Frank Paré, East Bay, Calif. –While serving as co-chair of government relations for FPA of East Bay, Paré helped develop a program of local and state governments to host financial planning clinics in Oakland and other cities across the country to help low-income families affected by the economic downturn. Paré helped FPA and its partners coordinate the inaugural Financial Planning Days program that launched in 2010, which aided thousands of Americans nationwide. As a result of his efforts, Paré was asked to submit a resolution on behalf of FPA to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, “Financial Planning Clinics for Retirement Preparedness & Financial Literacy.”  The resolution was adopted by the Conference of Mayors and has been submitted to Congress for adoption.

Gary Schaer, New Jersey – State Assemblyman Schaer has championed legislation that supports financial literacy in schools and protects seniors from deceptive sales techniques. As chairman of the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, Schaer has supported legislation that introduces financial education in high school, prevents predatory annuity sales and marketing activities, and prohibits misleading use of senior citizen-specific financial certifications and professional designations.

Judith Volkmann, New York – Volkmann has created pro bono opportunities for FPA, making connections with nonprofit community groups to provide financial literacy workshops for their clients. Volkmann taught planners how to give the workshops and found a successor so the committee would continue. She was instrumental in starting the Money Work$ program at a New York community college, a 12-week-course that teaches financial literacy to students. The program is in its seventh year.

Read about 2010′s Heart of Financial Planning Award winners at


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