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Advisors Giving Back: Holiday Slideshow, Part III

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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 third and final highlight on AdvisorOne in 2012 that aims to honor those advisors and associates who have served their local, national and global communities this past year and at other times.

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 [email protected]).

Bart Schannep

Practice: Southwest Investment Advisors in Tucson, Ariz., affiliated with First Allied

Community Work: Philanthropy plays a big role in Bart Schannep’s life and work. “We each only have so much time on this earth and our lives are precious. My life’s vocation has been very rewarding; thus, I feel it is not only my honor and privilege to serve others, but my duty,” the advisor said.

In particular, Schannep has been recognized for the Tucson Gospel Rescue Mission. This not only inspired a client to give to the mission on a regular basis but also to add the group to his and his wife’s wills.

Mike Schroeder

Practice: Baird Private Wealth Management, Milwaukee, Wis.

Community Work: Schroeder (above) planted flowers earlier in 2012 at the Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha, Wis., as part of the Baird Gives Back Week, which is held annually in the spring. He is a managing director and president of the private-wealth operations for Baird.

During the event this year, more than 1,300 associates and family members from nearly 50 different Baird locations donated 3,700 hours of time to about 100 non-profit organizations in the United States, Europe and Asia during the week of May 14.

“Our associates have embraced Baird Gives Back Week wholeheartedly, as demonstrated by the initiative’s phenomenal growth in just three years,” said Julie Kuesel, co-chair of Baird Gives Back, formerly the Community Involvement Associate Resource Group, in a company newsletter. “Baird Gives Back Week aims to make it easy and fun for all associates to pitch in and show their support for local non-profit organizations – it’s truly a reflection of what sets Baird apart.”

Associates in Raleigh, N.C., and Wausau, Wis., for instance, volunteered at Flight of Honor activities in their respective cities. The flights, held in conjunction with the USO, recognize veterans of World War II by flying them to the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Scott Schutte

Practice: Lightship Wealth Strategies of Newton Lower Falls, Mass., affiliated with Commonwealth Financial

Community work: Commonwealth advisor Scott Schutte and his family rode in the Geared Up For Kids bike rally earlier this year to support pediatric cancer research at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Brian Scigliano

Practice: Wedbush Securities in Boise, Idaho

Community Work: Scigliano is actively involved in community organizations including board work for the Children’s Home Society of Idaho.

He is also an organizer of fund-raising and other efforts to support the YMCA Strong Kids Scholarship Fund.

In addition, the advisor is a member of Idaho’s Human Rights Commission.

Oran Teater

Practice: Raymond James Financial Services in Bend, Oregon

Community Work: Teater was named the Citizen of the Year by the Bend Chamber of Commerce, which he joined in the early 1970s. He soon became president of that group and co-founded the Central Oregon Economic Development Council, which has helped attract Apple and other businesses to the area.

The advisor is proud of his public service and believes it is the “rent you pay to live and work in a community.”

He was elected to Bend City Council in 1996 and re-elected in 2000, serving as mayor from 2002 to 2004, when Bend became the sixth fastest-growing city in the nation and started installing roundabouts instead of stop lights. 

Teater has also supported the Cascades Campus of Oregon State University in Bend, serving on its board of advisors since 2004 and as chairman since 2006. (The school will begin offering a four-year degree program in 2013.)

The state board required that the community show support for this project, including $1 million in fund-raising, which Teater topped by $500,000 in less than a month.

Teater and his wife Janie organized some activities related to the city’s centennial, culminating with a festive Mayor’s Ball. In addition, they helped raise $4 million to preserve and restore a local theater downtown.

The advisor also gives of his time and other resources to the United Way. He and his wife Janie co-chaired the Summit Society in 2008, for example, which facilitates larger gifts to the organization.

Teater is a 30 year member of Rotary and was a club president in 1999. He believes it’s important to support Bend’s public schools through involvement in the School Foundation.

Rick Thie

Practice: Lifetime Investment Management in Sarasota, Fla., and Flint, Mich., affiliated with First Allied

Community Work: When someone asks Thie, “What do you do?” he answers, “I find opportunities to create a greater awareness of pancreatic cancer and to assist in raising the funds needed for research critical to finding a cure.

“First, through the volunteer work, we perform as founders of a public charity devoted to funding pancreatic cancer research, and second by specializing in working comprehensively with the wealth management plans of physicians who have dedicated their professional lives to the science and art of healing those diagnosed with a cancer-related illness,” he explains.

In 2006, Thie’s mother Jane was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In her honor, he and his wife Ellie, also a partner in their firm, had a 1953 Chris-Craft Sportsman utility boat restored, the same model and year that he enjoyed with his parents and siblings in childhood. The family then accompanied their mother aboard what would be a memorable but final boat ride.  

The year after his mom’s death, craving a way to incorporate a way to fight cancer into his life, the advisor helped create a boat show, as well as a nostalgic 12-month calendar featuring vintage wooden boats that was sold at the event, to raise funds and awareness for the disease.

The boat show, Cruising for the Cure, is now in its fifth year and attracts 600 to 800 people with an average of 70 boats from across the nation to the waters of Torch Lake in Bellaire, Mich. It’s the only non-profit event of its kind in the Midwest region.

As a result, the Jane H. Thie Memorial Fund has donated more than $40,000 to fighting cancer and raising awareness.

The advisor also serves on the boards of the Cancer Support Community-Florida Suncoast, Rotary Club of Sarasota Keys Foundation and Community Music School of South Florida.

Mike Wegner

Practice: Life$tyle Financial Advisors of Friendswood, Texas, affiliated with First Allied.

Community Work:  

Mike Wegner’s building tenant in the greater Houston area, the Laura Recovery Center (LRC), made national news for its efforts to prevent abductions and runaways and to recover missing children.

Wegner says he’s seen the work firsthand through years of proximity and was inspired to get involved. He assists the group financially and in other ways.

“I believe that part of the responsibility of success is to give back and to help others,” he said.

He’s known in his community for the support he gives to his church, educational foundations and serving on the boards of non-profit organizations, but he says the LRC is the charity that’s closest to his heart.

For instance, in lieu of holiday gifts, he’s sent letters to his clients informing them that a donation was made on their behalf to the LRC, along with some heartfelt notes about their work.

“Not everyone has the income to donate funds, but there are a lot of ways to give back,” the advisor explains. “It’s not all about writing a check. You can give your talents, vocational expertise or your time as an alternative.”


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