This is ThinkAdvisor’s eighth version of the Advisors Who Serve(d) compilation, and this year we highlight the stories, told in their own words, of 11 veterans in the advisory world.
Advisors Who Serve(d) is just that: Financial advisors who have served or are serving in the military. Each of our compilations have debuted over Memorial Day weekend and been repeated on July 4th and Veterans Day. ThinkAdvisor understands that Memorial Day is meant for those who have died in battle serving in the military not just for anyone who has served, which is Veterans Day, or for those actively serving, Armed Forces Day.
ThinkAdvisor initially chose Memorial Day because it’s when most of America focuses on the military and therefore would give the extra attention to what we feel is an important compilation of stories.
(Check out our Advisors Who Serve(d) page to read stories by advisors from previous years.)
Name: Audree L. Begay, CFP
Title/Company: Private Wealth Advisor / Ameriprise Financial
Branch: US Army
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Private 1st Class, ended as 1st Lieutenant
Service Dates: 1993 – 1999
Work you did: Communications specialist for 200
Brief story that stands out from your service time: One of my fondest memories was during a field exercise as a new soldier, our entire field hospital loaded up and drove from Fort Hood, Texas to Fort Polk, Louisiana, to perform a mock wartime field simulation. During the convoy to our destination, as we would pass through many small towns on the way, I could not help being so proud to serve our country, as children and adults of all ages would line the streets as we drove past just to wave at us and show their pride in our country and our service. Serving as an inspiration to others to protect and serve our country is something I will never forget.
Name: Brandon Lovell
Title/Company: Financial Advisor / Edward Jones
Branch: US Navy Reserve
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Fireman Recruit – Chief Petty Officer (current)
Service Dates: 2001 – Present
Work you did: Amphibious Construction Battalion – One, Torpedo Weapons Retriever 821, USS San Jacinto, Costal Riverine Squadron, Small Boat Detachment-USNS Trenton
Brief story that stands out from your service time: . I am currently a financial advisor and Navy reservist, and it has been an honor to serve in both capacities. Just three months ago, I returned from an eleven-month overseas deployment.
At the end of 2017, I received a phone call at my office from the Navy informing me that I was being “involuntarily recalled” to active duty for a year-long deployment overseas. The emotions started flooding in. Before transferring to the Navy Reserve I completed 10 years of active duty and a number of deployments, but this time it was different. How would my wife and kids react? What would my clients think? How would my firm and my branch office administrator handle the news, and how would they operate the branch over the next year without me?
However, I knew that this is why I was here as a member of the armed services — to answer the call to serve when called upon, as so many have done before me. The next year was one of the most difficult years in my life, as I left behind a business, my wife, and my four kids. However, it was also one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. My firm, my clients, and friends supported my family and I in so many ways. It was amazing to see the love and support that I received from all of them while I was gone. It reaffirmed my love for both of these careers. Additionally, I was honored to lead an amazing group of sailors into harm’s way, and successfully carry out the missions our nation asked of us. I am forever grateful, to all the people at my firm, and my clients who made this past year a success. It has made me a better Leader, Financial Advisor, Husband and Father.
Name: Name: Carl Kunhardt
Title/Company: Wealth Advisor / Quest Capital Management, Inc.
Branch: US Marines
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Private (E-1). Major (O-4)
Service Dates: 1977 – 2003
Work you did: Attack Helicopter Commander, Forward Air Controller, Air Traffic Controller
Brief story that stands out from your service time: In 1987, my FAC team was heli-dropped at the summit of an Italian forest to control supporting air. At the conclusion, we force marched to battalion command post, about 1 mile (direct line of site). In reality, it turned about to be closer to 5-6 miles because of 2-3 additional summits between us and command post. The entire route was through thorn briars!
At the third summit, the last between us and command, was a large clearing. We looked at the clearing with relief, thinking we could get out of the thorns. As we approached the clearing, we noted a single bull, who clearly was not in a mood to share his clearing with us. After being charged at three times … and retreating back into the thorns, we circumvented the clearing. We arrived at the command post about 5 hours after starting, over four hours longer than we were expected to arrive. We arrived with all our uniforms shredded, with countless cuts bleeding trying to explain why we were chased off a hill by a bull. Not as funny at the time as it sounds now
Name: Name: Jeffrey W McClure
Title/Company: President and CEO / The Personal Wealth Coach
Branch: US Army
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: 2LT – CPT(P)
Service Dates: 1971 – 1983
Work you did: Armor, Armored Cavalry, Combat Aviation, Military Intelligence
Brief story that stands out from your service time: While stationed in Unterfranken (Northern Bavaria) in Germany, our family developed close relationships with German locals that have endured now for more than 40 years. Our lives and theirs were forever changed as we grew to know each other as people.
Name: Abigail Rosen
Title/Company: Partner and Wealth Advisor / RegentAtlantic
Branch: US Navy
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Ensign, Lieutenant
Service Dates: 1999 – 2005
Work you did: Surface Warfare Officer, Navigator, Weapons Officer, Force Protection Officer