The extraordinary commitment of 15 financial advisers to their local and global communities shined Thursday night at the seventh annual Community Leadership Awards in New York, an event designed to highlight the charitable work of the advice industry.
Five advisers were singled out for awards by the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation and InvestmentNews. A total of $150,000 will be donated to the charities that the 15 advisers support.
“The award and recognition of philanthropic work that financial advisers are involved in does indeed help those involved — it raises more for important causes and encourages others to get involved,” said Bill Dwyer, chairman of Invest in Others.
Bruce E. Fyfe of ProVise Management Group LLC in Clearwater, Fla., received the Community Service Award for the Homeless Emergency Project Inc., which provides emergency housing and permanent supportive housing and food for those in need in Clearwater. HEP serves 400 clients a day.
Mr. Fyfe and his wife personally raised $3.4 million to create a 32-unit complex that opened last year for homeless veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's dedicated to their son who died in 2009 from the effects of severe post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq.
“The [Department of Veterans Affairs] does wonderful things, but they are a hospital system; they can't provide long-term transitional care for young men and women struggling with the ravages of mental illness caused by war. We are the only ones who can do it,” said Mr. Fyfe in an emotional speech accepting the award.
He said the $20,000 that HEP will receive from Invest in Others will support the expensive recovery for two men or women.
The other finalists in the category were Craig W. Henderson of C.W. Henderson & Associates Inc. in Chicago, for the Chicago International Charter School, and Brian Keith Moon of West Texas Investment Advisors/SCF Securities in Plainview, Texas, for Hale Center Emergency Medical Service.
Suzanne Siracuse, publisher of InvestmentNews, said the industry is filled with individuals and firms willing to give back.
“I am never prouder of what we do than this time of year, when we can honor and bring to light the good that exists in our business,” she said.
During the event, Michael J. Swallow of CBIZ Financial Services in Cleveland was named Volunteer of the Year for helping to create the Northeast Ohio Foundation for Patriotism, which helps support military families. Neopat has donated $250,000 to help 3,000 families since it was created in 2011.
The finalists for this award included Hatim Smouni of Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Little Rock, Ark., for the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute and Debra Brennan Tagg of Brennan Financial Services in Addison, Texas, for United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.
Chris Kittrell of Rather & Kittrell Inc. in Knoxville, Tenn., won the Volunteer Team Award for providing impoverished families in Huntsville, Tenn., with food, clothing and other supplies. The Rather & Kittrell team raises funds from clients and others throughout the year.
The finalists were John L. McKeever III of Financial Advisors of Delaware Valley in Conshohocken, Pa., for the Committee to Benefit the Children, and Amy Treat and Van Mason of StoneRidge Wealth Management in Portland, Ore., for The StoneRidge Foundation.
The Global Community Impact award was given to Jessica Jones of Edward Jones in The Woodlands, Texas, for Build Your House on the Rock Ministries. She and her husband have funded college for 250 students in Guatemala and created a charitable trust that will continue supporting the cause after her death.
The finalists were Larry Agee of True North Asset Management in Lake Charles, La., for Disaster Aid USA, and Bob Condon of The Foundation Investment Group in Berkeley, Calif., for Community Partners International.
Brett W. Hoge of BB&T Scott & Stringfellow in Winston-Salem, N.C., won the Mentoring Excellence Award for his work with Big Brothers Big Sisters (Winston-Salem). In addition to serving as a board member and fundraiser, he and his wife have mentored three Littles over the past 11 years.
The finalists included David L. Grey of Grey Investments LLC in Beverly, Mass., for Children's Friend & Family Services, and Jeffrey L. Rotsky of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Cleveland for the Rotsky Foundation for Mentors.
A special report on the CLA honorees, who were selected from among 220 nominees, will appear in the Oct. 14 issue of InvestmentNews.