"Success for me is contributing to the happiness of those I care about personally and professionally. There is nothing I love more than seeing someone break through their personal barriers."

— Amy Webber

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"I've been given the gift of leading a purpose-driven organization," said Amy Webber, president of Cambridge Investment Research Inc. "My purpose is to come in every day and make a difference in the lives of our advisers, their clients and our employees."

She has been making that difference through her leadership of special Cambridge initiatives that focus specifically on women and the upcoming generations, including:

New Century Council: A group of 30- and 40-somethings who offer advice on what the firm should be thinking about five and 10 years out to remain relevant

Next Step internship program: Employs 20 to 30 interns at the broker-dealer each year, with a 50% conversion rate of students joining either Cambridge or its associated adviser practices

Cambridge Women Advisors Forum: A mentoring and networking community of aspiring advisers (often from administrative positions) and experienced advisers from the firm's adviser network; attendees are matched with mentors. "It brings all walks of life together," Ms. Webber said.

"I threw down the gauntlet two years ago," Ms. Webber said. "Only 1% of our advisers are women making more than $250,000. We said to our female advisers, if you want to make more than that, we can give you the tools to do it."

To those who responded, she provided intensive high level mentoring which included internal certified coaches. One year later, the percentage moved from 1% to 3.5%.

"I considered being an adviser many times [over my 28-year career]," she said, "but I chose to serve those who serve others. What I love about my work is that I can help shape the adviser atmosphere."

Deborah Nason

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