A special group of financial advisers who have demonstrated exceptional charitable leadership were honored last Wednesday at the fifth annual Community Leadership Awards.
The awards, spanning five categories, were presented by the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation and InvestmentNews at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. The ceremony was attended by more than 500 executives from nearly 60 financial organizations.
The Invest in Others Charitable Foundation had planned to make a $10,000 donation to the charity of each category winner. In addition, a donation of $1,500 was to be made to the charities of each of the other 10 finalists. However, at the event, Kandis Bates, president of the Invest in Others Foundation, announced that the donation will be raised to $20,000 to the honorees and $5,000 to each of the finalists.
As part of the event, the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation rang the opening bell at Nasdaq last Thursday. The charity was joined by the honorees and finalists of the Community Leadership Awards. (View all of this year's finalists.)
Germaine Broussard, a McLean, Va.-based adviser for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, was named Volunteer of the Year for TroopTreats.com, which supports thousands of troops in active service abroad.
The finalists were Mary Bersot of Bersot Capital Management LLC in Mill Valley, Calif., for MedShare and Andy Seth of LotusGroup Advisors LLC in Denver for Minds Matter of Denver Inc.
Barry Engelman and his Los Angeles-based team with Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., won the Volunteer Team Award for their work for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Southern California and Nevada chapter
The finalists were Laura and E.J. Rabell of Defender Capital in Charlotte, N.C., for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, mid-Atlantic chapter, and Randy Carver of Carver Financial Services in Mentor, Ohio, for the Rotary Club of Mentor bone marrow project.
David Benning of Ameriprise in Minneapolis received the Mentoring Excellence Award for his support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities.
The finalists were Gerald L. Ray of Gerald L. Ray and Associates in Dallas for Aggies on Wall Street and Grant Blindbury of FMB Wealth Management in Westlake Village, Calif., for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County.
The Community Service Award was given to Michael Curran of CAPTRUST Financial Advisors in Raleigh, N.C., for his work with the Triangle Aquatic Center, a nonprofit aquatic facility.
The finalists were Richard S. Brown of JNBA Financial Advisors in Minneapolis for Special Olympics Minnesota and Dennis Stearns of Stearns Financial Services Group in Greensboro, N.C., for the YMCA of Greensboro.
Dave Polstra of Brightworth in Atlanta won the Global Community Impact Award for his work with Medical Missions Ministries, which provides free medical clinics in rural Guatemala.
The finalists were Bruce Kusmin of Mariner Wealth Advisors in Leawood, Kan., for the Global Orphan Project, and R. Stephen Werner of Exemplar Financial Network in Walworth, Wis., for Health Education Africa Resource Team.