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individual Awards

These Diversity & Inclusion Awards illustrate that diverse individuals can and do succeed in the financial advice business and their stories are meant to inspire others.

Our Lifetime Achievement winner has demonstrated outstanding leadership for decades. Each of our See It, Be It Role Models have at least 10 years of experience in the industry. Rising Stars have fewer than 10 years in the business, however, they show excellent promise to be an industry leader for many years into the future.

See it, Be it Role Model

Joshua T. Charles

CEO Financial-360 Rockville, Md.

Joshua T. Charles has become such an expert on financial planning for the LGBTQ community that he is frequently called upon by planners across the country to advise them on issues specific to same-sex couples. Today he is an in-demand speaker nationally and tries to use his expertise to serve as a bridge between the LGBTQ population and the financial planning community.

"I started out 25 years ago to help people who had no voice to do proper planning and navigate through a very coarse set of laws to try and have the same rights and protections that married people automatically had," Mr. Charles said.

While the Supreme Court decision three years ago extended marriage equality to same-sex couples throughout the nation, Mr. Charles still works with LGBTQ clients who have financial planning needs unique to this niche community.

He is a longtime Financial Planning Association ambassador and member of PridePlanners, which was recently absorbed into the FPA.

A decade ago, when Mr. Charles was a registered rep with Raymond James, the firm asked him to speak to their other advisers about how to work with LGBTQ clients — and he's done so regularly ever since. He opened his own branch with the firm five years ago.

"It is his hope that with every conversation, news article or speaking engagement, he has opened people's eyes, hearts and minds to the idea that LGBTQ people are exactly the kinds of clients most of us got into this business to help," said Lazetta Braxton, founder and chief executive of Financial Fountains (and a fellow diversity award winner), about Mr. Charles.

— Kathy J. Mills

Lifetime Achievement

Rising Stars

See it, Be it Role Models

Outstanding Practices

Diversity Champions

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