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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

Lee Baker

President Apex Financial Services Atlanta

Lee Baker is only 50 but is already thinking about his legacy. He considers the Financial Planning Association's diversity initiative, of which he is a co-founder, one of his most important contributions to the industry. The Diversity Committee is now a standing committee in the FPA, and Mr. Baker has worked tirelessly on its programs aimed at boosting diversity and inclusion.

Mr. Baker also sits on the board of directors for Clark Atlanta University's CFP Advisory Programs, has previously served on the board of Emory University's CFP program, and developed the financial curriculum for the Shaw University School of Divinity in partnership with the AARP.

He feels proud when he hears young people say they are in the financial advice industry because of the FPA diversity scholarship.

"It gives me the feeling that perhaps we got something right," he said.

Mr. Baker, who was the first African-American elected to the FPA national board of directors, founded Apex Financial Services, a registered investment advisory firm, 20 years ago. His clients, most of whom are Africa-American families and others with multicultural backgrounds, generally have assets of less than $1 million.

— Kathy J. Mills

Lifetime Achievement

Rising Stars

See it, Be it Role Models

Outstanding Practices

Diversity Champions

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