"Success sounds like a finite destination, and I believe it is always evolving. After all, life begins at the end of your comfort zone when you dream and dare to do better."

— Heather Ettinger

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Heather Ettinger

Managing partner, Fairport Asset Management

Heather Ettinger is managing partner of Fairport Asset Management in Cleveland, Ohio, a firm she was been with since 1987.

What is she most proud of?

"Being able to connect with other women nationally to advance the agenda for women as clients and as financial advisers," Ms. Ettinger said.

The agenda is two-fold, she said, focusing on broadening the understanding of women as clients and recruiting and promoting women as advisers.

To that end, Ms. Ettinger has made significant contributions through her leadership in two landmark studies, sponsored by the Family Wealth Advisors Council.

The first one, conducted in 2011, had a unique focus.

"Rather than show how women are different than men, we focused on the issue of women all being categorized into one group," she said. "We showed statistically that you cannot treat all women the same. Our study showed that different groups of women had different priorities, for example, divorcees, trailing spouses or executive single women."

The second study, conducted in 2015, focused on breadwinner women, which identified social and community pressures for women to downplay their careers, she said.

Results of the study showed two main findings: a disconnect within the financial services industry between what female clients need versus what they are getting, such as sensitivity to their busy schedules; and corporations are falling short in meeting female employees' financial needs. "They feel like 'someone's trying to sell me'. They're overwhelmed," Ms. Ettinger said.

"If women are educated around their money, they'll make good decisions," she said. "They'll give back to their communities in ways to help other women reach their goals."

— Deborah Nason

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