FSI Announces 2023 Advocacy Circle of Excellence Honorees and Stephen R. Kareta Excellence in Advocacy Winners 

September 12, 2023

FSI’s Annual Awards Program Recognizes members for Outstanding Advocacy Engagement on Behalf of Independent Financial Services Industry and Main Street Investors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Financial Services Institute (FSI), the leading advocacy organization for the independent financial services industry, today announced the 14 honorees of its annual advocacy awards program. The awards included its 2023 FSI Advocacy Circle of Excellence and the Stephen R. Kareta Excellence in Advocacy Award. FSI’s advocacy awards recognize the accomplishments of its members who have advanced the interest of Main Street American investors and the independent financial services industry through their unwavering dedication to FSI’s advocacy mission.  

FSI President and CEO Dale Brown said: “The dedication of our members is crucial to ensuring Main Street Americans have access to affordable, professional financial advice, services and products. We are proud to recognize these individuals who have committed themselves to FSI’s mission through responding to calls to action, hosting congressional events for FSI members and outstanding participation in advocacy activities. Together, we can help create a more business-friendly, regulatory environment.” 

Members named to the FSI Advocacy Circle of Excellence are determined by their engagement and contributions to FSI’s advocacy mission and their commitment to the industry. 

Among FSI’s Advocacy Circle of Excellence members, three recipients were additionally presented the Stephen R. Kareta Excellence in Advocacy Award. These distinguished members are recognized for going above and beyond in their efforts to protect and advance the interests of their clients, colleagues and Main Street American investors:

  • Carla Hauser, Senior Wealth Advisor, Signature Wealth Strategies 
  • Elizabeth Kietzman, Financial Advisor, Artisan Financial Group 
  • Mary Kusske, President, Kusske Financial Asset Management, Inc.   

Recipients of this award set a gold standard for achievement in advocacy. Their accomplishments include building constructive relationships with state and local officials, members of congress and regulators; engaging other members on FSI’s key advocacy priorities and crucial issues in the industry; and creating a visible and positive presence in their communities, establishing a visible and positive presence in their communities, among other efforts. 

In addition to Hauser, Kietzman and Kusske, the honorees named to the 2023 FSI Advocacy Circle of Excellence are: 

  • Richard Bryant, CEO, Capital Investment Brokerage, Inc.    
  • Russell Clarke, Financial Advisor, First Command Financial Services 
  • Fred Dawson, President, Dawson Wealth Management LLC
  • Elizabeth Donner, President, Diversified Planning, LTD
  • Jeremy Ehst, Financial Advisor, Life Financial Group 
  • Estee Faranda, CEO, Primerica Advisors PFS Investments 
  • Alex Hudak, Branch Manager DDL, Raymond James Financial Services   
  • Ruth Matt, Founder and CEO, Fore River Financial 
  • Tony Nerantzis, Managing Principal/ Financial Advisor, Raymond James Financial Services   
  • Jim Robinson, Wealth Management Advisor, Schulfer and Associates Wealth Management LLC
  • Julie Sullivan, Senior VP and Group Chief Compliance Officer, The Strategic Financial Alliance, Inc. 

Brown concluded, “We are profoundly grateful for the unwavering commitment from our members. They truly make a difference for the industry, FSI members and Main Street investors.”