FSI Announces Inaugural Honorees of its New Advocacy Recognition Awards

August 19, 2020

The Financial Services Institute (FSI), the leading advocacy organization for the independent financial services industry, today announced the first 20 honorees of its inaugural advocacy recognition awards program, encompassing both the FSI Advocacy Circle of Excellence and the Stephen R. Kareta Excellence in Advocacy Award. FSI established its new awards program to recognize the commitment and accomplishments of its members in advancing the interests of Main Street American investors and the independent financial services industry through consistent and high-impact advocacy.

Twenty Dedicated FSI Members Named to First Advocacy Circle of Excellence, Recognizing Outstanding Commitment to Advocacy on Behalf of Main Street Investors and the Independent Financial Services Industry

FSI President & CEO Dale Brown said, “The steadfast commitment of our members is essential to ensuring Main Street Americans continue to have access to the affordable, professional financial advice that can help them achieve their financial goals. We are honored and fortunate to count among our members some of the most dedicated, thoughtful and effective professionals I have ever encountered, and we are very pleased to recognize this initial group of members for their exceptional contributions to our work on behalf of our industry and Main Street American investors. These members truly make a difference every day, and we are grateful for their dedication and example.”

Members named to the Advocacy Circle of Excellence are determined according to a robust process that examines members’ engagement and contributions to FSI’s advocacy mission and commitment to the industry.

Three FSI Members Further Honored as Inaugural Winners of the Stephen R. Kareta Excellence in Advocacy Awards for Exemplary Engagement Efforts

Three members of the Advocacy Circle of Excellence – Harman Wealth Management Managing Director and CEO Dean Harman, Kusske Financial Management President Mary Kusske and Cetera Advisor Networks Head of Supervision Summer Pretzer – were further recognized with FSI’s first Stephen R. Kareta Excellence in Advocacy Award for going above and beyond in their tireless efforts to protect and advance the interests of their clients and colleagues.

The Excellence in Advocacy Award is named after the late Stephen Kareta, a model FSI member and powerful advocate throughout his long career at Foothill Securities and Securities America. Kareta served as Chair of FSI’s Marketing, Growth & Development Council, and enthusiastically championed FSI’s financial literacy efforts and broader advocacy mission at every opportunity.

Recipients of this award set the bar for achievement in advocacy by building constructive relationships with their state and local officials, members of Congress and regulators; engaging other members on key issues of importance to FSI and the industry; and establishing a visible and positive presence in their communities.

In addition to Harman, Kusske and Pretzer, the honorees named to the inaugural Advocacy Circle of Excellence include:

  • Richard Bryant, CEO, Capital Investment Companies
  • John Burmeister, President and CEO, Lion Street Financial LLC
  • Howard Erman, President, Erman Retirement Advisory
  • Nick Graham, Chief Technology Officer, Cambridge Investment Research, Inc.
  • Brad Greenbaum, Vice President, Altigro Pension Services, Inc.
  • Dan Juechter, CEO, President & Founder, Hunter Financial Advisors, Inc.
  • Kiliaen Ludlow, EVP, Operations & Client Services, Triad Advisors, LLC
  • Seth Miller, VP, Managing Director, Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.
  • Shawn Patrick, Investment Advisor Representative, Branch Office Supervisor, Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.
  • Mike Pedlow, EVP, Chief Compliance Officer, Kestra Financial, Inc.
  • Mark Quinn, Director, Regulatory Affairs, Cetera Financial Group
  • Guru Rao, VP, Technology, Lincoln Investment
  • Jim Saling, President, Saling Simms Associates, Inc.
  • Stephanie Schiele, Vice President, Marketing, SFA Partners
  • Julie Sullivan, Senior Vice President & Group Chief Compliance Officer, The Strategic Financial Alliance, Inc.
  • Frank Tauches, Executive Vice President, American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc.
  • Kevin Whiteford, President, Whiteford Wealth Management Inc.

Brown concluded, “We thank these exceptional members for their hard work. The example these honorees set – and the lasting influence of Steve Kareta’s legacy – provide a model and motivation for greater engagement among our members to further our crucial advocacy mission.”