by Karin Price Mueller
Karin Price Mueller is a 2010 FPA Heart of Financial Planning Award task force member.
What is the Heart of Financial Planning? It's FPA members like William (Bill) Stratton, CFP®.
Stratton's efforts for the financial planning profession were spotlighted when he earned the 2009 FPA Heart of Financial Planning Award. While running his own business (Nova Financial Consulting in Manasquan, N.J.) and working for charitable causes, Stratton found the time to make the FPA of New Jersey chapter's Government Relations Committee a force to be reckoned with.
His nominating letter, co-written by several FPA of New Jersey chapter members, said: "Bill saw a real need to communicate legislative and regulatory issues to our membership; devote mutually beneficial relationships with allied associations; raise awareness of the financial planning profession; enable association members to effectively communicate financial planning issues with legislators and the public; and develop the capability to influence legislation and rulemaking."
Among his accomplishments, Stratton initiated Capitol Day in keeping with the FPA of New Jersey mission to educate the public of the value of the financial planning process. The annual event continues today. Stratton also explored lobbying opportunities and encouraged state legislators to turn to FPA as needed. He has also worked to stay on top of issues that affect the retired and the elderly.
We asked Stratton to share his thoughts on the Heart of Financial Planning Award, and why he thinks members should bring their colleagues' good works to the attention of the FPA community through a nomination for the 2010 Heart of Financial Planning Award.
FPA: Why is the Heart of Financial Planning Award so important to recipients?
Stratton: Personally, it was an honor to be selected to receive the Heart of Financial Planning Award. It is always nice to be recognized for your work and contributions to enhance the FPA community, but it also reminds me that I am just part of a great team and I am grateful for the opportunity to participate.
FPA: What are some of the things you did that made you stand out to your colleagues?
Stratton: I'd like to think that the award was based on my cumulative contributions as an FPA member, including my commitment to the financial planning process, my committee activities, and accomplishments as membership director. However, the primary reason I was nominated was for accomplishments as government relations director, including stimulating communications on legislative and regulatory issues to our members and legislators, implementing Capitol Day events at the state capitol to raise awareness of the value of the financial planning process and FPA of New Jersey activities, and working with state legislators to help shape legislation.
William (Bill) Stratton, CFP®
FPA: Of all the acts that were recognized, which experience meant the most to you?
Stratton: The most satisfying experience for me was working with state legislators to introduce a bill that will protect seniors from financial designation abuse. The bill was unanimously approved by the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee in the [state] assembly. A similar bill was introduced in the [state] Senate. Although the bills did not have an opportunity to be voted on in the last legislative session, the sponsors have vowed to resubmit them in the current legislative session. Hopefully, it will be law soon.
FPA: Why should members consider nominating someone for this award?
Stratton: FPA members are familiar with the contributions and accomplishments of their colleagues, and they should take the opportunity to make others aware, too. Nominating these members will make sure they are recognized for their contributions. Even if they are not selected as the nominee, their contributions will be recognized by the selection committee and they will become part of a group of future FPA leaders.
FPA: Have you ever nominated anyone?
Stratton:. No, I haven't nominated anyone, but I have participated in the award recipient selection process. I do have a nominee lined up for this year, though. It's not hard to nominate someone. Nominees can be an individual, a financial planning firm, or an allied professional. It only requires submitting a summary of the nominee's contributions.
FPA: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Stratton: Fortunately, the FPA does not have a shortage of members that stand out based on their contributions to the growth of the financial planning community and their professional activities. Many members receive recognition by making presentations at events or by special mention at meetings. However, there are a lot of other members whose contributions are less visible. I'd like to see some of these members recognized. There are many financial planners who are quietly improving clients' lives and enhancing the financial planning community along the way.
Nominate, Recognize Your Extraordinary Colleagues
Do you know someone like Bill Stratton whose extraordinary work should be recognized? Now's your chance.
Tell us about your nominee and why that person should be considered for the 2010 Heart of Financial Planning Award. Let us know about those who have made an impact on the financial planning community and/or the public while upholding and promoting FPA's core values. It could be an FPA member, a financial planning firm, an FPA chapter, a business person, a professor, a journalist, or even yourself. Recipients will be recognized for their service at FPA Denver 2010.
The deadline for nominations is June 4, 2010. Download a nomination form or submit a one- to three-page letter that includes:
- Detailed description of what sets your nominee apart. Give specific examples of the nominee's extraordinary work.
- Show how the nominee's actions contribute to or give back to the financial planning community and/or the public.
- The nominee's excellence in demonstrating FPA's core values.
- Your affiliation with the nominee.
Send nominations to:
Heart of Financial Planning Awards
Financial Planning Association
7535 E. Hampden Ave.
Denver, Colo. 80231