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In This Issue
President's Message
February 17th Program
Pro bono
Job Opportunity
A Process or a Profession?
Are you laughing enough?
Happy Anniversary
Board of Directors
Mark McCandless, CFP, CPA

President Elect:
Molly Balunek, CFP

Kara Downing, CFP

Adrienne Love, CFP

Karen Bordonaro, CFP
Mario Gigante, CFP, CPA, AIFA
Ken Paull, CFP
Pamela Sandy, CFP

Bill Russo, CFP
Upcoming Program Dates

February 17th

2CE for CFP

Topic:  "The Economy:  Yesterday, Today and Where We are Going" 
Professor Roy Brooks

John Carroll University
8 a.m. Registration / Breakfast
Buffet / Networking
8:30 Announcements / Program to follow

March 17th

2 CEs for CFP

Topic #1:
Retirement Planning
(fee disclosure & transparency - what drove the pension protection act - the history and looking forward on what to expect for retirement plans)
1 CE Approved

Tom Warren
American Funds
Topic #2
"Demystifying Bonds and the Rating Agencies"
1 CE Approved
Jason Weybrecht
American Funds
8 a.m. Registration /
Breakfast Buffet /
8:30 Announcements /
Program to follow

April 21st
The Impact on Financial Planning of Recent and Proposed Income Tax Changes

Presented by: 
John Sestina

8 a.m. Registration /
Breafast Buffet /
8:30 Announcements /
Program to follow
Topics and Speakers are subject to change

Networking Event
The Club at Key Center
Date & Time:  TBD

No programming

September 15th
Place:  TBD

October 17th
FPA/NEO Symposium 2011

Speakers include:

Michael Kitces

Craig Zablocki 


7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

November 17
Topic:  "State of the Profession"
Thanks to Our Sponsors
Gold Sponsors:
Capital Analysts Inc.

Charles Schwab Advisor Services

Silver Sponsors:
American Endowment Foundation

American Funds

Direxion Funds

Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services

Franklin Templeton Investments

KBS Capital Markets

Long Term Care Partnership

Ohio Tuition Trust

RS Funds

Sigma Financial Corporation

Trust Company of America

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FPA/NEO February 2011 Newsletter
President's Message

by Mark McCandless, CFP, CPA


"After all is said and done...more is said than done." 

I help coach the Brecksville High School debate team. This is a great group of students! However, when it comes to working on a case for an upcoming debate, I find the students would like to spend more time talking about the case than actually writing it and debating it. It is fun to talk and your Board of Directors has spent a great deal of time talking about the strategic direction of our Chapter. However, we are now in the Action Phase and I would like to tell you a little about what actions we plan for this year. 

Our starting point was the Chapter Mission Statement:


The Mission of the Northeast Ohio Chapter is to be the primary organization in our community:

       To support and encourage the promotion of financial literacy for the general public;

       To increase awareness of financial planning as a profession to both the public and to other professions; and

       To enhance the ability of our members to serve their clients in accordance with the fiduciary standard by being the premier provider of professional development programming,


Using this as our guide, we have decided to focus on the following projects:


1.    We will promote financial literacy through partnerships with local civic groups and governments by sponsoring financial planning days which may involve workshops and other events to allow the public to access the expertise of financial planning professionals.


2.    We will combine our emphasis in financial literacy with our role in governmental relations to address the problems of managing debt both on the personal level and at the government level. We plan to sponsor an effort to continue to highlight the national debt (now that the election is over and the hype has died down) while helping people to avoid the traps associated with debt.

3.    We have already built an array of monthly programs to address technical topics facing financial planners and their clients. In addition we have already secured some speakers for our October Symposium who will be some of the top technical experts in their fields while also bringing in a speaker who will help you gain the motivation and inspiration to take your business to a greater level of success!

4.    Our Membership committee is rebuilding to reach out to new and existing members to make sure they understand the benefits of FPA membership and to gain their input about their involvement in our Chapter.

5.    In Governmental Relations, we will continue to bring the latest insights from our national FPA leaders and ensure we get them personally to meet our members about what is happening in Washington, on Wall Street and how it affects those of us who live on Main Street.


We will tackle other areas as well. However, to be successful we need your help. I ask you to consider which of these areas might be of interest to you. If you can give 2 hours a month or a few hours to help on a project, we will appreciate your help. While it may be true in some cases that "...more is said than done" your Board of Directors is working hard to ensure that a significant amount will be done for your benefit in 2011.

February 17, 2011 Program   

"The Economy:  Yesterday, Today and Where We are Going"

Speaker:  Dr. LeRoy Brooks


A time-line perspective examines where the economy is today and why and how we got here.  This provides the setting for what we anticipate for 2011.  A further look into the future examines the possible positive and negative U.S., global and local government and business conditions.  The stellar to disastrous outcomes that can lead from these conditions are then examined. 

Dr. LeRoy Brooks is the Edward J. and Louise E. Mellen Professor of Finance in the Boler School of Business at John Carroll University and Distinguished Professor Emeritus from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.

Roy's Expertise includes corporate finance, investments and personal finance directed toward understanding and evaluating the impact of the economy, public policy and taxes on businesses and individuals.  His areas of research specialization include business valuation, all types of project evaluations, seasoned equity offerings, equity private placements and mutual fund performance.  Dr. Brooks is often covered in the broadcast and print media on public policy and

economic events and their expected impact on consumers and businesses.  He has served as a consultant for the GAO, in regulated industries, banking and the petroleum industry.

Roy has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Hartford, an MBA, and a Ph.D. in Finance with a minor in Economics from Michigan State University.


Click here to register on-line

PRO BONO  by Adrienne Love, Chair

Happy New Year!!!

I hope that each of you enjoyed the holiday season and are gearing up to have a wonderful new year.  I am excited  to join the FPA/NEO Board and look forward to the many prospects of the year ahead. 

Our pro bono initiatives in 2010 have definitely served towards our mission in providing financial literacy throughout the community and we are eager to continue the momentum in 2011.

Among some of the accomplishments are developing a relationship with a local college to mentor financial planning students,  continuing our annual involvement with a local newspaper to provide financial planning advice to the community, and a free public showing of a movie bringing awareness to the national debt. 

Our chapter will continue to have a strong focus in creating and participating in events that promote and support the importance of financial literacy.  If you have an interest in participating on a committee to develop our pro bono initiatives and / or if you are aware of an organization or an event that aligns with our mission, please feel free to contact me: Adrienne Love 440-995-2119 or


Career Opportunity:
Customer Service Specialist

Send response to:  ReedFinancialServices@gmail.com


Job Description:


Fast-paced, growing financial services firm is looking for a motivated, hard working customer service specialist with experience in the financial services or securities industry and a passion for delivering amazing service.  This is a growth opportunity for the right candidate, as we hope to grow this into a customer relationship manager role in two to three years.


As a critical team member, you will provide support and service to new and existing clients. As a small firm, all team members work to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction and meet deadlines and everyone must be willing to do the unexpected to achieve organizational goals. The customer service specialist must have a strong attention to detail and discretion with confidential information while completing client documents and communicating directly with clients. In addition, you will have the opportunity to work with leading edge technologies to enhance service delivery with efficiency. 




The customer service specialist must have strong customer service and organization skills and be able to handle many tasks simultaneously with a high degree of accuracy and timeliness. It is imperative that you are friendly, helpful, flexible, approachable, professional, and diligent. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are a must with a top priority in maintaining and promoting a positive can-do attitude with clients and team members.


Three to five years of relevant industry experience is desired and experience using dbCams, ACT, Laser App, Netx360 is preferred. Strong skills in Excel are critical to success in this role.

A Process or a Profession?
by Pamela Sandy, CFP, Legislation Chair

Is financial planning a process - or a profession? The question had been posed to audience members during last October's annual FPA/NEO symposium by guest speaker Bob Clark, and prompted interesting debate during our annual State of the Profession panel discussion held in November. I found Mr. Clark's question provocative. Some panel and audience members alike had very strong opinions against Mr. Clark's statement, while others took a more reflective view. Regardless of your opinion, the Financial Planning Coalition, which comprises the FPA, the CFP Board and NAPFA has been working to clear up the confusion in the eyes of our lawmakers and the public alike.


But what is a profession? In doing a Google search, I found several consistent definitions emerge. One website defined a profession as the following...


The main milestones which mark an occupation being identified as a profession are:

  1. It became a full-time occupation;
  2. The first training school was established;
  3. The first university school was established;
  4. The first local association was established;
  5. The first national association was established;
  6. The codes of professional ethics were introduced;
  7. State licensing laws were established. (regulation as a profession)

If the above is in fact what is required so that an occupation is identified as a profession, then we in the "profession" need to regroup. On January 18, 2011, the Financial Planning Coalition released its response to the Government Accountability Office's report on financial planning, which was called for as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  The GAO study found significant evidence of consumer confusion surrounding the regulation and legal obligations of financial planners, but nevertheless concluded that regulation for financial planners does not appear to be warranted at this time. Read the Coalition's response.

Professions are typically regulated by statute, as such the Financial Planning Coalition has advocated for the recognition and regulation of financial planning as a distinct profession. If we look to the definition above and the milestones necessary for financial planning to be identified as a true and distinct profession, we must support the regulation of financial planning and the Coalition's continued efforts as it educates lawmakers about financial planning, its role in providing services to consumers, and the fiduciary standard of care. But how do we provide that support?

During last November's panel discussion, our guest member Dan Barry, our FPA's DC lobbyist, brought local chapter members up to date on the FPA's efforts. Dan and his team also keep us informed each month with the Capitol Update Newsletter. Visit www.fpanet.org and log into our member site to see the most recent newsletter. During the discussion I asked Dan about the FPA's "clout and access" in Washington, and he stated that the FPA continues to work hard to get to the right lawmakers and to advocate for policies that will further the profession, but that access requires money, and our FPA-PAC contributions help to open doors.


Last year the FPA/NEO chapter contributed just $875.00 to our national political action committee, the FPA-PAC. That contribution was from just five members. As Government Relations Director of FPA/NEO one of my 2011 goals is to bring more awareness about the FPA's legislative efforts and to encourage members to support our "profession", by contributing to the FPA-PAC. PAC contributions can be made online at our FPA member website, and can be made in any dollar amount. I encourage FPA/NEO members to consider monthly contributions, even if it is as small as $25.00. Small monthly amounts over a year from each of our 315 members can have a substantial impact towards the FPA's efforts.


So as the FPA and the Coalition regroup in its efforts to further our profession, let's "put our money where our mouth is". Financial planning - a process or a profession?  The Financial Planning Coalition advocates for financial planning to be identified as a true, distinct profession - do we - do you? It's time for us to decide.


Show your support. Contribute at FPA-PAC!


Are you laughing enough?

Craig Zablocki, a keynote speaker for our 2011 Symposium in October, will have you rolling in the aisles.  He presented at the Chapter Leadership Conference in Denver last year, and he challenged all of us to look at the REAL obstacles that were holding us back in our business and in life - not the money, not the kids, not the marriage, and not the economy.  Craig focuses on the INTERNAL obstacles that inhibit success; most are attributed to fear we've faced as adults.


Here are three lessons from the experts of powerful living:  four-year-old children.


Laughter:            Four-year-olds laugh more than 300 times a day, and adults are lucky to laugh seven.  Laughter has been shown to reduce stress, promote innovative thinking and health.   Have you ever laughed till you cried?  How did you feel?   


Presence:              Four-year-olds live in the moment.  Most of our stress comes from all the worry we have over things that have happened in the past or things we think will happen in the future.  More times than not, there is nothing wrong "right now."


Creativity:              Did you know human beings are nine times more creative at age four than in adulthood?  Creativity can't be learned; it is innately who we are.  As adults, we have to break-down our belief systems that say we are not creative, and may fail if we try.


Next time, you are spending time with a young child, or observing a little one in public, challenge yourself to take an honest look of what you need to UNLEARN about being an adult.  Those of us in the financial services world have learned a lot on life - it's how we become successful in our industry.  But, what can we UNLEARN this year that will lead to the success we're striving for in 2011.


Craig Zablocki is a nationally ranked speaker and workshop facilitator based in Denver, Colorado.

Happy Anniversary

28 Years
Michael J. Lesjak, CFP
Frank P. Hackett, CFP, CRPC

18 Years
Michael E. Sabelli, CFP

14 Years
Jeffrey L. Davis, CFP
Howard A. Slater, CFP, MBA, ChFC, CLU
Cahterine G. Veres, CPA/PFS, CFP

12 Years
Derwood S. Miller, CFP

10 Years
Angela M. Walker

8 Years
John R. Adams, CFP
Kristine Lausin, CFP

7 Years
Robert Hyneman, CFP
Blake N. Rawson, CFP, CIMA
Walter T. Spalding, Jr., CFP

6 Years
James D. Lechko, CFP
Michael A. Niederst, CFP
Mark Stratis, CFP

5 Years

Kevin Kroskey, CFP

4 Years
Sean P. Lally

3 Years
Lauren Olsen, CFP, CLU, ChFC
Marc Servodio, CFP
Eric W. Schwarz, CFP

2 Years
David R. Minich

1 Year
Sunwook Jin, CFP, CRPC, CMFC
Scott A. Davis
Linda L. Kelley, CFP
Thomas D. Blake