1) What is your current position and role of responsibility in your company? What interests you about this industry?
My current position is Financial Planner in the Private Wealth Division of Ronald Blue Trust. My responsibilities include: serving 50+ financial planning and investment management clients under two of the Orange County office Senior Financial Advisors (George Andrews and Byron Nelson), developing comprehensive and integrated financial/wealth management strategies based on biblical principles to help clients make wise financial decisions, live generously, and leave a lasting legacy. I am on the Financial Advisor career path, so while my day-to-day is helping clients plan and manage their finances, I also have a role in business development by building my own book of business by bringing in more clients to serve and provide wisdom.
What interests me most about this industry is the need for biblical wisdom to be integrated into finances and to change the way Christians and non-Christians perceive and handle money. I have always had a passion for numbers and finance, which drew me to public accounting and then into wealth management. However, my real passion for the industry was sparked when I realized the desperate need for Christians to understand Biblical principles of money management and shifting their perspective from an Earthly (short-term) perspective to an Eternal (long-term) perspective. Living through the fraud, accounting, and business scandals of the 2000s displayed the desperate need for our culture to change the way we handle wealth and what a great way for Christians to have a true impact and be the salt and light of this world. My goal in this career and this industry is to counsel every one of my clients and those that I interact with (following 1 Timothy 6:17-19), that God owns it all, we are stewards of the resources He has entrusted us, and we will be held accountable for how we handled His resources. This could be a scary thought, but at the same time, it is the greatest “Peace of Mind”, because financial independence is only achieved through complete dependence on the ultimate provide - God! When we hold an open hand and allow God to give and take as He pleases, we have freedom, but when we close our hands on our resources, we become a slave to money and we will never be content. Once Christians can see money through this eternal lens, we can tremendously impact the world for the Kingdom through extravagant giving, living counter-cultural by being debt free, understanding that contentment does not come from money, that there are finish lines to how much is enough, and that the purpose of our wealth is to achieve our goals, which in turn should achieve God’s purposes. We can fund the Great Commission in our lifetime if only born-again believers would give as the Bible instructs us and we can provide wisdom to Wall Street by changing the perspective of those on Main Street.
2) Talk a bit about your giftedness. How & when did you discover what you are good at?
Growing up I was raised by a family of small business owners and entrepreneurs, which always made me curious about business and money. I found in school that I was pretty good with numbers, research, and studying, so I pursued accounting, thinking that is what I am good at. What I learned fairly quickly starting my career at KPMG was that everyone was just as good or better at accounting and auditing, but the difference was their relational skills and servant leadership. I was able to excel in my work because I could build relationships with my clients and my teams, which proved to mean more than just expertise alone. When I switched careers to wealth management, I learned through several of my mentors that there is a major difference between an “expert for hire” and a “trusted advisor”. My desire to be an expert had always been my goal in work, but my gift was interacting with people. I used to joke in college that my best resume skill was networking and that definitely plays a part in opening opportunities, but it played a very important part in interacting with great mentors that continue to provide me with wisdom. It allowed me to return that wisdom through mentoring others and moving to that position of “trusted advisor”, “trusted mentee”, trusted mentor”, and “trusted friend”.
3) How has your education at the Crowell School of Business and Biola equipped you for your work? Talk about Business as Ministry and how this manifests itself in your work today.
My education at Crowell School of Business and Biola greatly impacted and equipped me for my work and my life. Biola does an amazing job at integrating faith and the Bible into all curriculum, which is exactly what we do at Ronald Blue Trust, and it prepared me to integrate God’s teaching of faith and money. Crowell uniquely positioned me to impact the business world for Christ through servant leadership, compassion, and understanding, expertise through studies, but above all, that true wisdom can only come from the Word of God. Biola and the School of Business are uniquely positioned to instruct students to impact the world in ways that no other Universities will. The “why” that the School of Business operates is to integrate Business as Ministry through servant leadership with men and women of integrity. These are two characteristics that aren’t found in the marketplace, which is filled with self-interest. Our culture is calling for leaders that realize their best accomplishment is to create a leader better than themselves, that we are other-centered, and that business ethics and integrity are inseparable from a Christian worldview. This is how Biola and the Crowell School of Business equipped me and how they will continue to impact Main Street, and eventually impact Wall Street, the Country, and the World for Christ through business as a ministry.
The education through class curriculum was very insightful, but the best resource and instruction I received was through the incredible professors, who still mentor me to this day!