Michele Godfrey is a personal financial counselor and educator who is passionate about supporting clients to make the best financial decisions for their future. Through education and resources, she helps them build skills and gain financial self-sufficiency. Along with being a Financial Readiness Program Manager (Fort Belvoir Army Garrison) and Personal Finance Facilitator (Together Program), she’s very active in the AFCPE® community. She was recently appointed to the AFCPE Board of Directors and is the current Board Liaison to the Member Services Task Force. Michele is excited to empower our organization and help others “Set the Highest Standard”.
AFCPE: What inspired you to enter this field?
Michele: I was first introduced to Financial Planning through the NEFE High School Financial Planning course during my Junior year of High School (1997). This course changed my life, providing further explanation to basic financial principles that my parents had taught me and introducing me to other concepts that I was not familiar with. After graduating from High School, I pursued a degree in Finance. I did not realize at the time that the Finance degree did not specifically focus on personal finance. As I entered the Finance/Accounting career field I realized that my passion was truly in personal finance, so I sought other opportunities including the CFP®program and AFC® designation.
AFCPE: You were a recipient of the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship in 2010. How has the AFC® and the support of AFCPE & the Fellowship community supported you in your career?
Michele: This program has been the catalyst that propelled my career! When I was introduced to the fellowship, applied, and was accepted into the program it was as if I found the secret ingredient needed for my career. The bonus was the scholarship. I was at a point in my career and military spouse life where obtaining an additional certification or education would have put a significant strain on my finances. Being awarded a scholarship removed a barrier that would have otherwise delayed or deterred me from entering and completing the program to obtain my AFC® designation.
AFCPE: That’s amazing! You are serving your first year on the AFCPE Board of Directors. What are you most excited about in this role and what advice do you have for fellow AFCPE members with aspirations to serve on the board?
Michele: Wow…it is truly an honor to serve as a board member of any organization, but particularly one that provides the backbone for my career. I am empowered by the AFCPE objective of “Setting the Standard” and I believe that leading the financial education industry is at the forefront of our organization. I hope to bring sound experience and knowledge from my area of specialty, gain insights from other career areas, and make sure that collectively we are making the world a better place through financial education and literacy.
AFCPE: February is Black History Month. What does AFCPE’s mission and the work of our professionals mean to you as a woman of color?
Michele: As a woman of color, I think that the work we do in this field is significant in removing barriers to wealth and increasing financial well-being in our families and community.
AFCPE: Do you have any advice for African American woman who are pursuing a career in financial counseling, coaching, and education?
Michele: Make it happen! We have a unique ability to nurture and educate. Use your knowledge and expertise to “lift as you climb”!
AFCPE: What’s next for you? What has you most excited?
Michele: I am excited about the interest that many organizations and companies have in financial literacy for their employees and future generations. I continue to seek opportunities to raise my AFCPE voice through innovative programs that promote financial education and financial preparedness.
Michele Answers the Friday 5:
- My Why: Seeing others prosper brings me great joy.
- My Favorite Quote: “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all of your might.”
- My Hero: My Mom…She makes things happen and is truly an inspiration to so many.
- My Favorite Personal Finance Resource: My AFC® and Military Spouse Fellow groups….
- My Best Advice:
- For someone starting the journey to financial well-being: Measure your gains not your gaps. Never give up hope.
- For a new professional entering the field: Meet your clients where they are and lead them towards their goal.
Follow Michele at: