Greetings from the AFCPE® national office! As we prepare for another productive year ahead, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the exciting growth we experienced in 2015.

Thank you for helping us make the 2015 Symposium a huge success. We had record attendance, terrific sessions, and outstanding exhibitors. This year we offered the first University Financial Counseling Bowl with five university teams competing. Utah Valley University took home the first place prize! We also organized a pro bono financial counseling community day in partnership with a local United Way. More than twenty AFC® professionals devoted their time and expertise to contribute to this meaningful event, helping to raise consumer awareness for the profession.

None of this would have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors and partners: The USAA Educational Foundation, FINRA Foundation, and Experian who provided funding for military financial counselors, military spouse fellows and students to attend, respectively. Additionally, the Association of Military Banks of America, Defense Credit Union Council, McGraw Hill Financial, and Belvoir Federal Credit Union also stepped up to support our professionals.

In addition to the remarkable growth we experienced, this year was especially meaningful to me as it marked my 10th year with the organization. AFCPE aligns with my personal commitment to issues of inequality, and I feel so honored to lead such a great organization with an important mission. But,
it is also exciting to witness the evolution and progress we have made through the hard work and dedication of the Staff team, Board of Directors, task forces, and all of you—our members and certificants. This is your organization—and it is your vision and input that continues to guide us.

AFCPE stands uniquely positioned to make the most significant impact on the field of financial counseling and planning education. What distinguishes us from others is our strong foundation of field research and the rich diversity of expertise among our professionals. As a result, our programs assess the whole person to address their unique needs, rather than a prescriptive model that limits the growth potential of the individual.

This past year, our Symposium theme was Building the Bridge from Research to Practice. As an association, our goal is to help facilitate a richer connection between our researchers, educators, and practitioners
to create a more effective continuum of care for professionals, and ultimately the people we serve. At the Symposium, each attendee was asked to add a word brick to signify what it takes to build an effective bridge for our field (see the result above).

We look forward to a fantastic New Year with continued growth, new technology, and important initiatives and partnerships. We remain focused on increasing awareness of the work that you do and the value of the AFC to create better career opportunities. Please join us in those efforts by advocating for the AFC in your spheres of influence, as well.

Thank you again for your commitment to the field of financial counseling and to AFCPE. Together, we can achieve our common mission and continue to set the standards for the field. As we begin the next ten years together, I look forward to building this bridge with you and working to make a positive and lasting impact.

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