So here we are, my final President’s letter of 2018 for The Standard. In hindsight, this year of service has gone by so much faster than I could have imagined. It really feels like only yesterday that I woke up and looked at the calendar, feeling both a bit nervous and excited about what’s ahead.

On the whole, I think it’s been a good year. I’ll offer this very brief summary of our accomplishments, but keep in mind it doesn’t adequately capture the amount of thought and effort contributed by so many to realize them.

  1. Over this past year we have broadened and enriched the scope of our recognized professional constituencies to acknowledge and welcome those of us working in the service and the financial industry settings.

  2. We have increased and improved public awareness of and access to financial counseling and coaching through our ongoing communications and advocacy efforts at the federal and state levels.

  3. We collaborated with organizations and agencies aligned to our efforts to grow awareness of positive financial behaviors, to inform and protect consumers, and support research into the benefits of financial counseling, coaching, and education.

  4. And finally, we lent our voice in support of programs that improve financial literacy and well-being across a spectrum of diverse communities.

Especially in this year of service as president, I’ve come to appreciate how our dedication to integration, diversity and inclusion, and our commitment to the highest standards and comprehensiveness of care are what distinguishes us. We make a unique contribution as a professional association of researchers, educators, counselors, coaches, and other service and industry professionals in our communities and the field of personal finance at large.

Another important accomplishment we’ll realize will be the launch of our Strategic Impact Fund at the Annual Symposium this year. The Fund represents a significant milestone in our continued evolution and growing influence as an organization. It’s a sign of how far we have come as a presence in our field and a sign of our commitment to forge ahead, further supporting research, professional development, and community programs to continue improving the financial well-being of the communities we serve.

As I take personal stock of this last year, I’m grateful and most proud to have served as president at a time when we matured as an organization and found our voice, along with the courage to lend it in a full-throated manner to promote our values of service to our society. I think we’ve evolved our perspective as professionals and as a field to include an acknowledgement and understanding of societal and economic systemic issues affecting the financial security and well-being of the people and communities we serve. In doing so, we have amplified the scope of our reach and our capacity to realize positive change in the lives of our clients, our communities and in our society.

Thank you to all of my AFCPE colleagues who represent us with distinction in our communities. Thank you to all of you who have so generously given us the benefit of your time and considerable talents in service to our shared efforts as members of our task forces. Thank you to my colleagues on the Board and to Rebecca Wiggins and staff, whose shared vision and contributions have also been key to what we have been able to accomplish together. Thank you for all the things you have done and continue to do every day, big and small, as celebrated or quiet professionals, with brilliance and compassion to make a positive difference in the lives of so many. It has been and continues to be an honor to serve with you. Thank you.

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