Written By: Andi Wrenn, AFCPE® Board President
Hello AFCPE® community! It is hard to believe we are already in the fourth month of 2023. AFCPE® has a lot going on and I am excited to share how you can get involved.
Symposium planning is going well. Here are some things to share with you so you can begin to prepare for this year in New Orleans November 29-December 1, 2023.
- Invitation to present will be opening soon. Start planning what you would like to present for symposium. The invitation to submit a proposal will be open mid-May through early June. Don’t wait until the last minute to get your panel together, presentation, poster session, or collaboration with others so you can submit. All submissions will need to be in person at symposium this year. The selection process will be completed by mid-August.
- Reviewers for symposium applications is something that I have enjoyed doing in the past. If you would like to review the applications there will be an email that goes out to members, as well as a post in the members forum in May. This is a great way for you to be involved in symposium.
- Registration for symposium will begin in the summer. I do want to remind you that AFCPE® changed the way people enroll as a member. Now membership is rolling. The month you sign up for membership will be when you renew each year. There will be a member discount for symposium, so make sure to renew your membership or sign up before registering. There are a lot of great benefits, and symposium discount for membership is a great one I have enjoyed since 2008. Below are some great member benefits.
Sometimes I hear people are confused about the difference between the fee for keeping the AFC® up to date and AFCPE® membership. They are two different things. Being a member provides help in your career and allows you to be part of the community, to include helping with the direction of the organization. You do not need to be an AFC® to be an AFCPE® member. There are many ways be involved as a member. Here are a few that I will highlight. Check out membership in more detail on the website and share it with your colleagues and professional connections.
- Professional Development is a big membership benefit. You can attend live or watch recordings of great classes for your continuing education credits. The Journal has articles in which you can read research for the field, and you can take a quiz for continuing education.
- Get involved by being a part of a task force, lead a member meet-up, or be an ambassador. If you have not yet participated in the AFCPE® Member Exchange, this is a great way to learn from others, ask questions to the other professionals in the exchange, or share your knowledge and resources with others. Your experiences bring something to the table that is valuable for our community. Each one of you have an expertise that can help the community to grow. These areas in which you can be involved need you to make our AFCPE® community stronger.
- Mentorship is a great way to be involved as an AFCPE® member. You can sign up to be a mentee or a mentor. Participants sign up twice a year. You may just find that this is a huge benefit to not only help you in your career but connecting to other professionals in the field.
- The resources available to you as a member include a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Toolkit, Membership logo and guidelines, Government Relations Survey, AFCPE® office hours, and AFCPE® Zoom backgrounds. What a great way to share the AFC® and AFCPE® with people who are not yet familiar with Accredited Financial Counselors.
- Career support is another great membership benefit. The AFCPE® Job Fair will be coming up in early May. If you are hiring, I encourage your organization to participate. If you are looking for a new career you can attend to learn more about opportunities available. Under career support there are also the experience portal as well as past experience hour opportunities.
- News & Publications include The Standard, Monthly Minute E-Newsletters, and the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning Research. A great way you can contribute is writing an article or submitting to the Journal. Since you are reading this article, you are participating! I hope you enjoy the rest of the articles in this quarter’s newsletter. You can search past articles to learn more about many other valuable topics written with you in mind as a financial professional.
- Awards and Recognition is an important part of membership. Highlighting the great work our members are doing in the field is important to letting people know what AFCPE® is about. It also helps other professionals learn what people are doing with their AFC® designation. Start thinking now about who you would recognize and consider nominating them for an award, apply for a mini grant, or submit for a Friday Follow on social media.
As a member of AFCPE® since I was an AFC® candidate in 2007 I have felt like I have found “my people”. I really enjoy having so much in common with other professionals. Not only every year at symposium, but at the member meetups, professional development, and while participating in mentor sessions as well as the AFCPE® member exchange online. I hope you will get more connected within our community. My challenge this quarter is to invite your colleagues and connections to join AFCPE® as a member.