Member Social – March 2020

Join FPA NEO for our first social of the year!

Includes a game of bocce ball, appetizers and drinks.

CANCELLED: April 2020 Education Meeting

This event has been cancelled. 

Please contact chapter administrator, Lauren Smigelski, with questions at 216-298-9095 or

Read additional updates from FPA NEO and find resources during the COVID-19 pandemic here.

CANCELLED: March 2020 Education Meeting

This event has been cancelled. 

If you are a nonmember, you will not be charged the guest fee. 

Please contact chapter administrator, Lauren Smigelski, with questions at 216-298-9095 or


February 2020 Education Meeting

TOPIC #1: Property & Casualty Insurance for the Aging

SPEAKER: Michelle Hirsch

About the Program: As clients age and wealth shifts, insurance protection needs to adjust with it. However, it is often overlooked to have an insurance strategy as part of a wealth management portfolio. This course will provide a high-level overview of personal insurance and the unique risks faced by aging adults as they consider events like downsizing or transitioning to assisted living. It also examines the importance of an insurance audit and how preparing this analysis strengthens the relationship between clients and their financial advisors.

About the Speaker: For over 15 years, Michelle has managed department operations, marketing, and overall corporate business development at Brunswick Companies. Working with all of the business units internally, as well as external sources of influence, Michelle’s main goal is to make sure Brunswick is at the forefront of the insurance industry. Michelle earned her MBA from Case Western University’s Weatherhead School of Management and was named in the Class of 2008 Crain’s Cleveland Business Top “Twenty in Their 20’s” and Class of 2017 “Forty Under 40.”

TOPIC #2: Be Prepared, Be Empowered: Key questions women should be asking to navigate their financial futures

SPEAKER: Leslie Geller

About the Program: Knowledge is power when it comes to being prepared for a spouse’s death or a divorce, yet many clients don’t even know the right questions to ask to access the information they need to insure their future financial security.  Although both spouses struggle with this problem, because of the prevalence of certain traditional gender roles, women in particular suffer the consequences of incomplete information when it comes to their rights and obligations upon death or divorce.  Advisors can make themselves trusted resources for the women in their books by showing them the types of questions that they should be asking their professional advisors during the financial planning process, and guiding them to the key pieces of information that they should be looking for in the responses.  Join Leslie Geller, a former tax and estate planning attorney, as she walks you through a hypothetical case study to highlight the potential pitfalls women may face upon the death of a spouse or divorce, the most important questions women should be asking to avoid these pitfalls, and the essential information women need to insure they feel empowered and prepared to manage their financial futures.

About the Speaker: Leslie Geller is a wealth strategist at Capital Group. She has 12 years of industry experience and joined Capital Group this year. Prior to joining Capital, Leslie was a partner at Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside LLP where she advised high- and ultra high-net-worth clients on all matters related to taxation, wealth transfer and family governance. Before that, she was an associate at Clearly Gottlieb. She received an LLM in taxation from New York University School of Law, a juris doctor from Boston College Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University.  Leslie is based in Los Angeles.

Continuing Education – FPA NEO will request credit for these programs, which will total two hours of CE from the CFP® Board of Standards for CFP® designation holders. A general certificate of completion and one for CPA designees who feel the program satisfies their continuing education requirements will also be available.

Reservation Policy – All attendees are encouraged to register in advance before noon 02/19/20 and walk-in reservations will be accepted on a space-available basis only.  Meeting cost is free for FPA members and $60 for non-members.  If you reserve and are unable to attend, please call the office or email to cancel by noon 02/19/20 to avoid a no-show reservation billing of $10.00.

January 2020 Education Meeting

TOPIC #1: Anatomy of a Recession: What to Look for and Where We’re Headed

SPEAKER: Corey Hardie

About the Program: The longest bull market in history continues — yet increased volatility has led some investors to wonder when and how that might change. How close could we be to the next recession? What factors are most important to watch in the months ahead? ClearBridge Investments’ exclusive Recession Risk Dashboard offers valuable answers, tracking key data along four vital economic fault lines. Discover how the Dashboard works and how it can help you and your clients stay prepared for future downturns in Anatomy of a Recession.

About the Speaker: Corey Hardie is a Portfolio Specialist at ClearBridge. Corey joined ClearBridge in 2014 and has eight years of investment industry experience. As an investment specialist, Corey provides capital markets and economic analysis, as well as portfolio construction and fundamental equity research insights, to audiences ranging from broker/dealers, financial advisors, institutional clients and investment consultants. Prior to joining ClearBridge, he was Client Service Specialist at Atalanta Sosnoff Capital. He received a BS in Business Administration from the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University, with a concentration in Finance.

TOPIC #2: HINDsight 2020

SPEAKER: Leon LaBrecque, JD, CPA, CFP®, CFA

About the Program: As the calendar turns, we’ll enter a new year and a brand new decade. Historically, these ten-year windows have brought significant shifts across our economic and cultural landscape. We’ll look at the potential impact of the 2020 election, proposed legislation (SECURE and tax law changes), and advances in technology and the ways they might change the financial and estate planning landscape. Learn why planning will not only remain important, but become more critical in the decade to come. Our goal will be finding clarity and implementing strategies to help clients move toward their goals.

About the Speaker: Leon LaBrecque has invested more than thirty years in pursuit of one goal, enriching the lives of everyday people by helping them understand their financial lives. As an attorney, CPA, a CFP® and a CFA, he is passionate about making the complex world of financial planning, investing, retirement planning and taxation simpler and more accessible. After growing up in Hazel Park, Michigan, graduating magna cum laude from University of Detroit Mercy with degrees in accounting and law, Leon has devoted his life to advancing financial literacy. He has spent countless hours serving his community as a speaker, an author and champion for causes like the Hazel Park Promise Zone. He’s authored multiple books sharing ideas for retirement planning and financial literacy. He’s been featured in media outlets like InvestmentNews, CNBC, USA Today, and Forbes. Leon is more than a talking head, he’s a leading voice drawing attention to the benefits of financial literacy and comprehensive planning. As the Chief Growth Officer of Sequoia Financial Group, he serves a team of experienced advisors, assisting them in their pursuit of providing unparalleled excellence in client service and financial planning. When he’s not helping his clients prepare for a thriving retirement, he enjoys spending time with his wife and children, hunting and fishing in Michigan’s beautiful outdoors, and relaxing through yoga and poetry.

Continuing Education – FPA NEO will request credit for these programs, which will total two hours of CE from the CFP® Board of Standards for CFP® designation holders. A general certificate of completion and one for CPA designees who feel the program satisfies their continuing education requirements will also be available.

Reservation Policy – All attendees are encouraged to register in advance before noon 01/15/20 and walk-in reservations will be accepted on a space-available basis only.  Meeting cost is free for FPA members and $60 for non-members.  If you reserve and are unable to attend, please call the office or email to cancel by noon 01/15/20 to avoid a no-show reservation billing of $10.00.

NexGen Event: Volunteer Event at Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank

Volunteer with FPA NEO NexGen sorting books at the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank!

The mission of the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank is to foster improved literacy and a love of reading by providing free books to children in need. Our goal is to break the poverty cycle by exposing low-income children to language and reading from birth – fostering literacy skills, opening their minds to the world beyond their neighborhood and fueling their imaginations. As a volunteer you will be sort books by reading level and box them for pick up from various partner organizations who distribute them directly to kids and families in need to keep and build their home libraries.

At the conclusion of this year FPA Northeast Ohio will be making a donation to the Kids’ Book Bank as a thank you to all of our speakers from 2019.

2019 Fall Social

Join FPA NEO for our final social of the year!

NexGen: Basics of Student Loans: What Financial Planners Should Know

FPA Members: Free
Non-Members: $15.00
Appetizers and drinks provided

About the Program
With $1.5 trillion of student loan debt in the U.S. economy, student loans have surpassed every form of consumer debt except for mortgages. As a financial planner, you are going to see more clients walking into your practice with student loans if you haven’t already. In this presentation, local student loan lawyer Rebecca Maurer will go over the basics of what you need to know to handle everyday student loan questions from your clients.

About Rebecca Maurer
Maurer Law LLC is a legal practice based in Cleveland, Ohio owned and operated by Rebecca Maurer, an emerging leader in student loan law and policy. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and Stanford Law School, which she attended after seeing the effects of the foreclosure crisis on her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.  She narrowed her interest to student loan law when she saw the difficulties she and her classmates encountered in managing their own debt. In 2014 she published her first article on student loan and bankruptcy issues.  In 2015 she helped design and implement a student loan calculator available in the iOS App Store.  She has worked on consumer and student loan cases at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLC and the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. Rebecca was a federal clerk for Judge James Gwin in the Northern District of Ohio from 2015-2016. Rebecca is the author of the Student Loan Law chapter of the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 editions of Ohio Consumer Law, published by Thomson Reuters. She is a Student Loan Justice Fellow at the newly formed Student Borrower Protection Center, founded by the former CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman, where she has focused her work on the issue of transcript withholding. In addition to the student loan work, Rebecca maintains a substantial pro bono housing and consumer law practice in collaboration with community organizations in the Cleveland area.  She is a volunteer with Minds Matter Cleveland, is on the board of Slavic Village Development, and is the author of SerialLand, a blog that tracked the podcast Serial as it covered Cleveland’s criminal justice in 2018.

Reservation Policy: All attendees are encouraged to register in advance. If you reserve and are unable to attend, please call the office to cancel by noon 09/30/19 to avoid a no-show reservation billing of $20.00.

Annual Fall Symposium


Members: $195

Non Members: $245

Full time Students: $75

Register Now


FPA NEO has received approval to provide credit for these programs, which will total five hours of CE from the CFP® Board of Standards for CFP® designation holders with the opportunity for two ethics credits. FPA NEO has also received approval to provide credit for up to four hours of CE from the Ohio Department of Insurance (credit depends on which programs you attend) with the opportunity for three ethics credits. A general certificate of completion and one for CPA designees who feel the programs satisfy their continuing education requirements will also be available.


7:30 – 8:30 AM: Breakfast

8:30 – 8:45 AM: Announcements and Partner Introduction

8:45 – 9:35 AM: Concurrent Sessions

Candura 1: “Boom or Bust: Aging in America”

Dan Candura, CFP

About the program: The course will use case studies and interactive polling to help participants understand aging in America and the financial exploitation of seniors and other vulnerable adults.

About the Speaker: Dan Candura, CFP® is the founder of Candura Group, LLC and provides ethics training across the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia through in-person courses and webinars. As President of PennyTree Advisers. LLC, Dan provides personal financial planning for consumers and litigation support for attorneys. Dan taught financial planning, insurance planning and retirement planning in the Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University in Boston and is also a CFP® Ambassador for the Boston area.

Dan appeared as a featured expert on the PBS documentary Retirement Revolution. He has been profiled in The Journal of Financial Planning, and quoted in numerous publications. He wrote a monthly column for Investment News concerning ethical issues for advisors. Dan served on the Board of Directors of The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. and is a past Chair of the Board of Professional Review. He is a member of the Financial Planning Association and a NAPFA registered financial planner.

Breakout #1: “The Minds and Habits of Millionaires”

Steve Benjamin, CEBS, CRPC, Sit Mutual Funds

About the program: Many people think that their only chance at becoming rich is by playing the lottery when, in fact, we know there are other ways to become wealthy that have better odds.  Just ask the retired school bus driver who built a portfolio worth $3 million.  At this seminar, we’ll explore some common habits and thought processes that individuals developed that helped them become millionaires.

About the speaker: Steve is the Manager of Investment Advisory Services for Sit Mutual Funds.  He works with individuals who are preparing for retirement and also retirees to set up investment programs and withdrawal strategies.  He also works with financial advisors, 401(k) plan participants and retirement plan administrators.  Steve is a graduate of Hamline University and is Series 7 licensed.  Before joining Sit Mutual Funds in 1997, Steve worked in retirement plan administration, marketing and sales at Ameriprise for 9 years and Securian for 1 year.  Over the years, he has spoken to a number of groups on a variety of topics.

9:35 – 10:05 AM: Break with Exhibitors

10:05 – 10:55 AM: GENERAL SESSION

“Guide to the Markets”

David Lebovitz

About the speaker: David M. Lebovitz, Executive Director, is a Global Market Strategist on the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Global Market Insights Strategy Team. In this role, David is responsible for delivering timely market and economic insights to clients across the country. David helped build the Market Insights program in the United Kingdom and Europe, has appeared on both Bloomberg TV and CNBC, and is often quoted in the financial press.

David first joined J.P. Morgan in 2010. Prior to joining the firm, he was a Research Analyst at Kobren Insight Management.

David obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy, with a concentration in Leadership Studies, from Williams College in 2009. He earned a dual-MBA degree from Columbia University and London Business School in 2015.

10:55 – 11:15 AM: Break with Exhibitors

11:15 AM – 12:05 PM: GENERAL SESSION

“Advanced Roth Conversion Strategies”

Michael Kitces

About the program: Since 2010, anyone is permitted to do a Roth conversion of a traditional IRA or 401(k), regardless of income. However, in the end it’s best to pay your taxes when your rates are the lowest… which means just because you can do a Roth conversion at higher income levels, doesn’t mean you should – especially not all at once. In this session, we explore various strategies to maximize the value of a Roth conversion, from doing backdoor Roth contributions, to systematic partial Roth conversions, Roth barbell strategies to manage the timing of a Roth conversion, and more!

About the speaker: Michael E. Kitces, is a partner and the Director of Wealth Management for Pinnacle Advisory Group, a private wealth management firm located in Columbia, Maryland that oversees more than $2.0 billion of client assets.

In addition, he is a co-founder of the XY Planning Network, AdvicePay, and New Planner Recruiting, the former Practitioner Editor of the Journal of Financial Planning, the host of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, and the publisher of the popular financial planning continuing education blog Nerd’s Eye View through his website, all dedicated to advancing knowledge in financial planning.

12:05 – 1:30 PM: Lunch including presentation of the FPA Northeast Ohio 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award


“Five Industry Trends Reshaping Financial Advice”

Michael Kitces

About the program: The recent rise of the “robo-advisor” has called into question the relevance of financial advisors and the viability of current advisory business models. Yet the reality is that technology “disrupting” financial advisor business models isn’t new, and has actually happened repeatedly over the past several decades… forcing advisors to adapt and move up the value chain, or be left behind. In this session, we look at how technology is once again driving major changes in the business model of financial advisors, driving a Great Convergence across historically-separate industry channels, triggering a Crisis of Differentiation, a Search for New Business Models, and rising pressure on improving the Client Experience. And in the coming years, these trends will only be accelerated, as the consumers of financial planning – and financial planners themselves – shift from Baby Boomers, to the Gen X and Millennial generations that, as “digital natives”, will expect and demand advisors to both leverage technology, and add value on top!

2:20 – 2:50 PM: Break with Exhibitors

2:50 – 4:40 PM: Concurrent Sessions

Candura 2 (2:50 – 4:40 PM): “CFP Ethics: New Standards for a Fiduciary World”

Dan Candura, CFP®

About the program: Attendees participate in an informative and engaging session that teaches the learning objectives required by CFP Board for ethics training.

  1. Identify the structure and content of the revised Code and Standards, including significant
    changes and how the changes affect CFP® professionals.
  2. Act in accordance with CFP Board’s fiduciary duty.
  3. Apply the Practice Standards when providing Financial Planning.
  4. Recognize situations when specific information must be provided to a client.
  5. Recognize and avoid, or fully disclose and manage Material Conflicts of Interest.

Breakout #2 (2:50 – 3:40 PM): “Integrating Home Equity into Retirement Strategies: Legal, Tax, & Financial implications & Opportunities”

Hank Sanders, American Advisors Group

About the program: This workshop is designed to provide a more advanced look at tools and strategies that advisors, fiduciaries, attorneys, and tax professionals may wish to incorporate into their planning for clients in, or approaching retirement age. With the rapid increase in the number of retirees and the significance of wealth in home equity, professional advisors may have a responsibility to understand how housing wealth fits into their clients’ comprehensive plan in order to serve in the best interest of the client. This workshop will specifically address research & math revealing that the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage is no longer a product of last resort, but rather a meaningful strategic tool to address retirement needs and risk mitigation for mass affluent families.

About the speaker: Hank Sanders began his career in financial services in 1986 with the Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Financial Consultant training program. On Monday, October 19, 1987, just over one year into his career, Hank watched as the Dow dropped by over 22%, wiping out over $500 billion in value in a single day. Black Monday reset the entire industry’s perspective of investment risk and had a tremendous impact on Hank’s approach to serving his clients.

For Hank, no longer could he focus on transactional relationships or simply selling products for the benefit of his firm. Although it was unpopular at the time, from that point forward, it became clear that he needed to redefine his business, taking a comprehensive approach to client situations – their dreams, their fears, and their expectations. In the coming years, Hank built a practice with a commitment to holistic financial planning and putting the clients’ best interest first, a philosophy that he has found tremendously rewarding for both himself, and the families he has served.

Over the past several years, observing that there was a significant gap in many people’s savings relative to their retirement expectations, Hank began to expand his understanding on how to include real estate and home equity into his financial strategies. When he was approached by American Advisors Group to join the team that will be sharing this message and educating the industry on the strategic use of equity in a retirement income strategy, Hank knew he could make a far greater impact on the industry and potentially thousands of lives. Today, as a Strategic Business Specialist for AAG, Hank specializes in educating, supporting, and developing relationships with financial advisors.

Breakout Session #3 (3:50 – 4:40 PM): “How an Advisor Adds Value through Behavioral Coaching” 

Christopher Cavanaugh, Vanguard

About the program: This presentation will provide details on Vanguard Advisor’s Alpha, behavioral coaching. The discussion will, explain the mistakes that investors—including advisors—often make, define behavioral coaching and explain how it can build your business, and discuss Vanguard’s three P’s of behavioral coaching.

About the speaker: Chris Cavanagh is a sales executive with The Vanguard Group managing their Registered Investment Advisor relationships throughout the Midwest.  Prior to joining Vanguard in 2011, Chris was a vice president with Goldman Sachs and also spent time working with Alliance Bernstein and Merrill Lynch.  He has over 25 years of industry experience and holds the Series 7 and 63 licenses, and attained the CIMA designation in 2007.  Chris grew up near Vanguard’s headquarters in PA and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business from Franklin & Marshall College.  He now resides in Westerville, Ohio.

Register Now

November 19, 2019 Education Meeting

TOPIC #1: Case Studies in Donor Advised Funds
SPEAKERS: Terri Bradford Eason, MBA and David Stokley, JD

About the Program: Join members from Cleveland Foundation’s gift planning team to discuss the ins and outs of Donor Advised Funds (DAFs). As the oldest community foundation in the world, the Cleveland Foundation is a recognized leader in community-based philanthropy. With a team committed to finding solutions for donors, learn how customization is the key component for DAFs, and how donors have used DAFs to meet their unique charitable and planning objectives.

About the Speakers: Terri Eason manages the Cleveland Foundation’s Gift Planning Program as a member of the Advancement team. Her primary focus is cultivating relationships that help individuals establish current and deferred philanthropic funds, legacy gifts and charitable giving strategic plans. As such, Terri works closely with professional advisors and their clients to identify, create and provide charitable planning options tailored to achieve specific philanthropic goals. Terri joined the Foundation in October 2008 after gaining two decades of experience in the financial services industry. She had several positions with National City (now PNC) and supported several functions including wealth management, relationship management, new business development, and both private and corporate banking. Terri has served the nonprofit community as a director on several area nonprofit boards. She is a member of the National Black MBA Association, Inc., NAACP, Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society, Cleveland Chapter of Links, Inc., Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. and Jack & Jill of America, Inc. Terri earned her Master of Business Administration degree from Cleveland State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Penn State University. Terri resides in South Euclid, Ohio with her husband and their two sons.

Dave Stokley joined the Cleveland Foundation’s Advancement team in July 2019. He focuses on providing individuals, families and organizations with information regarding current and deferred charitable giving options. In addition, Dave works closely with professional advisors and their clients to identify those options that will achieve specific philanthropic planning goals. Prior to joining the Foundation, Dave ran The Cleveland Orchestra’s gift planning program and held positions at the Cleveland Museum of Art and Stark & Knoll LPA. Dave serves as the President of Northern Ohio Charitable Gift Planners and is also on the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Baseball Federation. Dave maintains memberships with the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, Northern Ohio Charitable Gift Planners, and Estate Planning Council of Cleveland. He earned his law degree from Ohio State University following undergraduate work at Wittenberg University.

TOPIC #2: Socially Responsible Investing at the Cleveland Foundation
SPEAKER: Anthony Gattuso, CAIA

About the Program: Requests for investment options with socially responsible components have skyrocketed in recent years, even in a charitable setting. Learn how the Cleveland Foundation has worked with staff and board members to create and evaluate an innovative suite of programs for donors and grantees. 

About the Speaker: Anthony Gattuso joined the Cleveland Foundation in October 2016 as Manager of Investments. Anthony works with members of the finance team and the foundation’s independent investment consultant, trustee banks and various other investment managers in overseeing the successful administration of the foundation’s $2.5 billion investment portfolio, cash management and finance/treasury analysis. Prior to joining the Cleveland Foundation, he worked in the investment office of the Cleveland Clinic Health System as Senior Investment Analyst.  Anthony earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Saint Bonaventure University in New York and studied abroad at Beijing Institute of Technology. He went on to earn an MBA from Cleveland State University. In addition to his academic credentials, he is also a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst. Also, he currently serves on the Investment Practices Committee of the Fiscal and Administrative Officers Group (FAOG) for Community Foundation’s.

Continuing Education – FPA NEO will request credit for these programs, which will total two hours of CE from the CFP® Board of Standards for CFP® designation holders. A general certificate of completion and one for CPA designees who feel the program satisfies their continuing education requirements will also be available.

Reservation Policy – All attendees are encouraged to register in advance before noon 11/18/19 and walk-in reservations will be accepted on a space-available basis only.  Meeting cost is free for FPA members and $60 for non-members.  If you reserve and are unable to attend, please call the office or email to cancel by noon 11/18/19 to avoid a no-show reservation billing of $10.00.