By Geof Brown, NAPFA CEO
After an incredible nine-plus years as NAPFA’s CEO, I’ve decided that it’s time to move on. Yes, I’m leaving one of the best jobs I’ve ever had, working with the best staff, board, and community I know. Why? Because I believe great leaders are thoughtful stewards, and great stewards know when their time is complete. I’ve reached that moment.
When I joined NAPFA in 2013, we were a small and mighty team with a committed membership focused on pushing the financial planning profession forward. We’ve transitioned from fighting for recognition of fee-only financial planning to a community of professionals who are now leading the profession’s transformation.
I’ve been honored to lead NAPFA during a time of tremendous growth. I’m very proud of our work to grow NAPFA and the fee-only community. Over the last nine years, the association has doubled in size. This type of growth validates our work to curate a valuable and relevant member experience. I’m also proud of the relationships we’ve built for the benefit of this community. NAPFA is nearing its 40th year, and I think it is well-positioned to continue being the leading professional community for fee-only financial planning professionals.
Most importantly, together as a community, we’ve acknowledged the imperative of prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in all we do. We’ve demonstrated the diversity that board and volunteer leadership can reflect. We’ve fostered the next generation of professionals through our programs and communities of interest. And we’ve committed to doing our part to make financial planning a more diverse and welcoming profession. This was recently reflected in WealthManagement.com naming our DEI Training & Certificate Program the Association Initiative of the Year.
I’ve long heeded the maxim that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. I’ve never been in the wrong room working with the remarkable NAPFA board and staff teams. They’re thoughtful, creative, innovative, purpose-driven, and the source behind so many impactful ideas. If you’re part of the NAPFA community, please know there is not a day when these teams are not thinking of you.
It’s impossible to adequately thank all the dedicated people who form the heart and soul of NAPFA. I’ve been privileged to partner and learn from outstanding board chairs, such as Lauren Locker, Linda Leitz, Scott Beaudin, Steve Craffen, Tim Kober, Dave O’Brien, Karla McAvoy, Lydia Sheckels, and Jeff Jones during my time as CEO. Whether you’ve volunteered for one hour or 10 years, you’re part of the NAPFA family and I’m grateful for you.