2017 Board Directors
Blaine Aikin, CFA, CFP®, AIFA®, Board Chair
Blaine Aikin is the Executive Chairman of fi360. Having held previous roles as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Knowledge Officer for fi360, he is the primary architect of the AIFA program and a major contributor to the development of the Fiduciary Excellence concept that is at the heart of our products and services. He is the author of numerous articles on the subjects of fiduciary responsibility and investment management, and the author of the monthly Fiduciary Corner column in InvestmentNews
magazine. In 2011, he was named to Investment Advisor
magazine's IA25 list of the most influential people in the investment advisory community. Blaine received his Master of Public Management and Policy degree from the Heinz School of Carnegie-Mellon University. Upon graduation from CMU, he was selected for the prestigious Presidential Management Intern Program which involved management assignments in the U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. Senate. He subsequently served as Budget Officer for Prince William County, Virginia. Blaine then entered the private sector in professional financial management. He earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification (CFP® certification) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designations and served as a principal and Chief Investment Officer of Allegiance Financial Advisors. After providing contract training and consulting services for PNC Financial Services Group, Blaine became a Senior Vice President and Director of Product Development and Management for PNC Advisors. For several years, he also served as an adjunct faculty member of the College for Financial Planning, providing instruction in investment planning and other subjects leading to the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification.
Richard C. Salmen, CFP®, CFA, EA, Board Chair-Elect
Richard C. Salmen is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Northern Financial Advisors, Inc. – a financial planning and investment advisory firm based in Michigan. He also serves on the Development Committee for the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning.
Before becoming CEO of Northern Financial Advisors, Salmen spent nearly 16 years at BOK Financial, overseeing the firm’s financial planning practice. Salmen also served in the Army and Army Reserve, retiring at the rank of Captain. For nearly 25 years, Salmen was also an air traffic controller in Kansas until his retirement in 2013. Salmen has an MBA from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Richard is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP®) as well as a Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA). The CFA Institute Board of Governors awarded him the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) charter. As an Enrolled Agent (EA), he is authorized to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service at all levels. Richard is also a Competent Toastmaster (CTM) with Toastmasters International.
In 2006, Richard began a three-year term as a member of the national board of directors for the Financial Planning Association (FPA) based in Denver, Colorado, ultimately serving as national President in 2009. He served as FPA national Chairman for 2010. In November 2014 Richard was elected to serve a four year term on the Board of Directors for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., beginning January 1, 2015, and was elected to serve as 2017 Chair-elect and 2018 Chair.
Richard co-chaired the international People-to-People tour of financial planners to China during 2011 and chaired a similar trip to India in November 2013. He was one of 40 participants for the 2012 class of Leadership Kansas. Richard was selected as the 2014-15 Executive-in-Residence for his alma mater, the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Jack Brod, CFP®
Jack Brod, CFP® is a principal and head of the Financial Advisor Services RIA group at Vanguard, and serves as Vanguard’s enterprise sponsor of client loyalty. Prior to his current position, Brod was the head of U.S. intermediary sales and distribution, head of corporate strategy, and head of asset management services. At Vanguard, he launched and led its retail advice services business, bringing financial planning services to the company. Before he joined Vanguard in 1995, Brod worked for Price Waterhouse LLP and IDS/American Express in financial advisory and consulting capacities. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.
Denise Voigt Crawford
Denise Voigt Crawford served as the Texas Securities Commissioner for 17 years. She was twice-elected president of the North American Securities Administrators Association and is a three-time recipient of the Blue Sky Cube, NASAA’s highest honor. Currently, Crawford serves on the Board of Directors for the National Endowment for Financial Education. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the National White Collar Crime Center; was Lead Trustee of the Investor Protection Trust; was a member of the SEC’s Consumer Affairs Advisory Committee; and was a member of the CFTC’s Global Affairs Advisory Committee. Professionally, Crawford now serves as an expert witness and consultant on securities matters. She received her juris doctor from St. Mary's University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Phil is Chief Executive Officer of Advicent Solutions, a provider of SaaS technology solutions for the financial services industry, servicing the world’s largest financial institutions, with products including NaviPlan®, Figlo®, Profiles® and Advisor Briefcase®. Previously, Cunningham held a variety of senior leadership positions including managing director of Vista Consulting Group, the operating arm of Vista Equity Partners and senior vice president of Sum Total Systems. He served as Chair of the Board of Directors for Sales Empowerment Group and is active in volunteer and community work within the Milwaukee area where Advicent Solutions is headquartered. Cunningham holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management and Marketing from Rockhurst University and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.
Susana Duarte de Suarez
Susana Duarte de Suarez is the president and CEO of Media Moon Communications, a global communications firm. She also serves as Councilwoman-at-Large and President of the Zionsville Town Council and is the Vice-Chairman of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. Earlier in her career, she was appointed to senior leadership positions by President George W. Bush, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Peace Corps. She's held executive positions in numerous Fortune 500 corporations such as Anheuser-Busch and Holcim. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Ohio State University and is a graduate of the Senior Management Program at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Jeff Farrar, CFP®, CIMA® , AIF®
Jeff has 16 years of experience guiding client's wealth through multiple market cycles and has a passion for helping individuals take control of their finances. He is a partner, and senior portfolio manager, with the FDG Group of UBS Financial Services with offices in Stamford CT and NYC. The FDG Group has a dual focus on both high net worth individuals and the retirement consulting market. They have been entrusted to oversee approximately $8 Billion dollars for their individual and corporate clients. The FDG Group has been recognized in PlanAdviser Magazines Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers for six years running and was recognized in 2011 as PlanSponsor's Retirement Plan Advisory Team of the Year.
A decorated veteran, Jeff served eight years on active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard and twelve years in the reserves. He enjoyed positions of increasing responsibility afloat and ashore including serving on two ships, and as commanding officer of two coastal patrol boats.
Committed to lifelong learning, Jeff holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification (CFP®), Certified Investment Management AnalystSM (CIMA®), and the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) designations. He earned his B.S. degree at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and an M.B.A. from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.
Prior to joining UBS, he worked for 10 years at Merrill Lynch. He has served on the boards of several organizations, is a FINRA industry arbitrator, and is a past President of the Financial Planning Associations Fairfield County Chapter. He enjoys time with his family, soccer, and all water sports.
Charlie Fitzgerald, III, CFP®
Mr. Fitzgerald is a principal and founding member of Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo, LLC, a full service, fee-only, personal financial planning and wealth management firm located in Orlando, Florida. The firm was established in 1998 and currently manages over $400 million in client assets. Clients include high net worth individuals, corporate executives, business owners, retirees and trustees.
Charlie has been a CFP® professional since 1992. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration with a major in Finance from the University of Florida and has over 33 years of experience in the financial services profession, including 13 years as a Financial Manager for AT&T. His advice has been featured in various media sources including local television and radio stations, Orlando Sentinel, USA Today, Investment News, ThinkAdvisor/Wealth Manager, Money Magazine, Wealth Manager, TD Ameritrade’s Solutions magazine, Bankrate.com, and Florida CFO Jeff Atwater’s Florida’s Bottom Line.
In 2009, Charlie received the Financial Planning Association’s Heart of Financial Planning Distinguished Service Award for his work as a founder and leader of the FPA of Florida. Through his efforts during the last 10 years, he has helped to advance the goals of the association by advocating for citizen protections, financial planners and CFP® professionals to Florida’s regulators and elected officials.
In 2016, Charlie became an advisor for the University of Florida’s UF Advisor Network. The UFAN is an association of legal and financial professionals serving as a resource for UF alumni seeking tax, estate planning and financial advice, including charitable planning services.
Charlie has over 20 years of leadership and civic involvement through his church, community and profession. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married for 28 years and have three adult children.
Susan John, CFP®, AIF®
Susan is the founder and president of Financial Focus, Inc., a financial planning firm. John has been a CFP® professional since 1989 and served two terms on the national Board of Directors for the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, serving as Chair from 2010 to 2012 where she was active with the Financial Planning Coalition. She is also a member of the Financial Planning Association. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Central New Hampshire VNA and Hospice, and is a Corporator for New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp. John received her Bachelor’s degree from Plymouth State University.
Douglas S. King, CFP®
Douglas S. King, CFP® is president and CEO of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. Prior to joining Cetera, he served in a dual role as Director of Merrill Lynch’s Minneapolis & Associates Complex and as the Minnesota state president for Bank of America. Previously at Merrill Lynch, he was district sales manager of the firm’s southwest district in Phoenix and also held regional leadership roles in Louisiana, Ohio and Minnesota. King earned bachelor’s degrees in finance and management from Virginia Tech and a Master of Business Administration from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. He has also completed the Executive Leadership Program at the Wharton School of Business and earned his CFP® certification in 2003.
Arlene Pietranton, Ph.D., CAE
Arlene is the CEO of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, serving as a public member of the Board of Directors, as required by CFP Board’s Bylaws. A 2015 recipient of CEO Update’s prestigious Professional Society CEO of the Year award, Pietranton previously served as ASHA's Chief Staff Officer for Speech-Language Pathology. Previous professional positions included working in a variety of positions at The George Washington University Medical Center as well as a practicing speech-language pathologist in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Pietranton received her Bachelor’s in biology, Master’s in speech-language pathology and Ph. D. in psychology from the George Washington University. She also holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).
Peggy Ruhlin, CFP®, CPA/PFS
Peggy Ruhlin is the Chief Executive Officer of Budros, Ruhlin & Roe, Inc., the Central Ohio wealth management firm overseeing more than $2 billion of client investment assets. She is recognized as being one of America’s most distinguished women in wealth management, as determined by Wealth Manager magazine, and one of the Top 25 Women RIAs in 2014, according to WealthManagement.com. She is a Certified Public Accountant with a Personal Financial Specialist accreditation, and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.
She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Previously, she served as a trustee, and chair of the Investment Committee, of Otterbein University, and served for eight years as a trustee of the Atlanta-based Foundation for Financial Planning.
In 2009, she received the Otterbein Alumni Association’s Special Achievement Award, and was also inducted into the Carroll High School (Dayton, OH) Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. She was inducted into the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges’ Hall of Excellence, in recognition of her career and lifetime achievements, in 2006. She served as Chair and President of the International Association for Financial Planning (IAFP), and was instrumental in its merger with the Institute of Certified Financial Planners to form the Financial Planning Association (FPA) in 2000.
Peggy has consistently been named one of the “Best Financial Advisers” in the U.S. by Worth magazine and appeared on the cover of Barron’s featuring America’s top financial planners. She was Financial Planning magazine readers’ choice as one of the “Movers & Shakers” who have contributed the most to the profession and are effectively shaping its future. Peggy has been recognized as one of “The Best Financial Advisers for Doctors” on Medical Economics’ exclusive list for the past five years, and in 2014 was named one of the “Financial Times Top 100 Women Advisers,” as well as one of the inaugural “Columbus Smart 50” CEOs.
K. Dane Snowden
Dane Snowden is the Chief of Staff for the NCTA - The Internet & Television Association (formerly the National Cable Telecommunications Association). Serving in this capacity, he oversees the association’s day-to-day operations as well as its planning and strategic initiatives. Prior to NCTA, Snowden served in leadership roles at various organizations, including CTIA – The Wireless Association®, the Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, MissionFish.com, America’s Promise-The Alliance for Youth and the United Negro College Fund. Snowden is a graduate of the College of William and Mary.
Neal Solomon, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, CASL
Neal Solomon is Managing Director and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with WealthPro®, LLC an SEC registered investment advisory and financial planning firm in upstate NY. He is a shareholder of SFA Holdings, Inc., a financial services firm in Atlanta, GA – for which he served seven years as corporate Director on its Board of Directors – and is a FINRA Registered Principal representing its subsidiary broker-dealer, The Strategic Financial Alliance, Inc. He is also the Chief Financial Officer for Hearing Care Resources, LLC an audiology practice in Wilton (Saratoga), NY. In 2012, Mr. Solomon received the Financial Planning Association’s Heart of Financial Planning Award.
He is a member of The Financial Planning Association (FPA) and FPA of Northeastern NY, is a past President of the Greater Capital Region Society of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners, is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Eastern NY, and served 10 years on the Board of Managers for YMCA Camp Chingachgook on Lake George. He was a member of the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Financial Planning from 2001-2014.
Mr. Solomon has been Chairman of several FPA committees including the FPA Government Relations Committee and the FPA Public Issues Advisory Committee, and has served on FPA task forces focusing on regulation and fiduciary standards. As a Technical Expert representing the US he has co-authored international ethics standards published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Mr. Solomon has been a Professional Ambassador and the Program Leader with the People to People (PTP) organization, creating and leading a 2008 joint PTP/FPA trip which brought 90 American financial planning professionals to Russia. During 2000 Mr. Solomon was a delegate/ambassador with a PTP/FPA ambassadorial exchange visiting the People's Republic of China. Mr. Solomon graduated from SUNY Potsdam (BA); The College for Financial Planning, Denver, CO (CFP® certification curriculum); and The American College of Financial Services, Bryn Mawr, PA (CLU, ChFC, and CASL). He is a member of Temple Sinai in Saratoga Springs, NY and the Brandeis Baruch Society of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern NY. Neal and his wife Dr. Robin M. Solomon reside with their five feline children.
Kim Wright-Violich is a Managing Partner of Tideline, and co-leads the firm’s strategy, operations, and client engagement. Kim is also the Acting President of Echidna Giving, a giving fund founded by a signatory of the Giving Pledge that is working to advance girls’ education in the developing world.
Prior to Tideline, from 2000 to 2012, Kim was the CEO of Schwab Charitable, a stand-alone nonprofit corporation founded by Charles Schwab & Co. to provide turnkey charitable asset management and philanthropic services to investors. In her time as CEO, Kim oversaw Schwab Charitable’s growth from a start-up to the second-largest donor advised fund in the United States, with $3.5 billion in assets and over $5 billion in contributions, serving over 25,000 investors and their wealth advisors.
Under Kim’s leadership Schwab Charitable pioneered impact investing in a donor advised fund. Schwab Charitable partnered with the Grameen Foundation to launch the Double Give Microfinance Guarantee initiative, a program that allowed donors to dedicate a portion of the funds in their accounts to guarantee loans to micro-entrepreneurs around the globe. Schwab Charitable was also a pioneer in permitting independent investment advisors to manage investments in client accounts, allowing the freedom and flexibility to invest DAF assets in alternative asset classes and impact investments. Launching this expanded investment flexibility required Schwab Charitable to also develop risk and performance monitoring methodology and tools to oversee the investment of the charitable assets.
A recognized influential voice in the industry, she is widely published and quoted, including in The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, CNBC, Bloomberg, Investment News, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Chronicle of Philanthropy and Trusts & Estates Magazine. Kim helped direct an effort among a consortium of national donor-advised funds to inform regulation defining and governing DAFs, including providing advice on the related provisions of the Pension Protection Act. Kim has taught and lectured on impact investing and strategic philanthropy at Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley and guest lectures on governance at Stanford Graduate School of Business. In 2009, Wealth Management magazine named Kim one of the 50 most influential women in the US in wealth management, currently serves on the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, and the Center of Social Sector Leadership at Haas Business School, University of California at Berkeley.
Kim earned a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University. She also completed the executive MBA-SEP program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, post-graduate work at the Mass Media Institute at Stanford, as well as coursework in governance at Harvard Business School. She lives on the beach in Marin County to provide an incentive for her three recently-out-of-college children to visit often.
Kevin R. Keller, CAE
Kevin R. Keller is Chief Executive Officer of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board). Under his leadership, in support of CFP Board’s mission to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for competent and ethical personal financial planning, CFP Board is pursuing ambitious goals related to four overarching outcomes: increase public Awareness of CFP® professionals; achieve Growth in the number of CFP® professionals; secure Recognition and Regulation of financial planning as a distinct profession; and further CFP Board’s position as the Authority in financial planning.
Since Mr. Keller joined CFP Board in May of 2007, CFP Board has:
- Grown the number of CFP® professionals in the U.S. by more than 30% to over 72,000, even while strengthening the CFP® certification requirements with the addition of new bachelor’s degree and capstone course requirements.
- Launched its first major public awareness campaign to increase awareness of CFP® professionals, funded at about $9 million a year, which has generated consistent and significant signs of positive momentum in consumer awareness of CFP® certification.
- Secured its reputation as a strong advocate for consumer and investor protection by implementing a fiduciary level of accountability on those individuals who use the CFP® mark in the delivery of financial planning services and working extensively with individuals, as well as firms that employ those individuals, to ensure compliance with those standards – the highest in financial planning.
- Relocated to Washington, DC and assumed a leadership role in advancing public policy positions related to financial planning that benefit the public, working in concert with other prominent financial planning organizations, and in collaboration with industry and investor protection organizations.
- Reengineered its disciplinary and enforcement process to increase transparency and accountability by including “public” non-certificant volunteers on hearing panels, with the objective of assuring safeguards for the public and a fair process for certificants.
- Released the Financial Planning Competency Handbook, published by John Wiley & Sons, the first authoritative and seminal work that outlines the knowledge, actions and contexts associated with financial planning.
- Transitioned the comprehensive CFP® Certification Examination to a computer-based testing format.
Mr. Keller joined CFP Board after serving 16 years with the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), a membership organization which provides products, education and training for treasury and corporate finance. At AFP, he held the position of senior vice president and chief operating officer for the prior seven years and managed programs and services for the 16,000-member organization. He led the organization's strategic planning process and enhanced and grew the Certified Treasury Professional credential.
Mr. Keller has held senior staff positions at several associations and earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential in 2000. He holds a B.S. in agriculture and an M.S., both from Ohio State University.