2017 Board Directors

About CFP Board

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2017 Board Directors


Blaine Aikin, CFA, CFP®, AIFA®, Board Chair

2016-blaine-aikin-webBlaine 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

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Richard is currently a Consultant at 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, ending his career at the rank of Captain. For nearly 25 years, Salmen was also an air traffic controller in Kansas until his retirement in 2013. Salmen was recognized as a Graduate Business Scholar while earning an MBA from the University of Kansas and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Airway Science Management 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. 

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. and was elected to serve as 2017 Chair-elect and 2018 Chair.


Jack Brod, CFP®

Jack Brod, CFP®Jack Brod is dedicated to helping people and businesses thrive in the financial advice industry. After retiring from a senior executive role at Vanguard, where he led the development of retail advice services, he teaches, consults, mentors, serves as a Director on several Boards, and advises financial technology companies.

His career began as a financial planner and RIA in the late 1980s. It was then that he first recognized the public need and his passion for the profession of financial advice. He then became a regional leader of the RIA executive wealth advisory practice for Price Waterhouse during his time at that firm. In 1995, Mr. Brod joined Vanguard to launch the company’s first advice offering for high-net-worth retail clients - Vanguard Asset Management Services™ - ultimately leading a $20 billion wealth advisory business, which is now merged into the $50 billion Vanguard Personal Advisor Services.  In 2008, Mr. Brod was asked to lead the company’s Corporate Strategy group to help shape and form strategy for international expansion, U.S. ETF market development, intermediary distribution and new product development.  In 2011, Mr. Brod then led a major investment and business transformation in Vanguard’s Financial Advisor Services division, helping to grow the business from $300 billion to over $1.2 trillion.  As Head of U.S. Sales and Distribution to RIAs, broker dealers, and banks, Mr. Brod advocated for advisors by ensuring they had access to the products, resources, and services Vanguard could offer advice professionals to help them serve their clients and run their practices more effectively.

These experiences shaped and solidified his client-centric design philosophy and his passion for organizational culture and effectiveness.  Through his role as Vanguard’s executive sponsor of client loyalty, he became a noted expert on the Net Promoter System SM.  Mr. Brod speaks about trends in the advice field at industry conferences and in the financial news media. 

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. and on the Board of Directors of Savant Capital Management.  Jack is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP®).  He is a graduate of the University of Florida and the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.  He and his wife, Ilene, have been married for 30 years, reside in Newtown, PA, and have two adult children.


Denise Voigt Crawford

2017-Denise-Crawford-webDenise 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 Cunningham

Phil Cunningham | 2016 CFP BoardPhil Cunningham is an Operating Executive at Accel-KKR within their emerging growth focused portfolio.  For over 15 years, Accel-KKR has been investing in mid-market software and technology enabled services firms with the goal of driving value for our portfolio company management teams and their employees as well as our investors. Accel-KKR has brought capital, expertise and a network of relationships to our portfolio companies, enabling them to grow faster and more profitably. Throughout the years, the firm has taken a collaborative approach to working with our management teams so that, together, we can help our companies reach their full potential. The firm has $4B in committed capital across its buyout and growth capital funds, providing for flexibility depending on the needs of our portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Accel-KKR, Phil was CEO of Advicent Solutions, a provider of SaaS technology solutions for the financial services industry.  He lead the overall strategy and vision for this global software organization.  The company’s products include web-enabled marketing communications, needs-assessment and financial planning tools. More than 250,000 financial professionals, including dozens of the world’s largest financial institutions, use Advicent’s solutions to help them grow their business, create exit barriers and stay top of mind.

Prior to Advicent Cunningham spent 5 years with Vista Equity Partners in various operating and executive roles.

Cunningham has taken on positions with increasing responsibility throughout his career, moving his way through the technology industry. Previously, he held a variety of senior leadership positions including managing director of Vista Consulting Group, the operating arm of Vista Equity Partners and senior roles with Sum Total Systems, Fidelity Investments and Automatic Data Processing.

Phil received his M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame – Mendoza College of Business and his B.S. from Rockhurst University.

Phil is currently serving as a board member for CFP Board.  CFP Board is a non-profit organization acting in the public interest by fostering professional standards in personal financial planning through its setting and enforcement of the education, examination, experience, ethics and other requirements for CFP® certification.


Jeff Farrar, CFP®, CIMA® , AIF®

Jeff Farrar | 2016 CFP Board

Jeff has more than 18 years of experience guiding both individual and institutional clients’ wealth through multiple market cycles. Prior to co-founding Procyon Partners, Jeff worked at the FDG Group at UBS, serving as a Senior Portfolio Manager, Wealth Advisor, Institutional Consultant and Senior Retirement Plan Consultant. Prior to UBS he worked at Merrill Lynch for nearly a decade as both an advisor and a resident director running an office of advisors. His team 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.

Jeff 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. Committed to lifelong learning, Jeff holds the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®), and the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) designations. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the CFP Board in Washington, DC, is a FINRA arbitrator, and is past President of the Financial Planning Association’s Fairfield County Chapter. He resides in Wilton, Connecticut, with his wife and their two children. He enjoys soccer and all water sports.


Charlie Fitzgerald, III, CFP®

Charlie Fitzgerald | 2016 CFP Board

Mr. Fitzgerald is a principal and founding member of Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo, LLC, a full service, fee-only, financial planning and wealth management firm with offices in Orlando and Melbourne, Florida. The firm was established in 1998 and currently manages over $450 million in client assets. In 2016, MFT was identified by Financial Times as a Top 300 Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm in the U.S.

Charlie has been a CFP® professional since 1992. He graduated with honors from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Finance. He has over 34 years of experience in the financial services profession, including 13 years as a business and financial manager for AT&T. Over the years, his advice has been featured in various local and national media outlets including Orlando radio and television stations.

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. During his 10 years of service to the FPA of Florida, Charlie served as president three times and chairman twice. Most notable was his work to advance the goals of the association by advocating for Florida’s citizens, financial planners and CFP® professionals to Florida’s elected officials and regulators.    

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 29 years and have three adult children.


Susan John, CFP®

Susan John | 2016 CFP BoardSusan 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®

Doug King, CFP®Douglas S. King, CFP®is an accomplished professional with over 30 years in the financial services industry. As president and CEO of Prosperity Capital Advisors, LLC (PCA), Doug leads an SEC Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) firm whose mission is to support independent financial advisors across the country who are dedicated to providing holistic financial planning for American families. Doug also guides PCA’s sister company, C2P Advisory Group, LLC (C2P), which is a fiduciary-focused insurance marketing organization offering insurance products and services to advisors and agents nationwide.

Prior to joining PCA and C2P, Doug served as president and CEO of Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC (CAN), a full-service broker-dealer and Registered Investment Advisor firm that supports large producer groups (super-OSJs), advisors and financial institutions. During his five years at CAN, Doug led the firm to achieve significant growth and financial success, transforming the company into one of the largest independent broker-dealers in the U.S.

Previously, he served in a dual role as director of Merrill Lynch’s Minneapolis Complex and as Minnesota state president for Bank of America. In those roles, Doug led financial advisors serving clients across Minnesota and North Dakota, and was responsible for multiple business units including Merrill Lynch’s Private Client Group, Private Banking & Investment Group, and Middle Markets Institutional Group. He was also responsible for coordinating with the bank’s business leaders at U.S. Trust Company, Countrywide Mortgage, and Bank of America’s consumer & commercial lending and aircraft leasing divisions to grow revenue and align local market initiatives to the company’s business and corporate social responsibility strategies.

Doug began his financial services career in 1985 and joined Merrill Lynch in 1986 as a financial advisor and sales manager in Norfolk, Virginia and became one of the top advisors in that market. In 1995, he became the district sales manager of the firm’s southwest district in Phoenix, Arizona, and then went on to lead a series of regional leadership roles in Louisiana, Ohio and Minnesota.

Doug earned two bachelor’s degrees, in finance and management, from Virginia Tech and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He completed the Wharton Executive Development Program and earned his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification from the College for Financial Planning in Denver. He holds Series 7, 9, 10, 63 and 65 securities registrations.

Doug currently serves as a director of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., and as a board member of the Northern Star Council in the Boy Scouts of America. He is a member of the Financial Services Institute (FSI) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA). Previously, he served as Chairman of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, and coached numerous youth sports teams. Doug has been married over 30 years to his wife, Katy, and has four adult children who are all successful in their own careers and schools.


Arlene Pietranton, Ph.D., CAE

Arlene Pietranton | 2016 CFP BoardArlene 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 | 2016 CFP BoardPeggy 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

K Dane SnowdenDane Snowden is the Chief Operating Officer 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 | 2016 CFP Board
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.


Kimberly Wright-Violich 

2016-Kimberly-Wright-Violich-WebKim 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

2016-Kevin-Keller-Web

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.

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Did You Know?

Among clients who work with an advisor, 87% of those working with a CFP® professional are satisfied or very satisfied, compared with 72% of those who work with an advisor without certification.
Anyone can call themselves a “financial planner.” Only professionals who meet CFP Board’s rigorous standards can call themselves CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.
The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey shows that those with a financial plan feel more confident and report more success managing money, savings and investments than those without a plan.