CFP Board Welcomes Seven New Members to Ambassador Program
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., (CFP Board) announced today the appointment of seven CFP® professionals to its Ambassador program. The CFP® professionals who serve as Ambassadors give local voice to CFP Board’s consumer advocacy and awareness and are committed to its mission of benefiting the public through competent, ethical financial planning.
The new CFP Board Ambassadors were selected because of their exceptional leadership within their communities and their drive to share the importance of financial planning with the public. The CFP Board Ambassador program is a network of CFP® professionals across the country working in unison to increase awareness of CFP® certification. CFP Board Ambassadors are responsible for promoting CFP Board’s mission and sharing their passion for the financial planning profession.
2021 new CFP Board Ambassadors include:
Louis Barajas, CFP®, MBA, EA
Louis is partner and chief strategy officer for MGO Private Wealth in Irvine, California. For the past three decades, the renowned national speaker, author, and media segment expert has served as a wealth and business manager to some of the most iconic Latin artists and executives in the entertainment and sports industry.
Louis was featured on Investopedia’s Top 100 Advisors for 2019 and selected to CNBC’s Advisory Council in 2020. He currently serves on the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning’s Diversity Advisory Group.
In 2014, Louis received the prestigious Heart of Financial Planning Award from the Financial Planning Association. He also served as the first minority on the National Board of the Financial Planning Association from 2004-2006.
Louis has published five books on personal finance and entrepreneurship. He earned his Certified Financial Planner™ professional designation in 1990.
Julie R. Bates, CFP®, AIF®, CAP®
Julie is the managing director of Delta Community Retirement & Investment Services, in Atlanta, Georgia. Her strategic vision has led the practice into a valuable financial resource.
Julie is an on-air financial contributor to Atlanta’s NBC affiliate, WXIA-TV 11, FOX 5 Atlanta, and Atlanta's Star 94.1. She is a frequent guest speaker at prominent employers throughout the Atlanta metro area. Julie serves as a Wellspring Living Ambassador and is the former board chair for Wellspring Living, which is a nonprofit organization transforming the lives of those who have been victimized by or at risk for sexual exploitation.
Julie knows the importance in educating the community she serves, especially women, to become engaged with their finances. Julie believes that everyone has a fundamental right to financial education, and that education empowers individuals with choices that allow them to experience well-lived lives.
LeTian Dong, CFP®, RICP®
LeTian is co-founder of a boutique retirement income and distribution planning practice housed within Northwestern Mutual with partner Tom Morris, CFP®.
Over the last four years, LeTian has worked with her team to boost their firm’s market presence on social media. They developed a local LinkedIn networking group, “Business Leaders of the Triangle,” from scratch that grew to over 3,700 members in the Triangle area of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and built their firm’s LinkedIn presence to over 13,000 connections. The group hosts regular in-person and virtual events, with proceeds going towards Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a charitable organization for fighting childhood cancer.
LeTian has a passion for mentoring young planning professionals and for driving change in how clients think about retirement planning. She is a fluent speaker and writer in Mandarin and is an advocate of diversity, equality and inclusion. Her goal is to lead future financial professionals in creating innovative strategies to engage with their communities in this rapidly changing global environment.
LeTian began her financial planning career upon graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a retirement income specialist, she helps clients design strategies that exceed their goals and empower them to live joyfully and confidently.
Luis F. Rosa, CFP®, EA
Luis is the founder of Build a Better Financial Future, LLC based in Henderson, Nevada. At age 11, Luis came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic. Growing up in New York, Luis noticed the lack of financial literacy in his community and was inspired by his parents to work hard and pursue an education.
From participating as an Financial Planning Association NexGen Ambassador and host, to speaking at the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning’s Diversity Summit, Luis has used his platform to help spread financial literacy through media outreach as well as encourage younger and diverse planners to join and thrive in the industry.
He is the host of the “On My Way to Wealth” podcast, co-founder of the BlatinX (BLX) Internship Program and LatinXcellence – an initiative that seeks to bring awareness to and help close the wealth gap in the Hispanic community. Luis was named one of InvestmentNews 40 Under 40 in 2019 and Financial Advisor Magazine’s 10 Young Advisors to Watch, as well as an Investopedia Top 100 Financial Advisors in 2020.
Jeremy D. Shipp, CFP®, CLU®, RICP®, WMCP®
Jeremy is the founder of Retirement Capital Planners, in Richmond, Virginia and Charlotte, North Carolina. He focuses on retirement planning and incorporate asset allocation, investment management and wealth succession.
He has made numerous appearances on the CBS 6 “Virginia This Morning” and has also been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, US News & World Report, The Street, and Yahoo! Finance.
His ability to connect with individuals one-on-one, as well as larger groups in his travels as an international public speaker, provides him with an excellent platform to educate the public on ways of growing and preserving wealth while gaining financial literacy. His straightforward and direct approach is an unconventional but appreciated characteristic for his industry. He is dedicated to humanitarian efforts, evidenced by his support to countless families in applying for, and ultimately receiving, the Veterans Administration’s “Aid and Attendance” benefit.
Akeiva M. Thomas, CFP®
Akeiva is a financial planner and educator and is also a financial education specialist at Ballentine Partners LLC, a wealth management firm based in the Boston, Massachusetts area serving high net worth individuals and families. At Ballentine, Akeiva serves as co-leader of the firm's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion taskforce.
Akeiva is the founder of The Bemused, a financial literacy service catering to young adults using YouTube video content and a formal education program called The Adulting Boot Camp. Akeiva has been quoted in articles for The Boston Globe, OppLoans, Tiller, and Bankrate. She has also been a featured guest on PlanStronger TV and on the Breaking Money Silence Podcast. Akeiva holds a master's degree in financial planning from Bentley University. She is one of the youngest Certified Public Accountants and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals in the nation and has a passion for helping young adults build wealth.
Grace S. Yung, CFP®
Grace is the managing director and wealth advisor for Midtown Financial Group, LLC, a Houston, Texas, firm affiliated with LPL Financial. She has provided trusted advice to individuals and families since starting her practice in 1994. Her objective is to help build and preserve a secure future for her clients and their loved ones by providing guidance throughout the different stages of life.
Grace is a contributing writer of the monthly financial column for Out Smart Magazine, a Houston-area publication. She also writes for a local newsletter, the Houston Medical Times, with a focus on proactive care planning, asset protection and other topics including Social Security.
Grace also co-founded a roundtable of women leaders at LPL Financial and serves as a panelist for several of the firm’s advisor training events.
A full listing of CFP Board Ambassadors, along with their bios, is available at www.cfp.net/ambassadors.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board sets standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CFP® certification – one of the most respected certifications in financial services – so that the public has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial planning. CFP Board, along with its Center for Financial Planning, is committed to increasing the public’s awareness of CFP® certification and access to a diverse, ethical and competent financial planning workforce. Widely recognized by firms and consumer groups as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by more than 88,000 people in the United States.
Director, External Communications