President’s Message – January 2015

Happy New Year and welcome to 2015! As the President of FPA of Minnesota for 2015, I wanted to take a few moments to give some well-deserved thanks to some key people who helped make 2014 a great success as well as make mention of some things on which we will be focusing as a Chapter for 2015.

For starters, a huge thank you to Julieann Schroeder, our 2014 FPA of Minnesota President who provided remarkable leadership over the past year in continuing to move forward the vision of FPA of Minnesota. Also, a big thanks to Jason Plank, outgoing Chairperson, for his five years of exemplary service on the Board, including three years on the Executive Committee. Additionally, thank you to all of the 2014 Board of Directors for their leadership and for helping to continuing to add to the vibrancy of our Chapter. And last, but certainly not least, a big shout out to Bonnie Stanley, our wonderful Executive Director, for 20 years of service to FPA of Minnesota!

As I look forward to the year ahead, I have a great deal of excitement in terms of what is in store. I’ve been very energized as I’ve heard of the ideas from the 2015 Board and their committees to make their programs and initiatives better than ever, from our monthly Chapter meetings and Symposium, to our Nexgen events, to our programs to work to engage new members of FPA Minnesota, etc.

Specifically in terms of the initiatives that I have laid out for the year ahead that are intended to relate to each of our programs and offerings:

  1.  “Ask – Listen – Respond” – A key to success for FPA of Minnesota is understanding our membership. A key theme, then, is being very intentional about each component of “Ask – Listen - Respond” for our members and for prospective members. First, what is of most value to you that FPA of MN provides. Additionally, what are the greatest challenges in your practices (“Ask.”) Second, it is very important to be mindful that we listen clearly to hear your responses (“Listen.”) Lastly, how are we then taking that information, synthesizing, and providing solutions to the challenges that you are facing (“Respond”)? To this end, please know that to the extent you are willing to take the time to provide your feedback in the coming year, whether through surveys or speaking with me or other Board members directly, it is very much appreciated and we take it very seriously.
  2. Empower FPA members to serve people of all income levels – As a key component of the FPA of Minnesota 5-year vision, this initiative stresses the fact that it is important that collectively among our committees, we should be intentional as a Chapter about the fact that we are empowering our members to serve the high net worth, people with low income, those in their “golden years”, Gen X and Gen Y, and everything in between. This doesn’t mean that each committee should try to be things to all people but rather that we should be intentional among committees in terms of determining which “segment” we best serve, focus on how well we are doing that and how we can continue to deepen that, and then assess to make sure that each “segment” is being covered and covered effectively to best empower you as our members to serve your target markets for your paid “gig” as well those populations you are passionate about serving on a Pro Bono basis.
  3. Leadership Pipeline – The lifeblood of FPA of Minnesota is our volunteers and our volunteer leaders. Having a leadership pipeline, then, to continue to grow and develop our leaders is essential. This leadership pipeline needs to begin at the committee member level, doing all that we can to connect with interested potential committee members and align what they are passionate about with opportunities for leadership.

 Once people have joined a committee, it is important that we engage their passion in tangible ways in leading initiatives, etc. To those who have an interest in leading committees, it is important that we equip them with the tools and support to continue to grow their leadership skills in tangible ways. As a part of this effort, in 2015 we plan to institute a Leadership Development Committee that makes this a focus. .

To the extent you have an interest in serving in a leadership role within FPA of Minnesota, please let me know – I would love to connect with you about it and hear about particular areas for which you are passionate.

Feel free to let me or any of our Board members know of any questions, comments, or concerns that you have. I humbly look forward to serving you and look forward to all that the year has in store!

 Steve Gilbertson, CFP®

Steve Gilbertson, CFP®
Accredited Investors, Inc.