Each year, Carson Coaching recognizes outstanding firms that are committed to making a difference in the lives of their clients, stakeholders, communities, and the financial advice industry.  We are pleased to announce the finalists for our 2019 Cultural Leadership Award! The Cultural Leadership Award recognizes firms that are making a difference in their community and the financial advice industry in one or more of the following areas:

  • Outstanding impact on their community through charitable giving, volunteering, and supporting their internal stakeholders’ charitable endeavors
  • Exceptional leadership in supporting the future of our industry by recruiting, mentoring, and developing the next generation of talent and encouraging diversity in our profession

The finalists in this category are:

Summit Wealth Strategies

coaching awards Member name: Michael Ott Firm name: Summit Wealth Strategies

Location: Chesterfield, Missouri

Team size: 5

Total AUM: $270 million

Favorite Charity: St. Luke’s Hospital Young Professionals Foundation

When a firm has a solid culture, that spills over into the client experience – and the community as a whole. That’s why Summit Wealth Strategies is a finalist for the 2018 Cultural Leadership Award from Carson Coaching. Michael Ott of the Missouri-based firm believes providing a first-class client experience is what will ultimately set his firm apart from its competition. Despite this high level of expected performance, Summit strives to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for employees and clients. As a testament to this, the firm had no employee turnover in 2018. Ott encourages his team to give back to the St. Louis community and the firm as a whole has partnered with large clients to work with Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Walk for Wishes and Marygrove, a home for underprivileged children. Ott himself started the Young Professionals Foundation through St. Luke’s Hospital, giving young business professional a platform to begin their philanthropic endeavors. Other examples of Summit giving back to the community include:

  • Raising over $150,000 for St. Luke’s Wellness Center for Adults with Down Syndrome from an annual holiday celebration. The money helped purchase Dragon Speak Software iPads specifically for hearing and vocally impaired patients.  
  • Providing financial support to one charitable event per team member.

FFP Wealth Management

coaching awards Member name: Joseph Graziano

Firm name: FFP Wealth Management

Location: Bayonne or Hazlet, New Jersey

Team size: 14

Total AUM: $747.65 million

Favorite Charity: Ashley Lauren Foundation

Creating a strong culture is not about holding the most parties or being able to quote the company’s values. It’s about building a team that is actively working to improve; engaged in their careers; and working together on a common, understood mission. FFP Wealth Management has earned this culture, and thus is a finalist for the Cultural Leadership Award FFP has a designated community outreach team – FFP Cares – that’s dedicated to finding and organizing local volunteer opportunities for the team. They’re regulars at the Monmouth County Fulfill Food Bank and hold a yearly Christmas Charity event for families in need. It’s not just giving back to the community that makes FFP a standout in cultural leadership — the firm is dedicated to the professional growth of its team members and welcoming the next generation of talent.  Stakeholders are encouraged to continue their development through FFP University, which finds and organizes training on special topics, and through company-paid outside courses and programs that the stakeholder would find beneficial. FFP has an ongoing internship program that connects them with local undergraduates interested in the financial services industry, a program that has led to full-time hires.

Cultural Leadership Award winners will be announced live at Excell, May 8-10, 2019. 

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