Daralee S. Barbera

Specialty Coach

About Daralee

Dr. Daralee Barbera EdD, CPBC, CFP®, CLF®, ChFC®, CMFC® has over three decades of experience in the financial services profession and is passionate about the importance of financial planning and the critical role of leadership.

Dr. Barbera has an EdD in Leadership and Organizational Change from the University of Southern California, a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics (summa cum laude), and a Master of Arts in Secondary Education from California State University, Long Beach.

She is adjunct faculty at The American College of Financial Services, teaching in the MSM, Master of Science in Management, program, as well as adjunct faculty at California Lutheran University in the MSFP, Master of Science in Financial Planning, program. Daralee was Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Executive Vice President of Business Development for GAMA International; GAMA provides leadership development solutions globally for financial services leadership. She is a certified business coach.

She spent 34 years at Waddell and Reed, starting her career as a financial advisor followed by 30 years in leadership, primarily as a Managing Principal with offices throughout Southern and Central California. Her numerous awards included Platinum Member of Chairman’s Cabinet (seven times), Leadership Council (four times), Leadership Council Chair, Waddell & Reed’s prestigious and exclusive 7 C’s Award, and the unique Crystal Plate Award. Her division received 35 Gold, Silver, and Bronze level Awards based on sales production. She qualified for Circle of Champions 28 times, Crest 16 times, and received the GAMA Diamond International Management Award for Financial Planning.

Daralee has co-authored two books: Women Matter – The Why and How of Gender Diversity in Financial Services and What You Can Do…When You Can’t – 21 Days to Personal Success. Both titles are available on Amazon.com. Her doctoral dissertation, Financial Literacy for Women and the Role of Financial Education: An Exploratory Study of Promising Practices, is available at USC Digital Library and ProQuest.

Daralee was awarded the “2013-2014 Woman of the Year” for WIFS (Women in Insurance and Financial Services). In 2013, Daralee was named by Life Health Pro as one of the “20 Women in Insurance You Need to Know.”

As well as having served on The American College’s Board of Trustees, she is on the advisory board for The Northwestern Mutual Granum Center for Financial Security. She was 2014-2015 President of the GAMA International Board of Directors and is Chairman Emeritus of the Orange County California Chapter of the FPA (Financial Planning Association), which is formerly the IAFP (International Association of Financial Planning). She is also a member of GAMA, WIFS (Women in Insurance and Financial Services), NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors), and PBCA (Professional Business Coaches Alliance). Among other prior professional associations are Women in Film (executive member), Filmmaker’s Alliance, and FPA.

Daralee is a member of Life Happens and GAMA International’s Speakers Bureau and has addressed thousands of financial services leaders, both domestically and internationally. She has been featured in the GAMA International Journal, GAMA’s “Best Ideas” series, National Underwriter, Life Health Pro, Advisor Today, The Wall Street Journal, Business Wire, Yahoo Finance, MarketWatch, The Wealth Channel, World News, International Business Times, Orange County Register, The Buffalo News, California Broker, Financial Planning, Investment News, Insurance News Net Magazine, Find Bob, and KPPC and KNX Radio in Los Angeles.

Prior to her career in financial services, Daralee was a high school and college teacher. During that time, she co-chaired the Math department at Dana Hills High School in Dana Point, CA, taught at Fullerton College in Fullerton, CA, and was named Teacher of the Year by Capistrano Unified School District in Orange County, CA.

Daralee, a Los Angeles native, resides in Manhattan Beach, California.

Specialty Areas

  • Executive Leadership
  • Business Operations
  • People Management
Work with Daralee


  • Strategic Planning
  • Leadership Development
  • Team Building
  • Succession Planning


  • EdD in Leadership and Organizational Change from the University of Southern California

  • Bachelor’s in Mathematics from California State University, Long Beach

  • Master of Arts in Secondary Education from California State University, Long Beach

  • Adjunct faculty at The American College of Financial Services

  • Adjunct faculty at California Lutheran University

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