While Brenda has over 20 years in the financial industry, she did not initially intend on working in finance as her only passion after graduation was a vague notion of wanting to “help people”.
She grew up in NH and transferred to Virginia her junior year of college when her family moved to Virginia for her father’s job. She changed her major five times over the course of four years, ending up with a double major in English and Psychology from the College of William and Mary.
When she accepted a customer service job at a large bank, she was chided for talking to customers too much and was advised to transfer into “sales” where this behavior was desired. Against her better judgment, she made the switch and ended up loving making relationships with clients from all over the country. She was the only person in the call center exempt from taking calls as she had so many clients sending her emails and referrals. While she enjoyed working with her family of clients, she found herself struggling in an environment that rewarded folks for making the most money for the bank, whether or not their actions were in their clients’ best interest.
Although she did not wish to leave her clients, in order to leave this unethical environment, she transitioned to downtown Richmond to a role where she would be assisting financial advisors with helping their clients. During this time she worked on her CFP® designation with the hope of making a transition back into a position where she could assist clients directly and quite literally spend her day helping people achieve their hopes and dreams. When Brenda left the corporate world after 12 years, she chose not to renew her securities’ licenses so that she could become a fee-only Certified Financial Planner™ and advise clients to do that which is in their best interests without having to worry about being admonished for doing so.
Brenda has been a coordinator with the Richmond VegFest since 2003 and credits this event for bringing her out of her shell(which some people undoubtedly wish she would climb back into!) She is an active member of the Vegetarian Society of Richmond for well over a decade and is a State Council member for the Humane Society of the United States. Brenda does not purport to know everything there is to know about “humane investing” however she knows of no one in the universe who is trying harder to make this approach to investing the norm. While she thrives on educating people on the virtues of investing for a more compassionate and humane world for all, she hopes this “specialization” isn’t needed much longer as more and more companies work towards making the world a better place for all beings.
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