The Financial Planning Association of Rhode Island (FPA-RI) earned national recognition, thanks to Bryant University Finance Lecturer and Director of the Financial Planning Program Mara Derderian, CFP®. The 2018 award for Outstanding Achievement in Career Development was earned in recognition of Bryant’s partnership with FPA-RI to host the inaugural Financial Services Industry night.
“This is the first time our chapter has been honored with an Outstanding Achievement Award,” says Steve Johnson, CFP®, FPA-RI 2018 president. “The chapter is very appreciative of Mara’s innovative work at Bryant elevating the profession that transforms lives through the power of financial planning.”
"Having industry professionals share their experiences and advice with aspiring young financial planners is paramount to the education process.”
At the event, held at Bryant in April 2017, five FPA-RI board members discussed their professional backgrounds, the future of the financial planning industry, and the significance of the CFP® (Certified Financial Planners) designation. After the panel presentation, students networked with panelists and other local industry professionals. “We wanted to give financial planning students a perspective on the profession and a better understanding of the range of career opportunities available to them,” says Derderian. “Having industry professionals share their experiences and advice with aspiring young financial planners is paramount to the education process.”
“Over the past two years, Mara has organized several panels and programs in conjunction with FPA-RI,” says Finance Department Professor and Chair Peter J. Nigro, Ph.D., who is also the Sarkisian Chair in Financial Services. “We congratulate Mara and her board colleagues for their well-deserved Outstanding Achievement Award. Bryant looks forward to hosting future events, as they represent a win-win-win for students, faculty, and industry experts.”
The success of the 2017 program inspired Derderian and her board colleagues to collaborate on additional programming opportunities. In addition to hosting another Financial Services Industry Night in 2018, the FPA-RI held its annual Ethics Program Luncheon at Bryant and invited students to attend. This allowed students to see the extent and importance of ethics and the requirements of CFP designation. Further, in October 2017, the FPA-RI hosted its first Pro Bono day and included Bryant students in the day’s activities. "Bryant students helped organize logistics for the day and were able to observe practitioners providing financial advice to attendees. These types of experiential learning opportunities provide students with a deeper understanding of the financial planning industry not realized in a classroom environment,” says Derderian.
Awardees were recognized at a celebratory dinner on Nov. 3, 2018, at the Chapter Leaders Conference in Broomfield, CO.