"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Everything you need to know about me you would have learned in kindergarten… I like to color outside the lines. I was born in Germany, as my dad was stationed there as an officer in the Army. I grew up in a great and loving family that instilled discipline, hard work, commitment, insatiable curiosity, laughter, and a lot of love.
I came to the Wealth Management industry after I completed a rigorous training program inside of a bank’s management trainee program. At the time, I wanted to wear nice suits every day to work, have a flexible work schedule, and build a relationship with clients that would span multiple generations. I always tell people I grew up in the business because I started at such a young age. The ability to serve our clients and their families while building a lifetime bond has been one of the greatest surprises and life-fulfilling elements that financial advising has provided.
Over the years, I have had many titles, from Vice President to President’s club member. Prior to starting Forefront, I was the President of a billion-dollar bank’s wealth management group. In 2016, we launched Forefront Wealth Partners with a passion to provide exceptional and personalized advice to our family members (most folks refer to them as “Clients”). It was paramount to build an environment where every team member was a good human being first and foremost and they just so happen to also be brilliant and passionate professionals.
My number one life goal is to leave the world better off than the way I found it. I propose to do this through our work at Forefront, but also in every interaction I have whether it be an email, or phone call, a prospective client meeting, a meaningful life conversation with a team member, a handwritten thank you note, or any interaction I am a part of.
If you had an extra hour to yourself in the morning, how would you spend it?
I would use my extra hour to enjoy a great cup of coffee, read a great book, maybe go for a short walk, and spend some time thinking about all the things I’m grateful for in my life.
What’s the most likely place people could find you on a Saturday night?
Family game night…you can find me and my wife and our children gathered around the dinner table playing uno or connect four, laughing and deeply competing.
Which would you pick: Living on the beach or living near the mountains?
Do I have to choose…? I think I’d figure out how to have both a beach house and a place in the mountains.
Imagine being approached by a genie who offers you three wishes. What might those wishes be?
I would wish for great health for me and my family, I would wish for happiness, and I would wish for wealth to be able to provide for my family and also to help those less fortunate.
If you had the ability to travel back in time, what’s something you would tell your 18-year-old self?
Find mentors sooner and maintain an ongoing relationship with them. People would have the skills, jobs, and attributes of life you would like to have our emulate are invaluable. Having mentors who genuinely care about you and who can help you navigate through life’s challenges is life-changing.
What are your top 5 book recommendations you think everyone should read?
"Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending—to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. And I will choose how the story ends.”
- Brene Brown
At the age of 16, I entered the workforce and immediately started saving my money. Even at this early age, I realized the importance of accumulating money and the freedom it gave me to do the things I wanted. By the time I finished graduate school I had financed two trips to Europe and paid cash for my first car. While my savings provided many wonderful opportunities, I didn’t realize how my understanding of money and my ability to invest would have such a tremendous impact on my life until things didn’t go quite as planned.
I had no idea my successful habits were preparing me for future life challenges.
I entered the corporate world with IBM, where I spent the next 20 years. During this time, I experienced 2 careers changes, 3 marriages, 3 divorces, and 4 geographic moves. My life was a series of transitions. Little did I know that in 2008 I would face the biggest financial challenge when I lost my job and was unemployed for 2 years. Although this was difficult, it could have been devastating.
Each time a change occurred in my life I was able to manage these life-altering challenges simply because I understood what I had and how to manage my money. This gave me greater confidence during these transitional times.
Confidence that my friends did not have.
I watched my friends go through similar experiences.
But, because they didn’t understand their financial affairs these transitional events became life-changing, and not for the better. That’s when I realized my true calling in life.
As a financial advisor, I wanted to create an environment that encouraged every woman to get their financial house in order. I wanted women to be able to make decisions from a place of strength and not fear. I wanted women to feel they could move forward with confidence in a more optimistic and positive way so that they could choose their destiny and not be a victim of circumstance.
Learn More About Me…
What’s the most likely place people could find you on a Friday night?
At home cooking dinner with my life partner, my step-daughter, and her daughter.
Which would you pick: Living on the Beach or living near the mountains?
Living on the beach would be my first choice. There is something very calming about water. Since I lived in Boulder CO and already had my mountain experience, I would choose living on thebeach.
Imagine being approached by a genie who offers you 3 wishes. What might those be?
Good health because it is so essential to do everything in life.
Happiness because a positive outlook on life is so important
Enough wealth to afford the lifestyle I want to live.
What drives you to do the work you do?
I want to be a mentor/guide for women going through major life changes – the death of a loved one, divorce, and sudden inheritance are just a few. I want to help them gain knowledge in areas they may not have access to. I want to make sure they are on a good financial path for the next chapter of their life.
"Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment."
- Jim Rohn
Growing up, I never thought I'd find a career helping people with their money, let alone define it as a calling or higher-purpose in my life. I always leaned towards medicine as a kid and I told anyone who would listen that I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up. But, life had other plans for me.
I almost ended up here by accident, believe it or not. After I graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle, I was lost. I had no idea what I wanted to do or which direction to head in. I just knew two things: 1. I needed to make money and, 2. I wanted to help people.
At that point in my life, my mom had already been a financial advisor with the same company for almost twenty years. She had encouraged me many times in the years leading up to that to consider the financial services industry as a profession. She always told me that I'd make a great financial advisor because I had the right heart and personality for it, but I never paid much attention to it because I wanted to be a doctor!
But after college, I already had more than $50,000 in student loan debt and medical school felt too far out of reach for me. So, when the opportunity came around to apprentice under my mom, I said "why not?"
That was more than six years ago now. After three years working with my mom, I caught the entrepreneurial bug and decided to venture out on my own. Since 2017, I successfully launched two independently-owned financial planning firms in both Seattle, WA and Anchorage, AK.
In April 2019, I was given a wonderful opportunity to partner with Eric Negron and Amy Colton here at Forefront Wealth Partners and to build what we have established today: a firm focused on positively impacting people's lives and providing them the confidence and clarity they need to navigate life's major decisions.
Today, I have an immense amount of gratitude in my heart to be in a profession of which I am head-over-heels in love with. I am also tremendously grateful to be constantly surrounded by so many wonderful, inspiring, and uplifting people.
My burning desire in life is to positively impact peoples' lives and leave this world a better place than I found it.
If you had a million dollars to spend, what would be the first three things you would buy?My wife is Mexican, I am fluent in Spanish, and we both love to travel so I would definitely spend a good chunk on visiting all the places in the world we've never been. I'd also buy a Tesla (because I love sports cars), and I'd buy an RV so we can road trip and camp comfortably anywhere.
What’s the most likely place people could find you on a Saturday night?I'm a total sucker for the NBA 2k video game franchise because I'm a huge basketball fan and can often be found playing hours of that on a Saturday night.
Which would you pick: Living on the beach or living near the mountains?I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska and still live here today, so definitely mountains! I love the snow and downhill skiing in the wintertime.
Imagine being approached by a genie who offers you three wishes. What might those wishes be?This probably sounds too cliché, but I’d wish for perfect health, an unlimited travel budget, and more peace and love in the world.
If you had the ability to travel back in time, what’s something you would tell your 18-year-old self?Stay away from student loans!
"I've got vision while the rest of the world's got bifocals."
- Butch Cassidy
I grew up in a very small community in the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate NY.
Friends were miles away phones were attached to the wall with party lines. Imagination and reading were the best forms of entertainment.
The assassination of JFK was the first tragic event I remember in my life and it significantly opened my eyes to a lot of things, including sexism. Our class was at recess when the teachers started crying. I questioned one of my male classmates and he said we have a new president Lyndon Johnson because JFK had been shot. My response was “Oh no … and I hope she (our new president) does a good job” He called me stupid because Lyndon is a man and girls can’t be president.” From there it seemed “can’t“ was never going to be in my vocabulary again.
In the 1980s, my husband and I decided to relocate to South Florida with our 2 young daughters, and I started my financial career with EF Hutton & Co. There, I was part of a team that developed, marketed, and sold several types of Private Placement and Direct Investments within the firm and I promptly felt I had found my path. My direct supervisor was a phenomenal mentor and incredible influence on me, and 8 years later I moved with him to an investment banking firm specializing in corporate finance where I spent the next 28 years.
Over the years, I was promoted to the firm's first female sales representative and Executive Director. I had the privilege of working with, training, and promoting many young women and men within the firm who have continued on to many successful careers since. I found my time there and that mentorship I was able to provide one of the major highlights and most fulfilling experiences of my career.
Now, I am thrilled to be a part of Forefront Wealth Partners and their talented team of top-notch people who all share a passion for serving others and putting their clients first.
Where would you most likely find me on a Saturday night?Home with my husband of 47 years and one of our grandchildren staying over the night trying to stay awake so they can watch Saturday Night Live with us.
Imagine being approached by a genie who offers you three wishes. What might those wishes be?
Sounds corny, but I truly want world peace.
If you had the ability to travel back in time, what’s something you would tell your 18-year-old self?Travel internationally as much as possible to gain a better understanding of the world, of different cultures, ideas, and ways of life.
"It ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It's about how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!"
- Rocky Balboa
Being born and raised in New York to a large Ecuadorian-American family, my roots were always close to home while still living the American culture. Some important life lessons I learned from this experience include: how to be very patient with people (especially at the dinner table!), how to keep an open mind to different perspectives, and always be helpful and welcoming towards others.
I earned degrees from both CUNY and St. John's University where I studied technology and telecommunications. After receiving my undergraduate degree, I decided to obtain my MPA at CUNY Baruch School of Public Affairs and focus on government and non-profit organizations.
After my MPA, I went on to spend close to 20 years with the Higher Education Technology Organization providing services ranging from technical support to leading implementations of enterprise-level systems. From there, I decided to branch out on my own and build my own IT consulting agency where I had great opportunities to work in many business organizations ranging from manufacturing to wealth management and assist them with IT support, business services consolidations, and business expansions.
For the past few years, I have been the full-time Chief Technology Officer here at Forefront Wealth Partners and feel very lucky to be a part of this amazing organization. I am drawn to the mission and vision of this organization, and its obsession with providing clients the best client experience they can using implementing creative and innovative business processes and technology stacks for both advisors and clients of the firm.
What your favorite travel destination?I've been to Barcelona and Paris before and would love to visit again or even live there someday. I love the people, the culture, and the architectural masterpieces.
What is your favorite hobby?I moonlight as a professional Karaoke singer! I have been singing since I was in diapers.
If you had an extra hour in the morning for yourself, what would you be doing?
I would use the time to go for a run, meditate, and journal.
If you inherited a million dollars, what would you do?I would invest the money in the hopes of using it someday to give myself and my family more choices in life.