April 2019 Scholarship Recipients
David Fulton (Colorado Springs, CO) is an Active Duty Army Lieutenant Colonel approaching his 18th year of service. Currently a Calvary Squadron Commander, David has lived in 13 different places during his tenure in the Army, and has deployed twice to both Iraq and Afghanistan. David has always had an interest in finance and has a master’s degree in economics from Vanderbilt University. Four years ago, David’s youngest son was diagnosed with a medical issue, an experience involving “hasty planning with complex considerations” as he calls it. The process of planning for his son’s lifelong medical expenses was a formative experience for David, and he sees opportunities for a second career in financial services when he retires from the Army. “I’m looking to gain stability and trying to launch a career, while also allowing me to feel like I’m giving back.” To prepare himself for this career change, David will be completing the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) program. “I have a very specific niche that’s driving me at this point,” David says. “Being able to work in that field and help people is so appealing to me.”
Dr. Robert Gherman (Laytonsville, MD) is an Active Reserve Navy Captain with nearly 30 years of service. “I never thought I’d be here,” Robert says. After completing his undergraduate work at the University of Pittsburgh, Robert was accepted to Tulane University School of Medicine, but was unable to pay for the tuition. He was selected for a Health Professions Scholarship through the military. The Navy would pay for three years of medical school if he served three years as “payback.” “I was going to do my three years and get out. Thirty years later, I’m still in.” Looking to the future, Robert wants to further develop his passion for financial services that has developed through his interactions with the younger sailors around him. “Financially, they’re not well-versed. This is more about education for me. The challenge is explaining something in a way so that someone who doesn’t have that education can understand.” Robert is more than up for the challenge. He will be completing the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) program and will ultimately sit for the CFP® exam, which will give him the tools to help those around him. “The military has been so good to me, and I feel like, ‘how can I pay this back?’”
Brandon Lovingier (LaPlata, MO) is an Active Duty Army Sergeant First Class in his 14th year of service, currently stationed in South Korea. In Korea, Brandon is responsible for running a strategic satellite communications facility, providing phone and internet services, and overseeing $11.6 million in equipment. “It’s been a pretty neat assignment,” Brandon says. Financial literacy was not emphasized when Brandon was growing up. Debt was just something everyone had. “My wife and I weren’t always the best with money,” he says. “When I turned 16, I was told to go to the bank, get a loan, and get a truck like everybody else.” In the past ten years, Brandon’s interest in personal finance has grown after following a few blogs and reading Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. “It’s made an amazing impact on just, everything,” Brandon says. “I’ve been trying to teach people. It’s great to help them build that framework and to help people understand that, just because you grew up in a certain money situation doesn’t mean you’ll end up there.” Brandon is planning on a full 20-year career in the Army, and will set his sights on financial services once he enters civilian life. In the meantime, he will be completing the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) program, which will help provide a solid platform for his passion to grow. “I think certifications are really important – industry standards are there for a reason.” Brandon says. “I can feel confident in my knowledge, but if the person I’m dealing with isn’t confident in my abilities, the advice I’m giving is just useless.”
David McCormack (Pensacola, FL) is an Active Duty Air Force Captain who spent nine years enlisted in the Navy prior to becoming an Air Force Officer and C-130 Navigator. During his time on Active Duty, David has gone through numerous deployments and completed his MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University while serving in Afghanistan. “I like influencing people,” David says. “I’ve been an instructor since 2014 and I like making peoples’ lives better.” Looking ahead at his upcoming retirement in 2021, David is looking to set himself up for a successful second career in financial services and build on his MBA. He will be completing the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) program, which will complement his education and experiences and enhance his marketability.
Andrew Moenter (Summerset, SD) is an Active Duty Air Force Captain with eight years of service so far. ”I love serving in the military,” Drew says. “It was a strong calling.” Drew is a B-1 Bomber Pilot, which he calls “very exciting to fly and horrifically complicated at times.” After completing his MBA on Active Duty and finding Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace program, Drew has developed a calling for personal finance. “I saw a need for the younger Airmen – I saw a lot of them getting preyed upon by lenders, and saw a need to teach,” he says. “I really enjoyed getting to know those guys as well as other struggling families in our community and getting that information out there. Handling your finances properly can totally change your family tree!” Drew will be furthering his passion by completing the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) and wants to ultimately sit for the CFP® exam. He wants to get his education out of the way while on Active Duty for the next few years so that he can hit the ground running in his new civilian career. “As rewarding as it is to be in the military, you lose some if the immediate impact of what you’re doing. I’m excited about the impact I can make on a community level.”
Matthew Noreus (Missoula, MT) spent ten years in the Army and separated at the rank of Major. Matthew received his commission after graduating from the Virginia Military Institute in 2005 and shortly thereafter deployed to Iraq as an infantry officer. Matthew minored in Arabic while in school, a skill that would prove useful in his deployment. “Being able to speak to the locals in their language was extremely advantageous.” After three tours overseas and a Purple Heart, Matthew was promoted to Major and selected for the resident staff college. He decided to transition out of the Army and start on his next career. He looked a few different career paths, but financial services runs in his family. Now in his third year, Matthew is a financial advisor with Edward Jones and recently earned his AAMS certification. He would like to build on that and gain more comprehensive financial planning education, so he will be completing the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) program. When asked about what he envisions for his career five years in the future, Matthew says he sees himself “coming to work, sitting at the same desk, with the same dedication and drive that has gotten me this far. I expect to see myself ‘better’ than I am now.”
Megan Perryman (Hot Springs, AK) is the spouse of an Active Duty Army Staff Sergeant who deployed twice to Iraq as an infantryman and is now working as a full-time recruiter. Megan has been a military spouse since her husband enlisted in 2007. She found that volunteering on base was a good way for her to learn the ropes of military life. “Being so far away from our family, I took it upon myself to be as involved as possible,” Megan says of her four years as Army Family Readiness Group Co-Leader. “I like to serve other people, and I thought that was a good way to do that.” In her professional life, Megan has been in financial services and with State Farm since 2013, “and loving it ever since!” She has spent that time earning her licenses and honing her confidence and skills to help her realize her goal of opening her own State Farm Agency. “I’m looking to help as many people as I can with their insurance and financial services needs,” she says. To that end, Megan will be completing the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) program, which will give her a foundation that she can build a successful career upon.
Pete Robbins (Ft. Collins, CO) was in college during the Vietnam War and elected not to take his student deferment. “I got called up a few months after that, but the Air Force allowed me to finish my last semester of school.” Pete calls the experience a transformative one. “I was a 19-year-old, snotty-nosed kid who thought I knew everything; I grew up very quickly. I became someone that my parents were proud of instead of the kid who was always getting in trouble.” Pete transitioned from the Air Force in 1977 after serving six years as a pilot. “That first year, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I tried a few things.” His first job in financial services was collecting debits for a life insurance business, which he calls an “eye opening experience.” Shortly after that, he joined Mutual of New York and started his financial services education in earnest. In 2001, he and his wife opened Robbins Family Insurance, where he has been ever since. “Recently I stepped back and said to myself, ‘I’ve been doing this for 41 years; I really should get my CLU® designation.’ Today’s clients are much more sophisticated – to be the best I can, I need to learn more.” Pete will be completing the Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®) program.
Daniel Seltzer (New Braunfels, TX) served in the United States Army prior to attending college, which is where he completed four combat tours overseas. He enlisted as a high school student immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2001 on a delayed-entry program. “I was a young man and I didn’t have much to lose,” he says. “What I lacked in skillset, I made up for in intensity.” He served as a designated marksman on a hostage rescue team, sniper for a reconnaissance platoon, and an infantryman in the army’s elite 82nd Airborne Division. After separating from the Army in 2008 at the rank of Corporal, Dan earned a B.S.B.A in finance from Oklahoma State University. He then went on to graduate with high honors from Bentley University's McCallum Graduate School of Business where he received a Master of Science in Financial Planning (MSFP) as well as the Certified Financial Planner™ designation. Six years later, Dan formed Arrow Wealth Advisors, Inc. and is now looking to take the next step in his financial services education. He will be completing the Masters of Science in Financial Services (MSFS), a program that he says will help fill in some of the remaining gaps in his knowledge. “The MSFS curriculum is perfect,” Dan says. “It really nails the dismount on the specific things I’m weak on. I have a professional obligation to my clients to continuously be learning new things as well as a personal obligation to model a lifetime of learning to my seven children.”
Ty Shoopman (Pittsboro, IN) has a history of service that spans over 13 years. “Military service was something I always wanted to achieve,” he says. “I definitely wanted to do infantry, and jumping out of airplanes seemed just dumb enough for me to do.” Ty spent a few years on Active Duty with the 82nd Airborne, including 15 months in Iraq, which he calls ‘the most transformative experience of my life.’ Over the next ten years, Ty was in and out of the Reserves and Indiana National Guard, “just depending on what life was throwing at us at the time.” In his civilian life, Ty’s background is in law enforcement. He has a master’s degree in Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysis and he is currently serving as a law enforcement officer for the state of Indiana. His interest in financial services was piqued while doing some research into personal finance for his own future. He thinks his investigative background is perfect for this new career – consuming a client’s raw financial data and producing intelligence based on that data. He will be completing the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) program, which will give him the critical education needed to provide for his target market of veterans, military families, and first responders.