August 2018 Scholarship Recipients
Aaron Duncan (Denver, CO) is the “proud and supportive” husband to a former Army sergeant and apache helicopter mechanic. “She can, in her own words, ‘turn a wrench’ and in my words, ‘beat me up’.” Recently, Aaron started his own RIA practice, which he is supplementing by waiting tables. “I got into this business to be hands-on with money. So far, it’s going well. There’s plenty of money to manage out there, and I feel very capable of doing that work.” To complement his knack for managing money, Aaron will be completing the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) program, which will provide him with a comprehensive financial planning education and build his confidence.
Michael Kren (Strongsville, OH) spent four years in the Marine Corps, attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. “It was a blast,” Michael says. “It was something I wanted and needed; good discipline, accountability, responsibility, leadership.Those were all things I had in me, but the Marine Corps brought it out.” Now ten years into a financial services career, Michael is continuing to serve others. He recently opened up his own firm, Bluerock Financial, and is currently building a book of business from scratch. To help, Michael is building on what he learned in the Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) by completing the Wealth Management Certified Professional® (WMCP®), which will help him build road maps for his clients’ success.
Brent Laube (Anchorage, AK) has a combined 24 years of service between the Air Force and the Army Reserve – and has spent 18 of those years in Alaska. “I complain about being in Alaska more than I should,” he says. “I’m originally from California and every time I go back to visit I look forward to returning to Alaska.” He enlisted in the Air Force in 1991 and served until a reduction in force cut his career short in 2004. In 2008, he joined the Army Reserves and says, “I’m not planning on retiring any time soon.” Brent’s interest in financial services has been in the works since a senior Non-Commissioned Officer suggested he and his wife meet with a financial professional. “There was no pressure; he was non-threatening, his demeanor was awesome. I want to help people get to where they want to be using that same demeanor.” While working at a Best Buy, Brent was approached by an AFLAC agent who had watched how Brent interacted with customers. He started working with AFLAC, then moved to Colonial Life, and finally broke out on his own and is eager to build his skill set. “2018 is the year I focus on education,” Brent says. His goals are to earn the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®), and Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®), and to earn his securities licenses. Brent will be starting out in the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) program and is excited to see where his education will take him. He has also been researching how to become an accredited VA rep so he can help Veterans file VA claims. He can then help them make sound decisions on using their money from the claims wisely. “I just want to help people and the more I know the more I can help them.”
Bethany Reed (Sherwood, AR) says that she enlisted in the Navy in 2008 because “I wanted to do something meaningful.” Most of her enlistment was spent as a Fire Control technician, for which she received a Navy Achievement Medal. “I’m very proud of my time.” Four years ago, Bethany was recruited by Agency Services of Arkansas as an executive assistant. In that time, she’s increased her responsibilities to include IT services, as well as marketing for life insurance and annuities products. “I’m a jack of all trades,” she says. “I really like working with them. It’s really opened my eyes to other opportunities for my future.” Currently, Bethany is studying to get her life and health licenses, and she has her sights next set on completing the Financial Services Certified Professional® (FSCP®) program, which will help her step into, and flourish, the role of financial professional. “I want to help families get the full value of what they’ve earned and keep most of it. I just really enjoy helping people.”
Danny Rodriguez (Lubbock, TX) spent four years in the Marine Corps as a Marine Musician trombonist, which he described as “lots and lots of military ceremonies and parades!” After he left the Marine Corps, he finished up his undergraduate degree in music and had planned to go to law school. He intended to earn a dual JD/PFP degree but instead decided to complete Texas Tech’s personal financial planning graduate program and begin his career in financial services. “A friend of mine was going through that program,” Danny says. “I didn’t really know anything about financial services but I like helping people; I’m an educator.” Currently, Danny is a General Agent with AFLAC and wants to grow his business. Eventually he would like to expand his client base to include active duty military members and veterans. To better serve his current and future clients, Danny will complete the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) and Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®) designations.
Marcia Teten (Wheatland, Wyoming) spent 11 years in Logistics and Military Intelligence in the Army National Guard. Three years into her enlistment, she went to Officer Candidate School through both the Wyoming and the Alabama Military Academy and received her commission. She says the experience “provided me a lot of opportunity and a whole lot of perspective.” After transitioning from the National Guard to the Inactive Ready Reserve at the rank of First Lieutenant, Marcia began developing her interest in insurance and quickly earned her licenses. As a single mom of four kids, Marcia is working on building her skillset to better their lives. She’ll be completing the Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®) program, which will help improve her technical competence and her confidence when working with clients. “I find it interesting,” says Marcia. “I’m very passionate about life insurance. I find it more rewarding and satisfying when I know I’m protecting families.”