History of the FPA of Florida

Advocacy and Cooperation, from 2004 to Now

October 2017
FPA members from three chapters complete their 2017 Fall Advocacy Trip.  Members, along with Karen Nystrom and Josephine Colacci, met with the Department of Financial Services, the Office of Financial Regulation and obtained the annual Proclamation for Financial Planning Week.

June 2017
OneFPA of Florida is established

If you’re active in FPA’s online community FPA Connect or are a reader of the Journal, then chances are you’ve heard the phrase, “OneFPA”. The phrase embodies all that the Financial Planning Association has to offer its members – you and me, and cuts across each of the four pillars that make up its value proposition. The phrase serves as a guidepost for FPA’s board of directors when implementing FPA’s strategic plans for maximizing the member’s value with their professional association. In fact, it carries so much focus that a task force dubbed the OneFPA Initiative was formed to look across the FPA ecosystem and identify areas where member value could be enhanced.

As part of that endeavor, FPA of Florida and the chapters from around the state partnered with the Initiative to identify areas here in our own backyard that could be enhanced. After much deliberation, five broad areas were identified: Membership and Partner Engagement, the use of Technology, Administrative Support, and Financial Sustainability. To realize the opportunities present in each of these areas, the chapters voted to collaborate with the FPA of Florida like never before – all in an effort to enhance your experience. FPA will be supplying resources, in the form of a dedicated, local Executive Director to assist with the implementation of the ideas developed through this collaborative effort hereafter referred to as the OneFPA of Florida.

Our aspiration is to have staff in position by the middle of the fourth quarter, and to have a group of committed volunteer leaders from each of the chapters contributing to this effort. Several of your fellow board members have already volunteered to participate. If you are interested in participating in one of the task forces that will be a part of this, please let your chapter president know. More information about the work being done, and the opportunities to volunteer will be forthcoming.

March 2017
FPA of Florida returns from their recent trip to Tallahassee advocating on behalf of the FPA members in Florida.  Five Florida chapters were represented.


October 2016
Members of FPA of Florida’s board convened in Tallahassee on Sunday, October 10th to conduct our 20th advocacy trip in the state’s capitol.

The FPA of FL has concluded their 2016-17 Annual Strategic Planning Meeting Orlando, Florida Six chapters were represented which include:  Central Florida, Gold Coast, Greater Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Northeast Florida, SunCoast.

During the meeting the 2017 Executive Committee was elected.   The Executive Team is:

  • Chairman:                            Chris Draughon, CFP®
  • President:                            Ashley O’Kurley, CFP®
  • President Elect:                  James McBrayer, CFP®
  • Secretary/Treasurer:         Tiffany Beard, CFP®
  • Our Board of Directors will be announced shortly.

The FPA of Florida has set these goals for 2016:

  • Communications
  • Recognition and Regulation of Financial Planning
  • Defining “Financial Planning” to regulators

April 2016
FPA of Florida President, Chris Draughon, CFP® quoted in “Investment News” article on “Financial planners foresee little disruption to practices from DOL fiduciary rule”. Chis Draughon, CFP® and Tampa Bay member, Ray Ferrara, CFP® provide their insights to the new rule. Full article here.

February 2016
The FPA of Florida Advocacy team has returned from their recent trip to Tallahassee.  Nine FPA members, representing 5 FPA Florida chapters met with Legislators on Tuesday, February 9th.  Click here to read the trip summary.

November 2015
As the team prepares for the Winter/Spring Advocacy trip, find out what successes they had during their November trip.  Click here.

October 2015
The FPA of FL has concluded their 2015-16 Annual Strategic Planning Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale. A special Thank you to Jim Kovach, CFP®, Charles Schwab Advisor Services for providing the meeting venue.  Seven chapters were represented which include:  Central Florida, Gold Coast, Greater Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Northeast Florida, SunCoast, and Tampa Bay.

During the meeting the 2016 Executive Committee was elected.   The Executive Team is:

  • Chairman:                            Philip Herzberg, CFP®
  • President:                            Chris Draughon, CFP®
  • President Elect:                  Ashley O’Kurley, CFP®
  • Secretary:                            Claudia Sachs, CFP®
  • Treasurer:                            Laura Mattia, CFP®
  • Our Board of Directors will be announced shortly.

The FPA of Florida has set these goals for 2016:

  • Advocacy
  • Chapter Leader Engagement
  • Member/Partner Value Proposition

September 2015
Claudia Sachs, CFP®, member of the FPA of the Gulf States and Board member of the FPA of Florida meet with CFO Jeff Atwater on Tuesday, October 29th and received the State Resolution, designating October 5-10, 2015 as Financial Planning Week.  Click here to view the resolution.

March 2015
FPA members in Florida have concluded their 17th Annual Advocacy Days in Tallahassee on March 17, 2015.  Six of the nine chapters in the state sent representatives.  Members in Florida met with Legislators, Regulators, “Florida is for Veterans”, and FSU’s College of Business.  To read the summary of the trip, click here.

October 2014
This past October 14th marked our 16th trip to Tallahassee to advocate on behalf of our 1,237 members. Our agenda included meeting with three regulatory bodies: the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Office of Financial Regulations and the Division of Insurance Agents and Agency Services, and Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate. Over the past seven years, FPA of Florida has developed strong relationships with several agencies in Tallahassee that have influence over our ability to practice financial planning. This fall’s trip offered us the opportunity to continue to strengthen our relationships and make new ones. Click here for the summary of the Advocacy day.

September 2014
FPA of Florida Recognized for Helping State Residents Achieve Financial Goals FPA of Florida leaders were commended for their diligence in guiding statewide residents to achieve financial goals during their September 23rd trip to Tallahassee. Florida CFO Jeff Atwater presented ambassadors Michael Zmistowski, Chris Draughon, and Claudia Sachs with a State Resolution, designating October 6-12 as Financial Planning Week. Click here to view the Resolution.

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This Resolution highlights the importance of the financial planning process to Floridians in mapping out their financial futures.

March 2014
This past March 16th trip marked our 15th trip to Tallahassee to advocate on behalf of our members.   The FPA of Florida Government Relations team returns from their Spring Day on the Hill with more press than ever.  Congratulations to our FPA chapters in Florida for setting the record for the number of Chapters represented! Seven of the 8 Chapters in the state sent volunteer representatives to Tallahassee.  Click here for the full report.

February 2014
The February Capitol Ideas Call which featured Michael Zmistowski as the special guest contained a lot of valuable information that benefits FPA members statewide.  Click here to listen to the recording.

October 2013
The FPA of Florida held their Strategic Planning and Annual meeting on Friday, October 18.  Eight of the nine chapters in the state were represented along with members from the FPA of California Council.

Annual elections were held, and the following were voted in as the 2014 Executive team:

  • Chairman:           Michael Zmistowski, CRC®
  • President:           Paul Auslander, CFP®
  • Pres. Elect:         Phil Herzberg, CFP®
  • Treasurer:          Jean Larsen, CFP®
  • Secretary:           Elaine King, CFP®

Board of Directors:

  • Chris Bruser:  Chapter Representative, Tampa Bay
  • Chris Draughon, CFP®:  Government Relations Chairman, Chapter Representative, Northeast Florida
  • Bill Dyess, CLTC: Chapter Representative, Gr. Ft. Lauderdale
  • Charlie Fitzgerald, CFP®:  Chapter Representative, Central Florida
  • Kwamena Goodin: Chapter Representative, Gold Coast
  • Charles Kerwood, CFP®: Chapter Representative, Southwest Florida
  • Paul Miller, CFP®:             Director
  • Claudia Sachs, CFP®:       Director
  • Dale Van Scoyk, CFP®:     Director

September 2013
Eight Florida chapter members of the Financial Planning Association and 2 National FPA representatives concluded their 7th annual fall trip to Tallahassee to strengthen relations with elected officers, legislators and regulators. Click here to view the report.

The team was successful in obtaining a Proclamation for Financial Planning week signed by Florida Governor Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Commissioner Adam Putnam. Click here to view the Proclamation.

March 2013
Nine FPA Members representing 5 chapters met with various legislators, regulators and lobbyists at their recent trip to Tallahassee.  To view the full report, click here.

October 2012
The FPA of Gold Coast hosted our annual Strategic Planning Meeting on Friday, October 18, 2012.    Seven chapters were represented and we have created committees, goals and our 2013 Executive Team and Board of Directors.  Michael Zmistowski, incoming President established 3 goals for the FPA of Florida:   A. C. E.   Advocate, Collaborate, Educate. 

The 2013 Executive team and Board of directors were elected:

  • Chairman:    Charlie Fitzgerald, CFP®
  • President:    Michael Zmistowski, RFC
  • President Elect:   Paul Auslander, CFP®
  • Secretary:  Elaine King, CFP®
  • Treasurer:  Jean Larsen, CFP®

Board of Directors:

  • Ed Bell, CFP® – At Large
  • Bill Dyess – At Large
  • Phil Herzberg, CFP® – Public Relations/Awareness
  • Kelben Holbrook, CFP® – Communications
  • Kasia Marczyk, CFP® – Pro Bono
  • Paul Miller, CFP® – Government Relations
  • Claudia Sachs, CFP® – At Large
  • Dale Van Scoyk – Fund Raising

September 2012
Seven Financial Planning Association members concluded their recent trip to Tallahassee with the signing of the Financial Planning Week Resolution. Click here for more information.  Click here to view resolution.

February 2012
FPA of Florida has concluded their 6th Annual FPA Day at Florida’s Capitol on February 27 and 28. Financial planning services are critical to the individual and collective financial health of Floridians. To view the final report, click here.

September 2011
The FPA of Florida’s Government Relations team announces the Florida Cabinet Resolution for Financial Planning week, October 3-9, 2011.  Click here.

October 2011
On October 14th, FPA of Florida hosted its Working Together 2012 Strategic Planning Meeting and welcomed 21 attendees representing all nine FPA chapters in the State. Serving as leading ambassadors in promoting the financial planning profession to state of Florida Chapter members and consumers, the FPA of Florida proudly elected its 2012 Executive Team and appointed new Board members.

June 2011
FPA of Florida was pleased to announce their strategic alliance with Pershing Insite 2011.  FPA members were invited to attend Pershing Insite 2011 on a complimentary basis.

Congratulations to two Florida chapters who were recognized for outstanding achievement during FPA 2011 Leadership Conference!

The FPA of Northeast Florida was recognized for an outstanding achievement in the area of Financial Planning Week.

The FPA of the Sun Coast was recognized for an outstanding achievement in the area of Financial Literacy.

May 2011
Members from the FPA of Florida and Chapter Government Relations Directors traveled to Tallahassee for their semi-annual Day on the Hill.  Click here for more details.

April 2011
The FPA of Florida hosted a Pre-Conference Intensive during the 31st Annual South Florida FPA Conference 2011.  FPA of FL, FPA National and FPA of Greater Ft. Lauderdale hosted Don Trone’s “Strategic Ethos:  FPA Edition” on Thursday, April 28, 2011.  This Pre- Conference Intensive was available to attendees at no additional charge. The FPA of Florida also hosted Michael Zmistowski’s “Florida Legislative Update” during the conference.   Michael’s presentation provided insight as to the new Safeguard our Seniors legislation and what penalties one could face.

March 2011
The FPA of Florida announces a new member benefit: Career Center.

The FPA of Florida worked with Financial Advisor Private Wealth to offer reduced registration fees for member in the state to attend the Second Annual Innovative Real Estate Strategies conference beginning March 20, 2011.

November 2010
FPA of Florida Board member, Michael Zmistowski, RFC travels to Denver, Colorado to honor Ms. Wendy Todd, CAE for her outstanding work and ongoing support to the FPA of Florida.  Click here for more details.

October 2010
The FPA of Florida 2010 Summit was held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort on October 21 and 22, 2010.  Members from around the state attended and heard from industry specialists and CEO, Marv Tuttle, CAE.  The Summit hosted a preview of Jonathan Clark’s “Mastering Performance”, followed by FPA National’s Pro Bono Boot camp.   Michael Zmistowski educated attendees on legislative updates as it related to the recent Save Guard Our Seniors legislation. The Summit also hosted a “Best Practices: Power Panel” moderated by Mr. Dan Moisand, CFP®.  Highly accomplished practitioners along with Director of Government Relations of FPA addressed questions from the audience ranging from compliance, regulations, and how to best approach the markets.

Day two of the Summit focused on Media Relations, Marketing to the Mature and followed by a 4 hour presentation from Don Trone, CEO, Strategic Ethos.  Fiduciary Ethos-FPA Edition introduces a thorough overview of the fiduciary standard of care consistent with the six-step financial planning process. Learn how a principles-based decision-making process can be used to define a fiduciary standard of care, and focus on investment fiduciary responsibility, with the Ethos decision-making framework being used to structure similar fiduciary standards for the remaining financial planning disciplines.

The FPA of Florida Board held their annual strategic planning meeting the following day and elected the 2011 Board and officers.

The following Executive Officers were elected: 

  • Kimberly Overman, CFP® – President
  • Jean Larsen, CFP® – Treasurer
  • Claudia Sachs, CFP® – Secretary
  • Paul Miller, CFP®- Chairman

September 2010

2010 FPA of Florida Photo with Governor
FPA of Florida with Florida Governor

Financial Planning Week- The Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida recognize Financial Planning Week to remind Florida’s citizens of the importance of financial planning to assist in making prudent financial decisions.

Shown at Florida Governor’s Cabinet meeting: Attorney General Bill McCollum, Governor Charlie Crist, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Commissioner Charles Bronson with the Financial Planning Association of Florida’s Director for Government Relations Charlie Fitzgerald, Secretary Claudia Sachs.

Click here for a video of Florida Cabinet recognizing Financial Planning Week.

On September 14, leaders from the FPA of Florida met with the Florida Cabinet to obtain a signed Resolution for Financial Planning Week. The Chief Financial Officer of the State of Florida, Alex Sink, makes some very kind comments about the helpfulness of the Financial Planning Association of Florida (FPA/FLA) to Governor Charlie Crist and the FPA/FLA committee. At the end, State Agricultural Commissioner Bronson, one of four members of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet, invites the further participation of the FPA/FLA. Clearly, as the result of lots of FPA staff and members’ efforts, the FPA of Florida has made a positive impact at the state level of government.

The State of Florida, through the Legislature and the Chief Financial Officer, have created a Financial Literacy Council designed to study the financial barriers for Floridians of all ages and encourages prudent financial planning as a means to overcome these barriers.

March 2010
On March 23rd, leaders from the Financial Planning Association of Florida held meetings with officials from the Office of Financial Regulation, the Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Financial Services.  FPA of Florida representatives were also introduced to House of Representatives during session and visited with several House Representatives and their legislative assistants.  Discussions were held regarding the regulation of financial planning by the SEC, pros and cons of the proposed “Safeguard our Seniors” legislation and any potential taxation of financial planning or investment advisory services.  Please click here for a complete write-up of the trip.  The next trip to our State Capitol is planned for September.

October 2009
The FPA of Florida Summit was held on October 21 – 24th with members from across Florida connecting with each other, State and National leaders in Orlando.   Industry experts and members shared their views about the Future of the Profession. Members participating in the two-day workshop “Mastering the Future” gave great reviews.  The Board held their annual strategic planning meeting and elected the 2010 Board and officers.

The following Executive Officers were elected: 

  • Paul Miller- President
  • Kimberly Overman – President-Elect
  • Jean Larson – Treasurer
  • Secretary – Claudia Sachs
  • Matt Mc Grath – Chairman

September 2009
FPA of Florida members traveled to Tallahassee to receive a Cabinet-wide Resolution proclaiming the week of October 6th as “Financial Planning Week 2009.”  Read more. 

April 2009
3rd Annual FPA of Florida Day at Florida’s Capitol. By far our most successful trip to Tallahassee yet, as FPA of Florida representatives held meetings with officials from Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink’s office, the Office of Financial Regulation and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. FPA of Florida representatives were introduced to the House of Representatives during session and visited House Representatives and their Legislative Assistants. Discussions were held regarding the regulation of financial planning by the SEC, abusive sales practices of variable annuities and equity index annuities and potential taxation of financial planning services. We also met with local Tallahassee financial planners to discuss the formation of a FPA Council in the city.  Read more.

December 2008
The Annual Strategic Planning Meeting and Elections were held in Orlando.

The following Executive Officers were elected:

  • Matt McGrath – President
  • Paul Miller – President Elect
  • Jean Larsen – Treasurer
  • Claudia Sachs – Secretary
  • Allen Arntzen – Chairman.

September 2008
FPA of Florida members traveled to Tallahassee to receive a Cabinet-wide Resolution proclaiming the week of October 6th as “Financial Planning Week 2008.”

August 2008
Charlie Fitzgerald appointed to State CFO Alex Sink’s Financial Action Team, which was created to analyze the Federal Government’s 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act and determine how Florida Citizens may fully benefit.

July 2008
FPA of Florida bylaws were amended and approved according to Model Chapter Bylaws instituted through the FPA Co-Creating Our Future process. Special thanks were given to Paul Miller for coordinating this project with local chapters and FPA National.

March 2008
2nd Annual FPA Day at Florida’s Capitol.  Read more.

November 2007
The Annual Strategic Planning Meeting, Elections and Multi-Chapter Retreat were held in Jacksonville. This multi-chapter retreat featured Guest Speaker Rick White from the Office of Financial Regulation.

Executive Board consists of:

  • Allen Arntzen – President
  • Matt McGrath – President Elect
  • Paul Miller – Treasurer
  • Nassim Elias – Secretary 

October 2007
Charlie Fitzgerald testified before CFO Alex Sink’s Florida Financial Literacy Council in Orlando.

September 2007
FPA of Florida members traveled to Tallahassee to receive Cabinet-wide resolution for 2007 Financial Planning Week.  Read more.
To view resolution click here.

May 2007
Executed Interim Letter of Agreement with FPA National, creating FPA of Florida and giving us formal permission to now publicly identify ourselves as the Financial Planning Association of Florida or FPA of Florida (mostly for internal use).

Paul Auslander appointed to the Florida Financial Literacy Council.

April 2007
Inaugural FPA Day at Florida’s Capitol.  Read more.

December 2006
Annual Meeting and Statewide Multi-Chapter Retreat in Fort Lauderdale.  Fifty members from seven of the Florida chapters met for learning, sharing and creating better communications between chapters. 

2007 Officers are:

  • Charlie Fitzgerald – President
  • Allen Arntzen – President Elect
  • Matt McGrath – Secretary
  • Paul Miller – Treasurer.

November 2006
Began process of forming FPA of Florida Chapter with FPA National including:

  • Legal status of our new organizations
  • Lobbying and advocacy
  • Use of FPA logo and marks
  • Governance and letter of agreement
  • Insurance

October 2006
Acquired proclamation from Governor Jeb Bush recognizing 2006 Financial Planning Week.

June 2006
Thanks to the efforts of Christine Brown, FPA of Florida roles out its website, FinancialPlanningFlorida.org

January 2006
First official annual meeting and election of executive board.  Those present reviewed the case for forming the Statewide Cooperative.  Other topics discussed were:

  • Schedule of meetings for the Cooperative’s Executive and Advisory committee
  • Future Regional Strategic Planning Retreat for the fall
  • Merits of using a professional lobbyist and hosting Financial Planning Day in Tallahassee as early as October 2006
  • Possibility of hosting a debate for the candidates for Chief Financial Officer of Florida that will be elected in November
  • Establishment of Florida Cooperative Web site – FinancialPlanningFlorida.org
  • Possible methods of funding Cooperative programs

Inaugural Elections of Officers were held:

  • Charlie Fitzgerald – President
  • Allen Arntzen – President Elect
  • Matt McGrath – Treasurer.

Members serving as advisors included:

  • Michael Zmistowski
  • Paul Auslander
  • Regina Robuck
  • Kevin Poland
  • David Lawrence
  • Robin Clark
  • Dave Moran
  • Leslie Kelly

July 2005
Third planning meeting of The Florida Cooperative of FPA Chapters was held in Tampa, Florida.  In the morning we reviewed, discussed, amended and signed a formal Letter of Agreement.

The four-part goal of the Cooperative included:

  • Best Practices – idea sharing between chapters
  • Public Relations
  • Regional Leadership Training and Development
  • Single Voice to State Government in Tallahassee, FL.

We decided that we wanted to keep the organization as simple as possible and that a formal corporation would not be necessary. The Letter of Agreement addressed various matters related to Membership, Voting Rights, Resignation, Chapter Representatives, Meetings, Directors and Officers, Elections, Financial Matters (common costs and direct costs), etc.

Also discussed was the possible creation of a statewide speaker’s bureau, Tallahassee Day on the Hill, Florida Chapters directors’ forum to be held at the FPA 2005 Leadership Retreat, strategies to work with sponsors to help us defer costs of our operation, etc.

We had 19 attendees with representatives from eight of the nine state chapters (Broward was the only chapter to not participate).  Two of the chapters were unable to attend but were present by proxy.  Six were present.  The next meeting was scheduled for January 16, 2006 in Orlando, FL.  At this meeting among other things we will plan to install our first official Board of Directors and Elected Officers. We will also form a specific goals and objectives for the next one to three years and approve our first budget.

February 2005
The Florida Cooperative of FPA Chapters held its first Regional Advanced Leadership Retreat near Orlando, FL.  This was the first Regional Leadership Retreat of its kind in the nation. Since that time, several other groups of chapters throughout the country have followed this example. Florida served as a template for these other groups of chapters. The meeting was conducted by David Lawrence and Michael Zmistowski. They took us through the Level 300 training which enabled us to build our own Leadership Templates at committee and chapter levels. We also came together in a collaborative setting to share ideas on chapter programs, membership recruitment and retention, lobbying efforts in Tallahassee.  We also did a Knowledge Café and Circle conversations to stimulate brainstorming, etc. This two-day retreat included 21 attendees from 4 of the state chapters.  Julie Massaro, FPA National Membership Director and Dan Moisand, FPA President-Elect also participated.

December 2004
The second meeting in Orlando, FL, continued discussions regarding topics of common interest:

  • Florida State Governmental Relations
  • Potential Voting Structure
  • Regional Leadership Training Program
  • Shared Resources and Programs
  • Collaborative Efforts to strengthen chapters

Florida Chapters represented were Central Florida, Gold Coast, Jacksonville, Miami-Dade, Suncoast, and Tampa Bay. Not in attendance: Broward, Gulf States, and Southwest Florida.

June 2004 
Initial meeting in Saint Petersburg, FL, to begin the process of forming the Florida Cooperative of FPA of Chapters.  We discussed the need for an organization, the type of entity that we would form, our vision, name of group, how to communicate with each chapter represented, funding, and collaboration on joint projects and programs. This kickoff meeting was a success with 23 in attendance. Florida Chapters represented were Broward, Central Florida, Miami-Dade, Southwest Florida, Suncoast, and Tampa Bay. Not in attendance: Broward, Gulf States, and Jacksonville.