November 14, 2022 – Washington, D.C.- based Vetted Solutions has been chosen to find the next chief executive officer for the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), a Chicago-based association dedicated to fee-only financial planning. At the same time, Leslie M. Stokes, vice president of the search firm, who has worked for various associations throughout her career, was named interim CEO of NAPFA. This summer, Geoffrey Brown announced he would be stepping down from the association’s top role, effective Tuesday, to accept a new position as president and CEO of The Illinois CPA Society.
“We look forward to working with Leslie and the Vetted Solutions team to guide us through this transition and as we find a permanent CEO,” said NAPFA chairman Jeff Jones. “With her expertise and knowledge of association management and organizational leadership transitions, we are confident that she will lead NAPFA and the board of directors effectively during her time with us.”
In her current role with Vetted, Ms. Stokes has sourced and placed C-level executives for prominent organizations experiencing growth and transformations similar to NAPFA, the trade group said. In addition, she has experience in executive search, organizational transition, association management, strategic long-term planning, customer journey maps, branding strategy, market research, organizational change, operations, membership engagement, sales and diversity, inclusion, and equity programs, NAPFA said.
The CEO oversees NAPFA’s business operations and provides day-to-day leadership and management of the committed staff team. Additional responsibilities include partnering with the board of directors, collaborating with highly-engaged volunteer committees and councils, and finance and budget management.
Building on a solid financial and operational foundation, NAPFA wants a CEO who will lead and manage the recently adopted 2022-2025 strategic framework that will drive advocacy; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and professional excellence. The new CEO will continue increasing public awareness of fee-only planning professionals, grow and diversify NAPFA’s membership, and enhance the professional excellence of NAPFA members through a strong educational portfolio.
The CEO serves as a spokesperson for NAPFA, making public appearances and maintaining relationships with the press, relevant associations, the higher education community, and government agencies.
“The successful candidate will thrive in a mission-driven environment that emphasizes relationship-building and teamwork, consensus-building, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and integrity,” said Vetted Solutions. “The ideal candidate will possess a background in association management and a passion for personal financial planning.”
Prospects should have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience; a master’s degree or equivalent experience is preferred. Also required is a minimum of 10 years of executive management experience, at the senior staff level or above, in association management or business management; C-suite experience is preferred.
Vetted Solutions said that candidates must have familiarity with the personal financial planning profession and, as a plus, the fee-only model. Highly effective and engaging communication skills – verbal, written, public speaking, and listening – are essential for this role. A friendly, approachable, and positive individual with good interpersonal skills would be ideal for this position. The right candidate will be a leader who shows evidence of being an innovative thinker, advancing new ideas that take the association to the next level. He or she must also provide financial management leadership and guidance to staff with P&L responsibilities.
Transforming Organizations Through Culture & DE+I Initiatives
On this brand new episode, Hunt Scanlon Media host Rob Adams is joined by Jim Zaniello, president of Vetted Solutions and James Pogue, president of JP Enterprises. In this episode, Mr. Zaniello and Dr. Pogue discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion and the impact it has had on the workforce and workplace. The two leaders also discuss the importance of having an inclusive culture and some of the challenges and successes that they have seen when it comes to DE+I. Listen now!
Founded in 1983. the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors is the nation’s leading organization of fee-only comprehensive financial planning professionals. NAPFA has more than 4,400 members nationwide. Individuals join the organization to enhance skills, market services, and be a part of a collective, influential voice on matters that affect them and their clients.
Vetted Solutions, a specialist in conducting non-profit, government, and association sector recruiting assignments, focuses on recruiting board members, CEOs and senior staff positions for prominent and well-known organizations nationwide. Recent searches that the firm has conducted include executive director for the Association for Creative Industries, chief operating officer for the American Society of Microbiology, executive director for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and executive director of the American Academy of Optometry.
Jim Zaniello, the firm’s president and founder, has worked for more than two decades in positions ranging from non-profit executive director to publisher of a leading tool for non-profit executive search. He is also known to have an intimate understanding of the complex demands of the executive office through his own experience as executive director at several associations and non-profits.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media