International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on March 8th. First observed in America in 1909, it is meant to uplift women and all that they have achieved both personally and professionally. It highlights the road to equal rights, including the fight for voting rights and gender equality in the workplace. In honor of this day, we wanted to take a moment to recognize the Ladies of Aviance: Alisha, Casey, and Samantha with an interview about what’s most important to them. Get to know our team and learn more about how we are working hard every day to support those around us!
Q&A for International Women’s Day
1. How did you get your start in the financial industry?
Alisha: I have a degree in Administration both business and healthcare. When I relocated to Naples, FL from Texas, a position at Aviance Capital Partners became available. With my background of working in fast-paced environments, building a solid foundation with clients, and knowledge of all office functions, my qualifications were a match.
Casey: For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in businesses and the flow of money. I grew up with strong entrepreneurial role models in my life, both my parents and grandparents built multiple business from the ground up. I grew up learning about the fundamentals of a business and all it takes to be successful. Naturally, that extended into being interested in personal finance and the underlying operations of other companies in different industries.
I sought to extend my knowledge and learn more about the economy and the stock market by studying “Finance – Financial Management and Analysis” in college. While learning more about personal and corporate finance, I grew an added interest in the real estate industry and decided to minor in Real Estate, focusing on real estate investment analysis.
Samantha: I started working as a bookkeeper in 2013 while I was still in college pursuing a completely unrelated degree (Anthropology & Psychology). In 2015, I started working for a small telecommunications company where I worked my way up to Financial Project Manager & Customer-Owned Asset Manager over 6 years.
I loved working with numbers, analyzing profit and loss statements, and planning for future expenditures. I was surprised how interested I became in finance since I’ve always been more “right-brained” with a focus on creative studies like anthropology, psychology, philosophy, writing etc. During my time as a Financial Project Manager, I started creating custom budgets for myself and my friends and family. I realized I much preferred planning and forecasting for individuals instead of companies and, in 2020, started the process to become a Certified Financial Planner.
2. What brought you to Aviance?
Alisha: I answered the job posting they had placed online by calling in and simply introducing myself. After speaking with Jack Brown, he invited me to come in for an interview. I felt a strong rapport and a comfortable “family-like” feel with the team. Aviance places high value on employees while encouraging them to learn and grow within the company which was important to me.
Casey: While at Florida Gulf Coast University, I was introduced to the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute. A handful of my influential professors are a part of this organization and knew Jack Brown as he is a former President for the CFA Society of Naples. I was impressed with Jack’s qualifications and track record, as well as those of Aviance’s other team members. One of my professors informed me about a position opening at Aviance. I reached out to Jack and after meeting the team, I knew it was the perfect fit. I was looking for a position that would allow me to grow as both a person and a professional, and Aviance is a great place for that. There is an emphasis on teamwork and camaraderie that makes coming to work each day unique and enjoyable.
Samantha: I finished my coursework for the CFP certification and was looking for practical experience working with clients and building financial plans. Aviance was looking for an Associate Financial Planner to help with the daily administration of financial plans and someone who could eventually transition to a lead planning role. It was a perfect fit!
I was really drawn to the mentorship mentality and Aviance’s focus on helping underserved communities like veterans and individuals with special needs. I felt so welcomed from day one even though I work remotely, and I know I can learn a lot from the team about establishing long-lasting relationships with clients.
3. What are your goals for the future?
Alisha: Finding and keeping a healthy work-life balance with time for family and friends and being honest and open with others. To keep growing and learning in my position by taking full advantage of the educational resources available.
Casey: My goal is to further my education by obtaining the CFA certification and establishing my own personal investment philosophy. I continue to incorporate myself in the investment community and strive to learn from those around me and all who have come before me.
Samantha: My immediate goal is to pass the CFP exam on the first try in March 2022 and obtain my CFP certification in 2023 after having completed the three-year experience prerequisite. After that, I look forward to working with my clients in planning for their future goals. I also have a dream of one day writing a book because writing has always been my passion. I’m not sure if it will be a novel or a personal finance book, but I hope to make it a reality in the next 5-10 years or so!
4. Who is your biggest inspiration?
Alisha: My mother is my biggest inspiration in all facets of life. My mother is a retired Vietnam Veteran Nurse. She inspires me to humble myself, to be strong, independent, optimistic, to have confidence, to be loving, kind and to be aware of the abundance of blessings I have and knowing how precious life is. Mom always says to try and take an hour for myself daily. I still call her for advice and am so grateful for my mother.
Casey: My biggest inspirations are my parents. It’s honestly difficult to summarize the impact they’ve had on my life and very much still do. They taught my sisters and I to be strong independent individuals and thinkers. They encourage us to always work hard towards our aspirations, to be respectful, kind, understanding of others, and true to ourselves.
They lead by example in all facets of life: family, faith, work, etc., and inspire me every day to be the best person I can be.
Samantha: My mom is my biggest inspiration. She passed away from cancer in 2020. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. She worked full time while earning a master’s degree, taking care of three daughters, and helping my dad start a successful A/C business. We butted heads a lot growing up, but she was the strongest person I’ve ever met, and she always seemed invincible to me. I think of her when I’m worried that I won’t be able to accomplish something, and she gives me the strength to do it anyway.
5. What do you do when you’re not working?
Alisha: You can find me on Saturdays in Naples, FL helping my brother Stephan T. Nedwetzky Pit Commander Central Texas Barbecue and his wife Yolanda at the Commissary. I really don’t call this work. I love interacting with their customers and learning their business. It brings us closer together as a family, and we really make it fun!
I also love to spend time with my husband and daughter and to explore around SW Florida.
Casey: As a Floridian, I am surrounded by beautiful beaches and a wonderful climate. When I’m not working, I try to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. You can often find me riding my bike, walking a nature preserve trail, or out on a kayak soaking up the sun.
The remainder of the time, I spend with my loving and supportive family and friends.
Samantha: When I’m not working, I’m studying for the CFP exam or working on financial services copywriting! Very fun, I know. When I do have free time, you can find me kayaking, camping, and doing all things nature related. I especially love hiking. Since FL is notoriously flat, I like to travel to the national parks throughout the United States to hike in the mountains. One day, I hope to visit all 59 national parks and hike the Pacific Coast Trail from Mexico to Canada.
Say a BIG Thank You to the Women in Your Life
At Aviance Capital Partners, we are proud to spotlight our hard-working Ladies of Aviance and celebrate International Women’s Day together. We encourage you to do the same for the amazing women in your life. To learn more about International Women’s Day, click here. To learn more about our firm, visit our website or give us a call at (239) 598-4747.