For some advisors, it was a matter of solving an immediate need in a way that benefited the industry. Sheryl Rowling just wanted a simpler, less expensive rebalancing tool than what was on the market; Richard Brown couldn't figure out how to find talented college grads for entry-level advisor roles.

For other winners of Financial Planning's 2013 Influencer Awards, the spotlight came alongside individual success - and the more their own renown grew, the more they found themselves poised to share their strategies throughout the industry.

Some of the following may be familiar names; others are, as they say, "famous to a few." All seven have accomplishments that go beyond their own businesses to offer benefits to financial advisors across the country. We take note of their individual achievements - but we recognize them for their contributions to the whole industry.

See this year's winners:
•    Industry Leadership: Ron Carson
•    Practice Management: Joni Youngwirth
•    Tech Innovator: Sheryl Rowling
•    Portfolio Innovator: Rob Arnott
•    New Generation: Richard Brown
•    Lifetime Achievement: Lew & Karen Altfest