Creating a more diverse face of the advisory profession, raising the Financial Planning Association’s profile among lawmakers and building a culture at the organization to attract the next generation of planners are some of the goals advisory veteran Pamela Sandy has planned as the FPA’s new president-elect.

Sandy’s term as president-elect will begin on January 1 and she will become president in 2016, succeeding incoming 2015 FPA President Edward W. Gjertsen, who has served as vice president of financial services firm Mack Investment Securities for more than two decades.

The 23-year financial planning veteran says that when it comes to diversity of the industry, “we’ve got a lot of work to do.” The industry, she says, must do a better job reflecting the community advisors serve. In order for the FPA and other advisory organizations to really stand behind that, the commitment must come from the top down – from the industry boards themselves, she says.

The FPA hosted its first Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. in June, and as president-elect Sandy says she also aims to build on it, making it an annual event. Commenting on the future of the FPA, Sandy says she plans to support fostering greater leadership among FPA chapters and more mentorship within the organization to attract next generation members. The FPA’s members include advisors across all channels, with 42% from wirehouses and regional broker-dealers, according to an FPA spokesman.

Sandy is the founder and CEO of Cleveland, Ohio-based Confiance, a boutique advisory firm that offers financial planning and wealth management services to individuals across the country. Prior to founding Confiance, she worked for 16 years at the Financial Strategies Group, a financial firm she co-founded and managed.

She has held various FPA leadership roles both locally and nationally, serving on the board of FPA of Northeast Ohio since 2008 and currently serving as the chapter’s government relations director. She is also a member of the FPA Professional Issues Committee and a contributing writer for the FPA Consumer Blog. She previously served on the FPA Public Issues Advisory Committee.

Working in both Cleveland and Boston, Sandy is studying for a self-titled degree from DePaul University called “political finance,” which focuses on how politics and public policy affect the financial lives of individuals. She completed her CFP coursework through the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colo.

Sandy’s appointment comes as the FPA and various other advisory boards are calling on financial planning firms to help close the gender gap in a profession where men hold a substantial majority of positions and far out-earn their female colleagues.

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