CHICAGO - Winners of Charles Schwab’s seventh annual Impact Awards were announced Thursday at Schwab’s Impact conference in Chicago. Walter Bettinger, Schwab president and chief executive officer, and Bernie Clark, executive vice president and head of Schwab Advisor Services, took the stage to present the three awards.

The Pacesetter Impact award, honoring a promising, newer independent advisory, in business for ten years or less, was awarded to Glassman Wealth Services, of McLean, VA. Barry Glassman, founder of the 3 year old, $530 million in assets under management advisory, accepted the award with his team.

“Our goal and core value is to be nimble,” Glassman said in a video shown about the firm.

The Best-in-Business award pays tribute to an independent advisory firm in business for over ten years with a record of growth and excellence and a commitment to the industries top technologies. This year’s recipient was Foster Group, an Iowa-based financial planning and investment advisory firm with more than $1.1 billion in assets under management.

Judges said they were particularly impressed by Foster Group's use of technology.  "We built a workflow -- we call it a process automation ," firm founder Jerry Foster explained Thursday. "Everything we do operates within the Salesforce CRM. So every time new clients come on board, they get the exact same experience."

The firm has also created an Advisor Playbook to help train and educate all employees on securing new business, which has helped grow its referral network by 170% over the past year.

New this year, the Trailblazer Impact Award honors an independent advisory that is breaking ground and advancing the RIA industry through its drive and entrepreneurial spirit. The award went to Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros and Blayney, also a McLean, VA, firm with $2 billion in assets under management. Founded in 1991, the firm has two senior members who have served as presidents of the Financial Planning Association and as leaders of NexGen and the CFP council on examinations.

Winners were chosen by three judges, including Julie Littlechild, President of Advisor Impact; Sean R. Walters, executive director and chief executive officer, Investment Management Consultants Association; Dr. Thomas R. Robinson, managing director, education, CFA Institute. A $15,000 donation will be made to the charity of each award winner’s choice and a $1,000 donation will be made on behalf of each judge.

Profiles and videos of the winners are available on Schwab’s site.

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