Tag Archives: DEI

Ep 61: Four Pillars of DE&I from the CPF Board’s Center for Financial Planning – With D.A. Abrams



Building a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program (DEI), can be a daunting task. Leaders understand that it’s so much more than just hiring people that look different from one another.

In this episode, Laura Gregg and David Partain welcome D.A. Abrams, Managing Director at the CFP Board’s Center for Financial Planning. He identifies four key pillars that are necessary to build and sustain a DE&I program.  D.A. also discusses why this should be a business imperative and how firms of all sizes will benefit over time by acting with intention today. Learn how to gain a competitive edge over other firms that aren’t taking action on DE&I today.

D.A. Abrams discusses: 

  • The mission of the CFP Board’s Center for Financial Planning
  • Four critical pillars of engagement in a DE&I program
  • How to use geography to your advantage when expanding your business
  • Why to invest in career changers
  • Mentorship opportunities through the Center for Financial Planning
  • And more.

Resources: 

Connect with D.A Abrams

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About Our Guest:  

Managing Director, Center for Financial Planning

David Anthony (D.A.) Abrams, CAE joined the CFP Board as Managing Director for the Center for Financial Planning in November 2019. In his role, D.A. is responsible for the following: Cultivating a quality workforce to ensure the profession can recruit and retain the talent it needs to grow; Fostering a more diverse financial planner workforce that reflects the changing demographics in the United States; and Elevating the discipline of financial planning to increase the stature and recognition of financial planning faculty and educational programs and provide practitioners with cutting-edge knowledge to thrive and provide outstanding service to clients.

D.A. is the immediate past Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the United States Tennis Association (USTA), a position he assumed in February 2012 and concluded prior to joining the CFP Board. During his 26 years with the USTA, D.A. served as the Executive Director and Chief Staff Executive for two (2) of the Association’s 17 Section offices; USTA Eastern, and USTA Missouri Valley.

In addition, D.A. served as the staff member of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Hispanic Engagement Advisory Group, National Committee Appointment Process and was chair of the D&I Advisory Group at the USTA. Further, he was the chair of the USTA’s Accreditation Review Committee.

Moreover, D.A. serves as the National Association of Asian American Professionals Board of Directors – Treasurer and is a Board Member of Diversity MBA. Also, D.A. is a former President of the Diversity & Inclusion Sports Consortium.

He played collegiate tennis at Millersville University in Pennsylvania where he earned his undergraduate degree in business administration, concentration – accounting. Subsequently, D.A. earned a master’s degree from Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis, MN. D.A. earned his Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential in 2010.


Ep 59: DE&I as a Strategic Imperative — With Connie Lindsey



Diversity isn’t the end game in DE&I. To create powerful outcomes, leaders need to understand how to create Equity and Inclusion within their firms, which takes strategy, commitment and accountability.  

In this episode, Laura Gregg and David Partain welcome back Connie Lindsey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Northern Trust. Connie discusses why she views DE&I as a strategic imperative. She also shares some misunderstood aspects of DE&I and how leaders can sidestep common pitfalls in order to create powerful outcomes.

Connie Lindsey discusses: 

  • What diversity really means
  • How to apply Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a strategic imperative
  • Understanding equity and how it differs from equality 
  • The Future of Work and its impact on our industry
  • Building an intentional culture of inclusivity
  • Consumers’ growing demand for DE&I
  • And more

Resources: 

Connect With Connie Lindsey:

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About Our Guest:

Connie L. Lindsey is Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) at Northern Trust. She is responsible for the design and implementation of the global Corporate Social Responsibility, Community Development and Investments, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy at Northern Trust. In addition to strategic oversight, she provides leadership to the firm’s response to environmental matters and social issues, within the marketplace, workplace, and community.   

Prior to becoming the Head of CSR and Global DE&I, Ms. Lindsey led client servicing teams in the Corporate & Institutional Services business, serving public fund and not-for-profit clients.  Over the course of her Northern Trust career, she has held a number of leadership roles, including Deputy Business Head in Operations and Technology, Group Head in Wealth Management, Director of Enterprise Relationship Management, and Manager in Treasury Management Consulting and Product Management and holds the Certified Treasury Professional designation.

Ms. Lindsey is a former National Board President of Girl Scouts of the USA, the highest-ranking volunteer of this 2.5 million-member organization. In this role she provided guidance in three vital areas—policy, fund-raising, and leadership.  She was an integral part of the Girl Scout transformation, committed to building and sustaining membership growth and ensuring girls receive a premier leadership development experience.  

Ms. Lindsey serves on several civic and charitable boards to include Leadership Greater Chicago (Board President, 2001 Fellow); McCormick Theological Seminary (Chair of the Board of Trustees); Obama Foundation Inclusion Council (Co-Chair); Chicago Urban League; Executives’ Club of Chicago; and YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.

Ms. Lindsey received her BA in Finance at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, completed the Harvard Business School Executive Education Corporate Social Responsibility program, and is also a licensed Qualified Administrator of The Intercultural Development Inventory®.  She is a public and motivational speaker on topics of diversity and inclusion, corporate responsibility, leadership, and personal and professional empowerment.


Ep 56: Assess Before Building A Diversity & Inclusion Program – With Kemy Joseph, CEO of F.E.A.R.S Advantage



Assess before you make a mess,” is what Kemy Joseph, CEO and DEI Strategist at F.E.A.R.S. Advantage tells Laura Gregg and David Partain in this episode of The Flexible Advisor.

Kemy talks about the stress that firm leaders face when it comes to the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and why it’s critical that firm leaders understand the current culture that exists within their firm before implementing DEI change. Once existing staff and leaders feel safe, trusted and included, then consider adding other diverse hires in an intentional way to strengthen your firm’s culture. The conversation covers data from FlexShares latest diversity study and how Kemy works with firm leaders identify appropriate goals for their firm’s DEI program that lead to measurable business benefits

Listen to learn: 

  • Why trust is a critical underpinning for building a successful DEI program.
  • Confusion that DEI is just about hiring people of different skin colors or genders
  • The difference between DEI committees and DEI clubs
  • Building a DE&I program based on specific outcomes firms desire
  • The four measures of safety within an organization 
  • And more

Resources: 

Connect With Kemy Joseph:

Connect With  Laura Gregg: 

Connect With  David Partain: 

About Our Guest:

Kemy Joseph is the CEO and DEI strategist at F.E.A.R.S. Advantage LLC. He works with firm owners and leaders within the financial services space to help them better understand how to create diversity, equity and inclusion programs that will yield results, both business and social. He’s on a mission to help around 5 million business leaders advance equity in their organizations by 2030 to create company culture where people of all backgrounds can work safely and thrive.