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President's Message

We at the Financial Planning Association of Orange County are “passionate about the idea of financial planning as a profession and the positive impact it has on the lives of others; we're leading its creation, adoption and recognition, RIGHT NOW” (From website).

So let me share with you the wonderful ways our members are “Putting FPAOC on the Map” with passion and impact!

I would like to highlight some of the different ways we plan to do this in Orange County and within the state of California.

Advocacy Chair Mark Prendergast has made incredible inroads in Sacramento at the state level and in Orange County at the local level with state senators, assemblymembers and staffers.

  • He attended the CPA Day at the Capitol on January 21, met with State Senator Janet Nguyen, and staff from Assemblymember Travis Allen’s office. He was building relationships, as well as treating this as a scouting trip for the March 3rd FPA Advocacy Day.
  • FPA of California Advocacy Day: Three members of the Orange County chapter traveled to Sacramento on March 3rd and met with their state senators and assemblymembers (or their staff), including the offices of Assemblymembers Travis Allen, Matt Harper, Christina Garcia, State Senators Janet Nguyen, Tony Mendoza, and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon.
  • On March 12, the Downey Patriot published an article on FPA member Janet Larsen meeting with State Senator Tony Mendoza discussing pro bono services that FPA can provide to his constituents. Larsen is pictured in the article with Senator Mendoza and fellow FPA member Steve Carder. Larsen is a member of the FPAOC Advocacy Committee.
  • State Senator Janet Nguyen asked Mark Prendergast for comments on a proposed bill to expand the California Child Care Credit. Prendergast neither supported nor opposed, rather made clarifying comments for the Senator’s staff to appropriately draft the bill, which is currently known as Senate Bill 268 (or SB 268).
  • State Senator Janet Nguyen’s staff has asked Prendergast if FPA will testify on SB268 in April before the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.

Allied Professionals Chair Balaji Rao has been working on some wonderful collaborative events. We had over 40 registrants for the Allied Professionals Breakfast on April 21. The topic of interest was popular for the many who attended the meeting, “The 25 Most Common Annuity Planning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them,” presented by Nathan Truax, Managing Principal of Lincoln Financial Advisors. 

Rao is currently working on other events and diligently searching out the best keynote speakers for the fall Allied Professionals Summit on September 29th.

Volunteer Development Committee (VDC) and Chair Dan Sands are continuing to engage and energize the volunteer base of our chapter. We recognize the efforts of our amazing volunteers through awards, such as the Volunteer of the Quarter, Volunteer of the Year and Rising Star. We also host two volunteer appreciation events where all volunteers for the year are invited to fun social events like bowling, a Back Bay harbor cruise and a holiday party. A new event we are hosting this year is a chapter-wide company-style picnic which is open to all members, significant others and their children. Details and registration are below. Make sure to mark your calendars for August 29th for the first ever FPAOC Chapter Picnic.

Did you know that out of over 500 members, we have about 15% of our membership or 75 members who volunteer in a given year? While this is an impressive statistic, we believe we can do even better and hope to increase volunteerism in our chapter to 100 members over the course of the next year. The most significant change is improving our “Do1Thing” campaign. You will now find direct volunteer opportunities posted to our website: We believe there is something for everyone. There are a variety of positions open, even some with minimal time commitments, and you will also learn why this work is important to our chapter. VDC has also created a Future Leaders Group in which volunteers interested in future leadership positions in our chapter are paired with a mentor where they discuss and explore many facets of leadership over a five month period. The VDC hopes you find volunteering not only an investment in our chapter and profession, but also an investment in you.

Please check our website at Chapter Events for all the ways we are continuing to advance the practice and profession of financial planning in Orange County and beyond.

Let’s put FPAOC on the Map!

Andi Y. H. Kang, CFP®
FPAOC President 2015

Upcoming Events

May Quarterly Meeting

Date: Wednesday, May 6
Time: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Location: UCI Student Center Pacific Ballroom

Cost: FPA Members $25, Non-Members $150, First-Time Visitors are Free
Lunch is included, and parking is free in the lot across from the Student Center.

Join us for the May Quarterly Education Meeting. We have a great speaker line-up, and we are offering required ethics for CFP® Professionals. We anticipate offering 5.5 CE for CFP® Professionals and 3.5 CPA CPE.

Speakers include:

  • Susan Bradley, CFP®, CFT™, Founder, The Sudden Money Institute
    Transitions Expertise Matters
  • Renee and Robert Trommler, Reverse Mortgage Specialists, AAG
    The Boomer Effect – An Imposing Problem Becomes a Great Opportunity with a Reverse Mortgage
  • Sheri Samotin, MBA, CLFP, NCG, PDMM, President, LifeBridge Solutions, LLC
    Whose Life is it Anyway? Helping your Clients Choose the Right Fiduciary
  • Scot Shier, CFP®, President, Quintessential Financial
    Applying CFP® Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct - 2.0 Hours Required Ethics for CFP® Professionals


Advisors in Transition Meeting

Date: Wednesday, June 17
Time: 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Location: Brown & Streza Office
40 Pacifica, Suite 1500, Irvine, CA 92618

Cost: $10 which includes parking and refreshments

5 Key Strategies for Boosting Your Practice Value
Suzanne Patrick-Lawrence, President and CEO of Advisor Business Solutions

Suzanne Patrick-Lawrence

The assumptions of solely looking at the numbers can understate the importance of how advisors manage the practice efficiency including organization of data, internal processes and how much it can reflect a higher valued practice. This workshop presentation will address what areas of weakness to identify, methods to improve and how it can impact the overall valuation.

In this interactive discussion you will learn:

  • What are the biggest assumptions which can hurt your value?
  • What industry trends are keeping savvy advisors ahead of the curve?

There will be plenty of time for networking too!

Who are Advisors in Transition? We are FPAOC members contemplating changes in the ownership, structure and oversight of their practices. More specifically, we are a community that includes advisors in the process of establishing independent practices, considering retirement or ownership transfers, addressing internal and external successions or looking to grow their businesses for future transitioning to the next generation.


1st Annual FPAOC Chapter Picnic

Date: Saturday, August 29
Time: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Location: Irvine Regional Park, Group Site #2

Cost: For the first 150 registrants (members, spouses/guests, children), cost is $10 per person. After 150, the cost is $20 per person. Children 3 and under are free. Parking is $5/car at the gate, park near the zoo.

Members, you’ll want to register early for this new event! You are invited to FPA of Orange County’s first Chapter Picnic! (Think ‘company picnic’ with great food and friends and a chance to bring your spouse/guest and kids! We welcome our 2015 Partners to join us too, of course!)

We’ll enjoy BBQ chicken, cheeseburgers, hamburgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers, oven-baked beans, potato salad, fresh fruit salad, pasta salad, corn-on-the-cob, sliced watermelon, assorted chips and snacks, ice cream bars, soft drinks and water. Plus there will be games for everyone, fun just for the kids, and you are welcome to enjoy all the activities at Irvine Regional Park, including train rides, bike and paddleboat rentals, Orange County Zoo, pony rides, horse rentals and hiking. (Additional fees may apply.)

Bring your sunscreen and stay for the afternoon! We hope you will join us!


View More Events

Chapter News

Volunteer of the Quarter

Congratulations to our Volunteer of the Quarter, Maria Kutscher! Maria played a crucial role organizing our last Financial Planning Day. From publicity to logistics, Maria’s expertise was key. Thank you, Maria, for all your hard work for FPAOC!

Maria Kutscher with John Robinson, former USC football coach, and his wife, Linda Robinson, at Financial Planning Day 2014


FPA of California Advocacy Day

FPA had a fantastic day in Sacramento on March 3rd with 22 members from across California visiting over 30 legislative offices. FPAOC members Janet Larsen, Steve Carder and Mark Prendergast represented our chapter. FPA members reinforced existing relationships and built new relationships with state senators, assemblymembers and staffers. They were able to present "FPA as a resource" in terms of [1] providing input about proposed legislation and [2] providing in-district financial education in the community. Karen Nystrom, national FPA Advocacy Director, provided training beforehand and joined members with appointments in key legislative offices. A side benefit was networking with fellow FPA members from the other 12 chapters in California and embracing a true team effort.

The Advocacy Committee is planning visits in the senators’ or assemblymembers’ district offices where FPA pro bono services are a big winner, a great example being our Financial Planning Day event. If you would like to participate in those visits, please contact Mark Prendergast at our May Quarterly Education Meeting or give him a call at his office at (714) 971-0663. Come and be a part of the solution!

In Sacramento or in district, FPA is having a positive influence in promoting the profession of financial planning.

Mark Prendergast and Senator
Janet Nguyen
FPA contingent for FPA of California Advocacy Day

Member Highlights

New Members

Name Joined City Company
Kurt Phares January Irvine Delaware Investments
Leah Petrov, CFP® January Lake Forest  
Irving Budlong January Newport Beach Brand Management, Inc
Matthew Balaker January Laguna Hills Towneley Capital Management, Inc.
Gordon Patrick Carlson, CFP® January Irvine Gordon Carlson & Associates
Ralph Bender, CFP® January Temecula Enduring Wealth Advisors
Charlene Aguilar February Huntington Beach  
Eric Saunders, CFP® February Orange  
Brandon Pope February Garden Grove  
Brian Brennan, CFP® February Irvine MetLife
Brian Ton February Fountain Valley Satori Law Group, Inc.
Cheri Franklin February Laguna Hills  
Christian Risenmay, CFP® February Indio Integrated Wealth Management
Donald E. Torres, CFP® February Irvine Providence Wealth Management Group -- Ameriprise Financial
Neal Rutter February Laguna Beach Duttenhofer Advisory Group
Gregory P. Weise, CFP® March Irvine Fidelity Investments
Ryan Brizendine, CFP®, MBA March Irvine Robertson, Griege & Thoele
Trevor Bryant, CFP®, CFA March Irvine Robertson, Griege & Thoele
Shana Packard March Irvine Robertson, Griege & Thoele
Seanna Kim March Irvine  
Kenneth A. Franklin, CFP® March Aliso Viejo Ameriprise Financial
Bob Petersen March Irvine Libert Home Equity Solutions
Janine DeWoskin, CFP® March Eastvale Mountain View Pharmaceuticals(Loma Linda University)
Adam Archi March Laguna Hills  
Cheryl Natoli, CFP® March Newport Beach Capstone Partners Financial & Insurance Services, LLC


Member Anniversaries

Name Company Years
Carl Camp Eclectic Associates, Inc.. 30
Christopher Wright   25
David Little Eclectic Associates, Inc. 20
Paul Kirz Paul H. Kirz MD 10
Jeffrey Motske Trilogy Financial Services Inc. 10
Michelle O'Haren Pacific Life Insurance Co. 10
Paul Salerno Select Planning Group, Inc. 10
Ahmed Khatib HighMark Capital Management, Inc. 5
Richard Magdaleno Magdaleno Financial Services, Inc. 5
Cliff Slaten Slaten Financial, Inc. 5
Bernd Steinebrunneri MetLife 5
Erik Thurnher Physicians Financial Advisors 5
William Wood Sagemark Consulting/Lincoln Financial Advisors 5

Pro Bono/Community Outreach

Pro Bono/Community Outreach needs your help! We have ongoing programs and upcoming events that are in need of financial planners, including: teaching for the Simon Foundation, providing one-on-one consultations at Financial Planning Day, helping organize Financial Planning Day, providing planning assistance to local veterans, and numerous other opportunities.

We welcome all FPA of Orange County members to join us at our committee meetings held the 3rd Thursday of the month from 2:00 – 3:00 PM. Contact David Sweet, Pro Bono/Community Outreach Chair, for more information.

Financial Planning Day has been scheduled for Saturday, October 17, at the Huntington Beach Central Library. Watch for dates for other events and sign-up instructions coming soon!


Thank You To Our Partners

Our Platinum, Gold and Silver Partners will have representatives, our guests, at each quarterly meeting and other FPA of Orange County events. Please take a few minutes to introduce yourself and thank them for making possible the many services they are providing to our membership and the community in which we live and work. Always perform your own due diligence before engaging any professional.