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Area's ‘power players’ feted for work in community

January 9, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Professional advisors do a great deal of good for their clients and community, much of which doesn't get recognized.

On Monday, the Cape Coral Community Foundation brought together some of the city's most influential financial advisors in all fields for its inaugural Power Players Professional Advisor Awards at the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village, which honored Southwest Florida's leading advisors.

Recipients were named in the fields of accounting, attorney, banking, estate panning, financial planning, and insurance and real estate brokering.

Michael Chatman, executive director with the CCCF, said it's another event to give credit to those who do good for the community without seeking the limelight.

"These individuals influence conversations with major donors and people who contribute to organizations so when their clients become charitably involved, they're the ones who influence those decisions," Chatman said. "We want to be top of mind when we have those conversations."

The winners were named by their peers, supervisors and human resource managers as being top advisors who perform their duties with honesty and integrity while also making an impact to the community. They also dedicate time, talent and treasure to the philanthropic causes that enrich the community.

The event featured the presentation of the awards, as well as a presentation to David Erickson, executive director of ECHO in North Fort Myers, of a check for $25,000 to help the organization recover from losses following Hurricane Irma and to prepare for future natural disasters.

There was also a panel discussion with Chatman, Milton Speid and Mari Ellen Reynolds Loijens of the Silicon Valley Community Foundations, the largest community foundation in the world with $82 billion in assets, which has partnered with the CCCF to establish the Financial Advisors Charitable Fund.

The winners were:

Accounting: Keith Veres, HBK CPA's & Consultants;

Attorney: Guy Whitesman, Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.;

Banker: Dorothy Blasingim, Regions Bank;

Estate Planning: Amy McGarry, Amy McGarry Law Office;

Financial Planner: Tom Uhler, Uhler and Vertich Financial Planners;

Insurance Broker: Donna Caruso, New York Life Insurance Co.;

Real Estate Broker: Gary Aubuchon, Miloff Aubuchon Realty Group

The recipients, besides being advisors, had something else in common; humility for winning.

"It's a lifelong dream for me because not only am I proud of who I am as a professional, I'm even more proud of having an impact on the community," Veres said. "It's the culmination of being around for a while and making sure I get involved, doing the things that impact the community."

"All I've ever tried to do is help out where I can. I love this community, it's where I've made my career and raised my family, so anything I can do to help, it is the right thing to do," Whitesman said.

"All these people are community leaders and believe in giving back. You have to treat people as you would like to be treated, in business and in life," Caruso said.

"I have just surrounded myself with real good people that care about the community. As the figurehead of the company, I get recognized," Aubuchon said. "It's really a team recognition."



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