Reflections on a legacy of leadership and the Top Women in Finance Hall of Fame

Last night, I was honored to join dozens of amazing leaders at the 2018 Top Women in Finance Awards. Finance & Commerce hosted this annual event, and it’s a favorite of JNBA’s. Minnesota is home to a growing number of women who are moving the financial industry forward, while at the same time making major contributions to our community and society at large, and it’s always inspiring to bring together that much brainpower and goodwill for an evening of connecting and celebrating. This year’s ceremony was especially meaningful to me, as I was one of two professionals inducted into the Top Women in Finance Hall of Fame.

(Photo by: Craig Lassig)

My fellow Hall of Fame inductee Laurie Nordquist, who is the new CEO for Wells Fargo Upper Midwest, delivered an inspiring keynote on creating a legacy of leadership – and naturally, I thought of Judith Brown, JNBA’s founder and my mother-in-law. When Judi started JNBA nearly 40 years ago, she was a pioneer in so many ways. It was the 1970s, an era in which women needed the signature of their husbands to even apply for a credit card. Needless to say, there were not many women working in the financial industry, let alone launching their own companies. And it was in this environment that Judi did just that. What’s more, she envisioned a different kind of business model for a financial advisory, and successfully built one of the first fee-only, independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firms.

Four decades later, that legacy of leadership and entrepreneurship is one that I aspire to uphold in everything we do at JNBA to advocate for our clients and serve our community. Whether it’s creating a team-based model of financial advice, building a multi-generational staff to offer our clients a diverse range of perspectives or continuing to give back to our community, being a financial advocate is a responsibility that I hold in the utmost regard.

With Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Minnesota coming up on Nov. 19, I will once again be thinking of and celebrating all of our amazing women leaders in our community including my colleagues, who are setting the bar that will serve the next generation of leaders for decades to come.

To Judi, my husband and JNBA CEO Richard Brown, the JNBA Team, and all of our clients: Thank you for entrusting me to continue a legacy of leadership and be a financial advocate. To Finance & Commerce and the Minnesota financial community: The Top Women in Finance Hall of Fame recognition is deeply meaningful to me, and I am honored and humbled to have my name added to this list of local leaders who have done so much for our industry and community.


*As seen in the November 2009 issues of Finance & Commerce magazine. Rankings and/or recognition by unaffiliated rating services and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if JNBA Financial Advisors, Inc. is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services, nor should it be construed as a current or past endorsement of JNBA Financial Advisors, Inc. by any of its clients. Rankings published by magazines, and others, generally base their selections exclusively on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized advisor. Rankings are generally limited to participating advisors. JNBA’s Chief Compliance Officer remains available to address any questions regarding rankings and/or recognitions, including providing the criteria used for any referenced ranking. Please see www. for more information.

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