Wealth Management. I have the greatest job as Director of Wealth, Knowledge & Happiness at Stonebridge Asset Management
University of Notre Dame, BA and MBA from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Great husband who loves to promote women and two energetic and curious daughters who are equally fascinated with how money works.
What is your favorite aspect of being a leader?
Being challenged and inspired by smart, energetic, big thinkers who want to make the world better. It’s exciting when a “crazy idea” I throw out gets picked up, improved upon 1000%, and is then acted upon. It’s the germination and development—the roots of innovation—that motivate and reward me.
What advice do you have for women aspiring to be leaders in their field?
Surround yourself with smart people. Take assignments that will flex new muscles, develop new skills. Sometimes financially lateral moves are the most enriching and will often tee you up for future leadership. Always think you can. “Failure” is relative and if you have a setback, there are great lessons learned that will build your foundation for the next challenge.
What do you see as a challenge facing female leaders today?
Women are raised to be pleasers. I know I am—I’m an achiever, I like to make good things happen. But I also like to make people happy. If we are going to be innovators, leaders, and entrepreneurs, we’ve got to be OK with that fact that sometimes we’ll need to move forward even without broad “buy in”. The greatest leaders were bucking convention at some point and making people uncomfortable. Healthy tension is part of it, so embrace it and follow your vision!
As a financial professional, what’s your opinion on the most important financial skill or knowledge for the modern-day woman to grasp?
Understand your Personal Financial Statement: what you own, what you owe, and the difference. The look of your financial statement will spotlight any imbalance… Too much debt? Not enough saved? Too much in conservative cash accounts and not enough in retirement? The personal financial statement is where it all comes home.
Approximately how many years have you been involved with CWLI?
Around 20 years.
On which committees have you participated?
I’ve been on the board, on development committees, working committees for the financial empowerment series, the women in the boardroom series, and I’ve worked on committees supporting our annual dinner fundraiser, Impact!
What is your most memorable/outstanding experience with CWLI?
I’ve loved working with Carol Newton on Finance in the Boardroom, which is really about more than finance. Carol is a rock star and had taught me a ton. The session covers finance, strategic planning, development, governance and pulls in a panel of leaders to talk about best practices. The point is to prepare and inspire women to serve on more boards—nonprofit AND for profit.
What changes do you hope to see within the organization this year?
Carol and I would like to train the trainers for Finance in the Boardroom. We want them to grow, think about programming, and pass the baton to new trainers—to the new generation.
CWLI has been downtown-centric for so long. I know women at Amazon, Volkswagen, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and even some who work in Dalton who would benefit and want to participate, but can’t come downtown. We plan to look into a possible technology investment or change to programming can help these women dial in and engage.
With what other community organizations/activities are you involved?
I’ve done a ton because I love people and am constantly learning. I’ve been on the boards of United Way, Southern Lit Alliance, Helen Ross McNabb, Young Women’s Leadership Academy, The Women’s Fun, Chattanooga Ballet and The Houston Museum. One of my favorites is serving as a General Partner of The Jump Fund, an angel fund with female investors funding female led start-ups. I’m glad women are incredibly philanthropic, but I want to encourage them to monetize their value. You can do good and make money too, the two are not mutually exclusive!
For more information on Stefanie’s career and plan for 2017, head on over to the blog!