October 2019 Scholarship Recipients
Matthew Doty (Woodstock, GA) was at Camp Pendleton, CA as an Active Duty Marine Corps logistics officer on September 11, 2001. He found out about the terrorist attacks while getting ready for work when his Mother-in-Law called from Florida. “She told us to turn the TV on. I had two young sons at the time – six months and two years old. A few minutes after the second plane struck the World Trade Center, I kissed my wife goodbye and said, ‘I gotta go.’ Neither of us knew when I would return. All of a sudden, there’s an act of terrorism and we’re going to war, but we didn’t know when. There was just so much shock, we didn’t know what our unit’s orders would be – nobody knew that day.”
When Matthew separated from the Marine Corps in 2006, he began working with an organization that helps veterans transition to civilian jobs. “The more I started looking at corporate jobs, the more I thought: I have to do something that actually helps people. I’m at my best when I’m doing something for others. It took me awhile to find this field, but I’m very glad I found it.” After four years as a captive agent with Knights of Columbus, Matthew is now the Managing Director and owner of his own firm, Life Life Advisors LLC. A holder of the CLTC and the FSCP designations, Matthew is looking to expand on his education to better serve his clients and better support his spouse and five children. Completing the Chartered Financial Consultant® program will provide him with a valuable foundation on which to grow his new business and serve others. We’re proud to know Matthew and wish him the best in his studies!
Joseph Galvin (Holly Ridge, NC) is an active duty Marine Corps Colonel and Staff Judge Advocate with over twenty years of service. After graduating college, Joe was working as a logistics agent for a trucking company when he felt like he needed a change. “I always had a calling for something greater than myself,” Joe says. He earned his commission into the Marine Corps in 1997 and continued his work in supply and logistics for a few years until attending and graduating law school in 2004. “I have been a Judge Advocate ever since,” he says. After six years as a trial defense attorney, Joe was offered the opportunity to become a Staff Judge Advocate and then later as a Commanding Officer. In regard to leading Marines as a Commander, he says “I have found my calling in that area. I get to sit down with all of my Marines, and just talk to them about life and what they’re doing to set themselves up for success in the future. It blew my mind how many had NO CLUE about financial responsibility and what their financial future looks like.” The experience counseling his Marines as an attorney and Commanding Officer has provided Joe a path to a fulfilling post-military career, and Joe wants to complete the Chartered Financial Consultant® and CFP® programs in order to learn all that he can. “I want to continue this type of counseling – I enjoy talking about fiscal matters,” he says. “If I had more knowledge to do that, I could put people on the right path for the future.” We’re thrilled to help Joe help others, and we wish him the best in his coursework.
Brandon Iddings (Oldtown, ID) enlisted in the Air Force shortly after graduating from high school with a clear path in mind – he was going to have a full 20 year military career, retire, and then become a police officer. Unfortunately, a medical discharge in 2010 curtailed his plans after 4 years of service in security forces. “That was a rude awakening,” Brandon says. After leaving the Air Force, Brandon used his GI Bill to complete both his undergraduate degree and Masters in accounting. “I picked up some Gen. Ed. Classes at a community college and took a class in accounting, and I really enjoyed it,” he says. Over time, Brandon’s career track shifted from law enforcement to Public Accounting, and after completing his Masters in Accounting, he passed the CPA exam. Brandon is now the Senior Tax Accountant at Precision Tax Relief, LLC and he’s looking to expand on his services by completing the Chartered Financial Consultant® designation. “I like to take a proactive approach to tax and finances,” Brandon says. “I find that I get great satisfaction by helping a client not only save money on their tax bill but providing them a path forward to plan for their future.” We’re proud to know Brandon and we wish him the best in his coursework!
This scholarship is possible through the generosity of Admiral Thomas N. Lynch, USN (Ret) and as always, The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.
David Jobe (Murfreesboro, TN) grew up around military members and the experience left an impression on him. “My dad served in the Army,” he says, “My older brother served in the Navy and I had two uncles who retired as E8s from the Air Force.” After completing an Air Force ROTC program while attending Middle Tennessee State University, David was commissioned in the Air Force and served on active duty for five years. “I loved active duty, especially during the time I worked in procuring airlift systems for the Air Force,” David said. After leaving active service, David entered the financial services profession and started working for New England Mutual – he enjoyed himself but found the income level wasn’t what he needed. “I really enjoyed this work – even won Agent of the Year one year, but I was struggling financially.” So David decided to go work with a Defense Contractor for 4 years and eventually took a position as an Active Guard Reserve member with the Air National Guard in Memphis, where he went on to spend an additional sixteen years, attaining the rank of Colonel.
Upon David’s retirement in 2010, he relocated his family back to Middle Tennessee and has been working with the VA since then. He’s looking at his post-retirement years and wants to get back into financial services. He’ll be completing the Chartered Financial Consultant® designation, which will allow him to foster his love of helping others. “I love people, I love talking to people, I love asking questions,” David says. “I like to know what people are thinking about, where they come from, what their concerns are. I like being able to influence people to do well and perform on the right track.” We’re proud of what David has accomplished and we wish him the best of luck in his coursework.
This scholarship is possible through the generosity of Federal Life Group and as always, The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.
Frank Morizio, Jr.
Frank Morizio, Jr. (Oceanside, NY) is a veteran Marine Corps Staff Sergeant who grew up in a home with a strong service background. His father served the Marine Corps in the 60’s and 3 uncles on his mother’s side served in WWII. “There was definitely a strong military influence at home – the discipline, the way were taught to respect elders and do the right thing”, says Frank. He enlisted in 1990 and served for 8 years as an Air Traffic Control Radar Technician, then after leaving the military, started a new career with MetLife. 22 years and an LUTCF later, Frank is still enjoying a successful career as an insurance sales consultant with The Hotaling Group, a full-service NYC based brokerage firm that serves clients ranging from executives to professional athletes and high net worth families. Frank is at the point in his life and career where he can prioritize professional education, and he’s set his sights on earning the Chartered Life Underwriter® designation. “I think it’s the next piece for me,” he says. “Completing the CLU will reinforce my knowledge base and show my prospects and their advisors that I am a life insurance expert. It will give them the confidence in my ability to help them choose the best risk management solution for their situation.” Continuing that service tradition, Frank volunteers on the Boards of 3 public charities and runs an online community for thousands of Veterans called Marines of New York, Inc. which was founded to provide a support network and information marketplace for his Brothers and Sisters in service. We’re thrilled to help Frank and we thank him for his service!
Richard Romaine (Taunton, MA) is a Navy veteran who spent nine years the Sea Bees, which he says prepared him to take on any task. “It prepared me to work in group, like a squad or company setting, to tackle a project and complete it on time,” he says. “Being a Seabee I was often sent to other commands to complete a project they could not do on their own.” Rick’s time in uniform included deployments to Guam and later to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. After leaving the Navy, Rick spent a number of years in Asset Protection for Stop N Shop, but he’s pivoting now toward a new path in financial services. “I’ve always enjoyed working with numbers and money,” he says. He completed a bachelor’s degree in business in late 2018 and is going to build on that with the Chartered Financial Consultant designation. “Serving in the Navy, my life was about service for the greater good,” Ricks says. ‘And I look to continue that service in the civilian world.” We’re thankful for Rick’s service and we wish him the best in the ChFC®! Bravo Zulu!
Chris Reid, ChFC® (Sammamish, WA) is a veteran Marine Corps Master Sergeant who joined right after high school. “The recruiter had the easiest job,” Chris says. He spent four years on Active Duty as an infantryman, and participated in what he calls the “opening shots” following 9/11. Once his four years was up, he joined the reserves and faced several more deployments.
In his civilian life, Chris is an insurance professional who started his Registered Investment Advisory a few years ago, and is eager to learn more about financial planning. “The biggest wins in this job are seeing the difference you can make in people’s lives,” he says. “Helping people who were stuck in something that wasn’t working for them.” Chris recently earned his Chartered Financial Consultant® and is now ready to take on the Chartered Life Underwriter® program, which will round out his skillset. “Being the best at what I do is the only option, and something the Marines has driven home time and again in 20 years of service and multiple deployments.” We’re thankful for Chris’s service and we wish him the best with his education!
This scholarship is possible through the generosity of The Marigold N. Saunders Education Fund and as always, The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.
Christopher Spangler (Oceanside, CA) is an active duty Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade Healthcare Administrator. After ten years of enlisted service as a Navy Corpsman, Chris went back to school and earned his bachelor’s degree and then his Masters in Healthcare Administration in 2017. He was selected for a highly competitive officer’s program and earned his commission last year. In early August 2019, Chris was deployed to Kuwait, where he’ll be for the next nine months working as a Medical Planner for the SPMAGTF 19.2 Command Element.
In 2012, Chris became a Command Financial Specialist and since then has helped over 100 sailors with financial matters like debt management, budgets, financial projections, various life events and setting up retirement distributions/allocations. “I enjoy it,” he says “I enjoy helping people. As my interest grew, my wife encouraged me to look into this as a second career.” While Chris has plans for at least another ten years in the Navy, he’s already setting himself for a successful career transition by completing the Chartered Financial Consultant® program and eventually sitting for the Certified Financial Planner® designation. We’re thrilled to help Chris help others and we wish him the best in his coursework. Bravo Zulu!
Major Reginald Victoria
Major Reginald Victoria (Redondo Beach, CA) will retire from the Air Force next July after more than 22 years of service in a variety of assignments that include aircraft sustainment, space acquisitions / GPS, flight test engineering, and state inspector general. When he was young, Reggie’s dad was a Navy Senior Chief and his mom was a production line operator for an electronics company. “I saw the sacrifices they had to make and the challenges we went through. Finding improvements to financial situations was something I’ve been interested in ever since.”
In 2006, after reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, Reggie fell in love with personal finance even more. Looking ahead at his post-military career, Reggie is eager to pursue his passion of helping others improve their lives financially, and wants to start with the Chartered Life Underwriter® program. “I don’t like using the term ‘retirement’ because that means to take out of service,” he says. “I want to keep serving and have a lot of value to provide. This is the passion that I have. We’ve heard the saying: If you love what you’re doing, you’ll never work a day in your life. I can see myself doing this into my 90’s if I live that long!” We’re excited for Reggie’s future and we’re grateful for his service. Congratulations!
This scholarship is possible through the generosity of F&G and as always, The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.
Kate Marsh (Reno, NV) is a Navy combat veteran and heavy equipment operator in the famous Seabees construction battalion. Kate was among the 1% of women in her battalion -- and of that 1%, she was the only equipment operator. “You just have to be one of the guys,” she says. “I don’t know how to follow a trail; I just have to do it on my own.” Kate’s seven years in the Navy Reserves included a deployment to Northern Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011. “It was interesting and nerve-wracking, and I learned so much and I can’t imagine not having the experience I did.”
Upon her separation from the Navy, Kate returned to her roots. “Before the military, I was always in the admin world. It always came naturally to me.” She took an administrative position for an insurance professional and quickly fell in love. She’s picked up additional duties along the way, earning her insurance license and earning the reputation in her firm as the employee benefits expert. “I’m thirsty for knowledge,” Kate says. “And this job has provided that.” In order to further her development, Kate is starting the Chartered Financial Consultant, providing herself with a solid financial planning foundation on which she can build her career. “I simply want to learn, become amazing at what I do and become the most successful Fiduciary I can be,” Kate says – and we believe she will do just that. We’re thankful for Kate’s service and we wish her the best in her coursework. Bravo Zulu!
Vincent Nguyen (Cleveland, GA) is an Active Reserve Army Second Lieutenant who initially enlisted in the Army to help pay for his education. After training to become a combat medic, Vincent started on his undergraduate degree in nursing, and later commissioned as an Army Ordnance Officer. While paying for his education was his initial reason for serving, he’s now considering going for a full 20-year military career. “When my contract expires, I’ll only have eight more years before I can retire, and I’ll only be 37.” Vincent is already making plans for his post-military life. A few years ago, Vincent discovered Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and his interest in financial planning was piqued. “I found a financial coach and I really enjoyed learning what they were teaching – I decided, I want to do that. I want to help others that way.” In order to gain a deeper understanding of this new field, Vincent is undertaking the Chartered Financial Consultant designation. “My primary focus in my career is to do something that will allow me to assist others, which was one of the driving factors in my decision to become a medical professional,” he says. “My career goals have shifted from one that cares for someone’s medical health to one that also focuses on their financial health.” We think Vincent is setting himself up for a successful future, and we thank him for his service.
This scholarship is possible through the generosity of Robert A. Miller in honor of his father Sidney Miller, and as always, The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.
Robert “Deaton” Smith
Robert “Deaton” Smith (Hickory, NC) is a West Point graduate who served 5 years in the Navy and attained the rank of Captain before transitioning in 2011. Originally, Deaton’s goal was to be a major league baseball player. One of his teammates played baseball for the Naval Academy, a path that Deaton was also offered. “I knew if I attended West Point, my baseball career would come to an end.” Then, September 11th happened. “That afternoon, I called the coach at West Point and accepted the offer.” Deaton spent his military career in leadership positions and was responsible for commanding combat service support units ranging from 32 to 177 people. During his first deployment, Deaton found himself responsible for 69 other soldiers and, “I’m very happy that I got everyone home safe and sound.” In his last military assignment, he served as a Company Commander and managed a 177-person organization that provided logistical support to a 1,300-person Battalion. It was during that final command that Deaton was rated the #1 commander in his battalion.
After joining the private sector, Deaton had some career successes, but found that he missed the meaningful work he did while serving. “In the Army, I felt like my job actually mattered and I was doing the right thing – I missed that.” Deaton has followed his passion for finance and investing and joined AXA last year and has had a successful entry into the industry. He’s partnered with a local property and casualty firm, sharing leads and referrals. “It feels good to have the trust of an established company.” Deaton recently completed the Chartered Financial Consultant® and is now moving on to complete the Wealth Management Certified Professional® program, which will provide him with the skills to aid a broader spectrum of clients. We wish Deaton the best in his studies – keep up the good work!