These 6 early-career planners are FP's 2022 Rising Stars

Financial Planning's Rising Stars

Financial Planning is delighted to announce the winners of Financial Planning's 2022 Rising Stars award, which celebrates early-career financial planners who embody the values of the profession and are on a trajectory to make a difference in the field. 

This year's list of six winners has been selected from among nominees across the country and represent both young advisors and career-changers. Below, find out what brought them into the industry and why they have bright futures ahead of them.

For an in-depth profile of one of the winners, Wealthspire's Anora Gaudiano, click here. To see last year's winners, follow this link. And to register and view an upcoming live Leaders session on the future of the profession, click here.

Madeline Bradley

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Madeline Bradley is a client service specialist at the Portage, Michigan-based office of Mercer Advisors-owned Sanford Advisory Services. After graduating with an English degree from Michigan State University, Bradley moved directly to working in planning as a client service associate. Though she entered the firm with no financial experience, Bradley's passion for details, service and teamwork helped her settle in quickly. Bradley leads a team of five people at the practice, where her academic background has been valuable for communicating with clients. Bradley is "wise beyond her years" after the tragic and difficult experience of her mother's death, according to the nomination by Elizabeth Yunker, an associate wealth advisor with the practice. "Her passion to serve people helps our entire staff to increase our motivation," Yunker wrote, describing her colleague as "detail-oriented," with an "unmatched" ability to work as part of a team. 

Whitney Figueroa

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Whitney Figueroa is a financial advisor at the Cresskill, New Jersey-based Alpine Financial Planning, which is affiliated with Advisor Group's Woodbury Financial Services. Figueroa earned bachelor's and master's degrees in social work from Salve Regina University and Columbia University before going into professional healthcare roles at nursing facilities and rehabilitation centers. While working with residents, she found that many needed planning services and would likely have benefitted from advice earlier in their lives. Figueroa changed careers during the COVID-19 pandemic, joining her husband's practice. She's quickly shown "an innate ability" to connect with clients, including one who came to ask about a parent's annuity and wound up transferring their entire portfolio to the firm, according to the nomination from Jeff Sietstra, a vice president of business coaching and consulting with Advisor Group.

Anora Gaudiano

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Anora Gaudiano, an assistant vice president at the New York office of  Wealthspire Advisors, spent over a decade as a financial journalist at a number of publications, including Marketwatch and the Financial Times, before entering the industry herself. Reporting on financial services drew her toward becoming an advisor, and since joining Wealthspire, her in-depth knowledge of the industry from her time as a reporter has been valuable in helping create financial plans for clients. Gaudiano is part of Wealthspire's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee and also volunteers as a pro-bono advisor at the New York Public Library. "Through a combination of working with clients and the media, I believe advisors can help individuals gain the knowledge that they need to make informed decisions about their financial lives," Gaudiano wrote.

Jordan Grabber

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Jordan Grabber is a financial planning associate in the Salt Lake City office of EP Wealth Advisors. Grabber began pursuing a career in the financial services industry as an accounting student in college. After earning bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting from the University of Kansas, Grabber went on to work as an audit associate at KPMG and obtained her CPA. She took the chance on a career change when she moved to EP at the end of 2020, quickly proving herself at the firm and passing the CFP examination in 2021. She's currently working toward completing the experience requirements for certification. At EP, Grabber serves as a mentor in the firm's inaugural mentorship program. She also volunteers for 3rd Decade, an organization that provides free planning services for young adults. Grabber "is passionate, professional, and incredibly driven and hard-working," according to her nomination by EP Managing Director Erin Voisin.

Julian Turosienki

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Julian Turosienki, a wealth advisor with the West Palm Beach, Florida-based location of multifamily office Cresset, was inspired to become a financial advisor after his family's experience during the 2008 recession. When the family business went under, they lacked an advisor or a plan. They "lost their entire financial security" virtually "overnight," Turosienki wrote. He resolved to help clients avoid the same mistakes. Prior to joining Cresset, Turosienki earned a bachelor's degree in finance from Keiser University and worked for Merrill Lynch. Turiosenki also played as a professional tennis player on the ATP Tour before coming into the profession. 

Jason Velencia

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Jason Velencia is a wealth manager at DVB Financial, a firm based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and affiliated with LPL Financial and Private Advisor Group. Before becoming a planner, Valencia fulfilled a childhood dream by serving in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years, including a tour in Afghanistan in the infantry unit. Velencia later harnessed his desire to help people and serve others by joining the firm in 2018. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Valencia led a revamping of the firm's software for planning, client management, information sharing and investments, according to the nomination by DVB Principal Michael Benkovic. "Whether it's a new program for the practice or further licensing to expand his offerings to clients, he is a true student of the profession," Benkovic wrote.