MEMBER SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW: LAURA HAWLEY
MEET LAURA HAWLEY OF ALLEN & COMPANY AND A FSDA CORPORATE MEMBER.
We are speaking today with Laura Hawley, President of Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.
Laura, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was raised in Elyria, Ohio; went to college at Florida Southern College; and joined Allen & Company in 1983, the week after graduation from FSC.
How long have your served as President of Allen & Company?
I have been on the Allen & Company Board for over 15 years and have served as Chairman of our Executive Committee for over 10 years. I became President earlier this year.
How hectic is a day in the life of the President of Florida’s oldest securities firm, and what does it involve?
No two days are the same! We are indeed the oldest securities firm (est. 1932), but anyone who has spent some time in the securities industry can attest to the vast changes and challenges of the business. I am very fortunate to be part of a highly engaged leadership team that works so well together. Our number one goal is to enhance the client experience which we accomplish by recruiting & retaining excellent advisors and managing risk in an environment of increasing regulatory demands. We must also keep pace with technology, balancing the needs/wants of advisors/clients relative to the cost/benefit of new technology, all of which make for full and exciting days!
I know you're a member of the FSDA Scholarship Committee. Tell us a little bit about what that committee does.
The FSDA is passionate about education, therefore The O’Bannon M. Cook FSDA Investment in the Future Scholarship Program was established to recognize and assist employees and their immediate family members of FSDA members who have demonstrated academic achievement, leadership skills and commitment to service, along with an interest in pursuing a career in the securities industry or business in general. There are two scholarships awarded each calendar year.
Why is it important for Allen & Company to be a member of the FSDA?
We have been members for over 50 years and have experienced the enormous transition in the securities industry. The FSDA’s role as a champion for the Florida financial services industry has grown considerably over the years, and now focuses on protecting the community of investors that we serve through legislative activities, educational outreach programs for consumers and advisors, and financial literacy education for students.
I know that you are very involved with the Lakeland, Florida, community. Please tell us a little bit about how you give back to your community and why that is important to you.
Giving back to the community is just what we do at Allen & Company. Our associates serve on over 40 different boards. I have served on several non-profit and municipal (City of Lakeland) boards throughout the years. My passion is health and education within our community. I am currently Chairman of Lakeland Regional Health and advisor to the Barney Barnett School of Business with Florida Southern College. I also have taught financial literacy to students of all ages for on behalf of the FSDA and Junior Achievement, and I am also a director for the Give Well Community Foundation of Lakeland.
I also know that you have a weekly radio program, which is broadcast on a station in Lakeland. Tell us a little bit about the program and how you got involved with radio.
As an educator at heart, I believe that knowledge is power regardless of your age. “Dollars & Sense” has been on the air (live) for more than 25 years, each week discussing different financial topics, planning strategies and global/community issues with guests from Oprah Winfrey’s life coach, bestselling authors, financial gurus, Former President Mary Robinson (Ireland’s first female President) and co-hosts from Allen & Company. It has been deeply gratifying.
Laura, thanks for taking time to speak with us today.