My daughter is Raquel Ornelas and she participated in LIFEvest about 4 years ago. Since then Raquel was awarded a 4-year scholarship for high school over 200k! She still remembers the program and will take about it to friends from time to time. I myself believe that this is a great course for teenagers.
– Juana O. (Racquel’s Mother) –
The UCI LIFEvest Financial Literacy “blessed” my daughter Malia with incredible and priceless information and most of all, great insight into the financial industry. We are grateful!
– Gale N. (Malia’s Mother) –
What are the top 3 things you learned from the Financial Literacy Program and how have they helped you?
I learned about stocks and bonds and how to handle a business of my own. This program has helped train me to own my own business as well as how to build a strong relationship with the people you work with. You can't just show up to work and not interact with other employees, you have to show up and treat others with respect so that you can still operate your business successfully.
I learned to develop better speaking skills during the time that I was there and now I'm able to present in front of groups without being timid. I also learned how to work better in teams. The group project that we worked on helped me get a better understanding of how to manage a group, the time, and share responsibilities to get the job done. All these things that I learned have helped me become a better developed student.
I learned many things from the Financial Literacy Program that have currently helped me in many ways. One of the biggest things I learned at this program that will always stay with me is that it doesn't matter what situation you come from, if you have the willpower and put effort into everything you do, you can accomplish almost anything. Hearing other people's stories have really encouraged me and have made me work harder towards my dreams.
The Center helps LIFEvest alumni stay informed and connected by hosting various annual events, such as the Angels Baseball Game event at Angels Stadium held in September 2017. In addition, the Center recently began a series of monthly newsletters, “The Legacy”, and sent to its LIFEvest alumni. Based on what grade they’re in, “The Legacy” provides alumni educational information to help refresh what they learned during LIFEvest and important tips to help them throughout their high school career. Not only do students form a bond with their new “brothers and sisters” during the weeklong LIFEvest program, they become part of the UCI CIWM family.
Laurie Dubchansky, CFP®
LIFEvest Committee Chairperson
I received my undergraduate degree at UCLA, and after earning a Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration, I worked in various health care settings. I married my junior-high school sweetheart, Scott! After raising two great kids, I managed a non-profit for several years, and then decided to pursue an education in Personal Financial Planning at UCLA Extension. I passed the CFP exam in March 2015 while working for Inspired Financial. Now, I embark on my own business, Havaplan Financial to serve those with financial concerns, including planning for retirement, but without regard to current wealth accumulation.
I am an active member of the Financial Planning Association of Orange County, and I enjoy volunteering to provide pro-bono financial education. I am on the UCI Merage School of Business LifeVest steering committee. LifeVest provides intensive life planning and financial literacy training each summer for underserved 9th students in Orange County. I greatly enjoy philanthropy, supporting non-profit organizations focusing on education, hunger and homelessness.
I enjoy high-volume baking, often 300 cookies, brownies or scones.I’m a football fan, and I love hosting Super Bowl parties! I love hiking, spinning and Zumba! Scott and I usually celebrate our anniversary by traveling to a cold climate for a football game!
Charles Schwab Advisor Services
Shawnette Gauer is a Managing Director for Charles Schwab Advisor Services, with responsibility for managing the Southern California Relationship Management team. The Southern California team supports advisors located in Orange and San Diego Counties, as well as the Inland Empire and Palm Desert area.
Previously, Shawnette was Vice President of Investments at Bolthouse Properties, a single family office where she was responsible for managing the investment portfolio, foundation assets, and overseeing the operations and technology of the investment division. A 25 year veteran of the advisor industry, Shawnette has also owned her own RIA firm which she sold after 13 years in order to spend time at home with her family. She has also worked for a boutique wealth management firm in Newport Beach responsible for client relationships, financial planning, and investment management.
Shawnette is a board member of the UC Irvine’s CIWM where she also serves on the Financial Literacy Committee. The committee offers a week long summer residential program for underprivileged youth. Shawnette earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Irvine and maintains her Certified Financial Planner designation. She also holds Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Series 7, 63, and 24 licenses.
LIFEvest Chair Emeritus
Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors
Mark Moehlman (Chair emeritus) holds an MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business, and has dedicated his entire business career to helping others manage their wealth. Mark was born in Los Angeles and moved to Newport Beach in 1975, and has lived in Big Canyon for the past fifteen years. Mr. Moehlman founded Wealth Management Corporation, the first of its kind, in 1987, the same year he launched his Wealth Management Forum.
Mark served as a trustee of the Orange County Employees Retirement System (O.C.E.R.S.) from 1993 to 1996, helping shepherd the fund virtually unscathed through the county’s bankruptcy. Mr. Moehlman was the Founding Chair of the Center for Investment and Wealth Management (C.I.W.M.) of the UC Irvine Merage School of Business, and continues to be very active in both C.I.W.M. and the UCI Chancellor’s Club. Mark is married to Dr. Cherilyn Sheets, a prominent Newport Beach dentist, and has one daughter, Melisa, who lives and works in New York City.
Chad Bollenbach is an investment consultant to families and institutions and assists clients with asset allocation, portfolio construction and wealth strategies. Prior to joining Canterbury, Mr. Bollenbach was a senior wealth advisory analyst for Capital Group Private Client Services focusing on asset allocation and investment planning. He previously worked at Trenwith Securities as an investment banking associate and at AXA Advisors as a financial consultant. Mr. Bollenbach received an MA in Latin American studies and BA in international relations from Stanford University.
As the Director of Research, Mr. Blair is responsible for all functions related to research on investment managers, asset classes, and capital markets. Mr. Blair oversees the activities for all five of Canterbury’s Asset Class Committees and the Capital Markets Committee. Prior to joining Canterbury, Mr. Blair was the Director of Public Equity and Research at Sobrato Capital, the securities investment platform of The Sobrato Organization. There his responsibilities included broad asset class research, manager due diligence on public and private assets, and tax optimization of both taxable investment pools and a large charitable foundation. Prior to Sobrato Capital, Mr. Blair was a Senior Analyst at Canterbury where he focused on asset allocation, manager research, and capital market assumptions. Mr. Blair holds a BS in Finance from California State University, Long Beach and is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst.
Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management
Wendy Chen is a relationship manager in CIBC Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management's Newport Beach office, with more than 16 years of industry experience. In this role, her primary focus is to manage client relationships and implement strategies designed to help clients achieve their financial goals.
She also works closely with clients and their advisors to create and implement tailored wealth management solutions and contributes to several of the firm’s employee engagement and women’s initiatives.
Wendy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in legal studies from the University of California, Berkeley and volunteers with the German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County. Additionally, she sits on the advisory board for the Center of Investment and Wealth Management at the University of California, Irvine's Paul Merage School of Business.
UC Office of the President
Hyun Swanson Hyun is a seasoned benefits professional with 20 years of experience. Early in her career, she was a consultant at Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young, helping clients design and implement competitive benefit programs. She then moved into an internal HR role as global benefits manager at AES Corporation, overseeing health and retirement plans strategy and administration.
Hyun joined the University Of California’s Office of the President in 2013 as Manager of Benefits Education. Among her many responsibilities is managing the systemwide retirement savings plan communications and education program, which features a robust set of resources to help UC faculty and staff build retirement readiness. “Success” to her means that employees understand UC’s generous retirement benefits, as well as make smart financial decisions that will ensure that their money lasts through retirement.
Hyun holds a BA in Economics from Johns Hopkins and a MPH from Yale. An East Coast native, she currently lives with her husband and two kids in beautiful Irvine, CA.
Compak Asset Management
Senior Principal and Portfolio Manager. He is a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner™) certificant. He holds an MIM (Masters of International Management) degree from ASU - Thunderbird, Graduate School of International Management, Arizona, and an MBA from the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Pakistan. He has completed risk management, trading, portfolio management, leadership and financial management programs at The Oxford University in England, INSEAD in France, Citibank Training Center-Singapore, Euromoney in New York and Emirates Bank Training Center in Dubai. Feroz Ansari published a research paper dealing with dual exchange rate mechanisms and has conducted training programs for treasury management and foreign exchange.
Prior to joining Compak, Feroz worked in banking and treasury management. He held positions at Banque Indosuez, Faysal Bank and Emirates Bank International. Feroz has over 22 years of experience in banking, treasury management, asset allocation and asset management. He started his career in 1993 as a Treasury Associate at Banque Indosuez and held the Position of Treasurer, Head of Treasury & Corporate Banking and Deputy General Manager at Emirates Bank.
Feroz enjoys playing golf with his two boys and he loves to read and stay informed. He likes to travel to different places to play golf with his boys. He has had one “hole in one” and his lowest score was 79, but that was 15 years ago! Now he is happy to break 90. Feroz has a passion for reading and learning. He belongs to a local book club that is mostly comprised of his close friends.
Feroz has also been selected to serve on the Client Advisory Council of Wealth Advisor Services at Fidelity Investment Institutional Service Company. He is also active in the local community. He serves on the Board of Advisors of University of California-Irvine’s Center for Investment and Wealth Management (CIWM). At CIWM he serves on numerous “Financial Literacy” sub-committees.
Kara Duckworth, CFP®
LIFEvest Chair Emeritus
Duckworth Wealth Advisors
Kara is a wealth manager and the firm’s Chief Compliance Officer. She manages client relationships, provides financial planning services and serves on the firm’s investment committee. Think of her as a friend who will tell you the truth. Kara also manages the firm’s personal office services. To Kara, seeing a client achieve a dream is the most rewarding part of her job.
Named a “5-Star Wealth Manager” by Orange Coast magazine, Kara attended UC Riverside and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She is a Certified Financial Planner® and a member of the Financial Planning Association. Kara sits on the board of the Center for Investment and Wealth Management for the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine. As if that doesn’t keep her busy enough, she also chaired the steering committee for the school’s Financial Literacy Summer Residential Program for five years.