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Robert Castillo, Loojimps Marcius, CFP®, Elizabeth Plot and Miranda Reiter, CFP® to receive Diversity Scholarships to attend the 2018 FPA Annual Conference in Chicago

DENVER (Septemb​er 12, 2018) – The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), the country's largest membership association for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professionals and those who support the financial planning process, is pleased to announce four recipients of the association's annual Diversity Scholarship. The recipients of the merit-based scholarship, which recognizes professionals who are working to encourage diversity in the financial planning profession and the population served, earn one-year FPA membership and complimentary registration and travel expenses to the 2018 FPA Annual Conference, to be held Oct. 3-5 in Chicago.

Criteria for applicants includes:

  • Raising awareness of the profession in diverse communities;

  • Serving diverse communities with financial planning; and/or

  • Increasing professional opportunities for diverse communities within the financial planning profession.

"I am honored to celebrate these individuals for their significant accomplishments to raise awareness and importance of inclusion in the profession," says 2018 FPA President Frank Paré, CFP®. "These individuals, along with FPA's long-standing commitment to bring people of diverse backgrounds into the financial planning community, will continue to move the profession forward and transform lives for those they serve. We look forward to recognizing them and their accomplishments in Chicago."

The 2018 FPA Annual Conference Diversity Scholarship recipients are:

Robert Castillo is an Investment Advisor with Gerber Kawasaki Wealth Management in Santa Monica, Calif. and is currently obtaining his CFP® professional designation. Castillo serves on the board of COLORS LGBT Youth Counseling Center and volunteers to provide financial advice to LGBT individuals, as well as pro bono financial workshops in Spanish. As an accredited domestic partnership adviser, he focuses his practice on helping the LGBT community. "So many people don't think they have the money, the job, or the background to have a professional managing their finances," says Castillo. "This is why I've devoted my business to serving those within my community because no one understands their situation better than someone who is experiencing it with them."

Loojimps Marcius, CFP® is a Senior Financial Advisor/CEO with Georgia-based Fiducia Financial Group. Marcius is the recipient of numerous awards within the Haitian community and has been involved in volunteer roles providing financial literacy and healthcare enrollment assistance to various groups. His first-hand experience growing up as an immigrant's son helped shape his view regarding the need for sound financial advice for all. "Diversity means providing the same level of service and access to resources to others so they can take advantage of the same opportunities," says Marcius. "It means to be educated about those who are different and learn how to serve their needs while respecting their uniqueness. It relates to the financial planning profession in the context that not all culture and social classes view money the same way."

Elizabeth Plot, AFCPE, is currently completing her CFP®/ChFC education with the American College of Financial Services and Client Service Associate with Ballast Financial Services in Burlingame, Calif. Plot is heavily involved in volunteerism with the military, lending her financial counseling expertise to provide education regarding budgeting, debt, assessing financial needs, and more. She also works with young children in a variety of ways, including teaching Latin American dancing. "Recently, I have noticed that people want a financial planner that knows where they came from; someone who can understand their values and their culture and how that might impact how they approach financial planning," says Plot. "I hope to be a part of the future of financial planners that encourages people of all backgrounds to be comfortable approaching a financial planner."

Miranda Reiter, CFP® is a doctoral student in the Personal Financial Planning Program at Kansas State University and financial adviser with USAA, based in Tampa, Fla. Reiter has been tremendously active in her community, volunteering to provide financial education for the elderly, women and girls, college students, African-Americans, military community and more. She is a visionary who observes issues within the profession and sets out to create research-based solutions. "With the underrepresentation of millennials, women, and racial minorities in our profession, we are not giving our clients or the industry our best ideas, thoughts and perspectives," says Reiter. "It also means that, as an industry, we are not fully able to match and attract the diversity of the people who want to do business with us."

The Diversity Scholarship Program is sponsored by the FPA Diversity Committee. The Committee's mission is to develop strategies to raise awareness and promote inclusiveness of diverse communities including but not limited to: age, race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation in the financial planning profession. FPA strives to increase professional opportunities for the widest spectrum of people so that all may join and thrive in the financial planning profession.



About the Financial Planning Association
The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) is the principal professional organization for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM (CFP®) professionals, educators, financial services professionals and students who are committed to elevating the profession that transforms lives through the power of financial planning. Through a collaborative effort to provide members with tools and resources for professional education, business support, advocacy and community, FPA is the indispensable resource in the advancement of today's CFP® professional. Learn more about FPA at and follow on Twitter at