2017 Philanthropic Leadership Awards Winners

The Denver Foundation

Now in its fourteenth year, The Denver Foundation’s Philanthropic Leaders Awards recognize professional advisors who have distinguished themselves as champions of philanthropy and the charitable community. Since 2004, The Denver Foundation has recognized 44 outstanding professional advisors.

This year’s winners were announced by Christine Márquez-Hudson, CEO and President of The Denver Foundation; Virginia B. Bayless, Chair of The Denver Foundation’s Board of Trustees; and Maura Ridge, The Denver Foundation’s Senior Philanthropic Planner and Director of Professional Advisor Programs during a reception at Denver Art Museum on Tuesday, November 14.

“We appreciate the support of the professional advisor community, whose members recognize that charitable giving is an important part of a comprehensive legal, financial, and tax planning discussion,” said Márquez-Hudson. “As a partner to this community, The Denver Foundation can provide the information, education, guidance, and innovative strategies that amplify giving in our community, now and in the future.”

 PLA Winners Jeff Watkins, Linda Phillips, Fred Taylor, and Andrea Blackwelder.

The 2017 Philanthropic Leadership Award Winners

Andrea L. Blackwelder, CFP®, ChFC; Wisdom Wealth Strategies

Andrea L. Blackwelder, CFP®, ChFC is co-founder of Wisdom Wealth Strategies, a financial planning and wealth management firm located in Denver, Colorado. Andrea is widely recognized as a retirement planning expert and is frequently quoted in national publications, including the The Wall Street Journal, Market Watch, Kiplinger, Forbes, Money Magazine, CNBC, and The Denver Post. She frequently appears on local television news programs and is a published author of financial planning and wealth management articles. Andrea has been recognized as a “Five Star Professional Wealth Manager” and has been nominated to Denver Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list and “Outstanding Women in Business” list.

As a Colorado native, Andrea has close ties to the community in which she lives and works. For many years, she has served on the board of directors for the Financial Planning Association of Colorado, most recently as chapter president and chairperson. Andrea is particularly active in supporting fellow female advisors in the financial services industry, and is working to create a community in which women thrive and succeed. She has volunteered as a chapter advisor to the Denver University chapter of the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi and is a frequent contributor to local financial literacy initiatives, including Money Smart Week, the Jump$tart Coalition, and Denver Financial Planning Day.

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, Andrea helps her clients take control of their complex financial lives. She builds comprehensive financial plans and investment portfolios that resonate with the person for whom they are uniquely designed. She works with clients as they strive to understand their financial values, goals, and opportunities. Andrea’s goal is simple: to take what is unwieldy and complex and turn it into something tangible and manageable so clients can embrace their financial future with confidence.

Frederick B. Taylor; Northstar Investment Advisors LLC

Fred co-founded Northstar Investment Advisors in 1995. His responsibilities include working with Northstar clients to build portfolios that meet their investment and income objectives and serving on the firm’s investment committee. He also leads Northstar’s business development efforts.

Fred began his investment career in 1984 on the municipal bond trading desk of Mabon Nugent in New York City. Over the next decade, he worked at various financial institutions analyzing, trading, and selling equities and fixed income investments to institutional and retail clients. This experience provided him with invaluable market knowledge and a keen ability to evaluate both equities and bonds.

He founded Northstar to provide an alternative to the traditional commission-based model of investment advising. Fred’s goal was to offer financial advice customized to meet an individual’s specific needs, free of any conflict of interest.

Fred has used his more than 30 years of investment experience to help some of Denver’s largest non-profits improve their financial futures. He serves as treasurer and vice chairman for the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation and is chairman of the hospital’s investment committee. In addition, he was recently appointed to the CollegeInvest board of directors by Governor John Hickenlooper. He also serves on the Colorado State Land Board’s five-person public school investment fund board.

Fred is past chairman of the investment committees of The Denver Foundation, Colorado Zoological Trust, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, and Kent Denver School. From 2008 to 2010, Fred served as an economic advisor to Colorado Governor Bill Ritter. He is also a member of the Colorado Forum, a collection of business leaders focused on critical policy issues facing the state.

Fred is a Colorado native and graduated cum laude from Middlebury College with honors in American History. He lives in Denver with his wife Claudia, and has two grown children, Caroline and Moses.

Linda D. Phillips; Phillips Law Offices LLC

Linda Phillips first started working in the legal field in 1991, as a paralegal, and then became an attorney in 2004, graduating from the University of Denver. Prior to becoming a lawyer, she worked in other industries for many years, including telecommunications, banking, marketing, and commercial property management. With her strong business background, Linda has mostly focused her legal practice on business law with an emphasis on cooperatives. However, she also assists clients with end-of-life planning by developing ideas that may realize their dreams. Linda helped Gwen Bowen continue her School of Dance Arts by having The Denver Foundation create a fund which would encourage her ideas for taking the performing arts to low-income communities.

With respect to cooperatives, Linda was first introduced to them in 1991. When her former partner, James B. Dean, co-wrote a new uniform statute on cooperatives, Linda participated on a Colorado Bar Association committee that made sure the new statute was passed here in Colorado. Then, in 2011, she helped the founders of the Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center become a nonprofit corporation with a mission of worker ownership using cooperatives and ESOPs. Linda served on their Board of Directors for several years, acting as a resource and educating them and their clients about worker cooperatives.

Linda joined staff from RMEOC, the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and The Denver Foundation on a trip to Cleveland, Ohio in 2013 where they all learned about the Evergreen Cooperative model and the value of cooperatives in helping low-income communities create jobs. Linda has been a speaker about the social and business value of cooperatives at numerous events and locations around Colorado, including through the Community Wealth Building Network, the Colorado Bar Association and events sponsored by The Denver Foundation, Gary Community Investments, and RMEOC. Linda is a co-founder of the Cooperative Professionals Association, a nationwide network of cooperative attorneys and accountants, sponsored by the National Cooperative Business Association.

In 2016, Linda joined Jason Wiener to form Colorado Cooperative Developers, where interested people can find full cooperative development services. She continues her efforts to help clients utilize their assets for social progress as well as her interest in helping low-income communities create jobs and social equality through cooperative business ownership.

Jeff Watkins; EKS&H

Jeff Watkins is a partner in the tax service area of EKS&H and leads the firm’s Wealth Advisory Services practice. He works primarily with high-net-worth individuals who are frequently business executives, entrepreneurs, and families. He has extensive experience in individual income taxation, estate planning, family offices services, personal financial planning, and family financial counseling. Jeff helps build, preserve, and maximize wealth by providing comprehensive solutions that consider the numerous aspects of wealth accumulation and its ramifications on business and family.

Jeff is past president of the Colorado Philanthropic Advisors Network; a member and past president of the Denver Estate Planning Council; board member and president elect of Anchor Center for Blind Children; advisory board member of the Children’s Hospital Foundation; and advisory board member of the University of Colorado Foundation. Since 2009, Jeff has been honored by Denver’s 5280 Magazine as one of the Best Wealth Managers in the Rocky Mountain Region; he was awarded by Chambers and Partners High Net Worth (HNW) in 2016 with a Top Accountancy and Tax Firm award; and he is a Family Office Exchange (FOX) member.

For more information about our professional advisors program, please contact Maura Ridge, Senior Philanthropic Planner and Director of Professional Advisor Programs, at 303.300.1790 or mridge@denverfoundation.org.

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Senior Communications Officer: Laura Bond | lbond@denverfoundation.org

Communications Associate: Dele Johnson | djohnson@denverfoundation.org

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