Kathy Oakley, MBA, CPA, CFP®, is the former director of planning for the Houston office of Lincoln Financial Advisors. Prior to retiring from the financial services industry, she served as an internal resource to planners associated with Lincoln Financial Group and Sagemark Consulting. As a director of planning, she was responsible for financial plans in the Texas and Louisiana region but also contributed to development of plans by the National Planning Group for Planners and Advisors across the United States. Prior to joining Lincoln Financial Advisors, Ms. Oakley (Hartin) served as vice president and chief financial planning officer with Kanaly Trust Company. She is a member of the Financial Planning Association and has served as a board member of the Pearland Economic Development Corporation and on the Members in Industry Committee of the Houston Chapter of CPAs. Ms. Oakley holds a BS in finance and an MBA from the University of New Orleans. She also holds an insurance license and formerly held securities licenses, including the NASD Series 7 and 63.
Course instructors for Rice University's CFP Graduate Certificate Program are experienced practitioners in the financial planning industry and have met Rice University's standard of quality.
James C. Abel, MSM, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, CRPC®, AEP®, AIF®, is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and a Registered Investment Advisor Representative with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. in Saint George, Utah, Mr. Abel works primarily with members of the Medical and Dental community providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management services. He started in the financial services industry in 1990 after serving eight years in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Aircrewman. Professionally, he has worked in the banking, wire house, and now the independent channel and has seen the application of financial planning from several different modalities. An advocate of education, Mr. Abel holds several advanced designations along with FINRA Series 6, 7, 24, 63, and 65 licenses as well as Life, Health, and Disability insurance licenses from multiple states. He earned his B.S. Finance Degree from the University of Phoenix, and his M.S. Management with an emphasis in leadership from The American College. Much of his education he received online, so he is very comfortable in the online environment. Mr. Abel has served in many civic and industry leadership positions and enjoys giving back to the community and his profession whenever possible.
Joseph R. Birkofer, CFP®, is principal and founder of Legacy Asset Management in Houston. A consultant to individual and corporate clients for the evaluation of retirement plans, Birkofer also works with plan sponsors to improve communications, monitor investment performance and streamline administration. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and a Registered Investment Advisor, he helps clients concentrate on financial planning and asset allocation. Prior to founding Legacy Asset Management, he served as a trust officer with Texas Commerce Bank. An active member of the community, Birkofer serves on local boards including The Periwinkle Foundation and The Houston Society of Financial Service Professionals. He has been published in or provided commentary for the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Business Journal, Benefits & Compensation Solutions and local radio and television shows. Mr. Birkofer earned his BS degree in foreign service from Georgetown University and his MBA from The University of Texas at Austin. He has several securities licenses, including the NASD Series 7, 24, 27, 63 and 65, as well as various insurance licenses.
Laura Davidson Fowell, JD, is an attorney at Joe R. Davidson, P.C., where she represents clients in estate, probate, trust, wills, and general civil practice and litigation. Previously, she served as assistant district attorney and misdemeanor and felony prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Ms. Fowell is adjunct professor and varsity mock trial coach at South Texas College of Law. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Houston Bar Association. Ms. Fowell holds a JD from South Texas College of Law and a BS in corporate communication studies from The University of Texas at Austin.
Andrea K. Freedman, CFP®, is an independent financial advisor for IMS Securities, where she conducts in-depth reviews of each client’s financial circumstances and goals. She has approximately 20 years experience specializing in financial planning and asset management. Her expertise extends into areas of retirement and education planning, asset allocation, investment selection and risk tolerance analysis. She has NASD Series 7, 63, 65 and 31 licenses. Ms. Freedman holds a BS in communications from The University of Texas at Austin.
Naomi J. Hall, CEBS, RHU, is the benefits manager for Plains Exploration & Production Company. Ms. Hall began working in the benefits brokerage/consulting business in 1995, spending more than a decade as an account manager and helping small and mid-sized clients design and administer health and welfare benefit plans. She also worked as a regional director of training for a national employee benefits consulting firm. She serves as a peer advisor for the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans and is an adjunct instructor with the University of Houston - Downtown. Ms. Hall holds a bachelor of arts from Wake Forest University and a master’s in healthcare administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds Certified Employee Benefits Specialist and Registered Health Underwriter designations.
W. Ben Keel, III, CFP®, ChFC®, CFE®, CLU®, is a financial advisor with Financial and Insurance Consultants. He was named as one of the Top Financial Planners in the Nation by Consumers’ Research Council of America* in 2008 and 2009, and he was listed as a 2010 Five Star Wealth Manager® by Texas Monthly. Mr. Keel is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Houston Financial Planning Association. He is also a Certified Financial Educator teaching financial education classes through the non-Profit Heartland Institute of Financial Education for companies that would like to offer non-biased financial education to their employees. In addition, he teaches financial literacy classes to all branches of the United States Military as well as government employees. In the past, he has been a financial planner with American Express Financial Advisors, Fidelity Investments and his own firm. Mr. Keel served in the US Army and Texas Army National Guard branch detailed Airborne Infantry. He holds a BBA in finance from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Karen Hook King, CPA, CFP®, is the practitioner proprietor of Karen Hook King CPA, a public accounting firm in Houston, Texas. Ms. King has more than 20 years of experience in the accounting and financial services field. Her current practice focuses on financial consulting with closely held businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals. Ms. King provides clients with financial reporting, tax, accounting and audit assistance, is trained as a financial neutral in Collaborative Family Law, and works in the mediation arena. Ms. King’s prior experience includes 16 years in public accounting with Arthur Andersen & Co. in Houston. Her teaching experience includes extensive classroom teaching time in technical and management related classes for certified public accountants. She has also taught proprietary management training programs for corporate audiences as a certified instructor. Ms. King holds a BS in accounting from Texas Tech University. She was also a Rotary Fellowship Student at the Instituto Technologico in Guaymas, Mexico.
Andrew Lewis, JD, MBA, is a partner in Lewis and Lewis, PLLC. He has approximately 15 years of experience as an attorney and judge, practicing in the areas of litigation, contract law, estate planning and probate, business planning, arbitration and mediation. Previously, he served as a county judge in Cobb County, Georgia, as well as deputy director for the Supreme Court of Georgia, Office of Dispute Resolution. He has experience teaching professionals in government, corporate and university settings. Mr. Lewis is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the State Bar of Georgia. He is board certified in Estate Planning and Probate by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He holds a JD from Tulane University, an MBA from Emory University and a BA from Rice University.
Jillian Nel, CFP®, is a financial planner at Legacy Asset Management in Houston. Through her comprehensive financial planning and risk management analysis, clients realize financial goals and better manage major life changes. Ms. Nel supports the retirement plan consulting practice of Legacy as an additional advocate and resource for retirement plan administrators and participants. Previously, Ms. Nel spent six years with Lincoln Financial Advisors. Ms. Nel is an active member of the Financial Planning Association, Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce and the Sterling Group. She holds a BS in business administration from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has the Series 7 and 66 securities license and is licensed as a general lines insurance agent for the state of Texas.
Kathy Oakley, MBA, CPA, CFP®, see bio under program director.
Carroll Scherer has helped corporate groups improve communication skills and build teams, using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® as a tool to enhance understanding, for more than 15 years. With 30 years of experience in higher education and industry, she is currently professional programs director for the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. Ms. Scherer also serves as chairman of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association South Region. She is the former director of the Mays MBA Program at Texas A&M University, where she also taught in the Executive MBA Program. She holds a BA in education from The University of Texas at Austin and has earned several professional certifications including the MBTI® Certified credential.
John L. Wilson, CFP®, CPA*, helps high-net-worth families better achieve their financial goals using the six-step CFP financial planning process. He works with his clients to develop a holistic plan that integrates financial independence, investment, business and estate planning. He designs and implements multi-million dollar portfolios for his clients. Prior to his current role as an advisor to individuals, Mr. Wilson worked in various positions in the sales, marketing and trading of derivatives including swaps, caps, futures, options and other derivative instruments for several Fortune 500 companies. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Rice University.*Licensed but not practicing.
Robert D. Womack, CFP®, CPA/PFS, is a principal of Touchdown Financial Advisors, LLC, a personal financial planning and management firm in Houston. His previous financial services experience includes income tax consulting as a partner with KPMG Peat Marwick in Houston and San Francisco, general management as a senior officer within the American General Group, and as chief financial officer for a number of public and private companies. His teaching experience includes university-level accounting and advanced income tax courses, as well as management development courses for corporate audiences. Mr. Womack also serves as an arbitrator in securities disputes for the NASD. He earned his bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Houston and an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin.
Catherine S. Woodruff, PhD, CFA, is a co-founder of Houston Global Investors, LLC, a Houston-based registered investment advisor, which manages global equities for institutions and individuals. Previously, Dr. Woodruff was managing partner and director of equities at Davis Hamilton Jackson & Associates, where she managed both large-cap and mid-cap equities during her 15-year tenure. She has been a featured speaker at various conferences on global equity markets, security analysis and other investment-related topics. Past positions include portfolio manager at Citicorp Investment Management, equity analyst at Texas Commerce Bank, and economist at the Louisiana State Planning Office. Dr. Woodruff also has several years of research and teaching experience in finance and economics at Michigan State University, the University of Houston, Louisiana State University and the University of Texas at Austin and is a former board member of the Texas Growth Fund, where she served as treasurer. She holds a PhD in finance from the University of Texas at Austin and MS and BA degrees in economics from Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge.
Instructors are subject to change.
Attention CPAs: The Glasscock School of Continuing Studies is a Registered CPE Course ProviderWe have registered with the Texas State Board of Accountancy (Registration no. 600) to meet the requirements of the continuing professional education rules covering maintenance of attendance records, retention of program outlines, qualifications of instructors, program content, physical facilities and length of class hours. This registration agreement does not constitute an endorsement by the Board as to the quality of the program or its contribution to the professional competence of the licensee.
Rice University is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website. www.learningmarket.org
See more information on CPE credits offered by the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the United States, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.
The Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™ and federally registered CFP (with flame logo). CFP® certification is granted solely by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. to individuals who, in addition to completing an educational requirement such as this CFP Board-Registered Program, have met ethics, experience and examination requirements.
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“The Rice program was outstanding. The instructors were of the highest caliber.”- Gail Van Nest, Independent Consultant
“I like the program because it means business. It was tough but it trained me to have the mind set to take the exam and become a good financial planner.”- Susanna Loh, CPA, CFP®, Krebs & Loh, PC
“The CFP program at Rice is probably the most organized and well planned program available. The instructors were excellent in their respective fields. The material they covered was pertinent to the exam and no time was wasted on unnecessary information. I truly believe that there isn't another course as valuable as the CFP course at Rice.”- Kalpana Visweswaran
Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, MS-550
Rice University, 6100 Main, Houston, Texas 77005-1827
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1892, Houston, Texas 77251-1892