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April 2020


Chapter Update from the FPA DFW President

Fellow FPA Members,


We are trying to maneuver through these unprecedented times just as you and your businesses are.  The chapter leadership is doing our best to ensure that every member knows that we appreciate them.  We would like to take this opportunity to update you on what we are working through on your behalf.  Please watch this short video update or read the summary of the topics covered below:


  • Events: we will, to the best of our ability, make sure that nothing that was or is scheduled will be truly cancelled.  We will move some things to a virtual platform and postpone any events that cannot be facilitated virtually.
  • Resources: we want to continue to provide the CE and resources that you have become accustomed to, while at the same time, try to increase the release of information as it becomes available to us.
  • Support: we desire to support those that support us; our sponsors.  We will be sending out timely information from our sponsors for the time being to help supplement the benefits of their membership while face to face engagements are not possible.


It is important to us that no one feels short-changed on their membership just because our social environment has changed, for the time being.  If you have thoughts on events, both educational and social, that you would like to see happen virtually, please let me know and we will do our best to accommodate.


Take care and stay safe.


J. Tyler Russell, CFP®, RICP®


Financial Planning Association of Dallas/Ft. Worth



January 2020


I want to start off by addressing the members of this thriving chapter by saying a big Thank You.  When we were heading into 2019, there were a lot of questions revolving around national intervention into our local affairs.  Even with this, your chapter membership numbers remain strong.  I can only attribute this trend to the trust that each and every one of you have in your local leadership.  Our chapter still has a current membership number of ­­­­­791 and that is close to our all time of members in the mid 800's.  Most leaders would take this number and tell you what our membership goal is for 2020.  I am not going to do that.


I would like to first give everyone an update on the OneFPA initiative that we announced at this point last year would most likely, and did, consume much of our time in 2019.  To give a little more background to those that may not know what I am referring to, at the FPA Chapter Leader’s Conference in the Fall of 2018, it was announced that a new initiative would be taken by FPA National.  This came as a surprise to most members, including many in leadership positions nationwide.  There are a few aspects of this initiative that I want to take a moment to address to alleviate any possible confusion.


The main ideology of the OneFPA initiative is to try and strengthen the organization as a whole. While many leaders do feel that the initiative was implemented with the best intentions at heart, there were several problems with the original plan.  Not to mention several “deal breakers” for the DFW chapter.  As with many national organizations, there are stronger chapters and then there are some that struggle with certain aspects of a volunteer led organization.  Within the FPA, that is the case with some chapters suffering from a lack of sponsorship funds, some lacking membership numbers, and some, as hard as it is to believe, lacking volunteer leadership.  This lack of volunteers can lead to situations where one person may be doing all of the strategic planning, collecting and distributing of funds, and set up of educational programs.  Can you imagine that, one person controlling 90% of what a chapter exists to do?


FPA National’s solution to this resides in a plan to unite the entity as one.  This has been met with many people questioning both the intentions and execution expertise of the national staff.  Both are a reasonable thing to question from my perspective.  All I ask of each member is to not distrust every member of national’s staff and the national board when it comes to this plan.  There are national staff, national board members, and other members nationwide that that have their finger on the pulse on what should be questioned, what is right for the membership as a whole, and how to not destroy a thriving chapter like DFW.  I would just like to avoid the distrust of any one person or group based on how they volunteer their time to this organization.


FPA National has chosen 11 Chapters, that applied and volunteered to participate, in a Beta test.  This Beta test is to gain better insight about what chapters of different sizes and resources need from national and to roll out other areas of the OneFPA plan, mainly technology.  At this time, your local leadership has decided that we would like to observe this “test” at the national level with some distance.  We have offered our support in measuring the so called “beta chapters” against what we would consider metrics of a successful chapter (ours!).  At this time, FPA National has decided to pass on this offer but there may be a point in the future where we submit pieces of our local chapter’s information that corresponds with their Key Performance Indicators.  The intent is not to relinquish control of our local actions but to aid in the overall advancement of our profession by contributing to the successes of chapters that may not have the extensive resources that DFW does.


I am happy to answer any other specific questions that anyone has about FPA, how this proposed change could impact our chapter in the future, and our stance as the DFW leadership is concerned.  Until a new proposed timeline or plan is discussed at the national level, our leadership will continue with one of our main goals for 2020; increased engagement from our members.  Engagement is much more important to us than overall numbers as this is what typically translates to members getting more out of our chapter. 


I will tell you that I am excited to lead this organization into a new decade with many changes on the table and opportunities provided locally to get you where you need to be in your career.  I would love to look back on 2020 with a smile and sense of satisfaction that we didn’t concentrate on the number of members we have, rather on the experience those members have had.  Therefore, this is my public call for members to seek out volunteer positions within the chapters and specifically on open committees.  Your experience on a committee is the best way to influence areas of the Financial Planning Association that interest you.  This can lead to other leadership positions, if that is an interest to you, and most importantly, it is your contribution to the profession that we all love!


I truly believe that the Dallas/Ft Worth chapter is the greatest chapter in the nation and would love for everyone to prove me right by contributing to our success in 2020!



J. Tyler Russell, CFP®, RICP®

President, FPA DFW



















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