Leading By Example
At Exemplar Financial Network, we believe that true leadership should reach beyond the work place and into the community. Many of our Exemplar financial advisors and employees commit themselves to exemplary citizenship and service beyond the workplace through organizations that provide a greater good to the community and to the world. Our passion for community service is a deep reflection of our values. Exemplar is proud to highlight those individuals who are Leading by Example.
HEART is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering the people of Africa to survive the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Founded in 2000, HEART is providing medical care, education and income generating activities to create a healthy, sustainable, disease-free life.
Steve Werner, Exemplar Branch Manager and his wife Pat have been actively involved with HEART since learning about the organization during a trip to Kenya in 2006 to introduce their adopted son to his biological father. The Werners have since raised about $75,000 for HEART and also founded the Freedom 4 Girls program which provides sanitary products for girls in Keyna so they can attend school every day of the month.
In September 2011, Mr. Werner was nominated as one of three Global Community Impact Award finalists by Invest in Others Charitable Foundation and InvestmentNews for his charitable work for Health Education Africa Resource Team (HEART). The annual Community Leadership Awards event honors financial advisors from around the country.
To learn more about Freedom 4 Girls and other HEART programs and how your can donate, please visit their website.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County
Exemplar Manager of Advisor Services, Shaun Tessmer has been a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County since 2011. Big Brothers Big Sisters' mission is to help children reach their potential through one-to-one relationships with volunteers in the community. “My experience as a Big Brother has been life changing.” Says Shaun. “I was lucky enough to be paired up with Nick. We have become good friends and I plan on our friendship growing for many years to come.” As a big brother Shaun does a variety of things with his little brother. Whether it’s a first time trip to a Chicago Bears game or just playing video games together the boys enjoy an encouraging relationship with a strong male role model. National research shows that positive relationships have a measurable impact on children’s lives by giving them higher aspirations, greater confidence and educational success to name a few. Exemplar Financial Network wishes Shaun the best with his blossoming friendship. Shaun was so inspired by this organization and the greater good it does in the community that he decided to increase his commitement by joining the board of directors in 2014.
To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry county, click here.
United Way of McHenry County
United Way of greater McHenry County funds 43 human service programs which service people in need through greater McHenry County. More than 25 different agencies provide a broad range of services including, senior day care and nutrition programs, child care, scouting, counseling, delinquency prevention and emergency food and shelter. Jennifer Johnson, Executive Vice President of Exemplar Financial Network currently serves on the United Way of McHenry County’s board of directors as the Agency Relations Committee Chair. Jennifer has had a passion for the work the United Way has done and has committed herself to a number of events and committees for over five years. As a partner with United Way, Exemplar Financial Network also provides an opportunity for employees to donate to the community building programs that the United Way provides in McHenry County.
Heart and Soul Fund
The Heart and Soul Fund is a foundation that was established in 2003 by Exemplar Financial Consultant and Criterion Wealth Advisors, LLC Founder, Wayne Pover and a group of close friends to monetarily assist those who have specific health needs through a family oriented charitable organization. Each year, an event takes place to raise funds for a different charity, with proceeds going with proceeds going to local families, associated with that charity, that have been affected by illness or tragedy.
“Every one of us has a story, or knows someone who faces health issues and challenges every day.” says Pover. Moved by the reality of one particular family’s situation, Wayne and his friends became a group of individuals that dedicated themselves to raising money for the young girl’s need. Through neighbor to neighbor appeals, by making a connection with people and by drawing energy from their own hearts and souls, these personal advocates were able to raise the necessary funds for a successful transplant, thus establishing the roots of the Heart and Soul Fund. Now, over ten years later, The Heart and Soul Fund continues to host their annual event as well as partner with business and charitable organizations to provide monetary assistance to local families in need. Recently, Exemplar Financial Advisor Heidi Alten has joined forces with Wayne as the chairperson of the annual bag-o tournament which remains as the charity's primary fundraiser.
CASA of McHenry County
CASA supports local programs that recruit, train and manage CASA volunteers whose primary role is to advocate for the best interests of sexually and physically abused children in court. Since 2005 McHenry County’s most vulnerable citizens have been impacted positively by CASA and which allows them to grow into confident, productive and contributing members to the community. Devon Hubbard, Exemplar Vice President of Business Development, currently sits on the board for CASA and chairs and participates in numerous events throughout the year. Devon appreciates that strong communities are built upon it's youngest citizens. Her work with CASA stops the cycle of abuse and neglect and exemplifies the CASA motto "I am for the child".
McHenry County Economic Development Council
McHenry County Economic Development Council works to promote the economic health of McHenry County through retention, expansion and attraction of commerce and industry. MCEDC works with local, county, state and federal legislators to foster, enhance and improve the economic vitality of McHenry County. Currently, Dave Hubbard, President of Exemplar Financial Network, serves as MCEDC Treasurer. Understanding and meeting the needs of businesses and their owners in the community is an integral part of the Exemplar philosophy. If you know of a business that is looking to move or expand into McHenry County, MCEDC will be an invaluable asset to them.
Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity
Filling her passion for the arts, Exemplar Marketing Coordinator, Beth Lopez has served in a leadership role with Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity since 2009. “Music preserves our culture, celebrates our triumphs and consoles us in tragedy.” says Lopez “I am so proud of the work the women of SAI have done for over 100 years to promote the role of women in music. I am humbled and honored to be a part of it.”.
As National Vice President, Extension Beth leads the expansion of the fraternity's 220 collegiate chapters and 110 alumnae chapters at universities and communities across the United States. In addition to promoting women in music, collegiate and alumnae chapters carry out the work of the philanthropic arm of SAI. “We have an amazing group of programs aside from the incredible amount of scholarship money available to women in music.” praises Lopez. “Sigma Alpha Iota's People To People project supplies instruments and music to developing nations. In addition, our Bold Notes project is responsible for creating more than half of the Library of Congress’ collection of music for the visually impaired.”
If you would like to learn more about Sigma Alpha Iota click here to visit their website.
Exemplar Branch Manager, Tony Lopez saw a need in his community for competitive youth sports and decided to take action. Along with his wife Beth, Exemplar’s Marketing Coordinator and two of their close friends they started Darien Athletic Association/Darien Swarm in 2008. Offering children ages 5 to 13 opportunities to play team sports in a developmental yet competitive environment, The Swarm offers football and cheer through Pop Warner Little Scholars, soccer through Northern Illinois Soccer League as well as softball and baseball. Currently there are over 250 children buzzing around The Swarm hive. Each year the Swarm contributes to a charity that highlights the community through their homecoming fundraiser. Previous recipients have been Hinsdale House, Hope for Hunter and the Gary Lester Foundation. It is Tony and Beth’s hope that The Swarm will continue to buzz through their community and leave a positive lasting impact on the children in the Darien area.
For more information on The Swarm visit www.darienswarm.com
Leadership of Greater McHenry County
Started in 2004, Leadership Greater McHenry County addresses the critical need to foster and develop community leaders as servant leaders who are concerned for all of the public processes. As a founding member, Exemplar President, Dave Hubbard helped create the program for community members that want to make a positive impact in the political, governmental and non for profit sectors that serve the McHenry County communities. Individuals are selected to take a course over 10 months that introduces them to the different entities that must exist cohesively in order to make the community a great place to live. This in turn fosters a pipeline of educated and willing servant leaders for the community. Both Devon Hubbard and Jennifer Johnson have graduated from the program and Devon also serves on the selection committee.
Babe Ruth Baseball
For over 10 years Exemplar Financial Network has enjoyed sponsoring Babe Ruth Baseball in Crystal Lake. Commitment to the community is a cornerstone of the Exemplar philosophy and what could feel more like community than youth baseball? Many Exemplar employees have coached or even played Babe Ruth baseball.
If you live in the Crystal Lake area and have children interested in playing baseball, check out www.clbr.org
Exemplar Financial Network and it’s employees are also members of the following local Chambers of Commerce:
Two of our Exemplar employees also serve their communities in elected positions:
Cameron Hubbard – Crystal Lake City Councilman
Jacob Ries – Walworth Joint School District #1 Board of Education – Vice President