Comprised of volunteers with an Institute designation in good standing, the Board provides leadership to The Institute, with support in meeting strategic direction through volunteer and staff resources. This includes:
Sara La Gamba has led an impressive career as a financial advisor since 2009. She joined the industry with Freedom 55 Financial and then became President of King Financial and Benefits Inc in 2012. At SPM, Sara works as a Senior Advisor to help her clients achieve their financial goals with personalized, professional service. Learning has been a life-long passion for Sara and education continues to play an integral role in her professional journey and development.
Sara is a proud and enthusiastic member of Advocis. It’s a membership she holds with great pride since the time she joined the association in the early days of her career. During that time, she began volunteering with The Institute of Advanced Financial Education. She currently chairs the Standards and Accreditation Committee, sits on the Awards committee and is a member of the Advocis Legal Regulatory Policy committee. Sara also allocates her time as a Vice-Chair and treasurer for The Institute. She played a key role in her local Advocis chapter, joining the board in 2012 and serving as Toronto Chapter President from 2015-2017. Sara is also a proud member of CALU and sits on their Government Relations Committee.
Sara graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and lives in London Ontario with her husband Nathan and her two sons, Jackson and Owen. She enjoys golfing, skiing, volleyball, and cycling in her free time.
After graduating from the University of British Columbia in 1990 with a BA English Literature and subsequently successfully establishing her financial advisory practice in Vancouver with London Life, Izumi transitioned to management and is currently a Managing Director with Freedom 55 Financial whose responsibilities are aligned with the Vancouver Georgia and Vancouver Island Financial Centers of Freedom 55 Financial.
Izumi is a past president of the Advocis Greater Vancouver Chapter, a past director on the National Advocis-The Financial Advisors Association of Canada board and is a past Chair of the National Advocis Chapter Leadership Council. On the Institute for Advanced Financial Education, Izumi currently serves as the Chair of the Conduct and Discipline committee and also sits on the Editorial Advisory Panel for Forum Magazine. Locally, Izumi is the co-Chair of the Advocis Estate Planning Conference, she is an active mentor with the BCIT Financial Planning Program since 2000 and in 2018 completed her term as a voting member of the Insurance Council of British Columbia.
In her community, Izumi serves as a director on the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival Society, she is a University of British Columbia Arts Mentor and Blossom Program mentor and was a nominee in 2013 for the YWCA Women of Distinction award. Izumi believes strongly that “privilege comes with responsibility” and that our role as financial advisors puts us in the uniquely privileged position of having the opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of others. Therefore, her volunteer involvement with Advocis and the other organizations she remains committed to represents an opportunity for her to participate and contribute to the responsible stewardship of our industry as well as the community she lives in on behalf of the clients and advisors she serves.
Since September of 2017, Scott has been with Transport Canada in the Investigation Services department providing investigational and policy advice to the Inspectorate.
Scott has spent most of his career as a member of the RCMP with 25 1/2 years of diverse experience as an investigator and operational unit commander in Ontario, Manitoba, and Northwest Territories. He has strong established networks and relationships within law enforcement, criminal legal circles, regulatory agencies, government bodies at Federal, Provincial and Municipal levels in Manitoba. Scott has worked to establish and maintain community-based policing measures, e.g. crime prevention, promoting community relations and liaising with client groups through strong communications skills. He was also responsible for conducting specialized fraud investigations and enforcing provisions of the Criminal Code (CC) including fraud, corruption, and breach of trust related offences, Federal and Provincial Statutes and, where applicable, municipal bylaws. Scott is a natural team leader who leads by example and has actively supervised Regular/Civilian Members (R/M- C/M) of the RCMP and Public Service employees in various roles.
With an extensive background in leading complex investigations, conducting interviews and allocating human resources to complete investigations in a timely and efficient manner, he was appointed as an Institute Trustee in 2022.
Shannon started in this business, after leaving a very successful career teaching High School. She decided to make the switch to work at Kevin R Williams Financial Services as an Associate Advisor in August 2011 and has not looked back. She attained her Life and Mutual Fund license before December 2011 and then immediately jumped in to working towards her CFP.
Through all of this, she volunteers her time going back to high school to teach students about Investments and Insurance and considers this one of her greatest joys. She would like to see more young kids get a Financial Education and wants to continue using her background in Education to do this, which she did by running in the 2016 Municipal Election, to sit on the District Education Counsel. In June 2017, she wrote and passed her final CFP exam, all while on maternity leave with her first child.
She was appointed by the Financial Planning Standards of Canada in June 2021 to the CFP Exam Board, after volunteering her time on various FP Canada committees from item writing, standards setting and marking the CFP exam. She wrote and passed her CLU exam in June 2020 and then following it up with the RIS designation in 2021. She believes education is important in her career and is always striving to learn something new, so she expects to add a 5th initial soon!
Shannon was featured on the cover of Forum Magazine in December 2020, where she discussed being a single Mom, working as a Financial Advisor through the pandemic. When not at work, you can find her in the curling club, traveling, or at home with her son Jack, who is her greatest achievement.