Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dress for Success Vancouver Profile: Tracy Theemes

Prior to co-founding Sophia Financial Group in 2009, Tracy Theemes gained valuable international experience with Smith Barney, a US brokerage firm. Tracy’s has a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology. She is a Certified Financial Planner, is insurance licensed and is a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute. She is also a Financial Divorce Specialist. Before becoming a financial advisor Tracy spent 10 years in management with an international play equipment company. She founded, then sold, a specialty children’s furnishing company based in the US.  Tracy, along with a panel of Financial Experts will be hosting the Sophia Wealth Academy on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.  They are donating 100% of all proceeds to Dress for Success Vancouver.

How did Sophia Wealth Academy come to life?
I was working as a financial advisor in the US and it dawned on me that women wanted to become financially empowered but they had limited time. They hungered for high quality, relevant financial education. They wanted a concise overview of what they needed to know about money, in language they could relate to, about the issues that they were grappling with. When I came to Canada I found an amazing group of like minded professionals who agreed that there was a real appetite for this in Vancouver. So Wealth Academy was born. Most of the faculty have been involved from the very beginning. They are a committed, talented, generous group of smart!  We started at a community centre and we were the only program they had for two years that made a profit for them. That’s when we realized we could turn this not just an educational opportunity but help women by raising money for a charitable women’s organization as well.

Why did you decide to make the event for only women?
There are three primary reasons that we have created a women only event. The first is that there are issues that face women that are distinct from men: motherhood, interrupted careers, longer life expectantcies, demanding multi-dimensional lives and a way of thinking about money that is not commonly addressed in the financial world. Secondly, we are strapped for time. We want things done well, executed efficiently and we simply don’t have time to mess around. “Give it to me in a day” they say and we will learn what we need and get the  job done. Third, when men are present and money is discussed they can often end up dominating the conversation. This common dynamic is avoided when only women are in a room. They ask the questions that live in them and they are listened to without interruption.

What do you see as the biggest mistake women make with their finances?
Worrying about money and their financial lives without doing what is necessary to solve the issues. Every money problem is solvable. Every woman had the potential to be financially secure.

You've decided to donate all proceeds to Dress for Success Vancouver.  What made you choose them as a charity?
I love Deb Twocock and I love the mission. It is a match mad e in heaven. Financial empowerment is the root of self-sufficiency. Together our two missions lift and inspire women at all stages of their life journey.

What do you think women will get out of attending the event?
We have two main goals: every attendee will know what their next step is, how to take the next step and who they need to help them. And they will leave feeling confident, inspired and nourished. It is a magical day. (It’s my favourite day of the year!). Lives are changed, businesses get started, and a whole bunch of “snap, crackle, pop” resounds.

There are still tickets available to the Sophia Wealth Academy.  Get your tickets NOW and learn about everything you need to know about your finances! 

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