The Modera Charitable Foundation supports giving back initiatives, including pro bono financial planning services, local non-profits and emergency service organizations.
Serving our communities as a collective or as individuals has always been important to us. Whether it’s donating to the local food pantry or a fundraising event, we seek to find areas of need and assist them wholeheartedly. Each year, our Philanthropy Committee determines a central theme and leads a Day of Service where all colleagues roll up our sleeves and go to work.
Professional Leadership: Our colleagues serve as leaders in professional associations within our financial planning industry. Twice in Modera history, our colleagues served as President of NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors). A Modera colleague currently serves on the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission of the CFP® Board and others as mentors for advancing women in the financial services profession.
Community Leaders: Our colleagues give generously of their time and talent within their communities, serving as board members or officers within regional chamber organizations, town recreation councils and planning boards, networking organizations, and philanthropic organizations.
Our Personal Stories
Get to know the personal side of the people of Modera. Here’s where you’ll learn about our families, our involvement in our communities, and our efforts to support the greater good.
Serving Our Peers
Modera continues to support our peers within the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) by volunteering for various initiatives within the organization. Chuck Roberson recently served on the logistics planning committee for NAPFA’s National Fall Conference.
Nourishing Our Community
Volunteers from Modera New Jersey served lunch at the Bergen County Homeless Shelter as part of our annual day of service.
Starting Them Early
In 2016, Modera (New Jersey and Massachusetts) invited local high school students to apply for its week-long “Business Scholar Early Immersion Program.” The program provided recipients with both a broad overview of the business as well as a closer look at the functional roles and career paths of individuals working at Modera.
Going the Extra Miles
Chuck Roberson has taken part in the Garden State Fondo – a 100-mile bike ride that raises funds for Morristown, NJ area charities – for six years.
Holiday Giving in New Jersey
Modera’s New Jersey Office sponsored 50 children from The Phoenix Center, a non-profit school serving the educational, behavioral, and therapeutic needs of students, ages 5-21, who have significant developmental disabilities and/or/are on the autism spectrum.
Creating a Brighter Future
Modera proudly continues to support the efforts of Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey. On October 24, Modera’s Bill Houck and Mindy Cleaveland took part in the non-profit’s third annual Dining in the Dark fundraiser gala, which also celebrated the organization’s 75th anniversary. The Vision Loss Alliance’s mission is to empower individuals of all ages who are blind or low vision by providing support, education, skills training, assistive technology and employment opportunities.
Helping People Get Healthcare
Modera is proud to support BVMI (Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative), an organization that provides health care at no cost to qualifying low-income adults with no health insurance. At the organization’s 10th Anniversary Gala Celebration in September, Bill Houck and his wife were on hand to represent Modera in celebrating this organization’s important work.
Supporting the Gift of Music
Modera’s New Jersey team is proud to support the JCC Thurnauer School “Gift of Music” Gala Benefit Concert. The “Gift of Music” Gala Benefit Concert raises scholarship funds for children who wish to study music regardless of their financial need. Kelly Henning and her husband Kyle attended the concert to represent Modera in supporting this organization’s important work.
Mindy Cleaveland and Brian Schiess at the MarbleJam Kids Benefit
Pushing MS Research Forward
Michael Gibney participated in the 2017 MS Bike Ride benefiting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Leading the Way
Adam Leone is the Den Leader for his local Cub Scout troop.
Inspiring the Next Generation
Jeanne Bernardin of the Modera Boston office volunteered for Hopkinton High School’s career awareness initiative, which provided high school students an opportunity to learn about different career path opportunities through a presentation and Q&A session.
Jennifer Faherty is an Author-Luncheon Committee Member at the Friends of the Ridgewood Library.
Making Wishes Come True
Modera North Carolina purchased gifts for Kids First of the Carolinas that were on their Amazon Wish List.
In 2018, Modera Massachusetts participated in Operation Santa, led by a local post office in the Boston area. Our volunteers obtained several letters written by kids to Santa, and fulfilled their holiday gift wishes.
Taking Strides for Cancer Research
Mindy Cleaveland is an annual participant in the Lustgarten Walk in Westchester in support of pancreatic cancer research.
In 2018, Modera Georgia supported 23 families from All About Development Disabilities, a non-profit organization that maximizes resources for individuals and families living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our volunteers shopped for holiday presents and hosted a gift-wrapping event with clients and friends.
Activism for Autism
Mindy Cleaveland is an active supporter of MarbleJam Kids Inc., a Hackensack-based group that benefits children with autism and other disabilities by providing therapeutic services such as art and music.
Mindy also participates every year in Light it Up Blue “Wear Blue to Work Day” created to raise awareness and money for autism through Autism Speaks.
Lending a Hand
In 2018, Modera New Jersey collected and donated bags of non-perishables to the Helping Hand Food Pantry in Hillsdale, NJ.
Wearing Blue for Autism Awareness
Each Modera office participated in the 2019 Wear Blue to Work Day, wearing blue and serving treats with blue wrappers to raise awareness of autism. In 2020 we participated virtually by creating signs to hang in the office windows and attending virtual staff gatherings all dressed in blue to raise awareness.
Furthering Financial Literacy
Ryan Pope spoke to Georgia Tech students taking the Health Initiatives Department’s Transit Financial Wellness Course, a comprehensive class designed to help students to understand their finances and successfully transition in and out of the college experience.
John Ceparano spoke at his alma mater, St. John’s University in NY, on estate planning and financial planning for women.
Amy Lowder is a member of the National Organization for Women and TheCharlotte Guild Debutante Club.
Uniting for Good
John Ceparano is an active member of the Central Citrus Rotary Club.
Leading the Profession Forward
Karen Keatley serves as a Commissioner on the CFP® Board Disciplinary and Ethics Commission, which is charged with review and enforcement of the CFP® Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct.
Wrapping Up Cheer
In 2018, Modera Florida held a festive holiday gift-wrapping party to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Citrus County, which promotes the social, educational, health, leadership, and character development of boys and girls during critical periods of their growth. Our clients and their families were invited to enjoy holiday cheer and help wrap gifts, which were supplied by Modera and passed along to the 34 children we sponsored.
Putting in the Legwork for Juvenile Diabetes
On Saturday, October 5, Mark, from our Atlanta office, went to Florida as the leader of a 31-person Georgia cycling team to participate in the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) Ride for the Cure on Amelia Island. The 475 riders who participated that day raised almost $2 million in support of diabetes research
During the 2015 holiday season, Modera New Jersey led a firm-wide Warmth Drive for the less fortunate. Staff members gathered coats, blankets, and scarves and delivered them to local charities, which included the Nyack Homeless Shelter, Friends of Boston’s Homeless, and Cayla’s Coats.
Spinning for Cancer Research
Chuck Roberson has participated for 3 years – every year since he’s recovered from cancer – in the Cycle for Survival, an indoor spinning event held at Equinox gyms across the country. This event raises funds for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research.
Colleagues from Modera’s Florida office supported Habitat for Humanity of Citrus County in November by participating in various hands-on home building activities.
Supporting Local Organizations in our Community
Modera’s Atlanta team supported CHRIS 180 in their mission to heal children and families through holistic, trauma informed health services.
Training the Street
Modera and our CEO, Tom Orecchio (a Lafayette college alum) are proud to have sponsored the participation of 51 Lafayette College students in a Finance Immersion Bootcamp from “Training The Street”. During this 2-day bootcamp, students were taught complex financial analysis techniques required for business valuation and merger and acquisition analysis.
Caring for Those with Cancer
Colleagues from Modera New Jersey and Modera Georgia assembled and donated chemo comfort kits to patients served by CancerCare, and manned a free financial advice hotline for families affected financially by their cancer diagnoses.
Making an Impact
Karen Keatley is a member of the Charlotte Women’s Impact Fund, a collective giving organization which provides more than $400,000 of grant funding each year to non-profit organizations in Mecklenburg County. She has served on that organizations’ Board of Directors and as Treasurer.
The Working Wardrobe
Jennifer Faherty is a volunteer for the Northern New Jersey Chapter of Dress for Success, participating in fundraising events and career coaching.
Caring for Our Communities
The Modera Charitable Foundation, organized and directed by Modera employees, provides annual donations to local civic, charitable, and non- profit organizations. Recent recipients included: Greater Boston Food Bank, Camp Starfish, Big Brothers Big Sisters, MarbleJam Kids Inc., Camp Nejeda Foundation, and Citrus County Harvest.
Mud Running for MS
Participants from Modera New Jersey took part in Muckfest 2018, a 5K mud run course, to raise funds for multiple sclerosis.
Aaron Mellman volunteers with the Great Pyrenees Rescueof Atlanta. Aaron helps out on adoption days, occasionally transports dogs to medical facilities, and most recently has provided a foster home.
Welcoming Women to the Fold
Jennifer Faherty volunteers as a Certified Financial Professional (CFP®) Board Mentor and WIN Advocate, focusing on bringing more women into the financial planning profession.
Making Moves against Lung Cancer
Modera Florida participated in the 2016 Free to Breathe Run/Walk to raise awareness of lung cancer. Modera was honored as the top team fundraiser for the event and featured in two articles in the Citrus County Chronicle. John Ceparano and Kevin Sweeney were also honored as top individual fundraisers.
Giving Back Amid a Crisis
One of Modera’s core values has always included supporting our local communities. We are aware that many people are and will continue to be affected by COVID-19, and we want to do our part to help aid in the fight to lessen the impact.
With this in mind, Modera is contributing $10,000 to Community Foundations or charitable organizations in our five office locations, each of which has dedicated resources and programs to local COVID-19 response. These are:
We are all in this together, and we will get through this together.
Cycling for Survival
Team Modera (New Jersey) participated in another year of Cycle for Survival, benefiting the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in its efforts to fund research against rare cancers.
Redoing the Club House
John Ceparano serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Citrus County. In 2018, he helped secure a $180K state grant to refurbish the local facility.
Assembling Care Packages
To brighten the holidays for patients of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Modera’s Boston office assembled chemo care packages, which were delivered directly to the Blum Center at Dana Farber.
Branching Out for Good
Modera is committed to supporting a wide range of charitable organizations including Volunteers of America Massachusetts, Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative, YWCA of Boston, and the National MS Society New Jersey Metro Chapter.
Delivering Holiday Cheer
Modera’s Florida office helped bring joy to the children served by The Boys and Girls Club of Citrus County and the Citrus County Family Resource Center, with a bounty of gifts for the holidays. Clients and friends of Modera came to help the staff wrap and prepare the presents for delivery.
Modera Takes to the Green for a Good Cause
Dawson Fielding, Zachary Palmer, Melissa Boyer, and Karen Keatley of Modera’s Charlotte Office took to the green for a charity outing, the 2020 Rollin’ Hornets Golf Classic. The proceeds help pay for the many travel and equipment expenses incurred throughout the Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets Wheelchair Basketball season. The scorecards may not have been bragworthy, but we had a great time supporting this great cause. Our hearts are full! To learn more about the Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets visit their website at: http://RollinHornets.org
Photo Credit: @WendyYangPhoto
Tom Orecchio serves on a wide variety of boards and committees, including the Northeast Advisory Board of Lafayette College, the Finance Committee of the Cathedral of Saint John The Theologian, Northvale PAL, Inc., NV Eagles Youth Football and the Bergen County Junior Football League.
In 2018, each of Modera’s five offices was represented by a team of walkers at this annual event.
As part of Modera’s annual day of service, volunteers from our Massachusetts’ office served meals at the Women’s Lunch Place, a local organization dedicated to providing a safe, comfortable daytime shelter, nutrition support, and support services.
Supporting the Troop
Jeanne Owens is the leader for her daughter’s sixteen-member Girl Scout troop, and also serves as the group’s treasurer and cookie mom
Changing the Landscape
On September 10, colleagues from our Charlotte office dug in for a maintenance project at Independence Park, working side by side with the park’s Horticulture Team to trim trees, clear away debris, pull weeds, and apply mulch to help beautify one of the natural garden areas. Afterwards they lunched at a “Restaurants for Rescues” participant, one of many local establishments that sent a percentage of their proceeds from that day to the Humane Society of Charlotte.
Helping to Fund Cancer Research
In 2016, Modera staff members participated in team-building and fundraising activities for local charities committed to cancer research and awareness.
In 2016, Modera Massachusetts participated in the regional Making Strides Walk in support of the American Cancer Society.
Giving Back in Boston
Associates of Modera Boston, along with friends and clients, assembled 100 care packages to donate to Rosie’s Place, a women’s shelter that helps poor and homeless women maintain their dignity, seek opportunity, and find security in their lives.
Helping Local Businesses Thrive
Robert Dowling serves as Treasurer for the Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce.
Helping Working Families Tackle Taxes
Dina Megretskaia was a 2018/2019 participant in the Volunteer Income Tax Prep (VITA) free tax prep program with the Philadelphia Campaign for Working Families in Norristown, PA, tasked with preparing and explaining tax returns to patrons.
Mindy Cleaveland is an annual participant in in Tunnel to Towers 5K in support of the Stephen Siller Foundation, which honors a firefighter who died on 9/11.
Cooking Up Kindness
Echo Rooney is a kitchen volunteer at a local community center.