Bridget Venus Grimes, CFP®
Over the course of several decades in finance and corporate America, and having personally experienced the barriers women in business face, Bridget’s passion to help women succeed in life and career became a priority.
In 2016 she founded WealthChoice, a fee-only financial planning firm focused on helping women executives and their families live life on their terms. Launching WealthChoice was the culmination of years of working with career women and helping them overcome challenges to financial security.
Bridget also launched WealthChoice Community, which hosts guest speakers throughout the year who cover critical career, business, and quality of life topics. The Community also provides the valuable benefit of assembling like-minded women for networking purposes, to provide support for one another, and have meaningful conversations.
The goal of Equita is to provide our member firms with many of these same benefits, and to make meaningful change to the landscape of women financial planners and business owners.
Katie Burke, CFP®
An entrepreneur at heart, Katie has over 14 years of experience in the financial services field. She launched Method Financial Planning, a fee-only financial planning firm in 2015 to focus on the planning needs of young families and busy professionals.
Katie has always been very passionate about supporting women in the financial planning profession and encouraging them to follow the path to become a CFP® professional. During her time in San Diego she co-founded a women’s networking group, San Diego Women in Finance, with the mission to provide women in the community opportunities for professional development through networking, mentoring and collaboration. Katie is also a mentor through the CFP® Board’s Women’s Initiative (WIN) to help guide and support prospective CFP® professionals, and ultimately encourage more women to pursue careers in financial planning.
As a wife, mother to two young boys and a business owner, Katie wants other women to feel empowered to build successful financial planning practices. Equita was designed with this goal in mind and is the core reason behind the resources, collaboration and support that the network provides.
Mario Nardone, CFA
Chief Investment Strategist
Mario began his investment career in 1999 with Vanguard mutual funds in Valley Forge, PA, where he consulted institutions and financial advisors on investment policy, portfolio construction, and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) as a member of Vanguard’s Fiduciary Services and ETF Product Management units. He also contributed to the research and publication of the firm’s world-renowned investment philosophy and served as a municipal bond fund specialist.
In 2003 he earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, widely regarded as the highest standard in the investment profession, and he continues to mentor aspiring Charter candidates in its curriculum, ethics, and career opportunities. Mario relocated to Charleston in 2010 to serve as Chief Investment Officer and Chief Compliance Officer for a respected financial planning and advisory firm in Mount Pleasant before establishing East Bay Financial Services, the collaborative partner firm of Equita Financial Network. Mario is Past President and of CFA Society South Carolina, is current Chairman of the College of Charleston Finance Department Advisory Board, and is a member of the Financial Planning Association.
His approach to investments and the industry has been featured in Investment News, NAPFA Advisor Magazine, Charleston Regional Business Journal, The Post & Courier, and The Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal. Mario is active in recreational sports and the Charleston community, and is a member of the Historic Middleton Place Foundation. He is an avid traveler and SCUBA diver, and enjoys spending time with his wife, Piper, and their “energetic” lab/shepherd mix, Cady.
Laura Mattia, PhD, MBA, CFP®, CDFA®
Chief Mentor and Facilitator of the Women’s Advocacy Circle Program
Laura is a professor, researcher, adviser, and author. Her financial expertise is a unique combination of advanced financial degrees and certifications, along with a psychology degree and further course work in positive psychology. She has over 30 years of financial leadership experience as a CFO/Controller for fortune 500 companies where she was responsible for the management and hiring of hundreds of employees, Wall Street firms, and individuals preparing for retirement and as a Personal Financial Planning Program Director at University of South Florida where she developed and leads a new degree program to train future competent and ethical financial advisors.
Laura is Equita’s Chief Mentor/Facilitator of our Women’s Advocacy Circle (WAC) Program, the cornerstone of the Equita platform. The WAC Program is an experiential developmental program for women who have proven financial knowledge and technical skills and desire a greater impact and broader influence on the profession, the people they serve and their organizations.
Laura is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and a board member of her local chapter and host of the Women’s Knowledge Circle. She is also a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). She received her Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning from Texas Tech University, a Masters in Business Administration in Accounting/Finance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Montclair State University. She is also the author of the book “Gender On Wall Street: Uncovering Opportunities for Women in Financial Services” published by Palgrave Macmillan.