Who says women can’t be leaders? Although we live in a society where men usually dominate the workforce, women are on the rise. As women, we are taught empathy, leadership, patience, openness, and many more attributes that contribute to our come up in success. A great example of a woman leader in the Greensburg community is Suzanne Ward, Co-Owner & Investment Advisor at Kattan Ferretti Financial and founder of Financially Leading Women, a website dedicated to advising women to take charge of their financial future and assisting them with seminars and information sessions about being a woman business leader. We sat down with Suzanne to learn more about FLW and being a leader in the community.
Tell us about your self and what you do.
“I joined Kattan Ferretti Financial in 2017 as a Co-Owner and Investment Advisor. Prior to coming to KFF, I worked for 12 years in the Financial Services Industry at PNC. While there, my focus was in financial planning, investments, portfolio building, cash flow management, consumer/business leading, as well as branch management. Ultimately, what I am striving to do is to make the complicated financial “lingo” easy for women to understand. It’s important for me to work closely with my clients to guide them towards financial freedom, with my main goal being to provide more education around investing for my clients. To do so, I host seminars, maintain a blog, and directly assist with the financial planning process. I love being involved in the community, as well as supporting local organizations and non-profits! My husband Michael and I grew up in Hempfield Township, so we love getting to know everyone in and around the community.”
What kind of services does KFF offer?
“I am able to provide my clients with Financial Planning, Investing, Retirement, Estate Planning, Business Services such as 401k, Sep, Simple, Pension, Succession Planning, Life Insurance, and much more! Whenever I initially meet with someone, I like to get to know them first. My goal is to put someone in a better financial understanding when they walk out my door, knowing that I have helped to put them in a better financial situation & understanding.”
What made you want to create your website Financially Leading Women?
“I’ve been working in the financial industry for 13 years now and I have noticed a lot of men still handle finances. Women are thrown into situations where they have to take it on, and the information that is out there is overwhelming. In most cases, the current financial planner wasn’t putting the right information that was needed out there. With that being said, men speak a different language whenever it comes to finance. I wanted to break the barrier and jargon down, taking the complexity out of it so that it can be more easily understood.”
Do you think it will be helpful to women who are looking to invest or learn more about finances?
“Yes, I truly do. I am trying to provide quick information for women who are searching for help. In addition to my blog, I also aim to host four seminars a year in a nonjudgmental environment to go over various financial topics. I also get topics from females and ask them what it is that they would ultimately want to learn about. Outside speakers are brought in, such as female CPA’s, female mortgage reps, and many more!”
In response to the seminars, do you have any that are coming up?
“Yes. The date right now is still TBD, but I am aiming to have one in either May or June. Once it is set and stone, it will be added to the website and I will post about it!”
What’s next for KFF and FLW?
“Continue to grow. Over the past 12 months, we have had tremendous growth and it hasn’t slowed down since! We want to help more and more people, while continuing to be community leaders.”
What organizations are you involved with?
“I am the VP of CASA of Westmoreland, the President of the Stoney Brook Foundation, a Board Member for Habitat for Humanity, a Board Member for the Hempfield Township Planning and Commission Board, as well as the Latrobe Chamber and VSAC (Victims Services Advisory Committee). Also, I am a member of the Westmoreland Federation of Republican Women. On the side, I am a Real-estate Investor, Landlord, House Flipper, and yes, I throw on boots and get my hands dirty!”
Do you think being involved in the community is important for your businesses success?
“Yes, but I think it’s more important as a business owner and a human being to help your community thrive and grow. Also, as a human being, it’s important to set examples for our young youth to help them grow as a person and to have empathy. Fred Rogers said it best, ‘We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” Then, there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.’ I want to put people in better life positions.”
Do you have anything that you would like to say to women that are debating on whether to take this step in life or not?
“I think it’s important for everyone to have financial freedom and confidence. It’s important to have, at the bare minimum, the ability to educate themselves on the basis of their financials to power themselves, have control, and no fear. It is important for females to not allow someone to tell them that they can’t do something, you can. Working with the right individual to help you walk step by step and understands your personal goals is crucial. There is a solution tailored for you.”
Do you have any advice for women looking to get their finances in order?
“Only you are going to look out for yourself. You may have assistance at different times, but only you are going to have your own interest. Keep yourself up to date with technology, your finances, etc. Do it before hand so that you’re not stuck whenever the time comes. Maybe there’s other things holding you back, but finance shouldn’t be one of them.”
As a leader in the community, Suzanne strives to break the society and industry norms. Through handwork and dedication, she aims to empower women in many different aspects. Sign up for her Financially Leading Women mailing list for upcoming seminars and financial tips!