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2011 Most Influential Women Honoree: Gretchen Cliburn

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As a supervising adviser for BKD Wealth Advisors LLC, Gretchen Cliburn manages more than $91 million and 100 client relationships.  

She has 15 years of experience in financial services, with stints at Bank of America and Merrill Lynch prior to joining BKD LLP in 2008.

“I personally recruited Gretchen (Cliburn) to our firm due to my knowledge of her integrity and her focus in providing outstanding client service,” says BKD Wealth Advisors President Jack Thurman.

Though she holds both Series 7 and 63 licenses and nabbed numerous awards while at Merrill Lynch, Cliburn counts earning her certified financial planner designation after joining BKD as her proudest professional accomplishment.

“As a certified financial planner, I find great satisfaction in working with individuals and families to help them quantify their unique goals, implement the appropriate solutions and celebrate their success,” Cliburn says.

Cliburn’s accomplishments include creating and coordinating the annual top-tier client appreciation event for the Springfield office of BKD Wealth Advisors. She also serves on the firm’s financial planning committee, which provides guidance on the firm’s planning philosophy and helps recruit others to work with her firm.

“I thrive on helping others around me reach beyond what they think they ‘ought’ to do,” Cliburn says.

She knows a thing or two about hard work, not only at BKD but also as a mother and the wife of Kenneth, who was deployed to Iraq and came home classified as a wounded warrior with injuries that required two surgeries and 16 weeks of physical therapy. At that time – the period during which she earned her CFP designation – she also had an infant daughter who faced surgery to close a severe cleft palate.

“As I look back over this challenging two-year timeframe, I realize that with faith, focus and determination, one can accomplish goals regardless of the obstacles,” Cliburn says.

In the community, Cliburn says her heart is most drawn to organizations that serve children and families.

She serves on the board of directors and on the assessment committee for Ronald McDonald House, monitoring the organization’s investment portfolio and making suggestions to the board. Since 2009, she has served as the chairwoman of the Junior Cattle Baron’s Ball, a pre-event to the American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball, honoring young cancer patients and families. Other groups she’s worked with include Arc of the Ozarks Foundation, James River Assembly, Court Appointed Special Advocates and Developmental Center of the Ozarks.

Click here for full coverage of the 2011 Most Influential Women.
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