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Invest in Others Awards Recognize Five Cambridge Financial Professionals

Cristen Morgan, Carter Benkendorfer, Steve Nearman, Robert Romeo, and Jim Wessels earn donations for their selected nonprofit organizations

FAIRFIELD, IA – July 17, 2023 — Cambridge congratulates Cristen Morgan, Carter Benkendorfer, Steve Nearman, Robert Romeo, and Jim Wessels for being recognized in the 2023 Invest in Others Charitable Foundation awards. Morgan, the owner of Lake Norman Financial Group in Cornelius, North Carolina, was named one of three finalists in the Community Service award category and received a donation of $25,000 for her nonprofit organization, Hope House Foundation. Benkendorfer, Nearman, Romeo and Wessels were selected as honorable mentions and each received $2,000 for their respective charities. All five Cambridge financial professionals were selected after an Invest in Others judging panel evaluated hundreds of candidates and named a group of finalists and honorable mentions in each of its five nomination categories.

Invest in Others recognizes the philanthropic achievements of financial professionals and financial firms in communities around the country. The awards program is in its 17th year, and honors nominees for their leadership, dedication, and charitable contributions. The program features five award categories: Catalyst, Community Service, Emerging Impact, Volunteer of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement.

Morgan will learn if she won the Community Service award at the Invest in Others awards gala on September 20 in Boston. Winners receive $60,000 for their selected nonprofit organization. More information on the Invest in Others awards, including the nomination process and eligibility requirements, can be found here. Below is a look at the five Cambridge financial professionals who were recognized.

  • Cristen Morgan | Finalist, Community Service Award — Morgan is the owner of Lake Norman Financial Group in Cornelius, North Carolina, where she also serves as an advisor. She is supporting Hope House Foundation, an organization that provides housing and support services for single, unaccompanied women and women with children experiencing situational homelessness.
  • Carter Benkendorfer | Honorable Mention, Lifetime Achievement Award — Benkendorfer is a CFP® and the founder of Benkendorfer Investment Group in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is representing Buccaneer Commission Foundation, where he is an active commissioner. The Buccaneer Commission Foundation’s mission is to award college scholarships to local youth in the Corpus Christi area by organizing various community events and festivals. To date, the Buccaneer Commission has awarded over $1,000,000 in scholarships and grants.
  • Steve Nearman | Honorable Mention, Catalyst Award — Nearman is the President and CEO at Nearman Financial Consulting, Inc. in Plymouth, Massachusetts. His selected charity is The Great Blizzards of Massachusetts, a hockey program he founded in 2019 to support athletes with cognitive or developmental disabilities who aren’t able to play elsewhere. The program teaches the fundamentals of the game and features friendly, experienced coaches. He has now been named an honorable mention in the Catalyst category in back-to-back years.
  • Robert Romeo | Honorable Mention, Volunteer of the Year Award — Romeo is an advisor at BS&P in Buffalo, New York. He is supporting FeedMore WNY Foundation, a nonprofit that provides nutritious food, friendship, and skills training to those in need in Western New York. Through its food bank distribution center and partnership with hunger-relief agencies, FeedMore WNY helps alleviate hunger in the area while supporting community members of all ages.
  • Jim Wessels | Honorable Mention, Lifetime Achievement Award — Wessels is a partner and financial advisor at Vision Financial Group in Des Moines, Iowa. He is representing Central Iowa Shelter & Service, where he serves on the Board of Directors as treasurer. Central Iowa Shelter & Service provides low-barrier shelter, meals, and support services at no cost to adults experiencing homelessness. Wessels has now been named an honorable mention in the Lifetime Achievement category for two consecutive years.

About Invest in Others Charitable Foundation
The inspiration for the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation came directly from financial advisors who invest in others by giving back to their communities with overwhelming generosity and dedication. Since its founding in 2006, Invest in Others has amplified these efforts by providing a platform for advisors and other financial professionals to increase awareness, visibility, and funding to their favorite nonprofits. For more information, visit

About Cambridge
Cambridge is a financial solutions firm focused on serving independent financial professionals and their clients while preserving its internal control. Cambridge offers a broad range of choices for independent financial professionals regarding solutions for advice, growth, technology, and independence. Cambridge’s national reach includes: Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc. – a large corporate RIA; and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. – an independent broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC, that is among the largest internally controlled independent broker-dealers in the country.

Contact: Jeff Wulf, Senior Vice President, Cambridge: or 800-777-6080

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Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC, and investment advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Both are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Cambridge Investment Group, Inc.

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