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Spotlight on AIM Alumni

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AIM Alumni are busy with their families, their careers and making time to support community initiatives. We share some of the ways that our colleagues are supporting various causes in the community.

Every single day is a gift - spend it with the ones you love
Janice Cellier

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Janice Cellier shares that she has taken a pause from JFC Consulting. "I finally learned that every single day is a gift and to spend it with the ones you love. So until my husband Chuck gets super tired of having me around, I am hanging with him," said Janice.  As many of you know, Janice is all about “The Gators “ and she devotes time as a member of the National Board of The University of Florida Foundation as well as The Warrington College of Business Advisory Council. Locally she has worked with the Houston Gator Club as Director of Academics providing scholarship opportunities to incoming freshmen. She will also be working with the AARP to aid seniors in their income tax preparation.

Peace Innovation Foundation welcomed Ira Cohen to their Foundation Board. Ira acts as an Independent Board Trustee for several boards of multi-billion capital funds. Among others, Ira also serves as an Executive Vice President for an important developer of artificial intelligence software. Ira was with the firm from 1992 to 2005 and is a regular at the annual happy hours.

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"The story of my involvement with Peace Innovation begins like an old story about “meeting a man and his wife in a bar in NY”," shared Ira.

I have met fascinating folks from around the world Ira Cohen

"I was with my business partners and we met a gentleman named Axel and his wife Grit. Fast forward two years later Axel asked me to join his startup charitable organization . The mission ranged from providing laptops to young women in Africa to working with the UN to transport blood to the wounded that couldn’t be stolen or altered. Along the way, I have met fascinating folks from around the world. Although our results have been disappointing, we continue towards making the world a better place."

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Ira is one of many AIM alumni who are active in the community. Most recently, AIM alums shared their involvement supporting Dress for Sucess' mission in Houston. Angie Eason, Kristy Bradshaw, Janice Wheelwright-Griffin along with Gary Crum and his wife are among those involved in volunteering or funding DFS Houston. We also thank our members who donated generously. 

Angie Eason works in Human Resources at Comcast in Houston and has served on the DFS Houston board for over a year. Angie first learned about Dress for Success when her sister would give her gently used suits and clothing. “When my sister passed away, we gave her business clothing to Dress for Success,” said Angie. “I thought DFSH were ‘just about the clothes’. But after donating, I learned more about what they do and now I am honored to serve on their Board. In her role at Comcast, Angie represents the company on the DFSH Board. “At Comcast, we are about empowering women, and we support the broad work DFSH does to support women. This includes helping veterans transition into the workforce, providing job skills training, mentorship and even providing transportation vouchers to remove any barriers to getting assistance.” Angie has personally seen how one woman earned her PhD thanks to the support from DFSH. The organization looks at the holistic woman, the sisterhood of providing life skills.

At Comcast, we are about empowering women, and we support the broad work DFSH does to support women

Angie Eason

With more than 200 of our members having worked at the firm for twenty years or more, this blog story and the newsletter features member interviews about their time with the firm.

As I focus on my next journey, I will be looking to combine those items I am most passionate about

Sheri Morris

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Sheri Morris joined AIM in 1990 and will soon retire from the firm. "I am excited to leave Invesco after a 33 year career having spent so much time focused on delivering outcomes for our shareholders with a passion for governance and transformation," said Shari. "In the short term, I am wrapping up transitioning my role to a series of talented folks at Invesco. I have built a strong succession plan and leaving the firm with a forward thinking leveraged operating model with the Office of the Fund CFO continuing a legacy of delivering for our shareholders."

Sheri is taking the sage advice to take some time before jumping into something new. "I have committed to spending my time relaxing and truly enjoying the holidays with my family for the first time in some years with purpose and joy. 

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All of my kids are moving on with my older, Dustan for those who met him when he is 2yrs old is now 35 and living in Richmond, Texas and pursuing his career with Schlumberger and following his passion for skydiving.  Alyssa just finished her law degree at UC Davis and is settling in Denver with her fiancé pursuing a career in equality rights activism.  Emma finished her degree in nutrition science from Baylor and is back home in Katy with me. She is turning her attention to her masters in psychology to pursue her passion of helping young women.  As I focus on my next journey I will be looking to combine those items I am most passionate about and continue to focus on governance and delivery results. I am looking forward to several trips planned over the coming 12 months, reconnecting with old and new friends, planning a wedding and being the best mom friend I can be."

Katherine Davis joined AIM in June 1994 by answering a blind ad for an accounting position that was posted in the Houston Chronicle. "I had recently moved to Houston from Huntsville, Alabama as my husband was transferred with his job – working for Boeing on the Space Station.

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Honestly time has flown by – basically I blinked and I am closing in on my 29th year.  During my tenure, I  became  a CPA, a mom to 2 boys, and now an empty nester. What has kept me at the firm…..simple….the people!!  I have met lifelong friends working at AIM. Several of them are no longer employed with the firm but we remain close today." After many years 

and various positions in Investment Services, Katherine recently moved to the Enterprise Risk team in LCAR focusing on Operational Risk.

 

I have met lifelong friends working at AIM

Katherine Davis

Anne Warnock moved to Houston from Scotland in the early 90's intending to stay a couple of years. She joined AIM as Supervisor of Corporate Services in 1992, and worked for 20 years in Facilities and Corporate Properties. "AIM brought me more than a great career and enduring friendships - my husband, Tim, and I met on the 25th floor of 11 Greenway Plaza, and we were married in Edinburgh in May 2004."

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Becky Andrews clocked in at 25 years with the firm in June, 2022. She started working at AIM when her daughter was five years old, and now Becky is a first time grandmother. Her grand daughter was born in February 2023. While Becky could retire, she says she always worked, enjoys structure, and has something to get up for. “I like the people”, said Becky. “I worked in the bond business for 18 years and then the company closed and I moved on. When I went to work for AIM management, I worked for Ted Bauer until he passed away. There is a delightful picture of us dancing at an engagement party. I was a rotten dancer and he made me dance. Next, I worked for Bob Graham. After Bob retired, I joined the technology team.” 

Tonya McManus joined the firm as a temp in late 1996 and was offered a full time position as an administrative assistant with Carol Drawe in 1997 working with the fixed income team. "My all time favorite memory is during the Christmas holiday I headed the Adopt An Angel project where employees would provide gifts for underprivileged children," recalls Tonya. "I relocated to Atlanta in 2013 with my group and it has been a great career move.  I’ve chosen to remain with the company because there are so many opportunities to learn and move to different parts of the company and the support the company provides."

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Manuel Castro, pictured in Las Vegas with his daughter, wife and his father, celebrated 27 years with the firm this year. Manuel is a Senior Derivatives Analyst in Portfolio Operations.  "In my 27 years with the firm, I have done settlements for Domestic, Foreign, Fixed Income, TBAs, Powershares and Money Market. "I am very blessed to still be working here," said Manuel. "Some of my fondest memories at AIM were the barbeques after reaching a billion in assets under management. The once a year picnic and most of all the Christmas party. But I also missed the quarterly meeting with Mr. Bauer( God rest his sole ) and then Mr. Bob Graham. I remember when I first started at AIM, Mr. Bauer came to our new employee orientation and took the time to meet us and tell us the beginning of AIM and how it was founded by Charles (Ted) Bauer, Bob Graham and Gary Crum. Now with the recent pandemic, I realized the importance of spending more time with family. I am very thankful to AIM Investments (AIM Family of Funds) for giving me the opportunity to start my investment career and still be working with Invesco."

Some of my fondest memories at AIM were the barbeques after reaching a billion in assets under management

Manuel Castro

When Connie Porter first applied at AIM, in April 1995, she was hoping to get a job working in the Training Department as that was her minor in college. "Unfortunately," said Connie, "I did not have the experience required for that job and was denied an interview. I contacted the HR Dept and told them I would appreciate the opportunity to talk to them in person as my resume may not show all the experience I actually had. The good news is they agreed and found a better fit for my skills in the IT Department as an 'Automation Specialist' for Legal and Compliance due to my Computer Configuration and Sales knowledge. Over the years, I've worn many hats, such as IT Support, Project Manager, Team Lead, Business Analyst and currently as a Principal Engineer (i.e., Software Developer) and … survived Y2K, multiple mergers, and system upgrades.  And, when I say survived, I mean we were busier than a one-armed paper hanger.  But those times allowed me to grow and learn as I might not have at a smaller firm.  So, for all my 26 years of ups and downs, I wouldn't change a thing and hope to retire in 7 years from my Invesco family."

Rhonda (Rowan) Kirkpatrick is currently a Compliance Manager for Communications Compliance at Invesco. She joined AIM in 1999, and is another of our colleagues celebrating 20 plus years with the firm.

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The company has often done a great job promoting from within...opening new doors for my career

Bryan Richardson

Bryan Richardson has been with the firm since 1995. He left in 1999 for several years to attend graduate school at The University of Texas, then returned to the firm in 2002. Bryan has been a Senior Client Portfolio Manager supporting the Diversified Dividend Team since 2021. "The two strengths that have kept me at AIM/Invesco for so many years are the people and continued career progression opportunities," said Bryan. "In terms of the people, many of my co-workers over the years have become some of my closest friends. We’ve been able to celebrate the most important things in life including weddings, the birth of children, kids graduating from high school and moving onto college, and retirement from Invesco and other firms. In terms of career progression opportunities, the company has often done a great job at promoting from within rather than going outside to fill positions, and that has always opened new doors for my career."

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Rudy Cabarrubia is a Client Relationship Manager covering Retirement and Insurance Partners. "I began my career with AIM Funds in 1999 in the Transfer Agent as a Representative within the AIM Summit Group," said Rudy. "This team was a subset of Client Services that had the primary responsibilities of supporting clients invested in the AIM Summit Fund. After holding several positions in the Transfer Agent I found my calling at AIM/Invesco when I accepted a position in 2004 with the Distributor’s Institutional Business Development team. My early experiences on this team helped lay the foundation to a long-term career as a Client Relationship Manager partnering with some of the firms largest and most tenured clients in the Retirement and Insurance space.

What has kept me at the firm has been the amazing people I've had the privilege of working with and the friendships buld over the years 

Ruby Cabarrubi

"What has kept me at the firm has been the amazing people I’ve had the privilege of working with and the friendships built over the years. Some of my closest friends today are with people I originally met at AIM. There have been a lot of fond memories during my time with AIM/Invesco from shooting free throws in the Summit arena during our $100 Billion milestone celebration to building lasting friendships with those in my new hire training class. However, the most special memory of all was meeting Lidia Resendiz for the first time in the lobby of 11 Greenway Plaza. I didn’t know it at the time, but she would later become my soulmate and mother to our daughter Roxana."

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Lidia is also still at the firm, coming up on 25 years. She is a Senior Compliance Officer - Trust. “ In 1999 I started off as an administrative assistant in the pricing group under the leadership of Mary Benson,” shared Lidia. “With the help of the firm, I was able to go back to school, earn my finance degree and move up to assistant manager. One of my highlights in that team was in 2012 when I was offered a 4-month secondment in London with their pricing team. I had never been overseas before, and it was an unforgettable experience! I even had a chance to have a pint with Jeff Andrews! In 2014, as part of the company’s mentorship program, I was able to recognize it was time for a change and fortunately landed in my current group – Invesco’s Distributor’s compliance team supporting Invesco’s Trust Company. I am grateful for the people I have met along the way, but there are no words to describe how I will forever be appreciative in meeting Rudy Cabarrubia. He solidified the definition of happiness for me.”

The two strengths that have kept me at AIM/Invesco are the people and the career progression

Bryan Richardson

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Joe Rodriguez shares that his whole career at Invesco was special. “I was blessed to spend 32 years with the same company, working with people who cared about one another,” said Joe. “Invesco and AIM was a special culture with special people that I will always treasure. Great leadership permeated through the company.”

Hired in 1990, Joe started with Invesco Real Estate. When at Invesco Real Estate Joe was instrumental in organizing and growing the REIT investment management business. He started with ten million under management and grew to over 20 billion dollars over his career. With the AIM and Invesco merger in 1997, Joe enthusiastically embraced the mutual fund colleagues he connected with, feeling that individual investors and financial advisors would be very important components of the industry and a much needed addition to what was previously an institutional book of business with Invesco . “I sat down with Mike Cemo and we created a plan to elevate the profile of a newly launched AIM Real Estate Fund. In the late 1990s, we launched the fund and it grew like gangbusters. AIM was known for a growth style of investing and when the tech bubble occurred, we were able to offer clients something more value oriented, like REITs.

I was blessed to spend 32 years with the same company

Joe Rodriguez

“I recall at one of our larger company gatherings that Ed Larsen stood up in front of the wholesalers and said ‘yall need to look at this.” “REITs look extremely well valued”. “To this day, I am extremely grateful to Ed for calling our industry to the attention of the wholesalers and from there, sales took off.” In 2002, we also launched a closed-end real estate fund that the wholesalers promoted and it became the largest Real Estate Closed End Mutual Fund in the country. The fund raised $600 million in equity in less than a month.”

Shifting into retirement mode, Joe is working as a volunteer with Project Destined. The purpose of the organization is to effect social change in the commercial real estate industry by providing college and high school students with training, mentoring, and networking opportunities. “Our mission is to raise the profile of the real estate industry and the available career opportunities to a more diverse group of students. We are also growing the interest in real estate by offering scholarships and internships that help address the economics of staying in school. As a guest speaker, I have the opportunity to reach many aspiring young people, and I have also agreed to be a mentor to a select group of students. It is not a one and done kind of thing. You have to be there as a source of encouragement. We are working to build world class leaders who will be able to contribute to the industry.”

Joe furthers this objective through his association with Nareit (National Association of Real Estate Trust) to financially support the diversification effort. DDEI, Dividends through Diversity, Equity and Inclusion helps the industry improve diversity among member companies. Joe serves as a judge on some of the programs, offering feedback to companies. “Through that avenue, and through that lens, I offer suggestions on what can be done.”

The purpose of the organization is to effect social change

Joe Rodriguez

In 2014, Beverly Cobble Rodriguez and Joe generously endowed the Beverly Cobble Rodriguez Lectureship Fund supporting women's education and global leadership. The endowment enables the Women’s Center at the University of VIrginia to host an annual lecture on women’s education and global leadership with a special emphasis on healthcare, multi-national business, and the liberal arts.

“Every day there is something to do and make myself useful to the community. One of the reasons I retired at 62 was to spend more time with my family which I am absolutely doing and to devote my time to causes that are close to my heart.”

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Alan Gray’s career has been one of what he calls gratifying experiences. He shares that AIM was one of the best career experiences of my life. “I have so many great memories of the people and the company,” said Alan. “I was there for 10 years and worked for Gordon Sprague as one of the three Regional Sales Managers in the Independent and Insurance Dealer Division.” Alan is pictured with Roger Ibbotson at one of the Senior Market conferences they attended.  "The story behind Roger Ibbotson is we used to use his stock market charts in our literature and presentations at AIM to show why it made so much sense to invest in the stock market," said Alan. 

Alan left Wellesley Investment Advisors in 2018 and formed his own Medicare Insurance Advisory Practice which has also been one of the most gratifying experiences. “I help both people going on Medicare for the first time or people already on Medicare to make sure they are on the best plan for them.

Ironically, I started the practice using the insurance licenses I obtained while I was at AIM

Alan Gray

I have helped over 500 people since I started and hope to continue doing this for the rest of my life! No retirement for me! Learn more about what Alan does. Ironically, I started this practice using the insurance licenses I obtained while I was at AIM so we could have our mutual funds inside of various insurance company variable annuities. I kept the licenses current, never knowing why. I literally woke up in the middle of the night when I first became eligible for Medicare and said to my wife Niki, I have to start a practice to help people with Medicare. It is so complicated; I don’t know how people do it on their own! I then went through the proper certification and training and the rest is history!”

Maria "Connie" Ramirez

November 30, 1944 - July 26, 2023

Ramirez

Maria “Connie” Ramirez, 78 of Houston, passed away on July 26, 2023. She was born on November 30, 1944 in El Campo to the late Tomas and Juanita Mireles Delgado. 

Connie worked for over 20 years as the first friendly face visitors would see at AIM Management, the receptionist. She is fondly remembered by many AIM Alumni to this day. Pictured during their time at the firm are Julie Bell, with Connie and Nina Smith. "Connie was such a sweet and funny lady. We had such a great times together at AIM," remembers Nina Smith.

Following her career with AIM, she began a new chapter in caregiving for the elderly.

Ramirez

She is cherished to this day by the many families she helped and touched.

Connie enjoyed cooking delicious meals with her family, spending time with her grandsons, listening to Andrew playing guitar and gambling in Lake Charles and Las Vegas.

She is survived by daughter, Emily Bradley and husband David of Houston; son, Christopher Ramirez of Houston; grandchildren, Eddie Shaw, Brittany Johnson and husband Joshua, and Andrew Bradley; great-grandchildren, Madison, Kayla, Victoria Amanda Lorraine and Grant Johnson; sisters, Nately Delgado and husband Rito Montalvo; brothers, Gilbert Delgado and wife Maria of Danevang and Thomas Delgado and wife Ellie of Houston.

Connie is preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Mandy Shaw; brother, Elias Delgado, and sisters, Carmel McDonald and Janie D. Guel.

Rosary will begin at 10AM, Monday, July 31, 2023 followed by a funeral mass at 11AM at St. Robert’s Catholic Church. Burial will be at Holy Cross Memorial Park.

Pallbearers will be Geoff Cope, Anthony Delgado, Matthew Montalvo, Jaxon Cope, Thomas Delgado, David Bradley, Chris Ramirez and Tristan Harper.

Condolences may be shared online at www.triskafuneralhome.com

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Maria "Connie" Ramirez please visit our Sympathy Store.

 
Read the obituary.
 
Visit the AIM Funds Friends Facebook page for more tributes including these:
Herb Henion posted to Connie's daughter Emily: "Your Mom was one of the sweetest people. She always had a smile on her face, and a kind word. Very sorry for your family's loss."
 
Susan Jones also commented that Connie was one of the sweetest.