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Spotlight on AIM Alumni

Stories like these keep our community vibrant. Share a story today.

This was another great year at the Kirby Ice House! Thank you everyone, for coming along. Log on to see the pictures.

"The AIM Alumni Happy Hour was the place to be," said John Matejka. "It was an amazing opportunity to reconnect with old colleagues and reminisce about the good old days! The sight of familiar faces, some of whom I hadn't seen in years, immediately brought back so many wonderful memories. It was great connecting with Lisa Canavespe “Cantu”, Matt Canavespe, Greg Kallus, Jessica Laird, and so many others! AIM was my first real job out of college back in ’96. I am immensely thankful for the opportunity AIM gave me to grow professionally and to have been surrounded by so many amazing and talented people. The event reminded me of all the Happy Hours we had after working the phones all day (which was a lot). Thank you all for the incredible memories!"

The AIM Alumni happy hour was the place to be

John

 

With more than 200 of our members having worked at the firm for twenty years or more, this blog story and the newsletter will feature stories from our members about their time with the firm.

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

Bryan Richardson

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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. 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."

MCVegas

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."

BR

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."

family

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.”

AIM employees volunteered with Dress for Success for many years, and on April 27, 2023, we are grateful to Dress for Success for allowing us to use their parking lot when we gather at Kirby Ice House. 

As a thank you, we are sharing stories of AIM Alumni who support Dress for Success, both presently, and from their time at AIM. To donate to Dress for Success or to learn about how you can support their mission, click here.

Angie Eason joined AIM in 1998 and says she “grew up at AIM”. “I was around employee number 800,” said Angie. “It was an incredible growth year. During my early years at AIM, I got married, had both my children and made friends whom I remain close to today. There was great camaraderie at the firm, and I learned what it was like to work in a big company.”

Angie currently 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.

Angie started in HR at AIM, and moved to the transfer agency. She experienced how women were getting real opportunities at AIM, and she had women to look up to, and to emulate. “I was encouraged to try new things and I was supported by my leaders. This helped me throughout my career and I carry through these experiences today. It was a great time in my life and shaped how I work today.”

Kristy Bradshaw and her husband, Chris have been involved with Dress for Success since 2012. Kristy is a member of the Advisory Council, and her husband Chris was on the Board of Directors for 10 years, and is currently on the Advisory Council.

We believe strongly in the power of education and the role of women in lifting up families

Kristy Bradshaw

"I became involved with DFSH 15 years ago by joining Women of Wardrobe (WOW), their young professional group. Lauren Levicki Courville is a dear friend, and she brought me into the organization. I was on the WOW board for many years and then joined the advisory board. My husband, Chris, was on the board of DFSH for a number of years and became their Chair."

We both believe strongly in the power of education and the role of women in lifting up families, specifically that changing the trajectory of the lives of the clients that DFSH serves, changes not only their immediate families but also their surrounding community.

Kristy was a part of the Dividend Value team for fourteen years, and left the firm in August 2020. "For the past 2+ years, I've been serving on a number of non-profit boards (Houston Ballet, Hermann Park Conservancy, Dress for Success Houston, Southern Smoke Foundation, River Oaks Baptist School). I recently joined the Nationwide Mutual Fund board and have greatly enjoyed getting back in the investing world but from a different capacity than before," said Kristy.

 

Janice Wheelwright Griffin started volunteering with Dress for Success decades ago when she worked at AIM. “At first, they did a suit drive at AIM in which I participated, and then I began volunteering at their center,” said Janice. “I taught financial literacy classes, or I would help out as needed.” Financial literacy became my passion because at AIM, we were educating advisors and teaching them to educate their clients. I thought everyone should know about mutual funds, saving for retirement, and yet this information is not readily available. Having two working class parents, I was taught to get a good job and save my money. I was not introduced to a world about investing or how to save beyond bonds.”

The emphasis placed on education and training was phenomenal. I soaked up so much. We were always learning

Janice Wheelwright-Griffin

Janice is currently a Financial Coach at Houston Community College and remains active in the community, including her involvement with Dress for Success. Mr Bauer was about the people are the product and the product is the people. The emphasis placed on education and training was phenomenal to me. I soaked up so much. We were always learning, and everything expanded our learning and knowledge. To this day, it is one of the greatest places I have worked.” Janice is also involved in the Young Life program which is hosted by Women’s Resource. “I go into public high schools and talk to students about financial literacy,” said Janice. “A cohort of students interested in financial literacy join in freshman year and go through to their senior year. Lunch is provided by Women’s Resource and I participate in the career panel and teach budgeting classes.”

 

Your (AIM Alumni) generosity throughout the years enabled us to empower more than 46,000 women

Kelly Moneyhan, Director of Development, DFS Houston
"While it all started with the suit 25 years ago with our incredible Co-Founders, Nancy Levicki and Susie Cunningham, we have evolved because of their passion, learning our women’s needs, and our incredible supporter’s investments to support our continued growth" said Kelly Moneyhan, DFS Houston Director of Development. "While we partner with United Way and government agencies, we do not receive funding through them. It is through your commitment, support, and passion AIM Alumni, that we will continue to empower the women of Houston. Your generosity throughout the years enabled us to empower more than 46,000 women with professional attire, and programs such as Financial Literacy, Health and Wellness, Scholarships, Mentoring, and Veteran Workshops. We are proud to be much more beyond the suit."

We are proud to be so much more than the suit

Kelly Moneyhan

 

Richard Berry

October 11, 1944 - November 13, 2022

Berry

Dick Berry passed away at 78 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Dick was Chief investment Officer of municipal bond investing at AIM and then Invesco where he worked for 25 years. He then joined other AIM Alumni at Brasada Capital for 10 years, where he was a Fixed Income Portfolio Manager. Dick was witty, hardworking, and compassionate towards everyone, and he saw a great return because of this throughout his life.

"Our teammate and great friend Dick Berry passed away on November 13th" said Mark McMeans. "What I most hear about Dick from those of us that knew him is "what a great guy", "what a gentleman he was", and how he had such a calmness about him despite having to face so much tragedy in his personal life. Professionally, he probably forgot more about municipal bonds than what I knew and he taught me a lot. He managed our municipal bond private accounts at Brasada for 10 1/2 years and had terrific track records for the twenty-five years he was at AIM. He loved that Ted used to call a bond that Dick would buy "A Berry Bond", meaning that it was a rock-solid position you could hold for years and not have to worry about. Dick was a loyal AIM guy and other than pictures of his family, his office was adorned with pictures, momentos and money management awards from the AIM years. He will be missed."
 
"Dick was one of my very favorite people in the world - I'm so blessed to have known him - we remained close and talked often," posted Patti Hefley. "The world is a lesser place without him. Rest easy, my friend."
 
Jonathan Schoolar posted that Dick was such a gentleman. Always calm, always professional, a complete team player, just a fine human and colleague. Another of the "Great AIMers".
 
Linda Julian, who worked with Dick at AIM and at Brasada, posted this story about Dick with Karla Siemens permission. "I hope you all enjoy this story as it also reflects the type of company AIM was," posted Linda. "A great story about Dick that reflected his humor, warmth, and humility. I had a morning meeting with Judy Creel. Upon arrival, I noticed that Judy was visibly upset. When I asked her what was wrong, she explained that she was taking canned goods to a food bank drop off center before coming to work. On her way there, a bunny ran out in front of her car, and she hit it. It was dark and she didn’t know if she killed it but knew that she had. I could tell that she was out of sorts and wanted to try to cheer her up some way. Then the idea came to me…. I had just been at The Ritz-Carlton for a meeting, and they had just had their Easter Celebration, which included an Easter Bunny costume. I asked them if we could borrow it for a few hours, which they said absolutely – if we didn’t mind that it hadn’t been washed since being worn the day before. No problem, I said! AIM had also just rolled out their new health insurance plan, which had been a huge undertaking by Judy and her HR team…. Now to find someone tall enough and fun enough to play their part of my plan – and who would forgive that the costume wasn’t “fresh”. Instantly, I thought of Dick. He was always so laid back and ready for a joke or story. I went into Dick’s office and told him what happened and how upset she was. The big ask, would he dress up in the Bunny costume hop into her office and explain that his friend was only wounded but lucky for him AIM has great new health insurance, so his injuries were being treated and all was well! I have to admit that Dick was no push over and it took some convincing and a bottle of wine as well, but he did finally agree to it. He donned the costume and was ready to play his part. What we didn’t know is that Ted Bauer was in Judy’s office when the prank was put into place. So, here’s poor Dick hopping into Judy’s office, gives his speech about the bunny only being hurt and is now being treated with AIM’s new insurance coverage, all the while not realizing that behind him sitting on the couch was Ted Bauer. Luckily both burst out laughing and Judy’s sadness was eased. Ted, being Ted, congratulated Dick on his performance as-well! We worked for an amazing company that was amazing because of the people that worked there. I will always have Dick and many other lovely people in my heart. Here’s to a good man who we’ve lost too early. Love and Hugs….."
 
In lieu of a service, the family asks that donations go to Hope for the Day. A non-profit movement empowering the conversation on proactive suicide prevention and mental health education.
 
 
Visit the AIM Funds Friends Facebook page for more tributes including these:
Polly Ahrendts posted: "I am very sad to hear of Dick's Passing. I remember when he joined AIM sometime in the late 1980's. We worked in the Fixed Income Dep't together. He was such a hoot. Always had time for anyone and was kind. I enjoyed our Friday afternoon confabs in the corner of the 19th floor, where he usually got the best of me. Sending heartfelt condolences."
 
James Burke Bradford posted that "Dick was the first professional colleague to guide me to challenge the text books when it came to financial credit analysis. Loved him for that insight .. I always wanted to work for him"
 
Andrew Price shared that "One favorite memory I have of Dick Berry was the response he wrote (in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine) to criticism from John Bogle (founder of Vanguard) of the AIM Muni Bond fund...I can't remember the entire response, but in it, he told Mr. Bogle something to the effect of "...read the objective set forth in the prospectus" and he'll see that the AIM Muni-Bond achieved exactly what the objective was. (I would have loved to have seen John Bogle's face reading Dick's perfect response to the erroneous criticism he had spouted the month before in Kiplinger's..)."

Hamen Patel

1961-2022

PatelHarsh Gupta shared that Hamen Patel, a loving husband, father, brother, uncle, and friend, passed away on September 10, 2022 at the age of 61. Although his passing comes as a shock, it followed a long and full life. He will be sadly missed. Harsh joined AIM in 2000 and worked in the IT Department.
 
To plant a memorial tree in honor of Hamen Bapubhai Patel, please visit Heartfelt Sympathies Store.