Blog

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.

BR

“As always, the happy hour events are a fun way to reconnect with colleagues and catch up on old times!" shared Tien San Lucas. "As I left the event that night, I felt  blessed to have worked with so many individuals that made AIM a success. I will always be grateful for the founders of AIM and the legacy they created.”

"I had no idea when I stepped off the elevator on the 19th floor for my job interview that I’d be starting down a 17-year career path with AIM," said Laura Thompson. "I enjoyed those years and truly feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people.  I enjoy catching up with friends and former colleagues at the AIM happy hours and sharing stories and memories.  Good times!"

BR

"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!"

"It was a real pleasure to see my AIM family again after so many years," said Jose Melgar."We reminisced about many things that took place while AIM was growing." Currently retired, Jose's final position at AIM was Senior Business Analyst. Jose was at the firm from 1989 to 2005. 

BR

BR

In addition to AIM colleagues gathering at Kirby Ice House, Kelly Moneyhan, Dress for Success, Houston was there to meet supporters, including Gary Crum who is a major benefactor. We also thank our members who donated generously. Little did we know that Kelly would also act as parking attendant! Thank you Kelly for the work you do!

BR

Gina Parthum was AVP of Operations when she left the firm in 2007. Gina launched Scarlet Rose Designs from her home in Colorado. She has recently returned to the Houston area and attended the happy hour. Gina started out as a Client Services Representative when she joined AIM in 1991. She stayed in the Transfer Agency her entire career and finished as an Assistant Vice President in Operations. "I have a jewelry business where I divide my time between Rosenberg, Texas and Frisco, Colorado" said Gina. You can see my work at my website."

BR

Bill Kamman was with Invesco for 12 years from 1994 until 2006. Bill shares that 11 of those years were in the Transfer Agency, primarily as a manager in the Operations Development team under Tony Green and later Bill Galvin following the Invesco merger. "I played a big part in managing the data migration from First Data to DST as well as migrating to a new broker and shareholder statement and check printing vendor," said Bill.

"It was such a great time reconnecting and reminiscing at the event with key leaders from my time at AIM. These people were instrumental in my professional development at AIM and positioned me for success in my post-AIM career. They are truly an inspiring group of people!"

These people were instrumental in my professional development and positioned me for success Bill Kamman

The AIM Alumni happy hour was the place to be

John Matejka

The happy hour events are a fun way to reconnect with colleagues and catch up on old times!Tien San Lucas

BR

It was a fantastic reunion

Linda Julian

AIM employees volunteered with Dress for Success for many years, and this year, Dress for Success kindly opened their parking lot when we gathered 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.
 

Terri Fiedler is President and CEO of AIG Financial Distributors, the sales and distribution organization for AIG Life & Retirement. In this role, Terri oversees sales for the entire spectrum of protection, retirement savings and lifetime income solutions across a broad range of distribution channels.

Terri's first job in the Financial Services industry was with AIM as a marketing specialist (internal wholesaler) in 1993 before she was promoted to Key Account Manager in 1995. “I’ll never forget Patti Hefley helping me with formatting my resume before I was to interview with B.J. Thompson,” recalls Terri.

The founders and senior leadership at AIM ensured employees could earn increased responsibility and new roles

Terri Fiedler

B.J. hired Terri, and she was ready to prove herself as a Marketing Specialist. For the next nearly 20 years, Terri primarily focused on National Accounts for AIM and then Invesco, building up an impressive roster of wins and adding increasing levels of management responsibility. Then, in 2012, Terri joined AIG Life & Retirement as Executive Vice President, Strategic Accounts and began her role as CEO of AIG Financial Distributors in May 2019.

2021 Outstanding Woman in Banking and Finance

The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston recognized Terri as an Outstanding Woman in Banking and Finance at its largest annual fundraising event in Houston last year. The organization's mission of helping women and girls make choices toward becoming independent, productive and financially stable is a cause that Terri is passionate about.

“The Women’s Resource has created so many fantastic programs and tools to help women gain the financial skills and knowledge they need to improve their lives,” Terri notes. “I was so thankful to receive this recognition from an incredible organization that does such important work across the Houston community.”

Supporting Women in Financial Services

Terri’s leadership style has always been an inclusive, culture-driven one. She consistently demonstrates a willingness to share her expertise with others, particularly with female professionals.

I frequently encourage women to identify career opportunities that look like a stretch, but are actually a challenge they are ready to take on

Terri Fiedler

“The founders and senior leadership at AIM ensured employees could earn increased responsibility and new roles, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to achieve so much with AIM,” reflects Terri. “Still, the story across financial services is one where more senior levels of management become increasingly male-dominated. Clients would benefit from more female leaders throughout our industry.”

Several years ago, Fiedler worked with her colleagues at AIG Life & Retirement to create the Women in Distribution networking group. The group has become a setting for female colleagues to build relationships and help one another enhance their careers.

Clients would benefit from more female leaders throughout our industry

Terri Fiedler

“One of the most significant moments in my career at AIM was when I became a Key Account Manager,” reflects Terri. “As I was considering this role, it felt far beyond what I was ready for at that time. Without the encouragement of my mentors and my husband, I might not have gone through with the application. Now, I frequently encourage women to identify career opportunities that look like a stretch, but are actually a challenge they are ready to take on.”

Today, the AIG networking group includes hundreds of colleagues across all levels in the organization. “It’s been such a pleasure to see so many women take advantage of our Women in Distribution Network to grow their professional careers,” says Terri. “Across our industry, we’ve seen many positive steps taken around diversity and I intend to do what I can to continue this progress in the years to come.”