HOLBROOK, N.Y. (June 16, 2020) — American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (AP)—a privately-held, independent broker/dealer that provides business solutions and support to financial advisors throughout America—is proud to formally announce its two-year funding commitment to establish the “AP for LIFE” Creative Residency with LIFE Arts, Inc., the non-profit arm of LIFE Creative Group, which is dedicated to providing youth with a platform wherein they can fully express and develop their creative voices. This initiative is made possible through The American Portfolios Foundation, Inc. and is designed to help usher in a neo-classical urban renaissance to Ferguson, Mo., where the LIFE Arts headquarters is based.
“American Portfolios believes actions speak louder than words,” states AP CEO Lon T. Dolber. “We have always been committed to serving people and places we are connected to through our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts, which allow us to make positive change—not solely with words or donations, but by contributing time and resources. Our hope is that by being good corporate citizens, we help to make the world a better place for everyone. The goal of our work with LIFE Arts is to assist young entrepreneurs so that through good stewardship they, in turn, will foster talent within their communities and serve as role models for generations to come.”
“Over the years we have discovered that no one makes it on their own; it takes a community of support and encouragement,” states Brian Owens, executive director of LIFE Arts, well-known musician and resident of Ferguson. “Today’s youth will play vital leadership roles in helping bring resolution to current issues facing the local community, as well as the nation. It’s our mission, with help from partners like American Portfolios, to ensure that the necessary resources and infrastructure are made accessible to young people in our local community, as well as those within our reach. We feel extremely blessed to be partnered with a company that understands and believes in this mission and is willing to take action.”
Initial planning for the “AP for LIFE” Creative Residency began in the fourth quarter of 2019, with a phased rollout commencing in January 2020 and set to continue through 2022. The residency comprises a comprehensive community engagement that facilitates training and development of young creatives and influencers. Together, through AP’s CSR platform, the firm and LIFE Arts engage young creatives and entrepreneurs as they develop new media and content designed to bring hope and healing across generations.
Funding for the “AP for LIFE” Creative Residency establishes five fellowships for promising talent within the Ferguson community, including mentors and entrepreneurs: artist, singer and songwriter Malena Smith; director and speaker Timothy J. Moore, aka T.Moore; artist and producer Joshua “Paco” Lee; videographer and editor Mike Bland, aka Elevated Eyez; and artist and creative Cecil McLendon, aka Nostalgic Tribe. Each of the residents receive a yearly stipend and a small investment account—which will be managed personally by a dedicated AP-affiliated financial advisor who serves as their mentor—with the aim to establish their financial legacy. “Being an ‘AP for LIFE’ Artist in Residence holds so much significance to me,” imparts Joshua “Paco” Lee. “It has given me complete freedom in terms of creativity and entrepreneurship. In addition, it has given me opportunities to serve through my gifts in music and the arts. I also look forward to learning more about financial literacy and investments from our partners at AP. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!” Owens, Dolber, LIFE Arts Associate Director Darius Williams and several nationally recognized artists, entrepreneurs and business leaders serve as mentors.
The firm also looks forward to upcoming “AP for LIFE” Creative Residency programming that will involve resident-student collaborations, including members of The Butterfly Effect Project (Riverhead, N.Y.), Gateway Music Outreach (St. Louis, Mo.) and Girl Conductor (St. Louis, Mo.). The alliances are designed to generate meaningful creative experiences for middle and high school students in both Ferguson and throughout Long Island, N.Y. Each of the residents will present their projects and experiences at AP’s annual national conference, Connections 2020, to be held in October.
About American Portfolios
Headquartered in Holbrook, N.Y., American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) is a full-service, independent broker/dealer and member firm of FINRA and SIPC, offering a complete range of financial services, including personal financial and retirement planning, securities trading, mutual funds, access to investment research, long-term care planning, insurance products and tax-free investing. Fee-based asset management is offered through its sister subsidiary, American Portfolios Advisors, Inc., (APA), an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Both entities, along with technology entity American Portfolios Advisory Solutions, LLC, collectively reside under the legal entity American Portfolios Holdings, Inc. (APH). Full-service securities brokerage is available through a clearing firm relationship with Pershing, LLC, a BNY Mellon firm, the securities of which are held on a fully disclosed basis. The company currently supports 847 independent investment professionals—inclusive of registered assistants—and more than 375 non-registered associates, located in 397 branch locations throughout the nation. It was named Broker-Dealer of the Year* (Division III) by Investment Advisor magazine for five consecutive years (2015-2019); a WealthManagement.com 2019 Industry Award Finalist in the category of Enhanced Customer Service Support**; one of the Best Companies to Work for in the state of New York for five consecutive years (2016-2020) by the New York State Society for Human Resources Management (NYS-SHRM) and the Best Companies Group (BCG); and one of the Top Long Island Workplaces for 2018 and 2019 by Newsday.
* Based on a poll of registered representatives conducted by Investment Advisor magazine. Broker/dealers rated highest by their representatives are awarded “Broker/Dealer (B/D) of the Year.”
** Wealthmanagement.com Industry Award finalists are selected by a panel of independent judges made up of subject matter experts in the industry. Award is based on support provided to AP’s affiliated people and does not reflect public customers nor their account performance.
About American Portfolios Foundation, Inc.
American Portfolios Foundation, Inc. (APF), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that was originally created in New York in 2004 and amended in 2018 and headquartered in Holbrook, N.Y., is intended as a non-profit entity designed to advance awareness, assistance and support for charitable causes. Board members include AP CEO Lon T. Dolber, president; AP Chief Administrative Officer Dalchand Laljit, vice president; and AP Chief Financial Officer Damon Joyner, treasurer/secretary. Additionally, various roles are held by members of AP headquarters staff. The board meets on a quarterly basis to discuss its existing relationships with various charities and to determine the focus for various upcoming initiatives that will require the Foundation’s services and support.
Support through the APF includes: World T.E.A.M. (team-oriented events for adaptive and able-bodied athletes); The Center for Discovery (health care and education services for those with complex medical conditions); Virtual Enterprises International, Inc. (experiential learning program for future business leaders); Honor Flight – Long Island (escorts war veterans free of charge to Washington, D.C.); The Butterfly Effect Project (empowers Black school girls to bring forth a generation of strong, independent and knowledgeable women); Long Island Cares (provides food and support services to the local community), and The Patchogue Theatre for Performing Arts (cultural community resource that collaborates with neighboring organizations and fosters educational opportunities).
About LIFE Arts, Inc.
LIFE Arts, Inc. is 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides artistic resources, opportunities, mentoring and positive experiences to help students develop the qualities and skills they need to live up to their God-given potential. The organization believes that, through the leadership skills and discipline of the arts, the youth of St. Louis can be a driving force, modeling the change that we all so desperately desire to see manifest.
About Brian Owens
A resident of Ferguson, Mo., Brian Owens works tirelessly to uplift the community and provide hope through the gift and beauty of music. Owens has an extensive performance history that includes national television appearances, including Entertainment Tonight, FOX & Friends, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and more. He has also performed at the White House, as well as the 2011 MLB National League Championship Series and World Series. In 2017, a YouTube video of him performing “A Change is Gonna Come” went viral and has garnered more than 28 million views. In addition to serving as the community music artist in residence with the E. Desmond Lee Fine Arts Collaborative at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Owens is the executive director of LIFE Arts, Inc.