HOLBROOK, N.Y. (March 15, 2022)—American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (AP)—a privately-held, independent broker/dealer that services financial advisors across the country—sponsored the 11th annual Virtual Enterprises International (VEI) Long Island Regional Business Plan Competition finals, which were later followed by an online recognition ceremony for the 40 student teams hailing from high schools located throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.
“American Portfolios is committed to doing good work within our community,” states CEO Lon T. Dolber. “One of the ways we give back is through sponsoring non-profit organizations that create educational opportunities for the nation’s future workforce. I look at mentoring and internships as a two-way street; while students gain a great deal from working within our organization, we also gain a vast amount from working with VEI students who provide us with fresh, new perspectives.”
“We thank AP for their tremendous commitment to VEI and the students we serve,” states VEI Founder Iris Blanc. Now in its 25th year, VEI is a non-profit organization (NPO) that offers in-school experiential learning programs for high school students to form entrepreneurial, start-up businesses within a live global, simulated setting. AP has enjoyed a rewarding partnership with VEI since 2014 that has proven mutually beneficial in many ways. Says Blanc, “We are grateful to them for always being present at competitions and events to provide an inspiring story to our students who come away every year moved by AP’s journey and achievements. We look forward to continuing a beautiful relationship with AP that will bring VEI students a new level of learning.”
Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s competition was held virtually. AP sponsored the Long Island Regional Business Plan Competition finals, held Feb. 15 – 16, which hosted 40 VEI teams from local high schools. Volunteer judges were asked to read students’ executive summaries, listen to their business plan presentations and provide feedback during a moderated Q&A.
Dozens of AP staff members, affiliated colleagues and friends of the firm volunteered their time to help judge the virtual presentations given by VEI teams from local high schools, an experience all involved found extremely rewarding. “It is inspiring to see the unique and innovative ideas that the students come up with, as well as the amount of work they put into building and marketing their businesses,” states AP-affiliated investment professional Donna LaScala, RFC®, CDFA® (Comprehensive Divorce Solutions, LLC | Port Washington, N.Y.). “It was a pleasure to judge this year’s competition and share my own experience as an entrepreneur and small business owner with these bright, young people to help guide them to the next phase of their potential business careers.”
Founder and Chief Visionary Officer Tijuana Fulford of The Butterfly Effect Project, an AP-sponsored NPO that empowers at-risk youth in Long Island, concurs. “This was my first time judging a VEI competition; what an experience! Each presentation allowed me to see another group of tomorrow’s brightest. I was quickly engaged and captivated. I walked away feeling not just proud of the kids, but inspired by them.”
On March 2, 2022, AP also sponsored the Long Island VE Business Plan Competition Recognition Ceremony, an event that was held live over Zoom and featured an engaging address from CEO Lon T. Dolber, followed by a student-led Q&A. Thereafter, VEI formally announced the Top 10 teams moving on to the U.S. National Championships that will be held April 4 – 7 in New York, New York.
AP looks forward to continuing its support of VEI throughout the year with internship and mentoring opportunities at its corporate offices.
About American Portfolios
Headquartered in Holbrook, New York, 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 supports independent investment professionals—inclusive of registered assistants and non-registered associates—throughout the nation.
American Portfolios has numerous recognitions by a number of industry publications and organizations. Such acknowledgment includes: multiple Broker-Dealer of the Year* (Division III) wins by Investment Advisor magazine; multiple ThinkAdvisor LUMINARIES awards; multiple finalist and award wins by WealthManagement.com Industry Award in multiple categories**; Corporate Citizen of the Year by Long Island Business News; multiple top placements as one of the Best Companies to Work for in the state of New York 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.
* 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 Virtual Enterprises
VEI is a non-profit organization that provides experiential learning programs to schools across Long Island and beyond. Through their live global business simulation, students are offered a competitive edge through project-based collaborative learning that allows them to create and operate every facet of a virtual business. This program helps students develop 21st-century skills in entrepreneurship, global business, problem solving, communications, personal finance and technology.