Brooke G. Tiller is engaging as she masterfully reflects the vibrancy and warmth of her profession, which is sometimes considered as a job solely focused on cold numbers against a backdrop of black and red. Tiller is chief financial planner, senior vice president at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. Her concern for people and the community are the primary reasons she finds banking so motivating and exciting.
“It’s not about the numbers, it’s about the people; I handle generations of people,” Tiller says. “A snapshot of these generations includes someone with significant resources who has never balanced a checkbook; a retired person interested in philanthropy; parents budgeting for college; and someone providing care for her parents and children at the same time,” she says.
“It’s all about family dynamics, personalities and how I’m able to work with them, and the secret to that is communication. It’s talking and sharing and that’s not something that always comes easily for families…and I get to help facilitate conversations,” says Tiller.
“On the wealth side of the world, to continue from one generation to the next generation is difficult. That’s what we do—we affect generations.”
Affecting generations is not only reserved for her work with Wells Fargo but it flows over into her love for the community. Says Tiller, “When you’re a banker, there is an expectation that you will get involved in the community. It may begin with someone starting his first United Way experience and that may be a first conversation exposure.”
One of Tiller’s first exposures was in 1992 when she joined the Rotary Club of Oyster Point. There, she had more than 70 mentors who were giving back to the community in a significant way. “It started there and it has taken different paths as I do my philanthropy,” says Tiller.
Three years ago, she co-founded Impact 100 of the Greater Peninsula.
Its purpose was to support nonprofits in their goals to raise awareness of issues in the community and to provide resources to make a substantial impact.
Says Tiller, “Nonprofits are the people in this community who day-to-day see the problems we have, the challenges we face and the opportunities that await us. For them, trying to handle those problems and raise money at the same time is extremely difficult. It’s fundraising and mission on any given day.”
In the past two years, the organization has distributed $200,000—two $50,000 grant awards presented each year. The next “Big Give” happens on September 18 at Hampton Roads Academy, where two more nonprofits will be awarded $50,000 each.
“Each year, we get more than 20 grant requests. We then review the grants and pick the best five or six nonprofits to go on stage and present their stories in front of members who vote on what we should do.” This process allows participants to highlight their issue, what they are trying to accomplish and how Impact 100 of the Greater Peninsula can benefit them.
Impact 100 consists of more than 150 members who are primarily women. The membership is open to all who want to learn more about the community and want to help.
“We have a great community, but there are things we have to address. It may be homelessness; it may be human trafficking; it may be reading, writing, basic life-skills; or it may be job training. There are so many things that this community needs. You can’t hit them all and that’s why it takes a lot of people working together,” says Tiller.
Tiller’s mother and daughter participated last year as a team and will do so again. Tiller reflects, “When we first started Impact, my daughter wanted to give to puppies and kitties. My mom, a social worker, wanted to address human needs. As I watch my daughter learn about other community needs, Impact 100 is a safe environment in which she can explore and grow.” Smiles Tiller, “That’s generational.”
TO THE POINT:
Brooke G. Tiller, CFP, senior vice president Wells Fargo, LLC
Address: 600 Thimble Shoals Blvd., Ste. 100, Newport News, VA 23606
For Information on Impact 100 of the Greater Peninsula, contact:
Peninsula Community Foundation
48 W. Queens Way, Hampton VA 23669