For the past five years, the Texas A&M Foundation Office of Gift Planning has hosted its annual Women, Wealth & Wisdom (WWW) workshop, encouraging women of all ages and stages in life to take ownership of their finances and plan for their futures. The event returns May 19 in College Station, and attendees can expect presentations and breakout sessions from experts in a variety of fields, ranging from social security and investing to financial advising and motivational speaking.
April Hampton Perez, estate planning and charitable giving guru, was a featured breakout session speaker at the WWW workshop in 2013. She serves as senior director of development for Southwestern University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in political science in 1989. She later went on to earn her master’s degree in social work from the University of Houston.
Perez’s presentation focused on making a positive change in the world, touching on the importance of estate planning, benefitting family members and giving back to charitable organizations.
“Deciding you have enough and can give some away is a hard decision, and sometimes women feel they don’t have the power or the necessary means to give,” said Perez.
“Not everyone knows how to be philanthropic. But, women can make a big difference with their pocketbook and they don’t have to choose between charity and their family – they can support both.”
The daughter of an elementary school teacher and college professor, Perez spent a lot of time on college campuses, learning about the importance and benefits of higher learning. She developed a knack for helping people discover their passions and consequentially helping them find ways to support what they love.
“It wasn’t any surprise that my career took me in this direction,” said Perez. “I’m passionate about education and the transformative effects it has on individuals. It’s truly a game changer.”
After graduating from Southwestern, Perez began her passion and career in fundraising for United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast. Her career would bring her back to Southwestern as part of the university’s development team, then to the University of Texas in the Office of Gift Planning and then back to Southwestern to accept her current position in the development office.
The WWW conference is specifically targeted to empower women, including women in transitional periods of life, to support and plan for their families’ futures. “I’ve seen too many women unaware of the assets they have and confused on how to manage them if something happened to their spouse, husband or themselves,” said Perez.
“Women need to be educated, especially since they own a large percent of businesses in this country. But, whether they are running a corporation, a household or both, women need to understand the importance of financial planning and how to do it.”
While Perez’s breakout session was centered on estate planning, other sessions in years past have focused on investment practices, budgeting for bucket lists, senior care options, the beauty of being different, the power of female friendships and more.
The WWW workshop gives women the opportunity to engage with and learn from each other through shared stories and experiences while learning beneficial information regarding financial and estate planning.
The 2017 Women, Wealth & Wisdom workshop takes place on May 19 at The Stella Hotel in Bryan, Texas. Because breakfast and lunch will be served, registration is required for this free event. To hear from other speakers like Melanie Shankle or to find more information and register, please visit www.txamfoundation.com/www.