Thanks to all who nominated themselves or a sister WIFS member for Woman of the Year 2022! Attendees at the 2022 National Conference will vote for the winner at the Awards and Accolades Luncheon on Friday, September 30. Want a voice in picking the winner? Register for Conference today!


Bobbi Barbera  Bobbi Barbera



Los Angeles



Financial Advisor, Waddell & Reed


WIFS Member Since:



Contributions to WIFS and the Industry:

  • Has served on the WIFS Los Angeles Chapter board as president, vice president, secretary, program chair and all other offices except treasurer. Remains active with the chapter in a leadership role
  • Moderator of the chapter’s Women’s Forum
  • Serves on the board of NAIFA-Los Angeles and helped it achieve Gold status as the best chapter in the state of California in 2020 – the first time since 2010
  • Shares the WIFS story with NAIFA-Los Angeles and Foothills chapters and with other professionals at every opportunity
  • Attended every National Conference since 2011


More About Bobbi:

I am nominating Bobbi Barbera as the WIFS National Woman of the Year because she lives by two mottos: one hand up, and one hand down, and she says that she will work until the numbers have changed that more women are in the industry. she contributes wholeheartedly to the organization and has been a major component to having the WIFS-Los Angeles Chapter continue its activity in our area. Without Bobbi, we would have a difficult time of making sure that the succession of our chapter continues. Fortunately, she has the grit and foresight to attract talent, build relationships and trust, and have them become involved in the organization.

Speaking from experience, I am currently working with Bobbi on the board for NAIFA-Los Angeles, and while I was president for NAIFA-Los Angeles, her help, guidance, and reassurance greatly impacted my performance and we were able to secure the Gold in 2020 as being the best chapter in the State of California, which was a feat that had not been accomplished since 2010, when we had a female president at the time, as well.

Bobbi became a member of WIFS because of the influence of her fantastic mother-in-law, Dr. Daralee Barbera, who had a tremendous impact on her career and life as a financial advisor. She feels that closing the gap and having more women advisors and practitioners in our field is imperative for the strength and future of our industry.

Barbera continuously shares about Women in Insurance and Financial Services to advisors and other professionals from various disciplines whenever she has the opportunity. She is all about connecting women to help advance them, empower, educate, retain, and grow them to have the longevity in the industry whether she directly benefits from the help she gives or not.

She always says that she will continue working in this profession until the numbers change - more women are in this industry, and she firmly believes in one hand up and one hand down... one reaching up to be mentored and one hand down helping a mentee.

Joanna Dellosa, President, Los Angeles Chapter


Kate BeckKate Beck



Portland Metro



President/CEO, PDX Insurance & Associates, Inc.


WIFS Member Since:



Contributions to WIFS and the Industry:

  • Has served on the WIFS Portland Metro Chapter board annually as ambassador, programs chair, membership chair and secretary. Remains active with the chapter in a leadership role
  • Has been a speaker or moderator four times this year
  • Attended Virtual National Conference in 2020
  • Two-time Circle of Excellence qualifier


More About Kate:

WIFS attracted me during a career transition due to the market crash in 2008. From the life of an international elite luxury food and beverage director and on the heels of a recession I went from flying privately to coach, overnight. The market crash gave me a crash course on how to pave my way into a recession proof position while surrounding myself with other successful women in similar industries.

I found Women in Insurance and Financial Services to be a breath of fresh air and a place of community. I was impressed how warm and welcoming everyone was and surprised that I was one of two independent health insurance agents in our chapter.

My first office and role in the insurance industry was as vice president for an independent P&C firm in Canby, Oregon in 2009. I still remember our local membership chair, Annette Kendall, drove all the way from First Republic Bank out to my rural garden city office to treat me to a latte. I felt so special.  The years of events were a combination of useful industry information, personal development, and style.

Many times when people come to me about their insurance concerns it’s because they're in some sort of transition, getting married, getting divorced, someone has been born or died, someone has a new job or got fired. I’m not someone who simply offers insurance for life events; I’ve lived many of them. I’ve been divorced, fired from my job, and know the pain and lack of confidence that comes with both. I was supported, acknowledged and lifted up with useful strategies and negotiations along the way that brought me hope and kept me striving to be the change I want to see in the world.

Sometimes we come across new territory and the culture we have with Women in Insurance & Financial Services I feel empowered to ask for help, acknowledge if I don't know and enjoy the adventure of finding out. Insurance is more than a transaction, it’s peace of mind. Collaborating with a community of leaders who shine bright, it is both fun and rewarding. 


Lisa Sappenfield BoyerLisa Sappenfield Boyer



Member at Large



President, Boyer and Sappenfield Investment Advisors


WIFS Member Since:



Contributions to WIFS and the Industry:

  • Participant in WIFS Mentorship Program as a mentee in 2006 and a mentor in 2012 and 2020
  • Served on three WIFS panels
  • Member of Project ’36 Pillar 1 Work Group
  • Has attended 16 WIFS National Conferences since 2005
  • Fourteen-time Circle of Excellence qualifier
  • One of the 23 women featured in the book “Financial Services: Women at the Top,” published by WIFS in 2015
  • Organized and led a focus group mentorship program for a group of younger female financial professionals at her partner firm, Cambridge Investment Research, Inc.


More About Lisa: 

Lisa wished she had the support of female industry professionals when she started her career nearly 40 years ago. WIFS has given her this opportunity to empower her female peers and share the expertise that’s led to her success.

Lisa originally joined WIFS in 1992 as a national member and has been a consistent member of WIFS since 2001. She was a mentee with the program in 2006 and is now a mentor for young female financial professionals getting started in a male-dominated industry. This sort of support is what she would have wanted when she first entered the financial services industry nearly 40 years ago — and she’s pleased to say that WIFS has given her the opportunity and tools to support the development and advancement of women in the industry.

“I’ve coached all my life, basically since I was 19 years old,” says Lisa, who coaches community basketball and softball in her hometown. “Coaching and mentoring is always going to be a big part of my life. The opportunity to be mentored through WIFS and then to be able to serve as a mentor with the association now, really means a lot to me.”

Lisa’s passion for inspiring women in the financial services industry goes beyond her mentoring and professional expertise. Lisa is also heavily involved in Project '36, a program that is focused on the attraction pillar of the WIFS mission statement. She believes that this project can make an impact on the development and advancement of women in the insurance and financial services industry moving forward.

“We have task force groups and a real, concrete plan for the future,” Lisa says. “I’m excited to see where we go and what kind of impact we can make.”

Lisa also participated in a WIFS research study and was one of 23 female financial professionals featured in Arthea Reed and Diane Dixon’s 2015 book, "Financial Services: Women at the Top: A WIFS Research Study." There, the authors share WIFS research and highlight their own unique journeys to provide insight about the financial services industry in hopes that they will inspire more women to enter the profession. This opportunity to connect with and be inspired by her peers meant a lot to Lisa.

“A few years ago, all 23 of us included in the book were invited to dinner and that was just an unbelievable experience,” Lisa says. “I wish that could have lasted a week. To be able to meet all of those knowledgeable women and learn from them was really valuable. I’m so grateful to have been selected to participate, and the experience helped me and my business a lot.”

Lisa is an investment advisor representative and president of Boyer and Sappenfield Investment Advisors. The firm focuses on retirement income planning and other overall financial planning needs, including college funding, life insurance, and portfolio analysis.

Amy Webber, CEO, Cambridge Investment Research, Inc.


Betty LeeBetty W. Lee



Northern California



Managing Director, Principal


WIFS Member Since:



Contributions to WIFS and the Industry:

  • Founding member of Northern California Chapter
  • 2022 Chapter vice president, 2021 secretary
  • Participant in WIFS Mentorship Program as a mentor in 2021 and 2022
  • Founding member of Principal’s Women’s Financial Network
  • Profiled in WIFS LeadHER blog, May 2022


Other Volunteer Work:

  • Board member, Stapleton School of the Performing Arts
  • Board member, Gilead House
  • Dresser Chair, “The Nutcracker” (2021, 2022) and “Swan Lake” (2022)


More About Betty: 

Being in this industry and leading was made possible by women before me who persevered and made difficult choices to improve my opportunity. It is important to me that with such a low percentage of women in the industry, we need to connect, support and share information across firms. That is why WIFS is so important. Collectively we can work together and share ideas and be louder and move the needle and keep the need for equity in the industry at its forefront.

I connected with other women in the geographic area with the same core desires and we started the Northern California WIFS chapter. We feel we owe the generations that come after us to use our voices collectively and make a difference.

Being part of WIFS has given me energy working with others that have the same mission and goal: make more money and have more fun. We are doing it through connections, mentorship and programming. Through the formal chapter programming we have development friendships and networks that will continue to support and propel my career.

I'm lucky because I know what I'm fighting for and why. Wanting the world to be more available and equitable for my 12-year-old and her friends. I never felt that I'm "extraordinary." I'm just me.

People before me have paved the way and much of who I am is due to my parents. They gave me the tools to have this great life. I was the lucky recipient of their hard work. It's my obligation to honor that.


Mary McDirmidMary McDirmid



Washington State



Founder, Special Abilities Network


WIFS Member Since:



Contributions to WIFS and the Industry:

  • Founding member and current president of Washington State Chapter
  • 2022 National Conference breakout speaker
  • July 2021 Chapter event speaker
  • Mentored Washington State Chapter student member
  • Member of Project ’36 Pillar 2 Work Group
  • 2022 Circle of Excellence qualifier


Other Volunteer Work:

  • Board member, NW Rare Disease Coalition
  • Board member, Isaac Foundation
  • TEDx speaker
  • Parent Board member, Aces for KIDS

More About Mary: 

Why did I join WIFS? When I look at doing anything outside of my normal work that would take time away from my family, I ask myself the following questions:

Does this project need my special abilities as an elite builder? Yes, we started our Washington Chapter in January of 2021 and with the help of my amazing vice president we grew the chapter to official status by June of 2021.

Does this serve the community I represent? Yes, I am passionate about helping keep the women we have and growing numbers. There is not a better job for women in the entire world and we are going to change the face and expectations of the industry.

What/Whom do I want to be accountable for my time? Spending the time with my chapter and the National Conference is what will keep me engaged and supported in this business. I am very protective of my time outside of business hours as I want to be present with my family. I wouldn't trade the time I have spent with WIFS for anything. I view that time spent as self-care. Can't wait to see the changes we all want to see for women in our industry in my lifetime.


Alanah PhillipsAlanah Phillips



Northern California



Regional Director of Recruiting, Lincoln Financial


WIFS Member Since:



Contributions to WIFS and the Industry:

  • President and former vice president, Northern California Chapter
  • 2022 National Conference breakout speaker
  • Four-time Chapter event presenter
  • Participant in WIFS Mentorship Program as a mentee in 2022
  • Project ’36 Pillar 1 Champion
  • Created Project Inspire, a curriculum to educate young people about the insurance/financial services industry as a career and teach basic financial literacy and job search skills
  • 2022 Circle of Excellence qualifier
  • Contributed to AdviseHER magazine in 2021 and 2022
  • Three-time National Conference attendee
  • Member of Next Gen Advisory Task Force, The American College of Financial Services
  • Host of NextGen in 10 Podcast, a production of The American College
  • Silver Sponsor, Financial Planning Association Northern California chapter


More About Alanah: 

I read a book called "Invisible Women" by Caroline Criado Perez that changed the way I felt about my personal feminism and really ramped up my involvement in WIFS. It is a book of data for all the ways the world was not built for women. Things like seat belt design, city infrastructure, health care, the piano ...

The piano was designed by a man for men to play. So, the measurements of a man's hands were used to design it. Octaves on a standard piano are 7.4 inches. The average female handspan is between 7 and 8 inches. Internationally renowned pianists, mostly men, have a handspan of 8.8 inches or more.

Women who want to be pianists literally injure themselves trying to reach the same level of acclaim as male counterparts. So someone made the 7/8 OS Keyboard. It doesn't change the sound and doesn't disadvantage the pianists who have large handspans. Yet the piano world has been reluctant to adapt.

Our industry is the same.

We can't say we want more women in financial services unless we change the piano.

This means changing the way we bring people into our industry, how we train them, how we pay them, how we keep them.

I don't know all the ways that we should do that, but I believe that WIFS can be part of this solution for women specifically. We have the power to help women make more money, have more fun, or both. We have the power to show women new to the industry that this is a great place to be.

This is why I became an active member of WIFS. We are stronger together at accomplishing this mission. And I'm thrilled to know all of these amazing women who have been willing to struggle through the worse version of the industry to pave the way for us to change the piano. I feel an obligation to the next generation to do my part in that, too.


Angela RibuffoAngela Ribuffo






President and Financial Advisor, Raion Financial Strategies LLC


WIFS Member Since:



Contributions to WIFS and the Industry:

  • 2018 WIFS National president
  • Special advisor to 2022 National president
  • Served in all seats on National Board of DIrectors
  • Past president and active member of the Alaska Chapter
  • Serving as lead for 2022 Mentorship Program sessions; has served as a WIFS mentor for 10 years
  • Developed framework for National Conference and presented on main stage
  • Moderated multiple WIFS National and Chapter webinars
  • 2012 WIFS ANGEL (A – Assistance; N – Nurture; G – Guidance; E – Ethics; L – Leadership) Award recipient
  • Circle of Excellence qualifier for 10 years
  • Attended 13 National Conferences
  • Part of the team that conceived WIFS AdviseHER magazine in 2017 and published the inaugural issue. Served as editor of AdviseHER magazine and contributed several articles
  • Launched the LeadHER blog and has been a frequent contributor
  • Member of WIFS focus groups on strategic planning, mentorship, strategic partnership and chapter leadership
  • Honored this year by InvestmentNews as the Diversity Equality and Inclusion See It, Be It Role Model for her contributions in continuing to raise awareness of the needs of women financial professionals and people of color in our industry
  • Volunteered with The American College of Financial Services Conference of African American Financial Professionals
  • Current chair of Lincoln Financial's WISE Group (Women Inspiring, Supporting and Educating)
  • Member of the CFP board’s Women’s Initiative Council (WIN)
  • Participates on the Financial Planning Association (FPA) mentorship as one of the forum facilitators

More About Angie: 

Angela Ribuffo has been a member of WIFS for years serving as a leader in her local Alaska chapter and as the National President. I am nominating her because when the association needed her to stand up and serve, she did so with full commitment and dedication. This past year, she served in the background helping to scale and sustain Women in Insurance & Financial Services. Her servant leader's heart has helped to reset WIFS — financially, strategically, and purposefully.

By definition, a servant leader is someone who listens with empathy, who has foresight, is a good steward, and whose awareness is conceptual. Angie embodies all these characteristics and leveraged all of them to support the efforts of the Association and the National Board of Directors in 2022. When asked to serve as the WIFS Presidential Advisor, with WIFS pride and a smile, she agreed to partner to lead the association to and through the required changes necessary to reimagine the future.

She is dedicated to attracting, developing, and advancing women in the financial services industry. She is a strong proponent of education and mentoring as a tool to help women take their business to the next level. Angie continues to serve as a WIFS mentor and facilitated WIFS' 2022 Mentor Program.

She has a passion for leading others to be the best version of themselves while creating comprehensive financial plans so that her clients may have a successful financial journey. A businesswoman who sustained her business — Raion Financial Strategies LLC — during COVID, a breast cancer survivor who continues to fight for women's financial freedom, and a resolute strategic partner of WIFS, Angela is the best example of female leadership in the face of adversity.

Her "Why WIFS?" is simple: If each woman would SupportHer (support another woman) then we could dominate this industry in talent, finances, and knowledge.

In addition to managing her practice and serving WIFS locally and nationally, she leads Lincoln Financial's WISE (Women Inspiring, Supporting and Educating) efforts and actively participates in the Women Working in Wealth Summit presented by The American College Center for Women in Financial Services. No greater honor could be given to Angie than to recognize her as WIFS' 2022 Woman of the Year.

Angie has been recognized as a 2018 Woman to Watch by InvestmentNews. She is a WIFS Angel Award recipient as well as a multi-year WIFS Circle of Excellence qualifier. She is published in a USA special insert titled Women in Finance and was inducted into the Athena Society in 2019. She has been a main stage speaker and workshop presenter for many industry conferences and association meetings.


Amber StittAmber Stitt






Co-Owner, M.D. Disability Quotes


WIFS Member Since:



Contributions to WIFS and the Industry:

  • Director of marketing, Phoenix Chapter
  • Led event marketing for West Coast Collective (Phoenix, Washington State, Northern California and Los Angeles Chapters)
  • Moderator for Chapter events
  • Currently collaborating with Phoenix Chapter President on ideas for Counting on Her podcast
  • Member of local Ambassador team for 2022 National Conference
  • Founder of Amber Stitt Blog and Amber Stitt Show podcast (lifestyle/financial/business strategies)
  • Speaker and panelist on marketing and technology topics for insurance professionals
  • Volunteer with Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, which works with women making life transitions
  • Serves on fundraising committee of Live & Learn, which assists women in breaking the cycle of generational poverty through financial education and career training


More About Amber: 

I actually stumbled upon WIFS after I personally reaching out to Toni Gonzales last summer, to ask her if there was any group I could join that was local. I knew Toni from an Ohio National meeting that I attended previously, as an insurance planner. I had seen her interacting on social media and figured she would be a good person to ask.

I have worked in the financial industry for 10 years but started my own company in 2018. After two years of building a new business and client base (which is a virtual insurance planning company), I was feeling the need to connect with my community after COVID. I was ready to spend some time connecting with others in my industry. I was especially looking forward to working among women, since I work mainly with males. I found that connection in Women in Insurance & Financial Services.

In my business life, I have felt I had to be a bit silent about my true feelings about the corporate environment I worked within, feeling a lack of connection with some of my female counterparts as many weren't very nice to me while on the job. I just figured it was me that was the problem all these years. Since the very beginning, I’ve always been a hard worker and an overachiever. As the firstborn out of seven children, I never shied away from responsibility. Learning and reading were the things I loved the most, and strategic thinking, and I have always been drawn to helping others with their business goals and being very active at work.

Sadly, in many of my work experiences, I felt that my work ethic annoyed people as I have been called “too inquisitive or not as social” and there had been a disconnect with some of my fellow females in the workplace. My true intention was just to do a good job and to not compete with them!

Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, with many also in the financial industry, had me envisioning business ownership in my future at some point when I was young. However, I quickly became scared of the financial services industry while I worked for my father’s financial firm. This wasn’t his fault but from my experience working for him while working on my undergraduate degree and working as his assistant, I was very insecure about my lack of accounting and “book smart” abilities so I hid from the industry for over a decade.

As well as being intimidated by a heavy focus on the numbers, I felt bad that I actually preferred transactional work (like my paralegal work) as I am a wordsmith, legal minded brain that loves business planning and strategic thinking. Now that I have worked through some personal development, I have niched down to three main insurance products and I am so happy now. I am able to help people, but within transaction-oriented planning; not in wealth management or financial planning.

My "Why" comes from being in this place of wanting to help others feel that support that I felt from the beginning with WIFS. I feel that I am called to help others gain confidence to find their own way in this industry, based upon their talents. I am now sharing my story with others so that no matter what career phase they are in, I can help them focus on their talents and love what they do so that misperceptions in the industry don’t scare them away. I hope my journey can help others feel confident to be in this industry in a specialty area where they can thrive personally and for their clients.

Back to my story about Toni: She invited me to the Counting on Her Podcast launch party and felt this amazing energy among the women within minutes. I liked that I didn't feel pressured to join or to commit, which is what I have felt before when going to other events or BNIs meetings that I have attended in the past. It felt like a genuine community of women that were truly interested in what each other were doing. I had such a great time that I reached out to become a member right away.

What is wonderful about the WIFS family, is that immediately I felt this celebration of other talents and the support among the group. I didn’t know how this could exist! After speaking with Darlene in Phoenix for a Top Golf Event, she mentioned a few stories from her past where she felt the competition from both genders and I realized I was not alone with these work experiences.

Now, moving forward I want to advocate not only for women supporting women but also to bring awareness to all the ways a female can be in financial services if they want to be.