Paul Manfrey believes developmentally disabled kids have something to teach the rest of us. “All they want to do is hug you. If more people had that attitude to life in general, what a great place this would be,” he says. Manfrey first started working with disabled kids in 2006 at an organization called PARC (Pinellas Association for Retarded Children), spending two Fridays a month with them, building models, playing basketball, going for pizza and bowling.
Eventually, he found he wanted to become a bigger part of the management of the organization, so he joined the board, but he still volunteers regularly. He and his wife have also sponsored a number of fundraising events, have an annual giving commitment and offer 40 weeks a year in their North Carolina vacation home as a fundraising auction item. It's a cause that is close to their hearts. Manfrey was inspired to get involved in part because his wife's cousins, a pair of twins aged 30, have cerebral palsey.
“I met them when I first met my wife, eight years ago, and I knew even before that, that there was some kind of connection with developmentally disabled children,” he says. “Some people don't feel very comfortable around these people, but I always did.”
In fact, Manfrey has a soft spot for kids generally. He has also served on the board of the Suncoast Voices for Children Foundation, which supports the Guardian Ad Litem Program of Pinellas County. And in 2007, he received the Contribution of Excellence Award for 14 years of continuous fundraising for the Nicholas R. Chiera Foundation, which benefits the American Cancer Society's R.O.CK. program for kids with cancer.
Charitable giving runs in the family. His sister, who used to be a venture capitalist but retired at age 44, works exclusively in charitable giving. She also convinced him to try the financial advisory business. He was going to be a Winn-Dixie supermarket store manager, but she saw a bigger future for her little brother. Today, he is the branch manager of his office as well as the biggest producer in the branch.
Firm: Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network
City: Tampa, Fla.
Years as a rep: 22
Years with current firm: 18
AUM: $88 million
Product mix: bonds, 20%; stocks, 30%; managed accounts, 25%; insurance and annuities, 15%; cash, 10%.
Specialty: wealth management for HNW families, pre-retirees, current business owners and former business owners who have already sold.
Licenses: 4, 9, 10, 24, 3, 7, 63 and 65.