Company: Jennifer Openshaw
Entry Submitted By: SuperFutures
Company Description: WeSeed's mission is to educate the 100 million who have never investing about the stock market by starting with what they know. It is a "Wall Street-meets-Facebook" platform that features a search tool delivering personalized stock ideas and a virtual trading platform, now in 100+ schools.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Lifetime Achievement Award
Nomination Title: Jennifer Openshaw, Founder & President, WeSeed & Women's Financial Network
Describe for the judges the nominated individual's lifetime of accomplishments (up to 500 words):
Called by CBS "one of the most passionate advocates for women,” Jennifer really
is one of the country's most influential leaders on financial literacy and
services for everyday Americans, especially women. She is a “family financial advocate” who
has educated Americans through shows ranging from Oprah to Nightline to give
them the truth about money and practical solutions. And she has done it entirely
on her own: not from a silver spoon but rather the sheer ambition to do better than
the struggling life her mother had raising three children and working two full-time
jobs to do it.
In 1998, Jen, then the "Money Expert" for CBS-TV while working at Bank of
America, could foresee the need to help women with their finances, long the
Schwab or Citibanks of the world. Jen conceived of Women's Financial Network
(WFN), a unique company “by and for women” and a trendsetter in the industry.
Jen's mission: to create a "one-stop shop" where women could both learn about
finances and take action -- either through online investing or a financial advisor.
She created a first-of-its-kind Code of Ethics for all advisors working with women
and recruited actress Sela Ward of ABC's "Once and Again" as an endorser. WFN
garnered major media attention and Jen was named one of the Top 10 People of
the Internet (Internet World) as a result. "Don't forget about us outside the US",
one Jamaican woman wrote after seeing her on ABC-TV. Jen later sold WFN to
publicly traded Siebert Financial.
Through Family Financial Network, Jen created objective personal finance tools
she now makes available free to the public and teachers.
Most recently, Jen took her passion to the 100 million who've never attempted to
invest: women and young people. Through WeSeed, she created a unique platform
that brings the Peter Lynch (founder of Fidelity) approach of "investing in what
you know" to everyday people to help them learn in a comfortable, non-intimidating
way. She conceived of a proprietary search tool that delivers personalized stock
ideas based on what a user knows, along with social networking features to learn
and build confidence. To reach the masses, Jen had 13 partnerships prior to
launch, including Yahoo and Dow Jones, and single-handedly generated 95% of
the PR coverage, resulting in 50% of WeSeed members recruited at no cost. Her
passion and credibility as a national financial expert (ABC Radio, Fox, etc)
enabled WeSeed to go from zero to a platform embraced by the team, 100+
schools, execs from AOL and Microsoft, and leaders in financial services.
At 20, at UCLA, Jen created the "Bruin Bear Market" - an annual furniture resale
event -- and the "California Political Cookbook" (featured in San Jose Mercury
News) to raise funds for lower/middle income students. In the California State
Treasurer's Office, Jen initiated the Bank-at-School program, implemented in
schools throughout the state.
Jen is a passionate leader who has used technology, media and her creative,
entrepreneurial spirit to bring financial empowerment to ordinary people,
List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, [http://www.yourcompany.com/pressrelease.html]:
Provide a brief biography of the nominated individual (up to 100 words):
Jennifer Openshaw, author, commentator and financial services executive, is
founder of Women's Financial Network and investment education site WeSeed. An
advocate for families, Jennifer’s has been seen on a host of shows, from CNN to
Oprah and Dr. Phil. Jen has been a top marketing exec at Bank of America and
Bank One/JPMorgan, but got her start in the California State Treasurer's Office as
Press Secretary. She appears on Fox-TV and is a longtime columnist for Dow
Jones’ MarketWatch. She has advised Fortune 500 companies including Microsoft
and Allstate. A Rotary Scholar, Jen holds a BA and MBA from UCLA.