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Meet Cody

Cody Foster grew up in smalltown Stockton, Kan. But thanks to entrepreneurial roots, he grew up to create a big impact in the finance world. “I think we should be encouraging more students to become entrepreneurially minded, and it’s important that YE is delivering such curriculum.” Meet Cody.

His Career Path: As a boy in Stockton, Foster grew up working in his grandmother’s café. He was a Junior at Washburn University when she lost the café to bankruptcy. Foster’s grandmother was loyal to the café but lacked guidance in important business decisions.

“I was majoring in mass media, but that year I got a job at a bank because I wanted to learn more about money. What happened to my grandmother is something I didn’t want to happen to other people I cared about,” says Foster.

Before graduating from Washburn, a friend told Foster about a job opportunity at Personalized Brokerage Services, where Foster would spend the next four years helping financial advisors find the best products to serve their clients. As the company grew, Foster and his college roommate, Dave Callanan, got the itch to become financial advisors themselves.

“In January 2004, we left Personalized Brokerage Services to form Foster and Callanan Financial Advisors and went from a 160 employee company to just the two of us. We realized starting a business was harder than it seemed. We longed for someone to come and coach us, but realized there was little coaching available.”

In 2005, Foster and Callanan, with the help of their friend, Derek Thompson, started Advisors Excel. The mission was to create a support network of financial advisors across the country. Their initial goal was to recruit 50 employees to Advisors Excel.  This year, the company will near the 550 employee mark.

“Everyone sees us as an overnight success, but we’ve been doing this for close to 20 years. It’s no magic thing we’ve done, but a constant focus on getting better every day.”

His YE involvement: A friend of Foster’s, Mike McPherson, invited him to a YE breakfast where he was blown away by the students who presented.

After connecting with YE staff, he was invited to a business plan competition which led to further involvement.

“I’ve done some business plan judging, I joined the Topeka Advisory Board and have stayed engaged with YE ever since,” says Foster.

Highlights of YE involvement: Foster has also loved seeing YE curriculum grow its online presence, while still promoting in-classroom development and interaction.

“There is so much wisdom that can and should be shared. YE Academy is one of YE’s biggest opportunities, and the personal interactions between students and educators remain vital.”

Foster appreciates how engaged YE students are, and how being “opportunity obsessed” leads to great success for the youth involved.

“We have two or three individuals, who I met as YE students, that work at Advisors Excel now. I love seeing how excited, involved and engaged kids become through YE. The curriculum helps them with business plans and think about world problems in a new way.”

The YE Foundational Values are another winning component in Foster’s eyes.

“They are teaching incredible business principles at an early age. YE teaches important values many colleges do not teach. I think we should be encouraging more students to become entrepreneurially minded, and it’s important that YE is delivering such curriculum.”