Investments & Wealth Institute Hires New Executives to Lead Communications, Marketing and Operations

Posted by Allison Edmondson, Director of Communications

Feb 1, 2023 6:00:00 PM

Allison Edmondson, Kathleen Smith, and John Whitham Join Leadership Team

Denver, CO – February 1, 2023 – The leading professional association for financial advisors, the Investments & Wealth Institute (the Institute), has hired three new directors as part of its ongoing mission to deliver premier investment and wealth management credentials and world-class education. New hires include Allison Edmondson, Director of Communications; Kathleen Smith, Director of Marketing; and John Whitham, Director of Operations. The Investments & Wealth Institute serves 17,754 members in 40 countries, employs 50 staff, and supports 145 volunteers serving in 26 committees and workgroups.

“We are committed to providing the most comprehensive set of programs and services to support the needs of our members, grow our certifications and improve the knowledge of our profession to better serve individual and institutional investors,” said Sean R. Walters, CAE, Chief Executive Officer for the Institute. “Employee talent is essential in making this a reality, and our association continually strives to bring in a broad and diverse set of experience and skillsets.”

Allison Edmondson, Director of Communications, is responsible for developing and elevating the Institute’s messaging and positioning to its stakeholders, including members, the media, and the general public. Edmondson most recently was a Director in Corporate Communications at BNY Mellon and has held a variety of marketing and communications positions at firms such as Pershing LLC, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, and US Airways. She began her career at the membership association American Chemical Society. Edmondson has an MBA from the University of Maryland, and undergraduate degree in communications from James Madison University.

Kathleen Smith, Director of Marketing, is responsible for promoting the value of the Institute’s programs and services to the markets that the Institute serves. Smith most recently was a licensed REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker Realty in the Denver Metro area and was recognized as its “rookie of the year” in 2020. Prior to that, Smith was Director of Marketing for Xybix Systems, Inc. Smith has also been a volunteer member of the National Ski Patrol for over 20 years. She has an MBA from Regis University and undergraduate degree in graphic design and advertising from the College of Saint Benedict.

John Whitham, Director of Operations, is responsible for key organizational projects and initiatives, and for providing strategic vision and direction for operations management. Whitham most recently served as Assistant Vice President of Academic Planning and Administration at the American College of Financial Services, where he worked for 10 years. He holds master's degrees in both Information Science and Information Systems from Drexel University, and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania

“We are excited by the addition of these new team members to the Institute, as each brings a complementary set of skills and experiences to the table, which will serve as added value to the overall efforts of our association in support of our members,” said Elissa Motley, Director of Human Resources at the Institute. “We look forward to supporting our new team members get up to speed in their respective roles and thrive here at the Institute.”

For more information, contact Allison Edmondson, Communications, Investments & Wealth Institute, at


Founded in 1985, the Investments & Wealth Institute is the premier professional association, education provider, and standards body for financial advisors. Through its award-winning events, publications, courses, and acclaimed certifications—Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®), Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®), and Retirement Management Advisor® (RMA®) certifications—the Institute delivers world class-quality, highly-practical education to more than 30,000 practitioners annually in over 40 countries. Members of the Institute include the industry's most successful investment consultants, advanced financial planners, and private wealth managers who embrace excellence and ethics in applying a broad set of knowledge and skills in their daily work with clients. Learn more at

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