Resilience in the Crescent City: My AFCPE Symposium Experience

A Message from Penny Forward Founder and CEO, Chris Peterson

Greetings everyone,

Allow me to share a recap of my recent experiences at the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE®) annual symposium in New Orleans. Initially anticipated as an enriching week of learning and networking, it took an unexpected turn, but as they say, adaptability is key.

I embarked on this journey with enthusiasm, looking forward to immersing myself in the symposium and venturing into new social media platforms as outlined in Penny Forward’s 2024 – 2026 strategic plan. Despite an early setback due to a flight delay and a missed connection in Charlotte, NC, I seized the opportunity to engage with fellow travelers. These chance encounters led to intriguing conversations with individuals such as Scotty, a manufacturer of large tires for earth-moving equipment, Pamela, a specialist in MMM Window film sales, and Patrick, a business owner navigating a fraudulent bank transaction crisis.

During an extended layover, I leveraged the time to produce TikTok videos and explore the functionalities of Buffer, a platform facilitating multi-platform social media management. The day progressed, albeit with a diminishing enthusiasm, likely attributed to the toll of extensive travel. Upon reaching the conference hotel late that night, fatigue had set in, accompanied by an unexplained chill. Hoping for a revitalizing night’s sleep, I retired with optimism.

Regrettably, morning brought persistent exhaustion and a feverish state. Given the ongoing prevalence of COVID, a quick consultation with my wife, Kelly, a nurse, prompted the ordering of medications and a COVID test through Door Dash. The subsequent positive diagnosis necessitated a five-day quarantine, disrupting my plans to actively participate in the symposium.

The ensuing days were spent in a state of rest, sustained by the hotel’s room service, though devoid of the senses of taste and smell. Graciously, Ann Hamilton from AFCPE® ensured the delivery of a symposium swag bag, compensating somewhat for the missed opportunities in networking and learning.

As we commence a new week, the disappointment of the past is acknowledged, yet optimism prevails. Recognizing the symposium’s extensive content, AFCPE® offers recorded sessions, allowing for a more extended and personalized learning experience. Although my intended social media coverage faced obstacles, the production of short videos contributed to Penny Forward’s expanding presence on TikTok, potentially opening avenues for enhanced social media engagement.

Looking ahead, the setbacks of the previous week have only fueled my determination. Scheduled meetings hold the promise of advancing Penny Forward’s financial education programs in exciting directions. In retrospect, the challenges encountered serve as a testament to our resilience and ability to overcome obstacles.

In conclusion, let us approach the unfolding week with renewed vigor and an unwavering belief in our capacity to navigate and triumph over challenges.

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