Financial Resources Group Investment Services supports women in leadership who have gone above and beyond to achieve for the benefit of our firm as well as the financial services industry. Over the coming months, we will be featuring a series of articles spotlighting women leaders at our firm and beyond. We are proud to kick off our spotlight series featuring Christa Franse, Partner & Director of Integration & Technology.
Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Christa is known for her multi-faceted skillset and playing an instrumental role of creating Financial Resources Group.
From her criminal justice background to meeting Bruce Miller and then becoming a wife and mother of two, Christa shares her experiences that led her to where she is today.
Chicago Roots & Horsing Around
Growing up in South Barrington, IL (a NW suburb of Chicago), Christa and her family owned Arabian and Saddlebred horses, which she loved showing (saddle seat) on the weekends. As she began to focus on what she wanted to do when she grew up, Christa’s college career was nothing less than eventful.
“I attended a slew of colleges while I figured out what I wanted to do,” she said. “I started at the University of Iowa and transferred to the University of Illinois – Champagne/Urbana. While there, I sustained an injury that made me lose a semester, so it was time to re-evaluate. I enrolled at Columbia College (in Chicago), and shifted gears to art & design.”
Christa continued, “While I very much enjoyed the school, I came to the realization that I much prefer drawing when I am doing it on my time and under my terms. So, I shifted again, to Criminal Justice and transferred to UNC Charlotte.”
The Honorable Judge Christa
After graduating with a degree in Criminal Justice, Christa pursued a career in the field that landed her in the courtroom.
“While at the academy for Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, I broke my arm and finally accepted that I probably was a little too accident-prone to serve and protect in the traditional manner. So I focused on the judicial system and was appointed as a Magistrate Judge (think Night Court) for a few years.”
“When my husband and I decided to have children, I knew that would come to end (evening/night daycare just didn’t exist), so I shifted and worked with a private attorney as a Paralegal and Investigator for several years. While exciting, after seeing things that couldn’t be unseen, I decided I needed to focus on a more positive side to life.”
Meeting Bruce Miller & Forming Financial Resources Group
With a new outlook on life, Christa’s father, a financial advisor, suggested she look into LPL for a career change. Little did she know that she was about to embark on the biggest journey of her career alongside of a very special friend.
“Bruce Miller had just started working with LPL and was in the process of moving to Charlotte. Someone (with great foresight) matched us up and the rest is history!”
“As we planned Financial Resource Group, there were many long days and nights,” Christa continued. “Most of the LPL technology team operated from California, so I would spend hours on calls with them in the evenings planning how we would transition the reps moving to Financial Resources Group from LPL. I recall being absolutely exhausted after a few particularly long weeks. I even asked those who sat next to me to make sure I was awake from time to time.”
Jack of All Trades
Many of those who’ve been with Financial Resources Group for years know that at one point Christa’s title was almost as long as the line leading to her office, managing most departments. Christa credits her past for her versatility and the artful skill of multi-tasking.
“Early on, my well-rounded background helped me to cover multiple areas of Financial Resources Group. With our growth, we slowly engaged some very talented individuals to take over and become specialists in their fields (for which I am grateful).”
Christa added that having the familiarity of multiple areas has helped her do a better job. “I am drawn to work where I can have the most impact,” she said. “When the opportunity arose for me to become more focused with Onboarding, I began to put my energy into that. It challenges me every day in multiple ways. I like to see what isn’t working and figure out a better way to do it (with the use of technology).”
Life at Home
Christa and her husband, Brad, have been married for 21 years and are the proud parents of Brayden (19) and Alexa (15). From sports, to furry friends, to designing her dream home, Christa remains busy even in her downtime.
“My son attends and plays baseball for Gaston College and my daughter attends and plays softball for Fort Mill High School,” Christa said. “They are great kids and we are blessed to have them and to know them.”
Christa also has two dogs and one cat, and she and her family will be building their dream house that she designed in the next year. They bought a lot and started planning two years ago.
“We are working to finalize the plans to break ground in early 2022 (fingers crossed),” she said. “I also started wood working during COVID. I needed a creative outlet and like to have something to show at the end, so it made sense. I made a bed, a headboard, a dresser, several tables and more. Furniture can be ridiculously expensive and if I can make it for a fraction of the cost, it will would look exactly how I imagine and be solid wood – so, why not?”
Absorb Everything You Can
Christa concluded, “Although you can’t know everything, I am a firm believer that the more you know, the better you are able to find viable solutions. With that said, I try to absorb everything I can, and it really does help in everything that I do – both personally and professionally.”