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The Model FA

Mar 29, 2022

Sonya Dreizler and Liv Gagnon are the Founders of Choir, the financial services industry’s first diversity certification program for conferences. Choir is focused on amplifying the voices of women, non-binary people, and people of color in the financial services industry. 

Sonya Dreizler is a speaker, writer, and consultant dedicated to fostering conversations about gender and race in financial services. Her 20 years of industry experience include 14 years in traditional financial and investment roles. Before founding Solutions with Sonya and co-founding Choir, Sonya served as the President and CEO of Protected Investors of America. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Liv Gagnon is a media relations specialist, PR consultant, and branding expert who has helped many companies launch into the public eye. She is the founder of Portaga Creative, a brand messaging and strategic communications consultancy that serves financial companies driven by social value. After graduating from Belmont University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, Liv worked with several organizations in public relations, including DVL Seigenthaler and FiComm Partners.

Sonya and Liv join me today to discuss the importance of fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in wealth management and financial services. They share their backgrounds and describe how they met and founded Choir. They explain how Choir is helping standardize representation in wealth management and financial services conferences through their pledge and certification programs. They also underscore the value of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in any industry and highlight how conference organizers and allies can contribute to the effort.


“In finance, we’ve heard a lot of the same type of voice for a long time, but, just like a choir, we can better serve the industry and the public when we hear from everybody’s voices and perspectives.” - Sonya Dreizler


This week on The Model FA Podcast:

  • How Sonya began her career in the broker-dealer and RIA industry
  • The values Choir is founded upon as a company
  • Liv’s background and her journey to starting her own branding and PR consulting firm
  • What Choir is, its mission, and how Sonya and Liv came up with the company’s name
  • The Choir pledge and certification program for conferences
  • Changing the financial services industry’s perception of diversity and representation
  • How Choir is spreading awareness on diversity, equity, and inclusion in wealth management and financial services
  • Why industries should care about representation
  • How conference organizers can help advance the cause of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the industry
  • Where Sonya thinks conferences are heading in the next few years


Resources Mentioned:


Our Favorite Quotes:

  • “Avoid doing something purely for the purpose of checking the box; you have to have the right intention around it.” - David DeCelle
  • “Representation is not just ‘nice to have.’ It’s good for business and moving an industry forward; it brings new perspectives that drive innovation, new technologies, new networks, and entire communities we’re looking to serve.” - Liv Gagnon
  • “It’s tough to care about something you can’t see, feel, or touch. Verbalizing your mindset is always helpful.” - David DeCelle


Connect with Choir:


Connect with Sonya Dreizler:


Connect with Liv Gagnon:


About the Model FA Podcast


The Model FA podcast is a show for fiduciary financial advisors. In each episode, our host David DeCelle sits down with industry experts, strategic thinkers, and advisors to explore what it takes  to build a successful practice — and have an abundant life in the process. We believe in continuous learning, tactical advice, and strategies that work — no “gotchas” or BS. Join us to hear stories from successful financial advisors, get actionable ideas from experts, and re-discover your drive to build the practice of your dreams. 


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Our Team:

President of Model FA, David DeCelle


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