A colleague’s retirement brought Sylvia Sachs to Deborah Sullivan, who then helped Sachs develop a plan to give back. WEALTHOFEXPERIENCE Sylvia Sachs’ longtime financial advisor works to keep the late journalist’s mission alive. A F T E R M O R E T H A N 3 0 Y E A R S asafinancialadvisor,DeborahSullivan saysherclientsoftenbecomemorelikefamily.Suchwasthecasewith SylviaSachs,whosefinancesshemanagedfrom1992 untilSachs’ death in March. Feisty,funny,brightandunpretentiousaresomeofthewords Sullivan uses to describe her late friend. Sachs was referred toSullivan byherpreviousfinancial advisor,RuthWeisberger,who was retiring. At the time, Sullivan was working for Hefren-Tillotson. She is now senior vice president at RBCWealth Management. “Sylvia enjoyed working with other professional women, rather than men who might‘talkdown’toher,”saysSullivan.“Shewasstrongandstubborn,andshe had a lifelong love of learning and a desire to help other women succeed.” Helpingwomenandgivingtowomen’scauseswasapassionthetwoshared. Sullivanisathird-partyinvestmentmanagerwithThePittsburgh Foundation and has a donor-advised fund through which she gives to theWomen’s Center andShelterofGreaterPittsburghandSistersPlace,ahousing community for single-parentfamilieswhoareexperiencinghomelessness. Sullivansaysshelooksforanyopportunitytosteerhercharitably minded clients toward the Foundation. “Donor-advised funds are a wonderful way for people to fulfill their philanthropicdesires,”shesays.“And,yes,therearetax benefits,but to know that the work being done through funding you’ve provided is making a difference in someone’s life, there’s a sense of comfort in that.” Sullivan is modeling her professional life after Sachs’, encouraging young women to consider careers in wealth management. She says it’s still a male- dominatedfieldand,often,womenincollegedon’tconsider it asa viable option. “Even I didn’t start out on this path — I started as a biochemistry major lookingtobeadoctor,”saysSullivan.“IthoughtIwantedtospendmy life healing peoplephysically;nowIheal themfinancially.Foranyonewho caresabout and wants to help people, it’s a great career.” LESSON LEARNED It’sstilldifficultto recruitwomeninto thefieldofwealth management. Whilethenumber ofwomeninthefield hasincreasedinthe last30years,there isstillalotofroom atthetableforthem tochoosethisasa careerpath. 17 RE PO RT TO TH E CO MMU N ITY THE PITTSBURGH FOUNDATION