About the Authors
Michelle Alberda has worked in the financial planning industry for over nine years. She founded a solo financial advisory practice in 2007 after earning her CFP© certificant status in 2004. Prior to this, Ms. Alberda worked in South East Asia where she co-founded a consulting firm specializing in government infrastructure projects. She has a degree in Marketing and Asian Studies from Western Michigan University and is a Chartered Life Underwriter.
Michelle Balog is a top real estate agent at the highest producing office in Northern California and ranks in the top 2% of agents nationwide. She has been in the real estate business for seven years and her rapid success is a testament to her networking abilities. Also a talented and accomplished photographer, Michelle ran her own photography business in New York City prior to moving to the Bay Area. She has a degree in film production and photography from the University of Southern California, School of Cinema Television and is a licensed sales agent with the California Department of Real Estate.
With more than 20 years in the financial industry, Stacey Fleece has positioned herself as one of the premier mortgage brokers in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and prior to earning her mortgage license, she worked over 13 years in the hedge fund industry being one of only a handful of women to be General Partner of her own fund. She earned a B.S. in Business with a finance and marketing emphasis from the University of Southern California and a M.A. in Sports Management from the University of San Francisco. She is also a member of the Security Analysts of San Francisco and a licensed sales agent with the California Department of Real Estate.
The careers of Michelle Alberda, Michelle Balog, and Stacey Fleece all began at different times but they came together over seven years ago when Stacey and her husband became clients of Michelle Alberda’s financial planning practice. Shortly thereafter, Stacey met Michelle Balog as they were both building their real estate related practices. The three talents met over lunch when Stacey introduced Michelle Alberda to Michelle Balog, and by the end of lunch their “dream team” was formed. Not only were they clients of each other, they also regularly referred business to each other.
After realizing that typical marketing and business building techniques were ineffective and too expensive, the three women decided that they wanted to build their businesses entirely by referrals. They knew the power of referrals between the three of them and wanted to capitalize on this power exponentially for themselves while teaching other small businesswomen the power to accelerate their business growth as well. The idea for SKIRTWORKING was born out of this desire ‘ women helping women build businesses for the collective success of all!
Michelle, Michelle, and Stacey have nearly 40 years of combined experience in the financial services and real estate industries ’specifically financial planning, real estate financing, and real estate sales. They founded their women’s networking group, SKIRT, in June of 2005 and the inaugural meeting had seven members in attendance. Since then, the group has grown to over 20 members and a waiting list of interested prospective members has formed. The rewards of membership are numerous and referrals from this group account for upwards of 35% of new business annually for some members. It has proven to be the most cost-effective and efficient way of growing a book of business.
All three women reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and are award-winning, recognized leaders in their chosen fields for both overall production and client acquisition. In addition to their professional successes and SKIRT, all three women are also active leaders in philanthropic organizations in the Bay Area. Along with many leadership positions and board of director roles, Michelle Alberda is a past President of the Financial Women’s Association of San Francisco, Stacey Fleece is a past President of The Junior League of San Francisco and Michelle Balog is a member of the Leadership Council for EARN.
For more information about SKIRT Network San Francisco or to learn more about how you can acquire materials and more ideas to start your own skirtworking group, please visit us at www.skirtworking.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to enhancing your networking skills in order to build your business beyond your wildest dreams!