Volunteer on Avivo’s Business Partner Council honored with award

Avivo is excited to honor Brad Markwell of Focus Forward Financial Group – Thrivent with the 2021 Karen Sakol Award. Through volunteerism on Avivo’s Business Partner Council (BPC), Markwell demonstrates a high degree of passion and commitment in helping people who face challenges to self-sufficiency.

The award is named after former BPC member Karen Sakol. According to recruitment and business development specialist Jim Roth, Karen Sakol was a person with a disability who was passionate about supporting others in their goals to become self-sufficient. “It’s because of her passion and the impact of her efforts to support our organization that Avivo created this award,” shares Roth. “Brad embodies the values of Avivo and of the Karen Sakol Award.”

Markwell has been working at Thrivent for 20 years as a financial advisor and created Focus Forward Financial Group a couple years ago.

“I’ve invested 11 years in serving communities who are in job transitions,” shared Markwell. “I believe it is important to be serving people in tough times.” 

“I’ve invested 11 years in serving communities who are in job transitions,” shared Markwell. “I believe it is important to be serving people in tough times.”

As an Avivo Business Partner Council member, Markwell demonstrates this passion and commitment to impacting the lives of people Avivo serves. He is generous with his time, and he is a regular presenter on the topic of financial literacy for training classes at the Avivo Institute of Career & Technical Education. His impact reaches beyond the Twin Cities to students attending Avivo classes who live in the St. Cloud area.

Throughout the pandemic, Markwell volunteered in person and virtually and extended himself to students beyond the classroom. His gift of connecting with students, sharing his professional and personal financial experiences and financial recovery information, inspires hope for participants and increases their confidence in their financial futures.

“I am honored to partner with Avivo, and I know that Thrivent supports Avivo as well,” adds Markwell. “I look forward to continuing the partnership.” 

“I am honored to partner with Avivo, and I know that Thrivent supports Avivo as well,” adds Markwell. “I look forward to continuing the partnership.”

“We are so fortunate to have leaders like Brad to answer the call to share their expertise,” adds Roth. “Interaction with BPC professionals and experts is very important to helping our students focus forward for life success.”

Avivo’s Business Partner Council is an innovative network of employers and professionals committed to strengthening Minnesota’s workforce and communities. Interested in joining or learning more? Contact Jim Roth by phone at 612.532.6336  or email at jim.roth@avivomn.org.