Partner and senior advisor, Stearns Financial Group

“Be true to yourself.”

After 13 years at home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, working as an artist and raising two children, Haleh Moddasser became a financial adviser. An accountant and public-company treasurer before taking time off, she thought she would return to the conventional work world in an accounting capacity. But when she sought financial advice in the wake of her divorce, the adviser she retained, Dennis Stearns, asked her to come work for him. That was almost 10 years ago, and since then Moddasser has built her own practice by focusing on women and educating them about personal finance and two issues she feels strongly about: women’s empowerment and investing to effect change.

She has written two books on those subjects — “Gray Divorce, Silver Linings: A Woman’s Guide to Divorce After 50,” and another book explaining and espousing responsible investing. “Eighty percent of boomer women don’t even know what ESG investing is, but it can empower them to create the social changes they want to see.”

— Evan Cooper