Portrait of a Graduate
KELLY NOCHER RIEPE ’01
A confident communicator, prepared to engage in thoughtful dialogue, who brings groups together to solve problems, and inspire positive action.
“My teachers pushed me when I needed to be pushed and didn’t let mediocre effort pass. They demanded excellence from me and taught me what my own best effort looked like, which made me want to achieve not only for them, but for myself.”
Though she no longer dons a green kilt each morning, Kelly Nocher Riepe ’01 is an extremely active member of the St. Paul’s School for Girls community in the Alumnae Association.
After graduating from Dickinson College with her Bachelor of Arts in Policy Studies, she worked for Legg Mason as a Technical Analyst before graduating from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill with a Master of Business Administration. “I started my career in Wealth Management and since have returned to the industry, but I had few detours along the way,” she said. “I helped my entrepreneurial parents start both of their businesses and I had a brief stint as an event planner.” Regardless of her line of work, Kelly has consistently sought challenges and taken advantage of opportunities as they arise.
A self-described idea person and problem solver, Kelly admits she prefers to work as quickly and efficiently as possible given her ‘type A’ personality, often at the expense of the niceties. However, she has worked to find the balance between being efficient without being dismissive. “I’ve discovered so much that I absolutely would have missed without consciously engaging at a more thoughtful level,” she said. “Whether you agree with them or not, engaging in thoughtful dialogue shows the people with whom you’re speaking that you value them and what they have to say.”
Today Kelly serves as the Financial Advisor for the Weber Group of UBS Financial Services Inc. “In addition to providing financial experience and personal service, I strive to earn my client’s loyalty through hard work, appropriate advice and a dedication to developing a long-term relationship,” said Kelly. In the financial industry, Kelly considers herself a minority in terms of her gender and age. Though she admits this intimidated her at first, she says that after she realized these “roadblocks” were mainly in her own mind, she forged her career path without hesitation and with confidence.
In order to provide comprehensive wealth advice for her clients, Kelly must communicate thoughtfully, yet objectively, while considering multiple perspectives and opportunities. “Much like a lawyer or a CPA advises on legal matters or tax issues, we advise our clients on all things financial. I offer investment recommendations, how much they should be saving, what they can spend in retirement, whether they have an insurance need, and much more,” said Kelly.
plans and collecting information from clients about their current situations and their goals for the future. I also spend a good amount of my time reading and researching so I can know what is going on in the markets as well as the details of the specific investments our clients hold.”
In her role as Alumnae Association President, Kelly sees herself as a facilitator—a link between alumnae and the school—who is helping the Association identify specific goals, empowering people to reengage and reconnect and providing support to advance SPSG’s mission. Her breadth of experience allows her to engage in thoughtful conversations with fellow SPSG graduates to inspire positive action. She runs monthly Alumnae Association meetings and shares, “Everyone brings a different perspective to the table, and if you can create a situation where everyone feels heard, supported and valued, you are much more likely to be successful.” In addition, she reaches out to over 2,000 alumnae throughout the year to elicit their support.
“I see my role as a servant leadership position because the role is not about me or my own agenda. Rather, I see it as my job to listen and to ensure alumnae voices are heard,” said Kelly. “People see me as the face of the alumnae—it’s a huge responsibility, but one I take on willingly.”
Kelly is proud that the Alumnae Association has grown to become more involved and participatory in school life. Under her leadership, the Association created The Alumnae Endowed Scholarship Fund in 2015 to provide funding in perpetuity for both the Alumnae Scholarship and The Lannie Semans Smallwood ’66 Alumnae Scholarship. “This has been the Alumnae Association’s biggest accomplishment thus far because the scholarship allows alumnae to establish a legacy long after their SPSG days are over,” said Kelly. The Alumnae Scholarship was established in 1978 and is awarded to a junior each year who, in the eyes of her teachers, best exemplifies the spirit of the school. The Lannie Semans Smallwood ’66 Alumnae Scholarship is presented in memory of Mrs. Smallwood to an alumna with a legacy relationship to a current student.
“There is so much change and excitement associated with the Alumnae Association this year, and the biggest responsibility I feel is to increase the enthusiasm and productivity,” said Kelly.
Her goals for the Association’s future include additional opportunities for networking and professional development beyond regional gatherings and the annual Green and White Weekend. The Alumnae Association and Development Office have taken large steps toward this by launching an alumnae-networking app, Gator Connect, powered by EverTrue. “Before Gator Connect, it was often difficult for the Alumnae Association to reach alumnae, and the Alumnae Association mainly relied on alumnae to self-report updates about themselves,” said Kelly. “Now with Gator Connect, alumnae can take advantage of the app’s synchronization with LinkedIn and use it as a peer-networking tool to track other SPSG alumnae and strengthen communication.”
Kelly adds, “I really would love to see every alumna engage with SPSG in a way that fits their lifestyle. That may be hosting a student for her senior project, attending a speaker’s presentation on campus, or simply submitting Class Notes and pictures for Spiritus—there is a level of involvement that should work for everyone.”
“SPSG created a learning environment where I always felt supported to take risks inside the classroom,” said Kelly. “Part of the beauty of SPSG is the relationships you build with your teachers. My teachers pushed me when I needed to be pushed and didn’t let mediocre effort pass. They demanded excellence from me and taught me what my own best effort looked like, which made me want to achieve not only for them, but for myself.”
As a student outside of the classroom, Kelly, a member of the White team, played sports, served as a member of Green Key, participated in community service activities, and edited the yearbook.
Her advice to current students is simple, “I would encourage the girls to not be afraid to take advantage of opportunities in the classroom and in life. Some of the best outcomes are the result of having taken risks.”
Kelly Riepe is a Financial Advisor with UBS Financial Services Inc. at 307 International Circle #440, Hunt Valley, MD 21031. The information contained in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/ or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of UBS Financial Services Inc. a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member FINRA/SIPC. As a firm providing wealth management services to clients, we offer both investment advisory and brokerage services. These services are separate and distinct, differ in material ways and are governed by different laws and separate contracts. For more information on the distinctions between our brokerage and investment advisory services, please speak with your Financial Advisor or visit our website at ubs.com/workingwithus.