Daralee S. Barbera EdD, CFP, CLF, CPMBC

Daralee S. Barbera, EdD - President and Principal


Dr. Daralee Barbera is passionate about the importance of financial literacy, comprehensive financial planning, personal and business development, and the critical role of leadership. She is a certified business coach, international speaker, professor, author, and consultant.

Dr. Barbera is adjunct professor in the MSM and MSFP/MBA programs at The American College and California Lutheran University, respectively.

Daralee is a veteran of the financial services profession, retiring as Managing Principal after a distinguished 34 year career at Waddell and Reed. She was the Executive Vice President of GAMA International. She is co-Principal and President of Diversified Professional Coaching (DPC) LLC.

Dr. Barbera has co-authored two books: Women Matter – The Why and How of Gender Diversity in Financial Services, with Thomasina Skipper and Linda Witham, and What You Can Do…When You Can’t – 21 Days to Personal Success. Her doctoral dissertation addressed Financial Literacy for Women and the Role of Financial Education. She is a contributing author to The Experience of Leadership – Proven Examples from Successful Leaders, by Fred Stuvek, Jr.

At The American College of Financial Services, she is Program Director of the Master of Science in Management and Leadership, the George G. Joseph and Richard A. Liddy Chair in Practice Management and Leadership, and Assistant Professor in Leadership. She is a previous Director of the Financial Planning Program at California Lutheran University and is an adjunct professor in the MSM and MSFP programs at CLU.

Education, Certifications, and Boards:

Dr. Barbera holds an EdD in Leadership and Organizational Change from The University of Southern California (USC), a BA in Mathematics (summa cum laude), and a MA in Secondary Education from California State University Long Beach (CSULB).

As well as having served on The American College’s Board of Trustees, she is a member of the Internal Review Board, IRB, of The American College and on the advisory board for The Northwestern Mutual Granum Center for Financial Security. She was 2014-2015 President of the GAMA International Board of Directors and is Chairman Emeritus of the Orange County California Chapter of the FPA (Financial Planning Association), which is formerly the IAFP (International Association of Financial Planning). She is on the Board of MoneyWeave Academy, a non-profit organization focused on promoting financial literacy for women.

She is a member of FINSECA, FPA (Financial Planning Association), PBCA (Professional Business Coaches Alliance), WIFS (Women in Insurance and Financial Services), and NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors). Among other prior professional associations are Women in Film (executive member) and Filmmaker’s Alliance.

Areas of Expertise

  • Business Coaching
  • Leadership and Personal Development
  • Financial Advisory
  • Higher Education
  • Women in Business
  • Goal Setting
  • Communication
  • Change (organizational and individual)
  • Diversity and Inclusion (for advisors and leaders)
  • Recruiting and Retention (Advisor and Client)
  • Financial Literacy for Women and the Role of Financial Education and Advisors.

Recognition and Awards

In 2023 Daralee became the 70th recipient of the Will G. Farrell Award. Presented annually by NAIFA LA and FSP-LA County, it honors a member of the life insurance industry in California who has given distinguished service to others in and out of the industry. She started her career at Waddell and Reed as a financial advisor followed by 30 years in leadership, primarily as a Managing Principal with offices throughout Southern and Central California. Her numerous awards include Platinum Member of Chairman’s Cabinet (seven times), Leadership Council (four times), Leadership Council Chair, Waddell & Reed’s prestigious and exclusive 7 C’s Award, and the unique Crystal Plate Award. Her division received 35 Gold, Silver, and Bronze level Awards based on sales production. She qualified for Circle of Champions 28 times, Crest 16 times, and received the GAMA Diamond International Management Award for Financial Planning. She was “Woman of the Year” for WIFS (Women in Insurance and Financial Services) and was named as one of the “20 Women in Insurance You Need to Know” in 2013 by Life Health Pro.


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