While living in Illinois, Jacqueline Staples, 35, earned an associate’s degree in graphic design, but later decided to switch career paths and pursue financial advising. Her newly found passion stemmed from a class she completed about the financial industry. There she found her calling: helping others wisely manage their money.

Staples has been a registered representative with Mutual of Omaha for two years, and her favorite part of job is freedom from her desk and the opportunity to connect with people in the community.

“I really love to help people plan and protect their families,” she said.

Shane Squibb, Staples’ mentor and general sales manager at Mutual of Omaha, said he nominated her for the award because she embodies what it means to be a Rising Star.

“A Rising Star not only has a high level of success, but looks at the intangibles that it takes to serve for years and generations to come,” he said. “A Rising Star is someone who holds themselves out to the community for not what they can get out of it, but how they can serve.”

Staples said she enjoys working with Squibb and his willingness to challenge her, all while keeping her grounded and focused.

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Squibb’s leadership has led to her own success in the company, and she’s won multiple Mutual of Omaha Advisors awards to prove it.

“Since joining our firm in July 2016, Staples has been a firm leader and industry leader. Not only has she achieved every award that our company has to win, she has done the intangibles of what a person should be looking for in a financial advisor,” Squibb said. “She strives every day to be a leader in the community.”

Staples said she was extremely surprised to be chosen for the Rising Stars award.

“I didn’t really expect any of this,” she said. “I am really excited to be a part of this group and to be a game changer in Colorado Springs while setting an example for others.

“I feel a great sense of gratitude to be recognized in the community. I pride myself on helping others and to see other people recognize that filled me with joy,” she added.

Staples said one of her goals now is to raise her teenage daughters to have the same positive characteristics she values.

“They want to change the world and do powerful and amazing things like I do,” she said. “I want to guide them through adulthood the best way I know how.”

— Halle Thornton

What advice would you give your younger self?

My advice for my younger self would be to save 15 percent of every dollar you make, move slow to go fast, and listen more and talk less.