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‘Little Angie’ rings big bell

Varina resident tapped to open NYSE today
Angie Fritter
Growing up in Varina, Angie Fritter was consumed by her passion for softball, and experienced a huge thrill as a 14-year-old when she played in a world softball tournament with her travel team.

Today, nearly three decades later, Fritter's passion is her work as a financial advisor – and she experienced another huge thrill this morning when she rang the bell that signifies the opening of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

As secretary for Women in Insurance and Financial Services (which puts her in line for the national presidency in 2013), Fritter joined her fellow WIFS officers on the floor for the bell ringing at 9:30 a.m. NYSE officials chose the officers for the honor in recognition of the 75th anniversary of WIFS.

News of the honor has resulted in a flood of messages and kudos, says Fritter, who remarks, "The market is something I look at every day, but I honestly didn’t expect others to care that much.

"We have clients calling and emailing to get instructions on how to view [the bell-ringing] and how they can get a picture. Even my parents – who are in their 60s – are forwarding the announcement to friends.

"It has blown me away."

But all the excitement is just icing on the cake, insists Fritter, compared to the rewards she reaps daily as a financial planner.

She prides herself on her abililty – or gift, as she calls it – to use analogies and terminology that break down complicated topics of insurance and investment into language clients can understand. Being able to encourage clients and "hold their hands" as she helps them through rough financial times is enormously satisfying, she says –as is presenting checks to bereaved spouses and knowing they will enjoy financial security.

"A lot of times," Fritter says, "clients will ask me, 'Angie, how are you going to get paid?'

"The ways I get paid are so much more than financial. Client relationships spur me on to know more, to do more, and to give more. . . Ringing the bell is just another way that I am getting paid."

Through her work with WIFS and the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) – which represents the top one percent of professionals in her field across the world – Fritter has also found satisfaction in helping other women develop their potential in what is traditionally a male-dominated industry.

A 1986 Varina H.S. graduate who still plays softball for her church (Fairmount Christian), Fritter says that classmates may remember her for leadership of a different variety: as the organizer of a senior sit-in.

"All the seniors walked out of class at the same time," Fritter recalls, "to protest the school’s decision to not follow through on several senior traditions.

"And it was a success!"

Although her big moment on the NYSE floor will conclude this morning, Fritter looks forward to several more days of excitement in the Big Apple.

She and her daughter, Ainsley, who flew into town the day after Christmas, will get a tour of the New York Life home office, go ice skating at Rockefeller Plaza, and visit the 9/11 Memorial. (New York Life, one of Fritter's vendors, will play host to the pair during the stay.) Fritter also plans to surprise her daughter with tickets to the Rockettes Christmas spectacular.

"As an added bonus," says Fritter, "it's been arranged so Ainsley can be on the floor of the Exchange [for the ceremony], which is crazy good because normally there is an age requirement. Ainsley is going to be so thrilled."

"It’s just cool," Fritter adds, "and I’m so thankful to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"Little Angie from Varina!"

Read the Henrico Citizen print edition Jan. 5 to view a photo of the bell-ringing; a video of the event should also be available soon on YouTube.

Community

Celebrating 106 years

Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.

YMCA breaks ground for aquatic center

YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy the final days of summer with comedian Guy Torry, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour or mystery writer Mary Miley Theobald at Twin Hickory Library. Another great way to welcome the beginning of fall is to check out the UR Spider Football season opener with man’s best friend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Bottoms up

Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.

Cultural Arts Center announces 2014 fall class schedule

The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen is now registering participants for its fall 2014 schedule of classes.

The center will offer more than 100 classes for children and adults, covering topicssuch as culinary arts, fiber arts, visual and performance arts and more. Instruction is structured to appeal to a wide range of abilities, from beginners to experts of all ages. Class sizes are kept small to ensure maximum benefit for participants with generally no more than 15 students. > Read more.

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Comedian Guy Torry will be at the Richmond Funny Bone in Short Pump at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Aug. 29, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Aug. 30 and at… Full text

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