Souphaphone Maddox, private wealth advisor

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Souphaphone Maddox, private wealth advisor, BMO Private Bank.

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

It is a great honor to work collaboratively with our clients to help them clarify the purpose of their wealth so they feel confident in making important financial and life decisions. Seeing our clients happy about their impact on their families, businesses, and communities is unbelievably rewarding. I am also incredibly proud to work with a team of talented and dedicated individuals. BMO is a dynamic and innovative global financial institution that provides significant resources that allow us to continually serve our clients at the highest levels.

Simplifying the vast and changing complex financial world for our clients is energizing but also brings challenges, especially when there is information streaming from various news sources. Our focus is to alleviate the anxiety that comes from all the noise and to help clients focus on what matters most, as we advise them on very important and difficult decisions.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

There are many who have been very influential throughout my career. I have been fortunate to have mentors who have provided powerful lessons, and our clients have made bold and transformative changes that have positively impacted their businesses and our communities, which inspires me every day!

I am proud to serve as board president of the Goodman Community Center (GCC). There is no shortage of inspiration from our board directors, staff, and those we serve at the center. The Board and staff’s sincere commitment to service and their passion and dedication to improving the lives of thousands in our community is an incredible source of inspiration.

Another source of important inspiration is the girls we serve through Girls Inc. of Greater Madison. The mission of Girls Inc. is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. It provides research-based programming to girls in a pro-girls environment, equipping them to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers, and grow up healthy, educated, and independent. As an ambassador for Girls Inc., I have the opportunity to meet with girls in Madison and all across the country. Listening to their stories and learning about what they have overcome in their lives personally to accomplish their goals shows how relentless and determined they are to create the life they want. Most of them return to Girls Inc. as successful leaders to share their wisdom and mentor younger girls. It is heartwarming to see the tenacity, drive, and focus to carve the paths to fulfill their dreams.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

I am proud of my recent promotion to director at BMO Private Bank. To work at a global organization that is thoughtful and innovative, and where we can make a difference not only in the lives of our clients but also in our own lives, is truly rewarding. I also recently received recognition for my top performance in 2018. Being recognized always brings an enormous sense of pride in our work as a team and the passion and dedication to our clients. This collaborative approach is what we bring to every client relationship.

I also have the opportunity to lead several key initiatives for the Goodman Community Center and provide oversight and management of an intensive strategic planning process. Recently, I was involved in the purchase and renovation project of our second building, the $11.2 million Madison Brassworks Building project. In late 2018, we celebrated the grand opening of the new building!

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Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Be fearless. Challenge yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Get to know people who are different than you. Everyone has a journey, so learn something about them culturally, ethnically, and spiritually. Embrace differences because relationships are powerful.

What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

There are an abundance of venues to suit every taste, whether you want cocktails with upscale dining, a pub crawl with college students, or a concert. Madison is a perfectly sized city, nicely distributed across many sectors, and featuring a world class education, government, community organizations, and leading technology offerings that are a draw for many professionals and families. We also have beautiful trails, lakes, and parks for outdoor enthusiasts!

Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I enjoy creating and sharing culinary delights and hosting big gatherings with family and friends. I sometimes put a creative spin on some of my family’s favorite recipes and it’s still jaw-dropping good. My family has owned two restaurants that won several local awards over the years. I have very fond memories of my parents throwing huge parties with a tremendous array of different foods and desserts. Maybe I will be featured as a contestant on Food Network’s Chopped or Beat Bobby Flay one day. You never know!

What are your guilty pleasures?

I have a few. Spa days — massages, facials, pedicures, and manicures. I’m obsessed! Cupcakes are my go-to gourmet sweet treat. I try to find trendy cupcakeries in every city I visit. My favorites are Magnolia in New York, Georgetown Cupcake in D.C., and Bloom Bake Shop located in Madison. Nothing like a cupcake and a delicious cup of the perfect latte. Heavenly! Korean Fried Chicken is another guilty pleasure. Insanely crispy and superbly satisfying — if you haven’t tried it you are missing out!

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