Lori Van Dusen
Founder and CEO, LVW Advisors
Years in current role: 11
What was your biggest success in 2021?
Moving forward has been an accomplishment for me following a tremendous tragedy in 2020. For my children and I, this past year meant figuring out how to integrate grief and loss with embracing the future. This to me is success.
From a business standpoint, expanding leadership, mentorship, and other incentives for the team at LVW Advisors were key achievements and very important to me.
What are your expectations for 2022?
Higher risks in the capital markets, the economy, and geopolitically. The real risk in the U.S. economy is that the Fed is more hawkish just as inflation may be peaking. If consumers continue to be in good shape, the interest rate increases can be absorbed. However, if the economy is slowing while the Fed is hiking, this is where the risk lies.
There is an increased focus on stakeholders vs. shareholders, and this comes with an added cost above what inflation and interest rates cause. Clients need disciplined and proactive advice and implementation now more than ever. The tailwinds that propelled markets in a seemingly risk-free way are over.
What is your biggest takeaway from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?
Fiscal and monetary stimulus help blunt the shocks but cannot reverse the losses that small businesses and lower- and middle-income individuals have experienced. Tensions have sharpened between socioeconomic classes, and the wealth divide is gotten even greater. Artificially low rates harm Main Street and unearth disparities. We are still missing a national strategy for dealing with these types of crises. We operate state by state.
What is your favorite thing about the Rochester community?
Rochester’s history makes it deep in cultural activity. This, combined with the natural beauty and changing landscapes of the outdoors, and the fact it is easy to navigate, are all things that I love about it. But my favorite thing about Rochester is that it’s my home. It is where I come back to and where my deepest affection and emotional pull resides.
If time were no issue, what would you do to help the community that you aren’t already doing?
Rochester ranks third in overall poverty among the nation’s 75 largest metropolitan areas. I would spend more time developing and coordinating leadership around local solutions to poverty and inequality. More specifically, I would work to address community-level problems such as limited employment opportunities, poor housing, under-resourced schools and the education gap. In addition, I would look at social isolation and fragmented service provisions that lead to gaps or a duplication of efforts. Rochester is a very generous community, but we need to be more focused, efficient and coordinated. I believe so strongly in mentorship that I would put more emphasis on programs that provide direct support to children and young adults.
This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 100 list for 2022. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at rbj.net.