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Maureen O’Neal

Private wealth adviser, Cardinaux Wealth Advisors

Maureen O’Neal took break from college at age 20, when she and her husband, Kelly, welcomed twin sons. After completing her MBA at Louisiana State University, she made up for any lost time when she started her career at Cardinaux Wealth Advisors, an Ameriprise practice in Shreveport, Louisiana, and quickly ascended from financial planning assistant to financial advisor to her role today as private wealth advisor.

O’Neal, 37, said she was drawn to the industry in part to help other women by sharing her own female perspective. “It’s a way to empower other women so they’ve got confidence around what they’re doing and the strategies they’re using for their wealth,” she said. She works primarily with individuals, couples, families and business owners who are planning to one day retire.

Her drive to help others also extends to her personal life: She’s president of the board of directors of Robinson’s Rescue, a low-cost spay and neuter clinic in Shreveport. Last year, her family adopted a puppy named Leo from a shelter — neutered at Robinson’s Rescue — and he brings joy to all of their lives.

For O’Neal, her career, civic work and family life are as fulfilling as she could hope for. “My life is full every day of the year,” she said.

— Kate Silver