Guiding the Way: Unseen Triumphs in Triathlon with Caroline Gaynor, Episode #165

Caroline Gaynor is the Vice President, Relationship Director, and Investment Specialist at Avantis Investors®. She is passionate about serving the advisor community.

She has more than 17 years of experience in financial services and is a sought-after public speaker. Her stories and presentations draw from ongoing volunteer work as a sighted guide for blind and visually impaired athletes.

Caroline is an accomplished endurance athlete who has been competing in triathlons for over two decades. Caroline devotes much of her free time to guiding blind and visually impaired triathletes through Ironman triathlons.

Caroline shares what she’s learned as a triathlete guide and how it’s impacted her personally in this episode of Mitlin Money Mindset®.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • Learn more about Caroline Gaynor and her passion for sports [3:03]
  • How sports have shaped Caroline’s life [5:06]
  • Why Caroline decided to run her first triathlon/Ironman [7:43]
  • Why Caroline became a triathlon guide in 2008 [12:36]
  • Check out our book “Financial Planning Made Personal” [17:19]
  • How they identify the athlete they pair you with [19:04]
  • What Caroline has learned from the athletes she guides [20:55]
  • How Caroline got involved in the world of finance [23:39]
  • How can we get more women in the finance profession? [29:29]
  • What Caroline did today that put her in the right mindset for success [33:00]

Learn more about Caroline Gaynor and her passion for sports

Caroline worked with banks and asset managers in her twenties. She joined Dimensional Fund Advisors and was there for 6.5 years before moving to Avantis Investors®, where she’s been for three years. Caroline found her calling in her early 30s, proving that it’s never too late to chase your dreams.

Caroline points out that when you start working, it becomes easy to give up on the things that bring you joy outside of work. Caroline was careful not to make that mistake. Caroline doesn’t believe she’d be successful without continuing to follow her passions outside of work, one of which is triathlons.

A triathlon consists of swimming, biking, and running. She’s done several Ironmans as well (which consist of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26.2-mile run).

Caroline always loved setting goals for herself. When she went into her Senior Year of high school, she wrote a training plan and completed her first Olympic-distance triathlon. She’s competed in triathlons ever since.

Why Caroline became a triathlon guide in 2008

Caroline was sitting at her first job in college and got a phone call from a friend who knew someone who needed a guide for the New York City Triathlon. She asked if Caroline knew anyone who could help—one week before the race. Caroline was already signed up, so she offered to help and quickly learned the ropes.

Blind and visually impaired athletes have to compete with someone serving as their eyes. Caroline is tethered to them during the swim (around the waist or thigh). They ride a tandem bike for the biking portion. They’re tethered around the wrist or waist during the run. Caroline’s goal is to get the athlete to whatever their finish line is.

When they crossed the finish line of that first race, she knew she wanted to continue being a guide. Caroline has been guiding blind and visually impaired triathletes ever since.

Caroline had never met a blind person before this race. Now, most of Caroline’s close friends are blind and visually impaired. She emphasizes that it’s amazing what blind and visually impaired people can do and that they’re too often discounted.

What Caroline has learned from the athletes she guides

Each person Caroline guides operates and communicates differently. That relates to everything that people do in life. As a financial advisor, each client needs a different plan. Each client has a different communication style. It’s all about finding what works best for each relationship.

Through her experiences, Caroline learned the importance of being vulnerable and focusing on the power of connection. Many of the women Caroline races with are now her closest friends. They learn each other’s weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and communication styles and find success together.

Listen to the whole episode to learn more about Caroline’s advisory role and how she believes we can attract—and retain—more women in the finance industry.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Caroline Gaynor

Bio

Caroline Gaynor is a relationship management leader with a passion for serving the advisor community. She has more than 17 years of experience in financial services and is a sought-after public speaker and storyteller drawing from ongoing volunteer work as a sighted guide for blind and visually impaired athletes. Caroline has delivered presentations at over 100 industry events.

In her role as a vice president, relationship director, and investment specialist at Avantis Investors®, Caroline is responsible for building close working relationships with investment advisors. Prior to joining Avantis Investors, Caroline served as a regional director at Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA). In this role, Caroline was responsible for overseeing and expanding East Coast client relationships with independent financial advisors. She received her B.A. from Columbia University in 2006.

In her free time, you can find Caroline running, biking or swimming. She is an accomplished endurance athlete who has been competing in triathlons for over two decades. Caroline devotes much of her free time to guiding blind and visually impaired triathletes through Ironman triathlons and is a two-time Race Across America team finisher.

Connect With Mitlin Financial

Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.

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