Getting to Know Your Allegiant Team: KJ Vorndran

APA Vorndran 3x4HI RGBIn her role as Paraplanner at Allegiant Private Advisors, Kristina (KJ) Vorndran, CFP®, CRPC® and a Master of Science, Personal Financial Planning candidate, works with both clients and the Wealth Advisor team to help establish and then coordinate client relationships, gather information, analyze and develop financial plans, implement solutions and ultimately monitor the client’s agreed upon strategic plan.

You’ve likely seen recent Features about KJ as we proudly recognized her achievement in earning her CFP® certification and CRPC® designation over the past year in addition to her newest volunteer role as the youngest board president in the history of Just for Girls. We’ve asked KJ to share a little more about her background, path to Allegiant and numerous passions, in her own words:

I was born in the United States, but when I was only a couple of weeks old, my parents moved back home to Karlsruhe, Germany – coincidentally also the birthplace of Karl Benz, the inventor of the first practical car. This move also meant that I became a dual citizen. Karlsruhe is where I spent my formative years growing up and German became my first language. When I was about 7 years old, my parents broke the news to me that we were moving back to America – near Boston, Massachusetts. That meant that not only would I be considered a foreigner and an immigrant, but I would also have to teach myself English and I did this by studying off of video cassette tapes! Overcoming the language barrier proved to be difficult at first, however I adjusted and soon became settled into my new home.

As I grew up I carried the spirit of Karl Benz and his passion for cars, as auto motor racing became a large part of my life. I became involved in competitive formula kart racing at a young age, traveling to national and international events in nearly 30 countries including the United Arab Emirates, Portugal and Austria. During my racing career, I also moved to Italy for a brief period, learning the language, culture, and of course absorbing strategies from the greatest Italian racing legends. I am so thankful I was given the opportunity to live in Germany, America and Italy, which has subsequently opened new worlds for me as I now speak three languages fluently, German, English and Spanish, in addition to some Italian. The exposure to differing cultures, experiences and people is what I bring to the table when speaking to our clients at Allegiant, as I can relate to international experiences and can help provide insight to clients when discussing their financial matters based on specific situations or backgrounds. 

My love, dedication and passion for the formula racing sport brought me my sweetest victory: I became the first and only female U.S. Grand National Champion, competing against thousands of racers. (I am only the second woman in the world in my category to win a national title.) Even though I might now be considered “old” in the racing world, I continue to stay involved. Today I have gained some recognition as a mentor who has helped young and aspiring drivers achieve international championships, placing them in globally recognized formula racing series including Indy Lights and Formula 3. 

My quickly growing career in a male-dominated sport gave me the opportunity to be offered a free ride in Formula 2000, a precursor series to Indy Car. However, at that point I had to decide between becoming a professional race car driver or continuing my education. I chose education, and so I dedicated my time and energy to my future career. In college, I worked many long nights to graduate two years early and be placed as the highest-ranking undergraduate student of my graduating class. My education continues today, as I am a candidate for a Master of Science degree in Personal Financial Planning (MS, PFP). My ultimate goal rests in better serving our clients at Allegiant through both increased and specialized knowledge, which this graduate degree will help provide. 

Just before my last day as an undergraduate college student, I ran into and met Marty Kossoff along with his wonderful family. I don’t know how I was so lucky, but somehow Marty saw something in me and decided to give me the chance of a lifetime to start my career as an intern at Allegiant. The rest, as they say, is history. 

I consider myself to be extremely fortunate and want to give back to my community. I am very passionate about education, so I joined and then became the youngest President to serve on the Corporate Board for Just for Girls, a non-profit organization aimed to broaden and improve access to education for underprivileged girls. I am also tremendously blessed to work with our firm’s C.O.O., Paul Cantor on several non-profit programs. Realizing that most individuals are not very well-versed in financial literacy, we started a pro bono program serving the Sarasota community that educates young professionals one-on-one in financial literacy. It is our goal to give back as much as we can and to be a part of our beautiful community’s growth and development. 

By far, joining the Allegiant team has been the best decision in my life and I look forward to what the future holds. And I am confident when I say that this is the best, and hopefully my only, job!