It is truly an understatement that in her career, Lillie Ben, Ph.D. candidate, has worn many hats focused on service. Overall, Lillie describes herself as a servant of society. In fact, since her humble upbringing, she personifies “service”—family service and customer service. She served her parents in her family’s restaurant by peeling potatoes at the age of four, washing dishes as a teenager, and serving customers as a wait staff in the dining room and as a sous chef in the kitchen during her twenties and early thirties. Presently, Lillie serves the public as a financial educator, adviser, and planner and volunteers as a Mentor for women guiding them on leadership and entrepreneurship skills. More recently, she is providing a multitude of value-added services to women veterans through her newly created nonprofit organization, the Women Warrior Vision [WWV].
Lillie grew up the daughter of Korean immigrants who settled in Omaha, NE where they opened their 5-star restaurant serving Asian cuisines. As a child, her parents taught her that challenging work, ethics, and sacrifice always lead to a positive future. It is with this philosophy and upbringing that Lillie shares how to be a forward thinker in seeking opportunities to achieve goals on the levels of personal and professional development.
After graduating from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor’s Degree in comparative physiology, Lillie continued her education at the medical school in Jackson, Mississippi where she earned an MS degree in cardiovascular-renal physiology.
After working for nearly ten years in the pharmaceutical industry, she uncovered how to integrate her knowledge and skills from the sciences and transferred her talents to the financial services industry where she services individuals and their families and business owners of small and medium size companies. Realizing that the best service that provides the greatest value-add to clients is through educating and sharing insightful knowledge with them, Lillie subsequently attained an MBA from the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business and a Master’s Degree in Finance Services from The American College in Bryn Mawr, PA. Currently, she is completing her Ph.D. in the School of Applied Management and Decision Science with the emphasis on Finance at Walden University in Minneapolis. Her dissertation focuses on gender differences in mentorship programs in businesses and academia.
Lillie is the CEO and the managing partner of her financial services firm, the Essentria Financial Experience, LLC. Since 1998, Essentria has implemented tax planning and financial strategies to business owners who focus on increasing their cash flow; while serving individuals and families who focus on retirement and income planning through managing their short-term and long-term risks. Among all advisors in the financial services arena, nationwide, Lillie is one of a handful who has earned the credential, “Retirement Income Certified Professional [RICP®].” And believing that empowerment is achieved through implementing knowledge, she ranks high among the few advisors who are truly ‘financial educators’. As an Adjunct Professor, Lillie teaches financial literacy primarily to women at several Universities in Denver. Over the last few years, she has volunteered to teach financial literacy to the women soldiers at the U.S. Army 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion at Fort Carson, Colorado.
As a philanthropist, Lillie serves as Director on several nonprofit Boards. As well, she is the founder and Executive Director of her own newly formed nonprofit, the Women Warrior Vision [WWV]. In November 2016, the IRS approved WWV as a fully functioning 501(c)(3) organization. WWV financially supports five programs for female Veterans via funding their educational tuition, paying for treatments toward their mental health and mental wellbeing, and offering classes on financial literacy and mentorship for personal and professional growth and development.
Overall, Lillie derives her wisdom about service from a potpourri of life experiences that range from serving customers in the restaurant business to serving clients in the financial service business to serving women veterans who, themselves, have served in the business of protecting Americans. Her compassion lies in serving underprivileged women—helping them to attain a better life. As a business owner and head of household and advocate for health and wealth, Lillie is a truly a passionate servant, teacher, and Mentor…embracing and empowering others through her knowledge and understanding on how to implement forward-thinking strategies to create and achieve wellbeing—especially financial wellbeing for women and their families.