Community involvement is a longtime passion for Jason Chacko ’06 ΔΤΔ, Certified Financial Planner with The Chacko Group at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. By day, Chacko develops tailored financial plans for his clients to help make them comfortable with lifetime goals and their ability to achieve them. Off the clock, however, he’s just as service-minded, and his volunteer work in the Little Rock community, including with the Little Rock FBI field office, has garnered national attention. Chacko was recently selected to receive the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for 2017.
“The director of the FBI awards the DCLA annually to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to their local communities through service,” Chacko says. “Since there is only one nominee from each of the 56 field offices nationally each year, this is a tremendous honor to even be nominated. It comes with a charge from the director: to continue to be a positive addition to your community.”
From his work with the FBI field office to his dozens of other community-focused endeavors, Chacko’s positive influence is clear. He’s a member of the Delta Tau Delta-Delta Omicron Chapter Alumni Board, a board member of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in his hometown, Arkansas chapter president of the FBI Citizen’s Academy, young alumni board member of the Catholic High School for Boys and communications chairman of the Little Rock Club of Rotary International.
Although Chacko isn’t sure what put him on the DCLA nominating committee’s radar, he says the whole process has served as a valuable lesson.
“If anything, it proved to me that it’s important to act like you are setting an example,” he says, “because you never know who is watching.”
A diverse education
For Chacko, Westminster College played a big part in cultivating his service-minded interests. It wasn’t just the place where he earned his degree. Rather, it was where he uncovered his passions — and then learned how to pursue them.
“My favorite teacher, Dr. Douglas R. Fickess, was famous for saying, ‘There is no such thing as a Westminster wallflower,’” Chacko remembers. “Westminster College has a legacy of creating leaders, no matter what field of study you follow.”
Chacko — a biology major with minors in business, chemistry, physics and allied health services — experienced firsthand the benefit of small class sizes and individual attention from professors. He was also involved with numerous groups and organizations, including Delta Tau Delta fraternity, Skulls of Seven, Honor Commission, Beta Beta Beta biology fraternity, Chemistry Club (charter member), Environmentally Concerned Students (charter member) and Peer Health Educators.
“I was able to pursue a very diverse education and figure out my life goals based on the passions that were cultivated there,” he says. “Whether it be my medical education, my financial literacy or my affinity for community involvement, I know I would not be the same person had it not been for my four years at Westminster.”
As Chacko thinks of the future, he looks forward to what’s ahead, both professionally and personally. He plans to continue learning the best ways to serve his clients on their way to financial independence, he says, and he’s excited to begin family life with his fiancée, Kristin Smith (William Woods ’08).
“Outside of those two things, I hope to be able to serve my community in any way that I can,” he adds.
As for how his recent award will shape his career going forward, Chacko says he views it as a stimulus for future service.
“The DCLA is a national award, so it is a sturdy milestone for me,” he says. “I hope that it serves as a motivator so that I will continue to offer a helping hand wherever I can.”