Humberto Cruz, a syndicated financial columnist appearing in 120 newspapers worldwide, is one of eight financial planners or financial experts who will receive the Financial Planning Association (FPA) Heart of Financial Planning Distinguished Service Award for their extraordinary contributions to the world of financial planning. The awards, being presented for the second time this year, will be given at the FPA Seattle 2007 conference in September.
   Cruz has covered the financial planning profession for more than 15 years through his columns, The Savings Game and Retire Smart.
   "Many journalists have shown the importance and power of financial planning, and Humberto has led that charge in his columns," says FPA Chairman Daniel B. Moisand. "He has been invaluable in FPA's work to join together journalists with planners to educate the public on the value of financial planning."
   Also among the honorees will be Gwen Fletcher of Gwen Fletcher & Associates in Northbridge NSW, Australia, who gained the reputation of being Australia's First Lady of Financial Planning by being pioneering the development of financial planning as a true profession in her country. She was instrumental in the creation of the Financial Planning Association of Australia.
   Larry W. Johnson, CFP, president of Sterling Financial Advisory Services Inc. in Itasca, Ill., will be honored for his work with the Foundation for Financial Planning and the assistance it provides to Hurricane Katrina victims, among other things.
   Being honored posthumously is James Russell Parker, CFP, of Preservation Wealth Management Group in San Antonio, Texas, who died suddenly earlier this year. He will be recognized for his efforts to mentor new financial planners studying for their CFP certification and for promoting the profession while giving back to the community.