Diahann Lassus, president of the Lassus Wherley, a wealth management firm in New Providence, N.J., was named NAPFA chairperson at the organization's national conference this week in Long Beach, Calif.

  She takes office for the one-year position on September 1, replacing Thomas A. Orecchio, principal and executive vice president of Greenbaum and Orecchio Inc., a fee-only advisory firm in Old Tappan, N.J.

  Lassus' current position with NAPFA is chairperson of industry issues, and that invariably will be part of her and her organization's focus in the upcoming year, given regulatory uncertainty facing the financial advisory business-and the financial services industry as a whole.

  Lassus said that an important part of what NAFPA does is to speak up in the regulatory arena and meet with the SEC on various issues.

  "I think the challenge is bringing many people together to make an impact in Washington," she noted at the organization's awards banquet last night aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach harbor. "It will be critical to work with the FPA and CFP Board. We all want to protect consumers and make sure people get quality planning, where they know what they're getting and what they're paying for."
 Lassus said that NAPFA has just completed the first year of a three-year strategic plan to grow its membership base. That includes continuing development of its conferences and the education of its members. As part of those efforts, NAPFA announced at the conference that in early September, it will launch a national bus tour of between 150 to 200 cities to education consumers about personal finance. The tour will offer financial education workshops and seminars, along with press events with governors and mayors.