For most financial advisors, the past year has been the toughest ever for their individual practices and the profession at large. As a result, Charles Schwab at its annual Impact Conference this week in San Diego announced its Charles R. Schwab Impact Award for individual leadership goes to the entire independent investment advisor community to recognize the industry's achievement during the recent period of unprecedented challenges.

Schwab said it will donate $50,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in honor of all independent advisors.

Among other Impact Award winners was Wetherby Asset Management in San Francisco, which took home the Best-In-Business award for outstanding management.

Other winners were Bristlecone Advisors in Seattle, which won Best-In-Tech for technology excellence, and Heritage Wealth Advisors in Richmond, Va. was recognized with the Pacesetter Award for innovation and accelerated growth.