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David Pickler has built his personal and professional life on the principles of community service, civic leadership, and philanthropic investment.
David Pickler is the founder of multiple companies including one non-profit foundation: Pickler Wealth Advisors, The Pickler Law Firm, Pickler Accounting Advisors, and the American Public Education Foundation. Although all of the companies are headquartered in Tennessee, David Pickler serves clients worldwide. He believes his greatest investment is in the Collierville community where he has been recognized for his extensive support to local causes.
David began his career in the investment business over 25 years ago. He graduated Magna CumLaude from Arkansas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree in 1980 and from Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, University of Memphis, with Juris Doctor Degree in 1985. He was admitted to the Tennessee Bar in 1986 and maintains an active practice emphasizing Tax and Estate Planning. In 2000, David joined a select group of attorneys admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC).
In addition, David Pickler has been a lecturer in Tax and Financial Planning matters, an approved instructor for attorneys and CPAs continuing professional education, and has frequently appeared as a commentator on television programs. This led him to form Pickler Accounting Advisors.
Despite all of his professional successes, it is David’s philanthropic achievements and dedication to improving public education that he is most proud of. Pickler believes community service and civic leadership to be an “essential element of citizenship” – a motto that has framed his life for the past quarter century.
Community Recognition: In his home state of Tennessee, David Pickler has been awarded numerous awards including PTA Life Membership, Hometown Hero in Germantown, and City of Germantown Citizen of the Year. Over the past decade, Pickler has also supported the local scouting movement by developing, organizing, and executing plans that have raised over $15,000,000 in operations and capital support. He has also personally donated over $250,000 to the Council over the past five years and has been recognized by the Boy Scouts of America for his leadership and service over the past quarter century with the Silver Beaver Award. In addition, David Pickler created two significant annual giving programs in the Shelby County, Tennessee school district: The David A. Pickler Distinguished Technology Educator Award and The Pickler Community Leader Scholarship. Pickler also organized and executed the highly successful Capital Campaign that resulted in the construction of the first permanent home in the nearly 50-year history of the Memphis Oral School for the Deaf. David was honored by having Pickler Hall on MOSD’s campus named after him.
National Recognition: David Pickler extended his philanthropic giving by developing and leading a Capital Campaign for the Tennessee School Boards Association. The campaign raised over $100,000 and empowered TSBA to acquire a new headquarters and retire all debt associated with the new renovations. David was once again honored by having the conference room, Pickler Conference Center, named after him. His efforts in Tennessee led David Pickler to the national stage where he has received prestigious recognitions in the field of education.
David has also supported JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) through fundraising events and personal donations over the past two years. Since 2013, Pickler has been the Title Sponsor at the JDRF Gala, an annual event that raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for Type 1 diabetes research.
In April 2013, David was elected the 66th President of the National School Boards Association leading 90,000 school board members serving the country. Under his leadership, he created the “Army of Advocates” – a movement that gained more than 5 million members in less than one year. Pickler also initiated the “Stand Up 4 Public Schools” campaign and helped recruit celebrity spokespeople to carry the message that public education is more than a civil right – it is a vital national security interest. Montel Williams and Magic Johnson are just some of the celebrities who support the campaign.
In 2014, NSBA partnered with Fox Searchlight and Penguin Books to bring “12 Years A Slave” educational materials to every high school in America – NSBA’s largest corporate partnership to date. David was invited to the 86th Academy Awards as a guest of Steve McQueen – the director of “12 Years A Slave” –who later accepted the “Best Picture Award” wearing a red “Stand Up 4 Public Education” wristband given to him by David that evening.
In 2014, David founded and launched the American Public Education Foundation where he continues to advocate for equity and excellence in our nation’s public schools. The American Public Education Foundation was founded to help protect America’s economic and national security interests through programs and services that support high-quality public education. The Foundation serves the interests of America’s public schoolchildren – our nation’s future leaders. The Foundation believes in the power of public education to transform lives, grow economies and strengthen America. The programs and initiatives the Foundation undertakes aim to unite ordinary Americans – lawmakers, business leaders, administrators, teachers, parents, community leaders and others – in a national public education movement centered on keeping the American Dream alive.
David A. Pickler, Esq., CFP®, ChFC®, CDFA®