Planning matters

Celebrating 40 Years in the Community

In 1983, Deborah F. Johnson, MS, CFP®, started her financial planning career. A key reason the profession was attractive to her way back then still resonates with the financial planners at Johnson Bixby today ― because it combines the use of deep technical knowledge together with building relationships.

We have the benefit of helping clients achieve their goals, work through life’s financial questions and celebrate and honor all the milestones along the way. By providing clients information to make more informed decisions, we have been able to watch over four decades how strengthening one household in turn strengthens the next generation and in turn, the community. It’s our Ripple Effect in action!

Debbie and Heidi, 1993


Although Debbie and I are not related, we are an example of a successful transition of ownership to the next generation. I joined Debbie as her assistant in 1991, and now I’m celebrating 32 years with the company. Debbie retired in 2008 after 25 successful years, selling her remaining ownership to me. As for the firm’s name, it was called Johnson Bixby after my last name (Bixby) and Debbie’s last name at the time, but … plot twist! … when I married in 2009, I took my husband’s last name (Johnson) and put it in front of Bixby and legally became Heidi M. Johnson Bixby to match the firm name. (Clever, right?)

Notably, Kim Baker joined us in 1993, and celebrates her 30th year with the firm this year too. We have a lot to celebrate this year!

Kim, Debbie and Heidi, 1994, Esther St. office grand opening

Office moves

For most of the last 40 years, our office has been in several locations in downtown Vancouver. Here’s where we’ve been over the last 27 years:

  • 1994 – 2007: 1012 Esther Street
  • 2005: purchased 1128 Broadway (Longview, WA)
  • 2008 – 2011: leased 1601 C Street
  • 2012 – 2019: 1201 Main Street (I’m proud to say that I designed this space with my dad!)
  • 2020 – present: The Hurley Building

Creating a Ripple Effect

I’m so pleased the firm has grown into a successful business that continues help clients achieve their goals, mentor the next generation of financial professionals and give back to the community. And we are proud to be active members of this vibrant community.

One way we support our local community is through our Community Engagement Committee efforts, whose guiding principles include: Programs for Positive Change, Community Enhancement, Empowerment through Leadership, and Education and Skills for Financial Wellness. In 2022, our committee chose eight organizations to support with $13,500 in sponsorship funds. As part of our 40th celebrations, we’ll be announcing sponsorships for local organizations throughout the year. Stay tuned for more news on that front.

To give back to our profession, we hosted a College Visit Day at our offices just last week, with students from local universities attending. Students learned about careers in finance, marketing, HR and more, and spent time networking with our financial planners and other team members at the firm.

Some of the finance students at College Visit Day, 2023

Celebrating and giving back

So, you may be asking, “When’s the party??” It’s all year long! Rather than hosting one big celebration, we are hosting many events in 2023. Please join us when you can – you’ll find updates on our website, so check back for new events.

I do hope you’ll sign up and participate in one of the following upcoming events at our offices in The Hurley Building downtown: 

  • February 9 & 10: our Blood Donation Drive in Ripple Space, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 40 spots each day; register here.
  • March 1: our first Ripple Event of the year, featuring Jon Nicolazzo from American Funds/Capital Group who will talk about Predictions for Long-Term Investors, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Registration coming soon
  • March 18: our Shred Event in front of the building, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each household is allowed two bags or two banker boxes of papers. Open to the public. No registration required.

Thank you to our clients, our partners, and our team members. We look forward to celebrating with you and looking ahead to the next 40 years!