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Chris Vizzi

Co-founder and Partner, South Coast Investment Advisors

When the financial crisis hammered the transactional business of the independent brokerage where he worked, Chris Vizzi decided to act. He maxed out his credit cards and joined with business partner Kelly Clyde to create their own firm that seeks to serve as a CFO for clients. Vizzi, a certified financial planner, had gained experience working on real estate investments, especially Section 1031 transactions, for his affluent small-business clients who owned property. The firm continues that specialization today, hosting more than 50 meetings a year that bring together clients and outside experts to discuss real estate investment trends and opportunities.

While his clients and his Newport Beach, California, business address bespeak the area’s affluence, Vizzi, 38, has not forgotten that many residents of Orange County are not wealthy. He founded the Lift Foundation in 2013, which has supported a local food bank, a preschool for homeless kids and programs for single mothers, including college scholarships. Vizzi and his wife are expecting their fourth child, and Vizzi said they appreciate their good fortune and are grateful they can help others who are struggling.

Evan Cooper