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Eric’s life journey is a testament to his perseverance and determination. Born and raised in Macon, he struggled to gain weight and make the high school football team. Upon graduation, Eric was recruited as a running back by several major college football schools. Choosing The Citadel, Eric opted for a disciplined lifestyle in which he could play football, receive an excellent education and serve his country.
While attending The Citadel, Eric’s leadership and integrity were recognized and rewarded. He became the very first African-American to command a battalion. As a Cadet Lieutenant Colonel, more than 400 members of the student community reported directly to him.
Following graduation, Eric worked in accounting at Owens-Corning. Later, he began five years of active military service – holding company command positions as a U.S. Army Junior Officer (in what was West Germany). Later, Eric earned a Management Certificate from University of Houston in Diversity Management and became a “trainer of trainers” in Emotional Intelligence and Diversity. Soon after, he was hired as Vice President of Diversity for Inventiv Health in New Jersey.
A lifetime learner, Eric joined Merrill Lynch in 2009 and holds several designations that reflect his commitment to clients and rigorous industry training:
• As a Merrill Lynch Retirement Benefits Consultants (RBC), Eric is one of a select group of highly qualified and credentialed Merrill Lynch advisors who can work with you to shape your investment strategies and create a plan that is designed to drive employee engagement and positive participant behavior. Eric also can help employees connect their life priorities to their finances – allowing them to pursue what matters most to them.
• Eric holds the designation of Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA).
• Eric is a Senior Portfolio Advisor. This allows him to help clients pursue their objectives by managing on a discretionary basis custom investment strategies, selecting from a wide range of Merrill Lynch model portfolios and third-party investment strategies.
Eric and his wife of more than 25 years (also a Macon native), the former Audrey Reid, have two children. Chrisjanea holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Fort Valley State, while Eric II, a high school student, is as an Air Force Junior ROTC Cadet with the rank of Cadet Lieutenant Colonel, Deputy Commander. The Mansons are also Taekwondo enthusiasts. Eric is a certified senior instructor and 4th degree black belt. Audrey and Eric II are 1st degree black belts, while Chrisjanea is a 3rd degree black belt. To “relax,” Eric enjoys playing golf, listening to classical and jazz music, reading the Bible and Sun Tzu’s Art of War.
Being generous with his resources and knowledge is essential to Eric’s mission of “paying it forward” in the same way many others have supported him. Eric serves as Vice Chairman of the Macon-Bibb Housing Authority, on the Board of Directors of the Otis Redding Foundation, and as President of Fathers Auxiliary Macon Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. He is also a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity – the oldest and most successful Greek letter fraternity of African-American men whose mission is modeling leadership, education and civic responsibility by supporting these endeavors and by mentoring young men who will advance the African-American community in all facets of equality, mutual respect and devotion to democratic traditions.
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1Investment products are offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.
2Banking products are offered by Bank of America, N.A.
3Insurance and annuity products offered through Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.
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