Humans of NAU: Emy Tice

Two-time Lumberjack alumna Emy Tice never quite left NAU after graduating, and when the opportunity to teach full-time presented itself, she jumped at it. It’s not the only time she’s taken a leap—outside of the classroom, the finance professor likes all the sports that come with an adrenaline rush.

What brought you to NAU?  

I originally came to NAU for my undergraduate BSBA degree in finance. I stayed to earn my MBA in management. After grad school, I worked in corporate finance for 15 years as the business manager and then general manager of Boyer Metal Company. During my corporate finance career, I was an adjunct faculty member at the Franke College of Business (FCB) and occasionally Coconino Community College. Teaching full-time was my long-term goal. I began my full-time teaching career at NAU in Fall 2011.  

Emy Tice hiking in the red rocks in Sedona.How and why did you start the financial planner track at FCB?  

Why: There are myriad options for careers in finance and at times it can be overwhelming to finance majors when choosing a career track. Earning a certificate in financial planning makes students eligible for the CFP (certified financial planner) exam and gives them a direct career path into financial planning. As baby boomers age, they will need retirement advice, and a large majority of financial planners will be retiring as well. Because of this, there are great career opportunities in the financial planning field. 

How: I coordinated with both the CFP Board and the NAU FCB curriculum to develop the seven required certificate classes that cover the 72 learning objectives required for a registered CFP Board program. The process took several years for curriculum development and program design. Christine Drake, director of student services at FCB, was instrumental in helping with the curriculum and program design. Her knowledge and expertise were invaluable.  

Why is financial planning important?  

Financial planning is important because, as with anything you want to accomplish, you need to set goals and have a plan for how to achieve them. The same is true for financial goals and planning. Financial planning includes protecting your assets and income (insurance planning), investing appropriately for your future retirement (investment planning), setting goals for retirement and mapping out the retirement plan, making a plan for your estate once you are gone (estate planning—who will receive your assets and how they will be split up) and the overarching goal of reducing your lifetime tax liability (tax planning). Regardless of whether you are working on building wealth or managing existing wealth, all these aspects of financial planning are important. 

How did you get into/what do you enjoy about your high-intensity hobbies? Emy Tice and her husband cross-country skiing

I have a deep love for nature and spending time outdoors, either alone or with my husband and friends. It is the place that recharges and grounds me. I love doing almost all outdoor activities that are self-powered (non-motorized). I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie. Add to that my analytical brain and you get an addiction to highly technical and challenging activities like mountain biking, skiing, trail running and paddleboarding rivers (a few of my favorite pastimes). I was introduced to most of these activities in college and later through my Flagstaff community, including my adventure-seeking husband.   

Tell me about a significant childhood memory and how it has impacted your life today.  

I grew up in the Phoenix area. My father used to bring my sister and me to Flagstaff to hike, play in the snow and generally hang out in nature. I remember wanting to step on an ant while on a hike because, you know, ants bite and they can be pesky if we leave them food on the ground. My father stopped me from stepping on the ant, or any bug/creature for that matter, and asked me how I would feel if a giant ant came along and squashed me for no reason! As a young girl, I found that to be a profound question. My dad taught me that everything has a purpose, and we can all live harmoniously together. To this day, I don’t kill spiders in my house or even the mice that my cats bring in the house. I catch them and release them back outside to continue on with their agendas. I definitely inherited my love of nature from my father.  

EMy Tice with two men at the TEacher of the Year ceremony in 2023.What did you want to be when you grew up? 

I didn’t really have a strong calling or even an inkling about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I have always just sort of floated through life and accepted what came my way. I have definitely tried hard to manifest the things I want the most while recognizing that often goals and plans change. As a child I would never have thought I would run a construction company, be a college professor or help people manage and meet their financial goals as a Certified Financial Planner. I didn’t even know I would do these things when I graduated from college. I remember telling my mother on graduation day that I was going to be a ski instructor in the winter and a dive instructor in the summer. She just smiled and said I should do whatever makes me happy. I think I’ve done that.  

What have you been most proud of recently?  

I am proud of the success of the NAU financial planning certificate program, being recognized as FCB Teacher of the Year lastEmy Tice mountain biking through a jungle year, my promotion to Teaching Professor for this coming academic year, and the organic growth of my financial planning business. I have worked really hard at all these things the last five years and the hard work has finally paid off.  

What is your favorite way to spend a day off?  

Without a doubt I need to be outside on a day off, even if only for an hour, and even if it’s cold outside. Right now, I would spend at least part of the day downhill or cross-country skiing. I also love to head south to Lake Pleasant for some mountain biking, hiking and paddling. I would definitely sleep in! Days off are fleeting for me, so they are cherished and full of fun.  

What are three things on your bucket list?  

Driving to Alaska, which we are doing this summer (check this off!), a backpacking hut trip in the Swiss Alps around the Matterhorn and having only one job. I see all of these things happening in my near future! 


NAU Communications