Inspiring Philanthropy With Gentry Byrnes: A Professional Advisor Journey of Giving Back

by | Sep 7, 2023 | Philanthropy | 0 comments

Gentry B. Byrnes is the chief fiduciary officer, board member, and co-founder of Adelphi Trust Company, the only trust company in Florida founded, managed, and majority-owned by women. With a remarkable legal and fiduciary career spanning 29 years, Gentry has held prominent positions such as the chief fiduciary officer of Raymond James Trust, N.A., and the senior regional trust manager for Wells Fargo. She has established herself as a trusted expert and committed to giving back personally and helping her clients create lasting legacies.

Gentry’s dedication to community service traces back to her early experiences in a small Kentucky town. Volunteering at the local nursing home during her middle school years, playing cards and providing companionship to the residents, would eventually lead her to a career as a board-certified elder law attorney. Volunteerism is still important to Gentry; she volunteers at St. Vincent de Paul, serving people experiencing homelessness, and at Wills for Warriors, an initiative she co-founded at Stetson College of Law that provides estate planning to veterans. ​​Gentry also serves as the treasurer for the St. Pete Bar Foundation, which provides grants to organizations that offer legal assistance.

The Adelphi Trust team is committed to educating the next generation about financial planning, retirement savings, and charitable giving. Gentry believes that women often approach estate planning discussions differently, focusing on client’s goals, desires, and what they want for their families. “Customizing their portfolios, it’s really that extra touch of talking to them about what they want for their family and what their desires are. What’s going to happen if they become incapacitated, or what happens in their death?” she explains.

Adelphi Trust’s motto, “We exist to protect,” reflects the range of ways in which the company safeguard its clients’ interests. Beyond protecting client wealth, the Adelphi Trust provides support for beneficiaries with special needs or mental challenges and counsels individuals on various aspects of trust management. Gentry’s background in psychology complements her role in the trust business, as she often finds herself helping clients navigate complex family dynamics and emotional challenges.

Gentry is deeply committed to making philanthropy accessible to her clients and encourages working with Pinellas Community Foundations as a charitable partner. She believes that even those who haven’t been charitable may want to give back. “It is always something we talk to our clients about. Every client is different. Sometimes, charitable planning helps in a particular tax situation. Some clients having a charitable remainder trust as they retire is very important to them. They can transfer low basis stock, and then they get that stream of income,” Gentry explains.

Personally, she holds a donor-advised fund at PCF, emphasizing the ease of online contributions and the misconception that significant funds are necessary to begin. “I’m a big fan of a donor-advised fund. Once you establish a donor-advised fund, it’s been my experience with clients, they want to continue to say, “Yes,” to it because they see it’s an easy way to give back.” Gentry adds, “Pinellas Community Foundation is the easiest way for clients to start giving; I think it makes philanthropy accessible to people. The $5,000 minimum is much lower than people think, and it’s really important because every little bit matters.”

Founding a trust company, especially one that is women-owned, has presented unique opportunities and challenges. While Gentry and co-founder Katie Pemble have received overwhelming support from the community, they have also encountered outdated stereotypes and misconceptions, with some advising them against emphasizing their women-led status and others assuming they only have female clients. The team at Adelphi Trust remains undeterred, working diligently to break down barriers.

PCF is grateful for the services provided by Gentry and the Adelphi Trust team. We consider you a partner in philanthropy, supporting a stronger Pinellas County through caring deeply about the community while sharing a wealth of information and experience.

PCF Is Your Trusted Partner

With broad expertise in planned giving and an in-depth knowledge of local nonprofits, Pinellas Community Foundation works with individuals, businesses, and professional advisors to help establish impactful results from charitable contributions. We’d love to be your partner in philanthropy.