Decorated Veteran Helps Mother Do Good With Her Investments


Before retirement, Doug Heckman balanced two careers: one in the military and one in the civilian world of institutional investments.

After graduating from West Point in 1981, he served as an A-Team leader with the Green Berets in the U.S. Army Special Forces in the Middle East. Eight years later, Heckman earned a Master of Business Administration from Duke University. In the 1990s, he served in the U.S. Army Reserves, first as a captain and then as a major.

A few weeks after 9/11, Heckman and his former comrades went to Afghanistan for one year before being deployed to Iraq for two years. In 2011, Heckman, a recipient of three Bronze Stars and a Legion of Merit, retired as a colonel from the U.S. Army Reserves.

From 1989 until his second retirement in 2018, Heckman parlayed his financial expertise into a successful career as an executive with multi-billion-dollar investment management firms.

Having two careers while raising three children with his wife, Patricia, was not easy.

“We joined Simpsonwood UMC in 1991, and it has been our church family ever since,” Heckman said. “The three years I was in Afghanistan and Iraq, the church wrapped themselves around my family. It’s a special place with a lot of meaning.”

Whenever his parents, Malcolm and Joanne Heckman, would travel from New Jersey to visit, they always looked forward to attending Simpsonwood UMC with their son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren.

“My parents moved down here four years ago to be closer to family, and then two years later, my dad passed away,” Heckman said. “My father always handled their investments, so my mother needed help. Luckily, she had me, her son, someone she could trust with 25 years of investment experience, who could seek out the plethora of investment options out there.”

Heckman first learned about the Georgia United Methodist Foundation when his good friend, the Rev. Keith Lawder, was appointed president/CEO in 2016. (Keith retired from this role on June 30, 2021). When he was looking for ideas on where to invest a significant portion of his mother’s assets conservatively, he remembered GUMF’s Certificate Program with fixed-rate investments, which provide funds for loans to churches and agencies.

“My mom and dad instilled in their children what it means to be a good Christian and the importance of doing good with your money,” Heckman said. My mom is in her early 80s. She is investing her nest egg not only for herself but also for charitable causes and leaving a legacy to her six children.

When she visited the Foundation’s website and saw the good work being done with loans and scholarships, she was excited. The Foundation’s Certificate Program provides my mother with an opportunity to do good with her money while receiving above-average returns. She has peace of mind knowing her investment is helping to enlarge God’s Kingdom.”