Broker Check

Our Team

Meet the team committed to bringing you nearer to your goals.

Patrick W. Simpkins

Owner, Proximity Financial Partners


Patrick brings Proximity clients proven leadership and substantial experience through more than two decades in executive positions in business, with the majority of those years in the financial services industry. Before co-founding Proximity in 2007, he was a private financial advisor at SunTrust Banks Inc., one of the largest financial holding companies in the US. As a member of their Private Wealth Management Team for the Raleigh/Durham area, Patrick guided diverse customers in creating, protecting, and transferring wealth. In 2006, he was selected to sit on the Advisory Council of SunTrust Investment Services. Patrick has done postgraduate work at North Carolina State University.

Prior to its acquisition by SunTrust in 2005, Patrick served as a vice president for Central Carolina Bank, where his clients included executives, professional athletes, and owners of small businesses.

Patrick’s early experience as a successful entrepreneur affords him an in-depth and personal understanding of the needs of his clients. The Raleigh native and graduate of Broughton High School was studying business administration at NC State when he founded Simpkins Landscaping, Construction and Debris Removal. As his business quickly grew, he developed an interest in wealth management. Patrick later sold the business and joined the Raleigh office of AXA Advisors LLC, a subsidiary of the global financial giant.

Licenses: 6,7,63,65, life & health, multiple states. LTC-Long Term Care. Member, Financial Services Institute.

Diane M. Staples

Sr. Financial Advisor, Proximity Financial Partners


Diane is a Sr. Financial Advisor who joined Proximity Financial Partners in September 2016 from Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. She has been in the financial services industry for 14 years and brings a wealth of experience in working with individuals, families, and small business owners.

I began my career as a Registered Client Associate to Patrick Simpkins, a Private Financial Advisor with SunTrust Banks, Inc. in 2003. During this time I was able learn from a more experienced advisor, as well as become proficient in operations and compliance. This helped me understand how important attention to detail is in this industry.

In 2005 I began my career as an advisor. What I’ve enjoyed most about this career is adding a personal caring approach to what can be an overwhelming issue for individuals and families. I expect all client interactions and recommendations to be based on a plan; which will be created through communication and understanding of a client’s objectives, cares, and concerns. First we listen, then we plan. Every client deserves for his or her advisor to listen then take all of their expertise to create an individualized plan.

Outside of work I am a wife and mother of 3 wonderful children that occupy all of my spare time. Between volunteering with school and their extracurricular activities; my daughter plays travel softball and my son plays travel hockey with Jr. Hurricanes, we keep an active lifestyle. We also enjoy North Carolina State athletics and Carolina Hurricanes hockey.

Licenses 7,65,24 Life and health and long term cared licensed in multiple states. Member Financial Services Institute

Donna Hewitt

Benefits Advisor


Donna has specialized in the field of healthcare benefits since her career began nearly two decades ago, and Proximity clients benefit from her rich store of knowledge and experience. At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, she served as a customer service representative, a group service representative, and ultimately an enrollment expert. Those roles included working with brokers as well as group and benefits administrators, and she developed broad knowledge regarding a wide variety of healthcare plans. At Progressive Benefits Solutions, Donna served as account manager developing formal proposals for health, dental, and ancillary plans. In 2002, she joined Central Carolina Bank as a group insurance specialist. In that capacity she obtained quotations, instituted a group health insurance program, and prepared formal proposals. Donna joined Proximity in 2008.

Donna serves her fellow professionals on the Triangle Association of Health Underwriters where she has been media chair for three years and now is incoming secretary. She has two sons and three grandchildren, and outside of work, she enjoys travel, birdwatching, and nearly any outdoors activity.