2020 was a heck of a year for just about everyone. Exhausted by disease, political division, social disruption, and economic uncertainty, we are all aching for change. The dawn of 2021 seemed like the perfect opportunity to just put it all behind us as quickly as possible and move on.
Before I say a final goodbye to 2020 though, I want to express my deep appreciation for my colleagues here, because it is precisely against the tough backdrop of last year that their best attributes stand out. Absent the stout challenges we faced together throughout last year, and those we will all surely face moving forward, it might be easier to take this team’s special qualities for granted. But if there is one thing I learned in 2020, it’s that I shouldn’t take anything, or anyone, for granted.
Aristotle once said: “There exists a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.” I have believed wholeheartedly in that wisdom for many years, especially when it is applied to the magic that can happen within a great team. Not a group of individual all-stars, but a closely bonded unit of solid players who are completely dependable, who feel safe and valued by each other for their unique talents, strengths, and areas of specialty, and who are willing to go the extra mile for each other, and for the mission and people they serve when things get really tough. Great teams generate levels of internal courage, trust and adaptability that far transcend the sum of each individual’s contribution. I am blessed to work with such a team here, and I want you to know it.
Diane Hunley has been our receptionist, and much more, for almost 10 years. She serves colleagues and clients in more ways than you can count. She is the warm and inviting voice that greets you when you call and will be the smiling face that welcomes you when you walk back through our doors. She is a skilled and caring soul with a superpower for discovering and remembering every individual’s personal story, family connections and sensibilities. Her warm touch helps everyone feel understood and valued.
Donna Geery’s official domain for 16 years is our critical filing system. Her title: Goddess of Files, conveys that, but with a nod to the fact that her contributions go far beyond. Donna’s background as an English teacher keeps typos and grammar in check for almost all the written material we generate. Her Master’s degree in Psychology makes her an invaluable source of insight and compassionate understanding for colleagues and clients alike – including me. And Donna ensures all crucial documentation is up to date and fully compliant. She has a sharp eye for detail, an innate drive to make sure things are done exactly right, and the conviction to speak up quickly if they are not.
Raymond Krisanda oversees trading, bookkeeping and custodial interface. With 19 years of experience on this team, Ray has nearly seen it all. Each day finds him executing transactions and ensuring that all client money movement is achieved with utmost care and accuracy. When problems arise, Ray solves them quickly because he has built solid relationships with each of our custodians and vendors. He knows exactly who to call and what to do to make things happen.
Daisy Lopez is our Staff Accountant. She is also a highly talented and detail-oriented artist. Check out our latest newsletters to see her inspiring skills. An indispensable member of our team for more than three years, Daisy is responsible for all of our daily portfolio accounting, quarterly reporting, and quarterly billing functions. She also handles our payroll and is the gatekeeper of our secure portal. Daisy’s careful attention to detail, her skills with complex spreadsheets, and her positive attitude add confidence to everyone she works with and everything she touches.
Shelby Holt is our Client Services Specialist. She also oversees our marketing efforts. As the newest member of the team, Shelby just celebrated her two-year anniversary. She is warm and wonderful at working with clients who need friendly assistance with just about anything, preparing workflows for colleagues, coordinating internal training efforts, spearheading our monthly newsletters, and overseeing our social media presence and our website. Shelby’s background in graphic design and her heart for human relationships give us a dose of warmth and creativity that is essential to great client and colleague experiences alike. If you have not heard from her yet, you probably will sometime soon.
Chris Vasquez, ChFC is a Senior Advisor Associate. For almost seven years, he has been a constant source of positive energy and leadership. Chris is passionate about helping others improve their financial situation and gain clarity about their long-range objectives. He offers his expertise to everyone, be it a client or fellow team member, with kindness, empathy, and a generous dose of firm determination. A natural at bringing people together with a clear focus on the future, Chris is adept at finding solutions no matter what the challenge. Just this month he was awarded the designation of ChFC, and he has completed all of the coursework towards an eventual CFP certification.
Mark Ward, CFP, ChFC is VP of Operations and the Chairman of our Investment Policy Committee. With 21 years of solid commitment to this team, Mark is passionate about efficiency and diligent in his attention towards guiding people to their most cherished financial objectives. A proud member of MENSA, Mark is both a student of history and a constant learner. He oversees our disciplined investment process, helping to match each client’s investment objectives and time horizons with broadly diversified and carefully allocated portfolios. Mark is also a Level 3 Sommelier and is responsible for selecting the outstanding wines at many an LSG client appreciation event over the years. We look forward to showcasing those talents again when we can all safely come back together.
Every single one of these folks are key stakeholders in our on-going success – and yours. All have proven their commitment to constantly offering their best individual talents towards making this whole team as effective and as adaptable as we can be during a period of massive change and disruption. It has been an impressive effort to be part of, and I am filled with appreciation. That commitment should give you confidence to have them on your team too.
Thomas G. Twombly