It is said that we rise by lifting others. That adage is never truer than in times of crisis.
Before I joined Leisure Capital just over five years ago, I spent 17 years of my career learning about finance and customer service working for one of our key partners, Charles Schwab. During my time there, I had the opportunity to work with several great teams at multiple locations, and at every turn I was impressed by the culture of both the organization and the people there. Not only did I feel that I could trust my co-workers, but I found that everything we did was centered on serving our clients in ways that delivered the greatest possible benefits. At the same time, everyone on the team helped each other. That environment not only made Schwab a great place to work, but I am certain it made us better able to help our clients.
I absolutely loved my time at Schwab. I had the opportunity to work in multiple Orange County branches, study for and pass my Series 7 and Series 66 license exams, and learn a ton about investing, estate planning and, most importantly, how to be an advocate for and a helping hand to my clients. I placed trades, provided education on ‘Investing 101’, and helped many clients walk through the difficult process of managing the financial aspects of their estate following the death of their spouse.
Then, just when I felt I had hit my stride, I found myself facing the one thing that every woman dreads: I found a lump in my breast. Almost overnight, I went from a happy and healthy mother, wife, and career woman to a cancer patient struggling to juggle my health, my career, and my family. It was one of the most difficult times of my life. Thankfully, my Schwab family made certain that my work didn’t add to my stress. They held me up in so many ways, offering help, compassion, and the support I needed to find that oh-so-delicate balance between work and life—and to get healthy.
When, in 2015, I was presented with an opportunity to join the Leisure team, I knew it was the ideal next step. I had known Gideon Bernstein for years; our paths had crossed many times at Schwab where Gideon was coordinating with Schwab Financial Consultants, and it was clear that his dedication to his clients and his work ethic were fully in step with what I’d learned in my years at Schwab. Transitioning to Leisure also felt right because, in a way, I wouldn’t really be leaving my Schwab family. With so many client accounts held at Schwab, Leisure would rely on me to serve as a knowledgeable liaison, putting my strong relationships to work to support our client service efforts and to help Leisure take advantage of all of the best that Schwab offered. It seemed to be a perfect match.
And it was. At Leisure, I found myself wearing what felt like 100 different hats (a symptom of transitioning from a team of thousands to a team of eight!), but I also found that the things I’d learned at Schwab—the complete transparency, the vow to always put the clients’ best interests first, and the culture of trust—translated with ease at my new ‘home.’ I’ve loved being able to help raise Leisure’s profile in the complex network at Schwab, and I’ve loved knowing that we’re all here to take care of each other and, in turn, to take care of our clients.
That feeling of being cared for, and the absolute importance of working with a team I trust, has rarely been more important than during the pandemic. Like most businesses, we had to move our offices and operations to remote locations practically overnight. As someone who was used to spending every day in the office, face-to-face with our clients, it was not an easy transition for me. Suddenly the processes and systems I knew so well had to be completely re-imagined. I had to create a home office, adjust my work flow, and get comfortable with caring for our clients without a hug or a handshake—all while homeschooling my 11-year-old daughter and sharing my cherished work space with the whole family. I confess, the first month was absolutely hellish.
And yet, through it all, I knew that our team at Leisure was there for me, and that I was there for them. We’ve had each other’s backs every step of the way, and it’s made all the difference in the world. As we strive to achieve some level of ‘normal,’ I have complete trust that we are all doing the right things—and doing what’s right for our clients. We are working at full steam and continue to be proactive in every way to keep our portfolios on track and our clients’ assets invested as they should be. Most importantly, I am certain that no matter what comes our way (even something as dramatic as a global pandemic!) I am working with a fabulous team I can trust to continue to make a difference through it all.
We rise by lifting others. I learned the meaning of that phrase in my time at Schwab, and it has only been reinforced at Leisure Capital. During this or any other challenge, for myself and for our clients, there’s no place I’d rather be.