Financial Architects - November 2019



A NEW CHAPTER Looking Back on 21 YearsWith Financial Architects

For the past 21 years, I’ve been blessed to call Financial

with nothing to do!” He really does know me well. From my time at Vicks to getting our kids through school, I’d always been helping people accomplish something. Without that goal, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do! Thankfully, we knew Ken Grace and his wife Jane through our church. I interviewed for a job at his office, and the rest is history! When I came to this firm on Sept. 28, 1998, it was to give me something to do. What I didn’t anticipate was how much I would enjoy the people here and the work we do. From the outset, everyone on the team was so friendly and welcoming to me, and that hasn’t changed despite how much we’ve grown. There’s a real sense that no matter what department you’re in, we’re all working together to make a difference for the families that rely on us. As I got to know our advisors, I saw the impact they had on people’s lives. It’s hard to imagine the real value of a life insurance policy until you hear from families that were saved from hardship thanks to their policies. It’s moments like this that reinforce just how important the work we do here really is. That’s how a job started on a whim becomes a decades-long career. Of course, all good things must end. I recently made the decision to retire at the end of September this year. It’s bittersweet

to end my career, but it’s for the best. Funnily enough, Terry is once again behind this change in my employment. Since our office moved to Farmington Hills in 2004, I’ve had quite the commute to get into work — something all the summer construction sure wasn’t helping. Being the caring man he is, my husband confessed how much he worried about me being on the road for such an extended period. He saw the toll it was taking on me and suggested it might be time to hang it up. So, Terry’s concern for my well-being has led me to yet another new chapter in my life. I’ve had an incredible closing year training my replacement Chelsea, who had worked in the New Business department of another firm. I have full faith in her ability to carry the torch forward. Of course, I will miss the smiling faces that have been such an amazing part of my life these past 21 years. As for my future, I’m looking forward to more bike rides and walks on the nature trails around our home and putting more time into our gardens. If this chapter is anything like the last, I’m sure something beautiful will blossom.

Architects home. I’ve seen so much change since those early days, both in the size of the firm and the duties I perform. I started out as a receptionist, and my job used to be all about greeting people and ensuring our clients found the help they needed. Back then, I didn’t even know what a computer mouse was — a fact Ken still likes to tease me about from time to time. Now I have my own computer and a quiet office to boot. As head of the Life Insurance New Business Department, much of my day is spent talking with with underwriters and advisors. But despite these shifts over the decades, one thing has been consistent — the joy I feel working at FAI. I suppose I have my husband Terry to thank. Prior to coming to Financial Architects, I’d worked for Vicks before taking on the most important job of my life: being a mom. I stayed home to raise our kids, but, when it came time for our daughter and grandson to move out of the house, Terry knew the change was going to affect me.


“You’d better get a job,” I still remember him telling me. “You’re going to be bored

888-466-5453 – Pat Smith


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