STRETCHING WINGS Growing With Financial Architects and My Family
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my nearly three decades in the financial service industry, it’s that things are always changing. That’s part of why I love my job so much. In the past four years I’ve been the Securities Coordinator for Financial Architects, I’ve never had two identical days, and that’s fine by me. Variety keeps things interesting — and thanks to the growth of this firm, day-to-day life has never been dull. This is in part thanks to the nature of securities in general. Prior to coming to FAI, I’d worked in life insurance — a far more long-term asset than the financial products I assist people with today. Relative to those lifetime investments, the world of securities felt lightning fast, where I could better see the benefits of my work play out for the people I helped. Needless to say, it was a thrilling transition. But my job has stayed interesting over the years thanks to the talented Architects we have under our roof. I’ve learned so much from these experienced advisors and how they each have their own approach to securities. In fact, thanks to the knowledge I’ve picked up from them over the years, I’ve begun putting training modules together to pass on their innovative approaches to the
next generation of Architects. That’s the strength of being a part of a firm that’s been around over 30 years — you get to build off an existing legacy of success. It’s that long, successful history that brought me to FAI in the first place. If I was going to shift over to working in securities, I wanted to do it at an institution with a proven track record and plenty of intelligent industry veterans I could learn from. Frankly, if I could give my younger self one piece of advice at the start of my career, it would be to seek such tutelage as often as I could. That sort of real world mentorship is so invaluable — becoming a member of the FAI team really expanded my horizons. Of course, I don’t just appreciate this firm for the amount of professional development it’s given me. The emphasis FAI puts on family has been deeply important to me as well. Raising two boys who love baseball, I was able to make all their games. Now that my youngest is wrapping up his senior year, being able to be there for the last big moments of his high school career has meant the world to me. I know that a lot of parents out there reading this newsletter are probably approaching a similar situation, with kids graduating and getting ready to move on to the next stage of their life. Personally, I can’t wait. I love my sons, and watching
them grow continues to be such a joyful part of my life. But I also see this as a new chapter for myself, too. As the boys go off and stretch their wings, I can do the same. In particular, I’m hoping to travel more — I’ve always been a Michigander and always will be, but like I said before, variety keeps things interesting!
– Sherry Hanford
INSIDE FINANCIAL ARCHITECTS
It can be difficult to see the connection between your plate and the planet, but scientists say that eating less red meat and processed foods can greatly reduce your environmental impact. About 25% of climate change today is fueled by agriculture and factory farming, particularly the large quantities of the greenhouse gas methane that cows produce. This means that the fewer animal products you consume, the more sustainable your diet will be. Producing and packaging beef is 100 times more emissions-intensive than producing legumes. While a lack of protein is a common concern about plant-based diets, many dietary experts say that plant-based diets can meet nutritional needs. Also, proteins aren’t the only nutrient your body needs, and dozens of vegetables and starches can offer a combination of proteins that are as complete and healthy as beef or chicken. With April being “Keep America Beautiful” month, here are some eco-friendly diet adjustments anyone can make to help preserve the planet. EAT PLANT-BASED DIETS The main goal of a plant-based diet is to replace animal products as the centerpiece of the meal. At least three-fourths of your meal should be vegetarian, but you don’t necessarily need to cut meat out altogether. For example, eating a Mediterranean diet can be very sustainable. Red meat is rare, and there’s a strong focus on legumes and vegetables. ADOPT MEATLESS MONDAYS OR MORNINGS If you’re not ready to commit to a plant-based diet, going vegetarian one day a week can be a great option. Adopting a plant-based diet one day a week or eliminating meat from one meal a day is a great way to reduce meat consumption. GO FLEXITARIAN If you want to eat more vegetarian meals but find animal products are too hard to give up, going flexitarian is a good compromise. A flexitarian eats mainly plant-based dishes but also includes a modest amount of poultry, fish, milk, and eggs with a limited amount of red meat. If you’re able to dedicate even just one week to trying a plant- based diet, it can help you get a feel for if you’re capable of making the switch. You may even realize that it’s not hard to change your diet, and you might find it fun to try a whole different range of flavors through vegetarian food as you “reinvent” your favorite meaty dishes. CAN YOUR DIET SAVE THE PLANET? The Top 3 Ways to Eat Eco-Friendly
Awards and New Faces
Financial Architects Mike Kucera (left) and Chavez Vincent (right)
“If we don’t change, we don’t grow.” Those were the words of FAI shareholder Patrick Marody at the 2020 annual meeting in February. 2019 certainly was an exciting year for Financial Architects as Marody and longtime advisor Chris Cousins became partners in ownership of the company. The two talked a lot about accountability, culture enhancement, and gratitude at the meeting. Chris even added the comment, “Teamwork, acceptance, and trust are so important in a culture that is working, and we have it.” The LifeMethod team of John and Danette Bell also presented at the meeting and held a workshop on communication and listening. In addition, FAI handed out its annual awards. Congratulations to Mike Kucera, who took home the 2019 Investment Advisor of the Year award. Chavez Vincent and Gina Wells also took home the Pyramid of Progress honors for their growth within the company. What a first year it has been for new business coordinator Chelsea Wampler. The Canton native joined the FAI support team in February of 2019 as a Life Insurance Specialist, but her role expanded in just five months. With the retirement of the legendary Pat Smith, Chelsea was asked to step in and run the new business department. She hit the ground running! Chelsea already had experience in this area at a health insurance company in Northville, so she felt comfortable with the new challenge. She works closely with the advisors here to find a standard operating procedure that will work for her and for the efficiency of the company and the advisor team. Chelsea also assists with other client services for the firm and its clients. She holds a life, accident and health insurance license. What makes Financial Architects such a unique place to work? Chelsea says, “FAI is such a special place because they are like family, they truly care about their employees.” MEET CHELSEA!
The information contained in this newsletter is derived from sources believed to be accurate. You should discuss any legal, tax, or financial matters with the appropriate professional. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Registered Representatives offer Securities through The O.N. Equity Sales Company, Member FINRA/SIPC (www.FINRA.org/ and www.SIPC.org). Investment Advisory Services offered through O.N. Investment Management Company and FAI Advisors, Inc., Financial Architects, Inc., and FAI Advisors, Inc. are not subsidiaries or affiliates of The O.N. Equity Sales Company or O.N. Investment Management Company. We have representatives currently registered in the following states: AL, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NH, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, WA, and WI.
Take a Break
A Chat With Our Client KEVIN GRIGG: VP OF PUBLIC RELATIONS, DETROIT PISTONS
Q. HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH FINANCIAL ARCHITECTS?
A. I met Pat Marody through a friend of mine who was a client. After a few introductory meetings, I got a good feel for the strategy behind Financial Architects’ wealth protection and growth planning and how it can be altered to fit the needs of the client. We’ve been clients for five years now, and the relationship has been great. My family and I feel well positioned for all aspects of our financial future.
Solution on Page 4
Q. HOW DID YOU LAND A JOB AS VICE PRESIDENT OF PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR THE DETROIT PISTONS?
A. I joined the Detroit Pistons in 2000 following a 4 1/2-year stint with the Golden State Warriors. I’ve been fortunate to spend nearly 20 years with the organization — reaching the ultimate pinnacle with the 2004 NBA Championship while also contributing to the organization’s historic move back to the city of Detroit. Having grown up in Los Angeles and my early sports career being in San Francisco, the adjustment to the Midwest took some time. However, I’ve grown to enjoy the area and there is a definite vibe from the Motor City you don’t get anywhere else. There is a knowledgeable sports fan base throughout the region — it’s also a fan base that knows what success looks like. What makes working for the Pistons rewarding is that each game is an opportunity to create memories for fans regardless of the outcome. Attending a sporting event is the original form of “reality-based” entertainment. Q. The 2004 NBA Championship will always rank at the top. When you work in the sports industry, or any industry for that matter, your goal is to reach the ultimate level of success. In my role with the team, I work closely with the players and have had the privilege of developing some long-standing relationships with many of our former players. While I’ll always be connected to Ben, Rasheed, Chauncey, Rip, and Tayshaun, my memories will also include the relationships I’ve built with national media members and broadcasters as well as local media and community leaders. As I work with our leadership to jump-start our next great era of Pistons basketball, it’s hard not to look back and reflect on the experiences I had with the “Goin’ to Work” team that made six straight Eastern Conference Finals appearances and made multiple trips to the NBA Finals. A. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE MEMORIES WORKING FOR SUCH A LEGENDARY ORGANIZATION?
EASY DEVILED EGGS
INGREDIENTS • 1/2 cup mayonnaise • 2 tbsp milk • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes • 1/2 tsp dill weed • 1/2 tsp fresh chives, minced • 1/2 tsp ground mustard DIRECTIONS
• Salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper, to taste • 12 large eggs, hard-boiled • Fresh parsley, minced, and paprika for garnish
1. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, parsley flakes, dill, chives, mustard, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well and set aside. 2. Cut eggs lengthwise and remove yolks carefully to preserve egg whites. 3. In a small bowl, mash yolks. 4. Mix mashed yolks with mayonnaise mixture. 5. Spoon or pipe the mixture back into the egg whites. 6. Garnish with fresh parsley and paprika. Refrigerate before serving.
Inspired by TasteOfHome.com
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Inside This Issue 1 | Sherry Hanford Talks Growth and Change 2 | Eco-Friendly Diets 2 | Inside Financial Architects 3 | A Chat With Our Client 3 | Easy Deviled Eggs 4 | The Best Locations for Spring Blooms
See Spring Bloom
Spring is here, which means beautiful flowers are finally showing themselves after a long winter. Here are some of the best places in the U.S. to see flower blossoms and welcome the season.
features sloping hills covered with fields of vibrant orange, yellow, and red poppies in the spring. Warm temperatures and heavy rainfall across Southern California during this time of year create a brief period of thick blooms as far as the eye can see. And while the poppies can be enjoyed from the comfort of your car, the best way to experience them is to walk the leisurely Antelope Loop Trail for a breathtaking, up-close adventure. Spring flora is gorgeous and naturally attracts large crowds of people every year. If you plan to visit any of these destinations, just remember that their ecosystems are delicate. Respect park signs, stay on designated trails, and do your part to make sure these flowers return year after year for future generations to enjoy.
Crested Butte, Colorado, is best known for its winter sports and summer hikes. But recently it has drawn the attention of flower enthusiasts for its unique pink, orange, and gold alpine wildflowers that appear in the spring. This natural phenomenon even inspired the creation of the annual Wildflower Festival in midsummer, which features nature walks, art, photography, culinary experiences, and more. For a truly unique experience, you can even ascend the town’s titular Crested Butte to spot some rare alpine sunflowers next to the picturesque West Elk Mountains.
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park stretches across North Carolina and Tennessee, and while its scenery is beautiful year-round, the park is especially alluring to nature enthusiasts during the spring. Through this season, miles of lady’s-slipper orchids, irises, cardinal flowers, and lilies dot its lush green landscape. It’s dubbed “Wildflower National Park” throughout this time of year, and you can experience it by car or on foot. The park also offers expert-led tours that weave through the flowers during their peak bloom.
The California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California, is a 1,780-acre park that
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