I grew up in Hanover, N.H., the home of Dartmouth College, where my father was football coach for 21 years. My first job was on weekend mornings vacuuming the entry ways at the Hanover Inn on the green, or in the center of town, when I was 14. Eventually I advanced to breakfast busboy in the dining room. I remember punching the time clock. You had to enter through the employee entrance, get your timecard, stick it in the machine until it made that unmistakable "clunk" and place it in a holder on the wall. I learned that I didn't want to do that work for the rest of my life.
My first job after graduating was in the Dartmouth College endowment office, tracking securities in what was a $500 million portfolio, modeling income and capital gains, and reconciling the income when it came in. I learned a fair amount about public and private securities, including esoteric things like valuing a herd of zebras in Africa and accounting for royalties on book sales by Dartmouth alumnus Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.
In 1987, I secured a summer internship in New York with Morgan Stanley's institutional sales and trading department. After completing my graduate degree at the University of Michigan Business School (now the Ross School of Business), I returned to Morgan Stanley and became an institutional fixed income sales associate. A few years later, I relocated to Washington to join a subsidiary division of GE Capital, which later became GE Financial Assurance. In the mid-1990s, I ran GEFA's mutual funds and broker-dealer businesses, supporting hundreds of retail financial advisors and their practices.
Early in 2003, I joined Raymond James as president of the insurance agency, and in 2005 was promoted to my current position. Raymond James & Associates private client group provides the employee affiliation option for financial advisors. I'm involved with many aspects of managing our business including pursuing efficiency opportunities, prioritizing our technology initiatives, reviewing new products and developing marketing and educational programs-all of which requires regular communication with our financial advisors and the rest of our leadership team.
I've learned that if you can pursue your passion and make a living at it, that's the best combination for job satisfaction. If you don't like what you're doing, at some point you'll become disenchanted. Also, if you're not comfortable ethically with something you're asked to do, you can't let the pursuit of a dollar stand between you and doing what's right for a client.
I became a wine enthusiast after buying a house with a wine cellar 17 years ago. Our office sends a monthly newsletter to the branches, and in each issue, in addition to my other comments, I recommend a wine. I try to keep them under $20 a bottle and primarily suggest red wines.