While in a conversation on New Year's Eve about how to remember to write 2014 instead of 2013 when dating documents (as we all do) I realized that our company had reached a milestone: having started in 1989, 2014 is our silver anniversary: we've been delightfully in business for 25 years!
Time has flown– I remember all too clearly my first day of business independence: here I was in my first office, an 8x10 shared office facility, with my new phone and phone number, a stack of crisply printed cards and stationary, and my brand new, state of the art IBM PS2 computer with A 20 meg hard drive and a gleaming 12” monitor. How proud I was on that day, hoping to make my mark on the world by charting the course of our new company and doing what I thought was in the best interest of our new clients. Now here I am, 25 years later,
with a computer that has a bit more memory, a larger monitor, a phone with a whole lot more buttons, surrounded by a tenured team doing the same thing I set out to do 25 years ago: doing what I think is in the best interest of our clients. It's been a long haul as they say, and an incredibly satisfying one. We've assembled a group of professionals including attorneys,
accountants, insurance professionals and money managers to work as a team for the benefit of our clients, instead of fragmenting the services that we all need to get by in life. I have been here for the births of many babies who, thanks to inter-generational planning and time, have given birth to more babies! In many families, I have advised and am presently advising 3 generations in the same family, and have been blessed in 5 families so far to touch 4 generations in the same family. I've been to weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs and confirmations, and unfortunately, a few too many funerals. I am known as "Uncle Neal" to many of our client's children, and have helped more than a few when they were stuck writing a paper at college and called for advice and mentoring.
I've been through my own evolutions: most of all meeting and talking Elizabeth into marrying me, and subsequently dragging her into this crazy business. In 1995 I talked her into joining me and she eventually became my partner in life and business, of which I admit, I probably would not be the person I am had I not mether. I have had her personally and professionally at my
side for the past 20+ years. I am truly blessed to have her with me, and many of our clients openly admit they call and talk to her before me. I've become a grandfather, and now understand what the "Grandparent’s Club" is all about. Our company has gone through its growing pains, and I am happy to say the move to our present facility in 2001 was a successful and great decision: we have all the room we need for all the professionals that we have to serve our clients in one facility, under one roof. This team approach has proved to be invaluable to our clients to know that all their professionals are working together, and know each other. For us here at Chestnut, it allows us to know all we need to know to do our job as efficiently as we can, regardless of the subject matter. I'm constantly looking for ways to give our clients the best of service, and to have the most up to date technology we can to do our work as efficiently as possible. I love what I do, and I'm told it shows. I am asked periodically if and when I plan to retire: while I admit I am slowing down a bit (aren't we all) I can't imagine not doing what I do, and talking to all of you every day. So let me publicly state that retirement is definitely not in my plans!
This could not have been possible without our wonderful, warm and dedicated clients: I've always said, and it's written in our website, "our focus is you." I truly feel that way, and jump out of bed everyday thinking "who am I going to help today?" You all mean more to me than you know, having allowed me inside your personal life, and entrusting me with your wealth and the welfare of your family and business. The personal satisfaction I get from what I do cannot be measured, only felt. What I feel is gratitude, pride, and a sense of worth by giving back and helping those who call on me for whatever they need. On behalf of Elizabeth, myself and the entire team at Chestnut, we treasure your confidence and letting us be a part of your lives: a finer gift could not have been had for any amount of money. We look forward to the future, more babies, and a long happy life together. Thank you all– on to the next 25!