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From The Senior Vice-President’s Desk

Dear Chestnut Friends, Since 2001 and the inception of our newsletter Financial Visions, I've watched Neal sit for hours and days thinking about topics and issues of what he saw as important to bring to your attention or impart knowledge to pass on to you, our valued clients. I've been his proofreader, inspiration (he tells me) and his best critic (he also tells me) - so this quarter, he decided to dedicate this newsletter to women. That got me to thinking... I thought it was the perfect time to push Neal out of his comfortable President's chair and give him a well-deserved vacation from writing. (That is, until next quarter!)

So, I and the ladies of the team had a meeting and we decided collectively that dumping Neal out of his chair would be both a good idea and just downright fun, and we would write this issue from a woman's view. Since I am the Senior Vice President of Chestnut I thought I would replace Neal as the author of the lead article. I've had the pleasure of meeting so many of you, but unfortunately, not all so I thought I would tell you a bit about myself me and how I think- which Neal always says is extremely helpful and scary, both at the same time! I had a memory of when I first met Neal some 20+ years ago. When he told me what he did for a living, I felt so intimidated. I didn't get the stocks, bonds, mutual fund thing in high school or college, so I held my breath and just listened. After about a year of listening, I realized I was understanding and remembering some things – cool... and then a couple months later, a bit more made sense. One day, he asked me to help out in the office and answer the phones for the morning. I was the inventory control manager of an electronics public company at the time, and had a day off. After two hours he asked, "have you ever thought of a career in the securities industry?" Wow, I thought: maybe I could do this. I got my securities licenses in 1997 and the rest, as they say is motion picture history. When I look back and realize I've done this for 18 years with him and you, I'm both proud and humbled.

I share this with you because as a later Baby Boomer, most of the financial professionals I knew in my youth were male. When I first became licensed, I was often one of maybe two or three women in the room of industry meetings, workshops and symposiums. Although I don't claim to know everything and learn a bit more each day, I can hold my own in a meeting with a room full of men- usually to their surprise. Things have changed in our industry through the years, and now there are many more very qualified females in the financial planning industry as planners, brokers, and many other roles imperative to both the industry and to the public. It's not just a good ole' boys game anymore... we're here, and not leaving anytime soon.

I also share with you that although Neal and I are partners in life and in business, as we are blessed with different unique abilities. I support his direction and he mine. (That's not to say there is never a, hmmm... disagreement). While you all know that Neal's area of expertise is financial planning and money management, I am the one behind the scenes who makes sure the engine keeps running and staying on its tracks. I work with a wonderful team of people who together, make up your Chestnut Team. The old saying, "there is no "I" in team" could never be more true in our company, as all of us take care of all of you: every day, we work as a team to do the best we can to create the best company and service experience possible for you. We will continue to do so, and strive to up the level, in spite of the fact that periodically we may have to add another man to the team...

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