Experience: Joined NPF in 2023 after 27 years in the real estate industry as a Broker and most recently (2020 – 2023) as an Escrow Closer at a national title insurance company.
What drives you and what do you enjoy most about being a Client Relations Manager?
Believe it or not, I actually like doing paperwork! The ins and outs of correctly completing paperwork is something that gives me great satisfaction. I know that the better I am at my job, the easier it is for the clients and advisors to accomplish their goals for their financial plan. Here at NPF, my passion for detail is appreciated, with the added bonus of getting to know the clients and their families. I really like to meet and talk to new people, and this position allows that personal connection to the clients and my co-workers.
What was your journey to the investment world and NPF specifically?
During the COVID shutdown, like many, I had time to reassess my life’s priorities. I cherished the quality moments with my family at home. While running my own business was fulfilling, it lacked downtime. So, I transitioned from full-time real estate to title insurance, balancing my love for detail-oriented tasks with my extroverted nature, all on a fixed schedule. After three years, a recommendation led me to the NPF’s client relations team. Meeting them confirmed it was the perfect blend of paperwork, people, and mutual care.
What are the values that drive you in your professional and personal life?
J-O-Y! So many years ago, I learned about joy in Sunday School. Putting God first, others second and yourself last brings true joy to your life and this rule of thumb has certainly been true for me. I remind myself, daily, to think about this simple word, which brings along with it all the values I wish to emulate – honesty, integrity, compassion and hard work. I don’t always get it right, but every day is a new day to try again!
Where did you grow up and where do you live today?
I was born right here in Grand Rapids and have only lived in the West Michigan area. I was raised in Jenison during my entire childhood and then when I married, my husband and I moved to Zeeland. We have been married for 35 years and share our home with our Chihuahua, Mabel. We have 4 children (Cameron, Grace, Lily, & Callie) and three grandchildren (Karrington, Willa, & Davis), and I can’t forget our dear exchange students, Winnie and Jeanette, from Taiwan. They lovingly call me their “A-Mom” (American Mom). By hosting them, our adopted daughters from Taiwan connected deeper with their roots. I love Winnie and Jeanette as my own.
Is there a person or experience that influenced you most?
Definitely my “Granny”, Dora DeWent, who lived close by during my childhood, allowing for frequent visits. We played “You-Know” (Uno) often, and I helped in her large garden. Always in a house dress and apron, she uniquely hand-washed clothes in the basement, always ending up drenched – such a sight! Before marrying Grandpa, she was a nanny for notable families in Grand Rapids and contributed significantly to the Jenison and Georgetown Township foundation. She even provided key insights for the book “A Bend in the River”, documenting the area’s history. She left me with countless precious memories.
What is your favorite (place/restaurant/venue/etc.) in Grand Rapids/West Michigan?
The lakeshore, of course! There is no better place in West Michigan than to head to the shores of Lake Michigan in every season. Whether it’s sitting on the beach in the warm sun and swimming in the shark/salt free water or walking and skiing the many trails in the area. There is always something to do and many restaurants to enjoy.
What is your favorite book…movie…band…podcast…sport?
I admit it, I’m a Crime Junkie! This is a podcast that I listen to on a pretty regular basis while driving, painting, cleaning my house and doing yard work. When Ashley and her sister Brit don’t have a new episode available, off to another crime podcast I go. I’m pretty sure this might be considered a bit morbid, but I love to listen and try to help solve the crime. Besides podcasts, I really like to read. My favorite author, Maeve Binchy passed away a few years ago, but since I own every book she wrote, I can always re-read one and notice entirely different things since the last time I read it. Her books are like a warm blanket and go well with a cup of Kona coffee (with sweet cream and Splenda, please!)
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
There are so many things I enjoy doing – working in my yard, researching my genealogy, remodeling my house, spending time with friends. But most of all I love time spent with my kids and grandkids. Nothing beats hugs and snuggles from a grandkid who thinks you hang the moon! I highly recommend being a grandparent!