Team Member Spotlight: Gavin
A native Louisvillian I spent my formative years living in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (ie. Oldham County). It wasn’t exactly country living, but let’s just say when we got our first Subway in Crestwood we thought we had arrived. I spent pretty much every day playing and competing with my buddies in one sport or another from dawn till dusk. Basketball, football, soccer, baseball, you name it we played it, for hours on end.
In middle and high school competitive club soccer was my life, but I loved it. Much of what I learned competing and working with teammates helped me become the person I am today. I learned that the harder I work, the better I can be, but I also learned there are limits to that as despite my best efforts, I cannot make myself be 6’5’’. I ventured out to Miami of Ohio for college and joined a fraternity (Sigma Alpha Epsilon, SAE). In between a lot of beers and crammed study sessions, Miami taught me a lot. Majoring in accounting with a marketing minor I learned I could be a nerd with style.
Out of college, I joined PricewaterhouseCoopers. I passed the CPA first time right out the gate which is still one of the proudest moments in my professional career. The 4 years I spent at PwC are some of the most influential in my life. I was lucky to work with some of the smartest minds and best people I know. I learned so much about hard work, high standards, professionalism, business and in the end…people, and made lasting friends for life. It also helped me clearly understand that accounting is not
my passion and if you don’t like something, don’t complain, change it. So I took a big risk and left the comfy confines of PwC to follow my lifelong passion and become a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch. The day I went in to tell PwC of my decision was the morning of 9/11- I will never forget that for as long as I live.
My first year at Merrill Lynch was 2002 and that was the worst year in the markets outside of 2008. In the middle of the 2008 financial crisis I married the love of my life. We added to our family in early 2009 while the market crashing more than 60%. Looking back, I learned you will never be completely ready for kids so you might as well jump in as life doesn’t wait. We’re now blessed with 3 young children and have extended our family to 7 with two wild and crazy French bulldogs. I also learned that you never really sleep soundly again once you have kids and that Frenchies will chew up anything, literally anything. Through it all, I learned that when times are the toughest, I’d want no one else in my corner than Andrea.
I learned a lot during my 7 and ½ yrs. as an advisor at Merrill and my subsequent 6+years Hilliard. I learned that hard work and authenticity are better than “sales”. I learned listening is much more helpful than talking. I learned that transparency and compassion trump pressure and fear. I learned to focus on what I can control and to help others do the same, that history is our best guide and behavior trumps everything else when it comes to successful lifetime investing. And ultimately, I learned that helping people is my true passion. Whether it’s a member of our team, a client or their child or my own family, I live to help people and that is my ultimate fulfillment. I learned that financial planning should be based on people’s lives not the markets. Lastly, I learned that sometimes big companies don’t always put the client first in and in order to make sure that happens every day it’s best to do it yourself.
Today I feel I am living a dream. With the help of a tremendous group of clients and the support of a world class team, we’ve built a true family here at the Gleason Group. We’re completely committed to helping enrich people’s lives. I’m lucky to work with my wife every day (although at times, she doesn’t exactly consider that “lucky”). We wake up every day with the same goals- provide the best experience possible for our clients, continue to improve at every opportunity and in the end, help people. The best part..we are just getting started.
Thank you for your commitment to us and for hearing my story,