The following was adapted from a speech given on June 28, 2018 at New England Capital’s 30th Anniversary Celebration at Holiday Hill Outing and Events Center.
I would like to thank everyone for coming out tonight but really, I thank you for so much more.
I am truly grateful to all of you for allowing me and New England Capital to be part of your family, to be part of your life, to assist you with achieving your hopes and dreams, and to try to put meaning behind your money. Your successes are our successes. Our goal is to successfully guide you to and through a fulfilling career and through retirement.
I still remember the first time I helped a single mom start a college fund for her daughter and followed the child and the account until her college graduation. I think I was as proud as her mom on graduation day. For some of you, we have been through good times and bad. I’ve met with some of you in hospital rooms. I’ve attended weddings and funerals, too. I remember meeting with a client who moved out of state who unfortunately, while we were meeting, had some health issues and passed out. I called 911 and because she had no family in her new state, I even rode with her to the hospital in the ambulance and made sure she was settled. I’m happy I could be there for my clients in times of need and proud of what we’ve accomplished together.
I started working in the financial service industry in 1983, 35 years ago. Five years prior to starting New England Capital, I worked for a Wall Street firm in their Hartford branch office. After two and a half years in Hartford, I was promoted to Branch Manager and asked to move to Alabama to run the Birmingham office. I will always be grateful for that opportunity because it helped me to understand the relationships I wanted, and just as important, the relationships I didn’t want, with you, my clients.
I didn’t want any corporation to dictate what was in the best interest of my clients. The conflict of interest between what was best for the Wall Street firm versus what I knew was best for my clients became obvious and ultimately unacceptable to me. I didn’t want to work for a corporation; I wanted to work for YOU. I couldn’t put any corporation’s interests before my clients’ interests. Putting clients interest’s first is the definition of a fiduciary. I knew in order to accomplish this I would have to create my own independent investment and financial planning firm. That’s how New England Capital got started.
It is our mission at New England Capital to help empower and fulfill all of life’s possibilities for you and your families. I am now and will be forever extremely grateful and always incredibly humble to serve you in that capacity.
I would like to also thank some people with whom I daily share this responsibility and privilege.
First, to someone who was there with me at the beginning of New England Capital! She was with me five years earlier (35 years ago) when I started in the industry. She was actually with me almost 58 years ago …my mom, Jacquelyn Beale. Talk about humble beginnings…I started New England Capital in my parent’s basement. With my Dad’s training of 40 + years at the phone company he hooked up a phone in the basement; Dave Salafia helped me create my first logo and business card and New England Capital was born, July 1st 1988. Thank you, mom.
I’d like to thank my most recent hires. One of our summer Interns is Brenden Vessichio who is a grandson of a long time client and friend who recently passed away. Brenden is doing a great job for us. The other intern is Michael Beale who comes to us from his father who started New England Capital. Mike is also doing a great job for us and when I asked him how things are going after the first week he said “I didn’t know the business was so complicated and how everyone in the office is involved in the process.” Lead by Darren and Chris we have developed a serious intern program which continues to grow and improve.
I’m not sure I called it an internship program when Chris Lee started at New England Capital. Chris was still in college 25 years ago and worked on a part time basis for his first 2 years. And how about this for an internship program: my direction to him was to “make me more productive.” 25 years later, boy did that work out! I’m not going to say “Mission Accomplished” because I’m still a work in progress. Chris’ work ethic and observation skills, his desire to learn and to push the firm forward certainly has benefited all our clients. Thank you, Chris for your friendship throughout the years. So there is a career path to go from intern to partner!!
Certainly there is a career path from intern to Chief Compliance Officer and beyond. 18 years ago Darren Tapley also started as an intern at New England Capital and he is now our Chief Compliance Officer. Darren is a subject matter expert on so many things that we do and is quite often the smartest person in the room at any given time. He is certainly the expert on all things having to do with compliance and we all depend on him for anything related to technology. His innate curiosity, his research skills, his desire to know how things work, and how to make processes work better, shows he is a lifelong learner. His dedication and pride in everything we do at New England Capital shows up daily and I know he makes us a better firm. Again, our clients are the ultimate beneficiary because of the traits that Darren possesses.
I can’t say enough good things about Ann Ocone. She constantly surprises me with her insights. I don’t think she realize how she challenge me and stretch my thinking with her perspective. As we now work closer together since we expanded and moved our offices upstairs, she has helped in countless ways. And her value to the firm increases daily. It has truly been pleasure to witness
her growth over the last 12+ years that she has been with New England Capital. One of my future goals going forward from today is to be more of a mentor to her, Matt, Chris, Darren and the rest of the team. I personally hope all of you think that’s a good thing!!
Matt Sczurek is a fabulous addition to the New England Capital team. A true breath of fresh air. He has taken every challenge we’ve thrown at him and made it an opportunity to benefit our clients. The more everyone gets to know Matt, the more you will understand his contributions. He will be leading the way for the next generation of New England Capital clients.
Michelle Acanfora is the first face and the first voice which greets most of you. But she’s more than just a pretty face. We give her many things to do including scheduling appointments, coordinating meetings with our vender partner’s and starting the preparation for our meetings with all of you. She loves the interaction with all of you. Thank you, Michelle.
Two people who don’t get much interaction with you are Deborah McConnell and Marc Libero. Deb works hard at more non-client facing, back office stuff, like processing your paperwork and tracking and following up on your rollovers and account transfers and about one million other things that she does which I count on but don’t really know exactly how she does them. And she always does everything with a smile and great attitude!
Marc Libero and I have been together for 23+ years. Marc has developed his own clientele through our New England Capital system. Marc is a valuable member of our Investment Committee. Starting in January, we will miss Marc as he follows his dream of working six months from his home on the Connecticut shore and six months from his other home in Turks and Caicos.
I’d like to recognize two people who are former members of my team. The first is Nancy Leary. As some of you might remember, Nancy was an administrative assistant with New England Capital for years until her retirement. She and Art now reside in Florida but I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge her contributions to our success. Next is my son, Jon Beale. Thank you for making the trip from Delaware and taking time out of your busy schedule to be here tonight. Jon was also an intern here and helped us develop the intern program.
Finally, to my wife, Abby. I have always told her that I am a better man because of her. To her I am eternally grateful. Thank you for keeping me focused and loving me.
In Closing, let me assure you this is a 30th anniversary celebration and NOT a retirement party. I am not going anywhere soon. I think I have another 15 or more years, while Chris Lee thinks I have 3 more good years left. We both could be right!! There is still much work to do during these unpredictable times that we are living in. New England Capital is growing and growing stronger every day. Again, Thank you… Thank you… Thank you…