Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Burnett.
Vanessa joined Bridge, her first job in investment management, in March 2008, just months before the financial crisis and the Great Recession. Instead of scaring her, the event turned financial planning into a calling. She saw how a good plan and the right behavior could help investors ride out the roughest patches in the market. She began in an administrative role, moving to become a glorified note-taker, then financial planner, learning about the business from the ground up. She began to understand that while the conversations are about finance, the underpinnings of this business are counseling, coaching, relationship, and trust. Her passion for the business grew, as did her team and clients, where she made Partner in June 2019.
Before joining Bridge, Vanessa worked for several years at Mercer Consulting, a global human-resource firm. She graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a minor in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. Soon after, she married one of her best friends from childhood and settled in the Foothill Communities where she grew up. She and her husband have two children, ages 5 and 2.
Vanessa earned her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® certificate in 2011. She holds a California Life, Health and Disability insurance license.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No journey is ever taken in a straight line. For me, the most challenging points in my career have not been client or even knowledge-related, but management related. Moving from being a peer and colleague to a position of management has taken on a whole new skill set with challenges in interpersonal and communication dynamics. Pressures to create an engaging, appreciative, and ever improving culture and work environment are new for me and have created an opportunity for personal growth along the way. I have found that the most important quality to hold on to is honest and open communication with yourself, which can then pour out to others in an authentic way to keep the lines of communication open and flowing. Knowing that I don’t know everything, and being OK with that, sets the stage for growth and a constant desire to learn and improve.
Please tell us about Bridge Advisory.
Bridge Advisory is a full-service wealth management firm. We specialize in financial planning, investment management, tax management strategies, retirement planning, education funding, coordination of estate planning, and risk management strategies. Ultimately we act as our clients’ personal CFO and quarterback all aspects of their financial lives so they can do what they do best and live the fullest lives possible. What is most important to us is the client relationship, and our clients truly are the fabric of our Bridge Family. We have third and fourth generation clients with us, which speaks to our investment not only in our clients’ needs today, but planning for and knowing what their needs will be in the future. We are a team of people striving for personal growth, embracing change and striving for excellence. We are most proud of our team members, who truly are Bridge Advisory.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I was lucky and am so grateful for the childhood I experienced and have so many fun memories. Some of my favorites included church camp every summer for a week where we would play games, swim in a lake, make friends and share endless laughs. One of my most memorable childhood vacations was to a dude ranch in southwest Colorado with my parents and sister. We stayed for a week in cabins, were each given a horse to ride for the week, and shared meals every day followed by campfires, board games, putting on skits and roasting marshmallows. My horse’s name was Rony, and we had a race up Canter hill and me and Rony beat all the other kids and I still have his horseshoe to this day. My parents fell in love with the area and ended up buying some property down there where we built a small cabin and have spent many summers, away from all the noise and chaos, with no TVs or screens of any kind. For me, that is my “happy place” where I go in my mind to escape from it all and feel peace and joy.
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Michelle McSwain – http://www.michellemcswain.com/