Thursday, June 24th, 2021

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a conference with 400 of the top advisers in the country. We heard from some great speakers during the three day conference. John Maxwell, The founder of the Maxwell Institute for leader ship and one of the most well-known public speakers in the country talked about what it takes to become better leader, spouse, and parent. There were definitely lessons that I learned that I can apply to my life right now.

There were also several other speakers who addressed our industry and they shared best practices of things that we can do to better serve our clients. Folks like you, who depend on us for guidance as you face the various challenges that retirement brings. We were told years ago that “Robo-Advisors” were going to put our jobs in jeopardy and make advisors useless. However, there is no computer that will ever be built that can have a heart to heart conversation with a sweet lady who has just lost her spouse of 40 years. That lady needs sound guidance about the next phase of her life, not a scatterplot of stocks on a graph filled with industry jargon and secret trading tips.

I was also able to have a great conversations from advisers from different areas of the country on how they are serving their clients. The information will definitely help me be a better advisor to my clients.

All of the conference was great, but my favorite part was Lieutenant Colonel Dan Rooney sharing about a charity he started called Folds of Honor.

It began with Lieutenant Colonel Dan Rooney’s flight home from his second tour of duty in Iraq. An F-16 fighter pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, he became painfully aware of the realities families face when a loved one in uniform is fallen or disabled.

As his flight landed, the pilot announced they carried the remains of Corporal Brock Bucklin on board. Lt. Colonel Rooney watched as Corporal Bucklin’s twin brother walked somberly alongside the flag-covered casket to meet his family on the tarmac. Among them was the deceased Corporal’s young son, Jacob.

Since that night, Lt Col Rooney has committed his life – through the Folds of Honor – to provide scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members. Jacob Bucklin became the first Folds of Honor scholarship recipient in 2007.

At the event, Dan introduced a brave lady who shared her experience as the wife of a soldier who died serving our country. She wasn’t a polished speaker, but her story was moving.

Of all the lessons I learned in Houston last week, the most valuable one was about honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, by helping their families through the Folds of Honor charity. I’m working with Folds of Honor now to help share their story and determine the best way to partner with them. I hope to be able to share more of what Folds of Honor does so we can impact people locally.

For me, trips like this are a great way for me to continue to learn how I can be a better person and serve others. As always, thanks for the trust you’ve put in our firm.

-Lee Perkins