Since Jeff Williams founded Grand Wealth Management in 2004, we’ve been focused on helping families make smart decisions about their money, matching the right advice to what is important to our clients and their loved ones. These aren’t just words on our website; it’s how we do business every day.
We would be remiss in our leadership role if we did not apply these same values to our own lives. So, last spring, Ellie Winter reached a difficult, but important decision: Effective December 31, 2018, she will retire from Grand Wealth, to begin a new phase in her life.
As Ellie explains, “This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. I enjoy what I do and am very fond of my clients. I’m passionate about the business we’ve built. My work is rewarding and meaningful.”
But after her dad passed away last April, she realized she also needed to tend to some of the other meaningful people, places and things in her life. It was time for her to make some of the same sort of financial and life transitions she’s helped so many others prepare for.
While we’ll sorely miss Ellie’s good company, we’re confident our business is ready for the change, thanks to the infrastructure we’ve built over the years. When Ellie joined Grand Wealth as a principal in February 2006, Jeff was managing about $38 million for 18 clients. Today, Grand Wealth manages more than $325 million for about 120 clients. We’ve also grown from Jeff’s 2004 solo practice, to a unified team of 10 professionals, with Jeff and Steve Starnes remaining in their leadership roles.
We began preparing for the upcoming changes several months ago. Most recently, we were delighted to welcome Anastasia Wiese, Stephanie Mushna and Angela Ejsmont to our existing team. We introduced Stephanie in our last newsletter, and share the news about Anastasia and Angela in this issue. Stephanie and Angela bring to our team and clients many years of professional experience. Plus, as a seasoned financial professional and wealth manager in her own rights, Anastasia will become an advisor for many of Ellie’s current clients.
In short, much of the infrastructure Jeff and Ellie envisioned more than a decade ago has now been built, and is ready to sustain us and our clients through life’s inevitable transitions. As Jeff describes it, “Business growth provides the ongoing ability to invest in people, processes and technology, and to plan for the inevitable successions that occur along the way.” On that count, Grand Wealth remains a growing business.
What about Ellie’s retirement? Her immediate plans include spending more time with her mom and other family members in 2019, as well as enjoying her Lake Michigan home and community at a more leisurely pace. After an initial break, Ellie plans to take a fresh look around to consider her possibilities. The potential list is a long one so far: She is exploring several volunteer opportunities. She may pursue a new educational opportunity or a career in an entirely new field. Or, who knows, she may find that relaxed, retired living suits her just fine.
Come what may, we wish Ellie all the best in this next chapter of her life.