As we watch the leaves change colors to brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow, it is fun to look back and reflect on an eventful summer at LORAN GRAHAM Co. After settling into our new office location in the heart of downtown Spokane, Washington, one of this summer's highlights included attending LPL's national conference in beautiful San Diego, CA. In August, our broker/dealer LPL Financial took over the entire downtown San Diego convention center with over 10,000 participants. I was impressed by LPL’s investment in cutting-edge technology and was inspired by keynote speaker Will Smith, speaking on his Hollywood and music career.
While Financial Planning is not quite as glamorous as the Big Screen, Will Smith shared that his life purpose is to improve people’s lives. As a financial advisor with LPL Financial, that really resonated with me because -- when you get right down to the heart of it -- that’s what we are about too. Improving people’s lives.
At the conference, I enjoyed networking with other advisors and break-out sessions to "get smart" and get up-to-speed on industry best practices to see how we may provide even better service and address our mission objective of delivering investment and planning services with excellence. Of course, having grown up in Southern California it is always nice to enjoy authentic Mexican food also, and San Diego is the place.
Another summer highlight was our annual "Client Appreciation and Referral Celebration" sunset dinner cruise event on Lake Coeur d'Alene. We host this event each September to appreciate our clients. It was a beautiful evening on the lake with breathtaking views and an amazing performance by the Villa Blues Trio. There is nothing quite like experiencing live blues/jazz music out on the water visiting with dear clients and close friends to celebrate life, health, and our many blessings.
It was also a time to celebrate Michael Sheridan's successful transition to retirement, and acknowledge how grateful and humbled we are to have been chosen as the next steward to continue serving his clients. Since Mike got his start in San Diego before moving to Spokane over 20 years ago, we feel privileged to serve the investment and planning needs of many families in the San Diego area. In fact, we are excited to announce plans to host a San Diego cruise in May of 2017 to start a new tradition for our San Diego families. So stay tuned for "Save-the-Dates" to be postmarked in the month ahead. (We feel so blessed to have the opportunity to serve clients all over the nation, and so for our other out-of-state clients who are unable to attend our cruise party events, we will make sure to find ways to express you are appreciated as well!)
The end of the summer marked a full year since we assumed responsibility for serving Mike's practice. It has been a remarkable year of change that resulted in more than doubling the size of our company, expanding our office team, and the move to a new branch location. And all this in an election year, increased market volatility (remember December 2015 to February 2016), and regulatory changes in the securities industry. But God is good (all the time). We are so thankful for how smoothly the onboarding process has gone, and the opportunity to serve so many new families and welcome them into our growing client community.
We are also blessed to have a talented team, and combined with the technology upgrades and process improvements we have made over the past several years to have scalable systems and best practice workflows in place. So even in this season of rapid growth, we have been able to keep our eye on our commitment to service with excellence and stay true to our Company’s core values, which are: Integrity, Caring, Diligence, and Stewardship.