She was born at the turn of the century, a towering elderly woman who sported a tight perm that occasionally took on a lavender hue. She was remarkably independent, outspoken, and took to swearing on occasion. Her name was Doris and she was my most memorable babysitter.
One day, when she saw our teenage babysitter mistreating us in public, she didn’t hesitate to intervene. “Good heavens, what in the world are you doing?” Doris snapped. “You can’t just go slapping these kids. Your responsibility is their well-being, not physical harm.” Her commitment to our welfare was unwavering, and she made such a compelling case to my mother, it ultimately led to two pivotal years under Doris’s watchful eye.
Doris wasn’t your typical babysitter. She held us to a higher standard than any of the other sitters. “Now, let’s talk rules,” Doris declared, whipping out a miniature rulebook. “Rule number one: no ice cream before dinner, unless you can negotiate a reasonable dessert contract. Rule number two: the Bedtime Directive: pajamas on, teeth brushed and lights out by 9 p.m. Negotiable if you present a compelling case.” Most evenings, we would engage in a series of negotiations over snack choices, TV time, and the optimal bedtime. Doris even introduced a tiny gavel for rule enforcement, creating a courtroom drama atmosphere. Her discipline was unfaltering, and her insistence on order and structure left a profound impact.
Doris managed to navigate life on her own with remarkable ease. Her financial affairs were in order, and her self-sufficiency served as a beacon of inspiration. I marveled at her ability to live independently, even at an age that I considered ancient at the time. I found myself pondering how she developed such a commanding presence and a love for order. I harbored no doubt that the early loss of her husband played a significant role in shaping her character and forcing her to develop best practices to maintain an independent lifestyle as she didn’t come from a lot of money.
Reflecting on my journey as a financial advisor, I often think back to Doris, who instilled in me a sense of personal responsibility, self-reliance, and outspokenness. She was tough, but also a vocal advocate for our well-being. These influential lessons have become fundamental in shaping my character and values, as well as my approach to helping clients navigate their financial journey with confidence and purpose, though you won’t find me banging a gavel in meetings.
How I’m expanding what’s possible with money
When drawing parallels between my experience as an executive in the wine industry and my work as a financial advisor, I recognize the profound impact of finding solutions. Similar to guiding people to uncover unique and exquisite wines, I love helping my clients to craft tailored financial solutions that align with their aspirations. My goal is to inspire others to understand the pivotal role they play in their financial narratives, empowering them to make choices that resonate with their hopes rather than succumbing to their fears.
Outside of work, my passions include
I’m obsessed with international travel and love taking cooking classes wherever I go. I have a special fondness for Southeast Asia and Mexico, and find it quite humbling and grounding to travel in those countries. When I’m not traveling, I enjoy hikes in the Oakland Hills, followed by hosting dinner parties and brunch for friends. Hospitality runs deep for me, giving me many opportunities to test out new international recipes!