Julie Summa, Former Director of Marketing & Communications
January 9, 2023
I thought I was going to retire in 2017. God had different plans.
I was nearing the end of my professional career and looking forward to retirement and a new chapter of life. The flexibility to do part-time contract work, volunteer, travel, and enjoy a stress-free pace was appealing.
But my plans changed. I got a call from a colleague who was the director of business development at Syverson Strege. He wondered if I would be interested in helping with a variety of marketing/communications projects for Syverson Strege. I thought, “Perfect! I can work a few hours a week, stay connected to marketing, and help out a company that I respect and admire.”
For many years, I have valued Syverson Strege as a company. They were a big help to my mother-in-law who was a longtime client before she passed away. My husband and I have also been clients for over a decade. Because I am a client, I felt equipped to provide a unique perspective for their marketing.
Fast forward 1.5 years. I continued to work 10-15 hours per week until Syverson Strege decided to add a director of marketing & communications position to their team. They invited me to apply. Wait a second! I was retired, or so I thought.
I prayed about this decision and decided to accept the position and venture back into full-time work. I told myself, “It will be fun to develop a new department at a great company and lend my client viewpoint to their marketing efforts!”
My new full-time position started on January 9, 2020, right before the pandemic. Little did the company know how valuable it was for them to have a full-time marketing and communications person as they ramped up their communications during the pandemic. Also, I would soon be working from home (for months) as a brand-new person on the team. Despite the challenges of being a new employee, responsible for all communications, and in a pandemic, the experience stretched me, strengthened me, and fulfilled me.
I am blessed to have had three unique experiences with Syverson Strege and their team. My husband was a child of a client (and thus me as a daughter-in-law), I’ve been an employee, and I am a client. As I describe these three experiences, it is completely from my perspective and may not be representative of the typical client experience.
Daughter-in-law of Client
My mother-in-law was widowed at age 69 and passed away shortly before her 95th birthday. Fortunately, she was one of the original first clients of Syverson Strege in 1997 and had David Strege as her financial planner. I feel that because of proper financial planning and ongoing financial guidance from Syverson Strege, she was well cared for and financially comfortable throughout her remaining years. After her death, Syverson Strege helped us kids handle the details of her estate, making sure we knew exactly the right steps to take. David Strege even attended her funeral to pay his last respects to this wonderful lady who blessed so many people.
My husband and I decided to hire Syverson Strege as our financial planner over 10 years ago. We had observed how well they helped my mother-in-law and wanted to trust them with our finances as our financial situation had become more complex.
What we appreciated and continue to appreciate about Syverson Strege is their ability to tell us the truth, help us make hard decisions, offer sound financial advice, and provide accountability to make sure we are following the plan. From my perspective, without Syverson Strege, we wouldn’t be in the positive financial situation we are in and I wouldn’t be able to retire! Our overall experience as a client has been exceptional.
Oftentimes a company that looks good from the outside has internal struggles and a substandard culture on the inside. So, when I decided to accept the offer to work for Syverson Strege, I wondered if my exceptional client experience was reflective of the culture on the inside. The answer is YES!
I have been working for over 40 years and I can, without a doubt, say that Syverson Strege is the best place I have ever worked. They have a “people over process” culture and truly care for their employees.
As an employee, I felt supported, respected, trusted, and valued. Employees are blessed with a consistent chaotic-free environment, helpful co-workers, and an overall atmosphere of kindness. It was like having a second family and I will miss working with them all.
As a former director of marketing and communications, I can’t pass up the opportunity to recommend Syverson Strege to you! If you’ve been thinking about hiring a financial planner, please give us a call. Contact us at 515-225-6000 for a no-obligation, confidential consultation about your unique financial situation.
- Julie Summa is a current client of Syverson Strege.
- Julie Summa received no compensation for the publication of this article.
- Julie’s experience may not be representative of the typical client experience.