A native Texan, I proudly graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders. With the guidance and encouragement from one of my American Sign Language professors, Perry Connolly, I decided to pursue a Masters of Science in Speech Language Pathology. I then graduated from the Toulouse Graduate School at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX in 2007, with honors.
During my studies and clinical rotations, I developed a predilection for working with adults with a focus on the geriatric population. After graduating, I moved to Fredericksburg, TX (a popular retirement location in central Texas) to start my career working in several skilled nursing facilities in the area as well as the local hospital, Hill Country Memorial. About 9 months into my career, I was promoted to the Director of Rehabilitation at Fredericksburg Nursing and Rehab. I had great success in developing the program and was asked to transfer to a more challenging facility in Bastrop, closer to my hometown of Austin, TX. From there, I was promoted to Regional Therapy Manager and oversaw the rehab departments within 12 skilled nursing facilities across South Texas. All in all, I spent 7+ great years with (and drove 200,000+ miles for) my then company, Daybreak Therapy under Daybreak Venture. It was a difficult choice to leave that company and the great team there, but I did so knowing that the door would always be open should I choose to move back.
In January of 2015, I moved to Denver to join my fiancée who had recently been promoted and relocated to Colorado. We love it here! I also landed a great opportunity as Regional Vice President with Encore Rehabilitation Services to grow the company in the western states. While with Encore, I helped us win a contract with a local SNF within the first 6 months of my tenure! The typical turnaround time for securing new therapy contracts is one year to 18 months. After we got that contract off and running, I helped onboard another SNF in the New England region. By then, we had heard the news that a major acquisition would be happening soon, so we needed to rethink our business development strategy. In spring of 2016, Encore acquired two large therapy companies, Evergreen and Select Medical and brought them into the Encore family. My region instantly grew to include more facilities in Colorado, Washington, and California, including a home health contract. It was a very exciting time!
After helping the newly acquired companies and facilities transition through the summer of 2016, I was recruited by a local healthcare conglomerate to run their stand alone therapy company. It was a great opportunity for professional advancement that I couldn’t refuse. After a fantastic 18 months with Encore, I made the decision to take on a new role as Director of Clinical Operations for Rehab Solutions. In this role, I oversaw all operations of the therapy company. I had a chance to oversee facilities in Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska.
In March of 2017, it was brought to my attention that due to some budget cuts the company needed to restructure the organization…which unfortunately meant they needed to cut some positions at the top. I was laid off on good terms and the parting message of “we know you’re going places, and not worried about you landing on your feet!”
What a whirlwind the last year has been. Although no one wants to be laid off, I’m taking this as a blessing in disguise. I now have an opportunity to shift directions in my career, and focus on a different passion.
From Healthcare Management to Wealth Management
I care deeply about the welfare of the geriatric population and patients in long-term care. However, I’ve had a hobby that I’ve long considered turning into a second career – retirement planning and investing. When you work in nursing facilities, you get to see firsthand what retirement looks like for a lot of people. I witnessed families struggling to pay for their loved ones care. I witnessed the difficult choices they had to make to sell mom’s house in order to fund her cost of living at an expensive healthcare facility. I knew I had to start saving ASAP in order to gain more control over the outcome of my own retirement.
When the market crashed, I was deep in the trenches of student loan debt and working my way out of it. I had upgraded my car (after having a scary blowout in my Ford Escort coupe while driving between my facilities on I-10), and was wanting to buy a house in the next year. I was working my plan to become debt-free…but also wanted to plan for retirement.
Most frontline healthcare workers (therapists, nurses, CNAs, etc) do not get a 401K offered to them through work.
Most frontline healthcare workers (therapists, nurses, CNAs, etc) do not get a 401K offered to them through work. This is a travesty, and something I’d like to help fix in the future. But back in 2008, I was focused on the baby steps of making a budget, sticking to it, putting savings aside, and getting out of debt. I started listening to Dave Ramsey and Clark Howard. I read financial advice books and researched how to reach a place of financial freedom. In 2009, I bought my first house, paid off my student loan debt, and started a Roth IRA with Scottrade for retirement. I didn’t have much, but I knew I needed to start somewhere. And now – I’m starting down a path to help others.
My goals this year are the following:
- Find employment with a financial advisory firm to gain experience and learn from experts in this field.
- Have a firm sponsor me to take the Series 66 and Series 7 securities exams.
- Enroll in a CFP program to acquire the educational component while gaining hours of financial advisory experience through a new employer.
- Start down a path to eventually become an independent Register Investment Advisor.
These goals may seem lofty to some, considering I don’t have a degree in finance. But I don’t back down from a challenge and I DO have life and work experience. I have been actively managing my personal retirement account via my ROTH (40% net profit as of March 2017) AND financial experience with budgeting, P&L, accounts receivable/payable, etc. from my career in healthcare management. I’m more than ready, and very excited about the opportunity to learn and grow in a new career as a financial advisor in wealth management.
As I make these next steps happen, stay tuned to this site for updates. If you have any advice, suggestions, or even just encouraging comments as I go down this path, please feel free to drop me a line below!