Shoemaker 30 Years The Torch 11 08

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Shoemaker Financial Celebrates 30 years of serving clients

Shoemaker Financial Celebrates 30 years of serving clients

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  • 1. Jim and Linda Shoemaker are pictured with Linda and Jeff Long during the Shoemaker Financial 30th anniversary celebration October 10 at the Firm’s headquarters in Germantown, Tennessee. Jim and Jeff have worked together for three decades to grow the start- up Firm into a perennial Premier Club qualifier. If the Shoe fits, why change? Shoemaker Financial celebrates 30 years with Securian W When the Memphis office staff of Shoemaker Financial gathered recently for an enjoyable sit- down luncheon, Jeff Long couldn’t help but reflect on his first lunch at the Firm 30 years ago. “We were sitting on a bare floor in Jim Shoemaker’s York – hired Jeff Long as a financial advisor. “I was a 30-year-old draft engineer who liked peo- ple more than draft boards,” Jeff says. “I told Jim that I didn’t think I could sell anything. Jim’s response was ‘you can learn.’ ” Two years later, Jim left Home Life to form his own office. It was Jim, the four other guys who started the Firm. Jeff and four others decided to join Jim on the Firm and me,” says Jeff, a Shoemaker Financial Vice ground floor of Shoemaker Financial. “I followed Jim President. “We were ripping off wallpaper, hanging because he’s a leader and a visionary. I’ve never regret- our own sheetrock and painting the walls. We had to ted it,” said Jeff, a producer, teacher and technician in do our own work because we didn’t have any money. his three decades at Shoemaker, where he now focuses We didn’t have to worry about moving the furniture on developing new Advisors. because we didn’t have any.” In 1976, the year America celebrated its bicenten- CHOOSING A MUTUAL PARTNER nial and voted to send a Georgia peanut farmer named After opening J.H. Shoemaker and Company (later Jimmy Carter to the White House, Jim Shoemaker – renamed Shoemaker Financial), Jim searched for a new then the assistant manager for Home Life of New mutual insurance company partner. He saw a 14 The Torch | Fall 2008
  • 2. Shoemaker’s Minnesota Mutual advertisement in a GAMA ADAPTING AS footprint International magazine that touted its mutual AN ORGANIZATION heritage and Adjustable Life, a new flexible life Shoemaker’s early adoption 1978 insurance product. of financial planning is just one Jim Shoemaker leaves Home Life of New York to Terry Sullivan, the new Vice President of Agencies example of how the Firm has open Shoemaker Financial in Memphis, Tennessee. for the company at the time, launched a program to diversified its business model build the career field force. He attracted Managing over the years. Shoemaker 1980 Partners who wanted to build their Firms instead of Financial started a Registered relying on personal-producing general agents. “Jim Investment Advisor, purchased Shoemaker Financial starts its own Registered Investment was one of the first candidates we brought in, and he a broker/dealer, and later Advisor and delivers its first looked really promising,” says Terry, who first met Jim diversified by adding a group financial plan to a doctor in at the old Radisson Hotel in downtown St. Paul. “He benefits division and a Tennessee for $250. had a good track record, strong values and a clear pic- mortgage company. ture of what he wanted to do.” “This organization has Terry didn’t want his first Managing Partner always done a good job of 1984 appointment to fail, so he banked on Jim. “We were responding to the needs of our The Firm hires its first financial planning proces- new at this GA recruiting business at the time, so we clients,” Jeff Long says. Jim sor, purchases its own broker/dealer and buys its first office building, a small two-story building in were only a paragraph ahead of them. Unbeknownst to credits Jeff with playing a key Memphis. Shoemaker Financial conducts busi- Jim, we used him as the model to adapt how we role in the Firm’s growth. “Jeff ness on the second floor and leases the first floor. recruited and supported our new Managing has always been my go-to Partners,” said Terry, who surprised Jim guy. He’s very capa- by flying to Memphis to attend the ble and a great 1995 Shoemaker Financial 30th anniver- teacher,” Jim Shoemaker Financial moves to sary celebration in October. says. “He’s its headquarters’ current loca- Thirty years later, it’s clear that forgotten tion, a 26,000 square-foot this was a successful long-term more about facility in Germantown, Tennessee, a suburb investment for both organiza- financial of Memphis. tions. “Jim’s commitment to planning integrity was second to none,” than most says Terry, a member of the people will 2001 Securian Hall of Fame. “In the early ever know. Firm adopts the concept of periodization, break- 80s, our company took a stance He’s been instru- ing up the year into four 13-week periods. against replacements because it was the mental in our right thing to do, even though most of the success for three industry took advantage of it. Jim was one of the decades and a great person to 2003 key people on our Field Council (now known as work with.” Firm acquires the Securian National Advisory Board) that endorsed our anti- In 2001, Shoemaker operation in Nashville, replacement stance, and I will always be grateful to Financial adopted periodization, Tennessee. Brian Church him for that. He’s a class guy.” the concept of breaking the year is hired the following year to oversee and grow the into four 13-week periods, from operation. DELIVERING SHOEMAKER FINANCIAL’S Brian Moran of Strategic FIRST FINANCIAL PLAN FOR $250 Breakthroughs. “We have four Many Advisors and Firms have recently adopted a fee- year-ends, which helps change 2008 based financial planning business model. Shoemaker the old mindset of Advisors Shoemaker Financial celebrates its Financial was well ahead of its time. thinking they can catch up in 30th anniversary. “Home Life was involved in financial planning, the fourth quarter.” Jim says. which was unique for an insurance company at the “It’s the best way to work.” time,” Jeff recalls. “I remember writing our first finan- Shoemaker acquired cial plan in 1980 and delivering it to a doctor in Securian’s Nashville office in 2003, and brought in Madison, Tennessee, for $250. We used a desktop calcu- Managing Director Brian Church to grow the organi- lator to run the numbers and a typewriter to print it.” zation that now has a dozen Advisors. Combined with Jim recalls a Home Office employee telling him at the Memphis Advisors under Managing Director Mac the time that financial planning would never take off. Jenkins, Shoemaker Financial has 35 Advisors provid- “It’s not like we had a crystal ball or anything, but ing financial solutions to their clients in Tennessee and delivering financial plans fit our philosophy,” Jim said. surrounding states. Recruiters Liz Lacey and Rebekah The Torch | Fall 2008 15
  • 3. Retired Senior Vice President (above) Terry Sullivan flew to Memphis to surprise Jim, the first Managing Partner candidate hired in 1978. Shoemaker Financial Advisors David Rochester (left) and Frank Allen (right) surround Pete Powell, Regional Sales Director for RS Funds. The Firm’s values are painted on the wall behind them: “Faith…People…Results.” Brashier are busy looking for additional have made it. His patience paid off for me managing a $40 million bond portfolio for Advisors to join the Shoemaker and my family,” said Frank, a four-time an insurance company, a job that became Financial team. MDRT member and two-time Circle of increasingly mundane, Bill became a Excellence qualifier. Christian and made a dramatic career NURTURING ENVIRONMENT Paul Rich joined Shoemaker Financial change. He joined the Campus Ministry Frank Allen, a 49-year-old career in 1992, only a year removed from col- team at the University of Florida, a noble changer, joined Shoemaker Financial in lege. “Jim is a friend, a mentor, a father calling at a campus with a reputation as a May 2001 after working in corporate figure. What’s really cool is he cares about “party school.” finance at FedEx for 17 years. my family as much as he cares for me. My “My job wasn’t fulfilling. I prayed for “The main reason I joined Shoemaker daughter was recently chosen as home- direction, and God told me to move back was the Firm’s emphasis on financial plan- coming queen at her school, and Jim took to Memphis,” said Bill. Although he didn’t ning, which was right up my alley. I wanted such a genuine interest. My family loves have a job waiting, Bill, his pregnant wife to be a planner, not a salesman, and help him,” said Paul, one of the top producers and their three kids packed up their people,” said Frank, who started an invest- at the Firm. “He’s been very loyal to me belongings and relocated to Memphis. ment club with his family before changing and asks me for advice. I can’t imagine Bill interviewed with several financial careers. “I was also impressed with the working anyplace else.” services firms. But he was instantly upfront training from Jeff Long and wanted attracted to Jim’s faith and his respectful people around to answer my questions. STRONG CHRISTIAN CULTURE attitude. “During our interview, Jim took And, finally, the Christian-based culture You won’t see any crosses in the a call from his wife Linda, and I could tell gave me an opportunity to do things at Shoemaker Financial Firm brochure, but what an honorable guy he was just by the work that I couldn’t do at FedEx.” Jim has built an organization by attracting way he talked to her,” Bill said. “I knew Frank credits Jim for his patience, Advisors and clients who share the same immediately this was the place for me, and especially after the market plummeted in Christian values. that was almost 25 years ago. The best conjunction with the 9/11 terrorist attacks, “We prefer to portray our faith in decision I made in my life.” less than six months after Frank joined action rather than talk about it in a As the leader of the Firm, Jim continu- the Firm. brochure,” Jeff says. ally focuses on providing the best possible “I was a rookie, but Jim didn’t treat me No one leaned on his faith more at environment for his Advisors and staff. like one. The market was very difficult for Shoemaker than Advisor Bill Regeneld, “Being a person of faith is part of my life. my first two years. If I would have joined who joined the Firm in 1983 after his It’s 24/7, not a part-time thing. I don’t have a brokerage company, I probably would prayer was answered. After earning his faith only part-time or when it is have been put on a quota and wouldn’t MBA at the University of Tennessee and convenient or only when I’m sick. 16 The Torch | Fall 2008
  • 4. It’s a lifestyle I choose, and that doesn’t It’s a setback, but it’s just part of the day.” change when I come into the office,” said Bill Regeneld says, “Jim is as ener- Jim, who celebrated his 60th birthday on getic as always. I’m sure his doctor October 28. wants him to slow down a little, but “The atmosphere is different here. This is he’s as tireless as he’s always been.” a very, very good place to work,” says Bill. As for Shoemaker Financial, the Firm “Jim’s great strength is seeing your worth is on pace to qualify for its 15th Premier and how you can translate that to Club this year with twice as many Shoemaker clients. We receive letters and Securian Credits as it produced just five notes all the time from clients who genuinely years ago. want to thank us for taking care of them.” HEALTH SETBACK An often-overlooked public health benefit of providing life insurance products to clients is that the underwriting process will occasionally alert an applicant of a poten- tial life-threatening illness. Late in 2007, “ When the spouses of your coworkers call, you realize what a special culture and relationship Jim enjoys spending time with his grandson, two- year-old Trotter Jones. ” Jim Shoemaker submitted an application for additional life insurance. The blood we have with Securian.” THIRTY-YEAR CELEBRATION work indicated his white blood cell count – Jim Shoemaker If it was purely Jim’s choice, Shoemaker was irregular. Regional Vice President Perry Financial would not have held such a large Fox, a former Underwriting Manager, told celebration October 10 to mark the Firm’s Jim to call his doctor immediately. A few “At first blush when Jim got sick, 30th anniversary. “I failed to realize how days later, Jim was diagnosed with a blood it was shock and awe because he’s such important it was to share the Firm’s history cancer, which was in a very early stage. a dynamic person,” Bill says, “but he’s with the young guys,” Jim says. “To have Doctors prescribed treatment consisting of been very purposeful about building Terry Sullivan talk about the early days was chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. the organization. He’s done a great important to pass on to our new generation “I just completed my sixth month post- job of recruiting and putting a new of Advisors and staff members.” stem-cell physical; my blood counts are generation of leadership in place.” Part Securian presented Jim a large eagle statue good,” Jim said in early October. “I feel of the new generation of leaders is in honor of his three decades of service and good, and I’m even getting my hair back. Jeremy Jones, Jim’s son-in-law, a new created a video tribute that included well The type of cancer I have is a manageable member of the leadership team who is wishes from many Home Office employees, disease in today’s society. I still take medi- responsible for working with Jim’s including Perry Fox and Policy Services Vice cine each day and will continue to do so. personal clients. President Nancy Winter. “I’ve worked with Nancy since the beginning and Perry for 28 of my 30 years,” says Jim. Not only are they colleagues who have helped Shoemaker Financial tremendously, they are close friends. In fact, Perry’s wife, Wendy, and Nancy’s husband, Greg, both called to wish me a happy anniversary. When the spouses of your coworkers call, you realize what a special culture and relationship we have with Securian.” During the 30-year celebration, Jim also reflected on his journey from a start-up agency to a perennial Premier Club organi- zation. “It’s been a phenomenal trip,” he says. “I’ve been associated with great peo- ple, which helped smooth out the rough spots. My wife Linda has been incredibly supportive, which is so important in this business. Our people at Shoemaker make a difference, and I couldn’t be prouder to be Guests at the 30th anniversary celebration bow their heads for prayer prior to the meal. Jim has consciously built his organization by attracting Advisors, clients and staff that share Christian values. associated with them.” Securities and investment advisory services offered through Securian Financial Services, Inc., The Torch | Fall 2008 17 Member FINRA/SIPC. Shoemaker Financial is independently owned and operated. Securian Financial Group, Inc. hij abc 400 Robert Street North, St. Paul, MN 55101-2098 ©2008 Securian Financial Group, Inc. All rights reserved. F69895 12-2008 DOFU 12-2008 A04280-1108