GREEN BAY — Heather Lindsley’s work as a financial advisor includes helping clients figure out budgets, making sure they have financial protections in place and assisting them on tracks towards retirement, but it involves much more than numbers. She builds relationships.
“The numbers fall into place after the fact,” she said. “It is getting to know them, relating to them, learning about the things that keep them awake at night and finding solutions to those first.
“The best feeling in this position is when you have crossed the line from trusted advisor to family friend,” added Lindsley. “It means a great deal when you get invited to the birthday parties and the special events in the family. Their other friends will ask, ‘Who is that?’ They are surprised when they find out it’s their financial advisor. The hugs you get are nice. I have a client who makes me homemade jam. Another one stocks me with crochet towels and wash cloths.”
Lindsley has worked in financial services since 2004 and has served as a financial advisor at Woodmen Financial Resources for the last three years. She strives to build a good line of communication with her clients and is available to them at all times.
“Twenty-four/seven is what I tell them,” she explained. “I always have my cell phone on, so they can leave a message and I will get back to them. There are many times on Saturdays and Sundays when I speak to my clients. Things happen; you just have to roll with it.”
An example of Lindsley’s dedication involved an unexpected drive. A client’s mother decided she wanted to change her health insurance coverage on the last day of Medicare enrollment. Lindsley drove to West Bend to make sure the mother was registered before the deadline.
Lindsley’s desire to serve extends outside her work. She takes part in several charitable organizations with a special interest in those that address women’s issues.
“If I hear about something that pulls at me, I try to do what I can,” she explained. “I very rarely say no to anyone when it comes to giving, whether it’s monetary or showing up for something.”
Lindsley has served two years on a committee for Golden House, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. The committee is revamping the shelter’s fundraising efforts by holding two major events, including “Show of Strength,” an art show, held in February, that raised approximately $50,000.
Other outreach for Lindsley includes supporting Heaven’s Touch, an organization that helps young, single mothers, and serving as a guardian/volunteer for Old Glory Honor Flight, Inc.
Lindsley is a part of several state and national financial organizations that has led to service opportunities. She has visited school classrooms to educate children about finances. Her membership in the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) has been especially rewarding, she said. Through her involvement, she spent a day working on a home in New Orleans damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The MDRT also raised funds to provide grants. Lindsley participated in a phonathon for the organization, which helped secure a $3,500 grant for Agape House in Lake Geneva, Wis., which assists girls and young women.
Heather and her husband, Mike, have a blended family of four children ranging from a senior in high school to age 22: Lindzi, Zach, Zak and Ben. Family is the center of her life. The flexibility in her schedule allowed her to go on field trips, assist at school and attend sporting events and concerts throughout the years. She has tried to pass on the giving spirit to her children. Heather recalls a day when her kids were young and they encountered a man holding a sign that read “Will work for food.”
“As I drove past him, something pulled at me,” she explained. “I drove to McDonald’s and got a value meal and $20 worth of gift certificates. I pulled up next to the gentlemen and had the kids give them to him. Afterwards, the kids said, ‘Why did you do that?’ I said, ‘If he is truly hungry, I just gave him food, and if he needs more food, he has enough for a few more meals. If he is scamming us and really doesn’t need it, then shame on him.’”
Today, she is thankful when she receives texts from her children explaining that they did a random act of kindness for someone.
“The more you do it, the people around you start to do it,” said Heather. “Twenty dollars might not be that significant to me, but $20 to the next person might make a world of difference. I try to put myself in the other person’s shoes. ‘What would Jesus do?’ comes to mind a lot.”
Heather is a lifelong member of St. Bernard Parish in Green Bay where she taught religious education and served on the parish council. She will be moving to Prince of Peace Parish because “Prince of Peace Church is in our backyard.”
Becoming an empty nester in the the fall is an opportunity to do more philanthropic things, she said. Heather recently became a board member at the Bridge-Between Retreat Center in Denmark. Among her pastimes is golf, so she plays in a number of charitable outings. Service opportunities provide balance in her life. Her job can be difficult when trying to help clients who are struggling.
“They really open their souls to me,” she said. “I have a client who let her credit card debt get out of control. It was hard for her to admit that. Life happens, we just need to find a way to get through it and keep moving forward. I always stress that communication is key. We put a plan in place. There are a lot of tough conversations, but it’s rewarding to be able to help someone.”