Pam Smith Our Much-Loved Confessor, Mother, Disciplinarian and Historian Retires

As Pam Smith retires from Skylight Financial Group, we would like to thank her for dedication to the firm for the past 20+ years where she has filled the role of confessor, mother, disciplinarian, and historian. The retirement of a valuable employee is always bittersweet. We are happy that after years of hard work every day becomes a casual Friday but we will miss not only a valued colleague but a friend that we have enjoyed visiting with for years.

Below we hear from Pam, as she reflects on her career, what’s important in her life and her plans for the future. (Also don’t miss the video below taken at Pam’s surprise retirement lunch!)

Did you start out your career with Skylight?

No, I previously worked at a law firm as a fiduciary accountant working in probate and guardianship.  I was there for 12 years before moving to Skylight Financial Group in 1996.  I’m clearly not much of a job hopper as these are the only 2 jobs I have had since college!

Tell us a little about how you have progressed through Skylight?

In my 22 years with Skylight, there has been so much scope for development and I’ve taken on new responsibilities which have kept me challenged.  I’ve worked with two general agents, starting with Jeff Gale and then for Paul Fox.  My roles have been varied over the years and have included bookkeeping, contracts and licensing, office management, business management, and operations – progressing to Chief Financial Officer.  I’ve worked with many financial planners over the years and I have gained a great breadth of knowledge and awareness of the business.

What’s been your greatest achievement in your career?

I can’t really single out one specific achievement but I’ve always tried my best to be honest and full of integrity.  I’ve been upfront with people and treat them how I would like to be treated.  This way I have maintained a mutual level of respect which I feel is really important.

Did you end up doing the dream job you had as a child?

I didn’t have a dream job as a child but when I was 16 or 17 years old I had a lightbulb moment. It happened when I was doing a bookkeeping class in high school and I knew immediately that this was something I would be a success at and could do for a living.

Outside of work, what else is and has been important to you in life?

Most definitely my family. They are very consuming but in a good way.  My grandmother passed away last year at the age of 102 but she was very active and with it to the end.  My mom has turned 80 and I have two boys, or rather young men, who are very active in sports including soccer and golf.  They keep me very busy.

Now that you will have more free time on your hands, is there anything you would like to learn more about?

I love to read and can’t wait to cook more frequently.  I’ll be finding new recipes and my family will be the guinea pigs!  I also like to garden so I’ll be learning more about that and spending more time in the yard.

What are your plans as you move to the next stage of your life?

I’m looking for a simple life really and being a housewife for a while.  It’s time to declutter so a big clear-out is on the cards!  Once my husband retires in a few years, we will become snowbirds.  We’ve had enough of the cold winters here in Cleveland so we plan to fly south to North Carolina in winter and back up north for the summer.  North Carolina is a great spot where it’s not too hot and not too cold!

Thanks, Pam for sharing with us and we wish you the very best in your retirement.

Check out the video below of Pam’s retirement party and some photos of Pam during her time at Skylight.