When I got into the business of financial planning and managing money in 1992, the second client to sign up with me was the Kawerak, Inc. Retirement Plan. This Plan is entirely employer funded as a pooled investment plan directed by the Trustees for the benefit of the employees. When I moved over to Alaska Permanent Capital Management (APCM) in 2009, Kawerak moved with me. APCM, as a fiduciary investment manager, is ideally suited for managing pooled retirement plans, such as Kawerak.
I have been traveling to Nome twice each year for many years to present to the Trustees and to the Kawerak employees, as participants in the Plan. Once they even scheduled a Trustee meeting so I could be there for Iditarod. Every May, I participate at their annual all-employee meeting, presenting the performance of the Plan for the prior year and answering employee questions about the investments in the Plan.
At my most recent trip in May, I was truly surprised and extremely honored to be recognized by the Trustees in front of all of the employees. The President of Kawerak, Melanie Bahnke, made the presentation during the agenda where they recognize their long-term employees. She noted that they wanted to recognize me as a long-term consultant. Melanie stated, “Cathie has been working for Kawerak for over 20 years now, and we would like to adopt her as a Kawerak “employee.” “Thank you Cathie for your many years of dedicated service to the employees of Kawerak.” I was then branded with my own Kawerak logo jacket.
I have been in this business for 23 years now, having moved over from public accounting. Not only has Kawerak has been with me the entire time, but my very first client is still with me as well. My first client was retiring at the age of 65 in 1992. So for those of you wondering if you can have a successful retirement plan for 23+ years, the answer is yes.
We truly enjoy our work and our clients and feel very lucky to have such excellent long-standing relationships. To be recognized for such gratifying work is an honor. Thank you to Kawerak for the recognition and for giving me permission to share this honor.
Cathie Straub, CPA, CFP®
Director, APCM Wealth Management for Individuals