PDS Planning Employee Spotlight – Laurie Licata, CFP®
A Wealth Planner and Certified Financial Planner™ with PDS Planning since 2008, Laurie Licata values the relationships she has built with both her colleagues and clients over the years. On a day-to-day basis, Laurie works to address any questions or concerns her clients may have and enjoys the fact that every day is a little different.
Although Laurie earned her BA with a dual major in Business and Communications from the University of Pittsburgh, she never expected to end up in the financial industry. She began her career in retail management and merchandising before staying home with her kids for a few years. Upon returning to the workforce, she worked in Office Administration in the local school district before ending up at PDS.
Laurie says, “I feel like it was fate that I ended up with someone like Rita (Itsell) who took me under her wing and taught me so many things.” Laurie ultimately sat for and earned her CFP® and the rest, as they say, is history.
At PDS, we are proud to have a team of forward-thinking leaders guiding and developing our internal team. Learn more about Laurie’s work with PDS, as well as about how she spends her time away from work.
How do you think PDS Planning is different from other financial planning firms?
I feel that we are more approachable. Before I came to work here, I knew very little about investments so I know what that feels like. My goal is to help my clients feel comfortable and assure them that there is no such thing as a dumb question.
What is your favorite aspect of working at PDS?
The culture and the people with whom I work, including both my coworkers and clients. I have had the opportunity to develop relationships over the years, and get to see clients’ goals come to fruition. Now I am seeing their children grow up and get married and have their own kids. I really enjoy hearing everyone’s stories and getting to know them better over the years.
Is there anything that you experienced during the pandemic that you would like to see continued as things return to normal?
Not really! While I didn’t mind Zoom calls and they helped us to continue serving our clients at the time, I like face-to-face interaction. I think that there is a lot of body language that goes into communication and that can get lost during a Zoom meeting.
Do you see anything new on the horizon of the financial planning industry?
Since 2008, I have already seen so much change from a technology perspective. I think this is only going to continue to grow and evolve. Even some of the older clients who I thought would never log into a client portal are doing it. Because technology can help us to streamline processes, it is just going to continue to grow.
Tell us about your family
My husband and I have three daughters. Two of our daughters are married and we have four grandchildren. Everyone lives pretty close between Dublin and Cincinnati. We are a close, crazy family that likes to spend a lot of time together.
When you are not working, how do you like to spend your free time?
I spend most of my time with my family, but I also enjoy reading and consider myself a Netflix junkie. I enjoy walking. My husband and I got in the habit of walking every day during the pandemic – rain or shine. I like to cook and travel, and am excited about our planned trip to Hawaii next Fall.
What are you reading/watching/listening to?
I mostly read fiction, and enjoy suspense and thrillers. I usually get my book recommendations from friends. As for my Netflix shows, I would have to say Ozark is my favorite. I love all music and enjoy attending Broadway musicals. We are hoping to finally see Wicked this Spring as the show we were going to attend in 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Are you involved with PDS Cares?
We are all involved and I think it is great that PDS gives each of us an allotment of funds that we can use to support any organization of our choice. I also coordinate PDS staff volunteering at Ronald McDonald House Charities. Once per quarter we make breakfast at the Ronald McDonald House. Last year we made Christmas cookies, and I coordinate a holiday gift drive for families staying at the House, as well.
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