Every firm has people who operate largely behind the scenes. People who, on a daily basis, make things happen and keep an office running. At Compass Capital, we have a lot of Trusted Financial Advisors, and some staff. I am one of those staff.
This past year, I have been writing a series of “get to know us” profiles for our company’s blog. We thought it might be time to share my story with you. So here goes! This is the story of me, Susan Scheide, the one who sends you your quarterly client mailings.
I was born in West Hartford, Connecticut where I lived until age 10, when we moved to Rolling Hills, California. I am the youngest of three, and have two older brothers.
It was a pretty big deal, moving three kids and two dogs to California, but the entire family absolutely loved living in Southern California. While there, I took up horseback riding, and we purchased two horses. Within three years of first sitting on a horse, I was town champion of the 13-17 year olds.
Our house was never without a dog. In fact when our dog Sam died at the age of 15, my father vowed never to have fewer than two dogs, as it was too painful for him to be without a dog. Our dogs were primarily hunting dogs, but we did have a show dog that was fairly successful, who fathered a litter of pups.
After four fun filled years in California where I met and started dating a former child television star (Mike Lookinland, TV’s “Bobby Brady” and I dated for three years—my claim to fame!), my father gave us the exact same speech about “If you could live anywhere, where would it be?” that he had given us four years earlier, and told us we were moving to Dover, Massachusetts.
Let me tell you, the attitude of three kids moving from West Hartford, CT to Southern California is very different from the attitude when you tell those same three kids they’re moving to Dover, Massachusetts! But Dad had been made an offer by the now-defunct New England Merchants Bank, and it was too good to pass up, so my parents moved three teenagers, four dogs, and two horses 3,000 miles back east.
Susan and brothers; dogs Madaket, Bo, Abby, and Jeb
Partly due to the move, I ended up attending four different high schools. In fact, I was in ninth grade for two years, and skipped eleventh grade entirely! My schools were Chadwick, in California; Dana Hall, in Wellesley, MA; Westminster, in Simsbury, CT (my father’s school); and Dover-Sherborn Regional High.
I attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and graduated with a B.A. in English. I had entered the university as an animal science major, but just didn’t do well enough in chemistry to proceed on to my dream of going to vet school. I spent my college summers working at a YMCA camp in Lakeville, CT where I taught children how to ride horses. It was a lot of fun, but the pay was really bad! In 1983, when I graduated, trying to get a job with an English degree and no experience at anything other than teaching horseback riding was near impossible. So I went to the Katharine Gibbs school and learned how to type, file, and take stenoscript.
And that’s how I met Tim Shanahan in 1984. My first job (with A.C. Nielsen) didn’t work out, so I had gone to the placement office of Katharine Gibbs looking for a new job. Tim was just starting Compass Capital Corporation, and he knew from experience that Katy Gibbs Girls were the best, and placed his office manager job listing with them. Tim enrolled me in the College for Financial Planning’s ParaFinancial Planner program and I was one of the first (and maybe the last as well) in the US to earn the ParaFinancial Planner certificate. Those of you who read the prior blog entry about “Tim and Me” will know that I worked for Tim for a year before moving on, but returned about 12 years ago for this, my second stint at Compass. Between my first and second times with Compass, I spent several years with Price Waterhouse, and 10 years at Middlegreen Associates in Boston. During my time at Middlegreen, I attended night school at Bentley, and earned my certificate in Computer Information Systems, with honors.
I live in Canton, MA, not too far from Tim. I have a retired racing Greyhound, George
(formerly known as Driven by Chile when he raced at Raynham Park for three years), an Oriental Shorthair cat named Mister Bigglesworth (also known as You Little Bastard, as he is a very active and somewhat naughty cat) and a Siamese named Ming that I adopted at the age of 11 when his owner passed away. Anyone interested in discussing Greyhound adoption should contact me through my Facebook page. I enjoy relaxing with my pets, gardening, writing, and what small DIY projects I can come up with in my small condo. I am also a huge NFL and PGA Tour fan. I am very active fundraising for “The Greyhound Health Initiative,” that helps fund the work of a canine cancer researcher who has a special interest in Greyhounds, Dr. Guillermo Couto.
I have worked in the financial services field since my first go-round at Compass in 1984. I find I have a knack for paperwork and office management. Something no one ever really aspires to, but something that is very necessary. I also seem to be able to figure out most any office equipment, technology, and web issues. That too is something no one grows up dreaming of doing, but it needs to be done and makes me a valued part of the Compass team.
I feel fortunate to be at Compass. Not only do I have ready access to all kinds of experts on many topics that I am NOT an expert in, I have seen first hand how a firm can grow through hard work, determination, and by providing a service that people need in a way that truly helps them.