The Craft Of Coaching

By Scott Spiker

Journey

The Online Magazine from First Command Financial Services

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The Cornerstone of Virginia Beach

First Command's Mary Bercaw Celebrates 30 Years of Client Service

By Monty Miller

virginia beach

First Command has seen its share of change over the past 30 years. The company has expanded into Europe, started one of the nation’s premier online banks and opened its doors to federal employees and others in middle-income America. But for clients in the Virginia Beach area, there has been one important constant: Mary Bercaw.

Since 1981, Mary has been the first face clients see when they walk through the doors of First Command’s Virginia Beach office.

"She's the cornerstone of this office," says First Command District Advisor Ed Miller, who has worked with Mary since 1998. "She is now the go-to person for area clients and advisors alike.”

Mary, a client contact specialist and administrative assistant in First Command’s Virginia Beach office, will celebrate her 30th anniversary with the company on January 19, 2011. During the past three decades, she has been employed by Financial Advisors in three locations in Virginia Beach.

“I really like working at First Command,” she says. "It’s more like a family-oriented place to work. And I like helping people and I believe in the cause. I believe in what we do.”

Mary first stepped foot inside a First Command office in January 1981. A high school senior at the time, she was hired as a part-time assistant for one of the advisors. She proved to be a natural organizer and quick study with good people skills, and she was rapidly promoted to a full-time position.

Today, Ed and his team of advisors rely on Mary to manage a range of tasks, including training new employees, communicating effectively with clients and preparing and processing paper work. Ed describes her as  the office gatekeeper. Everything that crosses his desk goes through her first. She is dependable and, no matter what the Advisors have asked of her, never lets them down.

“She is meticulous, experienced and client-centered,” Ed says. “She takes great care of my individual client side and keeps them happy. After 30 years, she hasn’t missed a beat.”

Married with one daughter, Mary is committed to home and family. She is a devoted wife and mother. But at the office, she's developed a reputation for being a knowledgeable, quiet leader and a problem solver—with a competitive streak.

"She's highly competitive," Ed says. "When I was an Advisor I could see it. She always wanted to be number one. She wanted to be on the number one team."

First Command Financial Services, Inc.