My first career was as a professional middle-distance runner. I represented the U.S. as a track and field athlete, competing in the 1,500-meter race at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. While I didn’t win a medal in Spain, I continued to compete at the world-class level for another ten years.

My coach for my entire college career and beyond—a fellow named Frank Gagliano, affectionately known as Coach Gags—helped me prepare every step of the way.

Coach Gags helped shape both my athletic ability and my character, and his lessons have stayed with me even now, as I’ve enjoyed a rewarding second career at Vanguard over the last 14 years. Earlier this year, I started leading the team that manages Vanguard Retirement Plan Access™ (VRPA). Our VRPA team is solely dedicated to supporting full-service defined contribution plans under $20 million.

One way we support VRPA plan sponsors and participants is by partnering with expert financial advisors. In my new role, I’ve had the privilege of attending some recent proprietary events and have learned more about how we can partner with you.

Help your clients cross the finish line

I was thrilled with the opportunity to attend my first events and share ideas on how we can partner together to effectively serve our clients. I learned that you want a Coach Gags too. What qualities do Vanguard and Coach Gags share?

Integrity. While Coach Gags taught our team to win, he stressed how important it is to maintain our integrity and good sportsmanship. Our interests are aligned, as we consistently strive to do the right thing for you and your clients.

A growth mind-set. Coach Gags incorporated into our training successful techniques that he observed from our competitors. At Vanguard, we seek out and value transparent feedback from various stakeholders as a continuous effort to learn and better serve you.

An ability to inspire. Coach Gags was a master motivator who cared more about our successes off the track. It’s our goal at Vanguard to motivate you to work with us on behalf of your clients by providing an easy enjoyable experience.

I’m applying that growth mind-set passed on from Coach Gags by incorporating what I learned from you into my approach to improving the VRPA client experience. I’ll soon touch more on this, and improvements VRPA is making to address your needs, in an upcoming blog. If we can work toward being to you what Coach Gags was to me, I would say we’ve been successful.

Note: All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.