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We naturally chose our longest tenured team member to kick off our spotlight series.  Now in her 21st year with McKay Wealth Management, Norma has become a pillar in the MWM Family.  No matter how long you have been a client with us, you likely know Norma as the friendly voice on the other end of the phone or the smiling face that is first to great you as you enter the office.  This interview was particularly fun for me as I have known Norma for all of those 21 years and her natural tendency is to champion others rather than talk about herself. I hope that you will enjoy getting to know Norma Lee a little better.

LINDSEY: Norma, tell everyone a little about yourself. 

NORMA:  I am a native of Seattle and grew up a couple of blocks from our office in Tukwila.  I moved around in my adult life to various surrounding areas of Seattle only to return to the South-end of Seattle in 1988.  I currently live in a golf course community with my husband of 29 years and a with a vivacious Tabby named Margarita. 

LINDSEY:  Can you share a little about your family? 

NORMA: I am the oldest of 3 siblings (all girls) who reside in various places in the NW.  My Mother resides in Australia outside of the Gold Coast in Queensland.  Yes, I have been there, and it is beautiful but a heck of a long trip! 

LINDSEY:  What is something that would surprise us about you?

NORMA:   My actual name is Norma Lee.  Usually only used by family members and Jeff.  

LINDSEY:  What three words do you feel best describe you?

NORMA:  Loyal, vibrant, and dedicated. 

LINDSEY:  Sticking with three, what are the top three highlights of your life?

NORMA: In no particular order: 

  • Traveling to Scandinavia with my family when I was 13.  
  • Marrying my husband.  
  • The ability to be surrounded by family and friends no matter what life brings. 

LINDSEY:  Do you have a mantra or personal motto that you live by?

NORMA:  Be kind and treat people like you want to be treated.  Love always wins. 

LINDSEY:  Where was the best vacation you have ever had?

NORMA: Caribbean Cruise – specifically the Island of Tortola, BVI.  I remember just sitting there with good friends, feet in the warm water on a beautiful sandy beach, cold rum punch in my hand and thinking it was the best place on earth and how lucky I was to be there.  I had tears in my eyes. 

LINDSEY:  What would we find you doing outside of work?

NORMA:  I love to create things.  Always trying out new recipes in the kitchen.  I also enjoy sewing which is almost a lost art form.  I have my own tool belt and I am handy when it comes to home repairs and improvements.  It also helps that my husband is an engineer and extremely knowledgeable!  I love going out on the golf course to enjoy the scenery and camaraderie with friends.  Not saying that I am all that great, but it is certainly a lot of fun. 

LINDSEY:  What is your favorite sport and favorite sports team?

NORMA: Golf for me and cheering on the Seahawks! 

LINDSEY:  As a native of Tukwila, what is your favorite local thing to do?

NORMA:  I enjoy driving into the city or cruising on our backroads.  We have so many beautiful places to go and see.  I love living here!

LINDSEY:  If you could have only one adult beverage for the rest of your life, what would it be?

NORMA:  A good rum punch, preferably on the beach. 

LINDSEY:  Where is your favorite place to eat?

NORMA:  With my husband’s family.  We have fantastic cooks and bakers that consist of family members and friends that can really put on a great meal! 

LINDSEY:  If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you want to have with you?

NORMA:  A BIG knife, big heavy-duty pot and a survival guidebook. 

LINDSEY:  How do you define your role with McKay Wealth Management?

NORMA:   Client Relationship Liaison: Cultivating new and existing relationships and fostering excellent customer service.  As a small business, assuring that we are operating efficiently at a high level of excellence so that we can be of service to our clients, professional associates, and community.  

LINDSEY:  Before working with MWM, what was the most unusual or interesting job you have ever had? 

NORMA: Airfreight logistics.  Worked with a cargo airline, courier express company and independent transportation company.  It was a challenging, fast paced and always changing.  The most interesting item that I shipped was a racehorse for the Longacre Mile.   I also coordinated (with my associates) customs clearance, land logistics and chartered an aircraft for a “plant down” for Nissan Automotive in Tennessee.  It was the longest 48 hours of my life! 

LINDSEY:  How did you first learn about MWM?

NORMA: Jeff recruited me through a Rotary member that did temporary work placements.  I interviewed with him and thought he would never hire me (at that time I knew nothing about the financial services industry) and here I am 21 years later with the firm.

LINDSEY:  What is your favorite part about working for MWM?

NORMA:   A sense of accomplishment and pride in what we are doing for our clients and the lasting impact that a financial plan and advisor can bring to our client’s lives.  The value of trust and confidence with our clients and team members.

LINDSEY:  What is your proudest moment at MWM?

NORMA:  Everyday I am proud of the work we do for our clients and proud to be a member of this team.    I am proud of how much the company has grown over the past 20 years and I am proud of our (and my) ability to adaptable, even when it is involves technology!  

LINDSEY:  Which of our core values most resonates with you?

NORMA:  IMPACT:  We are committed to ensuring the work we do has significant meaning to our clients, their families and our community.  It is so much more than finances, with us it’s personal.  

LINDSEY:  What would you do (for a career) if you were not working with us?

NORMA:   Not sure if I would set out on another career.  Looking at retirement and I would probably volunteer to work with a community outreach group such as Food Lifeline or NW Harvest. 

LINDSEY:  Norma, I want to thank you for your years of service and acknowledge all  the contributions that you have and continue to make to the organization.  As the saying goes, the best is yet to come and I look forward to  working together for the remainder of your best working years!