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This spring, we were excited to announce Helen Raymond’s promotion to Senior Operations Specialist. After nearly 14 years as a key member of the Allegiant team, we know you’ve come to know Helen professionally. We thought now was the perfect time to also ask her to share a little more about herself so you could get to know her personally as well. Here is Helen in her own words…
I was born and raised just outside of Boston, MA., and was blessed with a wonderful childhood when no one ever had to lock their doors, parental supervision was not a necessity, kids played in the streets, and we made up our own fun (no handheld devices, computer games, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Ahhhh…those were the days! I’m sounding old, I am!! The middle child of three and the only daughter, I was a girly girl. Ballet, flute and oboe became my extracurricular activities. I even found myself playing tuba in the high school marching band - carrying the “H” as we spelled out our town’s name, “NEEDHAM.”
Upon high school graduation, I went to a small college to pursue a career in teaching. While there, I continued my love of dance as a member of the dance team. Unfortunately, by the time I graduated, teaching jobs were few and far between and like so many “wanna be” teachers, I ended up in the world of insurance as a life insurance underwriter…go figure! Back in those days, companies were skeptical about hiring someone that young, fearing I would get married, start a family and quit work shortly after being hired. Well, in this case they were right. I married my high school sweetheart, moved to Connecticut, and started a family.
I later found myself back in Massachusetts raising my wonderful son, now as a single mother. I was fortunate to get my original job back as an underwriter and then I moved to the newly-formed Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Co. My claim to fame there was setting up departments (underwriting, annuity, term life, client services, learning & development, and finally management development). It was a great job, but stressful with long hours and as a single parent it took its toll.
Later, my son went off to college and while on a vacation in Florida, I stumbled across a house for sale that I just had to have! On a whim, I decided to take a leap of faith, sold my home up north and settled in Venice, FL. Shortly after my arrival, I was diagnosed with cancer and spent the year fighting the biggest battle of my life (It’s been 14 years and thankfully, I am fine). That experience certainly put a new perspective on life and there is not a day that goes by that I take for granted.
I tried my hand at teaching but found it was not for me after all and went back to my investment roots working for Conni Arledge at what was then Kerkering Barberio Financial Services. Hard to believe that was 13 years ago!! Coming to Allegiant has been one of my better decisions in life. Working with a team of experienced, hardworking, fun-loving and yes, sometimes crazy staff, makes coming to work so enjoyable. In addition, getting to know the clients and assisting them with their needs (not just on a financial level but personal as well) is very rewarding…they have become our extended family.
Between my job, my wonderful son, daughter-in-law and two terrific grandsons living just 10 minutes away, as well as my soon to be 89-year-old mother who still lives in Venice and whom I see every weekend…. what more could one ask for? Life is grand!
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