For Oak Partners Inc., the fall season represents a busy time for the Northwest Indiana-based wealth and retirement planning corporation. Each year, the season is filled with events and client-centered social engagements that grant partners, advisors, and employees the opportunity to better know their clients and their families.
Recently, the 8th Annual Oaktoberfest celebration, a favorite event of many Oak Partners clients and personnel, was held at the company’s Crown Point headquarters. A record number of clients and families came out to this year’s event to enjoy food, fun, live music, and the opportunity to relax and socialize on a beautiful, warm autumn evening.
“This is the 8th Annual Oaktoberfest and when we first moved into this office eight years ago we hosted the first event as an open house. It was such a hit that we kept it as a tradition,” said Crystal DeHaven, Director of Client Experience. “Here we are, eight years later, and it’s our biggest Oaktoberfest yet as we’re hosting 450 of our clients and families out to just have a great time.”
“We’ve asked all of our clients to bring a bag of nonperishable items, which we’ll be donating to the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana,” DeHaven added in describing the event as a way to give back to organizations in the community as well. “We’ve done this donation the last three years and people are excited to help. All of our clients are willing to get involved and it’s exciting to us because they’re so gracious.”
Along with entertaining clients, helping to advance the work of nonprofit organizations, like Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, is important for the Oak Partners. Events like Oaktoberfest allows clients to play a part in helping make Northwest Indiana a better place to live and work.
“Just by the nature of our business, a lot of our clients have been successful and - being in the position that they’re in - it allows us to leverage our relationships with people of means to help others who might not be so lucky,” said Oak Partners Advisor and Partner, Stephens Kavois.
“This event really allows us to build our relationships with our clients,” Kavois said when reflecting on the Oaktoberfest celebration. “Retirement is a lifestyle and this event fits in so well to the Oak Partners lifestyle. Spending time with our clients in a more relaxed setting makes it easier for us to understand their goal beyond just sitting and talking about finances. We get to know what’s important to them in life and that makes us better financial planners.”
Oaktoberfest has become a real family-oriented event and Oak Partners puts a great deal of emphasis on getting to know their clients and their families. Team Leader and Partner, Joe Starkey, echoed Kavois in speaking about how important and enjoyable it is to build relationships with clients and their families in a more social, fun, and relaxed setting which Oaktoberfest provides.
“Too often people know us as financial advisors that manage money and sit behind a desk,” Starkey said. “This is a time when they get to see us in front of our families, interacting with other clients, and it’s a laid-back atmosphere. This event is something different that other people don’t necessarily do. We’ve always built this firm on relationships and being a part of a family, and this is a time when it’s almost like a family picnic. We bring everybody together to spend time in more of an informal, casual environment.”
“It’s funny, our office has continuously grown but we work so hard not to lose touch with people. You’ll see, looking around, that there are a lot of parents and grandparents, kids and grandkids, and a lot of generations here," Starkey. "That’s important to us too that not only do we know the person that sits across the desk from us in the office, but we know what’s important to them outside of our office as well.”
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