The Passing of the Torch

I don’t watch It’s a Wonderful Life every year, but I did this Christmas, and I noticed something I hadn’t before. In a pivotal scene with George in his dad’s old office at the Building and Loan, I saw this wall hanging in the background. It reads: “All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.” 

On New Year’s Eve, after many months of planning and preparation and execution (and a special “thank you!!” goes to our indefatigable Patty Hall here), Sam officially passed the baton of Beacon’s leadership and ownership to Geoff, Ryan, and myself. We couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity, or more excited for the privilege of continuing the legacy that Sam has built here since he founded the firm in 1998. 

The world of financial advice and investing has changed fairly dramatically since 1998, and yet one thing remains constant: There is hardly any area of life into which money does not at least dip its toe, and figuring out how to navigate the waters once money is introduced is never easy. So, just as Sam has done, we will continue to provide leadership for and advocate on behalf of our incredible family of clients. 

Sam has done more than that, though. He’s provided a keen example of the idea expressed throughout It’s a Wonderful Life that it is in giving away that we find ourselves filled up. He’s given away money, pro bono advice, space, and a whole lot of time. If you’ve known Sam for very long at all, you’ve probably heard about NeighborHealth. NeighborHealth is a local non-profit that Sam was instrumental in founding and on whose board he continues to sit. It is impossible to be around Sam and not get excited about the work of this organization. In the pre-COVID days, there were many an evening that you could walk into the Beacon office after hours and find a lively meeting of people whose longing was and is that those in our community without historical access to healthcare would find just that at NeighborHealth. Sam was there of course. He was behind the scenes helping secure grants, establish internal systems, raise funds, open up his office, and probably a whole bunch of other things. So the legacy we inherit at Beacon is not just an impactful business, but a deep-seated commitment to the community that surrounds us.

On our first day of business as new owners of this firm (Monday the 4th), Ryan had the great idea that we emulate the common practice of restaurants framing their first dollar. Only, rather than framing our first dollar of revenue, what if we spent our first dollar on something meaningful, a symbol at the outset of what we dream for Beacon. And as we talked about what we might like to spend our first dollar on, we quickly realized we wanted to give it away. And once we decided on that, we arrived pretty quickly to a decision that our first dollar would go to NeighborHealth. It’s a symbol of our gratitude to Sam, our gratitude for the important work of NeighborHealth, and our recognition that we cannot exist without our community and that we are tied integrally to the flourishing of all people in it.

The whole Beacon team is waiting rather impatiently to be able to gather again at 1633 Glenwood to celebrate with a food truck, oysters, cold beverages—you know, what we used to do before a pandemic showed up!! Until then, we thank you for allowing us to play an important role in your lives. To us it is sacred work, and we look forward to serving more and more people and playing some small part in the transformation of our communities. 

Jared Korver
[email protected]

A product of small-town North Carolina (Carthage, to be exact), I’m proudly married to my best friend and co-adventurer, Amy. Together, we have two sons–Miles and Charlie–and could more or less start a library from our home. I love being outside, can’t read enough, am in the habit of writing haikus, and find food and coffee to be among life’s greatest treasures.