e-Compass – March 2010

Tim & Janet Murphy

Two kids, two years and ten thousand miles!

Sometimes as parents we ask ourselves questions such as, “what should we do with the kids this weekend?” … or … “what board game should we play tonight.” In Tim & Janet Murphy’s case, they asked themselves, “Where should we take the kids sailing for the next two years?”

After moving from Colorado in the mid-1970’s, Tim & Janet built a house in Ferndale (literally BUILT a house – pounded every nail, cut every board). When the 1980’s rolled around they started their family with the birth of their daughter, Breanna, in 1981. In 1984 their son, Kellen, was born and that’s when they started thinking about developing a meaningful family activity. Sailing was a natural answer, as they had fallen in love with the San Juan Islands since friends had introduced them to the sport. With a Pacific Seacraft Orion 27, they spent the early years sailing the local waters on weekend getaways and other times taking two week vacations on the boat.

Both coming from scientific and technical backgrounds, Tim and Janet started the researching phase of their idea for the “great adventure” (planned for June 1992 through June 1994). They searched for the right vessel and the right route of travel. They settled on the perfect model for their needs; the 34 foot Pacific Seacraft Voyagemaker, and christened her “Tapestry”. Janet read an article that explained how 90% of United States history was within walking distance of the east coast – ideal for capturing the interest of the kids and the adults! What better way to augment Breanna and Kellen’s correspondence schooling program.

The time came to take the two year hiatus from their careers. The Murphy’s trucked “Tapestry” to Maine, put her in the water and cruised throughout the summer, eventually making their way down the coast toward warmer climates for the winter. They experienced wonderful stops in Boston, New York, Baltimore, Washington DC, Virginia, Charleston, St. Augustine and hundreds of places in between. After spending the winter in the Bahamas, they headed back up to Maine and Nova Scotia for the second summer, bouncing up the coast to stop at some of the places they missed the first time around. After the second winter in the Bahamas, they brought Tapestry back to the Carolinas, put her on a truck and came home to the Pacific Northwest where they continued exploring in the beautiful waters of Northwest Washington and British Columbia.

When asked about the challenges they must have faced, Janet shares that during the planning stages they spent a lot of time listing out concerns and fears. Would there be storms? Would there be mechanical breakdowns? Would there be trying times with four people on a 34 foot boat? Would the children return to school behind their classmates? Would they be able to find jobs when they return? They worked through these “what ifs” and found that no obstacle was too big to overcome. During the trip, yes, there were a few light storms, but proper planning of the seasonal routes proved to be a safeguard. There were some minor mechanical issues, all of which were handled easily. And as far as four people on a 34 foot boat, Janet shares that an hour ashore for an 8-year-old boy solves everything! Upon returning home, the kids were well ahead of their peers at school and both Tim and Janet found new employment.

Tropical shore sceneThe Murphy’s share this advice with any family considering an adventure, whether sailing or anything else: GO and GO NOW! Not only did they share this once-in-a-lifetime experience with their children, but they also forged some of the most meaningful and powerful friendships of their lives with fellow cruisers they met along the way. The common bond they found was born out of the love to see new things and meet new people. They discovered that almost without exception there isn’t anything one cruiser won’t do for another.

Multop Financial is grateful for the opportunity to provide tax and wealth management service to the Murphy family. Not only do we appreciate the trust they place in our firm, but we are pleased to have them as members of our Client Advisory Board.

While writing this edition of the Hobby Highlight, we were reminded of the words of Helen Keller: “Life is a daring adventure or it’s nothing.” We believe an adventure may be a two-year sailing trip with the family or simply the daring to do the best you can do with your life as it is today. Either way, Multop Financial says BRAVO to all the adventurers we are proud to know as our clients.

Business Beacon

“Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” — Harvey MacKay.

Giles Little, DVM

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” That is a quote from French writer, Anatole France. If the quote is true, then we know for sure that the souls are wide awake at the Banfield Pet Hospital in Bellingham!

Although it might sound like a storybook reminiscent of the tales from James Harriot, it’s true – Giles Little’s grandfather was a veterinarian in England. As a child, Giles would visit him during summer vacation and would help him care for the animals in the clinic. Years later, at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Giles met his future wife, Shannon, who had enrolled in vet school after working as a dental hygienist. For the past 13 years they have developed their careers as veterinarians during which time they purchased and opened the Banfield Pet Hospital in Bellingham in 2005. They have grown the business to include 12 team members and thousands of furry animal patients (as shown in the group photo).

Giles shares, “Over the past several years we have been watching the relationships grow between families and their pets and it’s rewarding to play a small role in that process.” When asked about the challenges of the vet business, he says that the hardest part is when a pet doesn’t receive the care it needs because of financial reasons, but on the flip-side, it’s rewarding when the care that can be provided has a noticeable impact on the comfort level and happiness of the pet.

Giles and Shannon Little with their two lovely daughters, Emily 8 and Olivia 6At home, Giles and Shannon share life with their two lovely daughters, Emily 8 and Olivia 6 (see their recent family photo). And of course they have pets; two cats and two golden retrievers. Although they love and appreciate all animals, Giles says his favorite is the dog. “Dogs are great – it’s a best friend that can go everywhere with you.” As a family, they enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Bellingham. “We feel very lucky to have found such a beautiful place to live. We moved from Seattle in order to have a small town feel but still be close to the amenities of a larger city. We love the lifestyle that Bellingham offers – for people and for pets.” We asked Giles (on behalf of our many clients who are pet lovers) if he could recommend an animal organization or charity here in town. He believes the local Humane Society has the ability to do the most good, and they offs part of our Client Advisory Board.
When your pet needs loving medical care, visit www.banfieldbellingham.com or call (360) 734-9459.

Team Focus

Never ever doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead

Banfield Pet Hospital (located next to PetsMart at 4379 Meridian) may not be the English countryside, and you might not find James Harriot inside, but you will find Giles and Shannon and their team of dedicated assistants, who we believe are the next best thing!

For the past six years Multop Financial has been pleased to provide financial services to the Little family and we thank Giles for his involvement a Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead

What do you get when you cross Super Bowl and Multop Financial? This month’s edition of the Team Focus!

We have featured both Tyler and Andrew in recent editions of our team focus articles, but we know many of you (especially the sports fans) will enjoy this story, so we couldn’t resist sharing it.

Multop Financial has recently forged a relationship with a company that offers investment programs which are very appropriate for many of our clients. It just so happens that this company has a Professional Athletes Division, and it just so happens that Phil Multop was recently named as one of only eight investment advisors in Washington State registered by the NFL Players Association to assist NFL Players both active and retired with wealth management services. And when Multop Financial was extended a special invitation by the aforementioned investment company to attend Super Bowl in Miami and participate in an NFL Players Association Networking event, it just so happens that Tyler and Andrew were willing and available to make the trip. We know what you’re thinking … how very generous and hardworking of them!

In actuality, their trip was jam-packed with business events and appointments. But with the free time they had, Wow, did they see and meet some interesting people: Keyshawn Johnson and his bosses, head producers at ESPN; Evander Holyfield and Doug Flutie; former Husky and now Cincinnati Bengals Terry “Tank” Johnson; former Husky and Hall of Famer quarterback, Warren Moon; Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl fullback, Leonard Weaver; WBA Welterweight Super Champion Sugar Shane Mosley … just to name a few.

One event in particular they won’t soon forget was the Jim Carey and Jenny McCarthy charity auction. Tyler and Andrew’s host for the trip (the representative from the previously mentioned investment company) happens to be good friends with Atlanta Falcons players Thomas Johnson and Von Hutchins. They all attended the auction together (see photo of the group), which boasted items such as Heisman Trophy plaques signed by the last twenty-five Heisman winners, Rolling Stones autographed guitars and three baseballs framed and individually autographed by Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio.

Eric Alexander's ringPrior to the auction, Tyler and Andrew had dinner with their host and NFL agent Jordon Woy. Mr. Woy’s special guest for dinner was Eric Alexander who played on the Super Bowl winning 2005 Patriots team; a fact that was hard to hide based on the huge ring he was wearing. Tyler, who has a background in jewelry from his college days as a salesman at Ben Bridge, couldn’t resist talking to Eric about the ring. And before you know it, he was trying on the ring, which covered three-quarters of his finger (see photo of Tyler’s hand). How often do you attend a business conference in Miami and end up wearing a Super Bowl ring? If you’re Tyler, at least once!

The thrilling trip continued even through their flight home. In the Dallas airport, as Tyler was getting ready to board the flight, he felt a bear hug around his neck. When he turned around there was fellow Ferndale High Alum, Michael Koenen of the Atlanta Falcons. Tyler and Michael exchanged football stories for a few minutes until it was time to fly. We are happy to say that since that time, Multop Financial has assumed the important role as coordinator for the Michael Koenen All-Star Football Kids Camp, taking place June 5th at Ferndale High, with proceeds to benefit youth sports programs throughout Whatcom County.

Ah, yes … just another day at the office!


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