Brian Pace: ‘What Keeps Me Coming Back Is the Community’

Job Role: Financial Planner

Department: Insurance and Financial Services

Tell us a bit about yourself. How would your friends and family describe you? What are you passionate about?

Brian Pace

Gosh, that’s broad! Well, let’s see. I’m a Northern Virginia native, which seems to be a rarity. I’m in my fourth decade together with my husband. Family is super important to me, which has come more into focus in these strange and uncertain times. Friends and family would describe me as outgoing with an unrestrained sense of humor.

Passions? Travel, live music, especially blues and bluegrass, wine, hiking, local politics, baseball, “The Golden Girls,” a newfound cooped-up-in-the-pandemic love of cooking, being active in our congregation, our three cats (because four would be far too many, don’t even try sending us another one), and all things Virginia.

Describe your career at NRECA. What is the core function of your current role, and how does it support the mission of the organization?

My role on the PIRC team has three essential job functions. One, traveling to cooperatives far and wide and delivering what I hope are informative and fun seminars on saving, benefits, retirement planning and managing money. Obviously, COVID-19 has thrown a major wrench into that, but we’ve found as a team we’re able to do a lot of positive work by using WebEx and other virtual tools to educate, deliver content and stay in touch with our cooperative family.

Two, we answer phone calls, emails, faxes, messages by carrier pigeons or swallows gripping coconuts by the husks from participants looking for education on financial planning and benefit election topics.

Three, we deliver written retirement plans and asset allocation plans as a team. It does keep the day flowing quickly even in the time of pandemic, I’ll tell you that!

What inspires you?

Leaving the world just a little bit better than I found it. Hopefully I get to do that.

What brought you to NRECA?

Total happenstance. I had one year to go on my master’s degree, wasn’t happy at my previous job, but all the conventional wisdom said that you were to finish your degree and only then go looking for a new position. But my friends said I should go on a couple interviews to stay fresh and sharp with interviewing, so I agreed. NRECA was that first interview!

What keeps you at NRECA? What is your favorite thing about your job and NRECA as an organization?

Beyond the incredible benefits at NRECA, which really must be mentioned, what keeps me coming back is the community. People really do care about you as colleagues in the cooperative world. I feel like my car can break down anywhere in America and I can ring up the local cooperative and get a jump, tow and probably even a dinner invitation. We’re that kind of family.

If you had a piece of advice for someone who was just entering into the job market, or starting a job search, what would it be?

I’m perhaps not the best person to ask as my résumé is now something in the neighborhood of 14 years old. What I can say is that whenever I’ve needed to look for a job, before coming to NRECA, it really was its own full-time job in itself. Everyone I’ve heard from who is looking for a new job reports something similar, so it’s probably best to just frame it that way in your head!

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