I consider myself to be very lucky to have the opportunity to work with some amazing people. Without question, the Licciardello Lippman Family stands out as one of my all time favorite families. This North Andover family has over 100 years of residency under their belt. Generation after generation, they manage to contribute far more than they take and seem to have an endless stream of energy for donating their valuable time and efforts in an array of capacities.
I recently sat down with one of my absolute favorite North Andover natives – Crissy Licciardello Lippman. It's no secret that strong, intelligent women impress me and Crissy is a dynamo. She is a North Andover parent, community volunteer and business woman. She shared her experiences growing up in North Andover including her family's favorite spots in town, as well as her passion for her father's family owned business, Licciardello Financial Services (LFS).
Lisa: Why do you live in North Andover?
Crissy: The short answer is that my great grandparents settled here over 100 years ago, and despite occasionally wishing that they had chosen a warmer climate, no one in our family has ever found a reason to leave. North Andover is the perfect town. It's easy driving distance from the city, the beach, and the ski mountains. The schools are phenomenal, the community is close knit, and everything my family could ever need or want is here. North Andover is my home, and I couldn't imagine living anywhere else.
Lisa: What are your favorite things to do in North Andover with your family?
Crissy: My family loves to be outside, and North Andover gives us so many great places to be. We love hiking through the woods around Weir Hill – stopping to search for snakes and frogs, and skip rocks in the lake. In the summer we spend most of our free time at Steven's Pond. Our favorite time to enjoy the pond is in the evening when the sun isn't so strong, and many of the people have packed up for the day. Sometimes we even get pizza delivered and stay on the beach right through dinner. Almost every Sunday evening from June through August you will find us on the common enjoying the "Concerts on the Common" series. And as a runner, you can find me on the roads almost any day of the week.
Lisa: In addition to a busy family life and community involvement, you also work for your family owned business. Tell me about your role with Licciardello Financial Services.
Crissy: After working as a Professional Relations Specialist at Tufts Health Plan for five years, I decided to move on after giving birth to my daughter, Lexi. When she was just a few months old I joined my father's financial planning firm. Many of our clients are business owners, and over time my father had begun offering employee benefit services to those clients. With my background in health insurance, it was a good fit for me to take over that portion of the business, allowing my father to focus more on the financial planning portion of the business. During my nine years at LFS, my role has expanded to now include financial planning. My concentration in this area is on those issues that are typical for my peers – education planning, asset accumulation, and also retirement planning. It's a pleasure working with couples who are in similar phases of their lives as I am with my family. When we are discussing education planning, for example, my clients appreciate knowing that I am going through the same process with my family, and that I follow my own advice.
Working in the town where I live has allowed me to be very involved in my children's lives as well as the community, which is a huge benefit for me. In addition to the work I do with LFS, I am also currently the Vice President of the PTO at Lexi (9) and Zach's (6) elementary school, the chair of the Volunteer/Outreach Committee for the Merrimack Valley Striders, and the Volunteer Coordinator for the Feaster Five Road Race. It's a busy, but fulfilling life – and you can't beat the commute!
Lisa: What sets you apart from other financial services businesses in your market?
Crissy: While we are independent financial advisors, we have the resources and capabilities that are equal to and greater than the big wire houses. The big difference is that we provide an in depth analysis of our client's most important financial goals to help develop a "compass" – a personal financial plan – that will guide them to the best way to achieve their hopes and dreams. As fee based advisors, we place the best interest of our clients first.
Lisa: What have you learned from working in a family owned business? Greatest lesson? Any advice for other North Andover entrepreneurs starting out?Crissy: Working for my father's business comes with the added benefit of having watched him build this business from the ground up. It provides me with added motivation to maintain the legacy of service he has created. Because my father and I are so much alike, we share the same viewpoints and passions about developing close relationships with our clients. My father is the kindest, hardest working, and most honest man I know. I am incredibly proud of the business he has built, and honored to have the opportunity to work with him.
Lisa: How has the local community embraced your business?
Crissy: The residents of North Andover are intelligent, grounded and, in some ways, old fashioned. Trust must be earned, but once earned, loyalty is a reward.
Crissy Licciardello Lippman has been working in health insurance industry since 2000. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Massachusetts in 1999 earning her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology. She joined Tufts Health Plan in 2000 in their Professional Relations Department, where she worked directly with the plan's physicians and hospitals for five years before joining LFS.