Will you recognize me?
Call my name or walk on by
Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling
down, down, down, down
My oldest daughter, Gena Bigler, is celebrating her 40th birthday.
I wasn’t around for her birth (I was in eighth grade) and didn’t meet Gena until 21 years later when I ultimately married her mother.
I was first the stepfather for her and her sister. Later we went through the unusual step of adoption after they were adults.
I wanted them to officially be my daughters without any hyphen, qualifiers or hesitation. They wanted me as their father on the same terms.
We have an unqualified and total love and wanted that relationship to be unqualified from a legal sense as well.
Unqualified love has been a defining factor in Gena’s life.
She and her husband, Clay, have a total and unique bond. They work together (along with me and her sister) at McNay Settlement Group and do everything together. Gena and Clay have been together for over 15 years and act as a total partnership.
She has two incredible children and is totally committed to them.
But mostly, Gena has unqualified love for the less fortunate.
Hubert Humphrey once said “that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”
Children, elderly and people in the twilight are Gena’s calling. She is passionate about them.
Although she has led marches, written letters and organized protests, what she really does well is use the tools of the financial world to help people better themselves.
The business serves a dual purpose. It helps people with a lot of money hang onto it and make their money grow.
However, the vast majority of clients are injured people who need special programs and assistance to make it.
Gena calls the concept, “financial social work.”
It’s using the tools of personal finance in combination with social programs.
Gena has branched into another form of financial advocacy.
She has recently started writing a very popular “Smart Money” column for KyForward.com.
Although her advice is good for all demographics, I have noticed that working mothers really seem to love her column.
They appreciate her insights into how to stretch a dollar and maintain a high quality of life.
I’m proud of how Gena has spent the last 40 years with an unconditional love for people who need love. I hope she spends the next 40 years doing the same thing.
As a daily recipient of her unconditional love, I know it is a pretty good place to be.
Happy birthday Gena. From your dad.
Don McNay, CLU, ChFC, MSFS, CSSC is the bestselling author of the book “Wealth Without Wall Street: A Main Street Guide to Making Money.” McNay, who lives in Richmond is an award-winning financial columnist. You can learn more about him at www.donmcnay.com.