Fueling a GM’s Passions: A Journey of First Rate Values
Although business will go on ‘as usual’ on a typical day, the values of First Rate are far from usual. First Rate’s four values are Love, Give, Serve and Enjoy. Wait, what? A business that serves wealth managers with software and services has Love as a value? Yes. First Rate isn’t a typical software company in the investment industry. While many are confused or even a little intimidated by such personal values, I have found them to be inspirational. Embracing First Rate’s culture and values has allowed me to explore and support my own personal passions. I’m excited to share the journey of how each value has influenced my life in a significant way.
- Love– First Rate has been a longtime sponsor of the Turner 12. John Carter, the executive director of the Turner 12, began the program in the spring of 2000 when he decided he would spend six years mentoring 12 children from an impoverished neighborhood. His goal was to see them graduate high school, go on to graduate college, and experience success in their lives. Matthew 18:5a says, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me.” This verse has been an anchor for our family as we have pursued foster care and adoption. We believe that when we serve vulnerable children, we serve God himself. First Rate’s value of Love fuels our family’s passion to love vulnerable children in our family and community.
- Give– First Rate gives 10% of its revenue to non-profit endeavors, and each year, a portion of that 10% is given to employees to choose where to donate. This is core to our mission and values because we believe that our business exists to support clients, employees, and COMMUNITY. The culture of generosity at First Rate has inspired me and my family to live generous lives. Whether it’s my local church, a ministry teaching ESL and pre-k programs to local immigrants, or families raising funds for adoptions, First Rate’s values fuel these programs alongside our own donations.
- Serve– First Rate has partnered with YWAM San Diego/Baja to help families in Tijuana to build a home… in two days. First Rate teams have built over 50 homes for families in Tijuana while working alongside the families who will live in them. Several years ago, my wife and I decided we would take each of our children on a trip (without their siblings) when they turned a certain age to build relationships and teach them important lessons. We decided that when each child turns five, they will go with Dad (me) on a trip to Mexico with the First Rate home building program to learn about serving others. We will get the opportunity to build relationships with our children in a 1:1 setting while serving a family who lives in poverty. The First Rate value of Serve fuels our family’s passion that serving others is a key part of raising our children.
- Enjoy– First Rate provides the opportunity for employees to take a sabbatical after ten and twenty years of service. Only a company with the value of Enjoy would do something so radical! Two things I enjoy deeply are exploring new places and spending quality time with my wife and four kids. In 2017, I was able to spend a month exploring the beaches of Florida, attending Kanakuk Family Camp, and celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary on a trip to Santorini, Greece. It was one of the best months of my life! I feel blessed to work for a company that supports its employees like this!
Right about now you are probably thinking, ‘Wow, this place sounds amazing! But do you actually do any work?’ YES! When a business has values that support the personal values of its employees, it encourages a loyal, dedicated, and highly engaged workforce. Since joining First Rate 13 years ago, I have seen the fruit of our values not only in personal fulfillment but also in the success of our business despite being a private company in a highly competitive industry. There is an old saying: ‘One doesn’t live to work, they work to live.’ I’m thankful that First Rate’s values and culture have made this saying a reality for me and my coworkers.