Giving back to the community is Kathy Fish’s specialty. As founder of the all-woman financial advising firm, Fish and Associates, she has recurring requests from clients to guide them toward making a difference in the community with their resources. She is also at the helm of Cocktails for a Cause, an organization that features celebrity bartenders and benefits local charities. Buckle up to follow Kathy’s inspiring road map for living a full and charitable lifestyle.
Have you always called Memphis home?
I have lived here since the late ’70s, so I call Memphis my home, but I was born and raised in Rochester, NY.
In hindsight, how did you discover your talent for a career in finance?
I discovered early on that I wanted to work for myself, and planning and investing fascinated me. It is a male-dominated business, and I felt it was a good place for a woman to blaze a trail, so to speak.
Briefly describe Fish and Associates and how it stands out from other similar businesses.
We are an all-woman firm, and I like to say we make financial planning fun! We take a whole-person approach, as planning is about so much more than the money. It’s about how you want to live your life and what difference you want to make in the world. We try to make that happen for people, so they can concentrate on what’s important to them.
What do you enjoy most about your career?
My clients! I love helping people make things happen that are important to them. Educating children, starting a business, going back to school, changing careers, retiring … the list goes on.
Tell us a bit about your family.
I have two daughters. One is a Certified Financial Planner and works with me, and my youngest is getting ready to move to Syracuse University to study theater. I have a great husband and two rescue dogs, Chance and Tina Turner.
What are some of your favorite activities to enjoy after a busy work day?
I love to cook, ride bikes, do yoga (I am a certified yoga teacher), read, and enjoy good food and wine! I am also a goalie on a women’s soccer team, the Ruby Slippers.
Describe yourself in three adjectives.
Energetic, adventurous, fun
Do you have a secret beauty product you can’t imagine not using?
Have you read a good book lately that you would recommend to others?
What is the best advice you have ever received?
“The harder you work, the luckier you get,” which I got from my dad.
Tell us about Cocktails for a Cause and its beginnings.
What started out as a happy hour in my backyard kitchen with friends (a few who run nonprofits) became the idea to have a monthly happy hour with a celebrity bartender and a signature drink to raise money and awareness for the great nonprofit work being done in our city by dedicated, passionate Memphians. To date, we have raised almost $180,000.
Cocktails for a Cause always takes place in my backyard, and different nonprofits are honored each time. There is no need to purchase a ticket. We put two tip jars out, and people put in cash or checks, and sometimes organizations take credit cards. It is a pay-what-you-want, and almost always there is a matching donor involved. We always do two-hour happy hour events from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and we host about six per year.
Who was the first beneficiary of Cocktails for a Cause? Who was featured at your most recent event, and who is next?
We started with Playhouse on the Square in April 2012, and actor Bill Andrews was our celebrity bartender; we raised $500. Our last one was for Company d, a nationally recognized dance company of young adults with Down syndrome, where we raised $5,310. And next month, our honoree is Frago, a nonprofit that eases career transition for military veterans through cross-functional business training. Chef Phillip Ashley will be our celebrity bartender, and I hope he brings chocolate.
Is Cocktails for a Cause a collaboration of one dedicated group of friends and associates, or is it open to anyone who wants to come?
It is open to anyone who wants to come. It is a joint effort of the nonprofit getting their supporters there, and the people I know who have attended or been introduced by other nonprofits, like cross-pollination. I use Facebook and word-of-mouth to get the word out, simple as that.
Do you have any favorite fashion trends or must-have clothing items for your fall 2015 wardrobe?
Well, you can’t have too many shoes or earrings, right? And yoga pants, a staple.
In addition to next month’s Cocktails for a Cause, what are you especially looking forward to this fall?
I am in the throes of building a new building to house Fish and Associates that should be finished by November; I am very excited about that!
What three lighthearted things could you not live without?
Sriracha (my favorite condiment), my bike and my goalie gloves
Thank you, Kathy, for sharing your road map to making a difference in the Memphis community!
Today’s photos at Fish and Associates were taken by Micki Martin.