“Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation” – C. Everett Koop
Since May of 2017, our team at Heritage has been honored to share a building with the most sacred place in Oklahoma City – the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. I am fortunate to have a view of the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial from my office and am always awestruck each spring when I see multiple school groups touring the grounds. I am filled with pride that our educators have made it a priority to educate the next generation of children about the tragic events of that day in April 1995; that our teachers believe it is important the children remember to honor the memory of those who were lost and all who were impacted forever.
While at my desk to write this year’s letter, I saw another busload of children getting ready for a tour – and it informs me of Heritage’s responsibility to the next generation: To Remember, To Create and To Inspire. At Heritage, we seek to achieve these key tenets each day.
WE REMEMBER that in 1998, the mission of Heritage Trust’s founders was to create a sustainable, world-class, independent trust company in Oklahoma City to serve Oklahoma families and institutions across multiple generations. We have grown from that startup into a fully diversified wealth management firm and part of the largest trust-based wealth management firm in the South, responsible for more than $35 billion of client assets.
WE CREATE opportunities for our clients (to sustain & grow generational wealth) and our team members (to build meaningful careers) by continually improving our expertise and experience. We talk every day with our clients about transitioning their assets to the next generation. When Bond Payne agreed to serve as Gov. Kevin Stitt’s chief of staff in August 2020, we arrived at work the next morning to the exciting, yet daunting, reality that we had fully transitioned Heritage Trust Company from the first to the second generation. Our founders no longer enter the building every day, but we stand on their shoulders as we move forward. And I can confidently state that our team has never been more experienced, diverse or talented as it is today.
WE INSPIRE our team members to find ways to build a better future for our clients, company and community. We will always remember our company’s roots, where we came from, and how previous and current employees have strived to create a sustainable company that will thrive. Heritage’s founders taught us well, but now it is our responsibility to pay it forward and inspire the next generation to rise to even greater heights.
Since Heritage’s founding 24 years ago, our company has navigated the expected – and sometimes unexpected – ups and downs of growing a business. But our mission has not and will never waver: to employ the best people and provide them the training and resources that are required to deliver elite service to our clients.
We are truly blessed to be entering our 24th year of serving our clients, partners and community. My promise to each of you is, regardless of the challenges or adversity we may face, your Heritage team will continue pushing through to serve you better. It is an honor to lead our company into the second generation, and I thank you for your continued support.