Interview by Brad Abernathy
Meet Shane Gaddy! I had the pleasure of having coffee this morning at Inman Perk with Shane to talk about growing up in Hall County. Shane grew up in Oakwood and was part of the first freshman class at West Hall High School; he had always planned in his early life to become a Knight (Johnson High School) but became a Spartan (West Hall High School). You just never know when life is going to throw you a curve ball. Shane Gaddy, CFP®, C(k)P®, CPFA, is a managing partner-financial planner at Strong Gaddy Lee Wealth Management Group, is married to Emily and the couple has two children.
I want to thank Shane for spending time with me and telling me more about his life and love of Hall County.
Question: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
Answer: “Wife, Emily Gaddy, author of ‘Go Bulldogs’ and ‘Roll Tide Roll,’ mother to my two children…Clare Gaddy (12) talented baker and competitive cheerleader and Emmett Gaddy (8) fierce builder of legos and budding outdoors-man.”
Q: Please tell us about your current career. What do you love most about what you do?
A: “I started out in 1998 at the height of the tech bubble with A.G. Edwards & Sons. They merged two times in as many years becoming Wachovia Securities and then Wells Fargo Advisers. As well as being a partner on a wealth management team I also managed a couple of local offices. Traditional brokerage firms were getting too ‘cookie cutter’ with their solutions for our clients, so my partners and I left in June of 2017 and formed Strong Gaddy Lee Wealth Management Group. We now have the freedom to work with clients on a more personalized level. Having been an advisor for over 20 years, I helped clients plan for and achieve a variety of goals. I love the aspirations of our clients and enjoy helping to enact plans and seeing those goals reached. It helps me be one of the fortunate people who looks forward to going to work everyday. Designations: CFP®-CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ C(k)P®-Certified 401k Professional CPFA-Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor.”
Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
A: “They are all so great and I crave them at different times. For lunch though, Avocado’s–I just love the Cuban and their fries or their Quinoa Salad with Grilled Chicken…and I am a sucker for the Praline Caramel Cheesecake. And for dinner I love YellowFin…not for just for seafood, but their ribeye is fantastic and Clare loves their macaroni and cheese..it’s great!”
Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community?
A: “All my life…I have been an advisor for over 20 years.”
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
A: “Gus Whalen…he always impressed me in all that he did.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
A: “I love to travel to anywhere in the Caribbean, but when the kids get older really want to travel around Europe…no where specific yet.”
Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
A: “Big ‘Star Wars’ fan and love sharing the experience with my kids. I don’t watch a lot of traditional shows, but grew up watching the Duke Boys in ‘Dukes of Hazard!’”
Q: What advice would you give to people?
A: “Love your job or seek to change to one you would.”
Q: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?
A: “Skate Country in Oakwood…I spent a lot of my childhood going in circles there.”
Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
A: “Warren Buffett and Dairy Queen of course.”
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
A: “Green Street…I just love it and on Nov. 1 our firm will call 605 Green Street Home.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?
A: “Just where I am. I love what I do, I love my community and I can’t wait to see what is next in my kids journey.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “Full Ironman…Finally trained this year and it was cancelled due to Covid. Maybe next year.”
Q: What is your go to band when you cant decide what to listen to?
A: “Pearl Jam.”
Q: In hard times we can sometimes see and recognize greatness in those around us. Hard working. Positive attitudes. Helping on the front lines. Who is one of our local shining lights today?
A: “My partner Kelly Lee. I couldn’t do what I do with her, and she is such an asset to our community at large.”
Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
A: “The North Georgia Mountains…some of the views still take my breath away. Although, I will say the waters of Belize were incredible.”
Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
A: “May. Christmas. Dec. 25.”
Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
A: “Watching my kids having fun.”
Q: Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
A: “Brad Pitt, but it would probably be Bill Paxton.”
Q: What is one or two of your favorite smells?
A: “The air after a rainstorm and any dessert baking.”
Q: Who inspires you to be better?
A: “My clients, my colleagues at work, and my family.”