"People adored my lola," Anton said. "No matter who you were, she welcomed you into her home. She made each of her 20 grandchildren feel we were the most precious to her."
In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month, Anton, president of Anton Financial based in Honolulu, reflected on ways she has drawn upon her culture and traditions to build her business as a family of loyal clients.
When Anton moved to Hawaii, she knew few people and was unsure of her career path, but she recognized lola's bayanihan way of life in the Hawaiian aloha spirit. At the suggestion of a friend, she enrolled in a training program for financial advisors. By day four, she knew she had found her path.
At first, most of her clients came from Hawaii's large Filipino community. "They gave me the support I needed to establish myself," Anton said. The families she met were grateful to meet a smart young woman who spoke their language and understood their culture.
Eager to meet more people and give back, Anton began volunteering with youth programs organized by the local police department. She realized she could give back in other ways by providing financial advice to the police officers she met, but they tended to be skeptical of anyone trying to sell them investment strategies.
A new friend in the Honolulu Police Department told her a way to earn their trust was to help them understand their pension system. Marcia launched a series of retirement workshops in partnership with the police and firefighters unions. Today, Marcia is a trusted advisor to nearly 800 active and retired police and fire department employees.
She speaks of every client, and every member of her staff, as her 'ohana, Hawaiian for family. For Anton, family is everything. "My lola passed away this year at the age of 100. She was so proud of her family. And here I am, 5,000 miles across the Pacific, expanding our family with every new client we bring on."