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Karen Spillers
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Northwestern Mutual - Chicago For the fourth consecutive year, the Chicago-based financial planning firm welcomed children ages two to education, service 12 for a day of and fun.

What you do at work and what your kids think you do can be two different things at least, that’s what the financial professionals at Northwestern Mutual – Chicago learned this summer. For the fourth consecutive year, close to 50 children ages two to 12 descended upon the Chicago-based financial planning firm for the annual Bring Your Child to Work Day. 

“This is one of our favorite special events that bring together our personal and professional families,” said Nikki Perryman, director of operations. “It’s a great opportunity to plant seeds of knowledge in the next generation on the importance of financial planning, show them different careers paths and help instill the value of helping others.”.

For some kids, the fun part of the day started with the train ride to the office or elevator ride to the 46th floor of UBS Tower, located in the heart of downtown Chicago. Once gathered in a training room with spectacular views of Chicago’s skyline, the program started off with the question: “what do you think your mom or dad does at work all day?” Their curiosity was piqued when a small green pig with the words invest, spend, save and donate was brought out. 

“Penny the Pig has become a perennial favorite to help introduce the concept of financial planning to young children,” noted Michelle Romano, chief financial officer. “At the same time, we want to share our firm’s philanthropic initiative to help kids and their families who are faced with childhood cancer.”

With a book in hand, Anna Gilchrist, an associate with the firm, read the children Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand, the true story of Alexandra “Alex” Scott and her courageous, inspiring battle against childhood cancer through a lemonade stand. The kids then made lemonade ‘to go’ kits and helped raise funds for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Of course, no day is complete without fun and an obstacle course, coin treasure hunt and a game of jeopardy followed by a make your own snack bar, which were all hits. 

Perryman and Romano, along with Robert Hughes, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer worked together to launch the first Bring Your Child to Work Day in 2014. This year’s planning committee included: Lindsey Daehnke, Director of Marketing and Communications at the office of John Roland, CLU, CFP® ; Tara O’Dea, Planning Department Supervisor; Nikki Perryman, Director of Operations; Michelle Romano, Chief Financial Officer and Chuck Volpentesta, Financial Advisor.

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