By David Johnson, Reading Eagle Business Weekly
Merra Lee Moffitt, wealth manager and senior partner of Good Life Financial Group, Wyomissing, has a passion for small business. Because of her work in assisting small businesses, Moffitt was named the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce Shining Star entrepreneur of the year on Sept. 24 in a ceremony at the Berkleigh Golf Club, Richmond Township.
Moffitt, who grew up on a farm in Oley Township, knows the meaning of hard work and the difficulties of running a business. In 1979, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Millersville University with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and psychology. She planned to get into artificial intelligence but, she said, “I was too early.”
The Oley Valley High School alumna got her first job working for a computer networking firm in Connecticut. She soon found herself in California where she opened her own software consulting business, growing it to include more than 40 employees.
Seventeen years later, she and her husband Patrick decided it was time to head back to Berks County. Common sense “I had two 9-year-old sons,” said Moffitt. “I didn’t want them to grow up in the entitled atmosphere of the West Coast, so we came back to Berks County.
“I had two 9-year-old sons.” said Moffitt. I didn’t want them to grow up in the entitled atmosphere of the West Coast, se we came back to Berks County: a much more sensible community with common sense.” Moffitt relocated to Bernville. In 2002, she began her career as a financial adviser. In 2012, she joined Good Life Financial Group. Her desire to be a financial adviser was simple. “I’ve been where these small business owners are now,” she said, “making the decision to either make their payroll or paying themselves. Many of them face that every day. Profit and pricing is a crazy science, and I knew I wanted to help others find prosperity.” Moffitt’s clients come from all industries, and most have fewer than 30 employees.
“There is no minimum amount of funds needed to work with me,” said Moffitt. “They just need a desire for wisdom.” Moffitt said one of the biggest keys to success for them is always having access to liquidity. “I always make sure that business owners have access to funds to buy out a competitor or purchase a piece of equipment, whatever they need to grow their business,” she said.
Moffitt offer some customized strategies to assist clients. She has produced a podcast, “Passion to Thrive,” for the past four years, on her website. She invites business owners to share their success stories and pass on knowledge to others.
Moffitt offers tips on real estate transactions, technology and even how to take a vacation, sometime very difficult for small-business owners.
Six to eight times a year, Moffitt holds an open house at a local business. Open to anyone interested in growing their business, the receptions have no agenda and no presentations. They are strictly a networking opportunity for local entrepreneurs to gather and make new contacts. Moffitt says it is all a part of her desire to give small-business owners opportunities.
“It’s not about getting new clients, it’s about educating our clients and help them pursue success,” she said. “I just want to keep helping small-business owners and teach them how to grow along
With both of her sons out of college, she and her husband have relocated to Coventry Township, Chester County, where they reside with her dog,