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Christy Plunkett-Barese

Christy Plunkett-Barese

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I am a financial representative, relationship builder, daughter, mother and wife.

I recently left nonprofit to start my own financial planning practice partnering with Northwestern Mutual specializing in women, couples, families, and established professionals. I work with people to provide comprehensive planning that covers everything except taxes. My planning philosophy is usually broken into three different areas Managing the “What Ifs…”, Debt Management and Financial Growth.

I'm currently focused on growing my practice and helping women become empowered with financial knowledge and know how to make sound decisions for the future and their families futures.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I became a member in 2019 and have participated in a few activities with Ellevate in person before the pandemic changed how we connect. I really enjoyed attending the OM luncheon and hearing from the guest speaker about her story and learning how to meditate.

How would you define your professional mission?

Its simple - to help empower others with financial knowledge and information to make sound financial decisions for themselves and their families.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

Believe it or not I am strong believe in people being able to learn anything if they really want to. I would say that the biggest asset in this career and my previous roles has been the development of soft skills. Being able to get along with others and being adaptable and resilient.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

I started out of college selling building products and I quickly learned I was not meant for this path. Ultimately, I moved to DC to get involved in politics or so I thought until I realized that wasn't as easy as I thought. After a few years working for an association, I landed a job at one of the nation's largest and best known nonprofits in the country and thought I had found my dream place to grow and possibly retire from one day. After multiple reorgs, I moved into a completely different career in fund development and then on to another organization. It wasn't until I spent time really contemplating what I enjoy doing that I found the career that I embarked on a few months ago. I have never been more satisfied with my career and very happy I decided to invest in myself.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I am a mission-driven individual. I come from a family of a public health nurse and a seed salesman who were always helping others in their community. When I am able to impact someone else's life in any positive way, it is very fulfilling and my professional life has afforded me that opportunity many times.

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?

If I have a positive impact on even just on person's life with the work that I do, then it will have been worthwhile.

What is your morning ritual?

I wish I could say that I have a robust morning ritual that others will want to duplicate but I don't. I do however have a routine that works for me. I wake up, shower, and drink my coffee in quiet while watching Morning Joe. If any one of those activities gets altered, my day just doesn't feel right.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

Dress for the job that you want not simply the job that you have.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

You can't do it all no matter how hard you try and at a time when I was a single parent I tried very hard to do it all. Accept that you can't and that your kids will only be kids for a specific period of time.


Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.