I’d rather regret the things I have done, than regret the things I haven’t done.
— lucille ball
 
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Meet Melanie:

Turquoise water calls my name, luring me with the smell of the salt air and the sound of the waves crashing on the sand. Then the moment my feet hit the sand and I shift back into my chair, the world around me fades away.  Or so it used to... There isn’t much alone time in my life these days with three daughters and four rescue dogs - any day there could another one that shows up. Dogs that is, not daughters! 

I wouldn’t change a thing about my life. My husband I are living our dream. 

I’ve never been much of an I Love Lucy fan, but Lucille Ball’s words always seem to fit my life, like a tenet for accepting my own flaws and the missteps I’ve made along the way to becoming the woman I see reflected in my children.

FOR MARIAH

Not that I have many regrets, but I’ve seen my share of challenges. At 18, I balanced being a new mom with community college.  Aspirations led me to Rowan University to study History and become a Pitcher for their women’s softball team, which brought us all the way to the Final Four Championships. Changing diapers, writing papers, workouts, travel, practice sessions, studying and staying up late for different reasons than most students; it all had a way of focusing my energy on what really mattered. Sure I struggled, but I also triumphed. With the help of my parents and an innate determination to be independent and provide the best for my daughter, I succeeded and eventually thrived – the best part of me she exemplifies today, as she follows in the footsteps of my career.

Giving my daughter a good life was always the driving force behind every step I made. I wanted her to see that education and hard work would get us there. When the opportunity to enter Walmart’s Management Program was offered to me, I knew it would set me on a path to success and I jumped on it. At 24, I became the manager of the automotive shop, a role that surprised everyone I encountered.  My parents, however, were always aware of how persistent I can be when I set out to achieve something. They cheered on every endeavor I sought after, but also entrusted me the space to fail or fly on my own.

PARTY OF FIVE

 Years later, a husband, two more daughters and several twists and turns on my journey to where I am in life now, I am proud to be a Cheer Mom for my own kids - in the most literal sense. Weekend cheer competitions, horse shows and many lessons for both. Family vacations to Disney, day trips to the Shore, concerts of any kind, supporting our community, being involved in every small and big moment for my girls, sharing it all with my husband, and coming home to our four adoring pups - this is what my dreams are made of, the dreams I dreamt all those years ago when I questioned whether I had it in me to hold it all together and keep going. I did then, and I still do. 

 A NEW PATH

 Today, the obstacles that could have sidetracked my aspirations long ago are what helped me to find my way into financial planning. All that independent and ambitious thinking set me up for a new chapter in my career. After twenty years of management in the corporate world, beginning with Scunci and continuing with Conair, I found I needed to challenge myself once again, but this time I was doing it with someone else’s happiness in mind – my own.

 

I’ve always been attracted to finance on a personal level, after friends would come to me for help and leave feeling empowered by the knowledge I shared. It wasn’t until my own advisor posted about an opening in his firm, that a spark of excitement went off in me. I knew immediately this was the new direction I was meant to follow. And so, I made the leap! Certified within six months, I was able to develop experience in family financial planning and company-sponsored retirement plans rather quickly, eventually progressing into a book of business centered on helping women and families in transition. 

 

Taking this next step with CURO is the ideal evolution of my career, and I couldn’t be happier to be here. Incorporating my ambitious nature to grow in this field I feel at home in, while satisfying a need to encourage and support women inspired to regain their independence – could there be a more perfect fit? Perhaps it’s helping those women that reflect a whisper of the women I once was. Whatever their story, I am ready to step in.

You don’t need to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.