If you’ve seen an F-18 flying in your neighborhood, you might have already bumped into Jake Parsons. Jake has 20 years of service with the US Navy; 13 years in active duty and 7 in the reserve. As a top ranked pilot, Jake described the experience of flying, like being on vacation. “You use a different part of the brain which allows you to clear your mind and think differently.”
I had the recent pleasure of meeting Jake and was inspired with his integrity and commitment to God – Family – Friends. Here’s more from our conversation:
Q. Tell me about your military career?
A. I studied at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD for 4 years, and as part of my education we trained in surface, air and submarines. I was selected to attend flight school in Pensacola. After Primary training in Florida of a group of 10-15 young new aviators one is typically selected to continue jet training, and that was the beginning of my path to flying F18’s.
Q. Tell me about your career as a financial planner?
A. As I grew in my military career, I began to save and invest. I received bad advice from a broker and thought there must be a better way to plan for my future. I began to self study and pass all the required certification exams so that I could manage my own assets. After dealing with long separations from my family I decided I needed to take a different path than the Navy. I attended USC to receive my MBA and then later became certified as a financial planner (CFP). As I sought a new opportunity out of the MBA program I pitched a long-time family friend who was one of the owners at a financial services business. I started at PGR Solutions in 2011, made partner in 2013 and two months ago became CEO.
Q. How did you get involved with Marshall Foundation?
A. My old neighbor and long-time friend Daryl Warden, is a Marshall Foundation board member. Daryl asked me if I was interested in getting involved with the Foundation. When somebody in the community needs something, we all pitch in. I’m on the Financial Planning Committee, and have met a lot of folks I know from growing up here.
Q. Where does your heart for service come from?
A. From the military. My personal philosophy and our mission at PGR Solutions is to Liberate, Educate, Relate and Flourish – which is essential in the military as well. In addition to serving as a member on the Marshall Board, I serve on the Veterans Commission, where I help advise the district on how to support veterans in our community. Vets are typically proud and don’t like asking for help, so I enjoy helping folks find help in our community.
Q. How did you meet your wife?
A. My roommate in the service had a picture of Glory, and I told him he had to introduce me to her. Even though he had a girlfriend, he didn’t introduce us. One day in class, I saw her address on an envelope on his desk, and I started writing her. Ten days after I graduated from the academy we got married. Glory is a classical professional singer and she has sung everywhere. We have four children, and will be married 20 years in May.
Q. What is your biggest goal for the community?
A. We live in an area with a small town feel and I don’t want that to ever go away. When you walk downtown you know people. We rely on volunteers and that’s the beauty. When there’s a need, we rally around each other to meet the needs of the community.
Q. What do you like to do in your spare time?
A. I like to stay home and barbeque. We have a family movie night every week and enjoy spending time together. I’m also a coach on several of my kids’ sports teams. Our kids raise pigs for 4-H and one day we may raise some beef as well. We enjoy living in Placerville with people who are down-to-earth. What you see is what you get, and I like that.
As we ended our conversation, Jake pointed to a beautiful memory board in his family room that his wife made. He opened a door on the board to a letter his brother wrote him. He opened a second door, to a letter Jake wrote his brother after he passed away. Jake was inspired to pursue a career in the military from his brother. I sensed that his brother inspired him in many other ways, all which make him the incredible man he is today.
The visionary leaders of Marshall Foundation have provided assistance for the pressing healthcare needs of the community for over 43 years. Check out the website at MarshallFound.org, and join the conversation on Facebook.com/MarshallFoundationPlacerville. Your support stays local, and serves those on the Western Slope of El Dorado County.