Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem

While investment selection and management are important components of our roles as Wealth Advisors we place even greater emphasis on making certain you work toward True Personal Wealth … that is to say the contentment that comes from balancing the influence of money with personal values and goals. Having “enough” resources so that you are comfortable and confident in a stable life-style, but also making certain that you are able to pursue non-financial goals as well.

In that spirit, we hope this page entitled “Carpe Diem” or “Seize the Day” will provide inspiration and allow you to celebrate all that is good in life.

Each quarter we will feature inspired photos and stories about our clients to share ways each of you are living life to the fullest and giving of yourselves in non-financial ways. We welcome your submissions of photos of you and your loved ones, photos of fantastic moments on vacation, volunteerism, great ideas for travel, for gifting, for living and experiencing life to the fullest.

We welcome your ideas and photos. If you’d like to submit something for consideration, please email us directly at

Life Comes Full Circle at the Zoo

By Mary Sekulovich, Senior Editor, Development Department, San Diego Zoo Global

When a love for animals is fostered in childhood, it can stay with you for a lifetime and influence your career path. That is how Berit Durler, a native San Diegan, remembers it when she describes how much she enjoyed the Zoo’s education programs as a young girl. What she never imagined was that one day she would serve on several Zoo committees. And she never dreamed she would join the Zoo’s board of trustees and later become its chair in 2007. Today, Berit leads our Roaring Forward campaign as its chair, and her ties to the Zoo are still as strong as ever. She discussed how her love of wildlife and the Zoo have deepened over the years, and how the organization she respects has evolved to become much more than a zoo.

Berit and her husband, Tom, both agree that they get deep enjoyment from visiting the Zoo, which led to their decision to make an estate gift to ZOO 100, the Zoo’s endowment dedicated to providing animal and plant care at the Zoo during its second century. With their genuine love of wildlife, they both agreed this million-dollar commitment was the best way they could support the Zoo’s mission to end extinction of vulnerable species.

Berit joined her first Zoo committee in 1979. When her father was invited to join the Zoo’s Buildings and Grounds Committee, he recommended that his daughter take his place, since she worked at a bank as a major lender for construction loans. Later, when Berit chaired the Education Committee, she says it was so rewarding to give out the Science Fair awards to middle and high school students: “It’s amazing how young, creative, and interested in science they all are,” she noted.

After she was invited to join the board of trustees in 1996, Berit was happy to see a new focus and perspective beginning to evolve: “With baby steps, the board’s culture changed from a purely operational position to a collaborative one with staff.” Next came an interest in creating a new strategic plan when they asked, “Where do we want the organization to be in 5 or 10 years?” Lengthy discussions led to a consensus that wildlife conservation would be the organization’s primary focus. Berit is excited that the board approved the recent vision statement, “We will lead the fight to end extinction.” Also, rebranding the organization’s name to San Diego Zoo Global in 2010 showed the worldwide reach of the Zoo, Safari Park, and Institute for Conservation Research.

As we talked, Berit reflected further about her early days on the board: “When I was a newcomer, it had started to move toward a conservation focus. But I believed it had to extend far beyond that, saving wildlife and habitats now, which will impact future generations. It was essential that we become ‘much more than a zoo,’ which we have achieved. It is critical that our conservation message gets out into the world because so little of ‘the wild’ remains for wildlife now.”

This led her to remember San Diego Zoo Global’s great conservation success in saving the California condor from extinction in the 1980s. From just 22 birds, there are now more than 450 in the world population and over 200 flying free in Arizona, California, Utah, and Baja California, Mexico. Berit was thrilled to see the big birds flying free at the Grand Canyon on a recent trip there with Tom. She also looks ahead to the Zoo’s next 100 years, “With our next great initiative to save the critically endangered northern white rhino—it’s all remarkable!”

Berit emphasized how the Zoo has touched so many people’s lives, and every gift is appreciated. As board chair, she received a handwritten note from a member who had recently lost her mother. Enclosed was a $100 check, with an explanation that her mother loved coming to the Zoo, saying that it always made her so happy. It was a moving letter that Berit never forgot, and it illustrated what an impact the Zoo has on people’s lives over a lifetime.

The gift also became a healing gesture for the daughter as she remembered her mother’s life and what brought her joy.

And, of course, after all these years, the Zoo is still one of Berit and Tom’s favorite places, with Berit often visiting the elephants and Tom heading over to the orangutans. As Berit says, laughing, she always knows where to find Tom!