A Volunteer Spotlight on Kriss Bush, written by Susan Cleland
As I'm welcomed into his office, Kriss Bush immediately engaged me with his laid-back and witty conversation but also kept me wondering if we'd met before. We hadn't, but that’s just Kriss. He listens, shares his stories, and understands you so well that you'll swear you've known each other for years. Nestled in the corner of the Pricewaterhouse Coopers building, Kriss' brightly illuminated office overlooks Oakville's busy life. To be awarded such a magnificent location to showcase your professional talents is surely extremely impressive, but anyone who observes Kriss' huge smile and proud words could immediately see that of his many, many successes, his family is his biggest success thus far.
"We can only give our children the opportunity to grow up well and build their own lives; give them the best tools we can and the best connections we can to help and do something good for their lives. Likewise, with charitable giving. I am such a believer in offering people tools that can affect their lives for the better."
A common philosophy that Kriss follows in raising his three children is his participation on several boards and organizations, in donating to various charities, and in serving his clients.
With a background in C.P.A., Kriss is part of the TD Wealth Group, in Private Investment Advice. He is also the C.E.O. of Kriss Bush Wealth Management (www.krissbush.ca) and manages over $50 million in assets.
"Starting in wealth management a bit later in life has given me the luxury of being able to focus on really helping people. I'm not worried about finding my next client, which allows me to focus on my individual client's needs," explained Kriss.
To fully understand his client's needs, Kriss' first step is to discover his client's feelings about money. To demonstrate this, Kriss walked toward a cabinet to grab something yellow, sitting atop a small easel.
As he sat beside me Kriss said, "You see, Susan, our discovery process is a lot like Curious George and The Missing Puppy. In this children's book, The Man With The Yellow Hat asks all sorts of questions to help Curious George find the missing puppy. I will use this book to explain to my clients that I too will ask a lot of questions that may seem like they have nothing to do with finances or investments. When we get to the end of the wealth report they can see that I've incorporated a lot of aspects about their life that a lot of investment advisors wouldn't necessarily cover."
Kriss got up, returning the children's book to its easel to stand beside his other treasures, such as a plaque awarded to him from The Darling Home for Kids.
When asked how he first heard about The Darling Home for Kids, Kriss said, "I'm on the Oakville Community Foundation, Investment Committee. We were preparing a grant and Maureen Lush told me about the Home. Then the Executive Director, Kristin Horrell, invited me up to visit. We had our meeting, I was taken on a tour of the Home and the grounds, and I was even able to meet some of the kids. It was a really lovely experience! This was the type of organization that I'd like to bring to my clients to, but that I'd also like to be engaged with in helping present visibility both within TD or the Oakville Community, just however I could help, and that's how it all kicked off."
Kriss Bush may be similar to The Man With The Yellow Hat, in Curious George and The Missing Puppy, but I think he is closer in representation to Shel Silverstein's, The Giving Tree.
Like The Giving Tree providing shade, its leaves, apples, and branches to make The Boy happy, Kriss provides his vast financial expertise and his philanthropic values to make his clients happy.
"If my clients are not philanthropic in nature, that's okay and we move on with their tax and estate planning goals," said Kriss. "But not too long ago, I presented charitable giving as an option to a client of mine and we toured the Home, just like I had done. He was very interested, so we set up a TD Private Giving Foundation Grant, and used a number of tax strategies to help him understand the financial aspects of giving. And now we have a structure in place that will be a benefit to him and the Home for the next 10 years." In awe of his stories, I had to mentally construct a flow chart.
But true to his nature, The Giving Tree didn't stop there.
Kriss was very involved in introducing TD to The Darling Home for Kids. "I was part of the team who gave visibility to the Home within TD Bank. Sandy Cimoroni, Colleen Johnston, and several others were very interested, so it was a team effort," explained Kriss. For the past two years, TD has been the Presenting Sponsor of The Darling Home for Kids’ Annual Comfort & Joy Gala and has moved into its third impressive year as presenting sponsor of the Pearls n’ Plaid affair set for November 2nd in 2017.
"By being advocates for the Home, we all become like protons and neutrons, swirling around each other in an atom", laughed Kriss. An atom that works to benefit its parts and can multiply and grow into something much greater. Kriss surrounds himself with people he can help, and who could help others as well. I was now mentally reconstructing my sixth flow chart. As our pleasant conversation continued, I couldn't quite comprehend if my mind was blown or my heart was. I think it was a combination of both.
As a former C.F.O., Kriss is also a member of the local chapter board of the Financial Executive Institute (FEI) for the Southern Golden Horseshoe. He promotes The Darling Home for Kids’ Wheels cycling event to over 100 members of FEI, and will be riding with the FEI team for the second consecutive year on Sunday, June 25th.
To everyone at The Darling Home for Kids, Kriss is more than a volunteer, a supporter, a recruiter, an ambassador, a cyclist in Wheels, and beloved friend for life. Kriss has become a champion because his thoughtfulness and generosity is witnessed on a monumental scale. Whether he is raising his children to foster the same principles of giving in their lives, helping plan a client's financial future, helping one of the many boards he is a member of, or helping improve the lives of the medically fragile children and their families at The Darling Home for Kids, Kriss is a living inspiration to us all. He teaches us to combine our hearts with our minds and give whatever we can to whomever we can offer it to. As Kriss has taught me, we don't have to save everyone's lives, but we should do everything we can to affect them.
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