Family relies on faith to pass on business
Faith carried Susan Moylan through a 38-year marriage, raising three boys, supporting her husband’s financial planning business and watching her sons buy into that firm as partners after his death from cancer four years ago.
"John worked diligently to build the business and serve his clients, and I supported him in his profession by keeping the home happy and in order," said Susan, a member of St. Mary Parish in Bellevue.
John, who grew up in Holy Name Parish in Omaha, founded John D. Moylan Retirement Planning in 1996, and the comprehensive financial planning firm in Omaha became Moylan Kropp about 10 years ago with business partner Kimberly Kropp.
With John as the sole provider for the family, Susan, who has a degree in early childhood and Montessori training from College of Saint Mary in Omaha, said it took faith, teamwork, courage and support to start a new business and raise their children.
"I knew my responsibilities were at home because if I didn’t take care of things on the home front, John wouldn’t have been able to put in the time he needed to run his own business," said Susan, who also made time to serve St. Mary Parish by helping with religious education, children’s liturgy, perpetual adoration, Ladies Guild, Catholic Daughters and other Catholic organizations.
Susan said her husband had a passion for serving others. Whether it was in his work with clients, schools, the community or his church, he put others ahead of himself, she said. John shared his gifts of financial knowledge by serving on financial committees for many parish boards, school boards and the Archbishop’s Committee for Development, she said.
He brought those same qualities to his business, she said.
"The business thrived because he valued honesty, integrity and service to the client," Susan said. "He thought of his clients as family."
Diagnosed in 2002 with multiple myeloma, John was given six months to live. But God gave him more time, Susan said, and he lived for almost 10 more years, undergoing three stem cell transplants. It was during those years that the Moylan sons – Sean, Patrick and Devin – joined their father and Kropp, who has been a great help to the family and the business, Susan said. John was involved and worked six days a week in between cancer treatments, Susan said. He died April 16, 2012, at age 65.
The Moylan brothers said they never felt pressure to join the business, even though it was a possibility. But as it turned out, they all were interested in the area of finance.
"Dad encouraged the three of us to explore different areas of the business in order to bring different assets and provide a well-rounded service," said Patrick, a financial adviser at Moylan Kropp and a member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Omaha. "After college, he really urged us to get some real world experience prior to joining him."
That plan changed a bit when John became ill, and the sons came into the business sooner than their father envisioned, Patrick said.
Sean, an attorney and financial adviser at the firm and member of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Omaha, said he feels lucky to work with his brothers.
"So many families have tensions, making working together not a viable option. I consider us blessed every day to have the opportunity," he said.
And Devin said he and his brothers strive to continue their father’s legacy of personal service by relying on Catholic values and the principles upon which the business was founded.
"In our business, we feel it is important to serve with honesty, integrity, sincerity and loyalty. At the same time, we do our best to serve our clients with humility," said Devin, an accountant and financial adviser at the firm. "Our clients’ goals, objectives, and interests come first. At all times, we strive to serve with care and compassion."
Serving others is something he and his brothers learned from the way their parents lived their faith.
"Our parents led by example through their faith, dedication to family and commitment to God and the church," said Devin, a member of St. Patrick Parish in Elkhorn.
"I know there were many challenges they faced while raising a family and running a business, but they always relied on their faith as they went through the challenges and blessings that life provides."