The story is one of those rare but true ones in which a chance meeting results in a life-changing event. That is precisely what happened almost 23 years ago when Marco Islanders Vince Magee and Terry McCreanor met for the first time.
Magee was then a recent college graduate who’d attended school part-time for eight years, while working full-time as a bread-truck delivery man. With a degree in business, the Staten Island resident had his sights set on a career in the financial services industry. While vacationing on Marco with his wife and three small children, he decided to mix in some job prospecting with relaxation.
“While I was down here, I thought it would be a good ideal to go around and check out the firms on Marco and in Naples,” said Magee. “I went up to 5th Avenue. At that time there were a lot of financial firms on 5th Avenue. I went into Merrill Lynch, I went into Raymond James and I went into A.G. Edwards and Terry pretty much hired me on the spot. He was here on Marco Island and I thought it would be a great fit.”
At that time, McCreanor managed the now-closed office of A.G. Edwards & Sons, which he’d also opened. After meeting Magee, McCreanor was impressed and offered him a job, once Magee secured the licenses necessary to sell securities.
“He was really the only guy who came into town on vacation and saw the sign for the brokerage firm, stopped in and said, ‘Would you have a job for me?’” said McCreanor. “I said, ‘You get yourself licensed up there, give me a call and I’ll have a desk for you.’ I figured anybody with a bread route isn’t afraid of hard work. That’s why I offered him the job and we’ve been friends ever since.”
When McCreanor later moved on from A.G. Edwards after 25 years, Magee joined him at Marco’s Morgan Stanley branch. But the professional pairing was severed after 10 years, when McCreanor left Morgan Stanley to open the island’s first Ameriprise Financial Services office in 2017.
But that separation proved to be temporary, with Magee joining McCreanor at Ameriprise in late July as a financial advisor and vice president. Both men are happy to have again joined forces in assisting clients. For Magee it allows him to reconnect with someone whom he greatly admires.
“I have nothing but gratitude for having known him. He’s definitely been a mentor and a very important person in my life, having given me the opportunity to move to Marco to work and raise my family,” said Magee. “For him to have had the faith to hire me was truly a gift. I’m blessed and that’s a fact.”
Magee’s move to Ameriprise also strengthened the office’s already strong family vibe. His son Justin, 27, joined the staff in August, serving as a trainee while he attains his licenses. McCreanor’s daughter, Coleen Hodsdon, is a registered client service associate there and she’s worked with her father since 2007 when she joined him at Morgan Stanley.
McCreanor said he and Magee had stayed in touch since the Ameriprise office opened and when the timing was opportune, he suggested they work together again.
“It feels like the old days and then to have him say, say, ‘Oh, I want to have my son working with me,’” said McCreanor. “I had to get that done and we did it and it’s been great. Justin is our go-to tech guy. He’s very tech-savvy and I can use that.”
Magee said that aside from the opportunity to work with good friends once again, he also appreciates what he describes as Ameriprise’s ability to cater to the average investor as much as the super wealthy.
Where sharing his professional journey with his son is concerned, Magee is truly one proud papa. He’s especially thankful for Justin’s I.T. acumen, which is paying big dividends at the office.
“These younger adults, when it comes to computers, they’re second nature for them,” said Magee. “It’s afforded me the opportunity to do things that I wasn’t doing at Morgan Stanley because he’s got the technical savvy to do them. That’s why it’s important to bring on young blood and having the opportunity to bring my son aboard is a real gift. It feels great.”
Like his dad, Justin Magee is learning the ropes by starting at the bottom and working his way up. At present he’s assisting his father, McCreanor and Hodsdon, acting as receptionist, greeting visitors and answering the phones.
“She’s the backbone of this office,” Justin Magee said of Hodsdon. “Anything that needs to be done in this office, she’s the one doing it and I’m pretty much here assisting. I’m here to help everybody in any way I can.”
He’ll also be starting an eight-week training course soon that will prepare him to take the Series 7 license exam. The Series 7 exam, also known as the General Securities Representative Exam, is required for stockbrokers to become licensed traders.
“That will be Step One,” said Justin Magee. “From there, it will be more tests and more licenses and we’ll see where it takes me.”
Justin Magee grew up on Marco Island, attending Tommie Barfield Elementary School, Marco Island Charter Middle School and Lely High School. He later attended Florida International University and the former Edison Community College, now Florida SouthWestern State College. He worked a series of jobs before joining his father at Ameriprise.
“It’s a great experience,” he said of his new position. “It’s unlike anything that I’ve ever done before. It’s a career and not just a job that I’m so familiar with. It’s a great opportunity. I’m really thankful to be here, to start at the bottom and absorb and work my way up.”
He is the oldest of six children, followed by Paige, 25, Chelsea, 23, Phoebe, who passed away at age 7 in 2008, Jeanne, 16 and Brady, 13. Jeanne is a sophomore at Marco Island Academy and Brady is in the eighth grade at MICMS.
Magee was very involved, civically, after moving to Marco as a member of the island’s Noontime Rotary Club for about 10 years, including a term as president. He was also a member of the City of Marco Island Planning Board for three years and the MICMS board of directors for seven years. He curtailed his civic involvement after this older children began college and Phoebe’s death so that he could spend more time with his younger children.
He pointed to McCreanor’s community involvement as another reason for his deep respect for the man.
“Terry is a guy that never stops giving back,” he added. “He’s constantly giving back and you don’t know about it. He’s not the guy in the newspaper doing it. He does it behind the scenes and that’s the kind of person I want to be in 20 years. That’s why I’m back with Terry at Ameriprise.”
McCreanor said that while he has been involved with a number of civic causes in the past, but his primary emphasis today is the Marco Island Academy (MIA).
He is the driving force behind two of MIA’s major fundraisers, the annual Squire’s Pro-Am Golf Tournament and the Clays for Rays in Memory of Bill Rose, which is set for January 26 at Gulf Coast Clays in Port of the Islands.
“I’ve been with the Academy from the start,” said McCreanor “It was one of those things where, the other organizations I’ve worked with, they would have survived without me. But the academy, the issue was in doubt years ago. So I put my resources into helping out the academy and that’s primarily where I direct most of my efforts today.”
The Ameriprise Financial Services office is located at 914 Park Ave., Suite B. For more information, visit ameripriseadvisors.com or call 239-768-8835.
Computer Tutoring Coming to Ameriprise Financial
The Ameriprise Financial Services office will be offering tutoring for computers, tablets, smartphones and other of communications devices in use today. Training will likely begin sometime in February and private sessions will be available. The Ameriprise office will serve as sponsor, and the host and beneficiary will be the Marco Island Academy. Training will be provided by Justin Magee of Ameriprise, with plans calling for him to be assisted by MIA students. For more information, call the Ameriprise office at 239-768-8835 or stop in at 914 Park Ave., Suite B.