Pishny begins next life chapter

By Beverly Schmitz Glass
Special to The Telegram

For Lon Pishny, ending a career of over 40 years in the financial planning and investment advisor profession, offers a mixed bag of blessings seasoned with new opportunities and possibilities.

“It was time,” he said. “After 41 years of financial counseling, I’ve transitioned my financial services practice to Roger Ratliff who has been a financial advisor for more than 25 years. Whenever I receive a request, I’ll continue to assist people who desire some fundamental financial planning guidance, but I will no longer be licensed as an investment advisor.”

Headed west

Raised on a farm in Marshall County near Waterville in northeast Kansas, Pishny made the move west when he enrolled at Fort Hays State University (FHSU), where he earned Bachelor and Masters of Science degrees in 1971 and 1978, respectively.

On August 8, 1970, he married Janyth Frack who grew up on a farm south of Ingalls and is now a retired educator. To that union was born their daughter Jalonna and son Brendon. Jalonna and husband Ryan Bowie live in Lee’s Summit, MO, along with their three daughters Taelyn, Emersyn and Breckyn. Brendon, his wife Shannon, their two daughters Azaria and Kabreya and son Tanyon, all call Olathe home.

From reporting to financial planning

After graduating from FHSU, Pishny began his professional career as a reporter for the Hays Daily News before becoming the managing editor of the Kansas Farm Bureau News.

“I then made the jump to being FHSU’s sports information director,” he said. “I subsequently was asked to apply for and got the University’s development fund director position where I worked for two years. Both of those positions provided me with great personal as well as professional experiences and the joy of life-long friendships.”

Pishny, who is a life member of the FHSU Alumni Association, is a member of the FHSU Foundation Board of Trustees (and a past member of the executive committee). He also served his alma mater by being a member of the Financial Planning Advisory Committee and the Alumni Association Board of Directors (board president 1994-95). In 2003, he was awarded the prestigious Nita Landrum Award for his active support of the University.

From FHSU, he became a representative for New England Life Insurance Company and followed that as a trust officer at Fidelity State Bank in Garden City before launching Pishny Financial Services, L.C. in January 1994.

Involved to serve

Pishny’s mission to not only provide financial guidance and investment advice, but also be involved in the overall growth and economic development of Finney County reflects his commitment to improving the quality of life for the people of southwest Kansas.

In his years in Garden City, Pishny has done extensive work in service on many boards of directors including St. Catherine Hospital Development Foundation, the Garden City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Ambassadors, as well as the Garden City Community College Board of Trustees where, as board chair, he initiated, guided formation and led the implementation of Policy Governance. He served on the Finney County Retired Senior Volunteers Program, the Finney County United Way and Garden City Noon Lions boards of directors. In 1989, he was the recipient of the Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce Award of Merit.

Pishny is currently a Finney County Commissioner and, until recently, served on the Kansas Association of Counties’ Governing Board and the Kansas Statewide Broadband Expansion Planning Task Force. In the past, he has served on various statewide committees and boards, including 12 years as a member of the KPERS Board of Trustees.

Big Changes

In the last 40 years, Pishny has witnessed significant changes within the financial services profession.

“Use of the computer and access to the Internet not only impacted financial services, but changed the game completely,” he explained. “When I began, I used a manual financial function calculator and did much of the financial information research on behalf of clients. Now, almost all clients have access to websites and many do research for themselves. Then they consult with their financial advisor to verify whether or not the information they have found will suit their situations and goals.”

What has not changed, says Pishny, is a need for financial counseling assistance as well as a need for professional advice regarding how to best achieve financial objectives. He believes there are many people who have tremendous amounts of consumer debt and they need advice and support for eliminating debt that erodes their ability to achieve financial independence. He said there are also many people who, even though they have access to information, do not have the time nor the desire or knowledge necessary to manage their investment portfolio in a prudent manner that analyzes various risks that might have an adverse effect on desired rewards and results.

And now…

The future is still uncertain and is considered a work in progress for the Pishnys. With two years remaining in his current Finney County Commission term, there is still time to consider items for his and Janyth’s future. For much of both his personal and professional lives, he has based his decisions on the belief that God is the creator of the universe and the author of truth. In addition, he believes in the sanctity of life and that God-honoring families are the foundation of our society.

“I am confident our Lord has much more planned for me,” said Pishny. “I believe God has called me to serve people, as I have strived to diligently do throughout my adult life. I am praying for guidance about what that will look like during the next phase of my life.”