Jeff joined First Financial Associates in 2002 and has been president since 2013, but the roots of our firm were planted in 1966 by our founder and Jeff’s father, Charles R. “Chuck” Snyder, III. Chuck spent five decades in the industry starting with his first firm, Hartford-based The America Group, which later became First Financial Associates in 1995. Chuck established a successful seminar method that educated thousands of potential clients about financial responsibility, investment strategies, and retirement planning. Each seminar’s objective was to share the importance of creating a plan together to navigate the client’s journey toward their personal and financial goals. One of Chuck’s favorite references was the ”roots and wings” quote about giving children roots to know where they came from and wings to fly away to practice what they learned. Attendees learned that their legacy was found not only in professional accomplishments and monetary wealth, but especially in their children and families. This was something Chuck practiced personally and passionately … and ultimately led to Jeff joining the industry in 2000 and the family firm in 2002.
Chuck’s passion to educate was not limited to clients. Chuck was just as enthusiastic about sharing his financial services expertise with new representatives to the career. Over two decades, Chuck and his team trained and mentored hundreds of successful financial services representatives. Our large office celebrated many top agency awards with themed parties that included 50’s night, casino night, a black-tie affair at Wadsworth Atheneum, and western night at Wethersfield’s historic Webb Barn. Our agents and their families were most proud of the successes we earned together and celebrated as a family.
At First Financial, the term family is not limited to heredity. Jeff follows his father’s lead and recognizes the importance of treating clients as part of the family. We humbly appreciate that our clients share their many life’s experiences, whether they are cherished celebrations or setbacks. Additionally, when clients call the office, they discover that our staff has been admirably consistent for decades. First Financial’s “work family” includes four full-time members with an average service length of 23 years! As a family, we’ve celebrated marriages, bereavements, children’s births, retirements, and many other events. The office staff’s stability and commitment to the success of our clients and their families is unparalleled in today’s corporate environment.
Embracing personal passions has also been essential for Jeff and Chuck. A visit to our first office in Glastonbury revealed one of Chuck’s passions – antiques. Most of those antiques have “retired” in the years since Chuck’s retirement in 2013 and our office is now a reflection of Jeff’s more contemporary vision. Jeff and Chuck always shared golf as a favored pastime and our office displays art that reflects their many father-and-son golf destinations, including Ireland, Scotland, California, Oregon, and Bermuda. Both Snyders also shared a passion for Broadway and in his spare time, Jeff is proud to financially support and perform in local theatre productions.
Most successful endeavors have their roots in decades of sacrifice and unseen hard work. Our Story is a blend of the passionate hard work of a father and son who each have made their unique mark on our firm. Jeff’s 21st century business approach has transformed his father’s firm to a technologically modern office that remains faithful to its familial and traditional origins. Chuck passed in 2020 but his “roots and wings” legacy is the foundation for us to flourish for many more decades under Jeff’s strong leadership, hard work, and own unique passions.