It hasn’t been a cakewalk, but North Rockland High School graduate and Stony Point native Matthew Clement is making it in his home town.
Defying the generation of “brain drain,” which has seen a majority of local residents leave the area after college, Clement marked his 10th year as the principal of Emerald Retirement Planning Group last weekend. He celebrated the occasion with a ribbon-cutting at his new office in the Joyce Plaza in Stony Point.
Clement didn’t enter the financial planning field with his own office in a nice building. He had to work out of his parent’s basement for a number of years, he told those gathered at the celebration.
Now, after years of hustle and uphill climbing, Clement, in his early 30s, is poised to be one of North Rockland’s go-to men in financial planning for the next four or five decades.
Though he is the owner of Emerald, he said without the help of his partner Barry Krane, his parents, wife Gail and many friends and supporters, he would not be where he is today.
Fortunately for the community, Clement is a true believer in the value of home, and he encourages clients to stay in the area rather than fleeing to Florida or some other imagined paradise. That philosophy keeps money and personalities in the area.
Clement began his career after graduating Fordham University in 2003. He has volunteered heavily for the North Rockland Rotary Club and was both executive director and president of the Haverstraw Chamber of Commerce.
Emerald Retirement Planning’s office first moved into the Joyce Plaza location about six months ago, but Clement chose the 10-year anniversary of his practice as the appropriate moment for the official ribbon cutting.
Community leaders including Stony Point Councilman Jim Monaghan, Councilman Thomas Basile and Garner Arts President Robin Rosenberg were among dozens of well-wishers who shuffled in and out during Clement’s March 23 event.