As managing partner at Miller Russell Associates, a leading Phoenix-based investment and wealth management advisor, Christina Burroughs works with client families on investment planning, strategic multi-generational planning, and philanthropy. But her work life wasn’t always so sophisticated.

Az Business: What was your first job? 
Christina Burroughs: At 14, I was eager to work and was eligible for a work permit, so I went out and found a job. My first job was busing tables.
AB: What did you learn from your first job?   
CB: I learned a lot from that job: to be proud of giving 100 percent effort, that sense of self-determination and freedom that comes from working hard and earning an income, and that working with others means being part of a team. All of which still contribute to my success today.

AB: What did you earn at that first job?  
CB: I earned minimum wage, $3.35 an hour, plus tips the servers shared with me – big money at 14. I worked hard busing tables because I wanted a share of those tips – doing my job well helped the servers do their jobs well, which earned me a share of their tips.
AB: What was your first job in your current industry?  
CB: I was an associate at Tanager Financial Services in 2001. I was coming out of the field of clinical psychology and had an opportunity to join what was, at that time, the largest, most highly regarded multi-family office for high net worth clients in New England. It was an incredible opportunity and a risk worth taking. 

AB: What has been your biggest professional challenge?  
CB: I was momentarily in an environment where the clients’ interests were not the first and last consideration. Since this is an absolute requirement to me professionally, I joined and have helped grow a firm, Miller Russell Associates, where that value is non-negotiable.