From Registered Nurse to Nationally Renowned Wealth Advisor: Patti Brennan to be Inducted into Chester County Hall of Fame

Patti BrennanCelebrate the one-and-only Patti Brennan, CFP® as she is inducted into the Chester County Hall of Fame by the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) on May 17, 2023.

EXTON, PA — Before she was a commentator on CNBC and the keynote at Forbes Magazine’s Top Advisor Summit, Patti Brennan, CFP® was making sure wealth management made sense to businesses and families in Chester County. Now the one-and-only Patti Brennan is being inducted into the Chester County Hall of Fame by the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) on May 17, 2023. More information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities is available at

Brennan is the Chief Executive Officer of Key Financial, Inc. headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The financial planning and wealth management firm manages a portfolio of almost $2 billion with a client retention rate of 99%. Since Brennan founded the company in 1990 while raising four children, Key Financial has grown to 30 employees. Brennan is consistently ranked as one of America’s top financial advisors recognized by ForbesBarron’sFortune and the Financial Times. She has also commentated for the Wall Street JournalBloomberg BusinessweekWorth and Kiplinger’s.

“Patti’s national reputation is impressive, but what really sets her apart here in Chester County – and always has – is her genuine devotion to the wellbeing of our residents and business owners,” said Gary W. Smith, CCEDC President and CEO. “Patti pours her whole heart into the economic empowerment of her clients and her community. Her pathway to success is rooted in unparalleled perseverance that serves as an inspiration to the next generation of Chester County business owners.”

CCEDC’s presentation of the Chester County Hall of Fame Award will be held at the Phoenixville Foundry on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, where Brennan will be honored for her more than 30 years of service to thousands of local businesses and individuals. Sponsorship and ticket information is available at to this premiere networking event of the year that attracts more than 400 business leaders.

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Brennan grew up in Newtown Square and has lived in Chester County for almost 35 years since graduating from Georgetown University with a degree in nursing. After working in oncology and as an ICU nurse, she decided to pursue her passion for financial planning. But it was not easy.

“My experience as an ICU nurse at Lankenau Hospital provided a foundation and unparalleled experience. After the market crashed in 1987, we had a newborn at home, a huge mortgage and no cash flow coming into the household. I worked as a financial planner in Center City during the week, and 12-hour shifts at a hospital on weekends, just to make ends meet,” Brennan recalls. “The industry had a very different business model, and I just believed there was a better way to serve people in our community. Let’s face it: Businesses (large and small), non-profits and health care systems are all made up of people with a common vision. Startup struggles aren’t just my story; it’s common in any industry, and for many families. My ICU background really helps because when it’s life and death, just being competent may not be enough. To me, knowing what to do during periods of uncertainty and crisis for that person, family or business means taking the time to understand them on a holistic basis, and providing real options in terms they can understand. I strongly believe we serve our community by making a difference in the lives of every person we meet, whether we are at the bedside, at a workstation or in a boardroom.”

Patti started her own business with a part-time employee who worked from a converted laundry room off the Brennan kitchen. Today, Key Financial occupies 12,000 square feet of space in the heart of Chester County.

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Brennan has been a keynote speaker at CCEDC’s Annual Economic Outlook every year for the past 17 years. “It’s unusual for us to continue to invite the same presenter, but people just love Patti. The way she is when she speaks publicly – that’s who she really is. Very genuine, very sincere and very remarkable in business and her community,” said Michael Grigalonis, CCEDC Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President.

In addition to serving in leadership positions on a national basis for her industry, Brennan is a big believer in bringing her warmth and energy back to the community. She currently serves on the boards of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine as well as Connect Thru Cancer and the Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital Foundation Finance and Investment Committee. She is a former member of Chester County Hospital’s Main Board and a former Chair of the Retirement Plan Committee, as well as a former board member of CCEDC and its lending affiliate Seedcopa. She is a winner of the March of Dimes Chester County Women of Achievement Award, and was chosen as a “Power Woman to Watch” by Main Line Today magazine.

“What makes CCEDC’s Hall of Fame award extra special is that it’s from my neighbors and the business community that I serve.” Brennan said. “They see the real me. They’ve seen me running late to my board meetings, all too often wearing two different earrings. They’ve watched Ed and I raise four children, trying to maintain some semblance of balance that never really exists. They had faith in me when I decided to do business with a different model and continue to believe in me to this day. I’m really humbled by it.”

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For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, contact CCEDC’s Tracey Oberholtzer at [email protected] or visit

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