Garrettsville –  Don’t ever underestimate the power of setting a lofty goal. Call it an unrealistic challenge, an impossible dream or a ridiculous notion. But Chris Perme calls it DONE! And the reward is well worth the time and effort to make it happen.

Christopher Perme, CLTC, Financial Services Professional at Perme Financial Group in Garrettsville, has been a financial planner since 1989, helping his neighbors and friends secure their nest eggs, plan for retirement, and otherwise manage their finances wisely. But now he has gained the corporate spotlight, being named the 2010 Gold Associate of the Year through MassMutual’s northeast Ohio office, known as Skylight Financial Group.

Despite being a small-town agent among big-city competitors from the Cleveland metro area, Perme outperformed 85 regional agents from MassMutual. He was named among 250 premier producers nationwide who qualified as Blue Chip Council members in 2010. He was 15th among 5,200 in premium production, and ninth of 5,200 (third in the region) in annuity production. He increased his own rate of life insurance production by 700% in 2010. Perme’s combination of exponential production, agency and community involvement, plus his wide breadth of offerings elevated him to MassMutual’s highest award for northeast Ohio.

How did he do it? Perme says, “I’m driven. I’m competitive. I set a goal and I went for it. What I realized was, once you hit that goal, and you’re up on stage accepting that award, you realize, it wasn’t so hard after all. If you see where you want to be, you’ve just got to build a bridge to get there. I am finished with self-limiting behavior and the way of thinking that says, ‘You can’t do that!’ Figure out how to get it done. Period.”

Perme acknowledges he has had help with bridge-building, primarily from his office manager, Melissa Wilde, who sees to it that all the increased paperwork goes through accurately and securely; and his wife, Jenette, who is patient with his long and odd working hours…as well as their children, Christopher (9) and Jordan (7). He also credits this community with being composed of “Mayberry” qualities that make his job easier and a joy to do.

“It’s different out here,” Perme says affectionately. “This community is not made up of people who throw all their money into McMansions they can’t afford to furnish. They tend to be reasonable and responsible with their money. They actually have stuff paid off rather than going deeper in debt. So it’s very rewarding to help these true Americans prepare for their futures and better their situations.”

Perme grew up in Kirtland, but settled in Garrettsville in 1996 with his family after establishing his office along Eagle Creek at the intersection of Main and Freedom Streets, in the heart of the village’s downtown district. Perme loves the small-town atmosphere, where he can do a professional job without worrying about big-city expectations.

“If I’ve got a tie on, will that make your investments go up?” Perme asks. “Of course not! I love a community where I can do the same work in jeans and my ball cap. There’s no better place to work and live than right here, in the middle of nowhere.”