A challenging childhood created a strong desire to help others.
TJ McCance is a Vice President and financial advisor with Hefren-Tillotson. He attended Clarion University on a wrestling scholarship, where he earned his Bachelors in Business Administration and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degrees. He lives with his wife and son in Butler, PA.
Are you from Pittsburgh?
I was born in Pittsburgh but we moved around a fair amount when I was growing up. We settled in Butler when I was 12 and I lived here until I went off to college. My wife and I returned to Butler in 2013.
What are some important life lessons that have shaped you?
I grew up in a hardworking blue-collar family. I learned so many valuable lessons and wouldn’t change it for anything, but we really struggled financially. I learned at a young age the role money plays in the world. If I wanted something, that meant I had to work for it. I had paper routes when I was young. When I was around 13 or 14, I worked my first summers as a laborer for various contractors doing roofing, siding, and masonry. I learned that money doesn’t solve problems but not having to worry about putting food on your table or paying your mortgage makes things a lot easier for families. All of this gave me a very strong work ethic.
What made you decide to go into the career you’re in today?
Growing up, our family didn’t have access to good advice or financial guidance. While studying at Clarion University, I realized that financial planning was a career that would give me the ability to make an impact on other families that have experienced the same limitations. No matter what kind of job you have or what kind of assets—everyone can benefit from good financial advice. I love what I do because I can make a positive change one family at a time. It wasn’t easy, but I truly believe my adolescent experiences have helped me to be a better advisor for my clients.
Where is your favorite place that you have traveled?
I went to Guatemala in 2018 with a group of friends and colleagues from Hefren-Tillotson. It was a Habitat for Humanity program and we spent one week building stoves and latrines for families. It was one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen, but it astounded me that a place so beautiful could have so much poverty. It opened my eyes to how lucky we are to live in the United States.
Why do you volunteer with United Way?
United Way is such an incredible organization that does so much good for so many different individuals and families. From helping children with educational needs to families that can’t afford child care, assisting individual with special needs, transitional housing, leaving abusive relationships, rehabilitation services, and the list goes on and on. If I meet someone that wants to volunteer their time but they’re not sure where to begin, I tell them to start with United Way. They will ultimately find what they feel most passionate about.
What drives you to do good for your community?
If I can have a positive impact on families through volunteer work and my career, I’m using my time on this earth in a meaningful way. Also, my son, Isaac is a big motivator. It’s important for him to see that we need to not only take care of ourselves, but also help others. He has a caring heart so it has been a lot of fun teaching him about volunteerism and the importance of giving back.