Diefendorf Case Study
Roey Diefendorf: Preserving Values for His Family & His Clients
Monroe “Roey” Diefendorf, Jr. is the fourth generation in his family to go into the financial services industry. As the founder of 3 Dimensional Wealth Advisory and of the Argonne Trust Company, Roey’s experience as a wealth advisor has convinced him that creating a lasting legacy is not just about passing on valuables. It requires passing on one’s values as well.
In fact, this idea of passing down one’s combined personal, financial, and social wealth—or three-dimensional wealth—was his reason for re-engineering his family’s 140-year-old wealth management firm into the 3 Dimensional Wealth Advisory, as well as authoring more than a dozen books on the topic.
“I believe that the family is the cornerstone of civilization, the building block of society. And the farther we have gotten away from this starting place, the more breakdowns there have been in the family structure,” Roey said. “In my opinion, this requires an emphasis be placed back on the family unit. The family must become front and center, impacting multi-generations. How is this done? By preserving the stories, creating the traditions, and capturing memories that provide the roots needed for stability of individuals and families alike.”
But when it comes to capturing those memories, Roey has discovered that his clients need a roadmap to get started, which is why he partners with FamilyArc. He believes our private archive platform and professional services teams are the resources his clients need to begin preserving what matters most.
“FamilyArc is part of the deliverable when completing a 3 Dimensional Wealth Plan. It’s the framework that we will use to keep together the ‘total’ wealth [my clients] have put together,” Roey said. “Somehow FamilyArc has amassed a team of pros. Before you think it, they already have your answer.”
Roey believes wealth advisors should lead by example, so he began his own archive before offering FamilyArc’s platform and services to his clients. Together, we created a plan for preserving his values of generosity, service, and faith in a way that his family can build on for years to come.
Telling the Stories
Roey’s vision for his archive included preserving several of his favorite and most meaningful family stories. Some, such as the story of his young grandson being evacuated from a New York hospital during Hurricane Sandy, had been told in the past, but he wanted them to be expanded upon. Others, such as the story of his family’s villa in Italy or the church he and his wife helped start, hadn’t yet been put in written form.
FamilyArc’s biography team interviewed Roey and his son-in-law and then created compelling narratives from the transcripts, complete with quotes and descriptive details. Altogether, Roey received five professionally written and edited stories, totaling more than 6,000 words.
One of these stories describes how Roey’s grandfather, Warren E. Diefendorf, started a theatrical group called the Argonne Players during World War I in an effort to keep soldiers’ spirits up. Additional research uncovered several New York Times articles about the group, which provided new details and historical context. With Roey’s permission, the story, “Music on the Battlefield,” is shared here.
Preserving the Memories
Roey has always had a future-oriented mindset, and he preserved many fun vacation memories and family times through narrated home videos while his four daughters were growing up. However, many of these videos were captured between the late 1980s and the early 2000s, and Roey no longer had a simple, accessible method for sharing these memories with his family.
FamilyArc’s artifact team used video conversion hardware and software to digitize thirty-seven videos, which were a combination of VHS, VHS-C, and 8mm tapes. Now, each of those videos is stored and shared along an interactive timeline in Roey’s archive for his family to enjoy.
“For a long time, I knew what drawer in our home these videos and pictures were located in, but honestly, they would have remained there, untouched, virtually valueless, until I died . . . and then probably tossed because no one appreciated their meaning,” Roey said. “But all that has changed [with] 24/7 availability for our whole family to enjoy. For this, FamilyArc is invaluable.”
Building a Stronger Future
Roey is excited about the foundation for his archive that FamilyArc helped him lay through biography and artifact services, and he is hopeful that this will just be the beginning. He looks forward to appointing champions within his own family who will help drive the value-preservation effort forward by writing their own stories and adding memories and media over time.
“Hopefully, FamilyArc will become the ‘central nervous system’ for our family—similar to the structure that ties the head into the other parts of the body,” he said. “My desire is that this platform will aid with communications and help keep our family connected and unified.”
For Roey, capturing his family’s values and memories and encouraging his clients to do the same isn’t merely a good idea; it’s essential to preserving a lasting legacy.
“Your life matters and the lives of those in your family matter,” Roey said. “However, memories fade over time. Unless purposefully preserved, your wisdom and your values will be lost forever. FamilyArc is the tool to capture and preserve what matters most to you and your family.”