Community service is priority for Manley


TROY – For Linda Manley, helping her clients and helping her community go hand in hand.

Manley is a financial advisor for the Edward Jones office located at 532 Edwardsville Road in Troy. She started the business from scratch in 2001.

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Manley is a Highland native and a graduate of Highland St. Paul High School, which is no longer open. Her first job was in downtown St. Louis at the Tums company next to Busch Stadium.

“I hadn’t gone to college at that point because I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to be,” Manley said. “I was that overachiever in high school who got to the graduation part and said, ‘Now what do I want to do?’

“I started at the Tums company in the research and development department and my boss told me that someday I would have an opportunity and I wouldn’t get it because I didn’t have a college degree.”

That advice prompted Manley to start taking classes on nights and weekends at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She eventually earned bachelor’s degrees in business and management information systems (MIS) and went on to earn her MBA with an emphasis in finance.

After going through a series of buyouts and severance packages from various jobs, Manley ended up at General American Life Insurance in downtown St. Louis, working in the investment department.

“I was doing a lot of the MIS computer stuff and I ended up moving to their trade desk,” Manley said. “I got hooked on the financial aspect of it and Edward Jones was one of their clients. I moved up a couple notches there and helped service the Edward Jones annuities.”

After going through another buyout with the pressure of moving to New Jersey, Manley started putting out feelers about jobs in the St. Louis area. She had some friends that told her she needed to be on the people side of a business and not serving a company.

“I had some initial doubts because I thought that sounded like sales, but I had an Edward Jones advisor at the time and I talked to him,” Manley said. “Lo and behold, here I am. It was a career change, and you second-guess yourself many times, but Edward Jones is a great place to work, and you have a lot of mentors and coaches internally.

“I love my job and I love my clients. I’m able to help them reach some goals in their life and it’s been a nice ride.”

Manley opened for business at the Edwardsville Road location 22 years ago and she has been there ever since.

Community focus

Manley is a big believer in the Edward Jones philosophy, which features small offices in numerous cities and small towns with a focus on serving the local community.

“That is how (founder) Ted Jones saw us and his slogan was, ‘We’re bringing Wall Street to Main Street.’ That has been our model since the company started over 100 years ago and it continued as we grew into the metropolitan areas,” Manley said.

As with nearly every business in the U.S., Edward Jones and its neighborhood offices had to adjust and pivot during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Manley, the pandemic served as a reminder of the importance of in-person service.

“You had to do a lot of things over Zoom instead of being face to face, which is what we do best,” Manley said. “It was something that was necessary, but I’m glad that we’re getting back to the way things were before.”

Community service is a priority for Edward Jones financial advisors, and it comes naturally for Manley, who is a board member for Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois.

“I grew up as a Girl Scout from the time I was in Brownies all the way through my senior year in high school,” Manley said. “We had a fabulous group of moms who took us pretty much all over the country and we were on a school bus for two weeks.

“You develop a lot of good skills and I attribute a lot of my go-getter personality from being able at a junior high age to go away for two weeks without your mom. I made sure my bag was packed every morning and I did the responsibilities I was assigned to through Girl Scouts.”

With two daughters, Manley wanted to give them the same sense of personal growth and accomplishment that the Girl Scouts gave her.

“I was a Girl Scout leader not only before I had girls, but when I had two daughters, I was their Girl Scout leader,” Manley said. “I kind of floated into more of a volunteer role at the council level and I’ve been on the board for quite a while.

“It’s a very active council and we have a wonderful CEO in Loretta Graham. She’s very dynamic and has a strong staff beneath her. It’s all about giving the girls the experiences they want and making sure they continue to thrive and become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Outside the office

Manley has also been a member of the Troy/Maryville/St. Jacob/Marine Chamber of Commerce since her office opened in Troy.

“After you get your license, you have what we call our ‘can sell day’ and that’s the very first day you come into your community,” said Manley, who is currently the board secretary. “Part of the model we have at Edward Jones is that you walk through your community and introduce yourself.

“Dawn Mushill (executive director of the Chamber of Commerce) was one of the first people I talked to. She invited us into some networking opportunities and within a year I was a board member. It was a great opportunity not only to meet people, but also to hone your skills. It has truly helped to build my business.”

Manley is also a member of the board for the Jarvis Township Senior Citizens Center in Troy.

“At one point we were doing Meals on Wheels out of that organization and there was a rough patch where we had to rebuild, but now it’s thriving again,” Manley said. “They take a couple bus trips a year and there are close to 200 active seniors that participate in their activities.

“We have a monthly meal with entertainment. It’s a great organization that gives back to the community for our retirees.”

Manley has two daughters, including Emily Manley, a Western Illinois University journalism graduate who lives in Jefferson City, Missouri, and is the Missouri political reporter for KTVI (Channel 2) in St. Louis.

Her younger daughter, Katie Manley, has a business degree and is a pharmacy technician for CVS in the Granite City-Collinsville area.

“What makes me tick is the ability to try to make my community better,” Manley said. “I’m involved with my church, St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland and the grade school that’s attached to it.

“I’m also involved with the Highland Area Community Foundation, which provides grants for projects that serve the community. It can be things like buying additional equipment for the fire department or whatever is needed. This year we gave out almost $50,000 worth of grants, but we’ve been up to $70,000 or $80,000 depending on what the returns are in the market.”

For more information about Manley and her Edward Jones office in Troy, call 618-667-3272, email or visit


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