by Steven Hicks

On a hot, pre-summer day in June, SpaceCoast Living met with Patricia (Pat) Picornell, Vice President–Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services in Melbourne. After brief introductions, Picornell tells us, “It is peaceful here. I think the environment is terrific, and there are not many places that you can go where the energy just feels… calm. Everybody gets along.” If you are getting the idea that this was at her office (though it might be, judging by her own calm countenance), think again. We’ve met Picornell on her mini farm in Malabar. 

She continues: “I have a mini horse and donkey, pigmy goats and babydoll sheep. Rounding out the menagerie, we also have dogs, cats and chickens. There are seven species of animals. Humans make eight, and we all coexist, everybody gets along.” 

‘I always knew I wanted more than that.’ 

Picornell has always been an animal lover; as a child, her favorite places to go were petting farms. “Petting farms, not zoos. I liked the barnyard animals. I liked the chickens. I liked the cows and horses.” A self-described “military brat,” her family moved every two or three years. “We were lucky to get a dog. I got a cat once, but I was a little older then. When my husband and I lived in rural Virginia I had three chickens in addition to dogs and cats. But I always knew that I wanted more than that.” So when they were discussing future plans from their beachside Florida home a few years ago, she asked him what kind of lifestyle he wanted. “His needs were pretty minimal, and mine were not grandiose, but definitely more involved. I wanted more property. A place for the dogs to run, where I could just open the door and know they could go out and be safe. Lastly, of course, I wanted farm animals.” 

Her current menagerie consists mostly of rescued animals. Picornell tends to a miniature horse “out of Georgia,” a miniature donkey “out of north Florida,” goats, sheep and dogs: “Four rescues, one from China, two from Alabama and one from Georgia. Picornell adds. “Then there are several cats on the property. Every single one is a rescue. That’s what I have. Oh, and a flock of chickens.” 

Picornell says, “It’s peaceful here. My favorite time is go out in the morning, get the animals where they need to be. Feed them, water them and groom them. Then I just hang on the fence under a tree by the stables and watch them all. It is a beautiful start to the day.” 

‘I also have great clients who count on me.’ 

“The farm makes a great home for us. And it’s a terrific environment to come back to after work. But I always keep in mind that as my pets trust me to take care of them; I also have great clients who count on me. They trust me to take care of them and their families. So, I go to work for my clients with the same passion I have for my farm. It just has a different dynamic. I’m a Certified Financial Planner; I handle my clients’ investments. I tell them, ‘Having a plan is helpful in achieving the lifestyle you want.’ This farm is the lifestyle that I wanted, we planned for it and made it happen,” Picornell adds. 

Does Picornell have plans for expansion? “No, I’m full. I had a list, and I have every animal that I wanted on my list; plus an extra one here and there. I’m going to enjoy what I have.” 

The correlation. 

“What greater compliment and responsibility than to have all those animals trust you? It is the same with my clients. What better compliment and responsibility to have them trust me to take care of their needs? Whether it’s an animal in need of a forever home or a client in need of a financial plan which can assist them in the retirement they hope for, I will work hard to help them achieve it,” Picornell says, adding: “And I often bring in eggs for my clients. The chickens lay a dozen a day; I can only eat so many eggs.” ◆