Rich & Cathy Sypek: Reaching for Higher Goals
Article by Andrea Bugbee
Sypek Law & Insurance is a new business in town, but its owners, Rich and Cathy Sypek, have been giving back in Westfield for 25 years.
College sweethearts, longtime Whip City residents, and devout Catholics, the Sypeks ground each day by attending mass together. After praying for a pathway to make their lives more purposeful, Rich decided to retire from his Springfield law practice and Cathy retired from her wealth management career. The couple then unified their talents by opening a Court Street law and insurance agency that blends the best of their skills, while granting them flexibility to focus on what they value most: helping others.
Now, after 37 years of marriage, the Sypeks’ home, spiritual, and professional partnerships are wholly intertwined. “It’s an absolute blast,” Rich said, while Cathy amended, “People think we’re crazy, but we enjoy working together, and we work very well together. It’s like we’re one brain. I’m thinking it; he says it. We complement each other.”
“At some point in life you realize you have been abundantly blessed and your goals change,” Cathy explained. Empty nesters not yet ready to retire, “Now we have different goals in our lives – things that are rewarding, not monetarily, but on a higher level.”
“We [wanted] to have time to do more community service work; more church work; the things that matter,” said Rich, who presently serves as Westfield’s Police Commissioner. He’s also a St. Mary’s Parish eucharistic minister and a member of the Men of St. Joseph.
When the Sypeks aren’t drafting wills, closing real estate transactions, or considering the benefits of long-term care or life insurance, it’s their “higher level” goals that keep them inspired.
“This is what we like to do,” said Cathy, who has taught CCD at St. Mary’s for 20 years and cooks monthly for the Community Table. She’s both a lector and a eucharistic minister at St. Mary’s and, most recently, she and Rich brought a national mission called “Laundry Love” to the community.
On the fourth Wednesday of every month, Stanley Laundromat, the mission’s partner, stays open from 5 – 7 p.m. as members of St. Mary’s make the machines free to struggling families and people without a home. The result, folded into the overlooked comfort of freshly laundered clothes, is dignity and care.
“This is the most fun I’ve ever had in my career,” Rich said, his eyes bright with a smile. Business is better than expected and, he said simply, “It’s a blessing to be a blessing to someone else.”
“You can’t outgive God,” Cathy agreed. “We’re just trying to give back.”