I have always had a passion for financial planning and growing my investments.
After graduating from Northern Illinois University with an accounting degree and passing the CPA exam, I began my professional career working at a large CPA firm doing audit and tax work as well as audits of employee benefit plans. I gave advice to family and friends about investing and financial planning topics on the side. I read any book on finance or financial publication I could find. I truly enjoyed learning how to grow your savings and planning for the future. After leaving public accounting, I worked as chief financial officer for a local manufacturing company for a few years. As an accountant, however, you are always somewhat of a historian looking back on what has already occurred. I wanted to be a visionary and help people plan for the future.
In 2004, I was finally able to realize my dream and join Focus to become a financial advisor full time. I immediately took and passed the CFP® exam and have been helping people plan for their future and manage their finances ever since. In 2018, I became the 100% owner of Focus. Spending the early years of my career in public accounting has been invaluable, especially when it comes to tax planning and understanding financial statements. I strive to help my clients with all aspects of their financial life.
I live in Roscoe with my wife, Tammy, who is a school social worker. We have two sons, Trent and Trey. They’re both in college with one at the University of Alabama and the other at the South Dakota School of Mines and Engineering. Tammy and I also live with our rescue dog, Ande, who can also be frequently seen at our office greeting people. I enjoy spending time on the water at the lake in Wisconsin, playing golf, watching football, riding bikes and using power tools.
I serve on the both the Operating and Foundation boards of Northern Illinois Hospice and am currently the president of the operating board. I previously served as treasurer of Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum in Rockford. I am a member of NAPFA, FPA, Illinois CPA Society and also involved with a local small business roundtable group that meets regularly to discuss issues facing small business owners in the area.
I joined the Focus team in 1998. My information technology expertise enables us to stay current with the ever-changing world of computer hardware and software. This allows Focus to employ cutting-edge technology. I work hard to provide outstanding personal service to clients and make sure their questions get answered in a timely manner. While I am heavily involved in many administrative aspects of the office, I spend a great deal of my time executing securities trades.
I have lived in northern Illinois for over 30 years. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time and catching up with my two adult daughters. I also volunteer at local charities. In my free time, I enjoy golfing and collecting memorabilia from the local famed Wagon Wheel Resort. Currently I volunteer for VetsRoll.org helping raise money for their annual VetsRoll trip. From 2014-2019, I served 3 terms on the board of the Irish Marching Society of Rockford as the organization’s Treasurer. I was named 2017 IMS Irish Woman of the Year. Previously I served as Secretary to the Rock River Valley Celtic Society.
Although I wear many hats here at Focus, I dedicate most of my time to managing the day-to-day affairs of the office, and making sure that the firm remains in compliance with the myriad of regulations that our industry is subject to. Being able to help people each day brings me great joy, and I enjoy working closely with our team—we have an incredible collaborative work environment. As all our clients know, I am always willing to help service their accounts, research questions for them or simply listen.
I received my associate degrees in both business administration and accounting and have taken continuing education classes in financial planning. I also hold my Illinois casualty, life, health and property insurance licenses.
I have two children, and two grandchildren. When I am not spending time with my family, I enjoy reading, swimming, walking and exploring botanical exhibits. I am also a life member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary.
Ande joined the team at Focus in 2019 as the Chief Greeter. Ande is a “rescue” dog who is really excited to meet new people and enjoys keeping an eye on things at the office. He loves to swim, play with his friends at doggie day care, chase squirrels and sneak up on the couch for a nap when no one is looking. Ande loves to play with anyone that will play with him and can often be found chewing on one of his toys or bones.