Spotlight on Alumni
Cliff A. Robb, PhD
Cliff A. Robb, PhD, is an associate professor of Consumer Science at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has served as the faculty director for the Personal Finance program in the School of Human Ecology for the past three years. Prior to his employment at University of Wisconsin, Dr. Robb served as an associate professor at Kansas State University for four years and as an assistant professor at The University of Alabama for five years. He earned his doctorate in Consumer Economics and Personal Financial Planning from University of Missouri in 2007. The University of Missouri was the “only” program to consider according to his major professor, Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Ghany. While at Mizzou, he benefited from a multi-disciplinary program of courses from consumer science, economics, sociology, human development, and the human sciences. Dr. Robb says he was lucky to work with wonderful faculty members in the department like Deanna Sharpe and Michael Finke, but he also benefited greatly from other faculty around campus who taught related coursework. The coursework was challenging and engaging, and the atmosphere in Stanley Hall was very collegial and stimulating. He also says he misses Booches burgers and the pizza at Shakespeare’s.
In the 12 years since graduating from Mizzou, Dr. Robb has been an active educator and scholar in the field of consumer science. He greatly enjoys the classroom environment and has been happy to see many of his undergraduate students go on to rewarding careers in the financial services industry and other areas of interest. His research interests include financial decision-making (with an emphasis on the relationship between financial knowledge and observable financial behavior), college student financial behavior (with an emphasis on debt management), and financial satisfaction and well-being. Dr. Robb states, "This all sounds impressive, but I also have three kids, so I still don’t really have much money."
An active researcher, Dr. Robb has published over 30 articles in a number of peer-reviewed academic journals such as Journal of Consumer Affairs, International Journal of Consumer Studies, Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, Financial Services Review, and Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal. He has been an active reviewer and also served as an Associate Editor for Journal of Consumer Affairs for four years (2013-2017). He currently serves on the Editorial Boards for Journal of Financial Planning, Journal of Consumer Affairs, Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, and Financial Planning Review. Dr. Robb is a dynamic leader in the field having served as President of American Council on Consumer Interests in 2015 as part of a four-year stint on the leadership board for the organization.
Jared Reynolds, CFP®, CDFA™, CPFA
"I knew it was Mizzou." This is the certainty with which Jared Reynolds, CFP®, CDFA™, CPFA , alumnus of Personal Financial Planning (PFP), decided on his college career path. With the same clarity and determination, Jared has used his education from the University of Missouri to build a successful business in financial management, and he generously uses his experience to guide other Mizzou students into the field.
Jared grew up in rural Missouri, where his family owns a resort on Truman Lake, and he still maintains close ties to the countryside. When the time came to apply for college, however, he knew Mizzou was the place for him, and he only applied to one other school.
Jared initially studied Philosophy and Political Science in preparation for a pre-law track. He became intrigued by the study of finance when he heard his fraternity brothers discussing mutual funds and investments – something entirely new to him. When his campus advisor recommended the PFP program to him, he switched his major and immediately loved it. "I especially loved learning from the professionals in the field who came to talk to our classes," he said.
Once settled with a new major, Jared fully invested his energy in excelling within the field. As part of his training, he obtained an internship with Waddell & Reed, an asset management company that sponsored him to get the initial licenses he needed to begin working as a professional investment advisor. By the spring of his senior year, Jared began working full-time and was fully licensed upon graduation. While it was nice to be able to begin working immediately, Jared admits that the heavy workload was intense. "I wouldn't recommend it!& he said, laughing.
After graduation, Caroll Wilkerson, Jared's current business partner, approached him about collaborating and mentored him as he got started in the field. After building their business for several years, in 2009 they founded Wilkerson & Reynolds Wealth Management, where they advise clients on portfolio management, wealth planning, divorce planning, and risk management.
Jared finds the freedom and flexibility that his job provides to be particularly gratifying, allowing him to stay involved in the busy lives of his three sons and his other family businesses. As a student who loved hearing from professionals in the classroom, Jared also contributes his time to Mizzou and provides opportunities for student internships at his firm. One piece of advice he has is that students should learn more about practice management before they graduate. Being a financial advisor is one thing, Jared says, but running a business is another – "the things I wish someone would have said to me when I was in that seat."
Lacey Mitchell is a 2010 graduate of the University of Missouri where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Personal Financial Planning. While on the Mizzou campus, she served as Student Manager for the Office for Financial Success (OFS), a role in which she supervised student financial counselors providing no-cost financial counseling to the Mizzou and Columbia communities. Upon graduation, Mitchell served the Department of Personal Financial Planning as a member of its Board of Advisors.
Mitchell launched her career with State Farm by opening her growing practice in the Central West End area of St. Louis. She maintains her Series 6 and 63 securities licenses, state and federal mortgage licensing, as well as Missouri and Illinois licensing for Property and Casualty Insurance, and Life, Health and Annuities. Mitchell states, "The financial counseling experience with the OFS directly led to my becoming a State Farm agent, as did working for two up-and-coming agents in Columbia and Chesterfield, MO, and having two uncles who were successful State Farm agents."
The only daughter of four children of her parents with special needs, was born and raised in O'Fallon, MO. Both of Mitchell’s parents are blind, but that does not mean she was raised different from anyone else. She is quick to remind people that each of us has something that makes our upbringing special. People in the community tell stories about Mitchell being able to lead her mother around the grocery store by the age of two. Kids are resilient and adapt to their circumstances, and her ambition and success speak to this.
Jim Gerlock graduated from Mizzou in December 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Personal Financial Planning (PFP) from the College of Human Environmental Sciences. Upon graduation from MU he moved to Houston, Texas, to begin his career with Earthstaff as a consultant in the energy industry for mergers & acquisitions, as well as with staffing. Thereafter, he joined Addison Group, a firm with which he has been for 3 years, where he serves as a Senior Consultant opening offices in both Houston and Chicago.
Addison Group is a 1200+ employee staffing and consulting company headquartered in Chicago with more than 25 offices nationwide. Jim’s specialty is assisting his growing company in establishing start up offices to help further the engineering recruitment market share managed by Addison Group’s engineering division. His senior position has placed him alongside the executives in organizations from small family businesses to Fortune 100 firms. The primary goal of his role is to assist in the corporate strategy of a company to scale a business from an internal standpoint to meet the expectations of external clients.
Most recently, Jim was elected to Sponsorship Chairman of the St. Jude Young Professionals Board of Chicago to oversee its corporate partnership activities. Having participated in St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital visits to Memphis, radiothons, galas, and golf tournaments, he is a fundamental member in avid financial support of assisting the organization as it continues to serve children internationally.
During his time at Mizzou, he was incredibly thankful for the guidance and support of Dr. Ivey, Professor Zumwalt, and the entire PFP department. The financial education and informative direction on post-graduation life was instrumental in his professional success. When asked about advice to current students, Jim states, "The best piece of advice that could be given to any future student/graduate would be to utilize the counseling given in all areas of the program to make the transition to the real world the most seamless possible."
Lauren Bauer, CFP®
Lauren Bauer, CFP®, is a stellar example of a Personal Financial Planning alumna on the rise in her career. Upon graduation from MU she moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, to begin her career with Triad Financial Advisors (TFA) and quickly passed the Certified Financial Planner™ certification examination. TFA is a nationally recognized, award-winning leader in the financial planning industry, but what drew Laruen to the firm was its holistic approach to planning. This fee-only firm serves as full-time fiduciaries for its clients and understands that investments are but a small portion of the clients’ larger picture.
As an undergraduate leader, Lauren served as Vice President of the MU Student Chapter of Financial Planning Association, Service Chair for the Office for Financial Success, and Peer Advisor for the College of Human Environmental Sciences. She participated in the Society of Financial Service Professionals (SFSP) Industry Issues Competition with her team who took first place. She was honored with the 2017 Human Environmental Sciences New Professional Award. Lauren says of her time at Mizzou, "I had countless opportunities to lead, compete, travel to conferences, and be mentored by some of the best professors at Mizzou. If I could give current students one piece of advice it would be to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities you have. Volunteer, get involved, go to conferences, and befriend your professors."
Lauren continues her involvement with service in the industry through membership with SFSP and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, as well as service in the community through Junior League of Greensboro. She is also a board member for Dance Project, a nonprofit dance school, and loves spending time with her husband and two dogs.
Travis Knight, CFP®
Travis Knight, CFP®, graduated from Mizzou in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in consumer and family economics (now known as Personal Financial Planning) and started his career in financial planning as an associate at a small, boutique firm in Kansas City.
Travis joined the Kansas City office of BKD Wealth Advisors, LLC (BKDWA) in 2003, the wealth management subsidiary of Springfield, Missouri, based account firm, BKD, LLP. BKDWA is a registered investment advisor firm, and as of May 31, 2018, manages and advises on more than $3.5 billion in assets for affluent and high net worth individuals and families. Travis is a founding member of BKDWA’s Financial Planning Committee, the firm’s committee that develops and oversees firm-wide financial planning best practices, and served a 12-year tenure on the committee.
He worked his way up through the ranks through mentorship under a senior partner of the firm early in his career. Travis currently holds the position of Director and manages approximately $160 million for about 70 families.
While at Mizzou, Travis joined Beta Sigma Psi Fraternity. "Majoring in financial planning at Mizzou is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” Travis said. “The nurture and encouragement of the faculty and my department academic advisor was pivotal in helping me launch my career in the profession after graduation."
What Travis enjoys most about his career in the financial planning profession is helping families and individuals make sense of their financial life and creating a path to help them realize their financial and life goals. Travis is an Eagle Scout and enjoys all manner of outdoor activities from mountain biking, rock climbing, and backpacking to fly-fishing and wing shooting. He has even been a fly-fishing guide in Wyoming during summer vacations. When not working with clients to help them achieve their dreams, he loves spending time at home with his wife and 3 children.
Any human resources professional will tell you that choosing the right candidate for the right role is a critical component to the job, but Shannon O’Toole, chief talent officer for Buckingham Strategic Wealth and BAM Advisor Services, believes that how you develop that associate once they are on your team is equally as important. Shannon and her team consider the culture and people as Buckingham’s greatest asset. Under her direction, the talent and development team strives to recruit and select associates who align with the firm’s mission and values. Shannon is instrumental in the mergers and acquisition process for the firm, ensuring that the talent and value of a potential firm properly integrates into the Buckingham culture. Since 2010, she has vetted and integrated talent in the acquisition of 12 extension offices in California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming. Shannon and her team ensure the firm’s associates who manage over $27 billion in assets under management, have the appropriate leadership, feedback, engagement and mentorship they need to succeed.
Shannon has been in the recruitment industry for over 20 years, the past 10 years with Buckingham She is a 1999 Mizzou graduate from the Personal Financial Planning Department (formerly consumer and family economics). She is 2016 recipient of the prestigious 40 Under 40 award from the St. Louis Business Journal. Shannon learned from her parents at an early age the importance of serving the local community. She is actively engaged in serving Our Little Haven, the American Youth Foundation, her children’s school, and her church community. A St. Louis native, she currently resides with her family in Kirkwood, Missouri.
Tahira K. Hira, PhD
Tahira K. Hira, Professor Emerita of Personal Finance and Consumer Economics, is an internationally known leader in the field of financial literacy. Her varied and prolific professional experience includes being a member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, Chair of the NYSE committee on financial literacy and member of Experian consumer Advisory council. She was the founding president of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE) and president of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS).
She has served on several other national committees and boards during her career, including the CFP Board’s Board of Standards and Practices and Board of Examiners, Board of the Institute of the Certified Financial Planners (ICFP), the National Foundation for Consumer Credit (NFCC), Experian’s Consumer Education Council, & Iowa Credit Union Review Board. Currently she serves on Iowa Student Loan Board and Heartland Express Board.
Dr. Hira has received numerous awards and recognitions for her contributions to academia and research in her fields of study, including the Research Excellence Award of the Japan Society of Household Economics, University of Missouri Alumni Award, Iowa State University Regents’ Faculty Excellence Award, ISU Alumni Association Faculty Citation, the Wilton Park International Achievement Award. Her other professional experiences include serving as an External Assessor at the Universiti Putra Malaysia, serving on several editorial boards of journals and as a reviewer for several others in her field. Most recently, Dr. Hira received the Citation of Merit Award from the College of Human Environmental Sciences at the University of Missouri.
An accomplished researcher and speaker, Dr. Hira has published over 145 professional papers and book chapters and has given an estimated 250 invited national and international presentations. Some topics include the national strategy for financial literacy, social and psychological aspects of the borrowing and investment behaviors of middle and high income Americans, gender differences in investment behavior, consumer bankruptcy, consumer credit, gambling, and the borrowing behavior of college students. Her work has been cited in national and international papers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, Business Monthly, The Christian Science Monitor, Nippon Deizai Shinbun, Modern Maturity, Money Magazine, and Your Money. She has appeared on National Public Radio, the NBC Today Show, CNN News, and the CBS Up to the Minute Show.
Through testimony and consultation, Dr. Hira has helped to shape public policy on bankruptcy in the United States, Japan, and Canada. She has served as an expert witness for both the United States Senate Committee on Judiciary for revisions of consumer bankruptcy code and the United States Senate Banking Committee to discuss the need for money management education. She has developed credit counseling and financial planning educational materials and programs and has also developed and taught credit counseling seminars and workshops, including those for recovery units of many major financial institutions, including Japan Consumer Finance Association of Japan and the Citibank.
Dr. Hira has played an active and extensive role in undergraduate and graduate teaching and research. She is the founder of Iowa State University’s Financial Counseling Clinic, established as a research and teaching laboratory. She created a financial counseling option at the undergraduate level, taught several different courses and programs in personal finance, and served on national teams to develop curriculum and courses for universities in the U.S. and abroad. She has served as a major professor for 30 PhD and MS candidates, supervised three postdoctoral fellows, and sat as a member of 43 programs of study committees.
Dr. Hira joined Iowa State University in 1980 where she developed and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in financial counseling and planning; and established Iowa State Financial Counseling Clinic. She retired July 1, 2014, after serving as the Senior Policy Adviser to the President at Iowa State University for three years. She also served as Assistant to the President for external affairs for 9 years and Associate Vice Provost for ISU Extension for 4 years.
Dr. Hira received BA and MA degrees in Economics from Punjab University, Pakistan. She is a recipient of national merit scholarship and the Fulbright-Hays Scholarship. She received an MS in Agricultural Economics and a PhD in Family and Consumer Economics (now known as Personal Financial Planning) from the University of Missouri-Columbia. This is where she built strong foundation in financial counseling and discovered her passion to focus her life’s work to improving economic wellbeing of households through teaching, research and practice.
Taylor Ahern graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Personal Financial Planning in December 2012. Following graduating she moved to Kansas City, Missouri, and began her career with American Century Investments, an Investment Management Company. She has since graduated with her Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University in 2016.
Ahern, a Financial Consultant working with over 420 clients with assets exceeding $500 million, is responsible for developing investment and retirement plans for clients. Her expertise spans a broad array of financial topics, including investment planning, financial planning, retirement planning and diversification strategies. Taylor has clients all over the country and enjoys traveling to work with them. Her industry licenses include Series 6, 7, 63, and 65.
While at Mizzou, Ahern was President of Mizzou Financial Planning Association and Vice President of the Office for Financial Success. She is extremely thankful for her time in the program and all it taught her. Her advice to any students would be to take advantage of all the opportunities the program provides. There are so many people who want to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out. An example of this would be to attend the annual FPA conferences that the student body group attends.
Ahern says “one of the best benefits of the Personal Financial Planning program is that it’s a CFP Board-Registered Program. Not only does the program prepare you to take the CFP® Exam it also allows you to take the exam immediately after graduation which saves a great deal of time and energy. She is working on the CFP designation herself and encourages students to take it as soon as possible.
Lea Crawford Satterfield, CFP®
Lea Crawford Satterfield, CFP®, graduated with her BS in Personal Financial Planning (PFP) from the University of Missouri in 2009. In July 2012, she passed the CFP® examination, and in May 2016, she graduated with an MBA from Arizona State University. During her time at Mizzou, Lea was an HES Ambassador, President of Mizzou Financial Planning Association, a teacher’s aide within the PFP Department, and provided tax-preparation services through the Office for Financial Success.
Lea interned with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network throughout her senior year and then became the Assistant to the Managing Director of the Columbia, MO, office. In August 2009, she made a career change into securities regulation when she joined the Missouri Securities Division, a Division of the Missouri Secretary of State, as a Securities Investigator. While in this position she worked on many securities fraud and inadequate supervision cases that led to over $1 million in restitution to Missouri citizens and two criminal convictions.
In June 2011, Lea became a Cycle Examiner for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the self-regulatory organization for broker-dealers. She has worked in both the FINRA Kansas City and Los Angeles District Offices and has conducted many routine examinations of broker-dealers and their branch offices. Lea changed roles within FINRA in May 2017 and is currently an Investigator in the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Investigative Unit, which conducts thorough fraud and AML related investigations.
TaMarco Davis is a 2017 graduate of the Department of Personal Financial Planning’s CFP Board-Registered bachelor’s degree program. While at the University of Missouri, TaMarco developed his professional leadership ability through involvement in a number of student organizations and committees. He held positions with the Mizzou Homecoming Steering Committee, Greek Week Steering Committee, Mizzou Student Outreach, Freshmen Off-Campus Mentor, Interfraternity Council, and several positions within Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity.
TaMarco took advantage of many learning opportunities through summers spent in Tanzania and working with Mark Cuban Companies, and UBS. He also served as Summer Intern for Wells Fargo Advisors in Denver, Colorado. His advice to students is to become involved to open up a broad range of experiences and opportunities otherwise not available strictly in the classroom. His experiences taught him valuable skills in problem solving, communication, and intuition that have undoubtedly led him to the position he is in today.
His summer internship led to the opportunity to transition to the Wells Fargo wealth and investment analyst class of 2017. Currently, TaMarco serves as an analyst in Strategy and Channel Development for Wells Fargo where he is tasked with developing and supporting firm-wide initiatives including policy and process changes, as well as improvements that will impact the field. As a team, he and his colleagues leverage various software and resources while using data analytics and modeling to analyze results and identify best practices for the managing directors.
Jansen Joehl, CFP®
Jansen Joehl, CFP® graduated Summa Cum Laude in May 2016 with a BS in Personal Financial Planning. Two years prior, he began his career with Northwestern Mutual as an intern and never left. During his two-year long stint as an intern, Jansen received production awards that comprise the top .5% of Northwestern Mutual interns across the country, as well as ranking among the Top 20 producers in the nation both years. His rampant success as an intern continued to his success as a full-time financial advisor where he qualified for Northwestern Mutual’s prestigious Mike Gish Award. Each year, this award honors only 10 former interns in the whole country who are the leaders in premium and lives production within their first 365 days as a full-time representative. Today, Jansen serves over 200 households across the country. He also has his CERTIFIED FINANICAL PLANNER™ certification, which enables him to have a more comprehensive approach for his clients. While he brings a strong work ethic to his daily tasks, he considers his commitment to securing the financial future of individuals and families to be his most important motivator.
During his time at Mizzou, Jansen was a member of the Financial Planning Association and Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He said “having the opportunity to sit for the CFP® certification exam upon graduation is one of the many tangible ways the Personal Financial Planning major prepares students for a career in financial services. Having such an exclusive certification so early on gives an edge that many other entry level professionals do not possess.” His advice to other students is to take advantage of all opportunities throughout one’s college career.
Jim Deutsch, CFP®
Jim Deutsch was a business student when he discovered the Personal Financial Planning department at the University of Missouri. He stayed another year to graduate in 1994, and says he owes much of his success to the program. Now the President and CEO of Smith Moore, Jim is also a graduate of Webster University with a Master’s Degree in Finance, and the Securities Industry Institute at Wharton School of Business.
As a financial advisor with over two decades of experience helping clients, he views himself as a holistic financial planner who creates plans to help clients achieve their life goals. By leveraging his extensive financial services experience and a network of competent teammates--including attorneys, CPAs and insurance professionals--he helps his clients solve financial concerns and questions.
Jim’s experience in the industry boasts a significant record of results in organizational development, process improvement, audit performance, portfolio management, and compliance and client service. He is described as a bold, decisive leader with an unblemished reputation, a strong work ethic and a passion to improve performance at all levels of the organization. Jim re-energized the organization and raised business standards in leadership, hiring new talent, and consolidating two St. Louis offices into one central, prestigious location. He drove technology utilization and improvements, and tightened financial controls while always ensuring regulatory compliance. Jim became a shareholder in 1999, a member of the Board of Directors in 2001 and President and CEO in 2003. Under his leadership, the firm has grown revenues each year and increased its assets under management from $400 million to over $2.5 billion. During Jim’s tenure the firm has expanded its footprint, with 10 branch offices in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. He also manages a book of business with over $125 million in assets.
Jim was a 2008 recipient of the St. Louis Business Journal’s prestigious "Forty under 40" award. He serves on the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Private Client Group, the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association Committee (RCGA), and serves as Board President of Covenant Place. Co-Chair of the 2016 St. Louis Delegation for Maccabi Games, Jim was also one of 20 participants from St. Louis in the Wexner Heritage program which promotes leadership and Jewish study. Beginning in 2018, Jim will be an adjunct faculty member at the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.
He is a strong advocate for the financial planning industry as a top career choice for college graduates. "There is a high need for motivated and educated professionals in this field," says Jim. "I encourage high school students to consider the University of Missouri’s Personal Financial Planning major and pursue the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification. It is a rewarding career."
Megan Reinkemeyer graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelor’s degree in Personal Financial Planning in May 2015. She moved to Colorado after graduation to begin her career with Matter Family Office in their Denver office, drawn by Matter’s industry-leading approach to serving ultra-high net worth families (and the Rocky Mountains of course!). Matter builds solutions reflecting the needs, perspectives, and objectives of each client family through a combination of Investment Management, Wealth Planning & Coordination, and Culture & Legacy services. As a financial consultant at Matter, Reinkemeyer enjoys working with complex multi-generational families scattered throughout the country. She has a particular passion for family governance and serves on Matter’s Culture & Legacy Committee where she helps develop resources for second generation family members.
While at Mizzou, Reinkemeyer was President of the Financial Planning Association student chapter, a member of the College of Human Environmental Sciences Dean’s Advisory Board, and a Financial Coach at the Office for Financial Success. She has much pride in the Personal Financial Planning department and is grateful to the Department for her success in launching into her career. The most impactful aspect of her time at MU was the Personal Financial Planning faculty who took genuine interest in her success. Reinkemeyer’s advice to other students is to take advantage of all the opportunities the Department provides to attend conferences and meet industry professionals.
Sarah Suntrup graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Personal Financial Planning in December 2014. She currently serves as Client Service Manager with Moneta Group, a large fee-only advisory firm located in Clayton, MO. The firm works predominantly with very affluent clients and services all aspects of financial planning for their clients. Suntrup is a Registered Investment Advisor Representative, whose daily activities include investment analysis, stock/mutual fund trading, and bond purchasing. Other responsibilities include preparing semi-annual financial reviews for each client, handling direct client communications, preparing paperwork, and evaluating tax planning opportunities.
As an undergraduate, Suntrup served as President of the Mizzou FPA chapter, Financial Coach and Vice President of Marketing for the Office for Financial Success, Delegate to the Dean’s Advisory Board, and Ambassador to the College of Human Environmental Sciences, all opportunities that were valuable experiences to help prepare her for a career in financial planning. Suntrup’s advice to other students is simple: create meaningful relationships with as many faculty and staff members, alumni, and PFP Advisory Board members as possible!