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Personal Finance Team

Gene W. Henssler, Ph.D. - President and Chief Investment Officer


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Gene W. Henssler, Ph.D., is the President and Chief Investment Officer of Henssler Financial. The firm was founded by Dr. Henssler in March 1987 at the urging of friends and acquaintances who sought his counsel and advice for investing their money.

In 1998, Dr. Henssler started Henssler Asset Management, LLC to serve as the investment adviser for The Henssler Equity Fund (HEQFX) that was introduced to the market place that same year. The Henssler Equity Fund’s investment style is substantially similar to the investment style utilized for individual clients. Dr. Henssler serves on The Fund’s investment committee, which is supported by a group of research analysts and other members of the adviser’s investment staff.

After earning both his Master of Business Administration and doctorate in finance at the University of Michigan, Dr. Henssler taught at Georgia State University, University of Toledo and Grand Valley State University in Michigan. In 1986 he became a Professor of Finance at Kennesaw State University, taking an early retirement in 1996. Dr. Henssler holds the title of Professor Emeritus of Finance at Kennesaw State University.

Dr. Henssler was recognized by Barron’s Magazine “Top 100 Financial Advisors” at No. 65 in the April 15, 2013 issue. The ranking, as identified by Barron’s, reflects the volume of assets overseen by the adviser and his team, revenues generated for the firm, and the quality of practice. Dr. Henssler was named to the 2016 Atlanta Five Star Wealth Managers list included in the October 2016 issue of Atlanta magazine. The Five Star award goes to wealth managers who satisfied 10 objective eligibility and evaluation requirements, identified by market-specific research. This is the fifth consecutive year Dr. Henssler has made the list.

As a renowned professor in finance, Dr. Henssler was tapped by Atlanta talk radio to host “Money Talks,” an investment advice radio show. The show has aired for more than 30 years with a large following. Dr. Henssler has appeared on the network affiliate TV stations in Atlanta, Georgia Public Television, as well as nationally on CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg Television and Fox News.

A former columnist for the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Dr. Henssler has written numerous articles for newspapers, magazines and professional journals dealing with a wide variety of financial topics. Dr. Henssler is a registered representative of ALPS Distributors, Inc.

William G. Lako, Jr., CFP® - Principal, Managing Director


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William G. Lako, Jr., CFP®, is a Principal and Managing Director at Henssler Financial. Since joining the firm in 1995, his responsibilities include personally managing client assets, as well as overall company management. In 1998, Mr. Lako became Principal and Managing Director of Henssler Asset Management, the adviser to The Henssler Equity Fund (HEQFX). Mr. Lako also serves as Vice President and Secretary of The Henssler Funds, Inc. Henssler Asset Management is a member of Henssler Financial. Mr. Lako is a member of The Henssler Equity Fund’s investment committee, which is supported by a group of research analysts and other members of the adviser’s investment staff.

Named to the Kennesaw State University Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Mr. Lako assists the Foundation’s mission to serve as an advocate for the university and to receive, invest, account for, and allocate private gifts and contributions. He is an Executive in Residence at the Coles College of Business where he lectures on personal financial strategies to prepare students with applicable knowledge for their financial success. Mr. Lako was honored as a recipient of the 2010 Kennesaw State University Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award. He also played an integral part in launching the Coles College of Business Student Managed Investment Fund in 2006. Mr. Lako also serves as the Treasurer for the Marietta Country Club and is an active member of the club’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Lako contributes to the Marietta Daily Journal as a Business Columnist. His opinions also have been requested by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Atlanta Business Chronicle, Atlanta’s CBS affiliate and national news features. Mr. Lako is an anchor host on “Money Talks,” Henssler Financial’s weekly talk radio show, that airs on AM 920 The Answer in Atlanta.

Mr. Lako received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Finance, from Kennesaw State University. He holds the Series 7, Series 26, Series 28, Series 63 and Series 65 registrations. Mr. Lako is a  CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificant. Mr. Lako is also a registered representative of ALPS Distributors, Inc.

Jennifer J. Thomas, CFP® - Principal


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Jennifer J. Thomas, CFP®, is a Principal and Senior Managing Associate at Henssler Financial. Ms. Thomas joined the firm in 1994 and is responsible for overseeing all the activities of the Associates, Financial Planners and Assistants in the Planning & Implementation Department.

Ms. Thomas was named to the 2016 Atlanta Five Star Wealth Managers list that will be included in the October 2016 issue of Atlanta magazine. The Five Star award goes to wealth managers who satisfied 10 objective eligibility and evaluation requirements, identified by market-specific research. This is the fifth consecutive year Ms. Thomas has made the list.

Drawing on her experience, Ms. Thomas’ opinions have been requested by Atlanta’s CBS affiliate and nationally syndicated news features. She also contributes to “Money Talks,” the firm’s financial talk radio show.

Ms. Thomas has more than 30 years of experience in the financial industry, including six years as a broker for First American National Securities and four years as a broker for Charles Schwab. She holds the Series 6, Series 63 and Series 65 registrations. Ms. Thomas is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificant.

D. James Barker, CWS® - Managing Associate


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D. James Barker, CWS®, is a Managing Associate at Henssler Financial. Mr. Barker’s responsibilities include managing client accounts on a day-to-day basis, as well as providing financial consulting for businesses and individuals. As a Managing Associate, Mr. Barker engages in initiating new business and works on overarching planning issues, in addition to managing staff and leading teams. He also contributes to “Money Talks,” the firm’s financial talk radio show.

After joining the firm in October 2006 as an Assistant, Mr. Barker was promoted in 2008 to Account Executive, where he maintained client files and updated financial plans. In 2012, he was promoted to Associate, and became a Senior Associate in 2013. He was promoted to Managing Associate in 2016. Prior to joining Henssler Financial, Mr. Barker worked for nine years as a police officer in Austell, GA. 

Mr. Barker was named to the 2016 Atlanta Five Star Wealth Managers list included in the October 2016 issue of Atlanta magazine. The Five Star award goes to wealth managers who satisfied 10 objective eligibility and evaluation requirements, identified by market-specific research. This is the fifth consecutive year Mr. Barker has made the list.

Drawing upon his prior safety training, Mr. Barker volunteers with WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students), an educational initiative of the National Center For Fathering. The program provides positive male role models for students and promotes safety in schools by reducing bullying.

Mr. Barker earned the Certified Wealth Strategist® (CWS®) industry designation administered by Cannon Financial Institute. He has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Science from Liberty University. He holds the Series 6, Series 63 and Series 65 registrations.

Adam Ledbetter, CFP® - Managing Associate


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Adam Ledbetter, CFP®, is a Managing Associate at Henssler Financial and provides comprehensive investment management and financial planning to clients. As a Managing Associate, Mr. Ledbetter provides comprehensive investment management and financial planning to clients. He also develops solutions for overarching planning issues, manages the Client Service Associates, and leads teams. Mr. Ledbetter began his career at Henssler in 2001 as an Assistant and was promoted to Associate in 2006. He has contributed numerous financial articles to the firm’s public educational archives. From 2012 to 2017, Mr. Ledbetter served as the firm’s Training Manager where he was responsible for developing the firm’s training program to accommodate technological changes and enhance both productivity and the quality of work for the firm. In August 2017, Mr. Ledbetter transitioned into the role of Managing Associate, focusing his development and optimization methods for the Planning & Implementation department in addition to creating and maintaining financial plans for his clients.

Mr. Ledbetter was named to the 2016 Atlanta Five Star Wealth Managers list included in the October 2016 issue of Atlanta magazine. The Five Star award goes to wealth managers who satisfied 10 objective eligibility and evaluation requirements, identified by market-specific research. This is the fourth consecutive year Mr. Ledbetter has made the list. 

Mr. Ledbetter received his Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in Finance, from Kennesaw State University. He holds the Series 6 and Series 63 registrations. Mr. Ledbetter is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificant.

K.C. Smith, CFP® - Managing Associate


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K.C. Smith, CFP®, is a Managing Associate at Henssler Financial. Mr. Smith’s responsibilities include managing client accounts on a day-to-day basis, analyzing client data and providing recommendations based on the firm's strict investment criteria. As a Managing Associate, Mr. Smith engages in initiating new business and works on overarching planning issues, in addition to managing staff and leading teams. He also contributes to “Money Talks,” the firm’s financial talk radio show.

After joining Henssler Financial as an intern, Mr. Smith accepted a full-time position in the Operations Department as an Assistant in 2008, assisting with trading and internal accounting. A year later, Mr. Smith transitioned into an Assistant position in the Planning & Implementation Department. He was promoted to Account Executive in 2011 where he maintained client files and updated financial plans. He was promoted to Associate in 2012 and became a Senior Associate in 2013. In 2016, he was promoted to Managing Associate.

Mr. Smith graduated from The Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. He earned his Master of Business Administration in Finance and Master of Business Administration in Personal Financial Planning from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. Mr. Smith holds the Series 6 and Series 63 registrations. Mr. Smith is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificant.

Shawna L. Theriault, C.P.A., CFP®, CDFA® - Managing Associate


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Shawna L. Theriault, C.P.A., CFP®, CDFA®, Ms. Theriault has more than 20 years of financial industry experience, including more than 13 years of experience working exclusively with high net worth individuals on tax, financial and estate planning matters. Ms. Theriault joined the firm in 2011 as an Associate. In October 2012, she was promoted to Managing Associate, where she engages in initiating new business, working on overarching planning issues, managing staff, and leading teams.

Ms. Theriault was named to the 2016 Atlanta Five Star Wealth Managers list included in the October 2016 issue of Atlanta magazine. The Five Star award goes to wealth managers who satisfied 10 objective eligibility and evaluation requirements, identified by market-specific research. This is the third consecutive year Ms. Theriault has made the list.

Prior to joining Henssler, she was an Associate and tax specialist at Homrich Berg in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Theriault spent several years at Charles Schwab and Schwab Institutional where she provided relationship management, investment research and product analysis to institutional clients and financial advisers.

Ms. Theriault earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration from Western Governors University. She is a Certified Public Accountant, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificant and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Professional. Ms. Theriault holds the FINRA Series 7 and Series 63 registrations.

C. Suzanne Lako 
- Senior Associate


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C. Suzanne Lako is a Senior Associate at Henssler Financial. Since joining the firm in 1995, her responsibilities include managing client accounts on a day-to-day basis, analyzing client data and providing recommendations based on the firm’s strict investment criteria. Ms. Lako develops and sustains client relationships through a hands-on approach to financial management.  Ms. Lako is also responsible for reviewing all client projections for accuracy and feasibility before the projections are presented to clients.

Ms. Lako received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Finance, from Kennesaw State University. She holds the Series 6, Series 63 and Series 65 registrations.

Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS® - Senior Associate


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Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, is a Senior Associate at Henssler Financial. Responsible for managing client accounts on a day-to-day basis, Mr. McKenzie analyzes client data and provides recommendations based on the firm's strict investment criteria. He also contributes to “Money Talks,” the firm’s financial talk radio show. He joined the firm in June 2013 as a Financial Planner, assisting with client cash flow projections, processing client information and client services support duties. Prior to joining Henssler, Mr. McKenzie was a Wealth Strategist at Acru Wealth and an Underwriter for American International Group, Inc.

Mr. McKenzie has earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Master of Business Administration from Kennesaw State University. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificant and has earned the Certified Wealth Strategist® (CWS®industry designation administered by Cannon Financial Institute. He holds the Series 6, Series 63 and Series 65 registrations.

Thomas C. Cole, CFP® - Associate


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Thomas C. Cole, CFP®, is an Associate at Henssler Financial. Mr. Cole joined the firm in 2011 as a Financial Planner in the Planning & Implementation Department. He was promoted to Associate in 2012, where his responsibilities include managing client accounts on a day-to-day basis, and working with clients to develop, implement and monitor their financial plan.

Mr. Cole was named to the 2016 Atlanta Five Star Wealth Managers list included in the October 2016 issue of Atlanta magazine. The Five Star award goes to wealth managers who satisfied 10 objective eligibility and evaluation requirements, identified by market-specific research. This is the third consecutive year Mr. Cole has made the list.

Prior to joining Henssler, Mr. Cole was Director of Operations & Marketing for Chappell, Mayfield & Associates, an Atlanta financial planning firm. Mr. Cole also spent several years at Prudential Financial in their financial planning unit. 

Mr. Cole earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Georgia. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificant, and holds the Series 6, Series 63 and Series 65 registrations.

Michael A. Griffin, CFP® - Associate


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Michael A. Griffin, CFP®, is an Associate at Henssler Financial. Mr. Griffin’s responsibilities include managing client accounts on a day-to-day basis, analyzing client data and providing recommendations based on the firm's strict investment criteria. Mr. Griffin joined the firm in 2007 as an Office Assistant. He has worked in both the Operations and Tax & Accounting departments. In 2010, Mr. Griffin joined the Planning & Implementation department as a Financial Planner, assisting with client cash flow projections, processing client information and client services support duties.

After earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Kennesaw State University, Mr. Griffin also completed the Financial Planner Program at Oglethorpe University.

Mr. Griffin is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificant and holds the Series 6 and Series 63 registrations.

Malik S. Lee, CFP® - Associate


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Malik S. Lee, CFP®, is an Associate at Henssler Financial. Mr. Lee’s responsibilities include managing client accounts on a day-to-day basis, analyzing client data and providing recommendations based on the firm's strict investment criteria. Mr. Lee joined the firm in August 2013 as a Financial Planner, bringing nearly seven years of experience in providing long-term financial strategies to clients. Mr. Lee merged his advisory firm, Felton & Peel Wealth Management, with Henssler Financial to allow him to focus his energies to better serve his clients.

After earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Morehouse College, Mr. Lee completed the Financial Planner Program at Oglethorpe University. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificant. He is currently enrolled in the American College of Financial Services’ Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® program. Mr. Lee holds the Series 7 and Series 66 registrations and is Life, Accident & Sickness and Variable Products Licensed.

Peter Lynch - Associate

  
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Peter A. Lynch is an Associate at Henssler Financial. Responsible for managing client accounts on a day-to-day basis, Mr. Lynch analyzes client data and provides recommendations based on the firm's strict investment criteria. Prior to joining Henssler, Mr. Lynch was a relationship Manager at Fidelity Brokerage Services Private Wealth Management and an Associate Financial Consultant with Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Mr. Lynch has earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. He holds the Series 7, Series 9, Series 10, Series 63, Series 65 and Series 66 registrations and is Georgia Life, Accident and Sickness Insurance Products Licensed.

B. Brandon Mackie, CFP® - Associate


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B. Brandon Mackie, CFP®, is an Associate at Henssler Financial. Mr. Mackie joined the firm in July 2015. His responsibilities include managing client accounts on a day-to-day basis, and working with clients to develop, implement and monitor their financial plan, helping them set goals for saving and implementing strategies for accumulating wealth.

Prior to joining Henssler Financial, Mr. Mackie worked as a Consultant in the Private Wealth Management division of SunTrust Banks, Inc. In this role he educated advisers and wealth teams on financial planning, specifically how to introduce and incorporate planning with their clients and into their practices. Mr. Mackie spent a decade trading securities, focusing primarily on corporate and municipal bonds.

Mr. Mackie earned a Bachelor of Science in Management from Tulane University. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificant, holds the Series 7, Series 63 and Series 66 registrations and is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA). In April 2013 Mr. Mackie was named as a Board Member of a local 501(c)(3) charity, A Community Effort, whose mission is to ease the non-medical financial burden that can overwhelm families caring for a chronically ill child.

Melanie E. Wells, CFP® - Associate


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Melanie E. Wells, CFP®, is an Associate at Henssler Financial. Ms. Wells’ responsibilities include managing client accounts on a day-to-day basis, analyzing client data and providing recommendations based on the firm's strict investment criteria. She joined the firm in 2011 as an Assistant in the Tax & Accounting division, and Operations, where she assisted with daily trading, processing daily fund information and assisting with compliance related tasks. In 2013, Ms. Wells moved to the Planning & Implementation department as a Financial Planner, assisting with client cash flow projections, processing client information and client services support duties.

Ms. Wells earned a Bachelor of Science in Family Consumer Sciences and Family Financial Planning from the University of Georgia. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificant.

Logan Daniel, CFP® , CRPC® -  Senior Financial Planner


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Logan Daniel, CFP®, CRPC®, is a Senior Financial Planner for Henssler Financial. His responsibilities include assisting with client cash flow projections, processing client information and client services support duties.

Prior to joining the firm in 2015, Mr. Daniel worked for more than two years at Allen Mooney & Barnes Investment Advisors in a position that included both financial advisory duties and supporting the Operation Dept. He assisted advisers in client portfolio management and serviced client accounts on a day-day basis.

Mr. Daniel earned a Bachelor of Science in Family Consumer Sciences and Family Financial Planning from the University of Georgia. He holds the Series 7, Series 66 and Series 24 registrations. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificant and a Chartered Retirement Plan Counselor℠. He is a member of the Financial Planning Association.

Zach Alexander - Financial Planner

 
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Zach Alexander works as a Financial Planner supporting Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®. His responsibilities include reviewing client asset allocations, assisting with client cash flow projections, processing client information and client services support duties.

Prior to joining the firm in 2015, Mr. Alexander worked as a Client Service Associate at Asset Advisors Group researching 401(k) compliance and enrolling plan participants. He was also an Advisor Assistant at AXA Advisors, entering and organizing client information, as well as assisting clients with issues, concerns or comments in regards to their current financial needs. He also has experience in tax preparation and refund allocation.

Mr. Alexander earned a Bachelor of Science in Family Financial Planning from the University of Georgia and is planning on sitting for the  CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ exam in March 2017. He holds the Series 6 and Series 63 registrations.

Kenny Duckett - Financial Planner


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Kenny Duckett works as a Financial Planner, supporting Managing Associate D. James Barker, CWS®. His responsibilities include assisting with client cash flow projections, processing client information and client services support duties.

Beginning his career at Henssler in 2014 as an Operations Assistant, he assisted with the daily execution of stock and mutual fund trading for the firm’s clients, in addition to working with the Research Department for optimal model performance. Mr. Duckett transitioned to the Planning & Implementation Department in early 2015. Prior to working at Henssler, Kenny served as the Pro Shop manager at Marietta Country Club.

Mr. Duckett earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Kennesaw State University.

Erica Martin - Financial Planner


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Erica Martin is a Financial Planner for Henssler Financial. Her responsibilities include assisting with client cash flow projections, processing client information and client services support duties. She joined the firm in January 2016 as a Client Service Associate supporting the firm’s Financial Planners and Associates.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Martin spent nearly seven years in the restaurant service industry, advancing to General Manager. Her responsibilities included coordinating inventory control initiatives, handling bookkeeping and account reconciliation, and enhancing customer loyalty by ensuring exceptional service.

Ms. Martin earned a Bachelor of Arts in French Studies from Kennesaw State University and is fluent in French.

Jimmy Thibault - Financial Planner

 
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Jimmy Thibault joined the firm in 2014 as a Financial Planner. His responsibilities include assisting with client cash flow projections, processing client information and client services support duties.

Mr. Thibault earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the Johnson and Wales University, Providence. He is a Certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor®. Mr. Thibault holds the Series 6 and Series 63 registrations.

Josh Weidie - Financial Planner


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Josh Weidie works as a Financial Planner supporting Associate Thomas C. Cole, CFP®, and Managing Associate, Shawna L Theriault, CFP®, C.P.A. His responsibilities include reviewing client asset allocation, assisting with client cash flow projections, processing client information and client services support duties.

Prior to joining Henssler, Mr. Weidie interned for Congressman Steven M. Palazzo, serving Mississippi’s fourth congressional district. In his role in Washington, Mr. Weidie assisted with constituent services, office administration and organization, schedule planning, drafting policy and form letters, and conducting research on a variety of policies.

Mr. Weidie earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Wake Forest University.

Drew G. Wilson - Client Service Associate


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Drew Wilson works as a Client Service Associate supporting the firm’s Financial Planners and Associates. His responsibilities include assisting the Planning & Implementation Department with preparing and processing forms and applications, and other clerical duties.

Prior to joining the firm Mr. Wilson worked as an Assistant Manager in the retail sector. Mr. Wilson earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance at the University of Georgia.

Trent Pearson - Client Service Associate

 
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Trent Pearson works as a Client Service Associate supporting the firm’s Financial Planners and Associates. His responsibilities include assisting the Planning & Implementation Department with preparing and processing forms and applications, and other clerical duties.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Pearson was certified by the Internal Revenue Service as a Voluntary Income Tax Assistant at the advanced level. While volunteering at Georgia United Credit Union, Mr. Pearson assisted low income members of the community with income tax returns. Additionally, he has extensive experience in higher collegiate athletics and is a four-year letterman of the University of Georgia football program. As a senior, Mr. Pearson was selected as Co-Head Student Equipment Manager for the 2013 – 2014 season.

Mr. Pearson earned a Bachelor of Science in Financial Planning and a minor in Sports Management from the University of Georgia. He was a member of the University of Georgia Student Financial Planning Association.