Our Team


Tim SullivanFounder and CEO

Tim decided to venture into the independent Insurance market and start his own company. He formed Strategic Wealth Advisors Group, Inc. He has a passion for his profession that is evident to everyone he meets. When creating Strategic Wealth Advisors Group, Inc, his mission was to provide personalized, high quality financial services for a diverse group of clients at all income levels. His goal is to provide his clients with the highest level of customer service and dedicate his resources to meet their needs and earn their trust. He creates personalized plans aimed at helping his clients reach their financial and retirement goals. Tim is also the author of a book titled: STRATEGIC WEALTH: A Tactical and Practical Guide To Winning In Retirement.

As representative financial professional, his credentials include Michigan Life and Health Insurance licenses, and a Series 65 securities license. He also has his Insurance Licenses in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas.

Tim has achieved the National Social Security Advisor certificate from the National Social Security Association LLC in Cincinnati, Ohio. The NSSA certificate promotes advanced Social Security education providing Tim with the knowledge to counsel clients on how to claim Social Security benefits to help to optimize lifetime Social Security income.

Tim has also earned the Chartered Federal Employee Benefit Consultant (ChFEBC) designation and is a specialist in dealing with US Government employee benefits and planning options.

Nothing is more important to Tim than his family. His children mean the world to him. In addition to spending time with his two children, you can frequently find Tim exercising at the gym. Other hobbies include playing golf, softball, watching his kids play their sports and traveling with his family.

Tim used to host a radio show called “Financially Tuned” which aired on Sundays at 3pm on WDTK 101.5 FM and 1400 AM out of Detroit, MI. You can now listen to his podcast called “Strategically Planning The Road To Your Retirement” on iTunes, Google Plan and Spotify.


David HeimFinancial Advisor

David Heim has been helping people since 1989 as a financial representative reach their retirement and investment objectives. He obtained a Finance Degree with an emphasis in Investments from Missouri State University while playing football and obtaining All-American honors. David is currently licensed in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. He also holds a Series 65 securities license as an Investment Advisor Representative.


Shelby Green – Executive Assistant

Shelby oversees the office staff to ensure a seamless client experience from the moment they hear about Strategic Wealth. She continually strives to determine new ideas and processes to provide the most expectional care to our clients while maintaining the fiduciary responsibility. Shelby is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication. Recently relocated to Michigan from Colorado, Shelby enjoys hiking, camping and exploring Michigan.


Melissa O’Neill – Case Design Specialist

Melissa provides exceptional service to ensure our clients receive the most detailed, complete and accurate advice while maintainging the fiduciary responsibility. She is in direct contact with our clients on a day to day basis to provide the best support possible. Melissa graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. She loves spending time with her four children and watching them play baseball. She is active in her children’s school by volunteering and helping with their activities. Melissa also enjoys art, running and going to the movies.


Terri Swinburnson – Client Service Specialist

Terri’s area of focus is getting to know our clients’ needs and to guide them through the most important decisions they make for their future . Her main responsibility is cultivating long lasting relationships with Strategic Wealth clients to ensure they receive the highest quality customer service because they deserve nothing less! Terri is a graduate of Central Michigan University where she received a bachelors of science in Corporate Finance. When not at work Terri enjoys spending her time with her husband and three kids.


Nichole Pierce – Office Assistant

Nichole assists the office staff in day to day tasks to ensure we provide the best client experience. She is more behind the scenes but without her, we wouldn’t be able to function efficiently and effectively! When not at the office you can find her at the gym or cheering on one of her three kids at one of their many sporting events. Nichole also loves to read, travel, and cycle.


Kenneth Schwartz

Kenneth has been married to his high school sweetheart Julie for 11 years. They have two children; son Jack, and daughter Makenna. Kenneth became interested in wealth building after he got married. The idea that the little guy just can’t get ahead really bothered him. His goal is to prove that line of thinking is wrong. He is helping one family at a time live out their retirement dreams.


Strategic Alliances

 

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Michael Ayoub
Owner of Cranbrook Loans / Mortgage Specialist

Michael Ayoub has been in the mortgage business since 1992. He takes great care in going the extra mile for his clients.

Over the decades, Michael Ayoub has advised over a thousand families on how to purchase and refinance their homes. The majority of his business comes from repeat clients, client referrals, and realtor referrals.

How do you know who will best help you through the loan process with honesty and integrity? Michael’s attention to detail makes complex transactions effortless, and his customers appreciate his honest and straightforward approach. In addition, Michael will help you discover how your mortgage can be a valuable financial tool which can provide your family with security and wealth!

Michael’s goal is to keep his clients for life. Integrity and trust are very important to him. He stays in touch with them throughout the loan process and follows up diligently. Michael is an expert in conventional, jumbo, VA, FHA and USDA financing as well as first time buyer programs.

Michael is a family man, he has been with his wife Jennifer for over 23 years and he is the father of Nate, his 12 year old son. Michael was born and raised in Michigan. When he isn’t working, he likes going to exercise, camp, watch Movies, and spend time with his wife and son.

Now, more than ever, you need a mortgage specialist who will work in your best interest when you make one of the biggest decisions of your life. In Michael’s words, “My clients think about home purchases a few times in their life – I live it every single day! Let me utilize my decades of experience to help you accomplish the best possible outcome.”


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Jasmine Moore
Estate Planning Attorney

In May 2014, Jasmine Moore graduated from the James Madison College at Michigan State University with a Bachelors Degree in Social Relations and Policy and a Business Cognate. Following graduation, she was admitted to Wayne State Law School as a Damon J. Keith Scholars. While in Law School she took a leadership position with the Detroit Spartans Alumni Organization as the Community Service Chair promoting quarterly service projects. Jasmine kept busy while in Law School to gain experience. She has experience as a Summer Associate at Miller Canfield PLC, as an intern at the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan, as an intern at the Federal Defenders Office, as an intern in the Office of General Counsel at Mercedes Benz Financial Services, as an intern at the City of Detroit Law Department, and as a contractor in HIPAA Compliance at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Jasmine graduated in May 2017 at the top third of her class, passed the July 2017 Bar Exam and is now a licensed attorney in Michigan. Upon becoming licensed, she began her career in Civil Defense Litigation at Hewson & Van Hellemont. She is currently employed as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.

Jasmine is excited to work with you regarding your estate planning needs such as Trusts and Wills.


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Dustin Leonard
Vice President of Marketing
Gradient Insurance Brokerage, Inc.

Dustin graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology. Having a natural financial mindset and an affinity for working with people, he immediately accepted a position with Personalized Brokerage Services to partner with independent financial advisors. While there, he had many opportunities to learn the industry and serve in key roles such as: Vice President of Life Insurance Division and Annuity Sales Director. He has held a Life and Health license as well as 6 and 63 registrations. Dustin was also among the first 14 employees to join Independent Brokerage Services, the firm now known as Gradient Financial Group.

Faith and Family is the cornerstone of Dustin’s life. After a productive day at the office, he is thrilled to come home to his lovely wife of 11 years (Jenny) and two beautiful children (Jaden & Ava). He spends much of his free time coaching Jaden’s baseball team and love’s to watch Ava dance. He and Jenny remain very active in the kids’ school and have been blessed to be able to contribute time and energy toward giving back to the Topeka community. For recreation, Dustin enjoys hunting, fishing and outdoor sports in general.


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Brady Black
Vice President of Marketing
Gradient Insurance Brokerage, Inc.

Brady Black professionally consults successful, independent agents and advisors in the financial services arena. He has been recognized for excellence in sales production in multiple fields over the past decade and has spent the last four years as Vice President of Marketing with Gradient Financial Group. During this time he has established business relationships with industry leading professionals, represents top insurance carriers and is valued as a tremendous asset to Gradient’s organization.

Studying finance at the University of Missouri afforded Brady a firm foundation of financial insight on which to build his career. His primary area of focus is in helping advisors understand and explain proper asset allocation in an ever-changing marketplace. As a relationship driven individual, Brady thoroughly enjoys getting to know people on a professional and personal level. He is interested in investing the time and effort required to help his clients develop a comprehensive sales approach and build a flourishing long-term financial practice.

Outside of work, Brady enjoys fathering his three children and nurturing a flourishing marriage with his wife Brooke. Brady finds his significance and success through a vision of four pillars in the following order: faith, family, friendships, and fortune. He eagerly awaits the opportunities of every day and prides himself on the daily and lifelong impressions of those he is able to come into contact with.


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Jacob Hamilton
Vice President of Life Insurance Marketing
Gradient Insurance Brokerage, Inc.

Jacob graduated from Kansas State University earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and majoring in Finance. Directly after college he accepted a position at CoreFirst Bank and Trust as a personal banker where he began his career helping businesses and individuals realize their financial goals.

In 2010 he was recruited to Gradient Insurance Brokerage and Jacob began working with a growing life insurance team as a marketing representative. He has developed very meaningful business relationships with core life insurance carriers and continues to grow in his knowledge of products and concepts. He currently holds a life and health insurance license in the state of Kansas.

Jacob is now engaged to his lovely fiancé, Keelei and the two have plans to marry in May of 2015. Jacob enjoys an active lifestyle and loves to golf, play tennis, wakeboard and (although a native of Topeka, KS) enjoys snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains.


Gradient Investments, LLC Team

 

mikeMichael Binger, CFA®
Senior Portfolio Manager of Gradient Investments, LLC

Michael Binger, CFA®, serves as the senior portfolio manager for Gradient Investments, LLC. Binger brings over 24 years of institutional equity investment experience to Gradient Investments and its affiliated advisors and clients. He has extensive experience working directly with financial advisors designing and actively managing portfolios. Binger has successfully invested in numerous market and economic cycles giving him a level and depth of experience that is rare in this industry.

Binger started his investment career in Minneapolis, Minnesota with Lutheran Brotherhood in 1987 and gained experience managing assets in a variety of asset classes including convertible bonds, small cap equities, and large cap equities. When Lutheran Brotherhood and Aid Association for Lutherans merged in 2001 to become Thrivent Financial, Binger was selected to work as the senior portfolio manager on the Large Cap Growth team and Large Cap Alpha Team managing over $3 billion in assets. As the senior portfolio manager, he developed and oversaw the tactical investment strategies utilized within mutual funds, variable annuities, pension funds and insurance company products. These investment processes included proprietary portfolio construction strategies, security selection parameters and volatility controlled umbrellas.

Binger graduated from the University of Minnesota earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Finance. He graduated with honors and was the University of Minnesota’s “Wall Street Journal Award Winner.” Binger is a CFA® and a member of The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute and the Twin Cities Society of Security Analysts.

Binger’s media highlights include numerous appearances, providing market insight on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg Radio. He has also been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Smart Money, Reuters, Business Week and numerous other local, national, and global investment publications.


wayneWayne Schmidt, CFA®
Chief Investment Officer of Gradient Investments, LLC

In October 2008, Wayne Schmidt joined Gradient Investments, LLC and serves as Chief Investment Officer. With 26 years of investment experience, Wayne brings decades of institutional experience and in-depth knowledge of the private client market to Gradient Investments, and offers a global investment management perspective.

Wayne is an invaluable and direct resource for affiliated investment advisors and their clients. He provides vast wisdom, knowledge, experience and tools to help investment advisors grow their practice, while also growing clients’ assets.

In a nationwide search that included acquisition considerations, AXA Investment Managers, a subsidiary of the European insurance giant AXA Group, handpicked Wayne to build their U.S investment grade fixed income capabilities and to lead a seasoned portfolio team located in St. Paul, Minnesota.

During his tenure at AXA Investment Managers, Wayne served as senior portfolio manager for the U.S. Investment Grade Fixed Income Team. As the lead portfolio manager, he managed $9.5 billion of fixed income assets with a variety of mandates ranging from aggregate, corporate and government bond portfolios.

Before joining AXA Investment Managers, Wayne dedicated over 20 years to Minnesota Life and its’ $14 billion investment arm, Advantus Capital Management. As portfolio manager, he managed a variety of high-grade funds as part of Advantus’s $1.8 billion Total Return Product for institutional and retail clients. He also served as the lead portfolio manager of the Advantus Bond Fund and the co-portfolio manager of the Advantus Spectrum Fund.

Wayne earned his Master of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst® and a member of The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute and the Twin Cities Society of Security Analysts.

Over the years, Wayne has been quoted on the global economy in numerous nationally and internationally recognized investment publications such as: Bloomberg, Pension & Investments, Reuters, The Los Angeles Times, Financial Week (2008 Neal Award Winner), Asia Times, InvestorVillage, Safehaven, SFO, Credit Investment News and RGE Monitor (Nouriel Roubini’s Global EconoMonitorinvestment). He has also provided market insights on Bloomberg radio and television.

Wayne’s love of Minnesota is Gradient Investments’ great fortune, as he declined to relocate with AXA Investment Managers following their strategic decision to consolidate function into the high-yield operation in Greenwich, Connecticut.


Mariann Montagne, CFA®
Senior Investment Analyst of Gradient Investments, LLC

Mariann Montagne, CFA® serves as a senior investment analyst for Gradient Investments, LLC. She has 20 plus years of experience working with both institutional and high net worth clients, and has amassed a strong breadth of investment experience during her tenure. This includes company and industry sector analysis, risk monitoring and portfolio management in both the equity and fixed income markets. She is highly attuned to economic and market conditions, and has extensive experience selecting individual stocks, ETFs and mutual funds.

Prior to joining Gradient Investments, she was the senior investment analyst and co-portfolio manager for a Minneapolis-based registered investment advisor with over $500 million in assets under management. Montagne was involved in security selection, portfolio management, client presentations and setting strategic direction for the investment department. Her coverage included individual securities, ETFs and mutual funds in the equity, fixed income and alternative asset classes. Prior to that, she was a senior investment analyst at Thrivent Asset Management, examining industry sectors and selecting individual equities. Montagne also spent several years at Munder Capital Management as the assistant director of research along with covering growth and value equities.

Montagne served for seven years on the Global Board of the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY), including posts as president and conference chair.

She is a Chartered Financial AnalystTM and a member of both the CFA Society of Minnesota and the CFA Institute. Montagne is an alumnus of the University of Detroit where she graduated cum laude with a finance major and an English minor.

Montagne’s media highlights include quotes in Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, NPR, Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on Bloomberg TV and Fox Business News.