Business Weekly 40 under 40

Article by Megan Knowles | KPC News | March 15, 2019 

Employer: Self employed, Oak Partners


B.S. majoring in Economics and minoring in Mathematics, Manchester University

Community organizations: United Way of DeKalb County; Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival;

Junior Achievement; youth sports for football, basketball and baseball; my church

What are your hobbies? All kinds of games with my children, trap shooting, playing the original

“Halo” whenever I can squeeze it in

Why are you in northeast Indiana? It is simply the best place to live. I grew up in DeKalb

County and graduated from DeKalb High School. I wholeheartedly believe there is no better region

in the entire U.S.

What is it about your profession that you enjoy and why? As a financial advisor, I love

meeting with people. I look forward to meeting new people. I thrive on developing relationships.

I enjoy social interactions and providing financial comfort to my clients who are, for the most part,

hard- working Hoosiers who had to grind to get to where they are. I respect that and want to make

sure I am able to treat their hard-earned wealth with the care and respect they deserve.

What does success mean to you? When I am successful professionally, personally, as a coach or

whatever, it means I did it with my three pillars: honesty, humility and honor. That is what’s

important about success to me. Having success means I am able to continue to do what I want,

knowing I upheld the three pillars.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? As a child, I thought as a child and

acted as a child and had very little thoughts of growing up. Not until I was a young adult did I realize

I wanted to be a professional wrestler.

Where did your first paycheck come from and what was your job then? At the age of 12,

from my father who hired me to mow his office lawn. I had to create billing sheets and mail them to

him even though we lived together!

Who was your biggest supporter who helped you advance in your career? I would say

this is close to a three-way tie: My wife, my parents and my community. I would not be here without

the support of all three.

What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far in your career? When Mark

VandeVelde and I started our own investment and financial planning practice in February of 2015.

We have achieved success in short time and I believe it is because of how we operate and ties into

our belief that treating people right is both rewarding and awarding.

What has been your greatest mistake thus far and what lessons did you learn from it?

The self-applied stress we had during our first couple years of business. At times, our fear dominated

our faith. I am not perfect at this now, but I have definitely grown and become better at managing

fear and having more faith. Faith in God, ourselves, our clients and our business model.

What are your current professional goals? To be able to maintain our current growth

projections while always being as big of a part of my community as I am able. This balance is

absolutely essential for me.

How do you remain current/relevant in your profession? My business partner and

previous 40 Under 40 winner, Mark VandeVelde, does this very well. So, I rely on and usually mimic


How do you balance your career, family, life and community service? I’m not sure I do,

but I make sure my home calendar manager, my wife, frequently communicates with my work

calendar manager, our office manager Tina Blomeke.

What do you do to relax? I watch old wrestling videos with my two kids, who are 10 and 8. They

love the early 90’s WWF. I also relax when my wife is happy and laughing. So, anything that delivers

that I am game for!

What book do you recommend? “You Are Not So Smart” by David McRaney

Based on what you know now, what would you tell your high school self? I would be

worried about creating the time paradox that unravels the very fabric of the spacetime continuum

Doc Brown warned us about in “Back to the Future II.” But, I would try to get myself to buy stock in

a new company called Amazon. 

Article source: 

Sarina Harig