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.