Advisory Team

Advisory Team

As our team has grown over the past four decades, our dedication to our client relationships and delivering uncommon results has not wavered. Every one of our advisors works with a limited number of clients, ensuring that they always have the time to build very real relationships with the people who count on us. Our focus is to deliver highly customized wealth management plans and investment portfolios to address unique needs. When we transitioned to the next generation of owners in 2006, we did not lose a single client due to the transition—a fact we believe is testament to our clients' satisfaction with the service we provide and the strength and expertise of our entire advisory team.

 

Jerald W. (Jerry) Yeager, JD - Chief Executive Officer

Jerald W. (Jerry) Yeager, JD
Chief Executive Officer

Jerry Yeager is the CEO of SYM Financial Advisors. In this role, he is focused on achieving successful outcomes for his clients as well as the SYM team serving the firm’s clients. Before coming to SYM, Jerry practiced law in Warsaw, Indiana, and Nashville, Tennessee, where he served individual and business clients in the areas of estate and tax planning, business law and planning for business ownership and management succession.

In 1997, Jerry joined SYM as Vice President of Financial Advisory Services. In addition to those duties, Jerry served on SYM’s Leadership Team and Operating Committee. In 2002, Jerry became COO and was promoted to CEO a year later by SYM’s outside Board of Directors. Driven by SYM’s foundational belief that financial needs are served best by a private, employee-owned firm focused on its clients, employees and the communities it serves, in 2006 Jerry led the senior management team to a successful buyout of the firm’s founding shareholders. Jerry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business systems from Taylor University in 1987 and a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University School of Law in 1990. Jerry is a member of the State Bar of Indiana.

Jerry most enjoys spending time with his wife, Michelle, and three boys. He also enjoys coaching youth sports. Jerry is active in his church, serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Kosciusko County Community Foundation, and served on the Advisor Services Advisory Board for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Rod Coleman, CFP®, MBA - President

Rod Coleman, CFP®, MBA
President

Rod Coleman oversees personal financial advisory services at SYM, including application of our portfolio management and wealth management services for our individual and institutional clients. Rod oversees SYM's broad offerings, including portfolio management, financial planning, estate planning, risk management, and insurance solutions for affluent families, and portfolio management and advisement for nonprofit organizations and group retirement plans.

Rod is a CFP® practitioner, and holds an MBA in investments and finance from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. He earned an undergraduate degree in economics from the United States Naval Academy, graduating with merit. Prior to joining SYM, Rod served nine years as a Naval Flight Officer in the F-14 Tomcat.

Rod serves as President of the Board for Midland County Council on Aging and serves on the Board of the Midland Area Community Foundation. He is active coaching youth soccer, and he and his family started a triathlon for children who live in and around Midland, Saginaw, and Bay City, Michigan.

George S. Wolfson - Senior Vice President & Chief Fixed Income Strategist

George S. Wolfson
Senior Vice President & Chief Fixed Income Strategist

George Wolfson joined SYM Financial Advisors in 2000 as a partner. His responsibilities include serving as Manager of the South Bend region and guiding clients as a Financial Advisor. George also sits on the Investment Committee.

George has worked in the financial services industry for more than thirty years with an extensive background in numerous areas of investment and financial management. His early career included ten years in brokerage and five years as Assistant Vice President, Investment and Trust Officer with Norwest Bank, where he was personally responsible for managing $400 million of client assets in fixed-income and equity portfolios.

Prior to joining SYM, George spent three years as a Vice President and Branch Manager of Charles Schwab & Company, where he managed the South Bend branch to national recognition in reaching numerous corporate goals. He also worked with Schwab Institutional, serving as a consultant to the investment advisory business where he was responsible for 125 institutional clients with assets totaling more than five billion dollars. George also served for several years as an adjunct faculty member at Indiana University South Bend, teaching investment and financial management. George received a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, concentrating in general studies, history and the liberal arts.

George has been married to his wife Colette for thirty years and has two grown children. Over the course of his career he has served on numerous boards in the arts, business, and socially minded areas.

Stephen C. Yeager, AIF®, MBA - Senior Vice President

Stephen C. Yeager, AIF®, MBA

Senior Vice President

Steve Yeager joined SYM Financial Advisors in 2000. As Senior Vice President, he leads the firm’s Qualified Plan Management offering, as well as its Marketing initiatives, and is an instrumental member on its Investment Committee. Steve carries the designation Accredited Investment Fiduciary, AIF®, one of the first professionals in Indiana to carry this title.

Steve earned an MBA from the College of William and Mary, and a BS in economics from the United States Naval Academy. Prior to joining SYM, Steve served ten years as a Naval Aviator, piloting the F-14 Tomcat. Steve resigned from the Navy in 2000 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Steve lives in Winona Lake with his wife, Megan, and their six children. He is active in the local community, most notably coaching youth sports, and he has been a longtime assistant coach for Warsaw’s varsity football program.

Crystal L. Creekmore, RP®, MBA - Vice President, Operations / Chief Compliance Officer

Crystal L. Creekmore, RP®, MBA
  Vice President, Operations / Chief Compliance Officer

As Vice President, Operations, Crystal Creekmore is responsible for guiding SYM’s operational initiatives from visioning to implementation. She manages SYM’s Service Team and is responsible for meeting staffing goals to ensure each SYM client is directly cared for by a team of dedicated professionals.

Crystal’s focus on providing best-in-class client service is contagious, and her enthusiasm for helping clients protect and grow their wealth is fundamental to developing a Client Service Team that instills trust and confidence in SYM’s clients. SYM clients routinely comment on their happiness with the knowledgeable, courteous, and expeditious work they enjoy from their SYM Service Team. Crystal joined SYM Financial Advisors in 2000. She earned her MBA from Indiana University, a Registered Paraplanner designation from the College for Financial Planning, and a Bachelor of Science degree in business, also from Indiana University.

Crystal is active in the community and, along with her husband Wes, enjoys spending time with family and friends.

R. Seth Whicker, CFP®, MS - Vice President

R. Seth Whicker, CFP®, MS
Vice President

Seth has twenty-three years of experience in the financial services industry. In his role as Vice President, Seth provides leadership to a select group of clients while assisting in the guidance of SYM’s investing initiatives, from creation to implementation. Seth is a member of SYM’s Investment and Marketing committees, and his experience brings key insight in the area of Business Development.

Prior to joining SYM Financial Advisors, Seth spent ten years as the Chief Investment Officer for a local financial services firm. Seth is a CFP® practitioner, in addition to holding master's degrees in financial analysis and financial planning. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Ball State University.

Seth and his wife Cari have three children. Seth currently serves as Board Chairman for Pathfinder Services and Wells County EMS, board member of Huntington County Foundation, and on the Investment Committee of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Seth is also an elected official on the Wells County Council. He remains involved in Junior Achievement and enjoys tennis, golf, and coaching his children’s various sports.

Thomas R. Ackmann, BA - Vice President

Thomas R. Ackmann, BA
Vice President

Tom Ackmann joined SYM Financial Advisors in 2011 as a Financial Advisor. He brings more than twenty years of expertise to this position and will focus on leading clients with their 401(k) retirement-plan design and tax-reduction strategies.

Tom graduated cum laude from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications. He is a former member of the Fort Wayne Estate Planning Council and a frequent speaker on a variety of pension issues. Prior to joining SYM, Tom was the top officer with a highly regarded TPA firm where he managed the design and administration of more than 1,300 retirement plans.

Tom lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with his wife, Jen, and two daughters. He is a member of the board of directors for the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. Tom is also active in his church and makes time to coach youth sports.

Fred Helfrich, BA, CFP® - Vice President

Fred Helfrich, BA, CFP®
Vice President

Fred Helfrich joined SYM Financial Advisors in 1981. For more than 30 years he has lent his expertise to guiding clients through the varied aspects of their wealth management and financial planning efforts.

Fred is a CFP® practitioner, and earned his degree in Mathematics from Hanover College. Prior to joining SYM, Fred held various positions in the financial services and retail fashion industry.

Fred and his wife Jo have four children and four grandchildren. He is active locally with Warsaw Community Church and the KCVelo Bike Club. An avid cyclist, Fred is heavily involved in the local bicycling/pedestrian advocacy effort. In his spare time, he enjoys working on home projects.

Rick Harrison, MBA - Vice President

Rick Harrison, MBA
Vice President

Richard Harrison joined SYM in May of 2013, serving as Senior Financial Advisor for the Indianapolis area.

Rick brings to SYM more than 25 years of experience in the investment management and trust industry. Most recently serving as Senior Vice President for a large trust company, with responsibility for managing the Indianapolis office, as well as offices located in Kansas and California.

Rick holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance from Indiana University Kelley School of Business, in addition to an MBA with honors from the University of Indianapolis. He is also a graduate of the ABA Graduate Trust School at Northwestern University.

Rick currently serves on the board of directors for the Carmel Symphony Orchestra, Holy Cross Lutheran Church Foundation and the Kairos Prison Ministry Advisory Council for Pendleton Correctional Industrial Facility. Rick was active in the Epilepsy Foundation of Indiana, as both a Board member and Treasurer, served on the Holy Cross Lutheran Church Finance Committee, the Ronald McDonald House of Indiana Planned Giving Committee, and is a past President of Central Indiana Corporate Fiduciaries. Rick has also served on teams for The Great Banquet and Kairos Prison Ministry.

Rick, his wife Jennifer and their two daughters reside in Indianapolis, where they are active members of Holy Cross Lutheran Church. He is an avid fan of Indiana University basketball, the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Cubs.

Andy Popenfoose, CFA®, MS, MBA- Chief Investment Officer

Andy Popenfoose, CFA®, MS, MBA
Chief Investment Officer

Andy joined SYM Financial in January of 2014. Most recently, he lectured courses in investments and portfolio management at Loyola University Chicago's Quinlan School of Business, the 17th-ranked undergraduate finance program in the country. (Per U.S. News and World Report)

Andy brings to the firm a wealth of experience in analytical finance and portfolio modeling. He has contributed research to expert testimonies heard by congressional boards and in several of our nation's largest financial court cases. Andy is also an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, holds a Bachelor of Science in Management and a Master of Science in Finance from Purdue University, in addition to a Master of Business Administration from Winthrop University. Andy has earned the CFA charter, one of the most demanding credentials in the investment industry.

Mary Pat Latowski - Financial Advisor

Mary Pat Latowski
Financial Advisor

Mary Pat has been with SYM Financial Advisors since 2000. Her background in managing trusts, estates, guardianships, and charitable foundations, as well as her experience in retirement planning, supports her efforts as she works with clients in the areas of financial planning as the firm's Compliance Director.

Mary Pat earned an associate's degree from Holy Cross College, and a paralegal degree from Indiana University South Bend. In service to the community, she currently serves as a member of the Investment Committee for the LaSalle Council of the Boy Scouts of America, serves as President of the Board of Directors for the South Bend Museum of Art, a board member of Goodwill LEADS, Inc., and is a member and past president of the Michiana Economic Club. A native of South Bend, she has four grown sons and six grandchildren, is an avid sports fan, amateur genealogist, and enjoys reading history, biographies, and literature.

Jonathan Hueftle - Financial Advisor

Jonathan Hueftle
Financial Advisor

Jonathan joined SYM Financial Advisors in 2000 as a Financial Advisor, meeting with clients to better understand their financial needs and bring SYM's best thinking to their financial lives. Jonathan manages investment portfolios, and brings SYM's services to new clients through client referrals and networking with other financial professionals.

Jonathan and his wife, Dana, have two young boys and enjoy opportunities to coach, play sports with the boys, and find ways to use music to serve their church and other organizations.

Nick Gray - Retirement Plan Advisor

Nick Gray
Retirement Plan Advisor

Nick joined SYM in October of 2012 as a Retirement Plan Advisor. He has nineteen years of experience working with qualified plans, and strives to focus on helping individuals and companies plan and save for retirement.

Nick has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the School of Management and Business at Purdue University. His focus on service to plan sponsors and education to participants was key in one of his clients earning the prestigious 2012 Plan Sponsor of the Year Award from PlanSponsor Magazine.

Nick and his wife Ann have five children and enjoy being very involved in their church and the Fort Wayne area community.

Kristin Whitacre, CFP® - Financial Advisor

Kristin Whitacre, CFP®
Financial Advisor

Kristin joined the firm in 2012, bringing three and a half years of strong wealth management experience to our team. Prior to joining SYM, she served as a wealth manager at a wealth management firm in Minneapolis, where she gained experience in asset protection, disability, and income protection, tax planning, debt management, and estate planning. Kristin earned a bachelor's degree in financial counseling and planning from Purdue University and is a CFP® practitioner.

Kristin, her husband Dillon, and their twin daughters enjoy boating, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Brad Duling, CFP® - Financial Advisor

Brad Duling, CFP®
Financial Advisor

Brad joined SYM Financial Advisors in January of 2011. Prior to joining SYM he served over six years with a Registered Investment Advisor in progressively advanced roles including financial planning, trading and client service. Brad earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Central Michigan University, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and is a CFP® practitioner. Brad also serves as a Board member of the Northeastern Michigan Estate Planning Council, the Midland Noon Rotary Club and is a member of the Board of Directors of Midland’s Open Door Crisis Shelters and Soup Kitchen

Brad and his wife Mandy reside in Midland, MI with their four children. He enjoys spending time with family, golf, time outdoors and traveling.

Sarah Delahanty, CFP®, MBA  - Financial Advisor

Sarah Delahanty, CFP®, MBA 

Financial Advisor

Sarah Delahanty joined SYM in 2011 and specializes in financial planning serving a select group of clients with her team. Sarah’s main focus is helping clients simplify their financial lives through a comprehensive approach of investment management, cash flow analysis and overall financial risk review. Sarah is also integral in the marketing and planning of SYM’s Michigan presence.

Sarah is a Certified CFP® practitioner and holds a Masters in Business Administration from the DeVos Graduate School of Management at Northwood University. Sarah and her husband, Chris, enjoy being part of the community. Sarah serves as a member of the United Way Community Investment Committee and is a member of the Midland Zonta Club. She enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including running and cycling while spending as much time as possible with family and friends.

Jonathan Slocum, CFP®  - Financial Advisor

Jonathan Slocum, CFP®
Financial Advisor

Jonathan joined SYM Financial Advisors in July of 2012. Prior to joining SYM, he served for twelve years as Financial Services and Internet Sales Manager for a local auto dealership. Jonathan currently serves corporate executives, retirees and individuals, and continues to lead the client service team for SYM.

Jonathan is a CFP® practitioner and graduated Cum Laude from William Tyndale College, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. Jonathan and his wife, Lindsay, have three children and are active in Warsaw Community Church where he serves on the technical team. He also enjoys coaching youth sports, spending time at the lake with his family, and golf.

Jamie Mitchell - Retirement Plan Advisor

Jamie Mitchell
Retirement Plan Advisor

Jamie Mitchell joined SYM in 2015 in the role of Retirement Plan Advisor.  Jamie brings with her a wide range of experience in advisory, accounting, and oversight roles in the retirement services industry, and holds a degree from the International Business College of Fort Wayne. In her role with SYM, Jamie works to provide support and guidance to SYM’s qualified plan clients, throughout the region and within a team framework. 

A lifelong resident of Fort Wayne, Jamie, along with her husband, Steve, is actively involved with the Mustard Seed Furniture Bank. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three adult children, golfing, and following the NFL.

Paul Dornbier, CFA® - Financial Advisor / Investment Analyst

Paul Dornbier, CFA®
Financial Advisor

SYM welcomed Paul Dornbier to the team in August 2015 as a Financial Advisor. Paul has a strong professional background in investment consulting, research, and performance analysis, most recently as Head of U.S. Value Equity Manager Research for a Chicago-based firm.  He holds a BBA degree from the University of Iowa, where he graduated with double majors in finance and economics and an international business certificate, and is a CFA.

Paul and his wife Brianna make their home in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Michelle Hipskind, - Associate Advisor

Michelle Hipskind
Associate Advisor

Michelle joined SYM in 2016, transitioning from both advisory and marketing roles in investment management. She brings 23 years of experience in various elements of the financial service industry. A Fort Wayne native, Michelle currently serves in a leadership role with the board of directors for Wellspring Interfaith Social Service, and previously as a board member with HOPE for Animals and Allen County SPCA. .

In her role as Associate Advisor, Michelle brings a particular aptitude for working with clients at retirement age as well as women who find themselves “in the drivers’ seat” in their financial relationships. Moving to SYM, Michelle said she was motivated by the interaction she witnessed between the people at SYM. “The tagline [Uncommon Relationships. Uncommon Results.] is true. Clearly, people like each other and like working here. They also authentically like the people they serve, and that has to be good for the clients.”