Firm Happenings

Summer Internship Offers Inside Look at The Center

 The summer months provide the perfect opportunity for college students aiming for a career in the financial services industry to shadow some of our knowledgeable team members. We seek out eager learners who work independently and are able to multi-task. We found the perfect candidate in Nick Boguth. This summer he is working primarily with the Investment and Financial Planning Departments. While doing research projects, mutual fund performance reporting, and database updates, he is getting invaluable access to our culture and operation.

Nick Boguth: University of Michigan

A double major in economics and statistics at U of M, Nick Boguth was a natural fit for our team. Nick starts his senior year this fall. Next year he plans on finding a job in the financial services industry and pursuing either the CFA or CFP designation. When hunting for the right internship placement, Nick says he did his homework.

 I researched The Center and it seemed like an established company with similar values to mine, and I knew that I would have a great experience over the 4 months of summer.”

As for his dream job, well, Nick says he’s still deciding whether he wants to focus more on the advising part of the industry or the investment side.

Celebrating our Team

 Three of our team members can boast a combined tenure with The Center of nearly 40 years! We think it says something about our great culture and these three ladies are a very important part of it. Partner Melissa Joy, CFP® joined our team 15 years ago and Partner Sandy Adams, CFP® has been here for 18 years. Jaclyn Jackson, our Research Associate, became part of The Center family 6 years ago. We couldn’t provide the kind of service for our clients without the commitment of these three. Congratulations Melissa, Sandy and Jaclyn and here’s to many more Centerversaries!


Catching up with our intern alum

 By the time an intern leaves at the end of the summer, it feels like we’re sending one of
our own back to college. It’s always hard to say good-bye but we love to brag about what they’ve
accomplished since interning with us.

Kyle Branda was part of our program in 2012 and 2013 and has since graduated. Kyle now works as a
Customer Claims Processor at Dart Container. While interning with us, Kyle says he was impressed
with how he was treated as a valued and respected coworker.

As an intern, not only do you have the opportunity to learn about financial planning, but there is also a focus on personal development. To me this speaks volumes about The Center. It shows that, not only do they care about what is currently going on, but they are also focused on the future and seeking to continually push one to improve.”

This fall Kyle begins his first year as a grad student at Grand Valley State University where he’ll
be pursuing a Masters of Science in Accounting.

Zach Gould interned with us in 2013 and went on to graduate from the University of South Carolina
in May. He majored in finance and international business. Zach is now a District Manager at Aldi
where he’s developing leadership skills and managing millions of dollars in business. Zach says his
summer at The Center really paid off.

Although I did not accept a position in the financial services industry, the experience I gained at The Center groomed my ability to interact with clients and my ability to independently think and solve problems, applicable skills across any industry."

Our intern coordinator Jaclyn Jackson is always looking forward to our next crop of interns. Help
us spread the word to qualified college students you know. Jaclyn can be reached by email or you call our office for more information on internships at The Center.


Team Members Mark Milestones

 Founded in 1985, The Center is celebrating our 29th year! Our success and longevity would not be possible without the support from our team members.

It is with warm appreciation that we acknowledge all of our team members’ Centerversaries! Congratulations to those who joined our team in July! In the words of Matt Trujillo, “Time flies when you’re having fun!”

Client Service Manager Jennie Bauder is the veteran of our July hires, marking 11 years with the team. Gerri Harmer, a Client Service Associate celebrates 7 years with us  “Wow – lucky seven!” Gerri says. “That’s exactly how I feel, lucky. Lucky to work with a great team with great values.”

We’re also honoring a trio of relative newbies. Nick Defenthaler, Kali Hassinger and Matt Trujillo all joined The Center last July. Nick and Matt are both Associate Financial Planners and Kali works as a Client Service Associate. After a year with us, Kali says, “I’ve learned so much in 12 months, and I’m excited to see what the next 12 months will hold!  Thank you to The Center team and family for being so welcoming.”

Center sends team to Raymond James National Conference

If you think conference = boring, then you’re missing out on the way the Center for Financial Planning team does a conference. From our office of 18, we took 15 team members to the National Raymond James Conference in Washington, DC from May 19th through the 22nd. Someone had to stay behind and answer the phones! Aside from some intensely fun team bonding activities, the conference offered an eclectic mix of sessions with one overarching focus – making a difference in our clients’ financial lives.

From investment and market trends to client service refreshers, everyone on the team learned something new to bring back to the office.  We also heard about some exciting updates that are in the works from Raymond James (including electronic signatures!) and we are looking forward to their introduction in the near future.  We also used this opportunity to learn from and share with other top financial planning firms.  Bettering ourselves, our team, and our processes are never ending goals for The Center. 

It was great to spend some time outside of the office and we came back reinvigorated and ready to implement what we learned.  We also want to thank our clients for being so patient and supportive while our skeleton crew worked so hard in the office that week!

We’re Moving to a New Office July 1st!

 If you have not already heard, the Center is moving closer to you! While our address will look significantly different, we are actually only moving two buildings to the east. You will still use the same entrance off of Telegraph Road that you currently do to get to us. Front of the office park, here we come! We’ll be closer to Telegraph Road so, indeed, closer to everyone!

Moving day is scheduled for July 1st.

Our new address will be 24800 Denso Drive, Suite 300 Southfield, MI 48033

We are really excited and proud of our new office and can’t wait for you to see it for yourself. Melissa Joy, CFP® and Laurie Renchik, CFP®, MBA have taken the lead the last few months on the design of our new space, making sure that it is perfect for both our clients and our team members. We will be increasing our square footage to better serve you, our clients, as well as to provide a productive new environment for our team members. Our new home will have a modern and rejuvenating atmosphere that radiates our Center personality. The conference rooms will be more spacious and include updated furniture, new technologies, and a great third floor view with floor to ceiling windows, giving it loads of natural light. Further into the office, you will find our new Center Café which further promotes our dedication to being a healthy workplace. We envision our team members putting the new break room to good use, both for eating lunch and having quick internal meetings at the large high-top tables or the more private booths. The new office also includes a private quiet area, where our team-members can rejuvenate, read, or brainstorm, providing support for creativity and relaxation. With all our added space, we have more room to hold client meetings as well as future client events. Plan on seeing it for yourself at one of our Open Houses in the coming months.

Other than you needing to remember where we are the next time you come for a visit, our move shouldn’t even be a blip on your service radar. We will be reachable by the office telephone number throughout the moving process. While the movers do the heavy lifting, we will be doing what we do best, serving the needs of our clients without missing a beat. Anyone who has been through a move knows that there is a certain amount of organized chaos, but we are working hard to make the transition absolutely seamless for you. You can keep up with our move progress on our Center Facebook page and Center Website where we’ll be posting the latest updates, announcements, and photos of the new office renovation. See you soon on Denso Drive!

Matthew Trujillo earns CFP®


He’s put in a lot of hard work and we are now excited to announce Associate Financial Planner Matt Trujillo’s diligence has paid off. Matt passed his certification exam and has earned the designation of a Certified Financial Planner®. According to the CFP® Board, the designation is for individuals who meet rigorous professional standards and agree to adhere to the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence when dealing with clients. We have no doubt he will do all that and more!

In typical Matt fashion, he put all the hard work into perspective.

Two years of classes, 3 months of intense study, a 2 day/10 hour exam, and all I get is three letters on my business card? Seriously, I’m very happy and excited to join the ranks of those that proudly carry the marks and call themselves Certified Financial Planners®.”


Happy Centerversary to Jen Hackmann


The Center celebrates its 29th year! Founded in 1985, our success and longevity would not be possible without the support from our team members.

It is with warm appreciation that we honor Jen Hackmann, RP who celebrates her 13th Centerversary at the end of March. Congratulations! Jen took a minute to put her thoughts into words, "What a great 13 years it has been! Great co-workers, fantastic clients, what more could one ask for?"


Newest Team Member Already Calling Us Family

 There are a lot of things that wouldn’t get done around here without an Office Manager. That’s why we’re more than thrilled to welcome our newest staff member Nancy Sechrist to The Center team. Nancy joined us on February 3rd and after a few weeks, we’re happy to report that it looks like she’ll stick around for a while! In fact, when asked how it’s going so far, Nancy replied,

Everyone at The Center is great! It truly feels like an extended family.”  

Nancy comes with vast experience in human resources, finances and personnel management, making her a perfect fit for our team. Nancy and her husband reside in Macomb with their two daughters. So, the next time you stop by The Center, make sure to track her down and welcome her to the family.

The Center finds balance at Dave & Busters

How do you beat the winter blues? It was a question the Center for Financial Planning Social Committee had been pondering.  We kicked around many ideas but finally decided on Dave and Buster’s.  For those of you not familiar, Dave and Buster’s is a complex where food, drink, gaming, and fun collide.  We could beat the blues while trying to beat one another at some of the best games around. 

On the afternoon of February 6th, we headed to Dave and Buster’s in Livonia.  It was a great afternoon filled with lots of food, drink, and camaraderie.  We found out we are a pretty competitive bunch.  There was a fierce Pac-Man tournament that took place between Tim Wyman, Amada Toia, Kali Hassinger, and Jennie Bauder.  Matt Chope and Melissa Joy found a video-enhanced Soccer Game.  Matt Trujllio stationed himself at a cool skee ball game that paid out lots of tickets while many others spent some time shooting hoops, playing air hockey, and various arcade games.

We decided as a group we would pool the tickets we won and get something for the office.  The number of tickets won totaled somewhere around 19,000 (told you we had fun!). Walking through our office you may spy two large, brightly colored gorillas (stuffed, of course).  They are our happy reminders of the day our office beat the winter blues!