Annual Conference Task Force

Randy Bruns, CFP®

Randy Bruns serves as 2018 President of the Financial Planning Association of Illinois. He is also an independent financial planner with Chicago-based HighPoint Planning Partners, where his team specializes in both hourly-based financial planning and full-service investment management.

Outside his practice, Randy is a community advocate for financial literacy, speaking annually at numerous events throughout Illinois. He is frequently quoted in the media and is an outspoken proponent in favor of a higher fiduciary standard for the industry.

As FPA-Illinois President, Randy has helped connect the state’s top collegiate financial planning programs with the financial planning profession. These connections will help dozens of students receive fully paid sponsorships to attend this year’s Annual Conference.

Randy graduated with honors from Millikin University and holds both the CFP® and RICP® designations. He and his wife Natalie reside in Wheaton, Illinois with their daughter Nora and their two Australian Shepherds, Dash and Daisy.

Dee Farris

Dee Farris is chapter executive of FPA of Illinois. She acquired the Chicago Society of the ICFP as a client in 1993 and continued through the merger of ICFP and IAFP, for a total of 25 years.

Prior to starting her own business in 1985, she was manager of public relations for a Fortune 300 company. She majored in Communications at Northwestern University which she attended evenings while working.

Dee and her husband, Don, live in Gurnee, IL. They have two grown children. Their son is a CFP for Atlantic Trust and their daughter is a pathologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado, Denver School of Medicine.

In her spare time, Dee enjoys travelling, reading, connecting with family and friends, attending classes at the gym and training and walking their Schnoodle puppy.

Ed Gjertsen II, CFP®

Ed is Vice President of the financial planning and money management firm of Mack Investment Securities, Inc. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, he has been serving the financial planning needs of clients for over twenty-five years. He specializes in comprehensive financial planning working closely with clients to develop legacy plans along with goals and strategies to achieve financial independence.

A sought-after industry resource, he has been published in numerous local and national media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, AARP Magazine, and Chicago Tribune among the many others and has appeared on local and national television. A popular speaker, Ed has presented locally, nationally and internationally on a wide range of personal financial topics and industry trends.

Ed served the profession as Chairman of the Financial Planning Association’s National Board of Directors, a professional non-profit with over 22,000 members. He continues his volunteer work as current Task Force Chair of the 2018 National Conference. Ed is one of the co-founders of the FPA National Diversity Initiative and is past President and Chairman of the Financial Planning Association of Illinois, one of the nation’s largest Chapters. He is a recipient of the FPA of Illinois 2008 Heart of Financial Planning Distinguished Service Award.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Illinois State University and is the recipient of the distinguished alumnus award. He resides in Winnetka Illinois with his wife and two children.

Carl Hibben, CFP®

Carl Hibben is a Financial Planner with BMO Private Bank. Carl provides customized financial planning solutions to high net worth individuals and families as part of an overall personal wealth management strategy. He joined the organization in 2010, and has over 13 years of experience in the financial industry.

Carl earned a BS in Financial Planning from Purdue University – West Lafayette, IN. He also earned a Master of Science in Wealth Management with Distinction from DePaul University – Chicago, IL. Carl is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and a Board Member for the Financial Planning Association of Illinois.

Carl makes his home in Chicago with his wife and two daughters. In his free time Carl enjoys running, playing ice hockey, and playing the guitar.

Betty Meredith

Betty Meredith has 30 years’ experience producing application-oriented professional development, content marketing, and consumer education to help advisors, consumers, public sector retirement counselors and plan participants make informed retirement decisions.

She produces retirement-specific professional development programs for advisors and support staff by today’s leading retirement thought leaders, training for public sector retirement system systems migrating to hybrid plan designs, and content marketing/social media sponsorship solutions that help firms and advisors meet the DOL’s fiduciary duty of care.

As a CFP Board CE Quality Provider, she produces a monthly continuing education, “retirement conference at your desk” webinar series by today’s leading retirement experts for individual advisors and advisor groups, as well as other content marketing sponsorship programs.

She is a Financial Planning Association (FPA) Retirement Knowledge Circle host, and served on the CFP Board’s CE & Quality Initiative Workgroup. She is a 20-year, active member of the Society of Actuaries Post-Retirement Needs and Risks research committee.

Alex Offerman

Alex Offerman is a Financial Planning Associate with HighPoint Planning Partners, a Chicago-based Registered Investment Advisor. He specializes in financial planning and investment management for families and small businesses. As an active member of the Financial Planning Association, Alex has served on numerous committees for his local chapter. In 2018, he became Director of Partnership for FPA of Illinois.


Alex graduated from Aurora University and finished his Certified Financial Planner course work through the College of Financial Planning. Outside of the office, he enjoys reading, is an avid golfer, and a University of Michigan enthusiast. He resides in Joliet, IL with his fiancée, Abby and their dog, Lola.

Janet Stanzak, cfp®

Janet Stanzak is a Certified Financial Planner™ with a Master of Science in Financial Planning with an emphasis on portfolio management.  She is a national past president of the Financial Planning Association and past president of the FPA of Minnesota, having served in many capacities across the years.  Before becoming FPA’s CEO, Lauren Schadle worked with Stanzak to develop the first comprehensive strategic business plan for the association, the framework and goals of which are enhanced each year by the Board of Directors and One FPA Advisory Group.

Stanzak practices comprehensive financial planning in Minneapolis, focusing primarily on retirement planning, withdrawal strategies, and portfolio management. The crystal ball on the conference room table is a reminder that we make a lot of assumptions as financial planners and need to test those assumptions in a variety of ways with clients, always planning for the certainty of uncertainty.

In her spare time, Janet volunteer teaches on personal finance in the high schools along with a MN non-profit, Best Prep.  She is the president of the Rotary Club of Chanhassen, and will be chairing the 2019 FPA Annual Conference in Minneapolis.  She’s been married 35 years to a wonderful husband, has two adult children off the payroll, an English springer Marley, and loves golf, cooking and cross-country skiing.

Preston D. Cherry, MS, CFP®

Preston D. Cherry, MS, CFP® gravitated to Personal Financial Planning because of the plaque he saw hanging in his parents’ home as a young child.  It read, “Why is there so much month left at the end of the money?”  From there, a passion for financial planning was born and has since influenced his life purpose and pursuits.

Preston is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University.  He also serves a Part-time Graduate Instructor at Texas Tech University and Dalton Education.  He has served in lead and internal financial planning roles and institutional retirement sales. He has also served as an RIA co-investment manager of $120M in firm assets, and a mutual fund wholesaler.  Preston will soon launch Concurrent Financial Planning Center, LLC, a comprehensive financial planning firm serving mass affluent households and business owners across generational lines.  Concurrent will be a “Center” for financial healing & transformation which aspires to produce a harmonious life-money balance.

Preston’s passion for people impacts his commitment to serve. Service to faith, family, community and profession are core values that guide his life decisions.  He currently serves on boards whose missions represent his values. Community missions include homeownership for low-income earners & cultivation youth leadership.  Academic service missions are comprised of financial planning program building and career opportunity creation for future planners in underrepresented groups.  His professional service is associated with the academic study & professional practice of financial therapy.

Preston has a “Best Uncle Ever” award given to him by his niece whom he loves dearly, writes poetry, plays tennis & golf, collects vinyl records, loves all genres of music and likes a good board game.

Tammy Wener

Tammy Wener is a co-founder of RW Financial Planning, LLC, an independent financial planning firm which provides objective, candid, and practical financial planning advice solely on an hourly or project basis. She oversees the financial planning process for all clients and manages the day-to-day operations of the firm. As Director of Public Awareness for FPA of Illinois, Tammy is excited to meld her financial planning background and expertise with her strong desire to help others by coordinating events that provide free and competent financial advice to members of the community. She has a B.S. in Finance from Illinois State University and an MBA from DePaul University.

Outside of work, Tammy volunteers for several organizations, reads whenever possible, drives her two children (and sometimes her husband!) crazy, and stays active at a local CrossFit box.

Rachel Moran, CFP®

Rachel Moran, CFP® is a Financial Planner with RTD Financial. She is passionate about providing her clients with comprehensive unbiased advice, and seeks to help them fulfill their dreams by merging money and values through Financial Life Planning™. Rachel graduated from Virginia Tech’s CFP® Board Registered Program, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Taxation from Villanova. Rachel is highly involved in FPA NexGen, and currently serves as national Chair. She was instrumental in forming a local community in Philadelphia, where she served as Director for three years. Rachel was named one of InvestmentNews’ 40 Under 40 in 2016 and had been published in the Journal of Financial Planning.

Terry Savage

Terry Savage is a nationally recognized expert on personal finance, the economy and the markets. She writes a weekly personal finance column syndicated in major newspapers by Tribune Content Agency.

She is the author of four best-selling books on personal finance. The Savage Truth on Money was named one of the top ten money books of the year by in its first edition. Her other recent book is: The Savage Number: How Much Money do You Really Need to Retire?

Terry appears frequently on national television and radio programs, commenting on the financial markets and current economic events. She is featured on WGN Radio and WGN-TV in Chicago, with a weekly personal finance segment. And in days past you saw her often as a money expert on Oprah!

You can read Terry’s weekly columns and commentaries, watch videos, check out links to her favorite websites and calculators, and check out Q&A on her “Ask Terry” blog at

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