I have worked in the financial advice industry for 35 years now. In fact, I was hired at my first financial services job at the Crabbe-Huson Company on October 19th 1987 on the day of the biggest one-day drop (22%) in market history. I like to say, I started at the bottom. I was able to successfully navigate the markets for the next 35 years and enjoyed one of the longest bull markets in history. Through the years I helped many companies and thousands of employees become more financially secure. I always remember though, that no matter how clever or experienced we think we are, the market is usually smarter.
“Don’t confuse brains with a bull market” are words I live by.
I grew up in Portland, OR where my family has lived for five generations. Graduating from University of Oregon with a Degree in Finance, I later went on to take advanced finance courses at Wharton College, receiving my CIMA designation in 1998. While Attending U of O I met the woman who would become my wife and mother of my 3 children, which we raised together for 30+ years. Family is very important to me and I take pride in being a supportive, involved father and now Grandfather to my Granddaughter. As a life-long active outdoors enthusiast I enjoy riding Motorcycles and bicycles with friends, Skiing, Golf, Hiking, Travel, and going on yearly Horseback riding trips with Skyline Trail Riders. I have a passion for nature and enjoy giving back to the community through Friends of the Columbia Gorge and supporting many non-profit organizations via Donations through Deschutes.
As a financial advisor I feel fortunate to have found a career where I am interacting with other professionals and clients, to help people find solutions to one of life’s most vexing challenges, which is having enough money to retire. In the early part of my career, I helped a company introduce one of the 1st 401k plans and I was hooked. These plans which have become the primary savings vehicle for Americans are all about individuals saving and investing for themselves. This need to be better informed about personal finances introduced a perfect opportunity for me to provide knowledge, experience, and advice to thousands of participants in 401k plans. It also created the purpose and mission behind Deschutes Investment Consulting (DIC) and my life’s work. I am proud to say that I have made a difference to many people over the years and helped them retire more successfully and with confidence.
Today, I continue in my role as CEO and Founder of Deschutes investment Consultants along with my team of associates and partners to help hundreds of corporations and thousands of individuals with holistic financial advice. Deschutes is a tremendously focused retirement consulting team helping individuals and families manage their financial lives from early career to retirement and beyond. It is very satisfying to see this company grow and make my original goal of helping people retire more successfully a reality.
Officially our Director of Operations on the corporate client team, Chelsie’s role at Deschutes is more than the title suggests. She is responsible for helping our retirement plan clients keep their plans running smoothly and compliant. But she wears several other hats, too, in her efforts to keep things running smoothly, including orchestrating client events and communications.
Chelsie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Santa Clara University, and she calls upon that training in her job. In fact, communication is perhaps the most important aspect of working with clients, she says, because clear communication helps establish goals and everyone working effectively toward them.
A natural at maintaining order and seeing that projects keep moving, Chelsie finds ample opportunity to contribute at Deschutes. She enjoys working here partly because we’re a small, tight-knit group of dedicated professionals, all striving toward a common goal: helping clients retire successfully.
A major sports fan, you may from time to time spot Chelsie dressed in Oregon State orange and black cheering for her favorite football team. She enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering at school and just being together.
Laura joined Deschutes in 2008 as an Investment Advisor, bringing our clients more than 20 years of financial services industry experience. Her expertise ranges from individual wealth management to retirement planning, allowing her to make a difference for all of our individual clients.
Her clients tend to reflect Laura’s own personality. She often works with creative, entrepreneurial people and businesses that operate with empathy and open communication. In fact, learning about what makes her clients “tick” is a major component in how she serves them. Understanding their goals and values gives Laura a framework on which she bases financial planning recommendations. Her goal? To give people confidence that their financial and life and investments align, allowing them to spend time doing what they love to do.
Because she loves what she does, Laura brings excellent service and meaningful relationships to her clients. Her enthusiasm extends the community as well, supporting organizations that focus on children and the arts. Among her current community service activities are participation in the Native American Youth and Family Center Fundraising Committee, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), the Native America Art Council Portland Art Museum and the University Club of Portland.
Laura enjoys welcoming newcomers and connecting them with others she’s met along the way.
Before joining Deschutes, Laura had a twenty-year career in banking, and was a director for a software company.
As leader of the Deschutes Investment Consulting wealth management team and architect of its structure, Carl appreciates his opportunity to help people realize their dreams. By working with our clients to map out a path toward a successful future, Carl helps them plan for the unexpected, alleviate unnecessary worry and achieve financial independence.
From the beginning of his 2+ decades in financial services, Carl has delivered honesty and transparency to his individual, family and corporate clients. With a background that includes wealth management and preservation as well as consulting in executive benefits, retirement and estate planning, Carl seeks creative solutions to issues faced by today’s individuals and companies. Solving problems through adept plan design and executive benefits is a particular focus for Carl and his team.
Carl plays a role at the Portland Estate Planning Council, serving as Director at Large. He participates in the Western Pension & Benefits Conference and is a member and trustee of the Multnomah Athletic Club, as well as a past president of the organization. Carl enjoys the outdoors, and participates in a variety of related activities, inside and outside. When he can, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and skiing, and he sits on the Board of Oregon Wildlife.
Carl’s passion for smart financial planning extends to his speaking activities. Passing along sound financial advice has particular meaning to him as a parent of two recent college graduates. He received his BS in Finance from the University of Oregon.
Diane’s role is as varied as it is valued. She has a deep understanding of retirement plan administration, and she ably assists our clients in that capacity. When questions arise, she’s a great resource. And when we’re onboarding a new client or altering a plan’s investment fund line up, Diane has the knowledge and the organizational skills to move the process forward.
Since joining Deschutes in 2000, Diane has appreciated the opportunity to develop personal relationships with the clients we serve. Participants who need help often look to her, trusting that she can find the answers they seek. She enjoys delivering top-tier service that is personal and delivered with honesty and integrity.
In her downtime, Diane loves to get her hands dirty. Her roses, azaleas and wildflowers provide joy to her family and her neighbors.
Diane holds a Bachelor of Science from Penn State University. Her background includes stints as a senior pension analyst at West Coast Trust and a pension administrator at Bankers Systems.
Tim loves variety, and he finds it in serving Deschutes’ clients. For more than two decades, Tim has enjoyed building relationships with corporate clients and finding ways to solve problems in an ever-changing environment.
As an Investment Advisory Representative for Deschutes Investment Consulting since 2015, Tim advises our clients on optimizing plan design, vendor selection and negotiation, investment programs, plan administration and employee education and advice. As an employee benefits consultant for Brown & Brown, he also brings significant experience with a range of employee benefits, including alternative health plan funding mechanisms.
Tim joined Deschutes because he felt our emphasis on principled service to our clients meshes with his own values. He particularly enjoys working in employee benefits because its changing nature continues to offer new challenges. To meet those challenges, Tim has acquired a number of industry designations, including Certified 401(k) Professional, Accredited Investment Fiduciary, Group Benefits Disability Specialist, and Certified PPACA Professional, and he holds a life and health insurance license.
Tim continues to educate himself in our industry, through active memberships in organizations like the Western Pension and Benefits Council, the National Association of Health Underwriters, and the Oregon Association of Underwriters.
Giving back is important to Tim; he serves on the Children’s Cancer Association Board of Directors.
Tim’s Bachelor of Science in Marketing/Management came from the University of Oregon. Before joining Deschutes, he worked for Willis, JBL&K, and Beecher Carlson.
Nicole joined the Deschutes Investment Consulting team in February 2019 as a Retirement Plan Specialist, bringing her experience working with a local retirement plan recordkeeper. Her focus is on helping individual participants understand and take full advantage of their retirement plan benefits. Nicole loves working with plan sponsors and participants, encouraging participation, engagement, and effective asset allocation. She is passionate about helping people achieve the emotional stability and peace of mind that comes as a result of a well-planned financial future.
Joining the Deschutes team has allowed Nicole to do what she loves – work with people. Spending her days connecting and collaborating with teammates and clients is a joy.
When she isn’t working, Nicole enjoys cooking, yoga, herbalism, and all the coffee & farmers’ markets Portland has to offer. She lives with her jazz musician husband and two rescue cats in NE Portland. She travels to the east coast as often as possible to visit her family in New York and North Carolina. Nicole is a strong advocate for animal welfare and supports the Green Acres Farm Sanctuary in Silverton, Oregon.
Nicole graduated from Portland State University’s School of Business Administration. She earned her QKA designation through the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) in 2015 and is a member of the Western Pension & Benefits Council, Portland Chapter. She currently serves as the Marketing Chair to the ASPPA Benefits Council Great Northwest board.
Aaron Buechel, a Financial Planner at Deschutes, is not a Pacific Northwest native — but don’t hold that against him. Judging by his enthusiasm for all things local, like hiking, camping, and enjoying Portland’s vibrant restaurant scene, Aaron is one of us. He came to Portland after stints in the San Francisco Bay Area and Upstate New York, drawn by the West Coast vibe. Once here, he realized he was at home.
Aaron’s path to Deschutes took a similar, non-linear course. He always knew that his calling was to help people. Eventually, he realized that he could blend this pull with his interest in finance — and help people achieve their financial goals. After completing a Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University, he followed up with a Certified Financial Planner designation. He finds great satisfaction using his education, his 15+ years of experience and his love of a good challenge to help solve his clients’ complex problems.
Along with his appreciation of the local mountains, forests and rivers, Aaron enjoys basketball — both as a player and a fan. While the Warriors will always have a place in his heart, he has enthusiastically adopted the Blazers as well. And as dad to three teen sons, he enjoys a good pick-up game as often as possible.
Tiffany Mai joined Deschutes Investment Consulting in 2018 as a Client Service Manager — and as part of the Deschutes family. Family is important to Tiffany, and we are thrilled she has joined ours.
Growing up the youngest of nine siblings, Tiffany learned at a young age the importance of family, culture, and community. Her parents traveled to America in the midst of the Vietnam War, in search of a new home that would provide their children with a world full of opportunity.
Those opportunities came through sacrifice, and Tiffany is driven by her awareness of that fact. Values such as honesty, compassion, respect, and dedication were important in her home, and those principles translate to her professional life. Tiffany applies those values in her work, where she particularly enjoys her part in helping clients achieve their goals and dreams.
Tiffany earned her Bachelor of Science in Finance, with a minor in Communications from the University of Oregon. Prior to joining Deschutes, Tiffany worked for Northwestern Mutual as an associate financial representative, where she gained valuable knowledge in personal life, disability, and long-term care insurance, and financial planning.
In her free time, Tiffany enjoys spending time with her family and friends, spoiling her many nieces and nephews, going to concerts and shows, and traveling to places on her ever-expanding list of cities and countries.
Phil Sherman is a Financial Wellness Specialist at Deschutes-and to him, that’s more than simply a title. In fact, it has deep meaning, because understanding how they handle their money today can have a lasting impact on the future for the individuals and retirement plan participants he helps.
Phil moved to Oregon from Illinois, where he was raised in a family of educators. He realized early that he is a numbers guy, so he obtained a degree in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and went to work in finance. His professional mission is to bridge the gap for people wondering how their retirement plan savings integrate with the rest of their financial lives. As the son and grandson teachers, Phil understands that finances sometimes take a back seat to more immediate concerns. But as a CFP®, he also understands the true importance of giving them the attention they need. That’s the focus of his work with us at Deschutes; he considers himself a financial educator and coach to those with whom he consults.
Along with his wife, Phil enjoys the outdoor activities so readily available in the Pacific Northwest. Among their downtime activities are camping, Blazers games and helping out in the community. Oregon, he says, has something for everyone. We agree.