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Independent Fiduciary Advisors

Our Advisory TEAM

At Guardian Wealth Strategies, you don't just get an advisor, you get an advisory team. Our office of professionals work collaboratively to ensure that every element of your financial plan is efficient and positioned for the best outcomes.

Gregory J. Gassert, CFP® Photo Gregory J. Gassert, CFP® Hover Photo
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Gregory J. Gassert, CFP®

Managing Partner, Sr. Wealth Advisor

Gregory J. Gassert, CFP®

Managing Partner

Sr. Wealth Advisor


Gregg is a founding member and Managing Partner of Guardian Wealth Strategies. He has over 20 years of industry experience as a Senior Wealth Advisor – eight of which were spent leading a team of advisors and support staff for the TIAA Minneapolis office. Gregg graduated from the University of Wisconsin, and received his certificate in financial planning from the University of St. Thomas while pursuing his Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation. 

Gregg has a passion for simplifying complex financial concepts into easy-to-understand language that clients with diverse backgrounds can understand. His professional standard is to create a thoughtful, client-centered culture that promotes long-term relationships.

When he is not navigating through the individual variables of financial plans, Gregg and his wife can be found supporting their four children as they participate in a variety of activities including hockey, soccer, piano and gymnastics.

 

Brent D. Hoppe, AAMS® Photo Brent D. Hoppe, AAMS® Hover Photo
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Brent D. Hoppe, AAMS®

Managing Partner, Sr. Wealth Advisor

Brent D. Hoppe, AAMS®

Managing Partner

Sr. Wealth Advisor


Brent is a founding member and Managing Partner of Guardian Wealth Strategies and the business manager for Guardian Tax.  As a collegiate athlete, he graduated from Hamline University with a degree in Education.   Brent has over 20 years of experience serving clients with college and university career backgrounds.

Brent has a unique ability and passion to integrate many different components of a client’s profile (investments, taxes, estate planning, etc.) into an efficient and holistic financial plan.

Brent and his wife enjoy spending time at their cabin on the North Shore with their two young daughters. While “up north,” Brent also finds time to support and engage Guardian’s northern Minnesota clientele.

 

Benjamin C. Olson, AIF® Photo Benjamin C. Olson, AIF® Hover Photo
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Benjamin C. Olson, AIF®

Business Development, Wealth Advisor

Benjamin C. Olson, AIF®

Business Development

Wealth Advisor


Ben is a Wealth Advisor with Guardian Wealth Strategies and the business manager for Guardian Insurance Solutions.  He began his career in personal finance in 2002 and joined the Guardian team in 2017.  In addition to working one-on-one with individual clients as a licensed fiduciary advisor, Ben supports businesses and nonprofits to enhance their employer sponsored retirement plans.

Ben is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) and an AFES instructor. Ben oversees an education initiative of Guardian to give back to the community by teaching adult education classes on topics such as Social Security, Taxes in Retirement, Estate Planning, Gifting Strategies and more.

Ben and his wife, Marisa, stay busy with their three young children who are passionate about baseball, hockey and dance. Whenever possible, they enjoy the outdoors by canoeing, kayaking, camping and hunting in north woods of Minnesota.

 

 

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Yelisey Kuts

Wealth Advisor

Yelisey Kuts

WEALTH ADVISOR


Yelisey is a Wealth Advisor with Guardian Wealth Strategies, and an owner of All Things Financial, an insurance partner to the Guardian team.  He has a master’s degree in business from Oral Roberts University and is currently pursuing his Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation.

As the proud son of two immigrants from Ukraine, Yelisey is deeply grateful to his parents for teaching him the value of hard work and discipline.  He has always found ways to volunteer his time in the community and as a team leader for Habitat for Humanity, he found fulfillment in helping others. Now, as he councils those who are nearing retirement, he can truly express his gratitude and appreciation to his family.

When Yelisey, is not working on his latest car or motorcycle project, he can be founds spending time with his fiancé Alesya, a compassionate, accomplished business person and mother of two.

Trey C. Peterson Photo Trey C. Peterson Hover Photo
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Trey C. Peterson

Financial Professional, Director of Education

Trey C. Peterson

Financial professional

Director Of Education


Trey is an education instructor for Guardian Wealth Strategies, and an owner of All Things Financial, an insurance partner to the Guardian team.  He is a graduate of Oral Roberts University with a degree in Corporate Communication and a minor in Business Entrepreneurship.

Having spent years as a director in his parents’ non-profit, he learned that he did not want to just do "business as usual," but to do something that positively impacted peoples’ lives on a daily basis.  Trey’s role as an instructor, helps Guardian effect that change in the community by teaching adult education classes on topics such as Social Security, Taxes in Retirement, Estate Planning, Gifting Strategies and more.

Trey is married to his beautiful wife Steph and loves spending time with his two perfect children. He enjoys serving with his family through local and international missions, working out, taking Steph on dates, playing and hiking with his dogs, boating with family, and leading one of the fastest growing Young Professional mentorship groups in the Twin Cities.


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Mason M. Swenson

Investment Trading & Operations Specialist

Mason M. Swenson

Investment Trading & Operations Specialist


Mason oversees the day to day investment trading and many of the operational activities for Guardian Wealth Strategies. As a member of Guardian's investment committee, he is an avid consumer of financial research, and his analysis provides timely insights for Guardian's advisory team.

Growing up in up in Eagan, Mason studied finance and accounting at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN.  As a defenseman for the Royal’s hockey team, Mason learned valuable lessons is team-work and is especially adept as keeping a level head in chaotic situations – qualities which serve him extremely well in the investment world he now lives.

Mason is an avid golfer. He and his wife, Lauren, love playing hockey together, spending time at the cabin, and enjoying a variety of other outdoor activities with their dog, Surly.


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Norma Jo Antolak

Director of Client Services

Norma Jo Antolak

Director of Client Services


With over 35 years of industry-related experience, Norma Jo brings a depth of knowledge to the Guardian team. She has a natural ability to connect with clients and help simplify many of the processes involved with client accounts.

Norma Jo attended the University of Northwestern, St. Paul and studied Business Management. She prides herself on transparency and the pursuit of excellence.

To relax, Norma Jo loves to cook, bake and spend time in her garden; especially when she gets to share those activities with her son, Chris. Norma Jo also enjoys volunteering her time and giving back whenever she can.

 

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Angela J. McDonald

Client Service Speicalist

Angela J. McDonald

CLIENT SERVICES SPECIALIST


Angela serves as a Client Services Specialist and Office Manager for Guardian’s Burnsville team. She is a gifted and outgoing individual who is passionate about serving others. Angela has an Associate of Fine Arts degree and obtained two certifications broadening her opportunities to serve, lead and develop others in her community.

Angela is recently married to her husband, Philip, who is a lead instructor at a local Twin Cities elementary school. They enjoy fishing and kayaking, along with writing and playing music together. Both Angela and Philip faithfully serve on their church worship team in Edina, MN. As newlyweds they are excited about growing their family, as well as their careers.

 

 

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Carissa L. Krey

Client Services Specialist

Carissa L. Krey

CLIENT SERVICES Specialist


Though Carissa is newer to the financial world, she has many years of experience serving others in various capacities. Even as a young teen, Carissa served in her church and community with children’s programs, summer camps and short term missions trips. As a young adult, she served internationally in Argentina as a missionary and translator for 3 years. 

Today Carissa lives in Minneapolis with her husband and their dog. In her free time she enjoys camping, running, visiting coffee shops with friends and exploring new places within the Twin Cities. Her heart to serve others also expands into the health and wellness community as a birth coach. She is also very involved in her church community. 

Carissa was raised with a strong work ethic to serve others with excellence and joy in any work environment, and is excited to be apart of the team.”

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Nathan A. Pedersen

Associate


Nathan A. Pedersen

Associate


Nathan is a bilingual family man born in Minneapolis, MN. At the age of two, his parents dedicated their lives to serving others as missionaries in Central America for 11 years. Serving people has always been a major part of his upbringing , which created a passion to add value to others.

Nathan is married to the love of his life Sharna, and has 3 children, Tristan, Jezelle, and Jazmine.

Nathan has a strong background in corporate banking, public speaking, team leading, and serving others both in business, and multiple non-profit organizations. Nathan is committed to coming along side every person he meets, helping them achieve financial peace in reaching any and all financial retirement goals.

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Kristine L. Lanoux

Medicare Specialist, Licensed Insurance Agent

Kristine L. Lanoux

Medicare Specialist

Licensed Insurance Agent


Kristine is a Medicare Specialist with Guardian Wealth Strategies and the owner of Minnesota Medicare Solutions, an insurance partner to the Guardian team. She graduated Cum Laude from Cardinal Strich University with a Bachelor's degree in business management.

With more than 11 years of insurance experience, Kristine has a deep knowledge of navigating the many Medicare and individual health insurance options, as well as being proficient with life insurance and long-term care insurance policies. Kristine enjoys keeping the insurance process simple and straight-forward for her clients.

In her spare time, Kristine loves spending quality time with her husband William and their dog and two cats. They look forward to seeing their daughter Ruby when she comes home to visit from her first year at college.


James E. Melssen, CPA Photo James E. Melssen, CPA Hover Photo
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James E. Melssen, CPA

Director of Tax




James E. Melssen, CPA

Director of Tax


Jim oversees all aspects of Guardian's tax team. With nearly 30 years of tax and accounting experience serving individuals, businesses, nonprofits, trusts and estates, Jim's knowledge and expertise help provide strategic tax planning outcomes for Guardian's clients.

Jim studied accounting at the University of St. Thomas, and received his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation in 1993.

When not focused on client cases, Jim loves spending quality time with his wife and two daughters.


Barry D. Davis, CPA Photo Barry D. Davis, CPA Hover Photo
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Barry D. Davis, CPA

Tax Manager

Barry D. Davis, CPA

Tax Manager


Barry brings more than 20 years of accounting and investment experience to Guardian's tax team. With his unique background in both disciplines, Barry’s experience is invaluable with tax projections and strategic tax planning.

Barry graduated Summa Cum Laude from Washington State University with a B.A. in Finance and Accounting. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Outside the office, Barry enjoys golfing, tennis and going on hikes with his dog, Jasper, in his home state of Washington.

 

Christina M. Kenney, EA Photo Christina M. Kenney, EA Hover Photo
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Christina M. Kenney, EA

Tax & Accounting Specialist

Christina M. Kenney, EA

Tax & Accounting Specialist


Christina has over 15 years of experience in all aspects of the accounting field. Her past employers have included manufacturing, service, construction and government organizations. In addition, Christina has experience with human resources, project management, training, providing technical assistance and custom database development services to a wide variety of clients.

Christina is proficient in the use of numerous accounting software products and is able to provide training for Peachtree and QuickBooks.

Christina became an Enrolled Agent in February 2016.  As an Enrolled Agent she can advise, represent and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, and any entity with tax-reporting requirements.  Christina is required to complete 72 hours of continuing professional education every three years to maintain her enrolled status.

Christina also maintains her Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) status with the Internal Revenue service each year.  To find out more about the AFSP program click the link below.

Christina is a member of the National Association of Tax Preparers (NATP), the Minnesota Chapter of Enrolled Agents (MNSEA) and the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA).

Christina studied at Anoka Ramsey Community College. She has attended numerous accounting, tax, human resources, management, project management and software trainings. Christina continues to attend classes on a regular basis to keep up to date with the changing laws and regulations.