Penny’s work-life story started on an airplane, with flying lessons, ground school and plans to become a pilot. After becoming a licensed pilot, her interest in aviation, love of math and problem-solving skills landed her in engineering studies at Purdue University where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering. As a Boeing 747-400 flight test engineer, the completion of the testing program meant searching for a new position. Her search led her back to her native Michigan, and into a Sales Engineering position in the automotive industry where she sharpened her skills in communication, hands-on problem solving and customer service. Following a layover as a stay-at-home mom, Penny returned to school to repurpose her skillset for her growing interest in Financial Planning.
Passions and Specializations
President Eisenhower once quipped : Plans don’t matter as much as planning. Penny feels both are necessary and enjoys helping others plan and achieve their goals. Effective planning and guidance can give individuals and families insight needed to make the difference between surviving and thriving. Insight, knowledge and execution can mean the difference between having dreams and realizing them.
Through her families’ journey together, she has learned many things including what really matters in life and what doesn’t, like being able to pursue a life of one’s one choosing, having a vision and hope for the future and a wide circle of support that is there for you. Penny’s middle son, Drew, was born with muscular dystrophy and he has been instrumental in illuminating what’s important to her: faith, good medical care, mobility equipment, transportation, therapy, caregiving, education, funding future needs and enjoying today. Special Needs Planning, involving traditional and creative financial planning, blending and leveraging of funding sources and effective advocacy, is a specialty practice area for Penny.
Education and Credentials
- Oakland University’s Personal Financial Planning Program Certificate. Studies in Investment, Income Tax and Estate Planning, Risk Management, & Financial Planning.
- 3 years of Financial Planning experience, with a focus on Special Needs Planning.
- 3 related licenses: Health & Accident, Life Insurance and Series 65 Securities License.
- 4 years of experience serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities as Staff Advocate for The Arc of Oakland County, focusing on special education, person centered planning and transition planning.
- 4 years as Advisory Board Member for the University of Michigan’s Technology Increasing Knowledge, Technology Optimizing Choices (TIKTOK) project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research Center. This collaborative work focused on improving transition outcomes, through the use of technology, for individuals with specialized needs.
- Financial Planning Association Member; Planned Giving Roundtable 2017 Mentee
Why I Chose to be a Fiduciary Financial Planner
Fiduciary and Finances belong together. Penny believes being involved with someone else’s finances is an incredible responsibility. It involves trust and putting someone else first, every time. It also means having the knowledge and ongoing education to soundly guide someone in making informed financial decisions for their sole benefit. Being a Fiduciary Financial Planner is incredibly important to Penny and it’s what drives her to work to a higher standard.
Penny and her husband Kyle live in Clarkston where they have been training for their 1st 5k for way too long! They enjoy many things, especially time with their 3 sons: Chris, Drew and Merrick.