As a chartered retirement planning counselor®, Chris focuses on the wealth management and financial planning needs his clients face in retirement. As an investment advisor representative, Chris works with individuals to develop custom wealth management strategies, focusing on concise financial solutions and relationships built on trust. He has experience developing and implementing financial strategies that encompass each step of his clients’ financial life cycle and offers personalized solutions for asset optimization, retirement planning, risk management, and wealth preservation.
Since beginning his career in financial services in 2001, Chris has gone on to become a Million Dollar Round Table Top of the Table qualifier, an honor that distinguishes him among the top professionals in the financial services industry. Chris believes that client education is the foundation of client service. He teaches financial planning strategy classes and has been seen on CNBC and 19 Action News. In addition, Chris has been seen in numerous publications including TheStreet.com, US News and World Report, Kiplinger, and Forbes.
Chris holds a BSBA in financial economics from Bowling Green State University. He proudly serves both the Cornerstone of Hope and Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland as a member of their board’s finance committee. He lives in Richfield, Ohio with his wife, Anne, daughters, Lilly and Sammy, and their two dogs. In his free time, Chris enjoys swimming, hiking, golf, baseball, and movies.
Phil Huff is the vice president and investment advisor representative licensed with Independence Wealth Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor. As a former offensive lineman for Kent State University, he excels at protecting people. As an advisor, he’s transitioned from protecting the quarterback to his clients. His focus is on optimizing his clients’ life savings throughout retirement by taking a holistic approach to planning. He helps clients achieve wealth preservation by developing and implementing personalized investment plans, retirement income planning, and risk management.
Phil has been a leader within the financial services industry. Since beginning his career in financial services, he has gone on to become a Million Dollar Round Table Top of the Table qualifier. He has done so by building strong relationships with clients built on trust and transparency. Through open communication and concise solutions, Phil helps his clients lead a more worry-free retirement.
Phil holds a BA in economics from Kent State University. He lives in Worthington with his wife, Taryn, son, Harrison, and two golden retrievers, Harvey & Hallie. Outside of the office, Phil enjoys all things Cleveland sports, golfing, and spending time with friends and family.
Joe is an investment advisor representative licensed with Independence Wealth Advisors, LLC, a registered investment adviser,and has more than 16 years of experience in the financial services industry. He began his financial career as an investment trader on the Chicago Board of Trade, and he has brought his real-world experience to client services. Since then, he has worked with a variety of established advisory firms in northeast Ohio, specializing in risk management, wealth preservation, and legacy planning.
Joe is dedicated to guiding clients to financial success. He believes in achieving personalized financial goals with open communication, strategic planning, and comprehensive solutions.
Joe earned his MBA in finance and his BS in engineering, both from Case Western Reserve University. He lives in Medina, Ohio with his wife, Carolyn, sons, Joseph and Alan, daughter, Maggie, and their red lab, Sadie. In his free time, he enjoys golf, sailing, hiking, and coaching youth sports.
As a war history buff, Bill has always enjoyed a good defensive strategy. This passion has spilled over to his work as an advisor. Bill takes pride in helping his clients protect their nest egg from the many risks they will face in retirement. He also believes working as a fiduciary is the best way to do business. Every client is different and deserves a personalized plan based on their specific wants and needs.
Since beginning his career in financial services in 2007, Bill has been the recipient of many quality awards over the years. However, he takes the most satisfaction in knowing that he has been able to assist many families along the way. Hard work, research, and surrounding himself with some of the best professionals in the business has been the cornerstone of Bill’s success.
Bill resides in Chagrin Falls, OH with his fiancée, Jill, and two dogs, Breckenridge and Jackson. He enjoys boating, skiing, and is active with animal rescue.
As a classic car fan, Austin enjoys understanding how the mechanics of something works and how to make it more efficient. This attention to detail led him to majoring in financial planning at the University of Cincinnati. Now he spends his time understanding the different aspects of his clients’ lives and how he can bring value through financial planning to make their goals a reality.
Just like every car has a different story, he understands the people he works with have different goals and needs. By using all the available tools and strategies in his toolbox, he creates wwholistic plans supported by a fiduciary relationship with his clients.
Vince spent 21 years with the Cleveland Fire Department and was involved in the duties of his job, the Union, and his community. He also participated in many activities, from fundraising and working with adults and children on fire safety, to CPR and volunteering at the local food bank. He was involved in many high-profile fires and rescues and was awarded several medals and commendations for his efforts, including the honor of carrying the torch for the 1996 Olympics. In the latter part of his career in the fire department, Vince realized the need for protection and peace of mind for himself and his coworkers that insurance provides, as well as the glaring need for better retirement preparation. Consequently, after getting licensed, he began the journey to provide that protection to what is now a client base of over 8,000 city, state, and federal employees throughout the upper Midwest, as well as Florida and other southern states.
Through the numerous top-rated carriers that he works with, Vince is passionate about providing great protection at great prices to suit the needs of each client. He is dedicated to educating them on how to recognize their needs and goals, the options available to them, and how to accomplish their vision. He has been in the public employee sector for almost 25 years and, more recently, is addressing the needs of the private sector as well.
Vince is a proud father of a high school honors student and is actively involved in all aspects of his life, including school, church, and sports. Some of their favorite things to do as a father/son team is play and watch sports, perform music, and learn new things together. They share a passion for experiencing great food, new cultures, and meeting new people, which they accomplish with travel. Being from a large family, spending time with their many relatives is also a priority and joy.
“Make sure that you protect your present and provide for your future.”
As a certified financial planner®, Jay works with clients to understand their goals and objectives, developing comprehensive wealth plans that provide a road map for their financial future.
Jay believes that having a solid financial plan is the cornerstone for creating financial security and added peace of mind. As part of this philosophy, he believes that a financial plan is a living, breathing document and works with clients to update and refresh their plans on a continuous basis.
Jay holds an MBA with an emphasis in finance from Cleveland State University. He lives in Brecksville, Ohio with his two daughters, Cooper and Riley, and his son, Sullivan. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, baseball, and attending his children’s sporting events.
Phone: (216) 268-3888
Fax: (216) 472-8700
Rich Ahrens is a senior financial planner at Independence Wealth Advisors. He has over 15 years of experience in financial planning and specializes in helping to answer the toughest financial planning question ever: “what if?”
As a Certified Financial Planner® and an Accredited Estate Planner®, Rich believes that financial planning is a journey, not a destination. He will help you to identify your financial goals and objectives, set a path to achieving those goals, as well as stress test your plan to see if it can survive the toughest financial circumstances.
Rich lives in Twinsburg, Ohio with his wife Jillian and his three rescue dachshunds: Romeo, Capri and Buster. Outside of work, Rich enjoys cooking, baseball (watching, not playing), sci-fi movies, bowling, and chess.
As Director of Operations, Jessica presides over our business operations and ensures that they are conducted correctly and efficiently. She also commandeers projects for client management and internal analysis. Our advisors rely on her for day-to-day support and client relations. She is also a licensed investment advisor representative with Independence Wealth Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor, and notary public.
Jessica holds a BA in political science from John Carroll University. While here at IWA, she has continued her education to pursue financial licensures. She resides in Seven Hills with her husband, Anthony, and their two dogs, Clark Kent and Lex Luther. When she’s not in the office, Jessica spends her free time cooking, gardening, hiking, and spending time with family. She has recently endeavored to learn to play golf, but so far, her favorite part is driving the golf cart!
As a licensed investment advisor representative and chief compliance officer, Ashley oversees and manages compliance issues within IWA. She ensures IWA is in compliance with various regulatory requirements and our employees are in adherence with internal procedures and policies. As the senior operations specialist, Ashley assists in our business operations and ensures they are conducted accurately and efficiently.
Ashley holds a BA in Criminology from The Ohio State University and an MA in Sociology from Cleveland State University. Throughout her years, she has been a general store manager at a Subway restaurant, a home health aide, and a long-term substitute teacher. Ashley is confident the skills and attributes she has acquired throughout her years will help her grow at Independence Wealth Advisors.
Outside of work, Ashley enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching TV shows, reading books, and being out in the sun.
Phone: (216) 268-3888
Fax: (216) 472-8700
Jim Buccini has over 30 years of experience in the human resource field. His expertise is in policies, compliance, strategic planning and employee/labor relations. Jim has spent most of his career with Momentive Performance Materials and GE as senior operations human resource leader, with responsibilities for several plants in the U.S. as well as facilities in China, Japan, and Germany. Jim states his philosophy in H.R. is “to possess a high level of integrity and respect for others in order to develop trust with the clients and employees.”
Jim holds a Master’s of Science in Business from Indiana Wesleyan University, a post-graduate certificate in HR/labor relations from Moravian College, and a B.S. in social work from the University of Dayton.
Jim and his wife, Marianne, reside in Brecksville, Ohio. His outside interests include being an avid Cleveland sports fan, reading, woodworking, volunteering with the Red Cross, and golf. Jim and Marianne’s two children are married, their son, Jim, lives in West Haven, CT and their daughter, Michela, resides in Cincinnati, Ohio.
As an Army veteran, Jim volunteers with the American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces department, conducting outreach programs to veterans and their families. Also, as an alum of the University of Dayton, Jim is involved with the mentoring program, working with students who are pursuing careers in the human resource field.
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