Transparency and authenticity are the building blocks of the positive relationships between Independence Wealth Advisors and our clients. Our IWA Client Advisory Board meets once a quarter to discuss important topics like the client experience. This board acts as the voice of the client and helps us maintain a close and productive relationship with the people we serve.

Meet Our Board

Jim LaFontaine


Jim grew up in North Canton and attended the University of Akron where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.  Working in the retail sector for his entire career, he rose through various management positions in department store chains and then finished his career with 23 years of service with OfficeMax, Inc.  In his last 17 years with OfficeMax, he transitioned to the IT side of the business supervising the development, implementation and support of their Catalog Order entry system as well as the Delivery Center’s warehouse management systems.  After retiring in 2016, Jim continues to consult part-time with Ohio Alcohol Monitoring Systems in Independence, Ohio.

Jim enjoys golf, travel, biking and gardening with his wife, Patty, of 12 years.  Jim and Patty reside in Hinckley and volunteer in the gardens at Stan Hywet Hall.  They look forward to more travel adventures in the future, especially biking tours throughout the country.


Jim Harmath


Jim retired recently after serving more than 25 years in business development for a global professional services firm. In more than 20 countries around the world, he worked on-site with multidisciplinary teams proposing multi-million dollar engagements to Fortune 100 and comparable companies. To the board, he brings extensive experience meeting client needs through strategic planning, responsive service, quality control, cultural engagement, persuasive communication, project implementation, and evaluating client experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations, a law degree, and a seminary certificate in biblical and theological studies.

Cindy Misiak

Cindy is joyfully retired following a 43-year career in human resources at the Cleveland Clinic. While working, Cindy’s areas of expertise included policy development and interpretation, employee relations, recruitment and hiring, job evaluation, salary and benefits, EEO/AAP and Family Medical Leave administration.

Since 1996 and in retirement, Cindy enjoys working as an independent contractor for Power Presentations providing presentations skill training for professionals from a variety of Fortune 500 Companies, federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations improving their communication skills and advancing their careers.

Cindy earned her bachelor’s degree from Baldwin Wallace College. She lives in Strongsville with her husband. When weather permits, you’ll find Cindy walking, gardening, biking, swimming, and cross-country skiing. When the weather forces her inside, Cindy can be found quilting, reading, and socializing with friends.

Susan Gallagher

Susan is a life-long Clevelander, graduating from St. Augustine Academy in Lakewood, heading to Ohio University for her undergraduate degree and Cleveland State University for an MBA. Using her undergraduate degree in Communications Systems Management, Susan spent over 20 years in operations, training and sales in the telecommunications industry watching technology move from wireline to wireless communications.  She loved the constant challenge of new technology knowing that she got into the industry when Ma Bell first broke up in the 1980’s during divestiture.  She changed careers moving into a sales position with a Cleveland area bank supporting small to medium sized businesses with their merchant services needs.  It was wonderful hearing the growth plans of these accounts, making all around recommendations and hoping to help them succeed.

She has one son that graduated from college in New York City and now resides permanently in Chicago, who was actually a college intern with IWA.  He loved his internship with IWA and the opportunity to learn more about the financial industry.  She is incredibly proud of him and hopes he comes home for another visit soon.

Susan has been involved in watching and participating in  the stock market from a young age, learning from her father who was one of the founders of the Pipefitter 120 pension fund.  He was an incredible role model.  He always made sure his children were financially and fiscally responsible.  Her son is following in those footsteps with a career in the financial services field. Grampa would be proud.

Susan loves Cleveland and has always been proud to talk to people she meets out of town all about the many things to do in Cleveland including the museums, the music, the lake and metropark system, the restaurants and nightlife.  She loves all Cleveland sport’s teams but none are closer to her heart than the Cleveland Guardians. Go GUARDS!  Continue to make us proud!

Thomas Shepard

Tom’s abilities and knowledge in business, personnel, and financial responsibilities come from his 33 years of experience at the Cleveland Clinic. He began his career there as a journeyman painter. Over the years, he attended college and obtained various degrees. He advanced to several management positions and completed the majority of his career as the director of facilities engineering, managing over 250 personnel, a $60 million dollar budget, and maintaining over 14 million square feet of critical health buildings. After retiring in 2013, he worked for Life Safety Enterprises as the director of business development.

Tom is currently fully retired and enjoys much of his time staying active with other retirees, schoolmates, and most of all, with his wife and family of three married children and four grandchildren.

Darrell Kaput

Darrell is a life-long Clevelander. Born and raised on the west side of Cleveland, he graduated from St. Ignatius High School and Bowling Green State University with a degree in marketing.

He began a 20-year sales career as a customer service rep in the construction/mining industry and subsequently became sales manager. This experience led him to a 30-year career as a self-employed sales engineer in the thermal processing industry.

He resides with his wife, Chris, of 42 years in Broadview Heights. He has two married children, a son living in North Royalton and a daughter in Nashville, TN. He is the proud grandfather of one very active seven-year-old grandson.

Darrell is an avid fan of all Cleveland sports teams and never met a golf course he did not like. He enjoys being a member of the IWA Client Advisory Board, as his extensive sales background brings another voice to the table.