Andrew Greer, CFP®
Senior Wealth Advisor
Corey Sunstrom, CFP®
Director of Financial PlanningSenior Wealth Advisor
Most financial planners follow a typical process, but Chris Hobart has never been one to do things the "typical" way. After all, 9-year-olds don't typically start a restaurant in their parents' basement. But entrepreneurship and hard work has always made sense to Chris – and that drive led him to create a financial planning firm that does things a little differently.
Chris has always been one to dream big, for himself and others. He's dedicated his life to helping people imagine and create for themselves that goes beyond typical. He's also made it his mission to help clients make smart decisions for their future by providing honest, thoughtful advice and service that always exceeds expectations.
Chris even helps other advisors build their own better-than-typical practices, believing that every individual deserves access to trustworthy financial guidance. His wise counsel has been featured in national media publications, including CNBC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He's also a recurring expert guest for Charlotte Today on WCNC in Charlotte.
As an avid supporter of his local community, Chris donates time and resources to Charlotte's local organizations. He and his wife, Renee, are avid supporters of the performing arts, and they have a joint passion for making arts education and musical theater accessible to all young people. Chris has also served on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas, a local organization that helps young people unleash their true potential.
Family means everything to Chris. He credits his hard work ethic and positive life outlook to his parents, Randy and Arlene, who taught him valuable lessons about being a great husband, dad and leader. He spends most of his time outside of work with Renee and their two daughters, Sloane and Blythe, and he loves nothing more than traveling with his girls and seeing the world through their eyes.
As Senior Wealth Advisor, Andrew works closely with clients to develop customized financial strategies that incorporate asset allocation, financial management, retirement planning and succession planning. He also builds relationships with local CPAs and estate planning attorneys, enabling Hobart Financial Group to give clients a truly comprehensive, individual and holistic financial plan.
Andrew originally moved to Charlotte to open a restaurant, but quickly discovered it wasn’t his true calling. He wanted to help people in a bigger way – and knew that he could truly make a difference through financial advising. “I get to help people live their Bucket List Retirement,” he said. “Early in my career, I had this sense that retirement was essentially a permanent vacation with nothing to worry about. I quickly found out that retirement is the most significant, fundamental shift you will ever experience with your money which can be incredibly scary. Every day, I have the privilege of helping wonderful people navigate through the unknown.”
Andrew has been with Hobart Financial group for nearly a decade, and his favorite part of the firm is its character. “Our clients choose to work with us because this is where you go to be part of a family, not a file in the cabinet,” he said. “I love working here because of the same reasons someone would choose to become our client: family values, passionate professionals, fun loving, genuine and ethical.”
Andrew’s free time is immersed in activities with his wife, Leslie-Ann, and their son, Easton. “Seeing the world again for the first time through his eyes has always been something I was told to expect,” he said, “but I did not understand how rewarding it would be.”
In his role as Director of Financial Planning and Senior Wealth Advisor, Corey guides others in their financial lives and provides them with a better understanding of their financial picture. He works with clients to develop strategies for tax planning, estate and beneficiary planning, and income planning. Corey divides his time between meeting with clients and working behind the scenes to build retirement plans that stand the test of time.
Corey’s interest in the financial world was raised in college. During his first post-college job, he realized that managing finances took more dedication and effort than he had previously thought. “There were so many complexities that I hadn’t considered before,” Corey said. “I also realized that most people don’t understand the nuances associated with managing their money.”
While Corey enjoys teaching people about the process of saving, growing and passing money on to future generations, his favorite part of working at Hobart Financial group is getting to know the clients. “There is so much to be learned through listening to others,” Corey said. “We have a unique opportunity to hear stories of success, adventure, love and grief. It is an honor to me that our clients open up that part of their lives to us.”
Corey and his wife, Wheela, love to travel, checking new destinations off their list. Corey has his camera with him everywhere, capturing pictures of their adventures. The couple lives in Charlotte with their cat, Stevie, and their dog, Freddie.
Jacob Woodrum, CFP®
Lead Wealth Advisor
Investment Policy Committee Member
Chief Compliance OfficerINVESTMENT POLICY COMMITTEE MEMBER
Jacob Woodrum’s career in financial services was inspired early in life by his father, a business owner and investor who spurred Jacob’s interest in financial markets and how they work. Jacob carries this passion into his role as a Lead Wealth Advisor, and he enjoys guiding clients on the principles of finance, retirement planning and the financial markets.
Prior to joining Hobart Financial Group, Jacob was a banker for Wells Fargo, where he helped clients by providing education and understanding each client’s individual goals and dreams. During that time, he developed the critical communication skills that allow him to connect with clients on a personal level.
When working with retirees and pre-retirees, Jacob is guided by the philosophy of sowing, then reaping. “We make informed decisions about an investment now, with the hope of reaping the harvest in the future,” he said. “The hard work and value of making quality investments comes before reaping but sets you up for success. The need for financial planning advice has never been greater and is a big reason I come to work every day.”
Jacob and his wife, Allie, love exploring Charlotte, trying out new restaurants and walking or biking around the city. Jacob credits much of his success to family, and he and his wife love spending time with their families in Virginia and West Virginia.
Riley Gallaher became a financial advisor for one reason: to help people feel secure. He recognized early on that many individuals never gain clarity around their finances, and many are just going through life hoping that they’ll have enough to retire. His goal is to help them change their thinking and feel confident about the future. “I want to help them uncover their What and Why and then assist them in implementing the How,” Riley said.
Before joining Hobart Financial Group, Riley worked for Parent Financial as a financial advisor. He worked primarily with young couples and new families, showing them the importance of planning for the future and providing them with crucial financial education. He also previously worked as a Preferred Wealth Advisor at BB&T.
A graduate of Campbell University, Riley earned his Bachelor and Master of Business Administration, Trust and Wealth Management degrees. He holds his life insurance, health and accident insurance licenses, as well as a Medicaid and Long-Term Care license. He has also passed the Series 7 and 66 securities exams.
Riley appreciates Hobart Financial Group’s dedication to high-class client service and the camaraderie among the team. Outside of work, he stays active through hiking, playing sports, working out or going to the lake. He also enjoys spending time with his 2-year-old Australian Shepherd, Jameson.
Thomas Hamilton joined Hobart Financial Group in the summer of 2018. His nearly 15 years of experience in the industry added immediate value to the team. Thomas assists advisors and clients with service, planning and analysis needs. He also oversees all compliance and operations for the firm.
Thomas chose to pursue a career in the financial services industry in 2004, when he learned his parents were hit with a massive tax payment in 1998 after they were misguided by their financial advisor. As a result, Thomas made it his personal mission to help others avoid any misguided decisions from happening in their financial lives.
According to Thomas, the best thing about working at Hobart Financial group is its family environment. “It’s a close-knit firm with a small company atmosphere, but with the ability to do things in large scale,” he said. “My opinion matters and the absence of ‘large corporate red tape’ is refreshing. The work each of us does every day is clearly helping both the firm and its clients be successful.”
Thomas and his wife, Jessica, have two kids, Caleb and Shelby, and one dog, Albus. Thomas loves spending time with his family, cooking, aquarium keeping, playing golf, and tinkering with electronics. He has also been known to binge watch Netflix and YouTube with his kids.
Director of Employee Engagement
Social Media Specialist
Director of Employee Engagement
Renee’s work is vital to everyone at Hobart Financial Group. That’s because she’s responsible for making sure the firm runs like a well-oiled machine, and she oversees a variety of functions, including Human Resources, financial reporting, and more.
Before joining Hobart Financial Group, Renee was a biologist with Merck & Co. She later became a pharmaceutical rep there, where she educated doctors and nurses on Merck’s product lines and provided product samples.
Renee is excited to be part of the Hobart Financial Group team. “Although I’m on the sidelines, I’m passionate about getting to know our clients and watching our team sincerely do the best for our clients,” she said. “I believe in the mission and vision of what we do. My favorite part of working here is feeling purposeful, that we’re making a difference in clients’ lives.”
Renee enjoys spending time with family, friends and traveling. An avid fan of the theater, she sits on the board of directors of the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte. Renee is married to Chris, and they have two daughters, Sloane and Blythe.
As the executive assistant and event coordinator, Kim Collins juggles a variety of daily tasks. She’s charged with coordinating firm events, providing administrative support and making sure Chris Hobart knows exactly where he needs to be and when he needs to be there. Kim also oversees building management, ensuring the office’s physical environment is inviting for both clients and staff.
In 2018, Kim relocated to Charlotte from Sarasota, FL, where she spent four years working as the event coordinator for a wealth management firm. But her work experience hasn’t been limited to just financial services; in fact, you might describe her background as eclectic. “I have been a cosmetologist, cemetery owner/manager, fire educator and fire instructor,” Kim said. “So why not choose the financial industry, too?”
Kim and her daughter, Hannah, reside in the Ballantyne area. She can be found on the weekends enjoying time with her friends, exploring wineries throughout North Carolina and volunteering within her community.
Heidi Clearman sees social media platforms as a critical tool of communication for the firm. She creates and utilizes Hobart Financial Group’s digital content, including video, graphics and social media posts. Her goal is to create engaging content that showcases the firm’s culture for existing and future clients.
Before joining the team in 2018, Heidi worked for 20 years at a non-profit. There, she employed her attention to detail to oversee all aspects of event planning. This ranged from team management, marketing, implementation, organization and execution of events from start to finish.
Heidi enjoys working in the positive team dynamic she’s found at Hobart Financial Group, noting that it starts with Chris’s leadership. “There is something so inspiring about having a gifted leader who is a visionary but also deeply cares for his employees and clients,” she said. “This firm is unique in that it has a deep vein of integrity that translates into excellence in every area of the company.”
Heidi and her husband, Stacy, have four children: Rachel, David, Joelle and Gabrielle. She frequently volunteers in the community, both at her children’s school and the church the family attends. Heidi is also dedicated to health and fitness and spends her free time at the gym.
Client Service Specialist
Wendy Casale believes preparation is the key to success in work and life – an outlook that makes her the perfect fit as Fintech Administrator. In her role, Wendy handles all things tech-related for the firm, including client and advisor support, system management and process documentation. She’s always making sure we’re using the right tech tools to give clients the best experience possible when accessing and managing their accounts.
Wendy’s interest in the financial services industry was piqued during her very first college class, which led her into courses about economics, personal finance and marketing. Discussions about the potential retirement crisis facing Americans today and the importance of taking charge of your own retirement inspired her to pursue a career helping people plan for their future and make a positive impact on their financial picture.
Before joining the Hobart Financial Group team, Wendy gained a wealth of experience working at Vanguard and Wells Fargo. Hobart Financial Group “feels like a family,” she said. “If a team member sees that a process can be done better, opinions and ideas are genuinely heard.”
Wendy and her husband, Bobby, have three children, Victoria, Allison and Mila. The family loves visiting Freedom Park/Carowinds in the summer, as well as trying new Charlotte restaurants and checking out live bands throughout the year.
Client Services Manager
As the Client Services Manager, Megan is an integral part of Hobart Financial Group. She serves as a bridge between the Advisory, Investment, Operations, Compliance and Marketing teams, building collaboration between the teams and making sure everyone is working toward the same goal. In her role, Megan is continuously seeking new ways to provide first-class service to our clients.
Before joining Hobart Financial Group in 2019, Megan worked for another financial services firm, where she worked primarily with dentists. During that time, she earned her Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional™ (FPQP™) designation. “Nothing in life is scarier than eventual retirement and the financial worries that go along with it,” Megan said. “Anything I can do to alleviate those concerns is a great feeling. I love building relationships with clients and anticipating their needs.”
Megan lives in Fort Mill with her Maltese/Shih Tzu mix, Charlie. When she’s not ensuring every client gets the best experience possible, Megan enjoys trying out new restaurants in Charlotte, going to the movies, or curling up on the couch with a book and Charlie.
Amanda brings extensive experience in operations and customer service to her role as Client Service Specialist. Before joining Hobart Financial Group, she worked at APC, a staffing/recruiting firm for IT and engineering. While there, she assisted with sales and marketing campaigns and served on the back-end operations team.
Amanda previously worked in the financial services industry, first with the firm Morgan Keegan (now part of Raymond James), then with another advisor in the Charlotte area. During that time, she obtained her life and health insurance license and handled all aspects of the advisor’s day-to-day business.
Now Amanda uses those skills to serve Hobart clients. “I don’t think I chose this profession – it chose me,” Amanda said. “I am passionate about clients and helping them have a successful retirement.”
Amanda lives in Charlotte, with her daughter, Emma. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her, but only “when it isn’t too cold”.
Client Service Specialist
Katie Lowder joined Hobart Financial Group in September 2021 as a Client Service Specialist. In her role, she helps clients with everything from updating accounts and completing paperwork to finding out the answers to their questions.
Katie has worked in the financial services industry since 2014 and was previously the Insurance Services Manager for another wealth management firm. “I love taking care of people,” she said. “By being in the financial services industry, I’m able to make sure that they are taken care of when big life events happen.”
A graduate of Appalachian State University, Katie holds her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with friends and family.
Client Service Specialist
Kaelyn Embler was introduced to the financial services industry as an intern at Vanguard, which turned into a full-time role assisting advisors and associates with their day-to-day tasks. She joined Hobart Wealth in October 2021 as a Client Service Specialist, helping the advisor team provide exceptional client service.
Kaelyn holds a master’s degree in Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Family Financial Planning and Counseling. She was drawn to the financial industry after taking a personal financial planning course in school. She has a passion for helping others, making her a great fit for the Hobart Financial Group team. “I’m proud of where I work,” she said. “There’s a strong sense of community and I know that each team member is striving to serve our clients first. The people are what makes Hobart great!”
Outside of work, Kaelyn enjoys teaching Pure Barre classes and volunteering. You can frequently find her cheering on the Crimson Tide, exploring new restaurants with friends and spending time on the waterway with her family. She lives with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Maizie Lane.
John “Jock” Tonissen, CLU® LUTCF®
John “Jock” Tonissen
Jock joined Hobart Financial Group in 2013 as an Investment Advisor. He’s dedicated to providing sound financial direction in all areas of the financial process. His focus is on a client’s total financial picture with an emphasis on financial services that are designed to help protect against the unforeseen initiated by disability, death, retirement or long term care needs. He serves both the individual and small business markets offering an extensive list of financial series, with particular emphasis on 401(k) programs.
Jock takes a long-term, relationship building approach when working with new and existing clients. Understanding a client’s unique needs is at the core of Jock’s practice. He firmly believes that his clients are “partners” with a relationship based upon trust and integrity. He stresses to his clients the importance of a long-term investment outlook before making short-term or individual investment decisions.
Jock has been in this profession since 1971 upon graduation from the University of South, Sewanee. He is the past president of the CLU (Chartered Life Underwriters) chapter in Charlotte, NC. He is a past Trustee of University of the South and Sewanee Annual Fund Chairman. He also served as a church officer. He resides in Charlotte with his wife, Anne. They have two children. Whenever there is time, Jock enjoys a good book, some gardening and even a game of golf.
Heather has worked with D. Scott Welton, Wealth Advisor, for six years. She supports Scott with ongoing day-to-day operations providing excellent customer service. Heather processes new business, administers follow-up actions required for established clients’ accounts and creates new proposals/recommendations.
Heather graduated Magna Cum Laude from Crichton College in Memphis, TN with a B.S. in Business Administration. She obtained her life insurance license for the state of North Carolina in 2012. Before joining Hobart Financial Group, Heather worked as Operations Manager for STW Holdings, LLC in Charlotte, NC.
Heather resides in Charlotte, NC with her husband and seven children. In her spare time, she serves as CFO of her husband’s tax & bookkeeping office. She enjoys traveling, cooking, singing and spending time with her family.
James D. Stillman, RFC®
Kelly Stillman Sabin
Client Service Specialist
James D. Stillman, RFC®
Jim has helped people plan for retirement for more than two decades. He was the owner and founder of JDS Enterprizes Inc. and JDS Wealth Management before joining Hobart Financial Group. As a wealth advisor, he helps people protect their retirement assets and implement advanced wealth distribution strategies.
Jim’s career in financial services started after he left the publishing and printing industry. He discovered a passion for helping people navigate the ins and outs of retirement planning. He also found he had a knack for presenting information in an easily understood way. “I believe that applied knowledge is power,” Jim said. “Education helps people make wise choices to protect their assets.”
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jim graduated from Milwaukee Area Technical College. He is a Registered Financial Consultant (RFC). But his professional life isn’t just about guiding pre-retirees and retirees; he’s also the part-owner/investor of New Victory Lanes in Mooresville, NC.
Jim and his wife, Judy, have two children, Tyler and Kelly. The family enjoys boating together on the weekends, listening to music while floating around on Lake Norman and enjoying the beauty of North Carolina. The Stillman family can frequently be found at New Victory Lanes, where they bowl in a weekly league.