Our team is more unusual than you think

And I am not just talking about the unusual ways we each have gone to save a penny.

Timothy Financial Counsel, Inc. is unique among fee-only financial firms that provide hourly advice. Sorta like a 1943 copper penny – very rare indeed. Most hourly firms comprise individual planners, so you get one perspective on your finances. Timothy Financial Counsel plans are reviewed by multiple planners, so you get the advantage of a variety of unique perspectives and areas of expertise.

When it comes to your finances, many minds are indeed better than one.

If hourly-only advice is best for you, stop looking and take control of your finances. Click on each of our images below to read our bios and learn something unique about each of us.

 

Mark Berg
Mark Berg, CFP®
Senior Advisor and Founding Principal
Kris Johnson
Kristopher D. Johnson, CFP®
Financial Advisor
Hoan Taussig
Hoan Taussig, CFP®
Financial Advisor and Principal
Kara Beth Vance
Kara Beth Vance, CFP®
Financial Advisor
Michael Thrasher
Michael Thrasher, CPA®, CFP®
Financial Planner
Becky Garrett
Becky Garrett
Office Manager
Lydia Newby
Lydia Newby
ParaPlanner

Mark Berg, CFP®

Senior Advisor and Founding Principal

Mark Berg

The rundown

Money saving tip: I married a fantastic cook! My wife loves to cook, and our boys and I are the beneficiaries, which results in fewer restaurant bills.
First job: Paper route for the Phoenix Gazette. Sundays were the worst because I could only fit four-five papers in my basket at time!
Favorite sports team: Chicago White Sox (the ’05 World Series win cured me from being an anti-Cub fan, but I still prefer the Sox).
Favorite vacation spot: Rosemary Beach, FL. There isn’t much to do except sit on the beach, which is good therapy for my personality.
Favorite Movie: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The reluctant, humble hero is my favorite theme.
Favorite hobbies: Reading historical naval fiction, playing tennis, walks with my wife.

Mark’s Bio

Prior to starting Timothy Financial Counsel, Mark served as a Client Manager at one of the largest fee-only financial planning firms in the country and has provided fee-only counsel for more than 20 years.   Mark is passionate about financial planning, best seen in his volunteer work through the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) where he has served on both the regional and national board and has sat on several committees.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Wheaton College and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Mark has been quoted by a variety of publications, such as Crain’s Chicago Business, Dow Jones Newswire, The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger’s, The Chicago Tribune, Reader’s Digest, and Consumer Reports. He has also been interviewed by ABC 7 News and NBC television, as well as a guest expert on the Money Show on WGN.

Mark and his wife, Cheryce, live in Wheaton, Illinois, with their three sons, Joshua, Ryan, and Luke. Mark serves on both non-profit and for profit boards.

Contact Mark at mark.berg@timothyfinancial.com.

Kristopher D. Johnson, CFP®

Financial Advisor

Kristopher D. Johnson

The Rundown

Money saving tip: For airline rewards credit cards with annual fees, call each year to request waiving the fee. They typically provide an offsetting credit in exchange for making just a few purchases on the card. Also, you can’t beat shopping at ALDI for basic needs.
First job: Tutoring college classmates
Favorite sports team: St. Louis Cardinals. Hopefully our Chicago-area clients aren’t too offended!
Favorite vacation spot: Any Philippine beach – you can’t beat the sand and fresh, affordable seafood!
Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption – so many great themes: friendship, justice, and, of course, redemption!
Hobby: Hmm… I’ll try to find one after my four kids get older! In the meantime, I play indoor soccer one night a week during the winter months (usually after my kids are asleep).

Kris’s Bio

Kris is a Senior Financial Advisor, and has served Timothy Financial Counsel clients since 2002. He primarily serves corporate executive and small business owner clients (Level 4), along with healthcare professionals and professors.
Prior to joining Timothy Financial Counsel, Kris had roles in investment management and research for an investment firm, and accounting for a Chicago investment bank.

Kris earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a Finance concentration from Taylor University and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor. He has been quoted by several publications and investment websites, including Morningstar.com, Money Magazine, The Motley Fool, BusinessWeek.com and InvestmentNews.

Kris and his wife, Meghan, live Gilbert, Arizona.

Contact Kris at kris.johnson@timothyfinancial.com.

Hoan Taussig, CFP®

Financial Advisor and Principal

Hoan Taussig

The Rundown

Money saving tip: The best thing we ever did was cancel cable TV years ago and subscribe to an online TV service. For less than $10 a month, we watch the shows we want, when we want, where we want.
First job: Assistant in my mom’s tailoring shop.  I managed the cash register, re-threaded sewing machines to new colors, and literally swept the floor every ten minutes.
Favorite sports team: I grew up a White Sox fan, even when it wasn’t the popular choice.
Favorite vacation spot: I’ll take any secluded sunny beach with a great book, but we especially loved our trip to Hawaii for the endless warmth, beautiful culture, and amazing fruit!
Favorite Movie: Lord of the Rings is one of the best books ever written, and the movie is an amazing creation of this story.
Hobby: Although my knees will complain, I love to play a great competitive game of volleyball. I am also an avid reader, so you’ll almost always see me carrying around my Kindle.

Hoan’s Bio

As a Senior Financial Advisor, Hoan is the primary advisor for many clients but also partners with Mark on his high complexity clients. With her expertise in finance, accounting, and technology, she is an integral part of the financial planning team.

She joined Timothy Financial Counsel, Inc. in 2007 but has more than 18 years of financial experience, with an array of responsibilities throughout her career such as accounting, cost analysis, financial forecasting, loan underwriting, small business accounting, and various other capacities. Hoan graduated from Wheaton College with a Bachelor’s degree in Business/Economics, is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, and NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor.

She lives in Wheaton, Illinois with her husband, Tom, and their two children. They are active members at their local church. She enjoys volunteering with organizations such as Financial Peace University, NAPFA’s Leadership Committee, and Safe Families.

Contact Hoan at hoan.taussig@timothyfinancial.com.

Kara Beth Vance, CFP®

Financial Advisor

Kara Beth Vance

The Rundown

Money saving tip: Half Price Books. Sell the books you don’t intend to add to your personal library for cash, and you’ve got some funds to put towards your next (hopefully used) book purchase!
First job: The moment I turned 18, I applied to work at Anthropologie, my favorite clothing store, and worked there part-time for five years.  My first manager told me that she hired me because I had been a part of an Appalachian clogging team.
Favorite sports team: Growing up in Dallas, I’ve been a Mavericks fan since I knew what a basketball was. For other sports, I do enjoy rooting for Chicago teams.
Favorite vacation spot: Lake Junaluska, NC in the Smoky Mountains. My great-grandparents started vacationing there in the 1950s, and my family continues to meet up there for a week each summer.
Favorite Movie: White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, although it’s hard to pick from all the 1950s musical movies.
Hobby:  Rowing on the Fox River in St. Charles.

Kara’s Bio

Kara is a Financial Advisor who joined the team in 2016. She serves as the primary advisor for many clients in complexity levels 1-3 and supports all Timothy Financial Counsel clients by serving on the firm’s Investment Committee. Prior to joining Timothy Financial Counsel, Kara provided financial planning and investment advice to clients with one of the largest fee-only wealth management firms in the country.

Kara graduated magna cum laude from Wheaton College with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor. Kara lives in Wheaton, Illinois where she is an active member at her local church and sings in various capacities around the community.

Contact Kara at kara.vance@timothyfinancial.com.

Michael Thrasher, CPA®, CFP®

Financial Planner

Michael Thrasher

The Rundown

Money saving tip: Raise.com – Buy discounted gift cards to the stores and restaurants you frequent. Note: this only works if the gift cards don’t incentivize you to spend more money!
First job: At age 15, I got a work permit and umpired for little league baseball. The experience proved to be quite the lesson in patience, confidence, and self-control!
Favorite sports team: War Eagle! With much of my extended family from Alabama, the Auburn Tigers football team control much of my emotions from August-January.
Favorite vacation spot: Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The beauty of the Grand Teton Mountains and the wildlife of Yellowstone combine to make a wonderful outdoor experience.
Favorite Movie: Remember the Titans – great quotes, great songs, and great theme.
Hobbies: A mixture of playing music and enjoying the outdoors through frisbee, tennis, spikeball, etc. (If you haven’t heard of spikeball, look it up!)

Michael’s Bio

Michael is a Financial Advisor on the Timothy Financial team. At Timothy Financial, Michael has used his accounting background to serve clients, including financial statement analysis for small businesses and in depth tax planning. He serves as the primary advisor for select clients and spearheaded the design of the Next-Gen program.

Prior to joining Timothy Financial Counsel, he had work experiences as an Accountant with Caterpillar and a District Manager with Aldi. He graduated with High Honors from the University of Illinois with his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accounting. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Financial Planner®.

Outside of work, Michael enjoys learning stringed instruments such as the Banjo, Violin, and Mandolin. He resides in Wheaton with his wife, Annelise where they serve as life & career coaches for high school and college students.

Contact Michael at michael.thrasher@timothyfinancial.com.

Becky Garrett

Office Manager

Becky Garrett

The Rundown

Money saving tip: Most recently I bought my husband a SodaStream to replace bottled mineral water. According to my calculations, we are saving at least $1.00 a bottle.
First job:  When I was in high school, I spent most of my summers selling candy and ice cream in the Canteen at Lake Geneva Youth Camp. In my opinion, this was the best job at the camp! The pay was $5.00 a week plus room and board.
Favorite sports team: I come from a long line of Cub fans. I admit I used to pay more attention to the Bulls, but this year I’m all in for the Cubs!
Favorite vacation spot: RAGBRAI. I know it’s hard to believe someone would name Iowa as their favorite vacation spot, but the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa is truly special.
Favorite Movie: Cinderella Man. Such a moving story about The Great Depression and how a family fought to survive.
Hobby: Cycling. Preferably on the trails at Herrick Lake, Blackwell Forest Preserve, or the rolling hills of Iowa, with a tailwind.

Becky’s Bio

Becky is the office manager for Timothy Financial Counsel. She is responsible for the many tasks that keep our office organized and handles the day to day finances for the company. Becky has more than 20 years of professional experience in office management.

Becky received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Mary Baldwin University in Virginia but grew up in Wheaton. She and her husband Matt have two grown children who live and work in the Chicago area. Becky teaches kindergarten Sunday school and enjoys hanging out with her neighbors.

Contact Becky at becky.garrett@timothyfinancial.com.

Lydia Newby

ParaPlanner

Lydia NewbyThe Rundown

Money saving tip: My mom and dad did all the haircuts in our family growing up! In current dollars, this probably saved somewhere between $500 and $800 a year.
First job: My uncle owned a civil engineering business, and he hired me as a high school student to do a project where I used a ruler to record distances on a surveying map. I decided early on that civil engineering was not for me!
Favorite sports team: I have to say the Cubs, although growing up it was definitely Michael Jordan and the Bulls.
Favorite vacation spot: Our family vacations in Frankfort, Michigan almost every year. I enjoy the relaxed, small-town feel, the beautiful sunsets at the beach, and the sense of familiarity and home.
Favorite Movie: This question is impossible for me, but The Incredibles is one of my favorites. I love the realistic portrayal of family life with super powers (it really would be incredibly annoying to have super strength in everyday life).
Hobby: My current studies at Moody combine my love of reading, writing, and theology! Outside of that, I am always up for a healthy discussion about practically anything, a competitive strategy game, or an escape room.

Lydia’s Bio

As a ParaPlanner, Lydia assists with administrative functions and provides planning support for all team members. Lydia is the newest member of the team, and she came to Timothy Financial Counsel from a large insurance broker firm where she worked since 2012.

Lydia graduated from the College of DuPage with an Associate in Science, and she is currently attending Moody Bible Institute. Lydia lives in Wheaton, Illinois and is an active member of her local church.

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