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John has been an investor since age 11 (he bought a CD with lawn mowing earnings) and owned Stock and precious metals before graduating from High School. Since becoming a professional financial planner in 1998 he has established his reputation as an innovative ‘out of the box’ thinker. Called on to speak and lead others numerous times, he tirelessly works for those clients and advisors whom he feels honored to serve. As a thought leader in the industry he has had articles published in numerous publications. John is regularly invited to present to peers around the country and has been invited to advise top executives of two of the nation’s largest broker-dealers.
One of his key contributions is the concept of “Beer and Peanuts.” This conceptual framework helps individuals in or nearing retirement live engaged, meaningful lives. John helps retirees identify ways to maintain purpose meaning and social contact after they stop going to work every day. He has identified a cyclical approach to retirement involving leisure and travel, volunteering, and part time work which helps retirees find more satisfaction than the traditional linear lifestyle.
John has helped clients from some of the nation’s largest firms as well as business owners and executives. John typically serves clients with investable assets of greater than $250,000.
A man of deep convictions, John is also an Associate Pastor at the Christian Life Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan where he is responsible for pastoral care for families in Kalamazoo and Portage.
Bachelor of Science, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Earth Science Major
Political Science Minor
Attended Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois
Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® earned designation
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM earned designation
Dennis began his career in the industry in 2004 with American Express Financial Advisors. After establishing a successful financial planning practice he teamed up with his now partner, John Knowlton, and soon thereafter formed Oak Point Financial Group. Saving and investing has always been an important part of Dennis’ landscape. He began saving his snow shoveling and lawn mowing income as a teenager which eventually transitioned into buying US Government Bonds. By age 25, he and his wife had hired a financial advisor and began investing into Roth IRA’s, mutual funds and 401(k) s at work. As an advisor firmly committed to the retirement income needs and dreams of his clients, Dennis is a practicing Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, CRPC® professional. This exemplifies his thorough understanding of the dynamics of retirement planning and the in-depth process. He has the ability to tackle complex retirement planning concepts with a personal touch and straight forward manner. As a former engineer and coach for youth football and baseball teams, he honed his mentoring skills and deploys a superb ability to listen deeply to his clients’ needs and aspirations and construct a customized approach and strategy to work towards their dreams. During his many years as a financial planner he has helped business owners, employees and retirees from some of West Michigan’s largest and most respected firms. Dennis specializes in complex financial situations and typically serves clients with investable assets of $250,000 or more.
Dennis is a lifelong resident of Southwest Michigan where he attended Portage Central High School and studied at Kalamazoo College. He and his wife Holly have been married for 20+ years and are raising two amazing young men. Their oldest, Devon, has intentions to study business and Darren is leaning toward the medical industry. Dennis is deeply committed to his family and community and is proud to call himself a Midwesterner. He and his family take full advantage of the traditional four seasons that Michigan has to offer by spending their Winter’s skiing; their Summer’s grilling, fishing and golfing; and their off seasons enjoying Michigan’s many craft breweries. Dennis is also a devote member of Crossfit AZO and never misses an opportunity, even when traveling to gain the benefits of a Crossfit Workout.
Associates Degree in Applied Science, Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor, MI
Attended Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI
Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® earned designation
Gerry has been in the financial service industry since 1972. Gerweck & Company is an independent financial consulting firm that develops long-term relationships focusing on the client’s needs, founded by Gerry in 1981. His common sense approach to fundamental financial planning has been successful in assisting his clients to work toward their life-long goals as evidenced by the numerous industry awards he has received over the years. His life’s philosophy is based on biblical principles and by making a conscientious effort to render the same quality service that he would expect in a given circumstance.
Gerry & Neita ( his wife of over 45 years) have three children and ten grandchildren. He enjoys solving problems, making things work, antique tractors, car racing, and playing with his grandchildren.
Bachelor of Science Business Administration, Central Michigan University
Master of Science Financial Services, American College
Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) 1976
Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) 1982
Don Davis has been in the financial services industry since 2001. His professional experience includes eight years as a branch manager writing residential mortgages which serves as a foundation for his work as a financial advisor.
Attention to detail, good listening skills and great empathy are qualities clients appreciate about working with Don. He is effectively supported by the Oak Point administrative and investment products specialists whose teamwork and professionalism help him build long-term relationships with his growing client base and provide excellent customer service.
Don has been happily married to his wife Jackie for more than 30 years and has two grown children. Away from the business, he enjoys watching the Red Wings, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® earned designation
Series 65: Uniform Investment Adviser Law, held with Oak Point Financial Group
Life, Accident, Health, and Variable Annuities Licenses
Kara Harmsen joined Oak Point Financial Group in September 2016 as a Financial Consultant. Kara brings over 20 years of client relationship building, sales, and marketing skills gained in Financial Services, Real Estate, and Non-profit industries. Kara values the opportunity to work with clients toward pursuing financial freedom as well as encouraging clients to live a balanced, active, and meaningful life.
Kara received a B.A. in Marketing from Michigan State University with emphasis in Spanish. She enjoys the Green vs. Blue rivalry with friends and her peers at Oak Point throughout the year. Kara believes in the energy of surrounding yourself with inspiring people, the power of a good book, and to never stop learning. Although originally from Portage, Kara spent some post-college years gaining life and work experience in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Chicago. She now resides in Kalamazoo and spends most of her free time with her son who attends Winchell elementary. Kara is a member of St. Catherine’s church, volunteers for the Kalamazoo Animal Rescue and enjoys catching yoga classes around town.
Caitlin Borton joined the Oak Point Financial Group team as a Branch Operations Manager in 2014 bringing with her 7 years of financial industry experience. Her ablility to excute projects has given our Concierge Team the focus and capacity needed to elevate and unlock Oak Point's growth potential. A true team player, Caitlin also works with our Advisory Team to help align the needs of the entire Oak Point Finanical Group practice as a unit.
Caitlin is a "Southwest Michigan Gal", born and raised in Mattawan, MI --graduating from Mattawan High School and then Western Michigan University (2008). She and her husband Josh currently reside in Portage where they are raising their two kids.
Caitlin and her family enjoy watching hockey, cheering regularly for the K-Wings as well as the Red Wings. Within the spirit of "Michigan", Caitlin and her family spend their summers camping, fishing, and hiking. These adventures are then filed, cropped, and desgined into the Borton family scrap book.
Bachelor of Science, Western Michigan Universary, Kalamazoo, MI
Associates, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kalamazoo, MI
Jordan is our newest team member but she is no stranger to Portage, although she grew up in the small town of Marshall, she attended Western Michigan University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business and Administrative with a Finance major. Jordan will spend her week between our Portage office and our Oak Point office in her hometown of Marshall.
Jordan brings extensive experience in the financial industry since graduating. At Oak Point she serves on our concierge team as an Administrative Assistant III. Her main focus is supporting the behind-the scene operations in processing communications, completing applications, data gathering, processing reports, research for the advisors and working on special projects. Jordan’s fast pace style blends well with her “I can do” attitude which sums up her ability to get the job done fast and efficiently while striving for the highest customer service experience possible.
When not in the office, Jordan enjoys the many opportunities that living in West Michigan has to offer by enjoying the lakes, running trails, and hiking with her dog Luna. Giving back to her community is a top priority for Jordan as she is a volunteer for Relay for Life, The Dream Center and the Alaska Great Lakes Project.
Sherry has been an integral part of the Oak Point Financial Group family since 2009, but she is not new to the financial industry. Sherry’s background includes 17 years in the Defined Contribution recordkeeping department as well as a Benefit Analyst for Hewitt Associates. Sherry has earned the Administrative Specialist Certificate after completing numerous hours of intensive training. This certificate gives Sherry the training and knowledge to provide solutions regarding complex administrative issues.
Originally from Grand Blanc Michigan, Sherry is an Air Force Veteran and attended Mott Community College as well as Kalamazoo Valley Community College. She and her husband Jay, call Portage Michigan home where they raised 2 daughters and have 5 grandchildren who range in age from 4 to 14 years old. Sherry attends Portage Free Methodist Church and is a member the Kalamazoo Breakfast Optimist Club. In her spare time you will find Sherry and her grandchildren at Fredrick Meijer Garden, strolling along the Michigan lakeshore or walking through one of Michigan’s beautiful State or community parks. Sherry is also an avid reader, genealogist and seamstress. We are proud to call her a member of the Oak Point Financial Group family.
Julie joined the Oak Point Financial Group in October2016 as a Paraplanner. However she started working in the Financial Services industry in 2010. Friendly and caring, Julie’s goal is to provide a superior level of service, always going above and beyond what is expected. She enjoys not only working with clients, but also collaborating with team members who genuinely care about one another and our clients’ well-being. Julie came to Oak Point Financial Group with a diversified background. After enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in 1997, Julie’s primary role was serving as an Aviation Ordnance Technician on FA-18 fighter jets. Julie spent much of her time as a Marine traveling for various types of training exercises and combat missions; she was honored to serve her nation. Julie retired from the United States Marine Corps as a Staff Sergeant (Enlisted-6), with eleven and a half years of service. Julie returned to Kalamazoo and began her career in the financial services industry at National City Bank and later joined Raymond James & Associates as a Client Service Associate in 2011.
In addition to her military training, Julie attended Davenport University and earned her Associate’s Degree from Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Julie now resides in Kalamazoo and relishes spending time with her four parents and younger brother. Julie is an avid runner, reader, cyclist, and enjoys volunteering alongside her family at local charitable events.
Yolanda joins our team from the Finance Department at Stones Church with an aptitude for working with people and numbers. Her leadership drive, team player mindset, passion for excellence and attention to detail are assets in providing exceptional client experience as Director of Client Care here at Oak Point.
Yolanda is also the COO (Chief Operating Officer) of the Browning Family. One of the most valuable and profitable contributions she has made in her life has been investing in her family. For many years she has had the opportunity to focus on building her family full-time which has been one of the most rewarding experiences in her life. Yolanda and her husband Darrell have been married for nearly 20 years and counting. They are raising 3 beautiful daughters. The oldest Shamari is a student-athlete at Kalamazoo College, Darianna is a gifted dancer and Kaelyn is an aspiring gymnast.
Yolanda is a supportive Wife, an active Mom, a member and volunteer of Stones Church, Kalamazoo Public Schools and her local community. You can also find her pursuing other areas of passion as she is behind the scenes designing and coordinating events or one the road traveling to the next exciting destination. She is living life, pursuing her purpose and fulfilling her destiny.
A Registered Investment Advisor