Vice President of Advisor Development at Advisors Excel.
Listen to Brad’s latest podcast here
I grew up in rural Minneapolis, KS (population approx. 2,000) on a farm with my parents and younger brother. Growing up lower, middle class - money wasn't always easy to come by, however; this upbringing did instill a couple of principles in me that I still value highly today. Spending many days of my childhood summers throwing hay bales, fixing barbed wire fence, among other farm-related manual labor, the value of a hard day's work has never been lost on me. Another principle I learned growing up in a small Midwest town was to always treat others as you'd want to be treated. Sounds simple, but in a hometown where "your parents knew if you'd been acting up, before you even got home", this was ingrained at an early age. I still value this principle and strive to run my business with it in mind.
Sports was a big part of my life growing up. Although I had a successful high school career in football, there weren't many colleges looking to recruit a 165 pound senior. So my college football career started at a tiny junior college in the middle of nowhere, Highland Community College. There I went from non-existent on the depth chart to an All-Conference selection by the time I finished up. This led to a scholarship offer at Emporia State a Division II college in KS. While battling for a starting spot, I suffered a devastating knee injury, tearing my ACL on the very last day of spring practice. After sitting out a year and a grueling physical therapy regimen, I was able to come back from that injury to help our team to its first ever playoff appearance as a Division II school, earning All-Conference and All-American honors along the way. My head coach later shared with me a note following that season that he'd written before that year started... he was unsure about starting me at free safety due to the uncertainty of how I'd come back from my injury and thinking "I'd lost a step". In a weird sort of way, hearing his doubt after the way my football career had ended was actually very gratifying. It reinforced the fact that hard work does pay off.
Transitioning to the business world from college, I was blessed with an incredible opportunity and a bit of luck. I learned about Advisors Excel through a friend and joined the startup company as the 12th employee in 2007. At the time, the company was a small, unheard of brokerage company in Topeka, KS. Today, Advisors Excel employs over 350 employees and is the largest independent insurance brokerage company in the United States, generating over $6.5B of assets last year. Featured in Tony Robbin's recent NY Times Best Seller MONEY Master the Game, it's been an amazing ride watching our small little company "grow up" and become recognized as the industry's leader in the space. At the core of our company's success is a simple philosophy - "Immerse our clients in a culture of successful peers and everyone benefits." Think of it as the world's largest mastermind group made up of the most successful independent financial advisors in the business - It's a formula that's been mutually beneficial to us as well as our clients and we plan on sticking with it!
When not working, you can find me enjoying time with my family at our home in rural Silver Lake, Kansas. I'm blessed to have met the woman I was meant to spend the rest of my life with while still in high school. Sarah, easily has the more challenging career between us as she spends her days at home with our three young children: Braun, Nash, and Nellie (no easy task!). Sarah also stays busy coaching high school volleyball with two former state championship teams to her credit! For my hobbies, I enjoy staying physically active with CrossFit (also have a couple Tough Mudders under my belt!), bass fishing in our pond, and collecting (and drinking) red wine! I'm also passionate about giving to causes that help children in need, here are a list of a few of my favorite charities: Make-A-Wish, World Teacher Aid, The Help Foundation.