Gordon’s Annual Letter
As we bid farewell to another year and welcome the possibilities of the new one, I find myself reflecting on the remarkable journey we’ve taken together. It’s been a year filled with challenges, opportunities, and moments of growth. We are honored to have been by your side, helping you navigate the financial landscape with unwavering commitment to your aspirations and dreams…
As we embrace the future, I want to express my deepest gratitude for entrusting us with your financial well-being. Your faith in us has been the cornerstone upon which we have built our shared vision. It is both a privilege and a joy to be your partner on this extraordinary journey.
Your Financial Journey, Our 30-Year Commitment to Delivering Lasting Value
The past few years have truly been some of the most rewarding for all of us at Cornerstone. As I reflect on our mission and the journey we’ve taken together, I’m reminded that keeping our focus on your financial plan brings us joy and purpose and lies at the core of our commitment. Your success and fulfillment have become our own, and there’s nothing more satisfying than knowing we’re contributing to your financial well-being and the happiness it brings to your life.
This year was particularly special for us as we celebrated a significant milestone – 30 years in business! We marked this occasion with a wonderful celebration at The District, a delicious meal, a few comments from Andrew Ulvestad and myself, and fun entertainment by The Dueling Duo. Our favorite part of the evening was the enjoyable conversation we were able to have with you, our cherished clients.
Thanks to you, we have been able to serve clients for three decades, solidifying a strong reputation for financial expertise and steadfast dedication through the ups and the downs that we experience in our journey. It is truly our honor to contribute meaning and value to your life.
Strength in Numbers - Our Remarkable Team: Your Pillar of Dependable Support
Outstanding teams are like hidden treasures, and we are fortunate to have assembled a team that stands as a testament to excellence. Their individual talents, dedication, and unique skills are united by a collective ‘heart’ that fuels their passion.
We celebrated a few anniversaries of our dedicated team members this year. Michelle Stahl, Partner & Chief Operating Officer, marked her 23rd year with Cornerstone, serving as an exemplary leader! With a deep understanding of our company, Michelle plays a pivotal role in guiding our organization, and her dedication to the Cornerstone mission profoundly impacts our entire team.
Several other team members reached significant milestones: Teri Roest, marked an impressive 10 years with us; Lori Mack, celebrated 8 years of dedicated service in our Huron office; Shelli Carlson, celebrated 17 years of collective service; Shannon Naser, Stephanie Gerrits, Gita Hendricks, and Jan Taylor all marked their 6th year of commitment to our team, Andrew Ulvestad celebrated 5 years of service while Jill Mollner marked her 4th year with Cornerstone.
Jory Flanery, who officially joined our team in May after earning his degree from South Dakota State University, is a shining example of our commitment to local talent. Many of you have already had the pleasure of meeting Jory, who completed an internship with us last year and has since accepted a full-time position in our Wealth Management department. He’s been a valuable addition to the team and recently achieved the significant milestone of passing his Series 7 exam, a testament to his dedication and expertise. In addition, Alyssa Kirk, Associate Wealth Advisor, passed her series 7 exam and she and Andrew Ulvestad are working towards their CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. We also welcomed Liz Opfer to our Huron office as a personal assistant.
Our team composition is truly exciting, as it seamlessly combines experience with adaptability. With seasoned team members ready to mentor our new hires and guide young talent, we’re committed to supporting local education and investing in the future of our community through initiatives like Jory’s journey with us.
On a personal note, it seems babies were a central theme at Cornerstone this year! Wealth Advisor Andrew Ulvestad and his wife Tara welcomed their third son, Theo, into the world. Meanwhile, our Chief Operating Officer, Michelle Stahl, and her husband Dave celebrated the arrival of their fourth daughter, Karsyn, bringing joy and new beginnings to our Cornerstone family.
The Cornerstone Difference: Our Dedication to High Standards in Financial Services
When I first started this business, as a one-man shop, I made a commitment to maintain high standards for the members of the team I would build and the services we would provide our clients. I wanted to provide my clients with an experience that they couldn’t get anywhere else.
I am proud to say that that commitment has only grown stronger over the years.
This year, we’ve earned several notable recognitions, such as my inclusion in the Forbes 2023 Best-In State Wealth Advisor ranking and the Barron’s 2023 Top 1,200 Financial Advisor lineup. Moreover, the Cornerstone Team was recognized with a spot on the Forbes 2023 Best Wealth Management Teams roster. These accolades underscore our unwavering dedication to growth and improvement, highlighting that they’re more than just awards.
I am deeply appreciative of the exceptional team that has made these achievements possible.
Empowering Change Together: Our Commitment to Impactful Giving
Our mission extends beyond providing top-tier financial services; we are equally dedicated to making a meaningful impact on our local and global communities. We do this because we know how blessed we are in life and feel we have a responsibility to pay it forward.
In 2023, we continued our partnership with World Hope and were able to help children living with disabilities in Sierra Leone. World Hope connects those children with much-needed physical therapy as well as occupational therapy services. We strongly believe in the organization and are proud to nurture and grow that relationship.
Our charitable incentive match program that we began in 2022 has been more successful than we could have imagined. Over the course of the year, we have donated to several causes/organizations such as Feed the Children, Children’s Home Society, Sioux Falls Prayer Breakfast, Feeding South Dakota, and many more. I have been extremely proud of the generosity and compassion shown by every member of the Cornerstone Team.
Looking Ahead to a Bright Future
As we celebrate our many years of partnership, I want to express our deep gratitude for the trust you’ve placed in us. You have always been our top priority, and we are excited to continue this journey with you.
In the world of financial planning, we understand that you have choices, and we genuinely appreciate your decision to make us your financial partner. Our entire team takes this privilege seriously.
I believe that our dedication, knowledge, and genuine concern for not just your financial future but for your overall well-being make us the ideal choice among financial planners.
As we enter the new year, our commitment to excellence, transparency, and trust remains unwavering. We are here to guide, educate, and empower you towards achieving the future you deserve.
Thank you for being a valued member of our Cornerstone family. Here’s to a prosperous and fulfilling year ahead.
Founder & CEO, Cornerstone Financial Solutions
Wealth Advisor, RJFS
MS-Financial Planning, CFP®ChFC, CMFC®, ChFEBC®CRPS®, AWMA®, AAMS®