Thomas Gross, CFP®
Chief Technology Officer/Financial Planner
Thomas graduated from Taylor University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems. A few weeks after graduating Thomas began working at NorthWest Financial. He received his CFP® designation in 2013.
As a planner, Thomas has enjoyed being able to help clients see how all the different pieces of a financial plan fit together to achieve the desired result. He enjoys being able to simplify and consolidate the many parts of an individual’s financial life.
Thomas is also involved with the implementation of technology at NWFS. He likes to troubleshoot issues and put together plans for utilizing technology in the office. Thomas is always interested in how technology solutions can provide a better value to clients.
Thomas grew up showing pigs and even met his wife (Natalie) in a pig barn. They have been married since 2011 and reside on a few acres outside of Sheridan. Their son Isaiah was born in 2017. Thomas still actively helps with the county fair and can often be seen at pig shows in the Midwest. Thomas and Natalie are members of College Park Church.
Sarah Austin, CFP®
Sarah grew up outside Philadelphia and enjoyed traveling all over the east coast visiting historical sites. She graduated from Cedarville University in 2015 with a degree in finance. Sarah interned for NorthWest Financial during the summer of 2015 and then began full-time in January 2016.
Jumping in during tax season, Sarah enjoys digging into clients’ tax data, reconciling numbers, and simplifying a complex problem. She likes to be involved in the whole financial process—listening to a client’s needs, determining steps to meet those needs, implementing the steps, and then tweaking the steps as a client’s needs change. For Sarah, the diversity and holistic nature of financial planning provides never ending learning possibilities. She looks forward to guiding clients through retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, education planning, and more.
In her spare time, Sarah has a penchant for reading (especially biographies and mysteries), hiking, and hunting down antique shops. She loves exploring new areas and trying different ethnic foods with her husband, Javan. She attends Fountain Square Presbyterian Church.
Stephen Link, CFP®, MBA
Steve is a native of the Philadelphia area and earned a BA in chemistry from Franklin & Marshall College. After a year at Union Carbide, he enrolled in the University of Michigan where he earned an MBA with an emphasis in finance. His background and training led him to a twenty-year career in market research with Eli Lilly and Company. In 2000, Steve left Lilly to become a staff pastor at First Baptist Church of Carmel, where he remained for five years.
In 2005, he came to work for NorthWest Financial Services. “Bill had been my advisor for thirteen years, so I had confidence in the integrity and effectiveness of the company. The complexity of the job is a challenge, but I enjoy the blend of art and science. There are specific techniques and tools, but there is also an element of intuition and experience. I love coming to work because I am convinced that the service we offer our clients has real, measurable value.” Steve and Julie have been married since 1983, and they are the parents of three adult children.
Julianne Miller, Enrolled Agent
Taxes and Special Projects
Juli, previously a client, has been working part-time with our firm since 2007. Back in the days of the dinosaurs, she earned a B.S. in Mathematics from Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne.
Juli enjoys investigating inconsistencies and balancing data. Now an Enrolled Agent, tax time is her favorite time of the year. She loves gathering clients’ tax data and putting the pieces of the puzzle together to form the completed tax return, looking to minimize the clients’ tax liability in the process. When not working on taxes, you may find her contacting you about accessing your retirement plan websites—she makes sure our login information and account balance values stay up-to-date so we can help with your retirement plan decisions.
Outside of work, Juli stays busy with the activities and academics of her four children, who range in age from elementary school to young adult. She and her husband, Ed, attend First Baptist Church of Carmel. She loves vacationing with the family. Interested in “conquering” Disney World? She will be happy to share her favorite techniques and advice!
Associate Financial Planner
After graduating from Olivet Nazarene University with a degree in accounting, Rachel joined our team at NorthWest Financial in the summer of 2017. Although she is accustomed to the small-town life of mid-Michigan, she likes the vibrant culture and community that Indianapolis has to offer.
Rachel enjoys the wide variety of subject areas and learning opportunities involved with comprehensive financial planning. Each day there is something new to be learned and a new possibility to be explored for the benefit of a client. She enjoys working on all the individual pieces and then seeing how they fit together to help simplify the financial lives of families and individuals. For Rachel, the best part about planning is the personalized care and attention that is given to every client’s unique situation.
In her free time Rachel loves to explore new places, hike, and read. Additionally, eating sushi and playing Euchre are some of her favorite things to do with friends and family. She attends College Park Church.
Aaron Pettersen, CFA, CFP®
Chief Investment Officer
Aaron began his career with NorthWest Financial in 1998 upon graduating from Cedarville University. After spending his first few years learning the basics of comprehensive planning, Aaron’s interest in investments led him to pursue the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, a multi-year program geared toward investment management and research. He was awarded his charter in 2003.
Aaron’s current duties include leading the firm’s investment research efforts, developing portfolio recommendations for clients and trading. He enjoys the financial modeling and data analysis aspects of the job, as well as collaborating with the other team members during the firm’s monthly investment committee meeting.
In 2015, Aaron became a co-owner of NorthWest Financial. Aaron and his wife Jennifer have four children and reside in Carmel, Indiana. Before children, he enjoyed reading and participating in various sports. Currently, however, his sports activity is limited to basketball one morning a week. His family is actively involved at College Park Church.
Bill Reno, CFP®
Bill has been in the financial services arena for about 30 years. His entry to the field was through a life insurance company, but he decided early on that providing comprehensive financial advice for a fee was his preferred way of doing business. He enjoys seeing the benefits of offering advice in many areas of a client’s life to help him or her achieve successful outcomes (from funding children’s education to reducing tax liabilities to retiring without much change in lifestyle).
Bill also enjoys mentoring the next generation of advisors and seeing them excel at dealing with client issues. He is coming to a time where he will start slowing down—definitely not stopping—to spend more time with his wife Kate, his children and grandchildren.
Kathleen Reno, Enrolled Agent
Taxes and Compliance
Kate, previously residing in New Jersey and Ohio, obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cedarville College. She subsequently earned her Enrolled Agent status and has stepped up to the challenge of running the tax preparation side of our business for many years. In addition to tax preparation, she is currently responsible for our compliance program and is continually lining up those proverbial ducks. Kate enjoys the NorthWest Financial team and the variety of tasks that make up her day at the office.
Kate has always enjoyed reading, but has recently been honing her sewing skills by making quilts and creating other fun items for her grandchildren. She loves to travel with Bill to Washington DC, Phoenix, and Iowa where their children and grandchildren reside.
During her 5 years in retail banking, Sarah gained invaluable knowledge of customer service, regulations, and finances. Joining us in 2012, her expertise and desire to do the best she can for our clients and advisors has made Sarah a valued member of our team. She enjoys preparing taxes and assisting the advisors in providing a high level of service to our clients. One of the things that keeps Sarah motivated the most at work is her passion to learn. Whether it’s about taxes, new policies, programs, or our clients in general; she loves learning and growing in her position.
This passion carries over to her personal life as she is constantly looking for fun family activities to do together. Sarah enjoys visiting parks around Indy, hiking, and camping with her husband and three children.
Matthew Yeiter, CFP®
Vice President of Operations/Financial Planner
Matt is a Financial Advisor and Co-Owner at Northwest Financial. He joined the firm as an intern back in 2010. Prior to working here, Matt attended Cedarville University and graduated with majors in Finance and Marketing.
As a CFP® Practitioner, Matt enjoys looking at his client’s entire financial picture and creating a comprehensive plan to help them meet their goals. Matt navigates many areas including retirement planning, cash flow planning, investments, taxes, employee benefits, insurance and estate planning. The most rewarding part of his job is providing clients with peace of mind regarding their finances.
Along with his responsibilities as an advisor, Matt is also a member of NorthWest Financial’s Investment Committee – where new and existing investment ideas are researched, reviewed and discussed monthly.
When out of the office, Matt enjoys attending College Park Church, spending time with his wife (Marisa), son (Luke), and daughter (Lydia), and playing golf. Originally from Traverse City, MI, Matt also enjoys many other outdoor activities including most water sports, hiking, and camping.