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Alumni Spotlight: Russ Strickler


Current or most recent title and employer?
Founder – Strickler Financial Group

How did SC4 help prepare you?
Going to college didn’t exactly run in my family, which played a role in me not being completely sure college was the right path for me. On top of that, it was up to me to pay for my school. SC4 gave me the confidence and exposure to know that college was in the cards for me. When I had my first economics class I knew I had found my calling and I was on my way from there. Luckily my parents were gracious enough to allow me to continue to live with them while I attended school, which allowed me to work at a gas station and pay my way through school without any student loans!

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
I run a firm that helps people plan for their retirement. Helping people set themselves up for their financial future is a very noble profession when done right. I get an immense sense of accomplishment and gratification every time my team gets to help another family live with a sense of financial security that they may not have otherwise found. Growing up in the Thumb Area was a blessing because it instilled a strong work ethic and small-town values that I believe are a competitive advantage in the business world.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
I transferred to Lake Superior State University to get my bachelor’s degree in business management with a minor in finance and economics. I later completed a certificate program through Oakland University to sit for my CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional certification exam, which is widely considered the premier industry designation.