I have an exciting announcement to make, but I wanted to start with a quick story.
If you’ve ever stepped foot in my office, you probably notice I keep a jar of wheat on my desk.
I grew up on a farm. If you’ve ever worked on a farm, you’ll understand me when I say it is one of the most labor-intensive, most physically challenging yet rewarding industries.
It was on the farm I learned many of the invaluable life lessons I carry with me to this day. Lessons like the value of hard work. Sunrise to sundown, back-breaking, sweat-dripping work. Lessons like reaping what you sow. Lessons like saving for the off season or prepping for the possibility of bad weather or natural disasters destroying your crops — lessons about not taking anything for granted.
Back in 1989 when my wife Denise and I started Cook Financial Associates, our desire was to create an accounting firm focused on service. It was through this focus that led me to go back to school to learn financial planning in addition to accounting. We wanted to build a firm with a truly holistic perspective. We wanted to take the lessons from the farm and apply it to the financial services industry. Trust, integrity, careful planning and strategic business decisions laid the foundation. From there our focus on relationship building is what we attribute the success of Cook Financial in the early days. Many of those clients are still with us to this day, 30 years later.
What we built was not only a firm that provided tax and accounting services, but also the personal and business financial planning. We felt like an integrated approach could provide our clients with better advice in both their personal lives as well as business endeavors.
Since the formation of Cook Financial, our desire has always been to affiliate with other companies that shared our commitment to our clients. In 2004, we did so by joining Commonwealth Financial Network, and Commonwealth still gives us access to the best financial services and investment products available. In 2011, for the same reasons, we decided to join forces with Summit Wealth Group. With this merger, our accounting company became Summit Accounting Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Summit Wealth Group.
To date, our firm has experienced rapid growth, to the point where in 2017, Summit Wealth Group was named to Inc Magazine’s list of fastest growing private firms in the country. Again, it comes back to the foundation for me. The wheat on my desk serves as a reminder of where I came from, the values I learned on the farm, as well as God’s faithfulness and blessings given our efforts over the years.
Today, as we continue our desire to provide an exceptional experience to our clients, I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce the promotion of Jason Schneider to the position of President of Summit Accounting Solutions. Jason joined Summit in 2015 as the Director of Accounting and, during his tenure, has proven his leadership and management abilities in guiding Summit’s accounting team.
As President, Jason will assure the highest level of quality in the service our clients receive and will work with our investment and financial planning professionals to provide valuable integration of tax planning strategies for clients of Summit Wealth Group. Jason’s experience, expertise, and knowledge provide an invaluable resource to Summit.
Ultimately, the decision was an easy one. Jason shares the values we’ve always held and has immersed himself in the Summit culture since he first joined, embracing a client-first spirit. I’m more than confident in his abilities to lead this great organization.
As for me, I’m pleased to say that with Jason handling the management duties of the company, I will be able to devote more of my time to working directly with our clients on advanced planning strategies. We are doing some exciting things in the areas of tax planning and long-term investments, and I’m pleased to have a team working with me that enables us to continue to enhance the benefits we can provide to you, our clients.
Please join us in congratulating Jason on his promotion and new role as the President of Summit Accounting Solutions.
– Daniel Cook, CFP®, AIF®