The IPA TeamAbout Us
Our exceptional team is the lifeblood of our business. We take the time to explain how financial advisors are compensated and provide the pros and cons in language that you can understand, so you can make the best decision for you and your family. Our desire is to work with our clients through the years in helping them achieve their financial goals. We live by our four core values of Compassion, Integrity, Independence, and Commitment.
Caring about the dreams and goals of those we serve.
Honesty, fairness and ethics are the foundation of our firm.
Using our years of experience to provide objective, unbiased advice – guided by faith.
We are dedicated to the success of our client’s financial journey.
Value to You
Our Mission is to partner with our clients on their lifelong financial journey, providing honest and objective advice. We dedicate ourselves to educate, guide and serve as our clients strive for financial success and peace of mind.
A Team of Professionals
Our Team Members
Managing Director & Financial Planner
Andrew Castleberry,CFP®, CIMA®
Carolyn Flournoy, CFP®
Pat Paxton, Managing Director & Financial Planner
Pat Paxton has over 30 years of professional experience in the Financial Services Industry. After gaining 18 years of experience in all aspects of Financial Planning, Pat established Investment Planning Advisors in 2003. He has successfully built a thriving practice and a team of professionals to provide comprehensive Wealth Management & Financial Planning advice to families of Northern Georgia.
As a fiduciary, Pat does provide his clients with independent and objective advice as a fee based wealth manager and financial advisor. Pat does have an established client base where most of his high net worth clients are either retired or preparing for their retirement. As a result, Pat’s clients are primarily concerned with retirement planning and more specifically Retirement Income planning after they retire. Pat also works on an hourly or on flat fee basis for those who may need general consultation, portfolio evaluation or overall financial planning. Pat has been a SmartVestor Pro for the Dave Ramsey show since 2003 for Investments and Long Term Care. For the past three years(2015-2017) Pat has earned the title of “Best of Forsyth” for Financial Planning.
Pat and his wife Wendy have been happily married for over 26 years.Pat and Wendy are both active in various civic organizations. Pat is a member of Rotary, The Knights of Columbus, and a graduate of Leadership Forsyth Class of 2008 and a member of the Cumming Forsyth Chamber. He has recently joined the Stewardship Committee for his parish: St. Brendan the Navigator.
He is a member FINRA holds seven securities and insurance registrations.
- Pat Paxton from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania – but friends in the hood call me Party.
- I am a dinosaur junkie.
- I want to travel and explore the world!
- I am the type of person that always has a list or a project around the house. Sometimes I think I would have enjoyed life as a farmer.
- I come from a wrestling family and wrestled in high school and some in college.
- I go to the College Wrestling National Championships when possible. I coached for a youth program and officiated at the high school level.
- I tend to encourage my clients to fulfill their dreams. I love to hear about their accomplishments, their adventures and what makes them happy. I can be their greatest cheerleader. But also a tough critic.
- “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
- My wife Wendy has tolerated me for 31 years! That woman is a saint!
Wendy Paxton, Operations Manager
After a successful career in Property Management for twenty years, Wendy joined Investment Planning Advisors in 2008 as the Operations Manager.
Wendy manages the Client Services division for IPA. She is often the first voice you will hear when in contact with us. She provides the training and back office support for the staff and all of the Financial Advisors. Wendy also provides vital support for the Dave Ramsey program for her husband, Pat Paxton, who has been endorsed by Dave Ramsey since 2003. She facilitates Financial Peace University for her church at St. Brendan the Navigator in Cumming, GA.
Wendy has always been active in the community. She has been on the board for her neighborhood Homeowners association. She is a graduate of the 2013 Leadership Forsyth class and is serving on the Board of Directors for the 2016-2019 term. Additionally, she is serving on the Membership Advisory Board for the Cumming Forsyth Chamber of Commerce.
- I am from New Jersey but proud to be a “Dammed Yankee.”
- After my PA college graduation, I picked Atlanta from the map, never been here, did not have a job nor did I know anyone. Been here since 1980 and never looked back!
- I am a pretty good cook, but I am responsible for serious baking disasters!
- I am a closet Disco Queen.
- People say I am very animated, which I do not understand.
- I’m a serious people watcher. Love to listen and watch communication dynamic’s to observe relationships.
- My husband Pat and my 2 dogs and my faith are my world.
Ken Bellavance, Financial Planner
Ken has a clear and natural passion for financial planning. He recognizes an individual’s values, personal experiences, and life goals are vital to implementing the optimal plan. Ken provides a thoughtful and thorough approach to planning and places a major emphasis on maintaining great client relationships through consistent communication. Ken’s process of financial planning focuses on forming a true partnership with clients to help them reach their financial goals. Every individual brings a unique set of goals and circumstances and the optimal plan only develops if both parties work together.
Ken utilizes the latest technology to help the investors set-up, track, and maintain their investment portfolio. His financial plans weigh the technical aspects of planning along with the behavioral elements. The end result is a modern and efficient financial plan coupled with ongoing support and guidance.
Ken takes pride in being a Dave Ramsey SmartVestor Pro Associate by placing a special emphasis on investor education. A series of articles and videos can found on our website. The article and video series attempt to explain current events and investing fundamentals in plain language. Check out the most recent article by visiting the Client Resources tab.
Ken studied Finance at the University of North Georgia as a student/athlete. Prior to graduation from the Mike Cottrell School of Business, he received the Excellence in Finance award for his academic efforts within the field. After four years of college baseball, Ken ended his playing days as a Capitol One Academic All-American.
Ken and his wife, Danielle live in Cumming, GA with their daughters Brynn and Emory. They take full advantage of the beautiful North Georgia mountains by kayaking, hiking, and fishing. Originally from Stone Mountain, GA, Ken is a Georgia Bulldawg, Atlanta Braves, and Atlanta Falcons fan.
- My wife and daughters mean the world to me. They are my motivation.
- I have a major sweet tooth.
- I usually have a sarcastic comment on stand-by.
- My instinct is to think critically before I assume anything is correct (one of my best traits).
- My recommendations are thoughtful before they are technical. I avoid overly complex recommendations.
- If you bring up my athletic career, be prepared for me to name drop Jeff Franceour, Matt Olson, and Jason Heyward.
- I’m proud to be from Stone Mountain.
- I enjoy writing. Although my colleagues believe I am too much of a perfectionist.
Andrew Castleberry, CFP®, Financial Planner
Andrew is very passionate about partnering with his clients and guiding them on their financial journey. He enjoys the opportunity to review his client’s full financial picture, so he can develop a complete financial plan. Andrew partners with clients to help his clients determine and achieve their goals as efficiently, effectively and simply as possible. He pride himself on always acting with complete integrity and as a trusted partner and fiduciary. As a Certified Financial Planner® he is held to the highest fiduciary standard of care, and puts his client needs above all else.
Andrew has experience with two other brokerage firms working in both retirement and tax planning as well as the active trading side of the industry. Using his experience, he take’s pride in providing efficient and quality service to all clients. Additionally, he feels that educating his client’s on all aspects of their financial plan is key to their success.
- My wife and I have two fairly okay dogs.
- I always look forward to starting a good book, and most of the time finishing it.
- I enjoy arguing about things that aren’t quite important with my coworkers, especially when it’s about Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings.
- I tend to have long winded explanations to most questions, because I am a strong believer that context is important. There should be a difference between knowing an answer and knowing why the answer is correct. Knowing a piece of information and knowing how that piece of information fits into a much larger picture are different. There are very few things that happen in isolation of something else. Being able to contextualize information in financial planning but also in life is important. This could be my personal bias but I feel that taking the time to learn something in context and be able to apply that knowledge is often overlooked for the quick answer.
Kelsey Fredriksson, Client Service
Kelsey joined our team in 2018. She is assisting Ken Bellavance with scheduling, client communications, and new client on-boarding. She has multiple years of experience in front and back office operations within the healthcare field.
Kelsey is exceptionally organized and takes pride in ensuring each client has a productive and enjoyable experience at IPA.
Kelsey is a graduate from North Georgia College and State University with a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. She played soccer while at North Georgia, earning multiple athletic and academic honors along the way. She and her husband, Alan, live in Braselton with their sons Jase and Eli.
- I’m raising two boys. Nothing scares me. Except creepy crawlies.
- My family and I love the Atlanta Braves.
- I love Dunkin Donuts coffee. It’s better than Starbucks.
- I love doing puzzles and reading books but rarely have time for either right now.
- On the weekends you can find me at one of my sons sporting events, at church, or spending time with my family and friends.
Tanna Lesch, Paraplanner
Tanna Lesch is the Paraplanner at IPA. As a paraplanner she will be analyzing client’s needs, attending client meetings to take notes and follow up on administrative tasks, and prepare financial reports. Tanna takes pride in knowing that the work that she does behind the scenes is making the client’s life easier and more organized.
Tanna graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in Event Management and General Business. Since her time at Iowa State, she has worked in the Transportation Industry and IT industry as a digital marketer where she was able to increase her skills and abilities in multitasking, problem solving and communications.
Tanna and her husband Tyler reside in Cumming and in their free time they enjoy biking, hiking, and cheering on the Chiefs on football Sundays!
- I am never lacking over the top facial expressions.
- Baking is my favorite hobby. The science behind baking makes the end product that much more exciting.
- I would describe myself as extraverted, observant and logical. I’m always thinking one step ahead and playing out multiple scenarios before making any decisions.
- Once you get to know me you’ll realize that 99% of what I say is sarcastic.
- I am from the great state of Iowa.
- If you need to find me on the weekends I’ll be on the tennis courts, hiking a new trail or tackling a new house project with my husband.
- I’m an incredibly competitive person but not a sore loser.
- I’m very strong-willed and can not be swayed into thinking that Chick-fil-A fries are good.
Carolyn Flournoy, CFP®, Financial Planner
Carolyn joined our team in 2022 and has practiced financial planning for over 10 years. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, she provides planning and investment services to clients, and has a broad base of knowledge in the areas of retirement, Social Security, and elder care. Carolyn enjoys getting to know her clients and helping them build a plan so that they can achieve their financial goals.
Carolyn is a graduate of Agnes Scott College. Before coming to Investment Planning Advisors, she worked for a couple of financial planning firms in Atlanta. She is excited to be back in her hometown of Cumming.
- I am, and have always been, very family-oriented.
- Originally I am from Southern California, but I’ve lived in Georgia for so long that I often feel like a native.
- I enjoy watching the Atlanta Braves–even when living in California, we were Braves fans.
- One of my favorite parts of financial planning is getting to know the clients–where they come from, what motivates them, what goals they’ve set for themselves. I’m also a great listener.
- In my spare time, I like to read, and usually have several books going at once. I’m always up for a new book recommendation!
- Genealogy fascinates me. It’s a time-consuming hobby, but I love the challenge of uncovering people’s stories, and putting them in writing for posterity.
- One of my bucket list goals is to travel to all 50 states. I’m over halfway there.
- I enjoy being in nature, and watching wildlife. I’ve gotten pretty good at identifying songbirds.
Carol Taylor, Client Service Associate
Carol joined IPA in 2022. She will be working closely with clients on scheduling, account paperwork and meeting preparation. Carol is detail oriented and organized with over 10 years customer service experience.
Carol graduated from Columbus State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She has worked in the banking & financial industry, stock plan administration and Health FSA.
Carol and family live in Cumming.
- Indoor plants make me happy. My family and friends think I have a plant problem. I only name my favorite ones. Go figure.
- I was born in Hawaii (Oahu) but have never been to any other Hawaiian Islands. Maybe one day.
- My hobbies are DIY crafting and photography. I find satisfaction in creating things.
- I enjoy spending time with my family. We love trying new restaurants, movie nights, and binge-watching series on Netflix or Disney+.
Alison joined our team in 2022. She is assisting Pat Paxton with day-to-day activities such as meeting arrangements, account paperwork and new client set up.
Alison’s background is in Travel Planning and Customer Relations. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and being outdoors.
Alison is a Cumming resident along with her husband, 3 teenagers, two dogs and a cat.
- I am from Atlanta but lived in Florida for about 10 years and would not move back; however, I love to visit the beach.
- I love spending time with my husband and teenagers.
- I have two adorable dogs that encourage me to be outside as much as possible which is a great thing.
- I love to travel and have recently turned my kids onto cruising (I mean what beats pizza ice cream 24×7).
- I have gotten very crafty in recent years and really enjoy new projects.
- My absolute favorite time of year is Christmas because of all of the fun family activities and spending time together.
Become a Part of the IPA Family
Join Our Team
If you are interested in starting a career in the financial services, our firm is growing and is committed to mentoring and training the right people. We have established a mentoring program that can assist you in building your business. We will not churn you out the way the larger financial service organizations have been known to do.
If you are looking for a team to join and you have an established practice, we may be able to help. Our goal is to assist experienced advisors in transitioning their business to be part of our firm. If you are passionate about helping people and have the heart of a teacher, we would love to talk to you.