Awards and Certifications


CEP® – Certified Estate Planner™

The CEP® (Certified Estate Planner™) or MCEP® (Master Certified Estate Planner™), is a financial, legal, or tax professional who has earned a distinctive educational certification through the National Institute of Certified Estate Planners (NICEP).
A CEP® has completed a rigorous eight (8) module course of instruction in the field of estate planning, successfully passed a comprehensive proctored examination process, shown a desire to associate with professional estate planning peers, agreed to comply with annual estate planning continuing education requirements, and ascribed to the practical guidelines and code of ethics of the NICEP.

CEPA® – Certified Exit Planning Advisor®

The Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) credential is for professional advisors who want to effectively engage more business owners. Through the process of Exit Planning (the Value Acceleration Methodology), owners can build more valuable companies, have stronger personal financial plans, and align their personal goals. Earning CEPA doesn’t change your expertise, it enhances your ability to engage business owners and have value-added conversations around growth and exit.

CFA® – Chartered Financial Analyst

A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) charter is a designation given to those who have completed the CFA® Program and completed acceptable work experience requirements. The CFA Program is a three-part exam that tests the fundamentals of investment tools, valuing assets, portfolio management, and wealth planning. The CFA Program is typically completed by those with backgrounds in finance, accounting, economics, or business. CFA charterholders earn the right to use the CFA designation after program completion, application, and acceptance by CFA Institute.


As part of their certification, CFP® professionals commit to CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, which means they commit to work in their clients’ best interests at all times when providing financial advice. Not all financial planners make that commitment to their profession. CFP Board’s Code of Ethics outlines CFP® professionals’ obligations to uphold principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence. The Rules of Conduct require CFP® professionals to put clients’ interests above their own, and to provide their financial planning services as a “fiduciary” — acting in the best interest of their financial planning clients. CFP® professionals are subject to sanctions if they violate these standards.

ChFC® – Chartered Financial Consultant®

The ChFC® degree program requires students to complete nine college-level courses or 27 hours of college credit in the field. Students must achieve mastery of more than 100 integrated advanced financial planning topics, including:
Estate Planning, Insurance Planning, Retirement Planning, Financial Planning Process and Environment, Income Tax Planning, Employee Benefits Planning, Asset Protection Planning, Estate Tax, Transfer Tax, and Gift Tax Planning, Applications of Comprehensive Financial Planning and Consulting.

CVGA® – Certified Value Growth Advisor®

The CVGA is a 5-day program focusing on the fundamental best practices of any business across the eight primary functional categories that drive the creation of business value and how advisors can become the “Engagement Quarterback” to their clients. Various subject matter experts present modules on each of the eight primary categories, along with special modules on corporate finance, strategic planning, business development, and engagement management. A live case study ties the program together and an online exam completes it.


3rd Party Awards

Heritage Investors:

3 Best Financial Services in Knoxville, TN2021

“ThreeBest Rated uses a 50-Point Inspection that includes uses everything from checking reviews, ratings, reputation, history, complaints, satisfaction, trust and cost to the general excellence.” The complete list of their 50-Point Inspection can be found on this page.


Investopedia Top 100 Influential Advisors – 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

“Investopedia’s proprietary methodology focuses on awarding financial advisors who have demonstrated a top-of-the-industry ability to reach the largest and most diverse financial and investing audience. That reach is measured by the impact and quality of the advisor’s published work, public appearances, online following, and commitment to financial literacy across diverse communities. The 2020 Investopedia 100 also heavily weighed peer-to-peer nominations, highlighting the most influential advisors who were recommended by their peers. Investopedia receives no compensation from placing advisors on our list, nor does an advisor’s appearance on our list constitute an individual endorsement by Investopedia of such advisor.”

Exit Planning Institute Leader of the Year – 2018

“Advisors honored with the EPI Leader of the Year award have made a lasting impact on their communities, whether local, national, or industry-wide and embody the core qualities of a true leader. They don’t shy away from complex problems. They demonstrate the ability to evolve and lead others in an ever-changing marketplace. And most importantly, they understand that nothing important is accomplished alone.”

Knoxville Business Journal 40 Under 40 – 2019

“Nominees must be 39 years of age or younger on Dec., 31, to be considered. The nominator will fill out a short form and provide background on the nominee’s professional and philanthropic achievements and any other information that can help shine a light on why the nominee is an outstanding candidate for 40 Under 40.”

Forbes Finance Council Member

“Membership in the Forbes Finance Council is invitation-only. Qualified candidates must be senior-level executives of a financial services company (examples: fintech, venture capital, asset management/financial planning, wealth management, and accounting). Qualifying companies must generate a minimum of $1M USD in revenue, or have a minimum of $1M USD in financing.” 40 Under 40 — 2019

40 Under 40 Awards are nominated by readers of the Knox News Sentinel. Awards are chosen by a team at Knox News Sentinel based partly upon the nominator’s submission and the KNS’s undisclosed criteria.

Financially Simple Educational Portal:

Feedspot Top 10 Business Podcast – 2018
Feedspot Top 10 Business Education Youtube Channels to Follow in 2021 – 2021

“Feedspot has a team of over 25 experts whose goal is to rank blogs, podcasts and youtube channels in several niche categories. Publishers submit their blogs or podcasts on Feedspot using the form at the top of this page. [The] expert editorial team reviews and adds them to a relevant category list. Ranking is based on relevancy, blog post frequency(freshness), social metrics, domain authority, traffic, and many other parameters. [Feedspot] routinely removes inactive blogs and those which are no longer relevant to a given list. The list is updated as [they] receive new blog submissions and re-ranked every few weeks.”

Top 20 Financial Advisor, Player FM Podcast – 2019

Player FM’s rankings are generated using a listen-based algorithm based solely on weekly listenership within the player Player FM app/website.

10 Best Podcast for Financial Advisors, Listen To Podcasts – 2021

Listen to Podcast’s rankings are based on the reviewer’s personal opinion of the podcast.