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Your Valuable Team at the Helm

Sound Financial exists to help you live a fulfilled life—and the specific way we do that is through financial planning.

We use all of the financial planning tools you would expect (investments, insurance, annuities, etc.) to help you find an unexpectedly fulfilling life. We believe that a fulfilled life is well-rounded in that it connects you with others and helps you find and live out your larger purpose. Our unique Rules Based approach provides the foundation for our investment philosophy, focusing on long-term stability instead of short-term fluctuations.

The Sound Financial Team

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Karl Simmons

CFE’d, Partner

Karl has over 30 years as a Financial Advisor and money management experience. Karl started his career with an investment banking firm and then two Wall Street wirehouses. In 1995 tiring of being encouraged to push proprietary products, Karl opened his own independent firm. Then in 2017 Karl and Sound Financial merged & he manages the Texas office of Sound Financial Strategies Group. He is securities licensed in TX, CA, and SC with an Insurance license in TX, as well as a Certified Financial Educator (CFE’d).

Karl and his wife, Elma, have three kids and they are active in their local church and are passionate about missions. He is fluent in sign language and is a master diver, enjoys golf, SCUBA diving, martial arts, hunting, camping, and fishing.

Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck.

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Sammy Dean

Founding Partner

The best part of my job is meeting with clients, relating to them and discussing their needs.

Sammy loves his work and takes pride in the fact that the business is customer-driven and that long-term relationships/friendships are formed with clients. Having taught over 2,000 people in financial seminars and workshops and having over 40 years of experience Sammy feels that his greatest gift is listening to and understanding people.

He loves the opportunity to develop relationships with employees and advisors here at Sound. And helping clients accomplish their financial goals over time creates great pride in our company. As a founding partner, he has seen many years of growth at Sound. That is a source of great joy for Sammy.

In his free time, he loves being with and traveling with his wife, Jana. His pride and joy however are his two grandchildren, David Cole and KK. Many hours are spent watching David Cole play baseball and KK in gymnastics. But he most enjoys the trips he takes with these two each year.

Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck.

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Chris McAlpin

Managing Partner and CEO

My goal is to see our clients grow into a position where they are financially independent. I believe that we all can and should have plans to succeed. Jeremiah 29:11 says that is God’s plan for us.

Since 2004 Chris has been helping clients manage their assets and plan for retirement. This pursuit of serving clients and planning for their futures has led him to his current role as Managing Partner and CEO of Sound Financial Strategies Group. In these roles he has led the firm into the future as they grow in both profit and purpose, and find new ways to serve clients, to make a generational impact.

Chris studied accounting at Arkansas State University and graduated from the University of Mississippi. He received an MBA from Mississippi College and studied finance at King’s College in London. Chris has completed course work through the College of Financial Planning.

Chris is passionate about his faith and family and enjoys spending time pursuing both! He also enjoys reading, hunting, exercise, and being outdoors. Chris serves at his church as a deacon, teacher, and committee leader, as well as a volunteer chaplain at a state prison. Recently, Chris has been working with Gospel-centered economic development opportunities that are designed to serve those in poverty.

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Jerry Grantham

ChFC, Senior Financial Advisor

The most attractive aspect of my relationship with Sound Financial Strategies Group is being involved with an organization truly committed to helping clients reach their financial goals. This is demonstrated by the firm’s commitment to not only having the information and technology to help clients make informed decisions and provide on-going service to clients, but in developing long-term relationships with clients.

As his career has evolved, he has come to the understanding that financial planning is not just about “numbers and rates of return.” It is about understanding what a person really wants to accomplish with their life. “It is satisfying to know that you are trusted by others yet you must continue to earn that trust every day.”

Jerry and his wife, Meddy, were married in 1974 and are the parents of two children, Elizabeth and Jordan, and three beautiful grandchildren. In his spare time he enjoys racquetball, cycling, working in the yard, reading and cooking. They are members of Lakeland Presbyterian Church where he has served both as a deacon and an elder.

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Joel Holden

CFP®, Partner and COO

 One of the most exciting things about working at Sound Financial Strategies Group, Inc. is the opportunity it has given me to develop relationships with others and help them with their financial education and decisions.

Joel has been a leader at Sound Financial since 2009. After graduating from Mississippi State University he began a career of asking "why and how." When a shift change began a few years back in the financial advisory industry, Joel led the charge in transitioning a 24-year-old IBD firm into a hybrid Registered Investment Advisor. These "why" questions have led others in our industry to ask "how." He not only led change at Sound, he has also assisted seven other firms across the country to make similar transitions.

Now as a Partner and the COO of Sound, Joel leads our team to provide the best operational tools and technology available in our industry. He continues to ask "why" in ways the firm can be more transparent with our clients and establish strategic partnerships that allow Sound to provide more control for the firm and a better experience for our clients.

Joel has a Bachelor of Business Administration from MSU with a Major in Risk Management, Insurance, and Financial Planning. Joel was selected as a team member to compete in the Ameriprise Financial Planning Competition during his senior year. Joel and his team earned the opportunity to compete nationally in Minnesota for being selected in the top eight of all universities that participated. Joel continues his education in financial service with constant study, attaining several licenses and pursuing professional designations.

Joel and his wife, Susan, are active members at Broadmoor Baptist Church where he serves as a deacon. He and Susan have a constantly moving household with three beautiful daughters, Lela Cate, Ellie and Maggie. He enjoys hunting, fishing and pretty much anything else that involves being outdoors.

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Christine Cole

Client Relations Coordinator

To love what you do is an amazing accomplishment within itself.

I have had the greatest opportunity to live this statement working for Sound Financial Strategies Group, Inc.

Christine is originally from Katy, TX, where she was born and raised until 1997. She moved to Mississippi where she graduated from Mississippi State University in 2002 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education. She joined Sound Financial in 2014 in Marketing and is now part of the Client Services Team.

Christine and her husband, Bobby, reside in Morton with their three girls, Claire, Britley, and Sara and have a little boy named Colt on the way. She and her family are members of Morton Methodist Church. In her spare time she enjoys church activities and anything outdoors with her family.

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Vicki Van Wick

Client Relations Coordinator

What I discovered when I began working for Sound Financial is that I gained another family. And, I believe, that the way we care for our clients’ needs and their future is an extension of that family atmosphere. I love being a part of that!

Vicki worked for several years in administrative assistant positions before her children, Jesse and Peach, were born. They both earned their degrees at Mississippi State University and she takes great pride in her son working as a landscape architect in Alexandria, VA, and her daughter being a veterinarian at the Wildlife Center in Virginia. Vicki also enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael, and their dog, Sable.

Vicki is filled with grace and charm and has the great gift of instantly making you feel that you are the most important person in the room. She works hard to ensure that our clients’ needs are met as quickly as possible.

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Tonia Ray

Marketing Director

There are many different types of personalities working in our office. Each brings their only style, spice and passion. This team is a wonderful melting pot of talent. One of my very favorite parts of working at Sound is my task of working with our Purpose Partners. But honestly, it’s not a task at all. It brings me so much joy! I’ve been able to do something at work that I was taught as a child; be of service whenever you can. How incredible it is to be able to work with a company that strives every day to be God honoring. I have grown so much professionally and spiritually at Sound.

Tonia joined our company in 2007 as the Client Relations Coordinator then in 2013 she joined our management team. In 2019 Tonia moved into a new role at Sound. Today she serves as the Marketing Director working to organize client events, social media, client communications and promoting our Purpose Partners, But God Ministries and Delta Street Academy.

Tonia is a long-time member of Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton. She is involved in many church activities especially the music ministry. She is committed to promoting and volunteering with our Purpose Partners. She enjoys painting, working in her yard, music and spending time with family and friends.

Her daughter, Katie, and her husband, Jake, live near Omaha, NE. But her greatest joy is being "Sunny" to her two grandchildren, Kirkland and John Hatten.

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Susan Mitchell

Client Relations Coordinator

From day one the atmosphere here at Sound has been so welcoming and caring. Sound treats clients and employees the same way. I’m so glad to be part of this incredible family.

Susan joined the Sound family in January of 2018 as our receptionist. We quickly learned her kindness, organizational skills and intuition made her a perfect fit in the Client Relations department.

Susan is a native of Raymond, actually still living in her childhood home, having never moved. She and husband, Bill, live there with their two children, Sydney and Ross. Sydney is in college at Ole Miss in pre-med and Ross, a recent high school graduate, will attend Hinds Community college. They attend Wynndale Baptist Church.

Ole Miss ball games and game nights at home are a couple of the highlights in her life, but that’s because she shares those loves with her precious family.