Meet the Team

Scott Savage
Founder and CEO

With more than 31 years of experience in the investment industry, Scott serves as co-chief investment officer on the portfolio management team and is the visionary leading SJS Investment Services. Scott was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, the fourth of nine children. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from The Ohio State University.

He is active in local civic endeavors including: Commissioner, Metroparks of Toledo; Board Chair, International Samaritan; Investment Committee Chair, Diocese of Toledo; Foundation Board Member, St. John’s Jesuit High School; and Valentine Theatre Endowment Committee Member.  Past board memberships include: Investment Review Committee, Toledo Museum of Art; Finance Committee, ProMedica Health Systems; Board of Directors, Capital Bank, N.A.; Board of Trustees, Medical College of Ohio Foundation; Investment Committee, University of Toledo Foundation; Chairman, Board of Trustees, St. Ursula Academy; and Chairman, Board of Trustees, St. John’s Jesuit High School. The best part of SJS is that it impacts so many people’s lives – clients, employees, and partners. Somehow Scott finds the time to be an avid reader and do the things he loves including skiing and hiking. Scott competed in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, in 2005. To understand his level of determination it helps to realize that when he set this goal for himself years earlier, he didn’t even know how to swim!

Scott became hooked on finance when his father showed him that on the back side of the sports page was the stock page. That was when Scott was age 12, and the rest is history.

 

“I started SJS because I wanted to bring major money center investment experience to people and organizations no matter where they lived, no matter where they worked. And through that, I get to make a difference and give back, two very important aspects of my life.”
Kevin Kelly, CFA
President

Kevin focuses on enhancing the client experience at SJS. He ensures that all operations along with investment and client support functions are “SJS-worthy” and running efficiently. An investment professional since 2000, Kevin shares the post of Chief Investment Officer with Scott Savage and provides guidance on portfolio design and investment strategy. Kevin, who loves analytics and science, started out his career with an Electrical Engineering degree from University of Notre Dame, then earned a Master of Management degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He held management positions in large and small organizations including non-profits. Kevin and SJS are a perfect match, and years ago he transitioned to the company because of its client-first culture, its entrepreneurial spirit and the science-based investment principles that guide decisions. Kevin grew up in Minneapolis and found his way to Northwest Ohio through his college sweetheart, and now wife, Kate. Along with sharing in the upbringing of their eight children, Kevin serves on several non-profit boards including Sunshine Communities Foundation, Ohio Right to Life, and the Diocese of Toledo Finance Council. When time permits, Kevin enjoys culinary experiments in the kitchen and on the grill.

 

“To me, people are the most important aspect in business and that’s why I wanted to be a part of SJS…it’s our client-first culture, our entrepreneurial spirit and our science-based investment principles that can impact people’s lives in a truly meaningful way.”
Jennifer Smiljanich, CFP®
Managing Director – SJS Arizona Office

Jennifer has practiced in the investment profession for 20 years, with experience at a commercial bank and at financial planning and investment management firms. She serves SJS clients with her background in research and analysis, financial planning, and systems management, and recently moved from northwest Ohio to Phoenix, Arizona, to lead the SJS office there. Originally from Rochester, New York, Jennifer holds degrees from Cornell University and the Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester. She became enamored with personal finance when she took it as a senior elective in college. From there, she was hooked and has made it her professional mission to make personal finance approachable to others. At SJS since 2010, Jennifer says that the team is empowered to do whatever it takes to meet client needs; she likes working at a place where everyone goes above and beyond. And when she’s not at SJS? Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family – gardening, cooking, learning about wine, and enjoying the outdoors.

 

“I enjoy working at a place that goes above and beyond,
where the people do whatever it takes to meet the clients’ needs.”
Gary Geiger, CLU®
Senior Advisor

Gary has more than 30 years’ experience in the investment and insurance industries. He has worked with both businesses and individuals in helping to design and implement qualified retirement plans, business succession strategies, investment programs and estate plans. He holds the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) designation, and also received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from The Ohio State University, majoring in Finance. Gary was born and raised in Toledo, and is active in his home-town community serving on the boards of several local organizations. His job at SJS opens him up to such a wide variety of interesting people, and to him that is the best part. When he is not in the office, meeting with clients or working in the community, you can find Gary doing what he loves: Exercising, gardening, enjoying all things cars and spending time with his family.

 

 

“My job allows me to meet a wide variety of interesting people
and be a part of their lives.”
Kirk Ludwig, CFIP©
Director of Institutional Investment Management

Kirk has been involved in the investment business for over 20 years. Before joining SJS in 2004, he served as Vice President with Sky Trust, N.A. as Portfolio Manager for the Institutional Asset Management division. Specializing in fixed-income strategies, Kirk has successfully served the public funds sector in its need for short-duration fixed income portfolios. Kirk is on the Board of Trustees for Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority, as well as a board member for The Arc of Lucas County. He holds the Certified Fixed Income Practitioner (CFIP) designation, and studied Business Administration at the University of Toledo, and completed his Bachelor of Science requirements with the University of Phoenix. Kirk grew up in Toledo, Ohio and from his earliest years spent his days on the ice playing hockey. He’s been coaching youth leagues for over 20 years. An outdoor lover, he enjoys running, fishing and vacationing with his wife and three children. Two things about his work give Kirk the greatest satisfaction: The wonderful relationships he has with clients and co-workers. And seeing the real-life impact of a successful investment plan. If a community can give an extra scholarship to a child, or if a school is able to purchase much needed equipment for their classrooms, you can see if your investment plan helped make a difference. To Kirk, that’s the best part, that’s the reward.

 

“What I love most about my work is actually two things: the wonderful relationships I have with clients and co-workers and seeing the difference we are making in communities”
Jeff Yost
Director, Client Services

Jeff oversees and is involved in all aspects of account and asset management, trading, data integrity, and timely and accurate client communications. Jeff contributes to investment strategy and portfolio management policies, and often represents the primary point of contact in interfacing with the tax, accounting, and legal professionals of our clients. What he likes most about SJS are the people he connects with daily, both the employees and the clients, and the friendships and partnerships he’s developed with them. Jeff, a Toledo native, has nearly 20 years’ experience in the field of investment operations. During college, he interned at a brokerage firm and continued working there after graduation. Before returning to Toledo to be closer to family and become part of the SJS team in 2001, Jeff served in operations management at McDonald Investments in Cleveland for five years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from John Carroll University and an MBA degree from the University of Toledo. Jeff met his wife, Jen, his first day at college and they now have three children who keep them very busy. When he’s not on the job, Jeff spends time vacationing with family, running, golfing, and coaching youth sports.

 

“What I like most about SJS is the people whom I come in contact with daily, both the employees and the clients, and the friendships and partnerships I’ve developed with them.”
Craig Huntington
Senior Vice President

Craig has worked in the financial services industry for more than 18 years and oversees the financial institution channel at SJS. Originally from Bowling Green, Ohio, he earned his Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree from Bowling Green State University. Craig has extensive experience in designing, delivering and implementing investment solutions to multiple platforms for financial institutions. He collaborates closely with trust officers and advisors at these financial institutions to help provide a seamless investment experience for the benefit of their clients. Today, Craig loves what he does more than ever. He believes the wonderful relationships and friendships with the people at SJS and his clients make all the difference. When Craig is away from the office, he is at home on the water, boating and fishing with family and friends.

 

 

“What I love most about SJS are the people I work with, both my colleagues and clients.”

 

Andrew Schaetzke, CFP®
Associate Advisor
Andrew focuses on our next generation of clients at SJS. He also provides investment research and analytical support, and serves on the SJS Investment Committee. A Toledo native, Andrew came back to Ohio – and to SJS – after working for Deutsche Bank Private Equity in Cologne, Germany, and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Washington, D.C.  Andrew is passionate about SJS’ mission of continuous education, having completed certificate programs from Dale Carnegie Training, Aly Sterling Philanthropy, and the College for Financial Planning.  Further, Andrew holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation and earned his BSBA in Finance from Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, where he was a member of the school’s Division I-AA football program. He currently serves on several non-profit boards in the Toledo area, including Sunshine Communities Foundation, and The Sophia Center.

 

“Everyone here is knowledgeable, hard-working and caring. Every day, I see that in the way we handle our business and clients.”
Lisa Denstorff
Manager, Client Services

Originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Lisa supports SJS clients through account administration, trading, performance reporting, and systems management. Prior to joining SJS in 2012, Lisa spent 20 years in the private banking division at both Capital Bank and a large regional bank assisting sales officers and clients directly. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from the University of Toledo. Beneath Lisa’s friendly exterior lies the heart of a competitor. At UT, Lisa played at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles and was team MVP as well as an All-MAC selection for all four years. In 1990, she captured the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championship at No. 1 singles and remains the only woman tennis player in UT’s history to win a MAC title. In 2006, Lisa was inducted into the UT Varsity T Hall of Fame. When she is not at SJS, Lisa enjoys exercising, golfing, and attending her son’s football and baseball games.

 

“The best part of my job is the opportunity to work with such experienced and knowledgeable people who also show sincere care for each other, our clients and our community.”
Meredith Sleet
Executive Assistant

Meredith started with SJS when her neighbor, Scott Savage, who was starting a company, asked her to answer the phones for a few weeks. That was back in 1999 and she has been the “voice of SJS” ever since! She is also the first impression for newcomers visiting the Sylvania office. Meredith manages numerous additional responsibilities including filing, scheduling, client communications and staff support functions. A proud Boilermaker, Meredith holds both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Audiology and Speech Sciences from Purdue University. Born and raised in West Lafayette, Indiana, Meredith is part of a large family and it is that family feeling at SJS that she loves the most about her job. She enjoys watching everyone’s—employees’ and clients’—families grow up and change. While many would argue that Meredith has been a part of many great accomplishments at SJS, she says her own biggest one has been nurturing two great children into adulthood.

 

“I love being a part of SJS and it’s that family feeling I enjoy most about my job.”
Melanie Ogrodowski
Communications Director

Melanie is SJS’s Communications Director. A native of northwest Ohio, Melanie graduated Magna cum Laude with a BS in Journalism and Public Relations from Bowling Green State University. Prior to joining the team at SJS, Melanie spent 14 years at an area credit union, where she managed the marketing, advertising, outreach, and communications efforts. In her free time, Melanie is involved with Hannah’s Socks where she serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors and volunteers for the organization’s signature Sole Train event. She is also a past member of the American Cancer Society’s Lucas County volunteer board, and mom to two young daughters who keep her on her toes! In our ever-changing world, our goal is to anticipate, meet, and exceed your information needs. Melanie is charged with leading us to new and better ways to communicate with you and keep you informed.

 

“I love being part of a team that really cares for our clients, our community, and one another.”
Beverly Langley, JD
Chief Compliance Officer

Beverly has served more than 20 years as a chief compliance officer for Registered Investment Advisors. She has been in the financial services industry for more than three decades and has been guiding SJS for nine years. Based out of Columbus, Beverly graduated from Capital University Law School, as well as The Ohio State University. During her time with SJS, she has led the firm in developing a strong compliance program that enables them to meet regulatory standards in their everyday business practices. Outside of the financial world, Beverly uses her experience to participate as Secretary for Starting Over Airedale Rescue (SOAR), a cause that matches homeless pure-bred Airedale terriers with loving owners.

 

 

Beverly Bowers, CFP®
Manager, Client Services

Beverly Bowers joins the SJS Investment Services team in Arizona, and has served clients in the banking and investment advisory service industries for more than 25 years and in several states, including Illinois, North Carolina and Arizona.  Beverly holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics “with distinction” from Iowa State University, and is also a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington.  She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner.

In her free time, Beverly loves to spend time with her two grown sons and their families, including six grandchildren. She loves to travel, especially to the beach, and is an avid sports fan.  Beverly also volunteers with Junior Achievement and Fresh Start Women’s Foundation. In 1993, she was inducted into the Arizona Hall of Fame for Financial Women International.  Beverly recently finished a five-year term on the Board of Directors of Financial Planning Association of Greater Phoenix, where she served as both President and Chairman of the Board.

 

“Being a part of the SJS team gives me the chance to do what I truly enjoy – take care of our clients when they need assistance.”