Guests on Financial Fun

Originally from Montreal, I moved to Edmonton in 2006.

My first language is French

I started my career in the financial industry a little by fluke in 1997. I was sent as a temp receptionist at AGF funds in Montreal. It was instant love for the industry and I have worked in it ever since.

Since then, I have worked as admin support for different portfolio managers with CIBC Global Asset Management and Natcan (Since bought by Fiera Capital).

When I moved to Edmonton I started working with different Financial Planning firms and that when I decided to further my education and start my own business.

I have joined Clayton Financial as an associate this past October.

I am currently pursuing my Certified Financial Planner’s Designation.

I am a single mom to a 9 year old boy. We also have a cat, Quesadilla (named by my son).

In my spare time I am a Cub Scout leader, I volunteer at different Alberta Alzheimer’s Society fund raisers, I enjoy camping, reading and try to do one thing that terrifies me at least once every year.
KIDS: Boy age 9

Laurie Itkin is a financial advisor, wealth manager, and certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA). She is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, Every Woman Should Know Her Options: Invest Your Way to Financial Empowerment. Investopedia named Ms. Itkin one of the top 100 most influential financial advisors in the country.

As a wealth manager at Coastwise Capital Group, which has received the annual Five Star award for “Best in Client Satisfaction” for the past seven years, Ms. Itkin manages the investments of clients’ brokerage, trust and retirement accounts. Through her financial consulting company, The Options Lady, she provides divorce-related financial planning and analysis to individuals and couples throughout all stages of the divorce process.

Ms. Itkin frequently appears as a guest expert on investing and personal finance on television, radio and podcasts. She has been quoted in numerous publications including the San Diego Union TribuneChicago TribuneU.S. News and World Reports, and Forbes. She’s a contributing writer for

Ms. Itkin is a national expert on women and investing and speaks at conferences and seminars throughout the country. She has a talent for communicating arcane economic and investing subjects in language that everyone can understand. She volunteers as a pro-bono financial planner for the San Diego Financial Literacy Center and mentors women launching new businesses as a board member for Hera Labs’ Business Accelerator. She earned her B.S. in economics with a concentration in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

KIDS: Stepdaughter age 21

Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks.

As a strategic advisor and keynote speaker, Melissa Agnes has worked with NATO, Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense, financial firms, technology companies, healthcare organizations, cities and municipalities, law enforcement agencies, global non-profits, and many others, helping them understand risk and build invincible brands that can withstand even the most devastating of events. In 2015, she gave a TEDx talk in Los Angeles where she discussed the secret to successful crisis management in the 21st century.

Agnes is the editor of the Crisis Ready Blog, a contributor to Forbes, and a go-to source for the press, with recent coverage including the Wall Street Journal, VIBE Magazine, USA Today, and many others.

As a university guest lecturer, Agnes teaches crisis management in university courses around the world, including at NYU and McGill.

Known as the Oprah of San Diego, Lynda West is a master connector, best-selling author, editor and contributor of Life By Design Magazine, and the Facebook Live queen having done 2,300+ Facebook live videos.

In 2015 she embarked on a journey of facing at least 1 fear every day. During her journey she met people ranging from Frank Shankwitz (the creator and a founder of the Make-a-Wish Foundation), Ron Klein (the inventor of the magnetic strip on the back of credit and debit cards), Brian Smith (the founder of UGG Boots), Gene Landrum (the creator of everyone’s favorite mouse, Chuck E. Cheese), and many more. In addition, she has been on the red carpet interviewing stars at the Academy Awards After Party, The City Gala.

She started Living Live to help women entrepreneurs break through their fears, so they can gain more confidence, generate more revenue, and make a greater impact on the world.

She can be found on Facebook at
KIDS: 2 Adult children and 3 Granddaughters ages 8, 4 & 2

Considered one of the nation’s leading subject matter experts on leadership development, government relations, and veteran transition issues, Schindler, a U.S. Navy veteran, is the founder and chief executive officer of Operation Military Family Cares.

Prior to OMFC, Mike spent several years working as a project manager for a Fortune 1000 global company. He then moved into the software industry, working his way up to executive leadership. Mike’s passion to enrich and strengthen military marriages, veterans, and their families led him and his wife to founding Operation Military Family Cares to find a way, through both high-tech and high-touch methods, to better refer and serve military and veteran families.

Schindler has over 20 years of experience in project management, coaching, and executive experience working in and with the military, startups, federal and state agencies, nonprofits, universities, and Fortune 500 companies.  He was instrumental in launching the Institute for Veterans and Military Families’ Communities of Practice across the Western United States that connects nearly 150 human service providers through a high-performing coordinated referral network.

Mike has been featured on numerous national radio shows, including CBS radio, Entrepreneur Radio, the Lars Larson Show, and is a key contributor on Q13 Fox TV in Seattle.  He is a guest writer for several national publications, The Military Wire blog and the author of two books: “U.S. Veterans in the Workforce: Why the 7% are America’s Greatest Asset” and “Operation Military Family” – which is endorsed by retired General Tommy Franks and retired General Peter Chiarelli. Mike is married to his wife of 22 years and I has two daughters – Taylor, age 15 and Reilley, age 11.
KIDS: 2 Girls ages 11 & 15

Award winning financial writer Christopher Carosa, with more than three decades in the investment and retirement business, has been referred to as an “imbedded journalist.” He has written more than a thousand feature stories, columns, and exclusive interviews as Editor-in-Chief of, contributing weekly columnist for BenefitsPro, and regular contributor to a variety of other print and digital news publications. In addition, he has written five non-fiction books, a popular stage play, and, as Publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, hundreds of “homespun” commentaries.

In From Cradle to Retirement, Carosa expertly pieces together thoughts and interviews to reveal a practical “How-to” guide for parents, grandparents, and their financial advisers seeking to help young children reap the benefits of the Child IRA. Within this hands-on guide, Carosa weaves the fascinating history the cultural views of retirement in America and the implications these have had on public policy. Finally, and perhaps of greatest interest, Carosa reveals real-world case-studies of people who have created actual Child IRAs for their children. Still more case-studies show how parents have attempted to duplicate some of the Child IRA’s features with other savings vehicles.

KIDS: 2 Girls ages 22 & 24 and a Boy age 20

In addition to being the CEO and Founder of The Profit Experts™, Fred Parrish is also the creator of The Profit Beacon™, a new app that provides predictive analytics to help businesses make smart and timely decisions.

During a 37-year career, Fred has held positions from staff accountant to CEO in both public and private companies with revenues ranging from startup to $3.5 billion. He has served on the Board of Directors for 12 organizations in the fields of aerospace, manufacturing, healthcare services, insurance, international missions and technology among others.

Fred’s proven process for optimizing operational analysis, dynamic cash flow management, staff efficiency planning, profit mining, and organizational development has helped transform the lives and profits of business owners everywhere. He is the author of The Profit Mentality, a guide for maximizing entrepreneurial success. Fred also lectures on and teaches subjects related to profit and cash flow optimization. A married father of three kids and three grandkids, a rock guitar player, and a strong Christian, he lives in Allen, Texas.

Many companies are not large enough to employ a full-time CFO, yet they still need the best “operational intelligence” to maintain and grow cash flow and profitability. To fill that gap, Fred created The Profit Experts CFO-supported service, and The Profit Beacon™, a new predictive management software application.

KIDS: 3 Adult children, 3 Grandchildren ages 11, 6 & 6

I have been working in the Payments Processing industry now for 5 years helping business owners to evaluate their payment processing needs. I work with my clients to make sure that they’re using the best payment solution for their needs based on how they want and need to accept card payments and which cards types they are actually processing the most. My goal is to help business owners reduce their frustration when dealing with their processing by understanding what they’re paying and why, and giving them an advisor who is in their corner to advocate for them when needed.

I want to earn my client’s business today and more importantly keep it tomorrow.  I strive to give my clients one less thing to worry about so they can concentrate on what they do best, growing their business!

My professional Facebook page is: Jennifer Belik – Merchant Services & Alternative Financing Advisor

KIDS: 2 Boys ages 14 & 17 and 2 Girls ages 8 & 11

Angela brings close to three decades of experience as an intercultural communication expert, working since 1989 to promote access, inclusion and quality language services. A senior level executive, educator, program manager, policy developer and expert consultant, Angela is currently fulfilling a second, 3-year term as President of Critical Link International. The Co-founder and President of Toc, the Interpreters’ Co-op, Founder and Director of Shifting Pictures, International Expert to the ISO TC 37/SC 5 Terminology and other language content and resources, Co-chair, Health Standards Organization, Technical Committee for Communication in Health Services, Angela is a veteran educator and curriculum developer dedicated to quality education and professional development opportunities for community and health care interpreters. In 2013, Angela founded and implemented Interpreter’s Lab, which has become a leading interpreter training program in British Columbia. Angela also teaches at Vancouver Community College – Interpreter Programs in addition to giving courses for health care providers, social workers, correctional officers, and professionals, on how to most effectively work with language services. Ms. Sasso has presented at conferences and forums across Canada, the US and in the UK and Europe.

About The Interpreter’s Lab:

The Interpreter’s Lab courses are taught by experienced educators that have extensive knowledge of the community interpreting field. Our students are introduced to the skills, techniques, professional standards, knowledge and competencies necessary to succeed as community interpreters. Our curriculum has been developed based on the National Standard Guide for Community Interpreting Services, which can be found in our Resources section. Students can take the full 3 programs or may wish to just take Interpreting in Community Settings to gain an appreciation of the role and work of a community interpreter. Interpreting in Community Settings or an equivalent course is a required prerequisite for all other courses.
KIDS: 2 Girls ages 13 & 20

Sheri Beatty has been in fashion and accessories for 10 years, originally through social selling of Silpada and now as an Independent cabi Stylist. She is excited to help women take control of their closets by introducing them to a designer collection of clothing that is easy to create capsules that fit their life and needs. Imagine five basic pieces that create eight outfits and how quick the decision would be on ‘what am I going to wear?’.  Sheri will take her clients into their closets, identify orphans, create capsules and inevitably… give women back time and peace of mind.

One client recently shared, “My husband would always tell me that our date night dinner reservations were 30 minutes earlier than the actual reservation. Now we laugh for the extra 25 minutes that we have together since I’m dressed, styled, and ready to go.”
KIDS: 2 Boys ages 13 & 17
Email Sherri at