Get to know us!


You.

You’re smart. You work hard, make a good living, your family is important to you and your ready to take your financial life to the next level. You want the financial process and industry jargon simplified and communicated in an efficient and easy way.

You're ready to invest your time, money and energy into a financial planning relationship. At HighTower Great Lakes, we believe in educating you and working to help you understand your financial landscape. We also believe you shouldn't have to sacrifice enjoying your life now to save for the future. We strive to help you live a better, more secure life today.

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Us.

We don’t just manage your money; we strive to help you to reach your life goals and dreams. Acting as a trusted advisor to our clients is one of our biggest joys in life. We love knowing that we are focusing on each client’s best interests, and helping you reach your personal life-goals.

HighTower Great Lakes is a holistic wealth management practice that works with you and your family to help you get to where you want to be now, and in the future. We work with a broad spectrum of people, and we take their trust to heart.
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Blair Anderson, AIF®

Blair Anderson, AIF®

Managing Director, Partner

Traverse City

Blair Anderson is a Managing Director and Partner at HighTower Great Lakes. He brings more than 25 years of industry experience to the team, and focuses on developing comprehensive, goals-based wealth management strategies for clients.

Prior to joining HighTower in 2009 to provide his clients with an unobstructed view of their financial landscapes, Blair was a Senior Vice President and served on the President’s Council at PaineWebber (now UBS Financial Services). Previously, he spent six years at Prudential Securities, where he received the Career Builder Award. Blair began his career by trading commodities through Lind-Waldock. With a desire to serve his country, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Airborne Rangers. After completing a successful tour and assisting in the capture of General Noriega in Panama, Blair returned to Oak Brook, IL to continue his career in the financial industry.

Blair was honored as one of Barron’s “Top 1,000 Advisors” ranking 17th in 2009.* He holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation, which demonstrates knowledge and competency in the area of fiduciary excellence.

Blair is active in community affairs. For five years, he served as Treasurer on the Board of Trustees for the Leelanau Outdoor Center. He also served as President on the Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Michigan for five years. Blair was a member on the Board of Character GPS, an organization with a primary goal to help children build character qualities and discover their goals and values. In 2016 and 2017, Blair spent time fundraising for The Simunye Project, an organization with a goal to help improve the lives of underprivileged communities in South Africa. Blair and his family spent three weeks volunteering in South Africa for this initiative.

* Per Barron’s: “The rankings are based on data provided by over 4,000 of the nation's most productive advisors. Factors included in the rankings: assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work. Investment performance isn't an explicit component because not all advisors have audited results and because performance figures often are influenced more by clients' risk tolerance than by an advisor's investment-picking abilities.”

Steven Billimack CIMA®, CAIA®, AIF®

Steven Billimack CIMA®, CAIA®, AIF®

Managing Director, Partner

Chicago

Steve Billimack is a Managing Director and Partner at HighTower Great Lakes. With more than 25 years of financial services experience, Steve specializes in guiding clients to help them achieve their long-term financial goals.

Prior to joining HighTower as the very first advisor partner in 2008, Steve managed a fee-based investment advisory practice as a Senior Managing Director with U.S. Fiduciary (USF). He also served as the President of West Hills Asset Management, directing both the asset management practice and the institutional research practice supporting outside CPAs, banks and brokerage firms. Steve’s passion for independent research has enabled him to hold additional positions in the past, such as Director of Research and Chairman of the Investment Committee, at both USF and HighTower.

Steve earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from Loyola University of Chicago and Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from DePaul University. He also holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst® (CAIA®) and Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) designations, which focus on non-traditional investment offerings and investment consulting, respectively. Steve also holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation, further strengthening his education as an investment fiduciary for clients.

Steve, his wife, Vicki, and their two adult children, Grace and Jack, support a number of charities ranging from religious to healthcare, as well as education and the arts. When not avidly following his children’s pursuits, Steve competes with his German Shepherds in working dog trials, having won several regional championships.

Timothy Scannell CPA, CFP®

Timothy Scannell CPA, CFP®

Managing Director, Partner

Valparaiso

Tim Scannell is a Managing Director and Partner at HighTower Great Lakes. He brings more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry to his wealth management clients.

"We believe that money is a means, not an end. More important than the accumulation of funds is the utilization of assets to achieve life dreams or goals. Perhaps retirement, independence, travel, or providing for future generations is part of your long-term plan. Our objective is to help you realize your dreams."

Tim’s specialties include corporate cash management, budgeting, comprehensive wealth planning and income tax planning.

Prior to joining HighTower in 2008, Tim started the Valparaiso team as Scannell Wealth Management in 1996.

Tim received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Illinois. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) practitioner, and a Registered Representative. He holds the Series 7, 24, 53, 63 and 65 licenses.

Wesley Barnes, CFP®

Wesley Barnes, CFP®

Chief Operating Officer

Valparaiso

Wes Barnes is a Financial Advisor and Chief Operating Officer at HighTower Great Lakes, specializing in individual estate planning, investment, retirement, education and tax planning, and life and health insurance for professionals and their families.

“Our process is to independently assess and utilize investment strategies that are best suited to each individual, family or institution we serve.”

Wes’s responsibilities include preparing a customized wealth management plan for each client and then assisting them to proactively implement, monitor and revise the plan as their situation, the economy and tax laws change. Through sound processes and procedures, his efforts are designed to help ensure clients’ investments keep pace with the changes in their lives.

Wes started his career in financial services with the Scannell Wealth Management team in June 2008, just before the team joined HighTower in September 2008. From September 2011 to May 2013, he was on active duty as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. Wes rejoined the team in June 2013 after returning from a deployment to Afghanistan serving as a Rifle Platoon Commander.

Andrew Chapman

Andrew Chapman

Financial Advisor

Traverse City

Andrew Chapman is a Financial Advisor at HighTower Great Lakes. Andrew is proud to help clients navigate their changing financial landscapes and realize their long-term goals.

Prior to HighTower, Andrew served at Smith Barney and then Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Traverse City, Michigan.

Andrew is a graduate of University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He holds the Series 7, 31 and 66 licenses. Andrew is finishing his CFP in 2019 through Boston University.

When he is not working, Andrew enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, and volunteering in his community.

Donald Stellin, AIF®

Donald Stellin, AIF®

Financial Advisor

Traverse City

Samantha Pietruszynski

Samantha Pietruszynski

Associate Financial Planner

Valparaiso

Samantha Pietruszynski is an Associate Financial Planner at HighTower Great Lakes, where she supports our team by proactively serving our clients. Samantha assists our advisors in developing financial plans, maintaining the wealth management platform, and monitoring current plans to help ensure they continue to suit clients’ needs and objectives.   

Samantha earned her Bachelor of the Arts degree in Finance and Accounting from the Francis J. Noonan School of Business at Loras College. Prior to graduation, Samantha completed two summer internships as the Business Development intern at the HighTower Corporate office in Chicago. Samantha is passionate about transitioning into the role of a financial advisor in the future, as she aspires to help individuals with their financial needs. 

Samantha is originally from Mokena, IL. She is a sports enthusiast and enjoys playing tennis. When Samantha is not cheering on her favorite sports team, the Chicago Bulls, she enjoys spending time with her black cat, Mr. Binx.

Kim Scherrer

Kim Scherrer

Operations Manager

Traverse City

Kim Scherrer is the Operations Manager at HighTower Great Lakes, in Traverse City, Michigan. She oversees the team, as well as day-to-day practice operations. Kim also works with clients to assist with their financial needs and serves as the direct contact for ultra-high-net-worth clients. She enjoys building relationships with clients and strives to provide them with excellent service.

Prior to HighTower, Kim has worked with Blair Anderson since 1998 at both PaineWebber (now UBS Financial Services) and Prudential Securities. Previously, she worked in payroll and accounting in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Kim holds the Series 7, 9, 10 and 63 licenses, as well as Life and Health Insurance licenses.

As a native of Northern Michigan, Kim takes advantage of the changing seasons through camping, hiking, kayaking and snow-shoeing. Kim and her husband, Doug, enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren.
Brian Breese

Brian Breese

Client Service Associate

Valparaiso

Brian Breese is the Operations Associate at HighTower Great Lakes, where he assists in proactively serving our clients’ requests and maintaining many aspects of our client account management. Brian is an integral part of the team and contributes to the day-to-day implementation, monitoring and evaluation of plans for our clients.

Brian earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Valparaiso University. Prior to graduation, Brian completed a year-long internship at HighTower Great Lakes, where he learned first-hand what it means to be part of a fiduciary wealth management team.  Since his internship, Brian has transitioned to a full-time member of the team and works diligently towards our mission. 

Originally from Hobart, Indiana, Brian is a Region native. He enjoys playing golf and spending time at the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Justin McCurdy

Justin McCurdy

Client Service Associate

Valparasio

Justin McCurdy is a Client Service Associate at HighTower Great Lakes, where he assists in proactively managing client accounts. Justin is an important part of the team and contributes to day-to-day client service tasks, as well as long-term projects to help enhance our level of service.

Prior to joining HighTower Great Lakes, Justin interned as a Research Assistant at the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership. He also interned at RiverBend Cancer Services in South Bend, where he assisted with data analysis and donor management.

Justin earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management Consulting and Economics from the University of Notre Dame. He holds the Series 7 license.

Justin recently moved to Valparaiso, Indiana, but keeps his native pride of growing up in a Chicago suburb. In his free time, he enjoys following Notre Dame Football, swimming, and playing board games.

Stephanie Pellati

Stephanie Pellati

Senior Registered Relationship Manager

Chicago

Stephanie Pellati is a Senior Registered Relationship Manager at HighTower Great Lakes. She focuses on providing clients with excellent customer service through the maintenance of account administration, performance reporting, billing, trading and assistance with research. 

Prior to joining HighTower, Stephanie performed similar duties at U.S. Fiduciary (USF) for nearly three years. Stephanie also worked on the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange for five years, first as a Member Floor Broker, and then as a Specialist. In both positions, she provided clients with high levels of execution and service by helping ensure fair market pricing and managing any possible clearing or execution issues.

Stephanie received her Bachelor of the Arts degree in International Relations from Michigan State University’s James Madison College.

She lives in Chicago’s western suburbs with her husband, Jeff, and their son, Gus. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and spending time with her family.

Laura Johnson

Laura Johnson

Client Service Associate

Traverse City

Laura Johnson is a Client Services Associate at HighTower Great Lakes. She brings 20 years of financial industry experience to the practice.

Prior to HighTower, Laura served as a Sales Assistant and Office Manager at Raymond James Financial Services. She began her career working at Smith Barney as a Marketing Associate, and later became involved in operations and client services.

 Laura is from the Traverse City area. She enjoys Northern Michigan's four seasons and the area's local activities.

Marianna Hronek

Marianna Hronek

Communications Associate

Traverse City

Marianna Hronek is a Communications Associate at HighTower Great Lakes. She focuses on coordinating client events and supporting the team’s marketing efforts, including managing our website and social media presence.

Previously, Marianna worked as the Finance Assistant at Longyear Museum in Boston, MA. In addition to her finance duties, she assisted in the transition to a new content management system for the museum’s website. Marianna also worked closely with the Development department and has experience with donor relations.

Marianna graduated from Principia College in 2012 with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Business Administration. She played tennis all four years at Principia College and served as co-captain for her last two years on the team.

Marianna loves Northern Michigan and stays active by hiking and playing tennis year-round.

Hannah Boggs

Hannah Boggs

Communications & Marketing Manager

Valparaiso

Hannah Boggs is the Communications Manager at HighTower Great Lakes. She specializes in marketing, communications, events, sponsorships and public relations. She proactively communicates with our clients and helps them understand the current market conditions and educates them on financial topics. Hannah is an integral part of the team, helping to ensure every client receives the attention and service that HighTower Great Lakes provides.

Prior to joining HighTower, Hannah was a Marketing Intern at Intaglio Plus Printing Company, where she ran social media and helped clients receive personalized customer service. She also interned at Faith Lutheran Church in her hometown of St. Louis, where she helped plan and run programs throughout the church.

Hannah received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Valparaiso University.

Hannah spends her free time with her husband, Ben, and their rescue dog, Lyla. She also enjoys decorating her home, volunteering in her local community and going for walks outside.