Jay Stenzel, CFP®, ChFC®
Jay was born and raised on a farm and ranch in Geyser, Montana. He attended the University of Montana from 1979 to 1982. In 1992, Jay enrolled in the College for Financial Planning, where he received his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 1994. He continued his education through The American College and completed his Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) designation in 2002. Jay has his FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities registrations (through Commonwealth Financial Network®, as well as numerous life and health insurance licenses.
Jay has more than 34 years of financial and estate planning experience. He started his financial planning career in November 1985 with Waddell & Reed. He became a manager in 1990 and then was the managing principal of the Northern Montana offices for more than 23 years. As managing principal, his responsibilities included recruitment, hiring, training, and product development, and he grew the office from $40 million to $750 million in assets during his tenure.
In 2013, Jay stepped down as managing principal so he could put the focus of his time back with his clients. In November 2016, Jay left Waddell & Reed to start his own company, Guide Star Financial, Inc.
Jay has been married to Lisa for more than 35 years; they have four children.
Blake W. Stenzel
Financial Planning Associate
As the son of our firms’ founder, Blake Stenzel has been immersed in the financial planning process for much of his life. He began serving clients in the wealth management capacity in 2018 as a Brokerage Specialist for Charles Schwab. Prior to finance, Blake began his professional career as an engineer in the oil and gas industry. In the Spring of 2020, Blake returned to Great Falls and is poised to serve his hometown community as the newest member of the Guide Star Financial team. As a Financial Planning Associate he will assist Jay in developing financial plans and solutions for clients; under Jay's direction execute and follow-up on investment transactions; provide administrative support on client accounts and process service requests.
Since graduating from Carroll College, Blake has spent more than 5 years living outside Montana in places ranging from Rome, Italy to Austin, TX. He’s an enthusiast of all things outdoors and is excited to be back in his favorite state to hike, bike, fish and hunt alongside family and friends.
Blake holds Series 7 and Series 66 licenses. He is currently pursuing the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification.
Kathy entered the financial services industry in 2014 to serve as an administrative assistant for a Certified Financial Planner in Missoula, MT. Prior to working for his team, Kathy spent 10 years working in the telecommunications industry. She is a Montana native who grew up in small town in North Central Montana. She graduated from MSU Northern with an associate’s degree in environmental technology. After college, she traveled extensively throughout the United States and gained work experience in many fields. She recently moved back to Great Falls to be closer to family and enjoy the quality of life this town has to offer.
Kathy’s interests outside of work are varied, but she does enjoy the outdoor activities that Montana provides. She enjoys camping, rafting, biking, running, hiking, and the occasional game of golf. She also has a Shetland sheepdog who keeps her busy during her downtime.
New to the financial service industry, Brianna is eagerly starting a new career and ready to create a positive experience for our clients. She is capable and ready to learn and expand her skill set.
Prior to this adventure, Brianna graduated in 2016 with an Associate of Applied Science Degree from MSU-GF. She spent the last few years as a Dental Assistant and Insurance Administrator in a cutting edge office. Her duties of working directly with clients, transition well to her role at Guide Star Financial, Inc.
Brianna is a Montana Native, born and raised in Great Falls. Outside of her career she loves being a wife and mother to two beautiful daughters. She enjoys exploring our Big Sky Country, golfing, camping, and hunting.