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  • Writer's pictureNorthAvenue

Introducing Our New Staff!

We are excited to welcome and introduce to you the 3 new faces of NorthAvenue: James Mwombela, CFP®, Rae DeBruyne, and Stephanie Bailey! They are very much looking forward to getting to know all of you.

As many of you may already know, NorthAvenue parted ways with Kendyl Hull, Anne Mills, and T.J. Burkett earlier this year. We enjoyed working with each of them and wish them continued success.

Read on to get to know the new NorthAvenue team members and how they will be working with you.

Meet James, our new Associate Advisor!

Our clients will quickly get to know James as he will be virtually attending the majority of clients meetings. James will be a key member of our advising team and will be diligently tracking our meeting discussions, providing direction and updates to clients on follow-up items, and playing a integral role in making the financial planning process as smooth as possible. Before joining the NorthAvenue team, James worked for several independent financial planning firms and earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. He is eager to bring his expertise and passion for planning to NorthAvenue.

Born and raised in Washington DC, James graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, receiving a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science. During a summer internship after his junior year, James met a mentor who introduced him to the principles of sound financial decision-making. He began learning everything he could about managing personal finances in order to achieve more financial stability than he experienced growing up. He became determined to share this knowledge with others so they could experience the same confidence and freedom of choice that he gained.

James is active within the financial planning profession, by providing mentorship to other advisors through the CFP Board’s Mentor Program, serving as a speaker for his local Financial Planning Association (FPA) chapter events, and helping to plan events for the Association of African American Financial Advisors (AAAA).

James lives in Durham, NC with his wife and dog, and in his free time, he enjoys cooking, playing and watching basketball, listening to music from all time periods and genres, and exploring the great outdoors. James and his wife, Rachel, love visiting state parks all over the country as shown in these photos. Their dog, Riley, is a mini pitbull who makes up for her size with her enthusiasm and loving personality. Riley loves accompanying them on these trips and leading the way as if she knows where she is going.


Meet Rae, our new Analyst!

Rae is a recent career-changer into the financial planning field and loves the opportunity that it has provided to challenge herself and move toward her ultimate goal of helping others.

While you won't typically see Rae in our meetings, you'll be hearing from her to schedule your meetings and request the necessary documents for our meeting preparations. She will be an invaluable part of our team, as she will take charge of putting together the core materials for client meetings and providing initial analysis on their financial plan. Rae will also be our in-house expert on connecting investment accounts to the NorthAvenue Aggregator Portal.

Rae graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management and a minor in Psychology. After originally working for a few years in project management, Rae made the decision to change careers into a profession that felt more personally fulfilling. With a knack for numbers and a keen eye for detail, she originally considered making the switch into the accounting field. However, after more research and guidance from a family friend, she discovered fee-only financial planning and knew it was the right fit for her. She went back to school and completed the CFP® Board Certified Financial Planning program at UMD and now has the goal of becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. 

Prior to settling into a financial planning career, Rae was drawn to the field of Industrial/Organizational Psychology in which she enjoyed focusing on human capital as well as learning about the many aspects of “psychology in the workplace.” She grew up training and competing with dogs using positive reinforcement training methods, so it was only natural that she found herself interested specifically in training and development! Throughout her career, she has had multiple opportunities to create internal and external training materials with the goal of promoting clarity and efficiency for all involved. Rae is excited to use the skills that she has gained from her prior career and recent education to help clients in the ever-changing space of financial planning.

Rae is a native Minnesotan and currently enjoys living in the Twin Cities area with her two dogs and her partner, Matt. They are avid disc golfers and love to travel. She prefers the mountains over beaches, but would love the opportunity to see it all!


Meet Stephanie, our new Client Service Manager!

Stephanie has loved finances since she was a teenager and balancing her sister’s checkbooks. It took a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Washington State University and many years of managing her family’s finances to realize her passion and desire to support others with charging forward toward their own financial freedom.

Stephanie has recently joined the finance world after staying at home with her children for the last sixteen years. She is almost finished with her Master’s degree in Personal Financial Planning from Kansas State University and is currently studying to take the CFP® exam. She is looking forward to being a part of each client’s financial journey at NorthAvenue.

Stephanie started with NorthAvenue at the end of July and has already taken charge of our back office! She will serve as our liaison with our custodians (TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity) in order to ensure that all forms are prepared and client requests are processed promptly. She will also be the point person for setting up our clients' NorthAvenue Client Portal.

As a military spouse, Stephanie has lived all over the United States. She has called Wyoming, Washington, Maryland, Arizona, California, Missouri and most recently Texas home.  Stephanie’s greatest joy is her husband, Travis, and three daughters: Lauren, Rachel, and Abigayle. When faced with downtime, Stephanie loves to water color and bake.


You may have noticed that none of our new staff members are located in Ohio! After our team shifted to working successfully from home due to the pandemic, it was clear that several of our roles could be filled with a remote staff. We were also pleasantly surprised to find that as we widened our search to include virtual candidates, the quality of candidates significantly increased. After meeting Stephanie, Rae, and James, we knew that we had made the right decision and one that was in the best interest of our clients.

The new crew is ready to get started, and we all look forward to continuing to provide clients with excellent service - now from across several states! We encourage you to visit our website to read more about our new team.

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