David L. Blain, CFA is the Chief Executive Officer and Senior Wealth Advisor at BlueSky Wealth Advisors, a fee-only, independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) he founded in 1999. He is responsible for defining the overall firm policies, strategy, and goals. He also formulates advanced financial planning and sophisticated tax strategies for clients and is responsible for setting the firm-wide investment strategy.
David received a Bachelor of Science in 1989 from The United States Military Academy at West Point, where he was a Distinguished Honor Graduate and member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Before his career in finance, he served with distinction for 10 years in U.S. Army Airborne, Ranger, and Special Operations units.
He is a member of the CFA Institute, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), and the Financial Planning Association (FPA). He currently serves on the Board of Directors of CarolinaEast Health System in New Bern, where he chairs the Investment Committee. Previously David was on the Board of Advisors and Finance Committee of the West Point Association of Graduates, Treasurer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Eastern North Carolina, President of the Cumberland Interfaith Hospitality Network, Treasurer of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh. He served as the Chairman of the New Bern Heart Ball and has provided countless hours of volunteer service to numerous other charitable organizations. In addition to his many board duties, he has coached youth league baseball and soccer teams in the New Bern area for more than a decade.
David is a recognized speaker on investments, financial planning, and taxes. He has written for and been quoted in numerous trade journals and mass media outlets, including Money magazine, BusinessWeek, U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, and other national and local publications. He was for five years the host of “All Things Money with David Blain,” a weekly television and radio program. Under his leadership, BlueSky has received several awards and accolades throughout its history for their quality of advice, growth rate, and client satisfaction
David resides in Trent Woods, North Carolina with his wife and five children.
The people, both those we serve and those I work with. BlueSky exists to help people reach their goals and navigate the vagaries of living in a complicated financial world. There is no greater professional satisfaction for me than being an integral part of that process. And as an added bonus, every day, I get to work with dynamic, dedicated, and very talented colleagues.
I think it means helping people believe in, and then achieve, what they want out of life by maximizing the assets they have or assisting them in developing new resources. It’s about striving for a lifestyle they can envision but aren’t sure how to get there. It’s not necessarily about more or better; maybe it’s the "life of less" they dream about. Life is full of opportunities, and we are here to encourage people to reach out for them.
I love spending time with my wife, just hanging out talking about our dreams and future together. We thoroughly enjoy raising our five children, too. I coach several youth soccer teams and try to spend time with the kids doing whatever interests them. It’s an absolute joy. We also spend a lot of time on the water in our boat or exploring this great country in our motor coach. When I get a few minutes of free time alone, I’m usually reading a book or working out. I’ll watch any type of motorsport, and I like to get behind the wheel and do a little race car driving, too.
John has been a valuable member of the BlueSky team since 2010. In addition to his CFP® credential, John is a CFA charterholder and an Enrolled Agent (EA) with the IRS. He is responsible for supervising the team's financial planning and investments strategies and assists with clients day-to-day needs.
A native of North Carolina, John spent two years as a financial adviser in Orlando, Florida before joining BlueSky Wealth Advisors. Prior to that, he spent 11 years as a software developer, a career which shared the common element of creating customized solutions given unique constraints.
John holds dual degrees in computational and applied mathematics and managerial studies from Rice University in Houston, Texas. He is a member of the CFA Institute, the Financial Planning Association, and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
John lives in Acworth, Georgia with his wife and three children.
There’s a lot of minutiae and complexity surrounding capital markets, the tax code, the legal system, and myriad other things we navigate all the time for our clients. It’s a great feeling to research and solve problems for clients so they can remain focused on their life goals while we’re working on the details.
We like to challenge many of our clients to think outside of their status quo and develop a vision for their life and legacy. Our recommendations can involve taking fairly significant actions (i.e., buying or selling real estate), but all recommendations revolve around a customized vision of their future that we’ve helped our clients imagine.
I like to spend time with my three children, play complex board games, and edit video. In 2014, we developed a motto for our family to set goals for our homeschooled children, and it applies well to how we aspire to prioritize our own activities.
Stephen is responsible for successfully maintaining client relationships, developing and implementing financial plans and investment recommendations, while overseeing the associate wealth advisors on the advisory team. His expertise in trust and wealth management aids when advising clients with high-level financial and investment, tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning needs.
Before joining BlueSky, Stephen moved from North Carolina after graduating Summa Cum Laude with his MBA from Campbell University to New York City where he was recruited as a Financial Analyst at AJ Wealth. He worked directly with ultra high net worth clients from all around the world on a variety of complex financial and estate planning transactions.
Stephen completed his BBA in Trust and Wealth Management and MBA in Business Administration, with a minor in Financial Planning in under five years from Campbell University. His degree included a concentration in estate planning, retirement planning, investments and financial planning. He actively serves on the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) Genesis Leadership Committee, which aims to engage and equip the next generation of the financial planning profession.
Stephen lives with his wife and two young children; daughter, Daphne and son, Winston in New Bern, North Carolina.
I love researching and solving whatever problems our clients face. Helping people and giving them peace of mind is a passion of mine.
It means taking worries off the table. We are an advocate for our clients in whatever ways they need, both helping them with the issues they are currently facing as well as helping them secure their financial future.
I love to spend time with my wife and kids, go to the beach, watch and play sports, and spend time with extended family.
Soo is responsible for successfully maintaining client data, scenario building, plan development, and plan presentations. She also formulates and implements financial planning and investment management strategies while managing clients day-to-day advisory needs.
Prior to joining BlueSky, Soo worked for GEICO Auto Insurance and GAINSCO Auto Insurance as an actuarial analyst. While she enjoyed her career as an actuary, she wanted to pursue a career helping people on a personal level. Having worked for numerous years in the actuarial field she had gained significant knowledge of the financial planning field. Soo quickly realized becoming a financial planner would satisfy both her desire to work with people on a fiduciary level, as well as continue her interest of financial analysis.
Soo moved from South Korea to California when she was 11 years old. She eventually made her way east to attend college. She graduated cum laude from Wellesley College in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. She also attended the Student Exchange Program at Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduating with a 4.00 GPA. After college, she moved to Washington D.C. where she met her husband who was attending medical school. Soo has completed all CFP® education requirements and passed the CFP® Certification Examination.
Soo lives with her baby boy, Wells and husband in Bethesda, MD.
The thing I love most about working here is our emphasis on working closely with clients, gaining their trust, and helping them achieve their financial and life goals. A close second would be working with my team members, who share my vision for holistic and fee-only financial planning.
Improving quality of life means to be there for a client in their most vulnerable state. When they feel overwhelmed by complex financial problems, I feel proud that we truly take the time to understand each client’s unique and personal circumstances to tailor the perfect financial roadmap for them.
I am currently studying for the CFP exam which keeps me busy when I’m not at work. In my free time, I like to go for long runs and hikes, take road trips, explore new cities, visit local breweries, hang out at the beach, and go fishing with my husband and dog.
Steve actively formulates and implements standard financial planning strategies and manages day-to-day client advisory needs. Steve has a genuine desire to learn about the individual ambitions and goals that drive clients. His background in counseling helped make the transition into wealth advising a natural progression.
Steve attended Virginia Military Institute before transferring to Texas Tech University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts, BA in English Language and Literature. He continued his education at Texas Tech and received his Master of Science, MS in Personal Financial Planning. Steve is a candidate for the CFP® certification and an active member in the Financial Planning Association
The opportunity to make a beneficial impact on the lives of the clients. I also love the team atmosphere here. Everyone is so passionate about putting the clients’ interests ahead of their own. It’s also a place where continuous learning and evolving are greatly encouraged, and that’s very important to me.
To me it means helping to remove much of the complexity and worry from their financial lives. It means clients are sleeping better at night because they’re not consumed with fear and doubt about whether or not they’ll be able to achieve their life dreams and goals. It starts with the awareness that there exists a path to their goals and that they don’t have to figure out the journey on their own. At BlueSky, we walk the path with you.
I love spending time outdoors and working out. If I’m at home, I like to spend my free time playing (or trying to play) guitar, reading, or watching Philadelphia sports teams.
Bronwyn appreciates the fee-only approach that allows her to deliver sound and objective financial planning advice tailored to clients’ needs. She applies a comprehensive approach to each client’s situation, breaking down the complexities of investing, risk management and income tax planning into achievable steps. Bronwyn is responsible for the advisory teams daily activities and oversees the client's financial planning and investment management strategies. Bronwyn joined BlueSky Wealth Advisors in 2004.
Bronwyn holds an MFA degree from Colorado State University. Previously, she worked in book publishing and Web content management. She taught English at the college level and English as a second language in Japan.
She has been quoted in numerous trade journals including Bloomberg.com, BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, and other national and local publications.
Bronwyn lives with her family in Walnut Creek and enjoys hiking in her free time.
Our transition to BlueSky has brought fresh energy to what it means to advise and bring value to clients, and it’s exciting to be part of such a progressive firm. Our commitment to finding the best tools and solutions to help our clients and keep our personal tool kits sharp. I learn something new with every client plan and that growth and development is very much part of our culture.
The systematic processes we have in place to manage our clients’ financial plans frees up valuable energy and brain space for them to discover or pursue what is most important to them. What we do for our clients goes so much further than just making sure that their investments are aligned with their goals or that that their risks are managed appropriately—we do all that and more. We help our clients answer the question "What is this money for?" That question really gets to the heart of what our clients value most and what they want out of their lives. Over time, the answer may evolve from “peace of mind” to more specific and detailed plans for travel and adventure, gifts to family members or charities, increased involvement in philanthropic endeavors, continued employment in a rewarding career, or simply more leisure time to savor a life that is already satisfying. Being part of this process of discovery is an absolute privilege.
When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family. Right now, I am teaching my four-year-old some basic cooking skills in hopes that she will take over one day! With two little ones, personal time is limited but, on occasion, I get to explore the amazing trails crisscrossing the east bay.
Madeline is a firm believer in fee-only advising and its ability to deliver objective and prudent advice specific to each client’s unique situation. She is especially passionate about the need for a holistic approach to financial planning as well as elevating women to equal standing in this process. Madeline is responsible for client's financial planning and investment management strategies.
Madeline holds a BA degree from U.C. Davis. Prior to joining BlueSky Wealth Advisors in 2003, she worked for the Department of the Treasury and PeopleSoft.
Madeline lives in Northern California with her children and enjoy yoga, and hiking.
I like being part of a team—a team that includes our clients—and being able to make a meaningful, lasting, positive difference in people’s lives and the generations that will come after them. It truly brings me joy watching our clients achieve their goals and live out their dreams.
Every day has the potential to be a new beginning for us. With peace of mind knowing that the course of your financial life is in good hands and that you are on track to achieve your goals, you are freed up to direct your energy and your time in pursuit of the things that bring you the most fulfillment and pleasure in life.
When I’m not working, I love spending time with my family and my dog. I also enjoy reading, hiking, yoga, Pilates, cooking, and photography.
Geoff works with the advisory team to develop and implement financial planning and investment strategies. He also prepares case design scenarios, data gathering, modeling and presentation development while maintaining client’s day-to-day needs.
Geoff has always had a passion for finance, particularly tax planning strategies and investments. He gained firsthand experience as a youth by managing his own investments as well as learning sound tax advice and strategies from his mother who is a Certified Public Accountant. After graduating from UCLA, Geoff pursued the world of art history academia, but ultimately returned to his first passion and transitioned into a career in wealth management. Since then, Geoff has obtained positions in wealth management taking him from coast to coast. His path to BlueSky came from a serendipitous recommendation from a family friend who knew Geoff was searching for a fee-only, fiduciary firm in the Bay Area to continue his career.
Geoff gained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is currently pursuing his CFP® designation while enrolled in the Financial Planning Certificate Program at Boston University.
I love the team at BlueSky because we are so dynamic and well-rounded. We all have unique skill sets that complement one another, yet at our core, we share a passion for bespoke financial planning and an unwavering commitment to our clients.
I think it means understanding what our clients’ aspirations are and helping them ultimately achieve their goals. When we step in as their CFO, we provide the clarity required for them to focus on what they are truly passionate about. From investments to estate planning to risk management and more, our team designs a holistic strategy that ensures our clients can realize whatever quality of life they envision.
I am currently occupied with CFP®coursework, but when I have some free time I love to tear through cookbooks, looking for new and exciting recipes to try. I also like to drive – I am a bit of a gear head – and I really enjoy hiking through California’s expansive wilderness. I am captivated by abstract art, so I spend a lot of time at art museums, and I dabble in photography as well.
Johanna is a strategic member of the client advisory team. She helps to enhance client relationships, execute financial planning and investment tasks, prepare, gather, and organize client information for case design, scenario building, and plan developent.
Johanna brings more than 14 years of experience providing solutions-based service and ensuring a high level of client satisfaction in the investment field. Johanna served high net-worth clients across the Bay Area as a Senior Client Service Associate at a wealth management firm in Cupertino, California. Prior to that, she worked at a large investment management firm for over 8 years in Chicago, Illinois.
Johanna holds a B.A. in Photography from Columbia College in Chicago and has received an Investment Foundations certificate from the CFA Institute. Johanna is also fluent in Spanish.
In her free time Johanna volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley and previously lent her time to PAWS Chicago, a no-kill animal shelter, as lead volunteer.
I enjoy forming relationships with the clients, gaining their trust and helping them through life’s big transitions.
Helping clients reach their financial goals whatever they might be, retirement, paying for their child’s education or buying a second home.
My family here in California; my husband and two rescued pets as well as my family back in Chicago. I enjoy reading a good book, yoga, photography and traveling.
Mary Ellen is the Director of Client Service and is located in our New Bern office. She manages all aspects of client service and administrative portfolio activities. Prior to joining BlueSky Wealth Advisors in 2006, Mary Ellen spent 14 years as an executive assistant providing professional support to several top executives at firms in Wilmington, DE and Virginia Beach, VA.
She has been awarded the Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional™ designation by the College for Financial Planning. In 2006, she successfully completed the H&R Block Income Tax Course. Mary Ellen holds an AD in executive secretarial technology from Delaware Technical and Community College and attended the University of Delaware.
Mary Ellen lives in New Bern with her husband and has four adult children.
The most fulfilling part of my job at BlueSky is the relationships that I form with our clients. I enjoy meeting new people and being part of our team that can help them with their current financial situation/needs/goals and relieve any stress or worries they might have. I especially like the strong connection I have with our widows.
It means that we have actively helped make a decision that has helped move our clients away from a current lifestyle/situation into a better one. Perhaps they are letting go of something or changing old ways/habits with an intention to move toward something better, less stressful, and ultimately creating a peace of mind existence.
I enjoy swimming and working out; relaxing by the pool and at the beach during the warm weather; visiting my four children and two grandchildren whenever possible; and dinner parties and wine tastings with friends.
As Director of Client Engagement, Jen is responsible for overseeing the firm’s marketing, branding, client experience, and prospective client engagement strategies. She provides key input into decisions regarding the brand, sales and service models, business development, and the overall direction of the firm.
Jennifer graduated from Elon University earning her B.A. in communications in 1996. She started her career in New York City, where she worked at GREY Worldwide and Turner Networks, learning invaluable skills from the top sales executives in the country. She then moved to Los Angeles and worked for Initiative Media, where she was responsible for the Disney Home Entertainment media accounts.
Jennifer came to BlueSky Wealth Advisors most recently from High Tide Creative, a nationally recognized advertising and marketing firm where she was the Vice President of Sales and Client Development. Jennifer had the rare ability to have the holistic experience of being a client of BlueSky Wealth Advisors prior to joining our team, and she continues to use this opportunity to increase the level of our clients’ experience.
Jennifer lives with her husband and two children in Morehead City.
I have the ability to see the magic happen behind the scenes, and it makes for an extremely gratifying career to have that magic produce people with happier lives. There is always something exciting going on here—there is no “typical workday” at BlueSky.
When you become a client at BlueSky, you are most likely going through a transition in your life. Perhaps you have just lost a spouse or you are a “do it yourselfer” and have hit that threshold of assets that is too big to handle on your own. Either way, while managing and building wealth for clients are important to us, it rarely takes center stage. It’s really about helping that person or family transition through that challenge and onto a better financial path.
We have two young children, who are always keeping us busy. We are lucky enough to live at the beach, so there are plenty of amazing restaurants and outdoor activities. We also like to travel, so we try to plan a trip somewhere every year.
Ayasha is the Director of Operations and is located in our New Bern office. She administers and coordinates the firm’s operational and financial processes and assists with the implementation of strategic initiatives that increase efficiency and productivity. She is also responsible for purchasing and facilities maintenance, bookkeeping, payroll administration, technology, and compliance.Before joining BlueSky, Ayasha worked in the human resources department of a mid-size insurance company in Santa Monica, California, where she managed employee benefits (including payroll), assisted with Employee Relations within the organization, helped with the development of Human Resources programs and guidelines, and managed the administrative team.
Ayasha obtained her Series 65 license in 2018.
The dedication to clients and employees. BlueSky puts a lot of effort into making sure clients are happy and that they are meeting their goals, but they also do the same for their employees. It’s a very positive, supportive environment.
Helping them make their dreams come true, whatever those dreams may be.
My pets! My house is always full of pets and foster animals that keep me on my toes. I also love reading, traveling, and hiking with my dogs.
Courtney supports the firm’s operations department assisting with the technology, human resources, accounting, and office administration. She helps implement BlueSky’s strategic initiatives; executes processes and guidelines for the firm, and handles the day-to-day daily back-office duties.Before joining BlueSky, Courtney worked as a customer service representative and gained extensive experience in the customer relations and management fields. She has her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University and Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising from East Carolina University.
I enjoy most about being part of Bluesky is that there is always something new to learn. Being part of the operations team, I am able to touch upon different departments and assist them in their duties. This opens many doors for me to gain knowledge from other staff members and dive deeper into what it truly means to work with BlueSky.
Improving the quality of our clients’ lives means that we are making sure all of our client’s needs are met while also guiding them to make the right decisions for their dreams and aspirations.
While I am not at work, I am typically out with my husband and our two dogs fishing. When I have some rare down time, I like to relax by either working on one of the several crocheting projects I’ve started or read some of the books I have on my Amazon wish list. I like to keep busy and stay active and am rarely sitting still.
Subscribe to the BlueSky blog and receive valuable financial insights written by the professionals at BlueSky.