Kim M. Gardey – Founder and Honorary Chairman

Kim has devoted his life working in investment management and personal finance, and built what is now known as Gardey Financial Advisors around the principles of honesty, integrity, and reliable financial planning. He is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) professional.

Kim is passionate about investment management and personal financial planning, and he has spent decades learning about and working in the field. He graduated with honors from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, and earned his Master’s Degree from the University of California at Berkley as a Distinguished Scholar. Kim’s working career in finance began in the Investment Department of the National Bank of Detroit. He later moved to the Second National Bank of Saginaw and rose to the rank of Senior Vice President and Senior Trust Officer, where he headed the Trust Department and the Bank Investment Department. In 1985, he took his cumulative experience and education and formed his own investment management and financial planning firm, what is now known as Gardey Financial Advisors.

Teaching Economics, Monetary Theory and Policy, and Investment Management at Saginaw Valley State University and Delta College, Kim has shared his knowledge and experience. Kim is a member and past president of the Northeastern Michigan Estate Planning Council, and he is involved in many prominent financial organizations, including The Institute of Certified Financial Planners, the CFA Institute, the Financial Planning Association, the CFA Society of Detroit, the American Economic Association, the Royal Economics Society, and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).


Jonathan M. Gardey – President and Chief Executive Officer

Before he joined the firm in 1993, Jon learned leadership, discipline, and responsibility from six years in the US Navy. Jon served on an aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean and was Chief Engineer on a high-speed hydrofoil in the Caribbean.

Prior to his Naval service, Jon’s academic career began at the University of Wisconsin. When he returned from the Navy, he continued his studies and earned a MBA in both Finance and Money and Financial Markets from Columbia University.

Following a successful military service and graduate studies, Jon pursued a career in finance and gained the designations of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) charterholder and Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) professional. This knowledge and years of experience made Jon a valuable team player as well as a leader and trusted professional.

In his 22+ year career with Gardey Financial Advisors, Jon has worn and continues to wear many hats. In addition to his duties as President and CEO, he is also, a Financial Advisor, the Director of Research, Chairman of the Investment Strategy Committee, Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee and Chairman of the Leadership Committee.

Jon brings his knowledge, experience and leadership skills to a number of key institutions in his field, and he is also an active member of his community. He is a Past-President of the Northeastern Michigan Estate Planning Council, a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Detroit. He is a member of the Board of Directors at financial, educational, and private enterprises, including Covenant Healthcare System, Delta College Foundation Investment Advisory Committee, and Central Equity Investments Incorporated.

Jon lives in Freeland with his wife and two son’s. His two older daughters are attending Saginaw Valley State University and Central Michigan University. He enjoys spending time with his children, serving as Treasurer of his eldest son’s Boy Scout troop, assistant coach for his youngest son’s football team, and also helping children in his community through the Saginaw READ program. In his spare time, he has earned a black belt in Taekwondo and also enjoys racing sailboats.


Lisa J. Whelton – Vice President of Administration, Financial Advisor

Lisa is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) professional and has been part of the Gardey Financial Advisors Team since 2006. Lisa has worked in a variety of fields including, financial planning, long-term care, and personal insurance, to bring a broad range of experience to the company.

This unique blend of expertise makes her a valuable member of many committees, including the firm’s Leadership Committee, Investment Strategy Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and Financial Planning Committee. She is also the chairperson of the Processes, Efficiency and Technology Committee.

Lisa majored in Finance at Saginaw Valley State University and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Her career began in the insurance industry in 1994 and her interests later shifted to financial planning. Lisa continues to expand her experience and remain current of emerging trends in finance as a member of the Northeastern Michigan Estate Planning Council.

Lisa lives in Saginaw with her husband and two daughters. She takes an active part in her daughters’ many sports including dance, cheerleading, softball, and soccer. She is also involved in her family’s church, previously serving on the Endowment Fund board. Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, scrapbooking and reading in her spare time.


Ashley M. Ciolek – Chief Compliance Officer, Vice President of Operations

Ashley joined the firm in 1993. She started her career in finance with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Saginaw Valley State University and continued her education to be certified as an Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP®) and a Risk Management Specialist.
She earned her compliance certification after completing a two-year program developed by the National Regulatory Services (NRS) and Investment Advisor Association (IAA). Of the 626 IACCP designees, Ashley is one of only thirteen people in Michigan to have earned this designation.

Ashley’s knowledge, skill, dedication and her leadership skills make her an exceptional member to the Gardey team. She serves on multiple committees in the organization, including the Leadership Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Financial Planning Committee, Process, Efficiency and Technology Committee, and is the chairperson of the Marketing Committee.

Ashley lives in Freeland with her son and their two pets. Besides spending time with her family and friends, Ashley enjoys shopping, traveling, reading, golfing and throwing steel tip darts.


Cheri B. Gardey- Business Development Officer

Cheri Gardey joined the firm in September of 2016. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a Bachelor of Science in Dairy Science with a business minor.

She has extensive experience in property management and retail sales. In addition, she holds a Diamonds and Diamond Grading Certificate from the Gemological Institute of America in New York City.

Cheri is married to Jon Gardey, the firm’s President and Chief Executive Officer. She has kept busy with property management and their children’s schools, church, and scouting activities. Cheri has served as a soccer coach, a Cub Scout Cub Master, and a Sunday school teacher. In her spare time, she enjoys following the Green Bay Packers and the University of Wisconsin Badgers football teams. She also loves to read, garden, and spend time with the family up north.