Senior Integrated Wealth Advisor
Val Thomas is a Senior Integrated Wealth Advisor at Carlson Capital Management. As a Senior Advisor, Val partners with clients and their families providing the firm's fully integrated wealth management experience including investment management, retirement modeling, estate, philanthropic and educational planning, and all other aspects of general financial planning and client care. In this role, Val also connects clients with the firm's specialists for overall portfolio management as well as for direct access to expertise in areas such as tax planning and insurance analysis.
Val joined CCM with more than twenty-two years of experience serving clients by advising on all aspects of wealth management. In addition to her most recent experience as a wealth advisor with a large Twin Cities firm, prior professional roles include serving as a founding member of Marquette Asset Management where she acted in an array of key positions as the organization grew from a start-up to a robust wealth management firm. Her career began with Wells Fargo’s Lowry Hill Private Wealth Management (now Abbot Downing) where she provided wealth management services to families. Her expertise also includes family office services and trust and estate administration oversight. Val enjoys all aspects of wealth management, and finds the relationships she develops with clients and their families to be the most rewarding part of her work. She also enjoys developing and leading teams.
Val holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, where she graduated with highest honors. She is also a Trust School graduate of Cannon Financial Institute in Athens, Georgia. In addition, Val has attained the Certified Trust Financial Advisor designation and is a candidate for CFP® certification.
Val's spare time is filled with family activities, such as bike rides, amusement parks, downhill skiing, board games, and watching youth football and basketball. She and her husband are known for their date nights, which typically involve good food, local live music and dancing. They love to travel – particularly to destinations that allow them to keep their SCUBA certification up-to-date. Val is a Minnesota native, growing up partly in the Twin Cities and partly in a small rural town in the “Lake Country” near Alexandria. She currently lives in Falcon Heights with her husband, Stacy, and their two sons.
I wish there was a word that perfectly combined the essence of blessed, fortunate and grateful. This is how I feel having the privilege to help people with something as important as their financial journey – especially when I reflect upon my own career path.
As a young girl, I was painfully shy. The kind of shy where if someone would look at me my ears would burn and my face would blush. In the classroom, I remember how even the thought of being called on would cause sweaty palms and knots in my stomach.
Fast forward to junior high when the pastor’s wife, Marlene, asked me if I wanted to take voice lessons in exchange for watching her children during her other students’ piano and voice lessons. I’m forever grateful for the opportunity she gave me. Imagine that painfully shy girl only a few short years later singing solos at vocal competitions! From then on, my desire was to become a music teacher so I could make the same meaningful impact for others as Marlene had done for me. I knew I would have to work my way through college in order to graduate with my goal of incurring no student loans, so I graduated high school early so I could start taking college courses in the evenings.
My son at the age of four once asked me, “Mommy, can we take the long cut today?” and I believe that’s a perfect analogy to the next turn in my career path. A few years into my taking the “long cut” to getting a college degree, I was hired as a Financial/Investment Assistant at a wealth management firm. Two principals of the firm saw potential in me as a future advisor. With the help of some exceptional mentors, I built my knowledge and grew in my responsibilities, and I came to realize the impact I could have through serving clients and their families. I ultimately changed my major from Music Education to Business Administration and went on to complete my undergraduate degree as well as other specialized training and various industry-specific credentials.
In my case, the “long cut” was the perfect path. Now, with almost 24 years of serving clients, I reflect with gratitude on all I’ve been trusted with. It is so rewarding to help others identify their goals and work toward defining and creating their desired legacy. I am deeply blessed, fortunate and grateful.
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