At PDS Planning, we are thoroughly familiar with both the financial and the emotional issues of managing money, with all of the nuances and complexities.
We take a team approach, so our clients benefit from the ongoing support of an experienced staff, and the expertise of each of our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals relevant areas that may include investing, counseling, taxes, estate planning, retirement, insurance, account service and trading.
We are dedicated to providing you with the personal attention you need to feel good about your financial decisions and help build value in your life.
Rita serves as president and managing principal of PDS Planning. She started her career in personal financial planning and completed her Finance degree while living in Southern Missouri. She joined PDS Planning in 2002 where she transitioned to lead financial advisor in 2007. She has experience and expertise in advising clients in the areas of financial planning, business planning and employee stock benefits.
She is a graduate of Franklin University with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and an emphasis in Financial Planning. Rita is an active member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA).
Rita and husband Chris, a pilot for NetJets, and their animals live in Johnstown. She spends most of her down time in the outdoors, which stem from her Northern Arizona roots. Her favorite activities are gardening, running, boxing, biking and hiking.
Robert Cochran, CFP®
Bob is the Co-Chief Investment Officer, and principal of PDS Planning.
He is a member of the Financial Planning Association and has served two terms as president of the local chapter. Bob’s background includes eleven years teaching at Humbolt State University (Calif.), Bowling Green State University and The Ohio State University. His education includes undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Ohio State University, and he obtained his CFP® credential in 1988.
Bob has written articles for and been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the Columbus Dispatch and in numerous national forums, such as Research Magazine, Bloomberg Wealth Manager, CBS Market Watch, FundAlarm, and Mutual Fund Observer. He is a member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s board of directors and served three years as president of the board for Neighborhood Services, Inc., one of central Ohio’s oldest food pantries and material assistance organizations. Bob and his wife Susan live in northwest Columbus. Together they are strong advocates for the arts, maintain their national display garden, enjoy traveling, great classical music, and sharing good food and wine with friends.
Robert Hamilton, CFP®
Bob is the founding principal of PDS Planning and a “part-time” contributor.
He holds bachelor and master degrees from Wittenberg University, and he has been doing financial planning since 1980. He obtained his CFP® credential in 1984. Bob is a member of the Financial Planning Association, and has served two terms as president of the local chapter. Bob contributed articles about financial planning in the Columbus Dispatch and has participated in USA Today’s Personal Finance Hotline.
Sudy and Bob continue to call Worthington home. Aside from spending time with their three grown sons and three grandchildren, they both enjoy golfing and fishing.
Jamie Menges, CFP®, CPA
Jamie P. Menges, CFP®, CPA is a principal and client adviser while also leading the firm’s client advisory board as well as the marketing, branding and business development efforts. He joined PDS Planning, Inc. in 2013. Prior to PDS, he spent time as an adviser with Investment Partners, Principal Financial Group and as an organizational systems management consultant for Crowe Horwath, one of the nation’s top ten accounting and consulting firms.
Jamie attained CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner status from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards in July 2006 and the Certified Public Accountant credential in 2010. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Business from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio in 1999, specializing in Accounting and Finance.
Jamie currently serves on the Executive Board of the Ohio Society of CPAs while chairing the Investment Subcommittee. Recently, Jamie joined the Board of Governors of the Dublin Community Foundation. Previously, he was the Chair of the Finance Committee of the Dublin Community Church. Additionally, he has served as Chairman of the Financial Planning Association of Central Ohio. He is a founding member of the Dublin Heart Safe Council and 2008 graduate of Leadership Dublin. In addition to being published and quoted in several media outlets, Jamie is the founder of WealthAdviceMadeSimple, a blog designed to help simplify the complexity that has been created around financial topics. He also has had the privilege of teaching the CFP® Ethics course to his peers at the Financial Planning Association of Central Ohio.
In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf and is an avid reader. He has also enjoyed volunteering at the Dublin Food Pantry. Jamie and his wife Terri reside in Dublin, Ohio with their children, Evan and Caitlyn.
Kurt Brown, CFA
Kurt is the Chief Investment Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, and principal of PDS Planning. He joined PDS Planning in 2008 and is a lead contact person for our institutional mutual fund relationships.
Kurt graduated summa cum laude from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, with dual specializations in Finance and Risk Management & Insurance. He is a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of Columbus and Financial Planning Association. He also serves on the board of directors for Neighborhood Services, Inc., one of central Ohio’s oldest food pantries and material assistance organizations.
Kurt grew up in New Knoxville, Ohio and currently resides in Dublin with his wife Megan, son Luca and golden retriever Benson. He enjoys golfing, fishing, and watching the Ohio State Buckeyes and Cleveland Browns.
Dean Schuler, CFP®
Dean joined the PDS financial planning team in February of 2015 and fills the role of client advisor. Prior to coming to PDS, he spent 7 years at Northwestern Mutual and MassMutual as an advisor. Dean has his CLU designation and attained his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in November of 2015. Dean is also a member of the Financial Planning Association and the Worthington Estate Planning Council.
Dean received his Bachelor’s degree in business from Central Michigan University in 2003. He is originally from the Northwest corner of Ohio, residing in Delta before he and his family moved to the Columbus area. Dean and his wife, Abbey have been married since 2005 and have two boys, Preston and Noah. They reside in Powell where Abbey is a 2nd grade teacher at Heritage Elementary.
In his free time, Dean enjoys spending time with his family, following his favorite football team the Chicago Bears and coaching youth wrestling.
Tom Ellison joined PDS Planning in August of 2016 as an Associate Investment and Financial Planning Advisor. Tom serves as an assistant portfolio manager for our investment advisory services and lead contact person for our institutional mutual fund relationships.
Prior to joining PDS Planning, Tom spent 7 years with J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank as an Investment Advisor responsible for managing the wealth of affluent individuals, families, and non-profit organizations including foundations and endowments. Before returning home to central Ohio in 2009, he spent 7 years in Chicago in primarily analytical, investment, and portfolio management roles.
Tom received his MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago with concentrations in Finance, Economics, Accounting, and Managerial & Organizational Behavior. His undergraduate degree is in Business Administration from Ashland University where he graduated cum laude.
Tom and his wife, Kathy, have been married since 2002 and have two sons, Adam and Dean. They reside in Westerville, Ohio where Tom grew up. Kathy is a Curriculum Supervisor with the Olentangy Local School District. The Ellison family can often be found on adventures riding their bikes to area playgrounds or exploring places like their local library, the zoo, COSI, or attending art and music events.
Jim supervises all aspects of insurance and annuity analysis and has become a knowledgeable resource for long-term care issues. Prior to joining PDS Planning in 1994, Jim spent 33 years in public education. He taught and coached for 18 years in the Upper Arlington City School system and spent 8 years as Upper Arlington’s Director of Athletics.
He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Miami University and an administrative degree from The Ohio State University. Jim is a member of the Financial Planning Association and has been a board member of the local chapter.
He and his wife Lynn live in Upper Arlington. They have two grown children and three grandchildren. Jim is active in his church, volunteers for community services and serves on the boards of The Lakes Country Club and the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame and Museum. He is an avid golfer, loves to travel, fish, spend time in the outdoors, and is a recently retired color commentator for central Ohio high school and college basketball games.
Laurie Licata, CFP®
Laurie has been a member of the financial planning team since she joined PDS Planning in January, 2008. She fulfills the role of client advisor.
Laurie is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she received a B.A. dual degree in Business and Communications. Laurie attained her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in December 2017 and is a member of the Financial Planning Association.
Laurie and her husband Philip have three daughters and reside in Hilliard, Ohio. Laurie enjoys reading, walking, spending time outdoors and spending time with her family.
Trina joined PDS Planning in January of 2012. She is a member of our financial planning team working across all the advisors. She is responsible for providing assistance with planning services, presentations, and client communication.
Trina graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in English. She is pursuing a Masters Degree at Ohio Christian University, and is also completing the necessary coursework for her CFP® designation.
Trina serves in ministry at her local church. She has also ministered in area homeless shelters, women’s conferences and prisons. Trina enjoys spending time with her family, reading, walking her dog Buddy, and cheering on The Ohio State Buckeyes and Cleveland Browns. She is also working towards publishing her first collection of poetry. Trina resides in Columbus’ Greater Hilltop community.
Ciera joined the PDS Planning Team in June of 2016. She is the primary trader for our managed client accounts and serves as the main contact for the various custodians with whom PDS has relationships. In this role, she establishes and services all client accounts for PDS.
She is currently attending Ohio Christian University to complete her degree in business.
Ciera enjoys spending time with her husband Greg and two daughters Aniyah and Nevaeh. She teaches Sunday school at The father’s House church where she also sings on the praise team. Ciera loves kids and reading and has made a goal to write a book about her dad who passed away in 2001 of colon cancer.
Alyssa joined PDS Planning in December of 2009. She serves as a Financial Planning Assistant and works closely with Rita Itsell and Laurie Licata. Alyssa’s primary responsibility is providing assistance with planning services, presentations and client communication.
Alyssa is a graduate of the Henry B. Tippie College of Business at The University of Iowa, where she received a degree in Finance and a certificate in Risk Management and Insurance.
Alyssa enjoys running distance races and cheering for the Iowa Hawkeyes, as well as making trips back to the Hawkeye state to visit her family in her hometown of Calmar, Iowa. She resides in the Short North area of Columbus.
Beth joined the PDS Planning team in December 2015. She serves as a Financial Planning Assistant, working closely with Jamie Menges and Dean Schuler, and also as a Marketing Assistant. Beth’s primary responsibilities are providing assistance with planning services, client communication, coordinating company events and running social media.
Beth graduated from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University with a specialization in Marketing. Upon graduation she worked as a floral designer and bridal consultant for four years.
She and her husband AJ, a teacher and baseball coach at Grove City Christian, live in Clintonville and are actively involved with Scarlet City Church. They both enjoy attending sporting events (especially to watch the Buckeyes), traveling, coffee and spending time with family.
Shannon joined PDS Planning in October of 2013. She assists the financial planning teams with various tasks and projects.
Shannon graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science. Her background is in banking and sales.
She lives in Upper Arlington with her husband Jason, two children, Kiersten & Gavin and their Pomeranian, Sebastian. She enjoys interior decorating, exercising and spending lots of time with her family.
Jill joined PDS Planning in November 2016 as the new Receptionist. She is the friendly face to greet you when you visit or call our office. She also handles client billing and helps support the day-to-day flow of the office.
Jill comes to us with a background in Customer Service and most recently worked as a Financial Research Analyst for the IHL Group. Jill and her husband live in Dublin with their three sons, Dan, Blake and Mason and their English Setter, Sophia. They enjoy spending time with their sons, friends and family when they are not attending Mason’s baseball games. Jill likes to cook, decorate and grow varieties of flowers during the summer months.