Mary Sterk, CFP ®, is the owner of Sterk Financial Services in Dakota Dunes, SD. Mary’s inspirational story of fighting her way from Welfare to Wealth Management has motivated many people to believe that anything is possible. She built a better future despite a teenage pregnancy, living in low-income housing, and raising two small children without child support and while subsisting on food stamps. Her quote, “If I can achieve this, anyone can!”, has inspired women throughout the country to strive for their own bright future.
Sterk Financial Services (www.sterkfinancialservices.com) specializes in providing strategic direction and personal meaning for client’s financial decisions through their unique planning programs. Their radio show, Money Guide With Mary Sterk, educates and inspires listeners to create their best financial future.
Mary has been in the investment and insurance industry since 1994, and earned her Certified Financial Planner ™ certification through the American College in Bryn Mawr, PA. Mary also has an artistic side, and has created uplifting messages of hope through her art via Just Mary Designs (www.justmarydesigns.com). In her down time, Mary enjoys spending time with her three children and one grandson, and flying her Piper Cherokee.
In 2006 Mary was the winner of Woodbury Financial’s Lewis and Clark Explorer award*. This honor is awarded to a financial advisor who has demonstrated tremendous business success and growth, and provided excellent client care and service in the financial planning industry. Based on feedback she received after receiving this award, Mary created and hosted the first annual National Woodbury Women’s Forum held in Dallas, TX in February 2007. Many independent female financial advisors attended the event to learn how Mary runs her practice and to discuss topics including staffing issues, acquisitions, client service, and sales. Mary now sits on the national board of Women Forward, promoting financial literacy and encouraging the growth of women in the financial industry.
Over time, Sterk Financial Services has grown, in part by acquiring five financial planning practices. Mary has become an industry specialist in the acquisition space, authoring her book, Buy It! The Practical Guide to Buying a Financial Services Practice. Mary does private consulting with advisors who need assistance during the acquisition process.
Mary was named one of Wealth Magazine’s Top 50 Women in Wealth in 2008*. In 2011, Mary was given the Siouxland Women of Excellence Award for Women Taking Risks*. Following that, she was honored as one of the 2012 Top 10 Under 40 in her community*. In 2015, Mary was featured on the cover of Siouxland Women Magazine, as well as in the Wall Street Journal for her high-level estate planning*. In March of 2016 the prestigious President’s Award was bestowed upon Mary by Woodbury Financial Services for long-time exemplary service and contributions to clients, community, and the financial industry.
Finally, Mary developed and has taught a class at a local college entitled “Financial Planning for Women.” Mary is a member of the Siouxland Estate Planning Council, is a past Financial Services Institute board member, and the past chairperson of the Woodbury Financial Services Representative Advisory Council. Her community involvement includes being the past Chair of Women United, past President of the Western Iowa Tech College Foundation Board, current board member of the Sioux City Art Center, and former membership as a Sioux Trails Girl Scout Leader, Siouxland Professional Women’s Organization, The Greater Dakota Valley Jaycees, and staffing Premier Education’s Family Values Focus seminars.
Connect with Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org.