Joseph (Joe) Ruzycki is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and an LPL Registered Principal.
After earning his Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Wayne State University, he began his financial services career as a representative at Ohio National in 1998. In 2005, he founded the Center for Wealth Planning, Inc., an LPL office of supervisory jurisdiction. Over the course of the next decade, Joe grew and expanded his successful wealth planning practice. In 2019, Joe partnered up with Craig Snyder and America Group Retirement Strategy Centers. The partnership now serves the needs of more than 100 financial advisors and their clients across more than 30 branch offices. Joe Ruzycki oversees the independent advisors while Craig Snyder focuses on the institutional advisor relationships.
CFP® Certification: The Standard of Excellence
Only a select group of planners have met the rigorous education, examination, experience and ethics requirements (set forth by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards) necessary to call themselves CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals. CFP® certification is a symbol of Joseph Ruzycki’s knowledge and credibility among his peers; and indicates his status as a qualified, trustworthy financial planner.
Craig is a managing partner of America Group and a registered principal with LPL Financial. Craig founded America Group Retirement Strategy Centers in 1982 and joined forces with Joseph Ruzycki in 2018 to form one of the largest firms partnering with LPL Financial in the country. America Group has grown to serve over 100 financial advisors. Additionally, America Group provides compliance oversight and value-added services to several leading institutions that are spread across five states.
He is also a member of LPL’s Advisor and Institution Panel serving on a subcommittee whose focus is on Business Management Enterprises and Institutions. This committee provides a forum in which representative advisors and institutions come together to share and discuss ideas and suggestions, challenges and concerns, and helps drive the development of upcoming LPL Financial programs, strategies, communications, products and services.
Craig and his wife Janna live in Bloomfield Hills. They have been married for 47 years and have two children; Ross, who works for Pulse Electronics Corporation and Kellie, who graduated from DePaul Law School in 2018 and is practicing law in Chicago. In his leisure time Craig enjoys playing golf and has been a member of Oakland Hills Country Club for 28 years. Craig and Janna also enjoy being on the road on their Harley Ultra Classic. Craig is also a member of the “Distinguished Clown Corps” and participates annually in the Michigan Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Tod brings 40 plus years of experience in the Financial Services Industry where he provides the knowledge, experience, and expertise to help manage the day-to-day advisor support services that the America Group provides to all of their Advisors. He coordinates the Firm’s comprehensive training programs which include frequent Go-to-Meeting training events and all Firm Meetings. Additionally, he assists advisors with practice management ideas and case design support. As one of the compliance principals in the Firm, Tod helps advisors understand and navigate the complex world of compliance.
Tod and Teri, his wife, live in West Bloomfield. They have 4 children and 2 grandchildren. Their family enjoys spending weekends in the summer fishing for northern pike at their cottage on Douglas Lake in Pellston, MI. Additionally, Tod enjoys playing golf. They both look forward to spending more time with their granddaughter who lives in Knoxville, TN.
Richard Ohlrich has 27 years of financial services experience with 25 years as a compliance officer. In his consultancy capacity he provides management and oversight of the firm’s compliance and operational systems. As the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) for America Group Retirement Strategy Centers, Richard works with staff members to educate, supervise and monitor the activities of the firm’s financial advisors to help comply with today’s evolving and complex securities regulatory framework.
Richard is an Investment Advisor Representative and holds his Series 7, 24, 53 and 66 securities registration with LPL Financial and state Life, Health & Variable Contracts Insurance licenses. He obtained his BS degree in Economics from Florida State University in 1989.
LPL Registered Principal
In mid-January our new firm welcomes Ann who brings over 33 years in the financial services industry, half that time as an advisor and half as a registered principal in operations and compliance. The last 11 years she practiced as an LPL Principal Examiner in Branch Exams. She will assist the firm and its registered representatives in increasing branch exam performance and advise on new regulatory and LPL policy changes. She will engage in regular office visits and to support audit compliance and follow up on audit findings. We are looking forward to leveraging her as a point of contact to help provide guidance and information in navigating LPL’s complexities.
Patrizia’s career has spanned over 35 years in the financial services industry, from operations and advisor support to owning and managing a practice.She is a Wayne State University graduate with a BA degree in Finance. Patrizia is registered as a general securities principal and registered representative through LPL Financial. Leveraging her experience within the industry she has provided disciplined and efficient support for advisors, in addition to support on the compliance team. Patrizia’s current role is Human Resource and Office Manager.
Patrizia enjoys traveling with her husband, particularly to Italy, where she visits family often. Caring for aging parents and spending time with family are most important to her. She enjoys entertaining and cooking for family and friends, volunteers through her church on community projects serving the elderly and is a volunteer member of a community garden club.
Wendy VanAntwerp joined the Center for Wealth Planning Advisors, Inc. in 2012, which later became America Group Retirement Strategy Centers. She is responsible for quality assurance and oversight of the firm’s daily operations and business activities, including compliance support, client services, project management, and supports financial advisors transitioning to LPL Financial. She holds her Series 7 and 66 securities registrations with LPL Financial and has her life and health insurance license. Her proficiency across all aspects of operations management, quality control, and client care help to ensure a smooth, efficient and enjoyable experience for our team members and clients.
She received her BBA with a concentration in Marketing and Finance, graduating Summa Cum Laude from Baker College in 2013. Wendy is currently enrolled in a graduate program through the College for Financial Planning; working toward her Master of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning.
In her free time, Wendy enjoys traveling, home improvement projects, and anything outdoors, especially when she can bring along her two pups. Some activities they enjoy together include kayaking, hiking, camping, and swimming.
Jackie joined America Group Retirement Strategy Centers in 2005 and brings more than 15 years of financial services industry experience to her role as office manager. She provides administrative and advisor support services and operational oversight, helping to ensure a consistently superior experience for the firm’s clients, associates, and team members. Her personal philosophy centers on making a positive impact each day in the support of the ongoing growth and success of the firm and its clients.
Jackie loves being a wife, mom and a new grandma and any time spent with her family. She enjoys cooking, baking, gardening, “doing it yourself” projects and riding the motorcycle (as passenger!) She and her husband also spend time together in church work, teaching, counseling and helping others in their community.
Sally Cholewka, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, serves as a trusted resource for financial planning questions, concepts and case design. Since joining the America Group team in 2012, her primary mission is to collaborate with Advisors in analyzing their client's current financial position. From there, she helps develop alternatives that seek to enhance outcomes and stress-tests for “what-if” scenarios. She regularly provides financial planning ideas on a wide range of topics, from leveraging college tax credits to legacy planning to retirement planning for business owners. She particularly enjoys sharing her extended knowledge of Social Security filing strategies to enhance retirement income planning. In addition, she conducts training and development sessions for Advisors to facilitate awareness and familiarity of planning techniques and plan formats. Sally is registered through LPL Financial as a Series 7 Registered Representative for Securities and as a Series 66 Investment Advisor Representative.
Prior to joining the America Group team, she worked at The PrivateBank as a Registered Investment Sales Assistant. Her training experience stems from her background in education. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Secondary Education and History, she began her career as a Social Studies teacher.
Sally is a native Midwesterner, growing up in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. She now lives in Shelby Township, MI with her husband, John, and their young daughter. In her free time, she enjoys reading, boating and gathering creative ideas on Pinterest.
Randy works closely with Sally Cholewka Director of Financial Planning in the America Group Financial Planning Department. His role includes analyzing clients’ financial situations and collaborating with advisors to assist with financial planning. He prepares retirement, life insurance, education and investment analysis using a variety of software platforms, including eMoney and Morningstar Workstation. Randy's experience, specifically in financial planning coupled with his FINRA Registrations, allow him to support advisors with Case Design services. Randy is a 2020 Level II CFA Candidate.
Prior to joining the America Group team, he gained his training and experience from his previous work in financial planning with Hantz Financial Services where he specialized in financial planning. He holds a Series 7 and 66 registrations with LPL Financial. He is licensed in the State of Michigan for Life, Health, VC, Property and Casualty.
Randy is a graduate from Oakland University with a bachelor’s degree in finance. When he’s not working you can find him spending time with family and friends. He also loves playing or watching Ice Hockey.
Sherry Frost joined America Group Retirement Strategy Centers in 2019. She brings almost 34 years of experience in the insurance and financial services industry to her role as Executive Assistant to Joe Ruzycki, CEO/Founder. Sherry served a term as president of the Macomb County Life Underwriters and is currently life and health insurance licensed. She obtained her LUTCF, CLU and ChFC designations and specialized in Estate and Long Term Care Planning for seniors and special needs families. Sherry worked closely with a local attorney presenting seminars across the state and became very involved with Special Olympics, Michigan. She also spent 7 years as the financial advisor at Extra Credit Union.
Sherry is committed to providing high level support utilizing her experience, organizational skills and positive outlook. She is passionate about assisting with the firm’s growth and future success.
When not at work, Sherry enjoys traveling, reading, gardening, spending time with family and friends and most things outdoors. Sherry has one son, Adam, a senior at Grand Valley State University.
Misty brings over ten years of client service experience in the area of financial services and has completed the Registered Paraplanner course of study encompassing the financial planning process and the disciplines of financial planning. Misty is responsible for administrative support, client relationship services, advisor administration activities and general business operations. Misty is originally from Louisiana, attended college in Texas and later moved to Michigan.
Cheryl is the America Group’s receptionist and welcomes all visitors to the firm. She is responsible for our lobby area and provides additional administrative support. She graduated from the Detroit College of Business with a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Office Administration. Cheryl’s broad range of administrative experiences and advanced office skills will be a huge asset in assisting with special projects. She loves working with others and is very excited about her role as “Director of First Impressions.”
If you love the movies, you may want to join Cheryl sometime after work as she is a big “movie buff.” Cheryl also loves spending her free time with her husband Gery and twin daughters, Cynthia and Catherine.