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Strategic Alliances


Michael Binger, CFA®


Mr. Binger is the President for Gradient Investments. He has been with Gradient Investments since 2012 and has more than 30 years of total investment management experience. Mr. Binger’s prior roles include managing multi-billion dollar investment products for a large institutional asset manager. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and is a CFA® charterholder. He brings a depth of market experience that is rare within the industry and has been a featured contributor with several media outlets such as CNBC, Fox Business, Barron’s, and The Wall Street Journal.



Jeremy Bryan, CFA®

Senior Portfolio Manager of Gradient Investments, LLC

Mr. Bryan is a Senior Portfolio Manager for Gradient Investments. He has been with Gradient Investments since 2016 and has over 15 years of total investment management experience. Mr. Bryan’s job history includes equity research and portfolio management roles for institutional asset managers in Minneapolis and New York. He has been a frequent contributor to media outlets including CNBC, Fox Business, Reuters, and The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Bryan graduated with a bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University, MBA from the University of St. Thomas, and is a CFA® charterholder.


mariannMariann Montagne, CFA®

Senior Investment Analyst of Gradient Investments, LLC

Mariann Montagne, CFA® serves as a Senior Investment Analyst for Gradient Investments, LLC. She has 20 plus years of experience working with both institutional and high net worth clients, and has amassed a strong breadth of investment experience during her tenure. This includes company and industry sector analysis, risk monitoring and portfolio management in both the equity and fixed income markets. She is highly attuned to economic and market conditions, and has extensive experience selecting individual stocks, ETFs and mutual funds.

Prior to joining Gradient Investments, she was the Senior Investment Analyst and co-Portfolio Manager for a Minneapolis-based Registered Investment Advisor with over $500 million in assets under management. Montagne was involved in security selection, portfolio management, client presentations and setting strategic direction for the investment department. Her coverage included individual securities, ETF’s and mutual funds in the equity, fixed income and alternative asset classes. Prior to that, she was a Senior Investment Analyst at Thrivent Asset Management examining industry sectors and selecting individual equities. Montagne also spent several years at Munder Capital Management as the assistant director of research along with covering growth and value equities.

Montagne served for seven years on the Global Board of the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY), including posts as president and conference chair.

She is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of both the CFA Society of Minnesota and the CFA Institute. Montagne is an alumnus of the University of Detroit where she graduated cum laude with a Finance major and an English minor.

Montagne’s media highlights include quotes in Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, NPR, Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on Bloomberg TV and Fox Business News.


bio-nickAndrew F. Sabourin

Attorney at Law

Attorney Andrew Sabourin focuses exclusively on Estate Planning which includes Wills, Trusts (revocable and irrevocable), Power of Attorneys for both finances and medical care, HIPAA compliant medical authorizations, and living wills.

People often choose Andrew from among the many estate planning lawyers in North Carolina because of his:

  • Specific focus — He focuses exclusively on helping clients with estate planning matters. By concentrating on this single area of law, he has developed deep and broad knowledge to apply to every client need.
  • One-on-one attention — Because he is in a small firm, he is able to give each client the personal attention they deserve.
  • Commitment to the community — He loves being part of this community. It is truly a privilege to be trusted by the people of this area, and he works to re-earn that trust every day.

Andrew grew up in central Massachusetts. He received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Massachusetts School of Law, his Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and his high school diploma from Northfield Mount Hermon School.

Andrew and his wife Ashley fell in love with the Huntersville area after visiting several years eventually making the decision to move here. Andrew and his family’s love for the outdoors bring them kayaking on Lake Norman and hiking around the Latta Plantation Preserve.

Andrew has always taken an active role in the welfare of his community. He is an active member of the charitable organization Ancient Free and Accepted Mason’s and regular volunteer with his local church. Prior to moving to Huntersville, Andrew volunteered and ran a community blood drive.

Attorney Andrew F. Sabourin is insured, Affiliations and Lawyer Referral Services, ARAG Network Attorney



Chuck-ManessChuck Maness


I started my financial career as a disbursing clerk with the United States Marine Corps in 1981. Using the education funding provided by the military and part-time jobs, I worked my way through college, graduating in 1989 with high honors from the University of Tennessee. I later returned to UT to obtain my Master’s in Business Administration.

I employ over 20 years of corporate and public accounting experience in assisting my clients. I especially enjoy simplifying the financial administration burden associated with running a business; allowing clients to focus on business development activities. I also get a “charge” out of resolving tax related compliance and planning issues for my clients.

I am an avid hiker and exercise enthusiast, and I enjoy many other outdoor activities too. I enjoy music and I‘m active in Huntersville Presbyterian Church.

“A primary goal of every business owner should be to enjoy the business they have developed. My practice is devoted to assisting business owners achieve this goal by reducing the stress associated with financial administration and tax related issues.”


Kristy Duncan, LPC, M.Ed

Kristy Duncan is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Succeed Where It Counts. She holds the Master of Education degree (Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC). She has many years of experience as a guidance counselor in the public school system, and as a Child Grief specialist in independent practice. As a graduate assistant at Winthrop University Kristy worked in the placement office helping undergraduates identify and secure placement in career-track employment.

Following the birth of her three children, and their beginning elementary school, Kristy elected to re-fire her career by affiliating with SWIC. Kristy, her husband Tom, and George are longtime friends. She brings skills and expertise that complement George’s. They make a strong team, working with high school students to find the right college at the right price, and to graduate on time with the right degree. Kristy is married to Tom Duncan, a Senior Associate with Boykin Management Company. Residing in Cornelius, NC, the Duncans have three wonderful children and a great dog.


Dr. George Gately, Founder of Succeed Where It Counts

After a quarter-century as a pastor, George ventured into the business world. George helps families stay out of debt and retire on time with his college admission and financial aid coaching strategies. He aspires to help parents help their students select the Right College, at the Right Price, to Graduate on Time with the Right Degree© without compromising their financial retirement plan.



David Love, CPA

David has provided tax and accounting services to businesses and individuals for over 18 years. His professional services are enhanced by personal attention to client needs. He provides prompt responses to inquiries and most importantly, the attention of a qualified staff familiar with you and your specific needs. He is always available to discuss your financial and tax needs and answer questions in a non-technical manner. David graduated from the University of Georgia and holds a Masters degree in Accounting. Prior to starting his own CPA firm in 1988, he worked for a large CPA firm and also served as Controller for several medium-sized companies. His background in both public and private accounting provides him with a unique perspective into the financial, tax, and business needs of your company.

David is a member of the AICPA and the North Carolina Association of CPAs.




Mr. Gangl is a Portfolio Manager for Gradient Investments. He joined Gradient Investments in 2018 and has over 20 years of total investment management experience. Prior roles include portfolio management for a large institutional equity firm, where he managed several billion dollars of assets. Mr. Gangl has been featured in media publications such as Investor’s Business Daily, Bloomberg, and Yahoo!. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University, MBA from the University of St. Thomas, and is a CFA® charterholder.




Mr. Ellegard is an investment analyst for Gradient Investments. He joined Gradient Investments in 2018 after prior investment roles for a large retail wealth advisory firm. Mr. Ellegard has experience with individual financial advice, asset allocation, and analysis of investments across the asset spectrum. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and is currently a candidate in the CFA® program.




Ms. Thorpe is an Investment Analyst for Gradient Investments. She joined Gradient Investments in 2020 after graduating from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Ms. Thorpe has experience with equity research and portfolio management through her prior experience in The Bulldog Fund, a student-led, multimillion-dollar equity fund. She graduated with a financial markets finance bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota System and is currently a candidate in the CFA® program.