Our Experts

Our Experts

Trent A. Grinkmeyer, CRPC®, AIF®

Financial Consultant

Trent is a cofounder of Grinkmeyer Leonard Financial, and he has been widely recognized as an industry leader for providing consulting services to companies who sponsor 401(k) and other types of retirement plans and to individuals looking for investment management and financial guidance. His reputation is due, in part, to his unique ability to visualize an idea and find creative solutions for making them work.

After obtaining a BFA from the University of South Alabama in 1993, Trent undertook numerous successful business endeavors throughout the 1990s. He began his career as a financial advisor in 2000 when he joined one of the country’s largest team practices at American Express Financial Advisors, now Ameriprise Financial, and earned the disctinction of senior financial advisor. Trent and his business partner, Valerie Leonard, formed a partnership in 2004, and, in their search to provide a higher quality of independent advice and investment products, they joined forces with Commonwealth Financial Network® in 2007.

Trent holds the Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM (CRPC®) and the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designations; he is currently serving on the Retirement Advisory Council at Commonwealth Financial Network and the Board of Directors for Food for Thought Outreach, Inc.; and he is a member of Retirement Plan Advisory Group (RPAG) and the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA). He has been acknowledged for membership on the Fidelity Investments Advisory Council over multiple years. Trent is an Investment Adviser Representative (IAR) with Commonwealth Financial Network, holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities registrations, and is licensed in multiple states for life, health, and disability products.

Trent and his wife, Ginger, reside in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, with their two daughters. They are extremely active in their community and feel that it is a wonderful place to live. Aside from enjoying the beach and traveling, Trent loves hanging out with his girls and is happy as long as they are all together.

Valerie R. Leonard, AIF®

Financial Consultant

As cofounder of Grinkmeyer Leonard Financial, Valerie brings unique solutions to businesses looking for comprehensive advice for their 401(k) plans and other group benefits, and she works closely with individuals who need a strategic partner to help them navigate their financial lives. Valerie is well known for her attention to detail and persistence when working with clients.

Valerie’s passion for becoming a financial advisor began at a young age. She started her career with American Express Financial Advisors in 2002, graduated with a BS in finance from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2003, and formed a business partnership with Trent Grinkmeyer in 2004 at American Express Financial Advisors, now Ameriprise Financial. Because of their intense desire to provide the highest quality of independent advice and the most suitable products to their clients, Valerie and Trent joined forces with Commonwealth Financial Network in 2007.

Valerie holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation as awarded by Fiduciary360; she is currently serving on the Retirement Advisory Council at Commonwealth Financial Network and on the Retirement Advisory Board at Nationwide Financial; she has been recognized as a member of the Advisory Council at Fidelity Investments for multiple years; and she is a proud member of Retirement Plan Advisory Group (RPAG), the Financial Planning Association (FPA), and the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA). Valerie is an Investment Adviser Representative (IAR) with Commonwealth Financial Network, holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities registrations, and is licensed in multiple states for life, health, and disability products.

Valerie and her husband, Rob, reside in Pelham, Alabama, with their three children and two dogs. She enjoys traveling, music, boating, consulting for Rob’s business, and spending quality time together as a family. They attend Westwood Baptist Church in Alabaster, and she and Rob do their best to impact their community in a positive way.

Caleb Bagwell

Financial Consultant

Caleb joined our team because of his passion for education and working with individuals regarding financial matters that could affect generations to come. From budgeting and debt reduction to risk management and investment planning, Caleb believes in helping every client pursue financial success by building long-term relationships and taking the time to listen to and understand each client personally.

Caleb obtained a BS in financial management from Clemson University. There, he concentrated on corporate finance and investment management and also minored in accounting. He began his finance career as a securities analyst with a private wealth management firm in South Carolina but soon learned that he was much more passionate about the people over just the data. Caleb became a registered financial advisor in 2010 and has since had the opportunity to work with more than 3,000 families to help them reach their financial goals.

Caleb currently holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities registrations through Commonwealth Financial Network and is registered in multiple states. He carries his life, health, and disability licenses as well, and he is currently in pursuit of his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™(CFP®) certification.

Caleb and his wife, Sarah, reside in Birmingham, Alabama, with their boxer puppy, Maggie. Out of the office, Caleb’s hobbies include fitness, cooking, and striving to improve his golf game. He and his wife attend The Church at Brookhills, and Caleb is passionate about his volunteer work through Workfatih Birmingham and serving his community. He is also an active member of Business Networking International.

Jamie Kertis, AIF®, QKA

Strategic Plan Coordinator

Jamie works closely with employers who sponsor 401(k)s and other types of retirement plans to help them understand the design of their plan, how that design affects employee participation and testing, how to efficiently manage vendor relationships, and how to implement investment committee decisions, and she assists with day-to-day oversight and administration. She also offers financial and investment advice and guidance directly to plan participants.

Jamie obtained an honor’s degree in psychology and a minor in business from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2003. She launched her financial services career in 2006 with Smith Barney as a junior partner in a successful team practice; this is where her interest in retirement plans first began. In October 2008, Jamie focused her attention on the administration aspect of qualified retirement plans and joined DailyAccess Corporation as a retirement plan specialist. In 2012, she joined the team at Grinkmeyer Leonard Financial as a retirement plan specialist.

Jamie holds the Qualified 401(k) Adminstrator (QKA) designation as awarded by the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA), which signifies her qualifications as they pertain to the complex issues of qualified plan design, testing, and administration. She also holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation as awarded by Fiduciary360. Jamie is an Investment Adviser Representative (IAR) with Commonwealth Financial Network, holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities registrations, and is licensed in multiple states for life, health, and disability products.

Jamie and her husband, Daniel, reside in Mobile, Alabama, with their two daughters. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, especially the beach, reading, running, and seeing the world through the eyes of her girls. Jamie is a member of Christ United Methodist Church and enjoys volunteering in the community.