Sharon Allen, CFP(R), CTFA, CEO & Co-Founder
About Sharon C. Allen
When I founded the firm in 2004, it was with a desire to be a “beacon of light” in the financial services industry, to elevate the conversation around true wealth, client service, and technical excellence. I am passionate about creating, growing, and stewarding the Sterling Community…our clients, Sterling team members, and each client’s unique team of professional advisors both in and outside of our firm.
Being the oldest child of a middle-class family in the Chicago suburbs, I was the first person in my extended family to go to college. Graduating from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with my Finance degree, I began a professional journey of intimate involvement in all levels of managing the financial lives of affluent families and individuals. I am now the “personal chief financial officer” for my clients, specializing in helping them create tailored financial plans to help guide them through life’s transitions, such as transferring wealth to the next generation, loss of spouse, divorce, retirement, job changes or sale of a business.
Being a positive voice within the financial services industry and giving back is important to me. I am an adjunct instructor at the University of Illinois in the Certified Financial Planning program, as well as a guest lecturer on various financial planning, investing and business topics. I am an active member of the nationally recognized wealth management study group, Family Wealth Advisors Council, and co-author of Caught in the Middle: How Does The Sandwich Generation Woman Not Get Squeezed?
My sense of community extends beyond the walls of Sterling Wealth Management. I give of my time as Board Chair of the University of Illinois Community Credit Union, and Board and committee member of various non-profits in our area, as well as invest time in supporting and mentoring entrepreneurs.
As a mother of two boys, I also enjoy being actively involved in all of their activities and the local school community.
Martin Allen, COO & Co-Founder
About Martin Allen
I have always been an entrepreneur. Building something tangible from just a tiny idea is a passion of mine. When we started Sterling Wealth Management, I found it a fantastic opportunity to utilize the experiences I had gained over the years in real estate and technology to create an infrastructure that would allow our firm to grow to meet our client’s needs efficiently. In my role now, I am always looking for ways to make our client’s lives easier. Entrepreneurship is at the heart of everything I do and I welcome opportunities to help others further their entrepreneurial dreams.
Creating partnerships is important to me. Whether it is within our organization or in our business to business relationships, I am always thinking of ways to help a situation be a “win-win” for everyone involved. I enjoy cultivating relationships and building mutual understanding to help find solutions to challenges and bring a project to successful resolution.
Outside of building our business, I enjoy spending time with my wife and two boys, playing guitar, golf, and investing time in my community of friends.
Edward Anderson, CFP(R), Financial Advisor & Director – Minneapolis
About Edward Anderson
Life is hectic and investing is complicated. I became a Financial Advisor because I wanted to help.
After studying Financial Planning at the University of Illinois and graduating Magna Cum Laude, I partnered with Sterling Wealth Management. With Sterling, I found a team of highly skilled and experienced professionals who share an uncommon dedication to providing unparalleled service and care. Every day since, it has been my privilege to share that unique Sterling experience with others as they look to save for the future, invest in themselves, and successfully navigate all of life’s biggest transitions.
It is my core belief that successful financial planning and wealth management is based on trust. No one needs an advisor who is focused on selling financial products; they need a partner – someone who will make their goals their own. As a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, not only can I assure you of my commitment to maintaining the highest level of professional expertise, but you can also be confident in my fiduciary duty to always put your interests and goals first. Period.
When I’m not working to simplify our client’s financial lives, I spend 90% of my free time trying to keep up with my young twin boys and their puppy dog, Roo. The remaining 10% is spent improving our home, going to the gym, and spending a precious few quiet minutes with my wife.
Seth Elam, Associate – Operations & Financial Advising
About Seth Elam
My passion for financial planning started while serving in the military. It began by simply educating my co-workers on how to budget efficiently and sparked a new hobby that I grew to love. After conducting research, I learned about the prestige of the Certified Financial Planner ™ designation and knew this was the career for me.
I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2018, earning my bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and Consumer Economics with a concentration in Financial Planning. Since my graduation, I have started my journey to earn my Certified Financial Planner™ designation.
My belief is that altruism is the only way to offer a quality financial planning experience, and I found that with Sterling Wealth Management. The team truly believes in putting the client’s needs above all others to deliver the best service possible. I am honored and fortunate to work among these individuals who strive to serve clients with such dedication.
I like to spend much of my free time in the warm company of my family. My wife and I have a wonderful son and daughter who love keeping us busy with activities.
Katie Hansen, Client Service Coordinator
About Katie Hansen
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, I have lived around the country and worked in logistics, management and operational planning. Settling down in Central Illinois I wanted to work for a local company that has a strong sense of purpose. I could not be happier to be part of the Sterling Wealth Management team, a team who believes in providing unparalleled support and always doing the right by our clients.
My passion is working with others and developing relationships. As a Client Service Coordinator, I ensure that our clients have excellent experiences with Sterling and that their relationship with our team is seamless. It is an honor to be a part of many strong relationships that Sterling Wealth Management has built. I thoroughly enjoy working with each client and supporting them as they transition through different seasons in life. It is an honor to work with such a skilled team and support our community.
In my free time I teach and practice yoga. Whenever possible, I love to be outdoors. Keeping very active I snowboard, wake surf as well as camp, hike and rock climb.