Paul M. Thomson Advisor of the Year

Toast to Our Towns

September 26, 2020

Dr. Paul M. Thomson Professional Advisor of the Year

Truman Heartland Community Foundation appreciates the role of the professional advisor in assisting clients with meeting personal and financial goals. For some clients, these goals include gifts to charity.

The Dr. Paul M. Thomson Professional Advisor of the Year Award recognizes professional advisors for their outstanding work in facilitating gifts to charity.


Our 2019 Dr. Paul M. Thomson Professional Advisor of the Year was


George N. Koepp

George N. KoeppGeorge N. Koepp takes pride in finding solutions and making an impact in the lives of others. As a financial advisor, George is focused on helping his clients reach their financial and philanthropic goals. His dedication to being of service to others is a hallmark of everything he does.

George became a financial advisor with Edward Jones in 2006, when he opened his office in Raytown. He grew his business by focusing on helping others and utilizing his previous experience in achieving financial and operational efficiency for Houston’s Restaurants and Jack Stack Bar-B-Que. In 2014, he was invited to become a limited partner with Edward Jones.

George is known as a charitable giving activist. During his tenure on the Truman Heartland Community Foundation Raytown Advisory Board, George worked with the Foundation’s Development Committee and played an instrumental role with the THCF Professional Advisor Program, emphasizing the benefits of charitable giving for both financial advisors and their clients.

He has held many leadership roles throughout Eastern Jackson County. He served as president of the Rotary Club of Raytown. He was a founding board member of the Raytown Main Street Association and is a Master Mason of the Overland Park Masonic Lodge No. 436. George has also served on the board of the nonprofit Survive and Thrive.

In his leisure time, George enjoys cooking and helping friends work on cars. In 2004, 2005 and 2006, he was recognized as a top chef of a James Beard Foundation awarded restaurant. His wife, Ronna, is an educator who taught orchestra in Raytown Schools for 19 years and is a talented violinist. Together, they enjoy family time, including watching their teenage son, Ian, play soccer and encouraging his interest in computers and technology.



Ron Finke

Stewardship Capital, 2017 Recipient

Ron Finke has been serving the financial needs of clients in Kansas City and around the country for almost 36 years. After 15 years of selling investments and insurance products, Ron founded Stewardship Capital in December 1997, as a Registered Investment Advisor.

Ron is a lifelong resident of Independence, Missouri. He was a University of Missouri Curators Scholar and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Stanford University and Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University School of Law. Later he earned the Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant designations from The American College, Bryn Mawr, PA.

To ensure that he is best serving the financial needs of his clients, Ron utilizes his extensive knowledge and insight to present charitable options that benefit the needs of the clients as well as the needs of the community. In addition to employing the services of Truman Heartland Community Foundation as an important charitable partner for his clients, he and his wife Karen are also fund holders and Legacy Society members.

Ron deeply appreciates his community and enjoys volunteering whenever possible. His involvements include: Estate Planning Society of KC, past President; Society of Financial Service Professionals; Independence Chamber of Commerce; Independence School District, Board of Directors (1986-98); Independence Rotary Club, past President; Missouri Bar Association; Truman Heartland Community Foundation (2011-16); Million Dollar Round Table, Life Member; and Noland Road Baptist Church, Bible Teacher and Deacon.

Ron and Karen have been married for 43 years and their happiest moments are spent enjoying time with their three grown children and nine grandchildren.

Dennis Bacon

Bacon Financial Advisors, 2015 Recipient

Dennis R. Bacon has been serving the financial needs of the Kansas City community since 1993 and recently relocated his offices to Lee’s Summit and opened Bacon Financial Advisors, an Independent Firm. As a Certified Financial Planner ™ as well as a CPA, Dennis has the knowledge and insight to present charitable options to his clients that benefit the clients’ needs as well as the needs of the community. He has the training and experience necessary to deliver the true “Client First” service model and focuses on delivering a customized solution for each investor which often includes charitable solutions. Many of his clients have partnered with Truman Heartland Community Foundation to help them fulfill their financial and charitable goals.

Dennis and his wife Michelle, who is a 5th grade teacher at Summit Christian Academy, have been married since 1981 and have two grown children. Dennis is an active member of the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Board of Directors of The Women’s Clinic of Kansas City, is supporting member for the Faith and Family night at the K and an active member of his church. 

Doug Hammer

Edward Jones, 2014 Recipient

Doug Hammer began his Edward Jones career in 1993, opening the firm’s second branch in Independence, Mo. He continues to serve that community today.

In 1997 Hammer became a limited partner with the firm, and in 2004 he was named a regional leader. Today he is responsible for more than 40 branch teams in the southern half of the Kansas City, Mo., metropolitan area and suburbs.

Prior to becoming a regional leader, Hammer served on the hiring team; as a new financial advisor support specialist, trainer and mentor; and as a visiting veteran. In this last role, he visited the St. Louis headquarters numerous times to address new financial advisor training classes.

He was named a principal in 2007.

As Hammer’s business grew, he brought three additional financial advisors into the community to help him better serve clients. He also has been invited three times to attend the firm’s annual Managing Partner’s Conference, an honor reserved for the top 350 of the firm’s more than 13,000 financial advisors.

Originally from Marshall, Okla., Hammer holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics from Oklahoma State University.

Hammer has been actively involved in the community and has served on numerous boards and has helped with dozens of community-service projects. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Independence and served three terms on the Truman Heartland Community Foundation Board.

Cliff Jones 

Edward Jones, 2013 Recepient

Cliff Jones opened his Edward Jones office in Independence in 1998 and retired in 2018. During his 20 year career, he actively educated people on the benefits of giving through the Foundation. He continues to make himself available to help the Foundation with the Professional Advisor Program

As a limited partner with Edward Jones, Cliff has performed several regional roles as well as mentoring newer financial advisors. He has brought two additional financial advisors into the community and helped them start their careers. In 2014, Cliff received the Edward Jones Spirit of Caring Award which is designed to recognize those financial advisors who exemplify the spirit of giving back to not only the firm but to the communities they serve.

A native of Eastern Jackson County, Cliff and his wife, Diane, met at the University of Central Missouri where he received his degree in choral music education. They were married in 1979 and reside in Raytown.  He is the past board chair for both Truman Heartland Community foundation and Community Services League. He is also past president and current assistant director of The Kansas City Metro Men’s Chorus. 


James R. Stilley, Jr.

Stilley & Fowler PC, 2012 Recipient

Jim opened his law practice in Raytown in 1977 and continues to practice there with the law firm of Stilley & Fowler, P.C. Their primary area of practice is estate planning. Jim has actively advised clients on the benefits of giving through the Community Foundation and a number of his clients have elected to work with Truman Heartland. In addition to his professional career, Jim and wife Mary, actively support their church and many other charities through their Donor-Advised Fund and personal contributions. Former Board Member and Board Chairman in 2006, Jim has played a significant role in the history of our Community Foundation.

William Richard “Rick” Henks
Henks Financial Group, 2011 Recipient

Rick operates Henks Financial Group located near Lakewood in Lee’s Summit. He is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Group and a member of the Estate Planning Society of Kansas City, the Society of Financial Service Professionals, and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Rick has helped a number of his clients in the creation and placement of life insurance policies to establish donor-advised funds at the Community Foundation. All of these policies are structured to create permanent endowment accounts. Rick and his wife, Linda, also have a Donor-Advised Fund, as does Henks Financial Group through which they personally accomplish their charitable giving.

Buford “Bunk” L. Farrington

Humphrey, Farrington, McClain, 2010 Recipient

Bunk has practiced in the areas of estate and business planning, business succession, trusts, tax and real estate for more than 35 years. His practice, located in Independence, is concentrated in estate planning, trusts, estates and family business. Bunk is a member of the Estate Planning Society of Kansas City and has been a consistent advocate for giving among his clients, charities, and churches. Advising his clients on the benefits and tax consequences of endowments and charitable funds, Bunk has helped a number of individuals by discussing ways to donate and accomplish charitable goals. Bunk and his wife Diane also have a Donor-Advised Fund at THCF.


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