Our Support Staff

Our Support Staff

Our client relationship managers are an indispensable part of our team. In each office they handle dozens of client questions on a daily basis, expedite processing of all types of forms, maintain accurate client information, and assist with business management processes. They are committed to providing the very best customer service, communicating with clients clearly and graciously.

Michelle Lasko

Client Relationship Manager, Olympia Office

Michelle is from Lynnwood, Washington, and now lives in Lacey. After getting her AA degree in accounting from Edmonds Community College she moved frequently with her husband, James, when he was in the Army. They lived in North Carolina, Hawaii, California, Arizona, Virginia, and Germany before settling back in the Northwest in 2005 when James’ last assignment was at Joint Base Lewis McCord. Along the way, Michelle prepared tax returns during tax season and took the occasional unusual position, such as being inventory control manager at a chili pepper processing plant in Arizona.

Michelle started working for Zale in 2008, and her background in accounting has been a big asset in her position as a client relationship manager. She’s very familiar with the tax terms and documents that Zale’s clients navigate through each year. She knows how to efficiently use Commonwealth's services, and provides Zale with all types of adminstrative support.

James now works as a military contractor, so he’s usually gone for two months, then home for two months. During the two months he’s home, he and Michelle like to go hiking or tandem kayaking in the lakes around Olympia or in Puget Sound. most recenlty they have hiked trails on Mt. Rainier, and also up the very steep Mt. Elinor on the Olympic Peninsula.  They have two children, Morgan and Thad. Morgan is enrolled in Northwest University in Kirkland, WA working to be accepted into the nursing program next year. Thad is working full time for the State of Washington delivering inter-agency mail.

Michelle has been concentrating on physical fitness for the last year, and just completed her first 15K run and will be running a half marathon in May, 2019.

Gerrilynn Lindley

Office Manager, Olympia Office

Since Todd moved his business to Pillar Financial Group in late 2016, Gerrilynn has continued in her role as his operations manager. She has worked side by side with Todd ever since they started Lindley Financial in Montesano 33 years ago. She is intimately familiar with every aspect of the business, and knows Todd’s clients nearly as well as he does. When they first started, she and Todd were the only two people in the office, but over the years, they added other staff members, and now she is able to focus primarily on operations, making sure the business is running smoothly. Still, their clients are her primary interest, and she feels honored to share their life experiences.

Gerrilynn grew up in Shelton, and met Todd while they were both attending Western Washington University. They were married before Gerrilynn finished at WWU, so after they moved to Montesano she finished her degree in management and the public interest at The Evergreen State College.  

While they lived in Montesano, Gerrilynn served the community in many roles, primarily with the Montesano Youth Soccer Club and the Montesano Presbyterian Church. The volunteer position that currently energizes her is serving on the board of directors for the Alumni Association of Western Washington University. As a member of the scholarship committee, she loves helping to choose which students will receive one of the 70+ scholarships awarded each year.

Gerrilynn and Todd purchased a home in Olympia in 2017 on the 17th hole of the Indian Summer Golf Course. They love this location because Todd gets to golf to his hearts content, and because it's just one mile from the office. They are in the process of remodeling the home.

Gerrilynn and Todd consider themselves fortunate that both of their children also live in Olympia. Marisa works with them at Pillar Financial Group, and Jayce has recently completed a program in mechatronics at Clover Park Technical College.

In her spare time, Gerrilynn is a member of a Bible study group, and she is an avid reader, enjoying a wide genre of books. She, Todd, and everyone else from the Olympia office of Pillar Financial Group are huge Seattle Seahawks fans. 

Katherine Butcher

Client Service Specialist, Olympia Office

Katherine is from Aberdeen, Washington, where she returned to in 2009 after receiving her bachelor's degree in business administration from Chaminade University of Honolulu. She was on the basketball team while in college, and she also played for three months on a semi-professional international team in norther Italy.

Just a few months after moving back to the area, Katherine started her business career as a receptionist for Todd. Since then her role has expanded continuously, and she now works primarily as his financial planning assistant. In this role she works with Todd to understand each client's goals and takes the lead in implementing what is needed to be sure those goals are realized. She is a registered representative, having passer her FINRA Series 6 and 63 securities exams. In addition, she is constantly thinking of ways to streamline office workflow, and often helps create marketing materials.

In late 2015, Katherine adopted twin girls, Elisa and Eloisa, whe were 8 years old at the time. The girls are now busy with schoolwork, their student council responsibilities, softball and basketball. Katherine volunteers at their school as the scrip program manager.

Katherine bought her first home in early 2019, a "rehab model". This means that the interior of the house will be completely gutted and rebuilt...all while Katherine and her girls are living there. The remodeling chaos will be worth it in the long run, and Katherine is enjoying the process.

Marisa Lindley

Client Service Associate, Olympia Office

Marisa joined Lindley Financial in early 2016, just as her parents were planning their move from Montesano to Olympia to merge their business with Pillar Financial Group.  Marisa hadn’t planned to be part of the family business, but she had come to realize that what she wanted from a career was exactly what financial planning offered:  a way to offer help that people need very much, to make a difference in a community, and to form lasting relationships in the process.  Since joining the firm, Marisa has been getting to know her dad's clients, and learning to navigate all the paperwork that financial planning requires, and taken over planning client events.  Her extra attention to detail really helps to assure that all client needs are met quickly and accurately.                                                  

Marisa grew up in Montesano, and spent her free time playing soccer and developing her creative skills. She played soccer from the time she was 4 years old, finishing as a varsity player on her high school team. She took art classes regularly and volunteered for every school or community art project that she could. She taught herself HTML by examining code and learned the basics of graphic design and website development, both skills she utilizes regularly as an adult. She likes to paint and loves calligraphy, noting that her office memos are much fancier than they need to be!

After high school, Marisa went to Western Washington University where she graduated with a degree in sociology and a minor in business administration in 2015. The focus of her sociology studies was race and ethnicity, background that is very relevant in today's world. She loved the down-to-earth, friendly atmosphere on the WWU campus.  After college, Marisa worked for a year in the human resources department for a manufacturing firm in Seattle.  The job experience she gained there was valuable, so when her parents asked her to join the family business, she was ready for the responsibility and growth the position would require.

Marisa recenlty bought her first home, and is enoying making it her own. Her brother, Jayce, has helped her with several remodeling projects. Her two cats, Zena and Rufio, share this new space.

 

 

Semra Thompson

Client Relationship Manager, Vancouver Office

Semra joined Kathleen in the Vancouver office in May, 2018.  She and her family are relatively new to the Pacific Northwest, having moved to Vancouver 5 years ago from sunny Florida.  She grew up in New Hampshire, a part of the country almost as far away as Florida, in a small town that that had just one blinking yellow light during the years she lived there.  She was anxious to see other parts of the country when she graduated from high school, so she started by moving to Ogden, Utah, going there to take business courses at Weber State University.  Wanderlust took her to on Florida, where she met her husband, Andy, and began a family.  A job opportunity for Andy brought them to Vancouver, where he is now the northwest regional sales manager for Doorking, a company that supplies all things door and gate related.

While in Florida Semra worked in the call center for Nextel, in a job where she learned customer service skills very well.  This has provided great background for her work as client relationship manager for Kathleen.  She also worked as the office manager for a small company that installed gates.  Here she was responsible for almost all aspects of running the office, a job which honed her organizational skills, and required agile decision making and initiate every day. 

Semra and Andy have three children, Elijah, Lily and Violet.  Elijah is a freshman in high school and is part of the STEM program there.  Lily is in the 5th grade and participates in any and all sports activities that are offered at her school.  She also plays the guitar and is part of the worship team at her church.   Violet, a first grader, loves everything about gymnastics and is an avid reader, having learned to read very early….at age 2, to be exact.  

Semra is active in women’s programs at her church and enjoys playing all types of games with her family…board games, computer games, and console games.  They are all looking forward to their upcoming three-week vacation back home to New Hampshire.  She and Andy are searching for a home to buy in Vancouver, a process that is exciting and frustrating at the same time. 

Semra is a Turkish name, and one of its meanings is “exhuberance”.  Kathleen thinks this definition fits Semra perfectly!

Allison Bafus

Client Relationship Manager, Spokane office

Allison has been working part time alongside her husband, Chris, and Keith Radmaker in the Spokane office since February 2017. Since she has listened to Chris and Keith talk about their work for the past 17 years she was quite familiar with what the job requirements would be, and has been delighted to get to know their clients. As their Client Relationship Manager, Allison coordinates work flow in the office, handles follow up after client meetings, and provides ongoing support and service for Chris and Keith and their clients.

After getting her degree in marketing at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Allison worked for Zak Designs, a children's dinnerware company located in Airway Heights, a Spokane suburb. When her daughter, Chloe, was born in 2004 she left the company to stay home with her. Twins Gwen and Cole joined Chloe in 2006, and Allison's life has been filled with her children's activities ever since.

Besides volunteering in the children's classrooms, Allison is very involved with their sports teams. All three of them participate in premier soccer clubs (the hightest level of club soccer competition). Chloe is also on her high school's JV team, Gwen is also in cross country and Coleis also in both cross country and basketball.  All of that equates to a lot of practices and games! When soccer tournaments are in different parts of the state, Allison and Chris make it a point to plan something extra, like going to a Seattle Sounders game, to make the trip special.

In fact, Allison and Chris make every effort to create family memories. Every summer they camp or rent a vacation house with a group of friends, some of whom they ave known since childhood, all with children of their own. They snow ski every weekend they can in the winter (which is every weekend they don't have a soccer tournament to go to), and they go to Allison's family's cabin at Lake Cocolalla in North Idaho as much as possible in the summer for boating, water skiing, tubing and fishing. Allison's extended family all live in the Spokane area, and so does Chris's, and they are thankful for the support and camaraderie this provides.

Ashley Powell

Administrative Assistant, Anchorage/Republic Office

Ashley joined Avi and Neal in 2016 after graduating from Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon, with a degree in music performance and an emphasis in American Sign Language. Ashley was born and raised in Anchorage, along with her five siblings. Her mother and Avi have been good friends since meeting in a high school youth symphony, and Ashley came to know Neal and Avi through that friendship.

She is an accomplished violinist and performed as a member of a Baroque ensemble while in college, playing the Baroque violin and the tenor and bass viola de gamba. In addition, she also played in the pit for several musicals on her modern violin. She recently joined an orchestra ensemble, and will perform in West Side Story in 2019.

She likes her position as an administrative assistant because it gives her the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with clients. She handles all the paperwork and follow up needs for Avi and Neal very proactively, and makes sure that the office is functioning efficiently.

Ashley was married in September 2016 in Seward, Alaska, which she describes as one of the most beautiful, peaceful places in the world. Her husband, Nico, is from South Carolina, and works from home as a computer technician.  In their spare time, he and Ashley are avid online gamers, their favorite being “World of Warcraft.” Their black cat, Sinestra, named for a character in “World of Warcraft” and is beloved by both of them. They took a European cruise in 2018 with Ashley's grandparents, visiting 8 different countries...she and Nico fell in love with Scotland.

Liu Hsiu Kuo

Client Relationship Manager, Republic Office

Liu Hsiu hails from the other side of the world, having grown up in Taiwan. Her musical talent was evident from an early age. She learned to play the piano by age four and spent nearly all her evenings throughout her childhood practicing the piano and the harp. She completed her basic college education In Taiwan, emphasizing music, and subsequently moved to Germany to continue her studies. Eventually, she completed a PhD in music at the Cincinnati Music Conservatory and is now an internationally recognized harpist. She has played at multiple important events; the most recent was the inauguration ceremony held at the Taiwanese Consulate in Seattle for the new Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wen.

Liu Hsiu can play virtually any instrument, but her favorites are the harp and the piano. In 2008, she started working as a music therapist at Providence Alaska Medical Center. She roamed the hospital, playing her harp for all the patients who wanted to hear her, tailoring what she played to each person’s music preferences. Her music was often transformative, helping the patients to acknowledge the unspoken emotions that are present during illness, injury, or the dying process.

She met Neal Martin in 2009 at music event, where she spontaneously began accompanying him on the piano as he was playing the Native American flute. They were married six months after they met. She works with him now in their home office in Republic, helping him particularly with planning and with relationship building. She hopes to start a music retreat center on the lower floor of their home, where people can come to nurture and explore their own personal connections to music. In preparation for this, she has developed a program she calls “A Music First Aid Kit,” which she has taught several times, most recently at Spokane Community College.

Like her husband Neal, Liu Hsiu has studied at the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy. Viktor Frankl was a German psychiatrist who survived four concentration camps in World War II. After the war he developed logotherapy, a type of therapy that focuses on how people search for meaning in their lives, and wrote his classic textbook, Man’s Search for Meaning.