Click on any of the photos or names below to learn more about the individuals that work at Milestone Financial Associates.
David S. Coult, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CPFA
David S. Coult - "The Business Owner's Wealth Manager"
When I was eight years old, I discovered the magic of combining two lifelong passions: business and fishing! My wonderful mother spent many dark, rainy nights outside holding a coffee can and a flashlight while I learned how to catch night crawlers I could sell to local anglers and supply my own fishing habit! I have never met a fish I didn’t like, from the salmon of Alaska to the peacock bass of Brazil, but I feel most at home fly-casting to trout on the creeks and rivers of Pennsylvania and New York. Whether a gurgling brook or the sound of the surf, I have always found peace on the water.
As a kid growing up, I found out that if I looked for a job in the yellow pages and started calling from “A”, there was generally work to be had. I delivered newspapers for Berks-Mont News, labored for Bratt Tree Company and Dane K. Masonry, and started my own landscaping business in college. I learned from early on how to recruit and manage a high-performance team!
I was raised to value continuous learning. I started kindergarten at 4 years old, skipped 4th grade, and no one was more surprised than my parents when I was named high school valedictorian at 16. I attended Bethel College for my undergrad and continued my financial education at the American College in Bryn Mawr, PA. My father is an optical engineer and Lehigh grad with multiple patents who has worked for AT&T Bell Labs, Infinera, and other tech companies. Education and the ongoing drive to learn remains a core value at my firm today and may be why we work so well with engineers, business owners, and people who love to learn, solve problems, and overcome obstacles.
I started my career more than 20 years ago at a large financial services firm in Philadelphia and returned to the Lehigh Valley to found Milestone Financial Associates in 2002. Seeing the meteoric rise of health insurance costs, I developed two divisions of the company – one providing comprehensive wealth management for successful families and the other providing group health benefits to companies. The largest and most successful association health plan in the state of Pennsylvania at the time was the Pennsylvania Builders Association, a group of residential contractors, through Capital Blue Cross. I negotiated a program for the commercial construction industry through Highmark Blue Shield with the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). That program was very successful and I grew Milestone’s benefits firm rapidly, providing insurance to more than 150 companies in our region. But my real passion is financial planning, and I didn’t like the direction the health care business was heading, so in 2009 I sold that division of the company to National Penn Bank, now BB&T. That successful exit allowed me to have the freedom to be selective in working only with clients I like, for whom I believe I can have a meaningful impact. That was a game changer.
I’ve had my share of failure as well. I am divorced, and as I reflect on what was undoubtedly the most painful experience of my life, I realize that I am able to relate, not just to the legal and financial aspects with others who are divorced, but I have tremendous empathy for all who have suffered loss and who must now try to revise their financial plans for a future that seems impossibly different than the one they envisioned. I embrace widows, widowers, and divorcees in my practice.
The greatest joys in life are my three boys – Ben, Nate, and John. We have busy lives together, between Boy Scout campouts, food drives, and hikes, football and basketball practices and games, homework, and listening to the unbearable honking of Johnny learning to play the saxophone! There is never a dull moment!
I am also passionate about The Wildlands Conservancy, a local organization working to conserve natural land, clean air and water, and to provide environmental education. I am a past Chair of their Board. I am also a past-President and member of a local Rotary Club. Rotary is the largest service club in the world, working with the Gates Foundation and many others to eradicate diseases such as Polio, and to provide food, clean water, shelter, and education to our friends and neighbors worldwide. Together with a group of fellow CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, I volunteer on the Kutztown University Personal Financial Planning Advisory Board, helping to guide young people entering the financial services profession.
So now that you know a little bit about me, I’d like to learn more about you! How can our team at Milestone help? Let’s sit down together and talk. Let’s see what we can do together.
Justin R. Miller, CFA®
Chief Investment Officer
Justin Miller – Specializing in Corporate Executives and Retirees
“It’s the start that stops most people.” This quote by Don Shula made me pause when I first read it. It resonated in me and has settled into my consciousness since. Starts can be scary and seem unmanageable or overwhelming. However, taking certain risks and working towards set goals while exercising self-discipline can lead to the most rewarding pieces of life’s puzzle. This is the mentality I try to live by in my career and personal life as they seem entwined and so much a part of who I am.
I did not always know I wanted to be a financial advisor. I grew up in a small town nearby (Mertztown!) and learned my work ethic from blue-collar parents. My father was a truck driver and spent a decent amount of my childhood “on the road.” This left my mother, a payroll manager, in charge of running the day-to-day tasks for my sister and me. They sacrificed and worked very hard to provide a comfortable home where I had a wonderful childhood. While they were busy like all parents are, they managed to keep family and important core values I carry with me today at the center of our lives.
As a kid, sports were always of great interest to me. My first love was racing! I enjoyed how competitive racing is and all the work that goes into getting a car to go just a little bit faster. I would build elaborate race tracks at home with my toy cars and do time trials to keep track of how fast they could go. I also enjoyed football and learning everything I could about it. As much as I liked the game, I liked the numbers behind the game even more. I learned the statistics of all of my favorite players and most from other teams as well. Looking back, I believe this sort of passion was the bud forming in my analytical mind.
By the time I got to high school, I had found something else I loved – music! I began to learn guitar from my father around age 8 but my interest and skill level soon led to weekly lessons. I spent most of my free time focusing on mastering songs from my favorite bands. Luckily, my closest friends also played instruments and had the same level of enthusiasm. Before long, we formed a band and were writing our own music. We played many local venues and even toured several states on the East Coast the summer after our senior year. My first business experience was renting out fire halls for our band to play. It was my first time making a bit of my own money and I began to learn its value. It is nice earning money doing something you love!
After high school, I decided to attend Kutztown University and major in business. I knew the major would interest me and I figured I could hone in on my specialty as I took more courses. While I commuted to college instead of choosing the dorm life, I did not do it alone. It turns out it’s pretty cool to be in a band, as I started dating one of my childhood friends because she was a fan. Stephanie and I attended Kutztown together and supported each other while balancing work and school. By my sophomore year, I knew I wanted to concentrate on finance and economics, land an internship, and gain entry into Kutztown’s AIM program. I also knew I wanted to marry Stephanie. We got engaged that year and planned our wedding upon graduation.
I became a member of AIM my senior year, an exclusive finance team at Kutztown University that manages a portion of the school’s endowment. I had been working as an intern for Milestone Financial for over a year. I dove in full force. My role as an intern required everything from communicating with clients to mowing the lawn and building filing cabinets. My hard work did not go unnoticed as Dave Coult offered me a full-time job upon graduation and we began to set plans for my future with the company, including a plan for me to pass the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams. The CFA charter is viewed as the gold standard in investment management and is one of the most challenging series of exams in finance. I earned a scholarship to start the CFA program from Kutztown University and started right away. I made it my personal goal to pass the exams before Stephanie and I started a family. It seemed like the most logical thing to do.
Studying for the CFA took years of some of the most challenging work I’ve ever taken on and sacrifice in my personal life. It requires three levels of success in excruciating 8-hour long exams offered only once a year. Maybe that’s why less than 3% of financial advisors have earned the CFA. It was the first time achieving what I set out to do was much harder than I thought. Still, I pressed on and while studying for my second attempt at level 2, we found out we were expecting a baby. The greatest lesson I have ever learned came from that experience.
Thomas Kelchner, ChFC®
Tom graduated from Moravian with an accounting degree. He worked in corporate finance and accounting for almost 15 years before becoming a financial advisor in 1992. Tom is a Chartered Financial Consultant® Designee and enjoys long-term relationships with a majority of his clients. He enjoys hiking, kayaking, playing golf, spending time with his wife, a retired teacher, their two daughters and four grandsons.
Carl Landis, CFP®
Carl Landis - Financial Planner
Carl earned his BS degree (Cum Laude) in Secondary Education, from Lock Haven University, in 1970, and a MA degree, in Mathematics, from West Chester University in 1973. Carl’s career started in education where he was a math teacher and instructor at the college level. He also had a vast career in engineering, engineering management, and electronics. Carl proudly served six years in the US Navy, stationed out of Norfolk, VA, on destroyers. In 1987, Carl entered the field of financial services, obtaining the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certification. Carl addresses all facets of financial planning but specializes in retirement planning.
During the span of his career, Carl had the pleasure of serving on various boards including the Visiting Nurses’ Association of Pottstown, Berks County, Green Valleys Watershed Association, Schuylkill River Greenway Association, and Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Association. He was an active and founding member of the Pottstown Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) chapter for over 25 years, as well as an active member, of the Tri-County Area Chamber of Commerce.
Carl is a lifelong resident of the Pottstown area. He’s lived in North Coventry since 1974 with his wife Sylvia, a retired Pottstown school teacher. His interests include gardening, fishing, biking, kayaking, 5K road racing, and competing in National Masters Track and Field competitions.
I am very thankful for my “old school” childhood. When it snowed, my parents kicked me out the door at 7AM and gave me a sandwich and some water at lunchtime. I would come inside after dark to eat dinner. Over the summer, we were outside most of the time. Other than periodically checking in with them, we were free to wander around the neighborhood and woods. I developed a strong sense of independence. With freedom came no shortage of responsibility and discipline. A common phrase used by my father was, “You know what will make you [fill in the blank with anything that was important to us at the time - stronger, better at swimming, etc.]??? If you weed the garden!! Or mow the grass!!”
I have always been a big help! At age 11, my dad decided to turn an old pop-up camper of ours into a trailer and asked me to assist. He learned that day - it is all about the details. The job was to “demolish” the existing camper. The first thing I “helped” with was smashing all the taillights. I was told later, in the form of a joke, the taillights were the only thing on the whole rig that he needed intact. About a year prior, I helped him disassemble a friend’s deck and I sent a 2x8x12 through his vehicle’s windshield. No yelling, no punishment, no hard feelings. His response was just a pat on the back and a simple, non-sarcastic, “Good job, Sam”. Today I look back and see the great value in the amount of patience he had with me. He made it okay for us to fail and make mistakes. Failure and mistakes are always an opportunity to learn.
My first entrepreneurial experience was when I was 8 years old. For a small margin, I would provide ice-cold drinks to the parents watching their kids play baseball at the school behind my house. Sales were fine, but the most common response was “Where’s the beer?!?” The optimist in me said, “Man, I need to get my hands on some beer!” Then, I was faced with the stone wall reality… an 8-year-old cannot sell beer, let alone do it on school grounds. After a while, it was time to move on.
I tried landscaping, but after the 4th time getting covered head to toe with poison ivy, I felt it was not worth what I was making. That led me to lifeguarding. I moved from a lifeguard to a pool manager, then left for college. I made the decision to study accounting and swim at Bloomsburg University.
There are endless mentors, awesome coaches, and great friends I have met through my swimming career. The amount of support I received still shocks me!
My decision to study accounting at Bloomsburg University was an easy one. I seek to understand things. I was THAT annoying kid who ALWAYS asked or wondered why. Luckily, my parents would answer me MOST of the time. Sophomore year of high school I developed a strong desire to understand the backbone of the business, how money is transferred, accounted for, how taxes are paid, who taxes are paid to, opportunities to avoid paying tax, and how businesses function. I found accounting to be a profession/science that can always keep a record and explain why.
When I am not working you will find me spending time with family, friends, or my girlfriend Laura, in the gym, hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, or anything outdoors!
I currently hold the SIE, Series 7, and Series 66 licenses and am studying to earn the ChFC®, CLU®, and CFP® designations.
I feel I bring a unique perspective to the world of financial planning, especially on the business succession side! So now that you know about me, I’d like to learn more about you! Let’s get together to see what we can accomplish!
Financial Planning Associate
Tyler Watkins - Financial Planning Associate
Growing up, hard work was instilled in me for as long as I can remember. My mother is a nurse and worked the night shift my entire childhood and my father started as a warehouse forklift driver and worked his way up to a plant manager. I knew from an early age that I wanted to go to college and work in a field I enjoyed. After graduating from Whitehall High School, I went on to West Chester University for three years where I majored in business. I then transferred to Kutztown so that I could be closer to home and ultimately graduated in 2016 with a B.S. in Finance.
Following graduation, I took a different approach to the “real world” as two of my closest friends and I went to work in construction until we found jobs that we really wanted. I could not justify taking the traditional entry-level finance job where I saw people pushing unneeded products on unknowing consumers. Although my time in the construction field was the most physically demanding work I have ever done, that time taught me many valuable life lessons. After about a year of installing extremely heavy construction material, I found a job at SEI Private Trust Company. Throughout my time at SEI, I learned how to open investment accounts, maintain relationships with advisors, and how to trade various investments in order to fulfill disbursement requests. I climbed the ranks quickly and ended up on the most tenured team in the middle office department, where I became an expert in model changes and account rebalancing. SEI provided a great start for me, but it was never where I ultimately wanted to be. Having been born and raised only 20 minutes down the road in Whitehall and now a resident of Allentown, I love the small community vibe of Milestone and knowing that we are doing the right thing for our clients.
Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family, fishing, golfing, and following professional sports. I am a PIAA football official and officiate games every fall from youth to high school varsity. Previously, before officiating, I was a coach for the Bath Lions youth football team and then became the head coach for Bethlehem Catholic’s middle school team. Being a new first-time homeowner and raising Judge (our 3-year-old Cur named after Aaron Judge on the New York Yankees) does not leave much time for relaxing, but when it does, we enjoy vacationing in Florida. My fiancé Alexis and I will be getting married later this year (October 2021) and we are both so happy that I found a rewarding career so close to home.
Reta Geld – Office Manager
It is Reta’s smiling face that clients see when they walk through our doors and her lovely voice that they hear on the phone!
Reta is highly competent and attentive to our clients. With more than 30 years of experience, she knows how to get things done. Reta proactively calls to schedule review meetings and is easy to reach to address any administrative concern.
Client Service Coordinator
Leslee Schoonover - Client Service Coordinator
When I graduated from West Virginia University with a BA in political science, I never imagined I’d have a career in the financial services industry, but almost 21 years later and having experience with firms like Ameriprise and Merrill Lynch, here we are. I started out at a small mom and pop shop in Matawan, NJ, back in September 2000 with no experience or knowledge in the field. In 2001 my husband and I (a native of the Lehigh Valley) moved to PA and I landed a job with another financial services company and the rest is history. I wasn’t looking for this career (truthfully, I don’t know what I was looking for), but it found me and I believe it suits me well. I’ve experienced so many different facets of this business and each one brings its challenges, but that’s the part I love. I’m a problem solver by nature, and no problem is too large for me to tackle. The bigger the challenge, the better. There is nothing better than being able to come up with an answer to a problem and put someone’s mind at ease. I am persistent at getting answers to questions and solutions to problems with the most favorable outcomes for my clients. Client interactions and getting to know people on a more personal level is one of the things I love about my job.
When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Jon, and being a dance mom to my daughter Alana, and a soccer mom to my daughter Breanne. I also enjoy reading, doing puzzles, snuggling with my kitties Aspen and Rambo, playing with my dog Jasmine, and watching the Denver Broncos.
Director of Client Relations
Diane Culver - Director of Client Relations
Have you ever heard the saying “She’s nothing if not tenacious”? That would most likely be the way many who know me would describe me. I am definitely determined and persistent. While I often drive my family, friends, and co-workers a bit crazy with this trait, they do seem to appreciate my desire to complete “the task”, and do it with excellence.
My proudest accomplishment is staying the course to have our two beautiful daughters, Grace, and Andrea. My husband, Michael, and I traveled down a LONG and often painful path with infertility. We struggled through many unsuccessful cycles and at one point I almost gave up on having children. In 2000, we told our Fertility Specialist we would try one last cycle. The Embryologist called me the day of my embryo transfer and said she had never seen 3 more beautiful embryos. Nine months later, Grace Elizabeth, entered our world. What a joy and gift she is to our family. She loves to water-ski and now skis for Clemson University. Several years later, we did another cycle and Andrea was born in May 2004. Andrea and I share a birthday and I cannot imagine a more wonderful present! Her dancing brings us much joy.
I began my career with Kraft Foods in 1984. After seven years in Corporate Finance, I made a function change into the Sales organization where I spent an additional ten years. After having Grace, I resigned from Kraft Foods and our family relocated to Pennsylvania, where I was born and raised. I look forward to being a crucial part of ensuring that we do the very best for all of our clients providing revolutionary service. I promise I will be tenacious, as I want our clients to be as grateful as I am that my family’s financial and estate planning “shop” is in order.
On a more personal note, our family has a love for snow skiing and boating. My boating skill is limited to slalom skiing, but the rest of the crew enjoys slalom skiing, wakeboarding, and wake surfing. I also am an avid reader. Oddly enough, I love mowing the lawn. While my tenacious side seeks perfect lines…I thoroughly enjoy the time alone to enjoy the nice weather and the beautiful scenery.