Meet our Team




Family Investment Center is a commission-free investment advisory firm. Based in St. Joseph, Missouri, we serve the St. Joseph community as well as Lenexa, Kansas. However, our services stretch to clients nationwide.


We're different than other investment advisory firms.

Unlike stockbrokers and commission-compensated advisors, we are independent and commission-free. We don't sell any products, represent any outside companies, or accept commissions. We represent our clients only. Because there are no third-party agendas or conflicts of interest, we are able to focus clearly on your goals without costly sales commissions.


We're also able to share with you information about the theories and processes involved with the tools we use because we have extensive hands-on experience and both academic and professional credentials.




We're driven and dedicated…find out why:


What we believe:
Our goal at Family Investment Center is excellence. We find excellent investment products and supervise an excellent service package. We maintain a library of excellent research materials and financial planning resources. We also demand top safety and security for our clients.

We won’t settle for average. We continually seek top managers or securities and meld them into superior custom portfolios. Each palette of investments is carefully tailored to personal or family goals. We enlist excellent managers, research, resources, and effort for our clients. We believe you deserve excellence.





A good advisor will create additional performance, not by being smarter or by ‘figuring out’ the market but by suggesting newer products, lower fees, or ideas beyond your personal experience. The adviser may broaden your portfolio in ways you’ve never even considered. Over reasonable time horizons, added expertise adds performance.”  

- Dan Danford,
Founder and CEO
of Family Investment Center 

(Medical Economics Magazine, 2009)



Dan Danford, CFP®®
Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Dan Danford is a CFP®® professional.  He is Founder, Principal, and CEO of Family Investment Center, a full-service, commission-free (Fee Only®) investment advisory firm. Based in St. Joseph, Mo., Family Investment Center serves clients in the Kansas City area and across the Midwest.

Dan began his investment career as a bank trust officer and has been advising clients on how to preserve and manage wealth since 1984.

He was one of the founders of the Trust Company of St. Joseph, a nationally-recognized Missouri-chartered trust company, and then went on to form Family Investment Center, a commission-free advisory firm. Having seen first-hand the many ways bank trust and investment companies work and provide services, he feels strongly that a commission-free firm offers a better way for most people to receive independent, objective advice.

Danford holds a bachelor's degree in Marketing from Missouri Western State University, an MBA® from Northwest Missouri State University, and a MS in Personal Financial Planning from Kansas State University.

Dan favors solution-based planning and proven investment strategies.  He writes extensively on investment-related topics and his articles have appeared in both professional and consumer magazines.  He has also written several books on investing and writes regularly for Investopedia

He is author of the recently-published book “Stuck in The Middle: The Mistakes that Jeopardize Your Financial Success and How to Fix Them.” The book asks the question, “What if your middle class background is holding you back from the financial success you want?” Danford answers the question by explaining that many middle class money beliefs are just plain wrong, and he explains why in simple terms. He is also the creator of the podcast “Money is Freedom,” available on iTunes and Sound Cloud.

Dan feels strongly that a commission-free firm offers the best option for most people to receive objective advice at reasonable rates, with a high level of personalized service. He favors solution-based planning and proven investment strategies.  With his expertise and investment management experience, he helps clients achieve finacial goals while providing peace of mind, convenience, and simplicity.

Dan has taught personal finance and investing at Missouri Western State Universiry and has been a presenter at local, regional, and national workshops and conferences.  Dan is an Eagle Scout and has served as a Loaned Executive for the United Way.  He was honored with the 2003 Missouri Western State University Distinguished Alumni Service Award. 

Dan Danford Media Accolades and Quotes Include:

  • In 2012, Danford was featured in the book “America’s Top Financial Advisors.”
  • His insights into the emotions and behaviors related to money were featured in the Wall Street Journal in 2011.
  • A 2009 Wall Street Journal article outlined Danford’s unique birthday messages to clients, complete with a $2 bill inside the envelope.
  • In 2009, Danford was also quoted on “ABC News” for his insight into how parents can protect funds for their children’s college education.
  • He was listed as one of the “150 Best Financial Advisors for Doctors” in 2008 and 2009 by Medical Economics magazine.
  • A 2006 article in The New York Times quoted Danford’s insights on working with a financial adviser.

He is an NFL Players Association Registered Financial Advisor.

Read more here



“We see our role as financial planners like a coaching role. We guide people to use their money more effectively in their lives. Money can be complicated, and it’s literally our role to make money make sense. This is the core of who we are and what we do.”

- Richard C. Salmen, CFP®, CFA®, EA


Richard C. Salmen, CFP®, CFA®, EA
2018 Chair of CFP® Board’s Board of Directors
Leading financial planning services from the Lenexa, Kan., office

Richard joined Family Investment Center in January 2018. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Professional and a Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA).  He received the CFA® Institute Board of Governors Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) charter.  As an Enrolled Agent (EA), he is authorized to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service at all levels.

Richard’s previous experience includes serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Northern Financial Advisors, a Detroit, MI fee only financial planning and investment management firm. For 16 years, he served in a top leadership position at BOK Financial Corp/GTrust, overseeing the firm’s financial planning practice.

Richard graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and was a graduate business scholar while receiving his Master of Business Administration (MBA®) degree from the University of Kansas.

In 2006, he began a three-year term as a member of the national board of directors for the Financial Planning Association (FPA) based in Denver, Colorado, ultimately serving as national President in 2009.  In November 2014, he was elected to serve a four-year term on the Board of Directors for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., beginning January 1, 2015.  Within this term, he was elected to serve as Chair-Elect of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. for 2017. In 2016, he was recognized as a recipient of the 2016 Heart of Financial Planning award.

Richard serves as the 2018 Chair of CFP® Board’s Board of Directors.

He is a retired air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Administration and spent 14 years as a member of the Army Reserves, finishing his career at the rank of Captain. Read more at



I have always enjoyed working with and helping people. It gives me so much satisfaction helping people plan and see them enjoy their retirement years doing what they want after years of working and making good decisions. It is nice to work for a company that is truly built on working on the best interest of our clients. Their best interest is our best interest!”

- Elaine Coder


Elaine Coder
Investment Advisor and Director of Client Services 

Elaine joined Family Investment Center in early 2005.  She is Director of Client Services and an investment advisor and is well versed in the Social Security needs of our clients.
Elaine graduated from South Harrison High School and Platte Business College, and took a variety of business and banking courses at Missouri Western State University. 

She spent 14 years with American National/Mercantile banks, and then as Retail Operations Officer for U.S. Bank. She was Office Manager for Lipira Pharmacy, a long-term care pharmacy, for 12 years before joining Family Investment Center in 2005.  She passed the NASD Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination in October 2009.  Elaine is an active member of Wyatt Park Baptist Church, serves on the United Way of Greater St. Joseph Board of Directors, serves on the Junior Achievement Board of Directors, and is active volunteering in a number of community and professional organizations, including the United Way of Greater St. Joseph, St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, and Junior Achievement.

“In retirement I would like to travel more and spend more time with my children and grandchildren! If my son still lives in Arizona, I may spend winters in the warmer climate! I want to be able to continue to give to my church and other favorite organizations as well as help grandchildren with educational expenses.”




"It’s nice to be part of a team that genuinely puts clients’ interests first. I take joy in helping people meet their life goals and helping them live the lives they’ve dreamed of while lessening financial stress.

- Laura Holthaus


Laura Holthaus, CFP®, RICP® 

Investment Advisor and Chief Compliance Officer

Laura joined Family Investment Center in October of 2008 and became an investment advisor after passing the NASD Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination in June 2010.  She received Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Administration and Economics from Missouri Western State University in December of 2007.  In May of 2012, she earned a graduate certificate in Personal Financial Planning and in December of 2014, she earned an Applied Master of Science in Personal Financial Planning, both from the University of Missouri in Columbia. In 2017, she became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®) professional and became a member of both the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Financial Planning Association.  In 2018, she became a Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®).  Laura was also named a Kansas City “Five Star” Wealth Manager in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

During her education at Missouri Western, she was a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon (International Honor Society in Economics), the Economics Club, and received the Outstanding Management Graduate award for the Department of Business in 2007. Laura is involved in activities at Wyatt Park Christian Church, volunteers for the United Way of Greater St. Joseph, and teaches Junior Achievement.

Her interests include volunteering, baking, crocheting, rock climbing, and spending time with her husband Scott, their kids Cooper and Chloe, and their chocolate lab Winnie.

“In my own retirement, I would like to open a bakery of my own. I love to entertain and to create things for others’ enjoyment. Plus, getting to lick batter off a spoon everyday would be delightful.”



"I love working at Family Investment Center because of our commission-free model. When I sit down with a client or review a portfolio, their interest is my number one concern….personal compensation does not enter into the equation. That is not always the case at a commission based firm."
- Chris Stiens 


Chris Stiens
Investment Advisor

Chris joined Family Investment Center in November of 2012 as an investment advisor after passing the FINRA Series 7 and FINRA Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law Examinations. He has always taken great interest in the financial markets and feels passionate about helping others achieve their financial goals.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwest Missouri State University in May of 1997 and began his career in the environmental public health and environmental consulting professions. Chris has operated his own environmental testing company, Advanced Aquatics, since 2004. His background as an independent businessman brings added experience to our clients.

Chris was raised on the family farm near Ravenwood, MO. He is married to Shelly and they have two children, Ryesen and Ryver. They attend St. Gregory’s Church in Maryville, MO, and stay active in the community.

"I believe financial freedom is possible for everyone with a little hard work and planning, and I like the idea of helping families achieve that. I practice what I preach when it comes to investing and plan to be in a position where I can continue to work into retirement because I want to (and not because I have to). In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and getting outdoors. I grew up on the family farm and still enjoy going 'home' and helping out."




Ruschell Dryden

Ruschell joined the Family Investment Center team in October of 2014.  Ruschell graduated from Central High School in 1998 and then attended Missouri Western State University.  She has extensive work experience, most recently having been Assistant Manager for the Disabled American Veterans and a legal assistant with the Wilson Law Firm in St. Joseph. 

Ruschell’s dedication is evident both inside and outside of the office.  As the receptionist for the office, Ruschell is bright, friendly, organized, and always ready to help serve clients.  And as a mother of three children (Keaton, Kyndal, and Kash), she stays busy remaining involved in their activities. 

“She’s the first voice many people encounter when they call Family Investment Center and the first face they see when they visit our offices. She’s our welcoming committee, and we love the way she treats people,” explains Dan Danford, Founder and CEO.





Chris Danford
Director of Community Relations

A long-time supporter of Family Investment Center, Chris joined the team in July of 2011 as Director of Community Relations and passed the NASD Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination in September of 2018. In addition to providing clients with the highest care possible, the firm strives to support efforts for the betterment of the community, making her a tremendous asset.

Chris is involved in many community activities, such as Silent Samaritans; Women Who Care; the St. Joseph Metro Chamber of Commerce Diplomats; Hillcrest Ministries; past board membership for The Center, Cotillion for Excellence, Allied Arts Council, and InterServ; various Saint Joseph School District committees; and numerous professional organizations.

Chris’s career in education began in 1978 as a teacher at Skaith Elementary in St. Joseph, and she has counseled since 1989. Recognized as both Missouri School Counselor Association Secondary School Counselor of the Year and Woman of the Year in Education by the American Biographical Institute in 2009 (among countless other awards throughout the years), she is looked to as a leader in the counseling field.  Currently, Chris also teaches Adolescent Psychology as an adjunct teacher at Northwest Missouri State University.




Nate Goodman, CFP®®
Financial Planner

Nate joined Family Investment Center ‘s financial planning team in January 2018. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University in May of 2009. After graduating, Nate attained his FINRA Series 7 & 66 securities registrations as well as his KS & MO Life, Health, and Disability Insurance license and began working for an independent Registered Investment Advisor firm in Leawood, KS. In June 2011, Nate joined GTrust Financial Partners where he had formerly completed a summer internship in 2008 while he was completing his undergraduate degree.Soon after joining  GTrust, Nate became a Registered Tax Return Preparer and also successfully completed the School of Trust and Financial Services. He has also enjoyed being a member of the Financial Planning Association since 2011. In 2014, he became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) Professional.

Nate enjoys the team-based approach to financial planning and feels strongly that this approach, along with the fee-only structure for financial planning and investment management offers the best environment for building long-lasting and successful working relationships with clients. He feels that taking a systematic approach to personal finance relieves the stress and anxiety of the unknown in clients’ lives.

Nate recently moved back to his hometown of Olathe, KS.  He and his girlfriend, Carly, enjoy attending Heartland Community Church in Olathe and giving back to the community whenever possible.




Taren McMurray, EA
Financial Planner

Taren joined Family Investment Center’s financial planning team in January of 2018.  Taren moved from her small town in southeast Kansas to the Kansas City area in 2001 to attend MidAmerica Nazarene University, where she received her BA in Accounting in 2006.  She has 2 years of experience in trust administration and 10 years in financial planning.  She completed training at the School of Banking’s School of Trust & Financial Services in 2007, received her Enrolled Agent Certificate of Enrollment in 2010, and passed the NASD Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination in October of 2018.  She has been an active member of the Greater Kansas City Financial Planning Association since 2007 and the National Association of Enrolled Agents since 2011. 

Outside of work, Taren enjoys coaching and participating in various sports, camping, visiting National Parks, traveling domestically and abroad, studying U.S. and world history, listening to audio books, going to the movies, mentoring fellow foster/adoptive families, and spending time at home with family and friends.  She and her husband, Jonathan, spend much of their time volunteering in their church, including being youth sponsors for the church’s teen group.  They, along with their daughters Talen & Jonna, enjoy life in the country with their chickens and two dogs.






Tamara Stelting

Assistant Planner

Tamara joined Family Investment Center in May of 2018. Tamara has a BA from MidAmerica Nazarene University. She was Product Manager for Cramer Products, Inc. where she led a team in new product development and procurement. Tamara also worked for Olathe Health Systems and Johnson County Orthopedics as a Certified Athletic Trainer.

Tamara has been married to Damon for over 25 years and they have 4 children. She coaches girls’ basketball and manages two other basketball teams. Tamara enjoys costuming for theatrical performances and volunteering at their kids’ schools. Tamara is on the Olathe School District Site Council.  She has a passion for helping others become healthier individuals and has found that financial health and physical wellness often go hand-in-hand.  At Family Investment Center, her work helps the firm’s clients achieve and maintain balanced financial health.



If you’re looking for help in planning your future in a unique, commission-free setting, contact us today.


Calling all listeners. We welcome you to enjoy our new podcast, Money Is Freedom.

Money is Freedom is a podcast for people who believe in simple, jargon-free guidance about money and investing. It's also a podcast for people who believe money can be fun and want to guide their thoughts about it in positive directions.

Our host, Dan Danford, serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Family Investment Center, a full-service, commission-free investment advisory firm.

Dan began his investment career more than 30 years ago as a bank trust officer, where he decided there must be a better way to help people reach their goals. He started a successful independent trust company in 1987 and Family Investment Center in 1998. He has been helping people achieve their version of "the good life" in a refreshing commission-free atmosphere ever since. (In fact, client Assets Under Management exceeds $100 million).

Dan holds a bachelor's degree in Marketing from Missouri Western State University, an MBA® from Northwest Missouri State University, and an MS in Personal Financial Planning from Kansas State University. He is a CFP® and strongly influenced by his late father, Thad Danford, who made him rent the family's mower for Dan's early lawn mowing business.