Meet Our Staff Members

Rick McClanahan
Designation : Founder / CEO

Rick has been working in the financial sector for over 18 years, helping clients protect their assets and invest wisely. His success in his financial practice led to an overwhelming desire to educate people about their finances and to give back to his community. Thus was born The American Financial Education Alliance.
After graduating from high school Mr. McClanahan served 8 years on three different ships in the United States Navy and is a proud veteran of Desert Shield and Desert Storm. While serving our country he worked in the ship's finance department where he got his start assisting other service members with their finances. During his time in the military, he was able to c.........

Jeremy Bryant
Designation : Chief Operations Officer

Jeremy grew up in the Lakes Region area of New Hampshire and graduated from Saint Anselm College – Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Biology in 2001. He then moved from NH to Kannapolis, NC where he started his career as a Financial Advisor with a career agency. In January 2011, he decided to become an Independent Advisor to offer more comprehensive planning options. In April 2011, he helped in the creation of AFEA. Jeremy moved to China Grove, NC in 2005 where he now lives with his wife, Camden.  Together they raise their two Children, Reese and Beckett and thei.........

Katherine Lesch

A 3rd generation Charlottean by both sides of her family, Katherine brings to AFEA a strong passion for creating and maintaining each relationship she forms through work and always aims to please. She studied at both North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC and King's College in Charlotte. She has previous experience in the marketing field as well as the customer service arena.  Outside of work she can most often be found accompanied by a childhood friend, fellow Charlotte native, and husband, Adam, with their son, Landon, along with their two dogs, Moose, and Aussie. She enjoys.........

Laural Cipperly

Laural comes from a highly demanding customer service background. Making sure her customers are well taken care of is truly her pleasure. Along with personal customer care, Laural also brings to AFEA her passion for organization and willingness to help others. Even though she was born and raised in Alabama, Laural is happy to call Charlotte her home. During her time away from work, Laural enjoys spending time with her.........

Holly Taylor
Designation : Academic Coordinator

Holly came to AFEA from a prior position as a Customer Service Specialist, so providing excellent service is second-nature for her. She also brings strong interpersonal and communication skills to her position as an Academic Coordinator, making it easy to ensure all the needs of her Chapter Presidents are met. Holly was born and raised in South Carolina and currently resides just outside of Charlotte in the city of Rock Hill. Outside of work she enjoys discovering new music, going to as many live shows as she can, and cuddling up at home with her fur baby, Luna. 

Kyle Smith
Designation : Academic Coordinator

Kyle spent his formative years in the south Charlotte area, graduating from Wingate University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management, as well as a master’s degree in Sports Administration in 2015.  His experiences and education in marketing as well as customer service have prepared him well in his role at AFEA.  When not at work, Kyle enjoys leading worship, playing guitar, spending time with friends and family. 

Sarah Reidy-Jones
Designation : Marketing Manager

Sarah comes to AFEA from a diverse background of communications, event planning and marketing. Most recently she worked in the financial services and nonprofit sectors, overseeing marketing initiatives. A native of Oklahoma, Sarah holds a B.A. in Political Science from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she was completed internships at the White House and on Capitol Hill. Political consulting moved Sarah around the country, including running a governor’s race and being the scheduler to a presidential candidate and working for a city council and a governor. Outside of AFEA, Sarah serves as the vice chair of a local political party and will be assisting with h.........

Jheri Hairston
Designation : Academic Coordinator

Jheri graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a B.S. in Hotel and Lodging Management. Her background in hospitality and her willingness to help, has prepared her for her role at AFEA. Outside of work, she enjoys discovering new restaurants, watching sports and spending time with friends and family.  

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