January 2024 Newsletter:

New Year’s Bulletin

Meet Our New Operations Manager

Olivia Cooper joined us in October. In her previous role, Olivia was the Administrator of a long-term care community in Charlottesville. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and leadership. She’ll be helping the team stay on top of all your requests and making sure we stay connected throughout the year!

Visit Our New Website

As our team grows, we’re finding ourselves with more capacity to make small improvements and changes. We decided to start with our website!

Student Art Show in March

We are partnering with John C. Myers Elementary School for a student art show in March, save the date!

We Asked The Team: What Was Your Favorite Moment From 2023?

Now to our normal business! So many of you get to know us through our work together, but I wanted to start the new year with a personal touch by asking the team what their favorite moment from 2023 was.

Headshot of Kevin Flint, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ at Hess Financial

Kevin Flint


My favorite (slightly scary) thing about 2023 was watching how fast my daughters are growing up. Charlotte is very excited about learning to read and is already enjoying chapter books as a 1st grader. Meanwhile, Maggie successfully transitioned into pre-Kindergarten with a love for school and learning that I hope she carries with her throughout her life. Balancing a career and parenting successfully is easily the biggest challenge of my life so far. But it’s also incredibly rewarding and I’m thankful for every step of the journey.

Headshot of Robyn Hill, JD and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ at Hess Financial

Robyn Hill


It may sound odd, but one of my favorite moments in 2023 was my mother’s celebration of life. The meeting hall at her retirement community, designed to hold 200 people, was standing room only. There were people she had worked with 45 years earlier and those she helped empower through a poetry group she started just a few years earlier. A friend of my sister talked about how she had felt like a second mother. It was a heartwarming reminder that how we choose to connect with others can have a truly meaningful impact.

Headshot of Derek Hess, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ at Hess Financial

Derek Hess


One of my favorite books is ‘Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most’. A professor required that we read it for class back in my JMU days. At an important time in my life, it taught me a lot about empathy, how to listen, and of course how to have challenging conversations with people. As a husband and a colleague, these have been important concepts that I carry with me every day.

Headshot of Sara Kate Garman, Certified Public Accountant at Hess Financial

Sara Kate Garman


Beginning 2024 surrounded by family and friends, I think about one of my favorites, my family’s annual beach trip. Each summer my extended family, on both sides, caravan together down to North Carolina and spend a week together laughing, sharing memories, and connecting. It is the only time each year where most of my family is together in one place and one of the few times each year, I see certain family members who don’t live as close. Going into the New Year, with some snow flurries, I look forward to the warmth of that trip, both from the temperature and happiness, again this summer.

Headshot of Stephan Hess, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ at Hess Financial

Stephan Hess


Solitude can be a true gift. Despite living here now for 24 years, I recently discovered a well-maintained gravel road near Massanutten that meanders through the forest for about 12 miles. There are no houses, no people, and rarely do you ever see a car. For a cyclist this is the definition of heaven. It’s tempting to listen to music or a podcast but then you would miss out on the quiet existence of the world around you. Take it all in. Observe, listen, and feel everything. The miles will just pass without your awareness.

Murph, Hess Financial's office cat, laying on it's back with paws up.

For those that remember our office cat, Murph, he still has the biggest personality and is enjoying his “retirement”.