Who We Are

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Our Team

Rhonda Ferguson - Founder and Leadership Partner

Rhonda Ferguson – Founder and Leadership Partner


As our founder and leadership partner, Rhonda consults with Scott to ensure that each client is on a path to achieving his or her personal life and financial goals. Having served as a financial planner since 1984, she has helped hundreds of families with their goals and objectives. Her clients have become her friends, her family. And she has developed procedures and processes to make things happen. Her greatest skill is problem-solving….whether it be fixing a financial problem for a client, or developing a system for a service problem.

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Rhonda came to financial planning when financial planning was in its infancy as a career. She started her education in journalism because she loves to write. She still writes a great deal as a way to communicate with clients and to explain complex subjects. When she learned that journalism was a very brief way of writing, she knew it wasn’t for her. She then started taking business classes. The first being a finance course. A professor took her under his wing and said there is this career path where you can communicate, educate and use financial mathematics every day…every single day. A blessing to her.

In her personal time, Rhonda enjoys spending time with her husband, Todd, their two children, Scott and Leslie, and her four grandchildren. She loves to travel but is always ready to come home. She bleeds crimson and white, as an avid Alabama Football fan. And the best for her is when she can combine exercise with her children but more often than not….playing with grandchildren. Riding her GO with Bentley, playing pirates with Myers, or just busy loving on her sweet granddaughter Dylan, new grandson Chase and her dog Honey!

Personal Statement:

I know my clients have worked hard to have what they have. They never want to wake up and find out it’s gone, but they also don’t want to go to bed at night wondering if they should have done something today.

Scott Ferguson - CEO and Principal Planner

Scott Ferguson – CEO and Principal Planner


As our principal planner, Scott is in charge of assisting clients in achieving their life and financial goals. From initial plan creation to monitoring a financial plan throughout a client’s lifetime, Scott is there every step of the way. He has always been a saver. A goal setter. A goal achiever. He shares this with his clients.

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Outside of the office, Scott finds joy spending time with his wife, Whitney, and their three children Bentley, Myers, and Dylan. Actively engaged in community initiatives, Scott has held prominent roles such as Executive Committee President for United Way of Lowndes County and board membership. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Columbus Lowndes Chamber of Commerce.

Along with his son, Bentley, he is the founder of Little Hands, Big Trucks, an annual kid-friendly event that benefits the United Way of Lowndes County. He is actively involved with the TK Martin Center for Technology and Disability, and the Golden Triangle Autism Center. In an effort to support autism resources and special needs inclusion throughout North Mississippi, Scott and his wife, Whitney founded The Rowdy Foundation in 2020.

Personal Statement:

“Financial Planning is all I’ve really ever known. I can remember sitting at the dinner table as a child, and hearing my mother talk about the markets. From a very young age I learned basic investment principals, and to this day those principals serve as the foundation of my financial planning philosophy. Being able to provide financial and investment advice to the hard-working folks we serve is truly a dream come true. You have worked hard for what you have, and it is my job to make sure that your nest egg is working as hard as you did to build it!”

Casey Whitley - Chief of Staff

Casey Whitley - Chief of Staff


Casey serves as the vital link between leadership and our team members. Her primary responsibility is to ensure clear communication of procedures and changes, keeping everyone aligned and focused on surpassing their individual and team goals. She holds the Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP) designation through the College for Financial Planning.

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Originally from Maysville, Kentucky, Casey and her family relocated to Columbus in 2014, driven by her husband’s career with the United States Air Force. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western Kentucky University and is a devoted wife to her husband, Quon, and a loving mother of two, daughter Karsyn and son, Paxton.

With a substantial background in psychology, Casey recognizes the value of her experience when working with clients. She emphasizes the critical role of behavioral coaching in maintaining a financial plan, as she and our team are dedicated to reminding clients that wealth isn’t solely determined by investment performance but by investor behavior.

Furthermore, Casey plays a pivotal role in maintaining the day-to-day office operations and leads strategic planning efforts across the organization. She is deeply committed to investing in our team’s professional development and ensuring they have the necessary tools and resources to thrive.

Kimberly Danner - Director of First Impressions

Kimberly Danner - Director of First Impressions


Kim is often the first warm voice our clients hear when they reach out, and the friendly face that greets them as they step through our door. Serving as our in-house “air traffic controller,” Kim plays a crucial role in connecting each client with the right team member.

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Outside of the office, Kim cherishes her role as a loving aunt to her nephew, KJ. Her heart lights up when she’s surrounded by family and friends, and she’s known for her kindness and warm hospitality. Kim takes pride in staying attuned to both the happy and challenging moments in our clients’ lives, always ready to offer support when needed.

For Kim, making our clients feel like part of our extended family is a top priority. She firmly believes in putting family first, knowing that everything else naturally falls into place. We wholeheartedly understand that the financial planning process is deeply personal and revolves around individual needs, and Kim embodies this with every interaction.

Felice Olmos - Compliance Manager

Felice Olmos - Compliance Manager


Felice’s primary responsibility as the compliance manager is to ensure the firm is complying with all rules and regulations as established by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Felice facilitates an environment and culture of integrity, compliance, and honesty within the team. Implementing internal programs which are reviewed and tested frequently. Within an industry that has ongoing changes and new rules released, Felice plays a critical role in ensuring the firm remains compliant. Dedicated to keeping all members accountable, so that we maintain our fiduciary responsibility to you. Felice is an Investment Advisor Representative holding the Finra Series 65 license as well as the Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP) designation.

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Felice in Spanish is translated as happy. You will hear her smile coming through the phone every time you call. She genuinely hopes her enthusiasm will put a smile on your face and brighten your day as well.

Felice is a devoted wife and mother of 3 children – sons, Jonathan Jr and Dominic, and daughter, Ryleigh.  They are all very active and always keep her on her toes.  Her husband, Jonathan Sr, is an Airforce Veteran. His military career has had her family traveling all over the world. They have lived on almost all coasts of the US and even in the Middle East. Prior to coming back stateside, they lived in Abu Dhabi for 5 years.  They have had the good fortune to experience many different places, foods, and cultures. Even though relocating time and time again can be cumbersome, She wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world. Felice’s family has been enriched beyond measure by the places they’ve been and love to travel!

As far as work experience prior to Financial Concepts, Felice has always worked in the accounting world. Her background includes being the International Accounts Payable Supervisor for a Fortune 500 company and for a global manufacturing organization as an Accounts Payable Specialist. Prior to joining the Financial Concepts team, she worked as an assistant to the CFO of a private jet company.

Finding a home with the Financial Concepts team she has been proud to be working with like-minded individuals that are just as motivated to assist others as she is. Felice finds purpose in service to others.

Leslie Richmond - Communications Manager

Leslie F. Richmond - Communications Manager


Leslie’s first few days at Financial Concepts, she was 3 weeks old and, in a bassinet, next to her mom’s (Rhonda’s) desk. Leslie Ferguson Richmond is our communications manager. She holds the Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP) designation through the College for Financial Planning.

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Leslie studied economics and city planning, with no intention of working in the family business. She soon learned that financial planning is similar to economic development, in that while she studied planning to bring jobs to the community, she now helps our clients plan to make the most of those jobs.

Leslie holds a master’s degree in city planning, which she earned from the University of Memphis. She and her husband, Michael, recently welcomed their first child, a son named Chase Andrew. Their family is completed by their loyal charcoal Labrador companion, Raiford.

Communication is key to any successful relationship and Leslie believes this is also the case when it comes to your nest egg and planning for your dreams for the future. A financial plan is ever evolving. As your life changes, your plan will need to change. A key part of the financial planning process is staying up to date on the events in our clients’ lives and that is what makes us who we are. Leslie works remotely from her home in Memphis, TN, and she uses a variety of channels to stay in touch with clients, including phone calls, email, and social media.

Amanda Hardy - First Impressions and Database Manager

Amanda Hardy - Database Manager


Amanda is the keeper of our data, ensuring that our team has the information they need at their fingertips. Her role includes the preparation of account reviews and presentations, as well as keeping track of important dates such as birthdays, anniversaries, and special events. Additionally, she manages our calendar and diligently schedules client appointments to provide a seamless experience.

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Amanda is a University of West Alabama alum. She cherishes the time she spends with her two wonderful children, her daughter Allie, and her son Alex, as well as her loving husband, Jason.
Amanda enjoys celebrating life’s milestones with our clients, whether it’s marking wedding anniversaries or commemorating the addition of a new family pet. She believes that one of the most rewarding aspects of working for Financial Concepts is not only helping clients plan for retirement but also helping them enjoy their retirement!
Tara Self - Client Care Specialist

Tara Self - Client Relationship Specialist


Tara, an essential member of our Communications Team, attended Mississippi State University, hailing from the charming city of Meridian, MS. A key aspect Tara brings to her role is her active listening. She possesses strong interpersonal skills and demonstrates a genuine passion for understanding and addressing the needs of each client. Her ability to communicate empathetically is essential in building and maintaining strong client relationships. In addition to her communication expertise, she leverages her extensive marketing background behind-the-scenes to craft compelling content that enhances our firm’s outreach and engagement.

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Tara finds immense satisfaction in guiding clients toward the realization of their lifelong financial milestones. Outside of her professional endeavors, Tara is a dedicated mother to two remarkable children: her daughter, Lexi, and her son, Myles.
Jackson Billingsley - Client Care Specialist

Jackson Billingsley - Client Care Specialist


Servicing Clients Last Name A-E

Jackson is a Columbus native and a proud Mississippi State University alum. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance. Jackson’s journey with Financial Concepts began in 2021 as an intern, and he has since earned the Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP) designation through the College for Financial Planning.

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A die-hard Mississippi State fan, Jackson’s passion extends beyond the football field. He enjoys staying active by playing tennis, maintaining his fitness, and caring for his beloved red merle Australian shepherd, Koda.

In Jackson’s eyes, the core of his role at Financial Concepts lies in the genuine care we provide for our clients. Community service and aiding others are close to his heart, and he considers himself fortunate to have the opportunity to make a positive impact daily at Financial Concepts.

Kristen Elsmore - Client Care Specialist

Kristen Elsmore - Associate Advisor


Servicing Clients Last Name F-L

Kristen, our most tenured member of the Client Care Team, from right here in Columbus, MS. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Financial Concepts. She earned her master’s in business administration from Mississippi University for Women. She is an Investment Advisor Representative holding the Finra Series 65 license as well as the Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP) designation.

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Beyond her professional achievements, Kristen is a loving wife to her husband, Jacob, and a proud parent to their daughter, Lilly. She thrives in the great outdoors, relishing moments spent fishing and exploring new destinations with her family.

Kristen’s true passion lies in assisting individuals in realizing their financial aspirations. With a strong background in customer service, she enthusiastically applies her exceptional interpersonal skills to cultivate meaningful relationships with each of her valued clients. Kristen’s dedication and expertise make her an invaluable asset to our team and the clients she serves.

Sawyer Brown - Client Care Specialist

Jeanna Espinoza - Client Care Specialist


Servicing Clients Last Name M-R

Jeanna is a proud United States Air Force Veteran, originally from the town of West Hamlin, WV. She brings a unique perspective to our team with her degree in Sports and Health Sciences from the American Military University.

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In 2017, Jeanna and her family made the transition to Columbus, driven by her and her husband’s unwavering commitment to their military careers. Beyond her professional life, Jeanna is a devoted wife to her husband, Vincent, and a loving mother to their three wonderful children: daughters Kallee and Mia, and son Hector.

Outside of her professional life, you can often find Jeanna and her family enjoying quality time together in the fresh air, nurturing their bond while staying active and healthy.

Sawyer Brown - Client Care Specialist

Sawyer Brown - Associate Advisor


Servicing Clients Last Name S-Z

Sawyer is from Caledonia, MS and a graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in finance. Sawyer started with Financial Concepts as an intern and joined our team full-time in December of 2022. Sawyer is an Investment Advisor Representative holding the Finra Series 65 license.

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When he’s not immersed in the world of finance, Sawyer finds solace in the great outdoors, often accompanied by his faithful companion, Waters, the Labrador.

What truly sets Sawyer apart is his unwavering appreciation for the family-like atmosphere here at Financial Concepts. He firmly believes that the care and respect we cultivate within our team seamlessly extends to the meticulous care we dedicate to each and every client as we work together, helping craft financial plans and translating those plans into action.

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