Our Firm

“As many of our longtime clients can recall, we opened our doors on May 11, 2001.  Although many questioned why we would do so in the middle of a recession, we believed that a private, independent firm dedicated solely to investment consulting and financial planning would best serve our clients.

Today, we are stronger than ever.  We have grown to more than 25 professionals serving families, endowments, foundations, retirement plans, and corporations in over 34 states.  While we have enjoyed our growth to approximately $1.4 billion in assets, our focus will always remain on the cherished relationships we’ve developed with our clients.

The entire CIC team and I are excited to carry this firm into the future.  We invite you to visit us in Charlotte anytime and hope that you get to know each member of our CIC family.”


-George H. Edmiston Jr.
President and Founder



Our Team

George H. Edmiston Jr.
Consultant, President, and Firm Principal

George H. Edmiston Jr. has more than 30 years of experience in the investment consulting industry. After spending 10 years with E.F. Hutton, George joined Wheat First Securities (now Wells Fargo Advisors) in 1990. In 2001, he formed an independent broker dealer and investment advisory firm, Carolinas Investment Consulting LLC. Mr. Edmiston is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a BS degree in Finance.

He previously worked as a financial and marketing analyst with Armstrong World Industries. George holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 28, 53, 63, 65, and 99 licenses. George’s local affiliations include the YMCA of Greater Charlotte (Metro Board), YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly (Board Member),  Rotary (Past President), Rotary Charitable Foundation ( Treasurer), Charlotte Historic Rosedale (Past President),  North Carolina Family Policy Council (Board Member),  Sugar Creek Charter School (Past Chairman), and Charlotte City Club (President). He is married to Randi and they have three children.

David A. Perkins, J.D., CPA, CFP®
Consultant and Financial Planner

Learn about how Dave can oversee your family’s finances

Dave joined CIC in the fall of 2004, bringing 25 years of experience in the areas of estate planning, financial planning, investment consulting, tax, and legal matters. He is an attorney, accountant, and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. He led the Personal Financial Services team at KPMG Peat Marwick in Charlotte and later served as Director of Financial & Estate Planning at IJL/Wachovia. Throughout his career, he has specialized in providing consulting services to executives, business owners, and other affluent individuals and families. Over the course of his career, Dave has worked with professionals at the following companies: EnPro Industries, Goodrich Corp., Duke Energy, Belk Stores Services, United Dominion (now SPX), Industrial Piping, Lance, Bank of America, Centex Homes, Royal and SunAlliance, Piedmont Natural Gas, Carolinas HealthCare System, and Enterprise.

Dave received his undergraduate degree from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, and he attended Albany Law School of Union University in Albany, NY. He and his wife, Robin, have two daughters, Emily and Perry. Dave holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 63, and 65 licenses.

Christopher K. Grogan
Consultant and Firm Principal

Chris began working with George Edmiston in 1999 and is one of the founding members of CIC.  Before joining the firm, he worked for Bank of America in its Corporate Finance Department.  Chris is a native of the Charlotte region and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a BS in Business Administration.  He holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 63, 65, and 99 licenses as well as his life and health insurance licenses.

Chris focuses his efforts on individual clients as well as corporate retirement plans.  His clients include executives, small business owners, physicians, medical practices, and multi-generational families.  Since each relationship is unique and important, Chris takes the time to fully understand each client’s individual needs in order to develop a tailored and appropriate plan.  His primary goal in establishing such a plan is to provide his clients with peace of mind and to reduce stress that may come when thinking about their financial future.

Outside of work, Chris enjoys spending time with his family, gardening, hiking, traveling, and photography.  Chris and his wife, Christie, live in Fort Mill, SC with their sons, Reid and Cade.

R. Christopher Gammon, CFA®, CFP®

Chris joined CIC in 2008 after serving in the investment industry with Wachovia for more than 26 years. His roles at Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) included Commercial Banking, heading the London Office of Wachovia for five years, and Capital Markets, Corporate Finance & Investment Banking, culminating in his election to Partner in Wealth Management.

A native of Lynchburg, Virginia, Chris graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Beta Gamma Sigma, magna cum laude, and as the L.K. Johnson Scholar from the Commerce School at Washington and Lee University. He earned an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professional designations.

Chris has served in the Foundation for the Carolinas’ Cabinet of Professional Advisors and Robinson Center for Civic Leadership, on the Board of the CFA® North Carolina Society, the Board of Advisors of the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, the Davidson College Parents Council, and as an Elder in Myers Park Presbyterian Church. He and his wife, Ruth, live in Charlotte and have two daughters, Sydnor and Betsy. Chris holds his Series 7 and 63 licenses, and life and health insurance licenses.

Oliver R. Cross III

Oliver began his investment consulting career in 2002 and joined Carolinas Investment Consulting (CIC) in 2010, first serving as the Director of Research before moving into his current role as a Consultant.  He now focuses his energy and expertise on helping clients improve their long-term decision-making by getting them organized financially, invested intelligently, and educated on the common pitfalls and big money mistakes many investors often make.

Oliver primarily focuses his practice on:

  • High net worth families who have made their money and are trying to ensure it will last for the duration of retirement or beyond for future generations
  • High performing professionals who are in the accumulation phase and need to get organized and develop a real long-term game plan beyond simply throwing darts at 401K options and stashing away excess cash in a variety of investment and savings accounts
  • A select group of endowment, foundation, and corporate clients who seek a partner, not a model portfolio or package of products, in building long-term investment programs


Prior to joining CIC, Oliver served as a Vice President at Trusco Capital Management, the former institutional asset management subsidiary of SunTrust Bank, where he provided investment consulting services to endowments, foundations, and corporations.

A native of Winston-Salem, Oliver received his undergraduate degree from Davidson College where he was a member of the golf team and he later completed his MBA, with a concentration in Investment Management, from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Oliver is a member and past president of The Corners Society, a non-profit outreach organization focused on the local needs in Charlotte, and has remained actively involved with Davidson College and its golf team. He and his wife Mary Ann, who is a pediatrician at Eastover Pediatrics, have a son and a daughter who keep them on their toes.

Ted Highsmith, CFP®

Ted began working with Carolinas Investment Consulting in 2006.  Prior to joining CIC, Ted was a Financial Advisor with Banc of America Investments, Inc. (now Merrill Lynch) in the Charlotte N.C. and Washington D.C. Metro regions. Ted has over 17 years of wealth management and investment advisory experience and holds FINRA Series 7, 63, 65 as well as his life and health insurance licenses.

Ted focuses his efforts on helping his clients grow and protect their wealth through customized investment and financial planning.  His clients include executives, small business owners, physicians, medical professionals, professional athletes, and multi-generational families.

A native of Raleigh, Ted graduated from North Carolina State University with a B.S. degree in Business Management and holds the CFP® professional certification awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.   Past and present community activities include Myers Park Presbyterian Church (Treasurer & Finance Committee Member), Crisis Assistance Ministries, MPPC Youth Basketball Coach, Y-Guides, W.I.S.H. Hope Team Member, Charlotte Succession, and the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce Ambassador program.  Outside of work, Ted enjoys spending time with his family, golf, tennis, boating, traveling, fishing, and various youth sports.  Ted and his wife, Missy, have three children.

Wade helps a select group of professionals and families manage, grow, and preserve their wealth. He specializes in guiding clients to achieve their most cherished goals by aligning customized and durable investment portfolios with comprehensive financial planning and wealth management services.

Leveraging the resources and expertise of his client-focused team at CIC, he is passionate about empowering families by bringing clarity and peace of mind to their vision through education, careful planning, diligent execution, and clear communication.

Wade originally joined the CIC team in 2012 to serve individual clients and lead the firm’s continued growth and business development initiatives. His discipline and attention to process were shaped by his prior client development and strategic advising work in the corporate arena, most recently at Xerox Corporation.  While National Accounts General Manager, he focused exclusively on the financial sector, providing solutions for several of the U.S.’s largest financial services corporations.

A native of the Charlotte region, Wade graduated with honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology earning a BS degree in Management with a concentration in Finance and certificate in Psychology.

Wade has served on boards at Charlotte Latin School and Myers Park Presbyterian Church, currently a Deacon, and enjoys serving in additional community endeavors. His wife Lilla is a teacher and lower school faculty chair at Charlotte Latin School.  They live in Charlotte and have a grown son, Davis, and daughter, Garland. Wade holds his Series 7 and 66 licenses.

Dustin Barr, CFA®
Consultant and Director of Research

Dustin serves as a Consultant and Director of Research at Carolinas Investment Consulting (CIC). He enjoys helping clients organize and simplify their lives.  He believes in an evidence-based approach to investing that focuses on the things that matter and the things investors can control.  In his role as a Consultant, he specializes in working with:

  • High performing corporate executives and business owners, including financial and investment professionals
  • Non-profit endowments/foundations and corporate retirement plans

In his capacity as Director of Research, Dustin runs the CIC Investment Committee and oversees the process for manager selection, capital markets forecasts, and asset allocation framework.  Dustin frequently speaks to professional groups, investment clubs, and continuing education events for CPAs.

Dustin joined CIC in 2015 after eight years at TIAA, where he served as Director of Investment Product management.  In this capacity he oversaw the development and management of TIAA Asset Management (now Nuveen) mutual funds and variable annuities.

Dustin holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) professional designation and is a member of the CFA® Institute and the CFA® North Carolina Society. He holds the FINRA Series 7, 63, and 65 licenses.  A native of Mooresville, North Carolina, Dustin graduated from College of Charleston, where he was a four-year letterman on the Golf Team and served as Co-Captain his final season.  He lives in Charlotte with his wife, Catherine, and two children, Maggie and Charlie.  In his free time he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and golfing.

Dustin is a member and sub-committee chair of the United Way Central Carolinas Young Leaders Council and remains actively involved in College of Charleston’s business school and men’s golf team.

Abby Bennett, CFP®
Financial Planner

As a financial planner at CIC, Abby helps families plan for their future. By getting organized and making smart planning and investment decisions, clients can have peace of mind around their finances. Abby specializes in financial planning for:

-Engineers & tech professionals looking to plan for a successful retirement while also managing near-term goals such as a growing family, a major purchase, college funding, travel, or charitable and family giving

-Business owners & corporate executives looking to build wealth by successfully navigating complex financial questions around tax planning, net worth diversification, and the eventual exit from their business

She works with clients nationwide and offers the flexibility of virtual meetings.

Originally from Virginia, Abby graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) and is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional. She joined CIC in 2015 after spending several years with a wealth management firm in the Washington, D.C. metro area, where she served high-net-worth families and institutions.

Abby is a member of Uptown Church, Charlotte’s FPA NexGen chapter, and Business Sorority. She and her husband Patrick, a fellow VT Hokie and mechanical engineer with Duke Energy, live in South Charlotte with their two Australian shepherds, Jake & Charlie. Abby enjoys photography, CrossFit, warm weather, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Anna Bryant
Marketing Specialist

Anna joined CIC in October of 2018 and is brand new to Charlotte! Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she graduated from Furman University in Greenville, SC and then took a job with Southern Living Magazine in Birmingham, AL. Her final years in Birmingham were spent working for Harbert Management Corporation, an investment management firm, in the communications/marketing department.

Anna’s hobbies include painting, traveling, riding horses, and scuba diving. Her favorite pastime is spending time with her nieces and trying to be the best aunt possible!

Linda Christine

Linda became a part of CIC in December of 2003 bringing more than 30 years of business experience in many areas, mainly customer service and business administration. Linda relocated to Charlotte from Philadelphia in mid-2003 to be closer to her children and grandchildren. She is the face and voice of CIC for our clients, while handling many administrative, correspondence, purchasing, and support functions for the entire team. She is a member of the USO of NC, which is based at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Linda is also a Notary Public.

Joyce G. Cmiel
Relationship Manager

Joyce joined CIC in the spring of 2013 and brings a wealth of industry knowledge to the firm from her years as an Investment Advisor with Merrill Lynch and A.G. Edwards and Sons. She is a graduate of Frostburg State University where she received her BS in Business Administration and Marketing. Originally from the Washington, DC area, she and her husband Craig and three children moved to Charlotte in 2011. Joyce is a certified yoga teacher and active in the community through several outreach programs. Joyce holds FINRA Series 7, 63, and 65 licenses.

Jeanne Kelsey Fritchley
Chief Operating Officer and Firm Principal

Jeanne serves as CIC’s Chief Operating Officer and as a Chief Compliance Officer in addition to being one of the owners of the firm. She has over 20 years of experience with the CIC team, 15 of which as a Relationship Manager working directly with clients. She shares this experience with others in the firm to perpetuate the CIC culture of putting the client first and maintaining the highest of standards.

After receiving a BS in Engineering Physics and a BA in Aeronautics-Mathematics from Miami University in Ohio, she went on to obtain her MBA from The University of Connecticut, concentrating in Finance and Management.

Jeanne is originally from Connecticut, but now happily calls North Carolina home. She currently lives in Waxhaw, NC, with her husband, Brian, and her son, Jake. Jeanne and her family own and operate Rivendale Farm, an equine boarding facility in South Carolina. She enjoys her horses, the outdoors, travelling, and reading. Jeanne holds FINRA Series 4, 7, 24, 63, 65, and 99 licenses.

Victoria Furr
Relationship Manager

Victoria joined CIC in October of 2016 as a Relationship Manager. Prior to joining the firm, she was a relationship manager at Voya Financial Advisors in Charlotte, NC. She graduated from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina in 2014 with honors. Victoria holds the FINRA Series 7, 63 & 65 securities licenses. As a Charlotte native, she is an avid Panthers fan and enjoys spending time exploring the city with her dog, Sadie.

Heather Kortekaas
Operations Associate

Heather joined CIC in May 2016 as the Operations Associate. She has 8 years of experience as a Sales Assistant with Wells Fargo Advisors and BB&T Scott & Stringfellow. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a BS in Finance.

Heather is married and has a son, Hunter, and lives in Matthews. She enjoys spending time with family and friends. She likes spending time outdoors, running and has completed several half-marathons. Heather holds her FINRA series 7, 63, 65 licenses.

Justin Louis, CFP®
Client Advisor

Justin’s passion is to give clients confidence that they are doing everything possible to achieve their goals. He brings a diverse background to his role as a Client Advisor at CIC where he works with clients to synchronize their financial plan and investment portfolio in order to build a secure financial future. Justin leverages his corporate experience to guide executives in maximizing compensation packages; he brings clarity to professionals planning for retirement; and works with families to plan and implement advice across the spectrum of their financial lives.

Justin joined the CIC team in 2016 after spending the first part of his career working with a technology company to modernize the power grid. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Thomas Edison State University, is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional, and holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses.

Justin and his wife Emily, have two children Robin and Jack, and are members of Uptown Church. They came to Charlotte by way of San Antonio and yes, Justin does own cowboy boots. He enjoys spending time with his family, finding great local food, and golfing when the opportunity presents itself. Past activities have included coaching high school speech and debate, teaching photography classes, and hosting communications conferences.

Lyric Martin, CFP®
Financial Planner

Lyric joined the firm in July 2000 to focus on providing our clients financial planning services. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Business Administration and a concentration in Accounting. She received her MBA from Queens University in Charlotte. Prior to joining the firm, Lyric had a 15 year career with Bank of America and its predecessors. At Bank of America, Lyric served as a Vice President and Trust Officer in the Private Wealth Management group, after several years in the Audit Division. Lyric is married to Mitch; they have two children, Jake and Rachel. Lyric is a member of Calvary Church, where she serves in Children’s Ministry, and the Financial Planning Association of Charlotte. In her free time you may find her at the Harris YMCA or enjoying the lake or beach with her family and friends.

Bridget McDermott, CFP®
Financial Planner

Bridget is a Financial Planner who joined CIC in March of 2017. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business majoring in Finance with a concentration in financial planning from Virginia Tech’s board-registered CFP® certification education program. Bridget holds the FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses and has obtained her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation.

As for her day to day responsibilities, she meets with families and individuals to help them organize their financial lives and define their life goals. Pairing her education and experience with top notch planning technology, she develops projections to help CIC clients visualize their current situation and develop an action plan for the future.

Although originally from Virginia Beach, she has fallen in love with Charlotte and is happy to call it home. Outside of the office she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, going to concerts, and cheering on the Panthers, Hornets, and her Virginia Tech Hokies.

Brenda McRae
Relationship Manager

Brenda joined the CIC team in November of 2002. Previously, she had more than 25 years of business experience in accounting, operations, and sales support, including three years in operations support at Dean Witter (now Morgan Stanley Smith Barney). She has served as CIC’s cage/wire operator and as operations manager. She is now a Relationship Manager helping Chris Grogan serve his clients. Brenda has an Associate Degree in Business Administration.

A lifelong resident of the Charlotte area, Brenda is married with two married sons and three grandchildren. In 2005, she was elected a Commissioner for the Town of Mint Hill and served four terms. Brenda holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses.

Martha Newsom
Chief Financial Officer

Martha joined the firm in October 2018 as Chief Financial Officer, bringing over 30 years of finance experience as a CPA with Wells Fargo, HSBC, and small businesses.  She is a graduate of Meredith College where she received a BS degree in Accounting.  Martha is a North Carolina native and is married to Matt; they have two children, Jack and Will.  She also enjoys running and vacationing at the beach.

Karen Nix
Executive Administrator

Karen joined CIC in January of 2015 as Executive Administrator, bringing over 27 years of administrative experience to the firm. Karen is a native of North Carolina and resides in Charlotte.

Molly Peecher
Relationship Manager

Molly joined CIC in February of 2014 as a Relationship Manager. Previously, she was with Vanguard and with JP Morgan in the Private Bank division. She has 25 years of experience in the investment industry. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and lives in Tega Cay with her three children. Molly holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses.

Robert R. Shaw
Director of Technology and Special Initiatives

Robert joined us in 2016 with experience in software entrepreneurship and management consulting. Years earlier, Robert helped implement our performance reporting system during a college internship at Carolinas Investment Consulting, then went on to help lead several Internet startups. Robert currently oversees the firm’s information infrastructure while undertaking other special projects.

Growing up in Charlotte, Robert was a “lifer” at Charlotte Country Day School, after which he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics at Duke University. A lifelong member of Myers Park Presbyterian Church, Robert is an Eagle Scout and Arrowman and remains active as a Scoutmaster in the church’s Boy Scout Troop.

Walker T. Shelton, CFP®
Client Advisor

Walker joined CIC in June 2013 as a Financial Planner and now applies Financial Planning to his work as a Client Advisor with Dave Perkins. Prior to joining the firm, he was a Broker at The Vanguard Group in Charlotte, NC. Walker has obtained his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation and holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities licenses.

A native of Boone, Walker graduated from Appalachian State University with a BSBA in Finance and Banking, Financial Planning. He is a member of the Financial Planning Association. Walker and his wife, Lindsey, live in uptown Charlotte.

Prashanthi Sivasithamparam Headshot
Prashanthi Sivasithamparam
Portfolio Analyst

Shanti joined CIC in August 2018 as a Portfolio Analyst. Prior to joining the firm, she worked as a financial associate at Middleton & Company, Inc. in Boston, Massachusetts. Shanti attended the University of Connecticut, where she earned her BA in Economics and was a member and captain of the University of Connecticut Cheerleading team.

Originally from the Boston area, Shanti is excited to call Charlotte her new home. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling and watching football.

Holly Skipper
Relationship Manager

Holly joined CIC in October of 2014 as a Relationship Manager. She has over six years of wealth management experience serving high net worth individuals, families and institutions previously for Brown Brothers Harriman. Holly graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Art. She and her husband, Jason, live in Charlotte where she serves as a Girl Scout Troop Leader and is a member of the Women’s Impact Fund. Holly holds her FINRA Series 7 license.

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