Via is the path, the way, the journey.
Forte is strength, the foundation, depth, experience and trust.
ViaForte shows the way to an enduring legacy.
We approach our work with a single-minded focus: doing all we can to identify what is best for you and your family. We are team players who join your inner circle–working with your existing advisors to help ensure that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We are committed to ensuring your legacy through strong insurance solutions.
Meet your trusted ViaForte team:
JEFFREY R. CARLSON, CFP®
Founder & President
Jeffrey Carlson is a Founder and President of ViaForte and a founding Principal of Carlson Capital Management. His primary responsibilities include providing overall vision and strategic direction for ViaForte, in addition to leading business development initiatives. Jeff is a 1983 graduate of St. Olaf College, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, with specific concentrations in finance and accounting. Jeff began his career with IDS/American Express and shortly there-after earned his Certified Financial Planner™ designation. Jeff has been providing wealth management advice to clients and their families for more than three decades and has specific expertise in advanced planning techniques that include insurance solutions. His vast and deep experience as an integrated wealth advisor brings a holistic approach to the solutions we provide at ViaForte.
Jeff is an active volunteer with numerous organizations including Hastings Area Rotary Club, St. Philips Lutheran Church, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Hastings Area YMCA, Green Lake Lutheran Ministries and the Hastings chapter of Let’s Go Fishing for seniors. Jeff is also an active alumnus of St. Olaf College, and currently serves as the Class of ’83 Correspondent and Class Fund Agent. In maintaining family tradition, Jeff is an avid tennis player and also enjoys golf and spending time with his wife, Stacy, and their three children. Jeff and his family reside in Hastings, Minnesota.
HEIDI M. PEDERSON,
Heidi Pederson serves as the Managing Director of ViaForte. In her role, Heidi is responsible for maximizing ViaForte’s success by leading and executing the organization’s strategic direction. She proactively works on the firm’s goal of providing best-in-class consultative advice, holistic solutions and high quality servicing. Heidi also leads the positioning of ViaForte within the marketplace. Her experience in financial services spans more than twenty-five years and includes leadership roles at M Financial (of which ViaForte is a member firm) in addition to positions in which she provided advice and service directly to clients and their families. Heidi’s experience spans all aspects of firm management from strategic direction and oversight to compliance, marketing, and operations. Just prior to joining ViaForte, she served as Senior Vice President at an investment advisory firm in the Twin Cities.
Heidi earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Religion from St. Olaf College, then went on to earn her Juris Doctor from the William Mitchell College of Law. She also holds the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College, Series 7, 63, 65 and 24, as well as her Life/Health License.
Heidi grew up in Marshall, Minnesota and resides in Chanhassen with her three children. She enjoys yoga, gardening, entertaining family and friends, and teaching others about value-centered living through her pro bono work as a life coach.
Marissa Wallrich serves as Insurance Case Manager for ViaForte. In this role, Marissa provides product, presentation, underwriting and administrative support in the initial design and re-evaluation of insurance related plans. She also assists with advanced planning solutions and implementation of the client experience. Marissa is ViaForte’s primary contact for in-force policy servicing and administration.
Marissa’s industry experience spans more than ten years. Prior to joining the ViaForte team, her roles included working as an underwriting case manager, a new business coordinator and an independent agent with firms based in the Twin Cities metro area. All of her positions included providing support to both agents and clients, while managing in-force caseloads.
Marissa is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, where she earned her B.A. in Social Work. Following college, she worked actively as a social worker and non-profit executive director. Her experience in those roles helped shape her interest in serving others and helping them achieve their goals.
Marissa is originally from the Twin Cities and now resides in the South Metro area with her husband, Nick, and their two daughters. In her free time, you can find Marissa running on various trails, spending time with family and friends, and participating in her children’s activities.
CYNTHIA CARLSON, AALU, FMLI
Cynthia Carlson serves as Consultant for ViaForte, having been with the firm (and previously CCM) for 12 years as the Manager of Underwriting. Prior to joining ViaForte, Cindy’s career spanned more than 25 years in the insurance industry. Cindy spent the majority of her career working for the former Lutheran Brotherhood (now Thrivent Financial for Lutherans) as a senior underwriter and underwriting trainer. During her time there Cindy earned the insurance designations of HIAA, FLMI and AALU, adding to her credentials. Cindy’s depth and breadth of underwriting experience enhance our client servicing capabilities as she brings personalized care and specialization to the underwriting process.
Cindy graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Bemidji State University in 1980. After college, she went to work for Lutheran Brotherhood in the Twin Cities. Always active in the community, Cindy’s most recent commitments have involved activities and committee work with her church. Cindy and her husband also have several Habitat for Humanity experiences under their tool belts, including a Blitz Week in Americus, Georgia. While living in the Metro area, she enjoyed volunteering in Plymouth Christian Youth Center’s STEEP program for young mothers and babies. Cindy loves music, and specifically, playing hand bells. She has written several hand bell scores, and was thrilled when her first written piece was selected for publication.
Cindy and her husband Barry reside in Northfield, Minnesota where they have raised three sons. Family time is filled attending multiple sporting activities and all eagerly anticipate cabin time together every year at Sand Lake (Moose Lake, Minnesota).