Our Team

Kelly S. Olson Pedersen, CFP® (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™) and CDFA (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst), founded the company in 2009. She has been in the financial services industry since 1999.

Kelly provides management of individual’s wealth and investments from the accumulation stage throughout the retirement phase. She also provides financial planning and guidance to people going through a divorce. Her focus is providing a clear plan to build and preserve client wealth in a prudent manner by incorporating a personal wealth plan and investment strategy. Prior to Caissa Wealth, Kelly provided 8 years of investment management, tax preparation and wealth planning to clients at two large regional accounting firms in the Twin Cities. She also spent a few years at two international brokerage firms.

Kelly has her B.S. in Finance and Economics with a minor in accounting from the University of Northern Iowa and has earned her Series 63, 65 and 7.

Tidbits about Kelly : She is a farm girl from NW Iowa with 2 sisters, an avid Chicago Bears fan, her last trip was to Spain, she has participated in 27 triathlons but never mastered any, loves golf but hasn’t mastered that either, enjoys jogging (she used to run), and loves spending time in Lake Okoboji with her husband, Bob and sons, Dillon and Tommy.


Denise Thornburgh has been in the financial services since 1999. She joined Caissa Wealth Strategies in 2012 as an Associate.

Denise provides a high level of personalized service to clients in all daily aspects of client account and financial planning needs.

Prior to Caissa Wealth Strategies, Denise was a Senior Registered Associate for an international brokerage firm for 9 years where she worked with several high-net worth financial advisors. Prior to that, she was with a mutual fund company for 4 years where she earned her series 7, 63 and 65.

Denise enjoys spending her free time with her husband, Jeremy and 2 boys Will and Jack. She spends a lot of time playing and coaching sports, reading books and actively involved in their schools.


Julie Betchwars, CFP® has been in the financial services industry since 1987. She started her career with a financial planning and accounting firm in Minneapolis and while there she earned her Series 7, 63 and 66 licenses. In addition, she earned her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 1993.

Julie graduated from Gustavus Adophus College with a B.A. in Business. Along with her education, the solid foundation that Julie built while preparing income tax returns and working with business owners has proved invaluable over the years in serving clients and understanding the complexities of personal financial planning.

Financial Planning for individuals and families is Julie’s passion and she joined Caissa Wealth Strategies as a Financial Planning Associate in 2014.

Julie spends most of her free time with her family at their cabin on the Whitefish Chain of Lakes in Crosslake, MN. They enjoy boating, fishing, biking and this year they are excited to tour the lakes with their kayaks for the first time.



Merissa Perkins has been in the insurance and financial services industries since 1999. She joined Caissa Wealth Strategies in March 2016 as a Financial Planning Associate.

Merissa assists with the financial planning, investment research and marketing for Caissa.

Prior to Caissa Wealth Strategies, Merissa worked as a Client Care Specialist where she managed the operations as well providing clients an exceptional experience with every question and request. She also has several years working in the insurance industry (life, accident & health, property and casualty) and prior to that worked in the small business equipment leasing division of a large bank for over 8 years.

Merissa has earned her series 6, 7, 63 and 66 and is currently enrolled in classes that will have her earning her CFP® certification.

Merissa enjoys spending her free time with her husband, Bryon and 2 children Katelyn and Anthony. In the winter months you might find her curled up reading a book or playing family board games. In the summer, Merissa can be found with her family riding the rollercoasters at Valleyfair or on the boat fishing or tubing.




Why We Partner with Schwab Institutional as a Platform to Support Our Business

With over 40 years of experience, Schwab is one of the best and the largest firms for serving independent financial advisors. Our client needs are unique. That’s why we team up with Schwab as a platform for investment account support and tools we need to meet our clients’ goals—whatever they are.

  • Schwab has one of the largest and most flexible platforms for RIAs available today
  • Schwab provides access to the expertise and research we need to be successful with our clients

Investment Platform Access with no Proprietary Products in Our Line-up

  • Mutual Funds
  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)
  • Fixed income
  • Alternative investments
  • Managed account options
  • Bank and lending products available through Charles Schwab Bank

More Control over Fees and Expenses

By teaming with Schwab we can avoid unnecessary fees and potentially pass that savings on to our clients. Costs are transparent and easy to understand.