Meet Our Team

The Planmark Financial Group Team

Fredrick Livingston
Principal, CFP®, AIF®

Fredrick Livingston’s impressive credentials include over 35 years of experience helping corporate and individual clients regarding retirement, estate and investment issues.

Fred amassed a notable executive resume prior to founding PLANMARK, including positions as Director of Qualified Plan Services for a national benefit consulting firm and Senior Vice President of a regional financial planning firm.

Fred is a licensed Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®). He has completed graduate course work in Advanced Pensions, Retirement Plan Design, Estate and Business Planning. Fred holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Georgia State University and a BBA undergraduate degree from University of North Georgia.

His technical expertise and dedication to client service are the foundation of PLANMARK’S reputation as an innovative leader among independent, full-service pension consulting firms. Fred has extensive experience designing plans for professional groups that address the various staff structures in medical groups, and accounting and law firms.

He is a member of the Financial Planning Association, American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries and the National Association of Plan Advisors. He is a past president of the Alpharetta Rotary club and the North Fulton Rotary club. In addition he has served on the Board of Directors of the Golf Club of Georgia, where he was Treasurer for two terms.

View Fred's personal bio
About me

You could say I am a true southerner, born in South Carolina, raised in South Georgia, except for four years in England ( although, we did live in Southern England). I’ve lived in the Atlanta area for almost 40 years.

My parents had an influence on my future career. My father owned his own business and my mother was a bookkeeper for our family business and others. So it was natural for me to own a financial planning practice.

I learned personal finance while in high school with a part-time job. I remember that first paycheck….what are all these deductions? From managing my own checkbook, buying my first car to filing my own income tax return, I realized the benefits of planning ahead.

My financial service career started after earning a master’s degree from Georgia State University. Once I realized that I wasn’t going to be the CEO of General Electric or the next Jack Nicklaus on the PGA tour, I decided helping people with their finances was the best career for me.

About my practice

Helping clients sort through complex financial issues and guiding them to solutions that give financial peace of mind has always been a commitment and a joy. I’ve always looked at my role with clients as a partnership not just another transaction.

With more than 35 years in this business, I’ve experienced numerous market and business cycles, from “Black Monday” in 1987 to the recent “Great Recession”. This gives me a perspective and knowledge that my clients rely on when making financial decisions.

I place a high emphasis on continuing to educate myself and our staff. We always want our financial advice supported by proven academic and scientific research, not just the latest Wall St. hype.

How do I spend my leisure time?

When I’m not glued to a computer screen, I can usually be found outdoors, either, on a golf course, exploring the mountains of North Carolina with my wife or untangling my fly fishing line.

Mark Winston

Mark H. Winston has more than 25 years experience working in the financial services industry as well as for private enterprises. Prior to joining Planmark in 2010, Mark was the Chief Financial Officer for a merchandising services company, the Chief Financial Officer and later the President of a custom tradeshow exhibit designer and manufacturer, and began his career as a commercial banker. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Mark is an Investment Advisor Representative with LPL Financial. In May 2014 Mark was authorized by the Certified Financial Board of Standards to use the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® certification marks in accordance with CFP Board Certification requirements. He has received formal training in investment fiduciary responsibility and has earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) professional designation awarded by the Center for Fiduciary Studies, which is associated with the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Executive Education.

A native of Virginia, but a long time resident of North Carolina, Mark and his wife moved to the metro Atlanta area in January 1987. Mark and his wife have a daughter who is a teacher and coach in the Cobb County school system and another daughter attending Troy University.

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About Me

After moving to North Carolina from Virginia during second grade, I quickly became a Tar Heel. My father’s career in textiles led to several moves and our family eventually settled in Asheboro, NC which we consider home. Moving to Asheboro proved to be quite fortuitous as my wife and I began dating our junior year in high school and married one year after college.

As I approached college graduation in 1983, the banking industry began calling my name. Beginning my career as a commercial banker I learned about multiple industries as well as the issues that confront business owners.

In 1987 an opportunity presented itself in Atlanta. Never in our wildest dreams did my wife and I see ourselves still here after almost 30 years but I guess Georgia is “on our minds”.

About Our Practice

As happens to many commercial bankers, I became the financial officer for one of my client companies. That move was incredibly rewarding as I was exposed to the successes and challenges faced by small businesses. My first financial officer role led to several others, all for fast growing companies. Building these companies’ financial and human resource infrastructures gave me insight into the best practices for corporate retirement plans.

A tragic event led me to where I am today. A neighbor, but more importantly a close friend, died unexpectedly. Assisting his wife with settling his estate opened my eyes to the impact financial planning can have on families. In 2010, I joined Planmark as I had been a client of the firm since 2003 and knew their professionalism, skills and integrity first hand.

How do I spend my leisure time ?

I love sports and have my entire life so any time I can be involved in a sporting activity, whether as a participant or spectator, makes for a good day.

Valeri Bishop

Valeri Bishop has over twenty plus years of experience in the financial industry. She is recognized as a distinguished leader in the financial services industry.  Prior to joining Wellspring Wealth, she worked in a management, business development role for over two decades with Charles Schwab and Co and E*Trade Financial. Forging deep relationships and having a strong sense of accountability to building clients’ financial dreams are two of the cornerstone principles on which Valeri’s professional philosophy is built. She is also an outspoken advocate of equality in investment education, having a passion around enhancing women investors to become more financially independent.

Valeri grew up in the small western town of Douglas, Wyoming and attended Casper College where she majored in Business Administration. In her personal time Valeri enjoys hiking, and the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains at her vacation home on the river. Family time is spent with her husband, two adult children and three dogs.

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About Me

Community service and development are vitally important to me. As a member of the Board of Directors for the YMCA Forsyth County, she contributes substantially to her community by: helping under privileged children become involved in the community and attend summer camps; developing and maintaining an environment where children can take the first small, yet crucial, steps to achieving their dreams; fostering a community of family caring and giving.

I grew up in the small western town of Douglas, Wyoming and attended Casper College where I majored in Business Administration. In my personal time, I enjoy hiking and the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains at my vacation home on the river. Family time is spent with my husband, two adult children and three dogs.

CarolLynn Kent
Plan Administrator

CarolLynn Kent joined Planmark as a Retirement Plan Administrator in 2013. Prior to Planmark, she worked for almost 20 years at one of the country’s largest mutual fund companies. While there she managed a wide range of corporate retirement plans, including small business owners and mega-corporations with over 30,000 employees. Whatever the size of the plan, however, her focus has always been on industry expertise and personalized service.

She is currently working towards earning the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries designation of Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA).

CarolLynn assists plan sponsors with plan design, employee education, guidance on IRS/DOL audits, plan valuations and compliance testing.

She holds a BBA from Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.

View CarolLynn's personal bio
About me

I am a native New Yorker who lived on “LawngIsland” my whole life. That is, until 2006 when my husband, Artie, and I decided we needed a change. We never imagined ourselves living below the Mason-Dixon Line, but after months of research we moved to what is now Johns Creek.

We found that not only were some of the best schools here, but some of the best people. Neighbors said in order to fully assimilate to the suburban Atlanta lifestyle; we had to play on a neighborhood tennis team.

From that, Artie and I started taking lessons, joined teams, and even captained our respective teams for a while. Yes, we’ve become tennis junkies. We play year-round in two different leagues, and are grateful for the many friends we have made.

My daughter, Courtney, attends UGA; she will graduate with a BBA in Marketing with the goal of a career in Market Research. My son, Thomas, attends Northview High School and has visions of becoming the next video-game programming mogul.

Other than playing tennis, I enjoy spending time outdoors; enjoying my family; entertaining friends; and cooking.

About my Career
Although I received a BBA in Marketing, I started my career in a major mutual fund company’s call center discussing finance and investments with clients. There I learned about investments and the markets and survived the infamous Black Monday in 1987.

When the company started a Retirement Services department in 1989, I transferred with just 3 other staff members. Over the next 17 years I grew with the department, and left as a Client Service Manager responsible for a staff of 15 with over $1.5 billion in plan assets.

At Planmark, I enjoy building relationships with our clients, learning about their businesses and their goals for their retirement plans. I’m a problem-solver, and I look forward to working through a question or problem, and coming up with the best solution for you and your participants. I truly love what I do every day, and look forward to working with YOU.

Beth Brown

Beth Brown has worked in Finance for over 25 years, highlighted with an entrée in banking, followed by Client Service work at a small TPA firm and working for a major telecommunications company in their Commissions department for almost 10 years. Beth is an Atlanta native and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. Before settling back down in the Atlanta area to raise a family, Beth lived in Paris, France where she travelled extensively throughout Europe and even Western Africa.

Beth serves a key role on the Planmark team as her core responsibility is client service. She co-ordinates appointment schedules, new account documentation, executing client trades as directed by Wealth Advisors. She also manages the day to day office operations.

She and her family live in South Forsyth County.

View Beth's personal bio
About me

I was born in Athens, Georgia while my parents were still in college at the University of Georgia, the second of 4 children. Having grown up in the Atlanta area, I am a rare native Georgian and true GA Peach. A natural benefit of that is that I have many life-long friends and community connections that span almost 50 years.

As the daughter of UGA graduates, it was natural that I would matriculate at the University of Georgia. My four years at UGA were great. I was a student when Herschel Walker exploded onto the college football scene and we won the 1980 National Championship at the Sugar Bowl.

After graduating college, I worked in banking for a little over a year. In January of 1985, I packed up and moved to Paris, France. I enrolled in school, worked as an ‘au pair’ and set out to explore the City of Lights. I had a map of Paris, a subway pass and a fearless nature that many young people possess.

Over the almost 4 years in my beloved Paris, I learned to speak fluent French. That came from spending time in family situations with many French people, NOT from a classroom. I experienced total emersion and it was bliss.

After my years in France, I moved back to Atlanta and found work in the financial industry. I worked for a small TPA firm, then for a major telecommunications company in their Commissions department for almost 10 years.

During those years, I started a family. My oldest daughter is a 3rd generation UGA bulldog. My youngest daughter is attending college at the University of North Georgia.

We live in Alpharetta and attend Northpoint Community Church, where I serve on the Guest Services team and belong to a small group.