Jack Giardino • Co-Founder

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Hey everybody! My name is Jack Giardino and I am originally from Washington, Iowa. I am a senior at Kansas State University majoring in Personal Financial Planning. I am involved on campus in many ways: President of the Kansas State Financial Planning Association chapter, Vice President of Recruiting for the Personal Financial Planning Mentor Program, Peer Counselor at Powercat Financial, and Student Representative for the Personal Financial Planning Advisory Board. 

I have had several internship experiences during the last few summers. I spent the summer of 2017 interning with Ryan T. George, a Wealth Management Advisor with Northwestern Mutual located in Leawood, Kansas, and stayed on staff throughout the school year of 2017-2018 working remotely from Manhattan. During the summer of 2018, I transitioned to a new financial planning internship with Mariner Wealth Advisors, an independent RIA located in Overland Park, Kansas. Both of these experiences have provided me with great education and exposure to the industry and have strengthened my passion for this profession. 

Outside of school and work I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I have two older sisters and one younger sister; I will most likely be referencing them throughout the podcast. I recently became an uncle for the first time (my nephew Emmett is pictured above!) and cherish every moment I get to spend with him. I also enjoy cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes, hunting, and riding four wheelers.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about who I am. I look forward to building this podcast with my close friend, Josh Payne, and hope you all enjoy! 


Josh Payne • Co-Founder

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My name is Josh. I'm a senior at K-state majoring in Personal Financial Planning with a minor in Business. Throughout my time at K-State, I have been a part of Powercat Financial as the Student Advisory Board Marketing Chair and a Peer Counselor. I have also been a member of the Kansas State Financial Planning Association and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Topeka chapter. 

I have been blessed to return to Payne Financial Strategies in Lyndon, Kansas for the past two summers. Payne Financial Strategies is a family-owned financial planning firm owned and operated by Kevin and Angie Payne. In the summer of 2017, after passing my Kansas Life and Health insurance license, I began an internship with New York Life Insurance Company. This allowed me to train, study and work with the New York Life Kansas General Office in Wichita, Kansas while working with my mentor and father Kevin Payne at Payne Financial Strategies over the past two years. During this time, I have been able to get a good grasp of the risk management side of financial planning as a licensed agent while also witnessing the retirement and estate planning aspects. I have also had the amazing opportunity to travel and learn from a few other financial advisors across the country. After graduation I plan to return to Payne Financial Strategies and begin my career helping people reach financial freedom. 

I have loved my time in Manhattan and have been involved in the community as a student firefighter for the Manhattan Fire Department and mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Riley County. Apart from school and work, I enjoy being surrounded by my two older siblings Justin and Kristen and two parents. I also enjoy hunting and fishing and have developed a passion for real estate investing. I look forward to starting a real estate holdings company in the future with my partner, Jack. We hope you all find this podcast interesting and helpful. 


Thomas Meek • Editor-in-chief

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My name is Thomas and I'm a student at Kansas State studying Personal Financial Planning with a minor in Spanish. I am currently a Peer Counselor with Powercat Financial at K-State and Peer Advisor in the Education Abroad Office. Aside from work, I am the Vice President of our Kansas State Financial Planing Association chapter and involved with Christian Challenge.

Although I have not yet had an internship in the financial planing realm, I have experience in sales at Brown's Shoe Fit Co. and advising experience through my current position as a Peer Counselor at Powercat Financial. I spent time last summer on a study abroad program in Heredia, Costa Rica practicing my Spanish. I am passionate about financial planning because it offers a unique way to help make people's lives better. I enjoy taking my financial planning classes and learning about everything that goes into financial planning. I joined School Smart, Money Stupid to help increase the financial literacy of young adults in America and hope we can help you.

In my free time, I love traveling to new places. In the last year, I have been to Florida, Costa Rica, New York, and Chicago. I enjoy learning about other areas and cultures and would love your traveling recommendations. I also enjoy Kansas State sports, listening to music, and reading books. That's a little more about myself, now let's get you Money Smart!