Founded in 1996, Calder & Colegrove Investment Group (CCIG) is a family owned and operated practice – providing access to financial planning and investment advice throughout the great state of Georgia and beyond. CCIG is aligned with LPL Financial, the largest independent broker dealer in the nation, based on total revenue (Source: Financial Planning Magazine, 1996-2016). Its roots were bound by family from the very beginning. Our founder, James Calder, started CCIG in 1996 and 5 years later, recruited his son-in-law, John Colegrove, to join the firm. But their relationship extends beyond the “in-law” tag. Known to his friends and family as JC, James Calder has served as a mentor to John Colegrove. John’s thoughts on the subject are quite revealing: In life, I believe one of the greatest gifts any man or woman can give to their children, is to pass on their passion and skills for a craft that they themselves loved and enjoyed. As it pertains to financial planning and life in general, JC has mentored me, and quite frankly, through these many years of life and business lessons, I consider him to be more of a father to me than just a father-in-law.
In June of 2015, JC and John completed the successful transition of the practice. JC is now semi-retired but continues to enjoy serving as an LPL Financial Advisor and as a mentor to John. In August of 2016, as a result of growth, CCIG moved the office to a new facility in beautiful Suwanee, Georgia.
James W. Calder, CEP®
Known to his friends and family as JC, James Calder attributes his success in business to his roots as a dairy farmer, where we worked alongside his father on the family farm near Kintore, Ontario (Canada).
As a young man, he sought the American dream. But to chase the American dream, he knew gaining a college degree was important. To pay for college, he signed up to sell books door-to-door through the Southwestern Advantage Company, based in Nashville, Tennessee. He quickly rose through the ranks as one of the most successful bookmen in the 176-year storied history of the company. After graduating from Houghton College, he served for 10 years as a Sales Manager for SW Advantage, where he recruited and trained thousands of young men and women in the art of selling books and operating a business. But to JC, he soon realized that the influence he was having on these young men and women was much more important than just selling books. It was through this vocation as a sales manager that JC realized his ability to help develop youth to the glory of Jesus Christ. To this day, 40+ years later, many of those men and women whom he influenced are still close friends and they attribute their walk in life and their walk with Christ due to their association and training with JC and his team.
Following his career with SW Advantage, JC owned and operated a printing franchise with a partner, which achieved a #2 ranking in the nation. In 1996, James Calder embarked on his third successful career as an LPL Financial Advisor, where he founded Calder & Colegrove Investment Group. During his financial planning career, JC was recognized for his outstanding accomplishments as a member of the prestigious Chairman’s Club—a recognition of the top 10% of the 14,000 advisors affiliated with LPL Financial, based on annual production in 2014. A recruiter at heart, JC had one more recruiting job to complete. His son-in-law, John Colegrove, was starting his music teaching career. Through many years of patience and with an eye for recognizing business talent, JC mentored and recruited John into the business in 2001 – setting in motion the beginning of a 15-year succession plan. That succession plan was realized in June of 2015, when John and JC completed the successful transition of Calder & Colegrove Investment group. Although blessed in business, JC acknowledges that his greatest accomplishments in life include the following—in this order:
- A faithful follower of Christ since 1964
- 49 years of marriage to Jeannie Calder
- 4 beautiful and successful daughters
- 6 grandchildren
Today, JC continues to lead an active life in semi-retirement. He remains an LPL Financial Advisor and serves as the Treasurer for the Hamilton Mill United Methodist Church. He and his wife Jeannie reside in Dacula.
Dr. John Colegrove, CFP®
Affectionately nicknamed Dr. John by his former students at Athens Academy, John Colegrove is a passionate proponent of financial education as a basis for marital harmony. His unique background was instrumental in the drive that created Dr. John’s burning desire to help families through financial planning.
In his youth, Dr. John grew up in a family where money issues abounded. As those money issues grew worse, so did the marriage of his parents. And when he was 17 years old, his parents divorced. But in those dark times, he was carried through by his love of music – specifically, playing the trombone. Because of the money issues that were prevalent for his family at the time, Dr. John’s opportunity to attend college was dependent on his ability to earn scholarships. And through countless hours of practice on his trombone, he won a Redcoat Band scholarship to attend the University of Georgia as a Music Education major. And it was through his years in the Redcoat Band that Dr. John met a sweet young lady by the name of Ruthie Calder (JC’s second daughter). So not only did the Redcoat Band help pay his way through school but it also introduced him to his bride. In 1993, Dr. John earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from UGA.
With his love for music and band, he decided to continue his education with the goal of becoming a college band director and a master teacher of trombone. And as it pertains to college marching bands, perhaps the most critically acclaimed college marching band in the country is the Band of the Fighting Irish at the University of Notre Dame. With that goal in mind, Dr. John packed up his trombone, headed up to South Bend and auditioned. By the time he returned home, his dream of attending the University of Notre Dame had become a reality, as he was awarded a full graduate assistantship. While at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. John served as the Graduate Assistant Director of Bands and also won the position as the Bass Trombonist in the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. And he realized another dream when he was hired to play bass trombone for a concert with the famed Manhattan Transfer. Dr. John earned his Master’s in Music Performance and Literature from the University of Notre Dame in 1995. And soon after graduation, in that same year, John and Ruthie were married. Since Ruthie had one more year to complete her Music Education degree at UGA, Dr. John decided to take a break from school and he was hired as a Car Salesman at Barrett Dodge in Athens, Georgia—a position he served from 1995-96. It was through his experience as a car salesman at Barrett Dodge that Dr. John was first introduced to the world of business. To this day, he counts his influence from Dan Barrett, Carl Terry, and Shorty Elrod as instrumental to his career.
At the conclusion of the Atlanta Olympics in the summer of 1996, Dr. John and Ruthie moved to Greensboro, North Carolina to continue their music studies. Ruthie began her Master’s Degree program in music and Dr. John was awarded a full teaching assistantship and entered the Doctorate program at UNC Greensboro. With his focus on the prize of teaching college music, Dr. John focused all his energy on teaching, playing, and studying for the next three years. He taught trombone as a Teaching Assistant at UNC Greensboro and at Wake Forest University. He played occasional gigs with the likes of the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra in Virginia. And he wrote music arrangements that were performed by the U.S. Army Band. Finally, in May of 1999, he earned his terminal degree—a Doctorate in Musical Arts (DMA) from UNC Greensboro.
But for him, something was terribly wrong. This should have been a time of celebrating. He had completed over a decade of college and was ready to launch a career in college music teaching. But upon reflection in later years, Dr. John realized that God was stirring something in him, but he didn’t yet know what it was at the time. What he did know was somewhere along the line in his doctorate program, his love for music had turned to spitefulness. As he began to pull off the blinders due to years of focused determination, Dr. John began to realize that life as a college music teacher didn’t suit him. It was a horrible revelation that manifested shortly after completing his doctorate. From the time he was a teenager until he turned 30 years old, Dr. John was seeking a career in music education. And now that he was at the cusp of that dream, he found that he no longer desired that profession.
During this transition, Dr. John fought against the tide that was taking him away from music. He returned to South Bend, Indiana, perhaps hoping to rekindle the lost passion for music as he sought a position at the University of Notre Dame. But it wasn’t to be. He returned back home to Athens and decided to give music one more shot. And in the year 2000, he was hired as the Band Director at Athens Academy. Although he developed wonderful friendships and mentored students, to whom he still is in contact today, Dr. John finally came to terms with the fact that he no longer had any desire to teach in the field of music. After completing his one year at Athens Academy, he resigned. But deep down inside, he knew that he loved teaching. During this same period of transition, his father-in-law, James Calder (JC), offered much support. What Dr. John didn’t realize was that JC had identified in him, a talent for business. Over time, he talked with JC, who was himself an established financial planner. Through the mentorship of JC, once Dr. John realized that financial planning involved teaching and helping, his interest peaked. And a new relationship with JC, his father-in-law, began. JC served as his mentor and gave Dr. John his most important lesson of his life. Eager to start his training and gain his licenses to enter the financial planning profession, he first had to endure JC’s prerequisite. JC put it this way: John: If you want to become a financial planner, you need to enter a boot-camp program for business.
JC remarked that the majority of businessmen, especially financial planners, fail at the business. And statistics support his statement. Less than one-third of financial planners who enter the business are still practicing two years later. As JC said, John, I’m not going to manage you. This business is hard. It’s competitive. It’s very rewarding both emotionally and financially, but it’s hard to be successful. And that’s why if you want me to sponsor you in the business, you need to prove your worth in the field. I want you to go sell books, door-to-door for a summer through Southwestern Advantage.
As he recalls, Dr. John wasn’t too thrilled at selling books door-to-door. But in the summer of 2001, he headed up to Nashville for two weeks of training at Southwestern Advantage. His assigned territory was in Provo, Utah. So for 10 weeks in the summer of 2001, he knocked on doors from 7:45am – 9:45pm, Monday through Saturday. Through that summer, Dr. John learned how to navigate the challenges of knocking on doors and selling books. He learned how to “control the controllables,” which is a phrase that abounded through the culture at Southwestern due to JC’s influence there years before. After completing the summer, Dr. John returned home to study and earn the required licenses to join the profession. And during the week of September 10th, 2001, he was in a week-long class preparing for the FINRA Series 7 examination. We all remember where we were on that Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001. For Dr. John, he was sitting in a classroom, studying and preparing to take his license exams.
Starting a career in the midst of 9/11 was challenging, but slowly, his business began to build and prosper. By year 2007, Dr. John had begun to enjoy modest success. But then the Great Recession hit in 2008. The economy faltered. Banks faltered. The stock market fell hard and financial advisors dropped out of the business in droves. Now in retrospect, Dr. John was blessed to have worked for SW Advantage selling books. It helped him stay the course. It helped him navigate his clients through the Great Recession. But the toll from the Great Recession was painful for his clients so Dr. John sought to find a way to help clients navigate these difficult financial times. And through the trials and tribulations of 2008, a great success was born. At the behest of some of his clients, Dr. John learned about Dave Ramsey and his infamous Financial Peace University class. He installed and coordinated it at his church – Simpsonwood United Methodist Church in Peachtree Corners. That experience was profoundly influential as he describes: Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps are good for the consumer. But they are great for the practitioner. Dr. John embraced Dave’s philosophy and applied to be a trusted partner, through the Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) for Investing. He was honored serve as one of Dave’s referral partners from 2013-2017. However, due to reglatory considerations, Dave Ramsey’s team was forced to make changes to the program that changed it from a referral program to a direct advertising program. And therefore, Dr. John exited the program in 2017. Although he is no longer a member of the program, Dr. John will always profess those same sound principals.
As an advocate of continuing education, Dr. John decided that he wanted to further his education through the most widely recognized designation standard in the industry, which is the CFP® Professional designation. Therefore, he enrolled in the two-year Financial Planning Certificate Program at Oglethorpe University. After completing the program, Dr. John passed the CFP Board exam and earned the designation as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. Earning this designation also coincided with the successful transition of Calder & Colegrove Investment Group, as James Calder entered semi-retirement and sold his practice to Dr. John. In 2016, Dr. John was recognized by LPL Financial as a member of the prestigious Director’s Club, based on annual production. Additionally, in his segment, Calder & Colegrove Investment Group was ranked #1 at LPL Financial (based on growth in the previous 12 months).
Without a doubt, this is one of the longest biographies you may have encountered. But the reason Dr. John wanted to share his story with you is because of his unique journey. His comments on the matter are quite revealing:
I do not believe in coincidences. God had a plan for me. He used the financial challenges of my family during my youth to impress upon me the destructive power that money conflicts impose on marriages. Through my years in music, he shaped me into a passionate and compassionate teacher. And when He was ready to peel away music as my vocation, He replaced it with something that was far greater than I could have ever realized. For the person who views my situation superficially, it might appear that I wasted all those years in college. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. I was honing my skill as a teacher. I was learning how to teach in a one-on-one setting, which is the basis of instruction in music, and not coincidentally, is also the basis for financial planning advice. So then, with those pieces in place, God revealed His love for me and blessed me with a career in financial planning. But God has high expectations after gracing me with such a blessing. And the confluence of all these circumstances has manifested into my mission statement, which is as follows:
We empower clients to strike-out debt, build wealth, and develop a legacy for their family and community.
Dr. John wishes to express a debt of gratitude to the prominent teachers, mentors and family members who have directly led to the success he enjoys today:
First in line is my Mom, Susan Colegrove. Mom was my first hero in life. Through the difficult circumstances that our family endured, she was the one who took the weight of the world on her shoulders. Through those challenging times, my work ethic was developed and a “no excuse” mentality was forged on my heart. Most importantly, was that during the darkest days, Mom modeled to me her faith in Jesus Christ. She taught me to “give it all up to Him.” And she did that on countless occasions. ‘I was watching you, Mom. And my faith walk began through your example. I will always love you.’
Dr. Philip Jameson, UGA Trombone Professor: My mentor from the time I was in high school and through to this day is Dr. Philip Jameson. When you spend years engaging in one-on-one teaching with a master teacher, you develop a close bond that is not easily explained. He taught me everything I know about trombone. But he instilled in me something more important. He invested in me, that which he loved most, which was playing the trombone. I truly believe that when a man or woman takes time to teach their beloved craft to another, they have passed on the best of themselves. Because of his faithful investment in my life, Dr. Jameson will always hold a special place in my heart.
Along with Dr. Philip Jameson, his wife, Patricia Jameson, has also been very influential to me. Mrs. Jameson was my first band director at Hilsman Middle School in 1980. She has an unquenchable passion for music and is one of those “fun” teachers that we all remember from our childhood. She was my first music teacher. And she gave me my first trombone. Thank you, Mrs. Jameson!
Larry McLure, Band Director at Cedar Shoals High School: Through my 4 years at Cedar Shoals High School, Mr. McLure helped me cultivate my love for music, especially jazz. Our jazz band was more like a music laboratory where open experiments in improvisation were encouraged. Mr. McLure was one of the most successful high school band directors in the history of music teaching in the state of Georgia. And he demanded excellence. When our group was goofing off, he was quick to put his “quote of the day” in front of us. I especially remember this one: ‘It’s hard to soar with Eagles when you are surrounded by a bunch of turkeys.’ Mr. McLure also gave me my first taste of business. For students whose family couldn’t afford to write a check for band trips, Mr. McLure taught us how to sell oranges door-to-door so we could pay our own way. As influential as he was to me in music, looking back at it now, I think he was also my first mentor in business.
Frank Crisafulli (1916-1998) a 52-year member as a Trombonist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra: During my Master’s Degree program at the University of Notre Dame, I was fortunate to take trombone lessons from Frank Crisafulli. Mr. Crisafulli is one of the most well-known and respected trombonists in the history of music in the United States. A 52-year member of the famed Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he instilled in me a passion and love of music like no other. He taught me a valuable lesson, which I still use in business. At the conclusion of each lesson, I left his home playing better than I did when I arrived. So when I conclude a client meeting, my goal is to have clients leave the office feeling better about their finances than the moment they walked in the door. Mr. Crisafulli is no longer with us but I’m sure that he is enjoying his perfect trombone playing in Heaven, to the Glory of God.
Randy Kohlenberg, Professor of Trombone at UNC Greensboro: Dr. Kohlenberg served several important roles in my life. He was an outstanding trombone teacher and instilled in me a manner by which I learned how to teach an individual based on their most fundamental needs. This concept is hard to put into words, but it greatly serves me to this day. He also worked with me tirelessly, in order to help see me complete my dissertation, which was the last step to earning my Doctorate. I will always be grateful to him for the hundreds of hours of time he spent teaching and working with me at UNC Greensboro.
James Calder: Throughout the words in this bio, I’ve attempted to express the impact that James Calder has had on my life. But words do not serve justice to the influence he’s had on me. His teaching and love has affected my heart, not just my life. The first time I attended a church with a more evangelical setting was a watershed moment in my life. And so his open expression of love and faith in Jesus has been remarkably influential on me. And of course, his mentorship in business has been invaluable as well. But the greatest gift James Calder has given me, is his daughter’s hand in marriage. I owe a debt to him that cannot be repaid.
I saved the most important for last, and that is my wife, Ruthie Colegrove: My hope in life for anyone who enjoys marriage is that you marry your best friend. From the first day Ruthie and I met, God forged in us a forever friendship that is not easily expressed in words. We met in the UGA Redcoat Band and our connection through music remains to this day. Ruthie is a woman that is so grounded in her faith-walk with Jesus. I remember when I was growing up that I felt like a big part of my life was just a void. I was missing something very important. And so I used to pray to God to deliver a great woman to me. He answered my prayer in a way only God can understand. And from that moment when Ruthie and I first met through now, my life has been a blessing, because that missing part of my life has been satiated. She is my rock. She is a phenomenal mother to our children. She is a leader at her school. And she is loved by her students at Wesleyan School.
Dr. John is a long-time resident of the great state of Georgia. In his spare time, he enjoys playing trombone and is a member of the Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra. He and Ruthie have been married since 1995. John and Ruthie have two children and reside in Peachtree Corners.
Linda Nabinger – Client Data Manager
The longest tenured staff team member on our team, Linda Nabinger has served faithfully as the Client Data Manager and Office Manager for CCIG since 2003. Linda is in charge of maintaining our database of over 600 households and additionally, she manages and delegates the office tasks to each team member. Her position and work is vital to the success of our firm and she is revered not only by our team but especially by our clients as well. Linda holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the LPL Financial AdminU Program. She and her husband Mark have two children and reside in Lawrenceville. Note: AdminU is a training program designed to enable LPL Financial Advisor’s administrative staff to better support their office in the areas of client service, office management, leadership, operations, and marketing. There are three degree curricula: Specialist, Associate, and Bachelor. Each represents a different level of knowledge and skills.
Carrie Hadden – Client Account Manager
As the Client Account Manager for CCIG, Carrie processes all investment account updates and she is charged to open all new investments accounts. Carrie’s first experience in the securities industry dates back to 1996, when she first started working with a mutual fund company. Prior to her current position with CCIG, she served in brokerage operations for Kent-Bartchy Investment Resources, SEI Investments and New England Securities. Carrie currently holds the FINRA Series 6 registration through LPL Financial. When she’s not at work, Carrie is busy enjoying her garden and spending time with her husband Charles and their three children.
Teresa Shaffer – Director of First Impressions
The success of a financial planning practice is completely dependent on the accurate and timely processing of client requests for meetings. And to that end, CCIG is proud to be served by Teresa Shaffer. On an annual basis, Teresa successfully coordinates approximately 750 appointments each year for our team. Prior to her tenure at CCIG, Teresa attended The University of Central Florida / The University of Florida, where she obtain her Bachelors of Science, followed by serving twelve years as an Asset Manager for Trammell Crow Company. She is an active volunteer, having served both at church and through school. She and her husband Jeff have two children.
Kathy Angi – Associate Director of First Impressions
Previous to her position at CCIG, Kathy has enjoyed a career both in the office and in the home. Most interestingly, Kathy was a Quality Assurance Manager for Motorola, where she worked on the U.S. Space Station. A proud graduate of the University of Arkansas, Kathy holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Industrial Engineering. A recent cancer survivor, Kathy and her husband Ken have two children.
Katie Stepp – Coordinator of Digital Data Conversion
A graduate from Wesleyan School in Peachtree Corners, Katie Stepp has coordinated the digital conversion of 20 years of paper files. Katie completed this 2-year project in the summer of 2016. A student at the University of West Georgia, Katie is scheduled to graduate in 2018.