Where are you from and how long have you lived in town? What brought you to the area?
I grew up in the small farming community of Monroe Wisconsin. I graduated from University of Wisconsin Whitewater (the Harvard of the Midwest!) with my now wife, Kat. Kat accepted a job in Deerfield with Walgreens around the time I joined the Broker/Dealer Money Concepts and settled in Libertyville. The Tranel Financial Group was established in October 1988.
Do you have child(ren)? Age(s)
I have 2 children: Jenna Bradford (28) and Alec Tranel (26). I am very fortunate to be very close to both. I also have a son in law, Jordan Bradford. Luckily our family has similar hobbies such a motorcycling, camping and the outdoors.
What are your favorite things to do in the area?
Our kids are our friends too, so when we go out, we like to invite them from time to time. We love to go to Dos Amigos after church on Sundays or to Austin’s for dinner dates.
Can you share your TOP 5 favorite local businesses? It could be stores that you frequent for clothes, home decor, healthcare, fitness, wellness, beauty salons or spas, or family resources (photographer, financial advisor, lawyer)… We love supporting local.
My favorite spot in Libertyville is Optimize Chiropractic because I walk better when I leave! I also frequent Ace Hardware as my daughter seems to think I am her handyman. Throughout the summer I enjoy Car Fun on 21 as antique cars and motorcycles are a fun hobby of mine. After Car Fun on 21, occasionally we head to O’Tooles. They have great outdoor seating and sometimes my daughter will stop by with her dog, Burt. The last place I love to go in Libertyville is the Harley Davidson dealer. You can catch me in the back service area checking out the other bikes.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor or in the corporate world?
I have been and currently am involved with The Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association. So is my son Alec. We are involved in raising money and awareness for those with physical disabilities, to support a healthy and happy lifestyle. With that, we engage with these athletes through sports and exercise to fuel their competitive side. Alec has been an athlete since a child and is now also a coach. Therefore, it has been a fun 20 years watching my son grow and then give back to something that helped him throughout the years.
When and how did your business come to be?
The Tranel Financial Group originated in 1988 at 112 Lake Street in Libertyville with two rooms and a reception area. During that time, my wife and I did it all; financial advising, receptionist, janitor, client service, file clerk, etc. As we added team members to help with those responsibilities, we moved to 401 S Milwaukee Avenue and quickly outgrew out that location, to where we are now at 1509 N Milwaukee Avenue.
We currently help over 2000 clients from around the country. Our business is people and making every day amazing by helping them reach their ideal financial life. I am proud of our team and the growth we are achieving year after year. In 2013 The Tranel Financial Group developed a sister company called Liberty One Investment Management. Currently we are in the process of developing yet another financial related firm, with more details to come. One of the biggest accomplishments our firm does not talk enough about is that we were at the forefront of fee-based business. We were the first at our Broker/Dealer to establish a fee-based business and are proud to have been doing it since 1988.
Tell us about your career prior to starting your business.
Growing up, I worked on my family farm as well as many farms in the community. While in college I worked as a painter, brick mason, food service worker and campus building manager. After college I moved to Illinois and joined Osco Drug as a Manager Trainee. I was young and inexperienced but learned quickly how to manage a team! During this time, it allowed me a safe place to grow, make mistakes and learn how to be a great manager with empathy. My degree in Sociology, helped me as an inexperienced young man relate and better connect with my team. It was a few years later as a Personnel manager that I met a Regional Director for our Broker/Dealer, Money Concepts.
Can you tell us about the service offerings provided by The Tranel Financial Group and what sets you apart?
It is our hands on approach to financial advising that sets us apart. With so many firms taking a step back from interaction with clients and using “bots” instead of people, we have been taking the time build emotional connections. This gives clients the faith that we will listen to their needs and get the job done.
Tranel is committed to being very involved in the community. Can you tell us more about this??
The Tranel Financial Group abides by our business is people and making everyday amazing. People are all around us, family, friends, clients, local community, church, and sporting groups. When working at our firm, we embody a culture that gives back and ensures we are making people’s day regardless if at work or any other social situations. We give 2 paid days per year to each team member to volunteer at a charity that is special to them, and as a team we do 1 community event per quarter. It’s important our community is thriving as we want to be a part of something bigger. Please reach out to us if anyone is looking for sponsorship, volunteers, or a board member.
Many creative business ideas and changes came out of this past year and a half. Do you have a pandemic pivot you would like to share?
A pandemic pivot The Tranel Financial Group acquired was reaching more people through technology. We are now branching into all 50 states via technology. Before the pandemic, we were in 30 states, and now we are expanding our reach to the entire nation. We are excited to see how we can continue to help make every day amazing!
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
MainStreet Libertyville is stronger than ever, and we have been working with each other for years. Their advertising base is widespread and reaches many surrounding communities. The same can be said of the GLMV; many smart, talented individuals working together to make a solid community presence.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I think most people would be surprised to learn that I am an introvert by nature. I have a passion for helping people therefore I have learned how to use my energy to help others, which, is a rewarding experience.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from a Mentor?
Jesus is always a great mentor and a good place for me to stay grounded. The best quote/advice I go back to again and again is Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”
Which podcasts and/or TED Talks inspire you the most?
Ed Mylett has an impactful podcast that I listen to weekly. He interviews great guests from all walks of life, which allows me to hear many perspectives and helps me motivate different areas of my life. It is important to actively listen to all walks of life and it’s the guest’s motivation that motivates me to be the best version of myself. It’s a great reminder to focus on different areas of my life that I might not be giving as much attention to. Craig Groschel also has a great podcast and Instagram page which has daily prayers and messages to ground you. Craig does a great job of quieting your mind and refocusing it to what matters.
Tell me about your favorite book/s. I love receiving fiction and non-fiction recommendations!
Our firm holds a book club once a quarter and we just read a great book called the Humanized Leader. It bridges stereotypes of old corporate leadership to modernized leading. The best sections talked about empathy, as we all need a little more of it while navigating this pandemic.
What is your favorite thing about the Libertyville Area Moms Network?
Response from my Director of Sales and Marketing: (direct POC to LAM)
Working with Sarah at Libertyville Area Moms is like a dream. Her biggest competitive edge is her caring nature and kindness to those around her. LAM is a great way to support Libertyville and stay up to date on local businesses/offerings. My favorite part about working with Sarah is constantly learning new things about our local area and activities. Just when I think I know all the little secret gems, LAM finds another!
What is next for you?
An amazing and impactful 2022!
*This post was sponsored by The Tranel Financial Group