Our Team | Commonwealth Financial Network - Mike Sanders
William Michael Sanders, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®
Wealth Advisor, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner
What matters most to you in life and why? This is a big question that Mike may ask to better understand the goals and dreams of his clients. Mike may ask questions that other financial advisors won't because his clients’ vision of the future is unique to them; he is willing to help pursue their goals and dreams. He is here to provide guidance to others who are ready to retire, saving for retirement, or investing inheritance money for future endeavors. Mike develops a personalized financial plan for everyone based on their goals and dreams. When people find the right advisor, life can be brilliant.
Mike grew up on a farm in West Branch, Michigan, working for his uncle’s dairy farm bailing hay, mucking stalls, and picking rocks out of the field. He also worked for his family’s side business cutting, stacking, and delivering wood. He learned early on the value of hard work and, during the years of college, that his interest in personal finance and helping and educating others was a strong passion of his. He wanted to work in the financial industry and help others plan for retirement.
He met his wife, Tammy, the summer of his sophomore year and have been married since 1994. He has four beautiful children: Collin, Christian, Caitlynn, and Camrynn. He enjoys coaching them along with other local youths in baseball, softball, football, and wrestling. Mike was vice president and co-founder of the Gull Lake Youth Wrestling Club (GLYWC), and president and co-founder of Gull Lake Storm/Thunderstorm Travel Baseball and Softball. Mike ran his first 5k in September 2015 and his first half-marathon for Borgess in May 2016. Some of Mike's hobbies include golfing, camping, hunting, and fishing. He has also trained his dog Chaz to bird hunt.
Mike is involved in many community outreach endeavors. He was president and is now a member of the Plainwell Rotarian Club, which is an organization that has the motto “Service Above Self,” conveying a strong humanitarian spirit among the fellowship. The Rotary Club of Plainwell has recently recognized Mike as their Rotary Hero. Mike is willing to help others, which includes calling them, running errands, and providing transportation if needed. He values experience and hands-on help, which greatly contribute to the club’s success.
William Michael Sanders is proud to have been recognized as a Business Experience advisor for 2021—a distinction based on annual production that places him among the top 52 percent of advisors affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network.
Each year, Commonwealth, the firm we partner with to help us better serve you, recognizes Business Experience advisors by inviting them to an exclusive gathering of their peers, leading industry experts, and Commonwealth home office staff. Business Experience advisors benefit from an intensive learning and networking experience designed to help them hone their expertise, share best practices, and provide ever-higher levels of service, education, and leadership to their clients.
Director of Operations / Client Services Director
Brad was born and raised in Kalamazoo. He was a multi-sport athlete in high school before he graduated in 2008 and enrolled at Western Michigan University to chase his baseball dreams. After a semester at WMU, he transferred to Michigan State University to complete his education and graduated in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in economics. Outside of the office, he enjoys traveling, snowboarding, and playing golf.
Brad Helsen joined Mike's practice in January 2015 after moving back to the Kalamazoo area from Royal Oak. Having previously worked in sales within the mortgage industry, Brad believes in a client-first approach and has upheld this in his day-to-day operations of the practice. In his current position as director of operations/client services director, he develops, communicates, and implements effective processes, including growth strategies, workflow initiatives, and improvements in the client experience.
Financial Planning Coordinator
Ali grew up in Portage/Richland, Michigan. She was a Gull Lake graduate (2016) and an Alma College graduate (2019) with a bachelor of arts (communication and mathematics). Ali was a part of many programs and extracurricular activities at Alma College. She marched for four years in the Kiltie Marching Band and was involved with the Music Honorary (Sigma Alpha Iota). She excelled in academics, being inducted into both the Communication Honorary (Lambda Pi Eta) and Mathematic Honorary (Pi Mu Epsilon). She was a member of the Math Club, King Chavez Parks (KCP) Program, and Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority.
When Ali is not working, she enjoys spending time with her farm animals, her dog Gobi, and her cat Smokey. Some of her hobbies include painting, baking, cooking, skiing, gardening, and traveling. She recently got married to her husband, Jesse Bright, whom she met in the summer of 2019.
Ali Shoemaker took an internship with Mike in the summer of 2019. Once she finished school in December 2019, she accepted a full-time job and started in January 2020. Ali communicates efficiently, is well organized with our clients, and provides a friendly atmosphere in the office.