Meet the Professionals

Cathy
Mendell

President & Founder

Vikki
Groshong

Client Services Specialist

Ryan
Sanford

Financial Advisor

Leslie
Nelson

Marketing & Events Manager

Derrick
Hanson

Financial Advisor

Rachel
Gonzalez

Operations Assistant

Lori
Robinson

Director of Client Services

Darah
Bybee

Director of First Impressions

Saori
McRill

Client Services Specialist

Heather
Wilson

Data Entry Specialist

Cathy
Mendell

President & Founder

Derrick
Hanson

Financial Advisor

Saori
McRill

Client Services Specialist

Leslie
Nelson

Marketing & Events Manager

Ryan
Sanford

Financial Advisor

Lori
Robinson

Director of Client Services

Vikki
Groshong

Client Services Specialist

Rachel
Gonzalez

Operations Assistant

Darah
Bybee

Director of First Impressions

Heather
Wilson

Data Entry Specialist 

Elevation Capital Strategies

  • Elevated Discipline​
  • Elevated Wealth Management
  • Elevated Philosophy​
  • Strategies for Financial Independence​

We only use investments that are aligned with your goals and risk tolerances. Each portfolio is uniquely crafted based on your specific needs and level of comfort. Each portfolio is built to help provide the right amount of durable income in retirement.

The investments provided are designed to help offset the long-term effects that inflation can have on your income. They are chosen to help maintain an appropriate amount of liquidity for unexpected expenses. We will recommend avoiding high-fee investments like Variable Annuities or loaded Mutual Funds. Unnecessary fees can have a significant negative effect on your returns.

We actively manage investments in a tax-efficient manner to help reduce any unnecessary future tax liabilities. Tax rates may be going up significantly. We are here to help you prepare with a plan. Our goal is to allow you to go out and enjoy your retirement without having to worry if tomorrow will be a good day or a bad day in the stock markets.

Are the ups and downs of the market causing you to stress about your retirement? You can’t control the market, but you can control how you invest in the market.

What if your investments were able to actively assess market conditions and get in or out when it made sense? This is called active management and it is how we manage money at Elevation Capital Advisory.

Our reputation is built on a long track record of working with people through the market ups and downs. We provide financial advice to those who want to actively grow their assets while having a strategy in place to help minimize their downside exposure.

We are not trying to hit a “home run” year over year in the markets. We believe it is about consistent wins “one base at a time.”

It is about growing and protecting your wealth so that you can enjoy your retirement and the fruits of your labors.

We believe that regardless of market conditions, if you look in the right places, you can still make money. Some people look at the big picture, while others look at the granular details.

We believe in looking at groups that move together. It helps us actively invest with greater efficiency and seeks a higher probability of better returns. We do this by categorizing investment opportunities by sector. From there, it is as simple as looking for the right trends to invest in and sell out.

Here is a brief outline of how we invest:

  • Actively manage by sector
  • Cut losses quickly when markets go down
  • Invest more when markets go up

Cathy, Ryan, and Derrick, along with their staff, focus on helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of financial products to custom suit their needs and objectives.

All are licensed insurance professionals with Elevation Capital Strategies.

Ryan Sanford and Derick Hanson are Investment Adviser Representatives with Elevation Capital Advisory, LLC. Insurance products and services offered through its affiliate, Elevation Capital Strategies. Investment advisory services offered by Elevation Capital Advisory, LLC., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.

Our simple no-obligation 4-Step Review is a great way of helping you to determine if your current strategies match up with your plans for today and for your future.

Giving Back

The orphanage is located just southeast of Nairobi, and sits on a 3 ½ -acre parcel of land on the Kenyan Savannah. It now sustains the well-being of 36 beautiful children. They are a very small part of an estimated 2.5 million orphans in Kenya alone who have lost parents due to war, malaria and the AIDS epidemic.

Living in deplorable conditions on the streets, life was a daily struggle for these children. Now, however, they live, learn and love in a healthy, stable place they can call home.

Named “The Promised Land”, this orphanage is humble in appearance, and like the Promised Land of the Bible, this land is a blessing and gives hope of a better, brighter future for these children. The smiles on their faces attest to that.

The orphanage consists of a dormitory housing the children, a director’s quarters, a bathhouse, a kitchen and a multi-use room.

It is our vision to grow our family of “The Promised Land” by welcoming more displaced children to nurture and love, and to teach them to claim their inheritance in the promises of God.

Cathy Mendell

President & Founder

Cathy Mendell is the President and Founder of Elevation Capital Strategies, an independent financial services firm designed to help individuals create their own retirement strategy. As a licensed insurance agent, Cathy specializes in creating simple and powerful retirement solutions. She is passionate about helping her clients achieve financial security and independence because everyone deserves a secure and independent retirement.

We will help you build your Retirement Blueprint for a solid ground up strategy for your personal retirement goals. Cathy has authored numerous national and local publications, and as a radio show host, appearing on KBND 100.1 FM or 1110 AM, Tuesdays at 12:46pm and 1:46pm.

Outside of work Cathy and her husband, Arlan, enjoy spending time with their three grown sons and two grandchildren. Together Cathy and Arlan are the directors for Orphanages of Kenya, located in Nairobi, Kenya.

Vikki Groshong

Client Service Specialist

Vikki Groshong is Elevation Capital’s Client Services Specialist. She works hard to make sure new clients have a seamless transition process and is the go-to person for any questions relating to paperwork and the onboarding process.

Vikki came to us with a background in accounting and bookkeeping in both the public and private sector. Her attention to detail and thoroughness made her a natural fit at Elevation Capital.

In her spare time Vikki loves to be hiking, camping, skiing and cooking. Her and her husband, Greg, enjoy visiting their 2 adult children and gathering together with family and friends.

Ryan Sanford

Financial Advisor

Ryan Sanford is an investment advisor representative of Elevation Capital Advisory. Ryan specializes in guiding retirees and pre-retirees in retirement income planning, and wealth preservation. He joined the team at Elevation Capital Strategies in 2014, and holds his Series 65 securities registration and insurance license in the state of Oregon.

Ryan brings a great mix of education and experience along with his genuine desire to help people. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a Master of Business Administration degree. He also has a decade of corporate finance experience where he worked as chief financial officer of a corporation.

Ryan’s combined love for numbers, math, and people, making him a perfect fit for financial planning. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and five children.

Leslie Rodgers

Leslie Nelson

Marketing & Events Manager

Leslie Nelson is Elevation Capital Strategies Marketing and Events Manager. If you attend one of our outreach or client appreciation events, you will surely hear from Leslie to confirm your attendance and go over logistics. She also jumps in to assist reception and other staff members when needed and can help make sure that all your questions get answered by the proper person.

Leslie comes to us with a background in insurance, sales and marketing and a genuine desire to create meaningful and educational experiences through effective marketing and event planning. She finds joy in offering outstanding customer service and developing genuine relationships.

Hailing from Bend, Leslie has a deep knowledge and appreciation for Central Oregon values and lifestyle. In her free time, you can find her writing, painting, trail running with her dog and sharing laughs with friends around a campfire.

Derrick Hanson

Financial Advisor

Derrick Hanson is an investment advisor representative of Elevation Capital Advisory. Derrick joined ECS in Spring of 2018, and his focus is on helping clients build and maintain wealth. He develops income plans for those who are at or near retirement, analyzes investment portfolios, and determines future investment strategy allocations for clients.

Derrick spent the first 10 years of his career with a life insurance company that specialized in the ultra-high net worth market, where he learned the value of understanding the specifics of financial instruments and the role they play in an overall financial plan.

Derrick holds current CLU® and ChFC® designations from The American College, his Oregon life/health insurance license, his Series 65 securities registration, and is working toward his CFP®. Outside the office, he enjoys spending time with his wife and sons, playing sports, and tutoring math.

Rachel Gonzalez

Operations Assistant

Rachel Gonzalez joined the Elevation team in 2019 to help with back-office organization. Her helpful and dynamic personality quickly became an asset the team couldn’t live without, and Rachel is now assisting daily operations across all departments as the Operations Assistant.

You can find Rachel answering phones, greeting clients, and working behind the scenes to make sure that operations are always running smoothly and efficiently.

Rachel has a passion for the business world and is currently completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Business through the University of Phoenix. When she is not busy working or studying, Rachel loves to explore all that Central Oregon has to offer with her husband, dog and 4 siblings. You can find her hiking, kayaking and driving down backroads in her Jeep.

Lori Robinson

Lori Robinson

Director of Client Services

Lori Robinson is our director of client services at Elevation Capital Strategies and assists clients with various service items and additional requests regarding their custom retirement blueprint.

She handles new accounts and outstanding service requests to assure they are taken care of in a timely manner. She is also responsible for ensuring a great experience for our clients, managing office workflow and overseeing compliance-related activities.

Lori joined the Elevation Capital Strategies team in 2010. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and granddaughter.

Darah Bybee

Director of First Impressions

Darah Bybee is Elevation Capital’s Director of First Impressions.

Darah thrives as the front face of the office, greeting clients and making them feel like they are the most important person in the room. She believes it is very important to add value to others and looks forward to helping with whatever she can.

Darah strives to be the best version of herself and to lead by example for her daughter. She grew up in beautiful Colorado and has lived in New Mexico, Florida, Idaho and has called Central Oregon home since 2018.

When she is not working, Darah is very involved with the equestrian community and does trick riding on horseback and has taught riding clinics to youth. She loves spending time with her 4 year old daughter going horse back riding, hiking, gardening, reading books, telling stories and adventuring in the great outdoors.

Saori McRill

Saori McRill

Client Service Specialist

Saori McRill is a client service specialist at Elevation Capital Strategies and assists clients with various service items and additional requests regarding their custom retirement blueprint focusing primarily on assets-under-management portion of the business.

She handles new accounts, account transfers, various service items and works directly with clients to ensure they are taken care of in a timely manner.

Saori joined the team at Elevation Capital Strategies in 2013. She resides in Bend with her husband, Randy, and their daughter, Erin. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music and spending time with her family.

Heather Wilson

Data Entry Specialist

Heather Wilson joined the Elevation team in 2021.