Baird is built upon shared values of honesty, integrity, genuine concern for clients, and respect for associates. These values drew us to join Baird and remain central to our ability to earn the quality client partnerships and maintain the high standards that are Baird traditions.
Find out about the client-focused service for which Baird is so well known. Contact us today to explore a partnership with Baird.
Craig Vander Leest
The Vander Leest and Wenzel Group was created when Craig joined Baird in 2001. Prior to that, Craig worked as a Managing Consultant for Andersen Consulting and Conley, Canitano & Associates in the Chicago area. Craig received his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 2007. A native of Pella, Iowa, Craig received his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University.
Craig resides in Coralville with his wife, Sara, and three children, Kate, Ben, and Ryne. Craig has been active in his church, Parkview Evangelical Free Church of Iowa City, and in the community, including work with the Trojans Baseball Club and United Way. Craig is a graduate of the Cedar Rapids Chamber Leadership for Five Season Program; he was named to the Corridor Business Journal 40 Under 40 in 2007 and the Forbes Best In-State Wealth Advisors for Iowa in 2018 through 2021.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP® Board's initial and ongoing certification requirement.
Doug began his career in the investment advisory business in 1992. He earned his bachelor’s degree with honors from Iowa State University in 1984, where he was an NCAA Academic All-American. He also graduated with honors from the University of Iowa College of Law. Doug holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst® certification, administered by the Investments & Wealth Institute® and taught in conjunction with The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Doug was born and raised in Cedar Rapids and now lives in Iowa City with his wife, Lori, and three children, Karl, Piper, and Jack. Doug is active in community and church activities, including the Board of Trustees of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, the Kirkwood Community College Foundation Investment Committee, and the Board of Directors of the Eastern Iowa Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Doug has served on numerous other Boards in the past including the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation, Goodwill Industries of the Heartland, Parkview Evangelical Free Church Elder Board, and the Boy Scouts of America/Hawkeye Area Council. He is also a member of the Cedar Rapids Downtown Rotary and the Cedar Rapids Tennis Association. Doug has also been recognized as a Forbes Best In-State Wealth Advisor for Iowa in 2019 through 2021.
Josh earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Iowa State University in 2003, joined Baird in 2006, and earned his MBA from the University of Iowa in 2009. Josh received his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 2012. Josh worked for JP Morgan Private Wealth briefly in 2010 following relocation and then rejoined The Schmidt, Vander Leest & Wenzel Group in 2013. He enjoys the collaboration of working with a group of talented individuals at Baird to help families achieve their goals.
Josh, his wife, Beth, and their children, Henry, Emmett and Rose, reside in Cedar Rapids. When not in the office, he enjoys assisting with carrying out men's ministries at church, coaching his son's soccer, leading Cub Scouts, and helping on the family farm.
Sam earned his bachelor’s degree in business from William Penn University in 2015. After graduating Sam became a Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual until joining our team at the beginning of 2022.
Sam resides in North Liberty with his wife McKennan, and two children, Judah, and Shiloh. Sam is very active in his church, Spirit of Faith Family Church in Cedar Rapids, especially working with the praise and worship ministry. Sam enjoys spending time outdoors with his family.
Associate Financial Advisor
Kaylee graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2020 with her bachelor’s degree in Finance with an emphasis in Financial Planning. She began her career working at Ameriprise Financial in 2019. After graduating, Kaylee moved back to Iowa to be closer to family and to join our team at Baird.
Kaylee lives in Cedar Rapids. When she is not working, she is usually with her dog, a yellow lab named River, who has a never-ending supply of energy. She also enjoys going to Iowa football games and wrestling duals, hunting, and spending time outdoors. Kaylee loves meeting new people and learning new things.
Senior Client Specialist
Cate lives in Cedar Rapids with her husband, Matt, and two sons: Maximus and Kingston. In her free time she enjoys watching her boys play and grow, doing anything involving arts and crafts, traveling with her family, and volunteering.
Johanna joined Baird in December 2006 and became a member of the Schmidt, Vander Leest & Wenzel Group in 2011. She currently holds the FINRA Series 7 and Series 66 licenses. Johanna’s favorite aspect of the job is the ability to help our clients with whatever needs they may have.
Johanna lives in Central City with Craig, her husband, and children, Caitlyn & James. As a family they enjoy camping, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Jane has been in the financial industry for over thirteen years joining Baird in 2009 from RBC Wealth Management. Her varied career path includes marketing and project management roles in the consumer research, telecommunication, health care, and higher education areas. Jane holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing, emphasis in research, from the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa. As a registered associate, she holds the FINRA Series 7 and Series 66 licenses.
Brittney has worked in the insurance and financial services industry since 2010. She began her career working for a large investment firm in the Cedar Rapids area. After working there for a number of years she relocated to the Dallas, Texas area. While there, she worked for Farmers Insurance as an insurance producer and client relationship specialist. In October of 2018, Brittney decided to move back to Iowa to be closer to family and joined Baird in November. Her favorite part of her job is getting to know the clients and building trusting relationships with them.
Brittney currently lives in Central City with her children, Ameera and Micah. She enjoys volunteering in the community and spending time doing arts and crafts with her daughter.
Branch Operations Assistant
Patty moved back to her native Iowa in 2018 after many years away. She joined the Baird group in May of 2019. Patty has had years of varied experience in customer service, banking, administration, logistics and human resources. She loves the people side of working at Baird offering her skills to both those she works with and the clients. Her goal is to offer hospitality and superior service with every client and co-worker interaction.
She is married to her husband, Gordon and lives in Marion. They have one grown daughter named Paige who just graduated from college May 2019. Patty loves coffee dates with her daughter. When not working, Patty assists her husband on weekends volunteering at their church working with elementary age children. Patty loves life and is thankful for each and every day.