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Our Team

Our Team

At Sagewater Financial, we offer wealth management services to individuals and families as Accredited Investment Fiduciaries (AIF) – helping people design and manage their financial plans to help achieve a desired goal or lifestyle.

We are driven by our commitment to helping others find balance when dealing with the finances of life, through a professional and tailored process. We collaborate on what is most important to you, define a vision, design strategies to attain and put everything into monitored motion. The trust and transparency of our work is of utmost importance as it allows trust to be built along the way.

Please continue reading to learn about each member of our team.

Our Team

Cheryl Hirss, ChFC®, AIF®
Chartered Financial Consultant, Accredited Investment Fiduciary

Owner: Sagewater Financial, Registered Representative, and Limited Partner/Investment Advisor Representative with United Planners

Cheryl, a native of Washington, joined Gies Associates, LLC (now Sagewater Financial)  in 2004 after beginning her financial planning career in 2003. She affiliated with United Planners as a Registered Representative in 2012. Her Bachelor's Degree in business was received from the University of Washington, she has been Series 7 and 66 licensed since 2003, and holds the Washington State, Oregon, Utah and Colorado Life/Variable/Disability Insurance Licenses. Cheryl maintains the ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant) and the AIF Fiduciary credentials (Accredited Investment Fiduciary), has extensive experience in client services and her leadership in financial planning/analytics, risk analysis and portfolio construction keeps Sagewater Financial at the forefront of our industry. She is a Limited Partner of United Planners Financial Services.

Cheryl played Division I soccer at the University of Washington and received her American Association of Snowboard Instructor’s Level 2 Certification. As an avid yet very mediocre runner she has ran a few marathons and enjoys trail running and team races.  She supports the local food bank, local trail associations, and involves herself in the events of her children's education center. Along with being a member of the University of Washington Alumni Association, she is a member of the Northwest Estate Planning Council.

Cheryl and her husband, Galen, have a daughter and son and enjoy all the outdoor adventures and culinary experiences that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. In their spare time they are likely to be spotted in the Methow Valley, on Lopez Island or at Mt. Baker.

Mary M. Gies
Registered Assistant with United Planners

Sagewater Financial, Registered Assistant with United Planners

Mary M. Gies is a lifelong resident of Washington State. She completed her undergraduate and master's degrees from Seattle University and Heritage University, respectively.

After working for several years with educational foundations, in 1996 she had the opportunity to establish herself as a financial and investment planner and associated with Northwest Investors Trust. In 2005 she opened her own firm, Gies Associates, LLC, now Sagewater Financial. Professionally, she holds her Series 7, 63, 65 and 24 licenses as a Registered Assistant with United Planners. 

Locally, she is active with the Richland Education Foundation.

Due to Mary’s dedication to her work, she has received consecutive awards honoring her for outstanding service on the United Planners Partner Advisory Team. Her vision and leadership inspire the team at Sagewater Financial to uphold the highest ethical standards of financial services.

On the personal side, Mary, and her husband, Richard, have 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren. They enjoy their home, love to travel, go fishing, and spend time with their family and friends.

Teresa Hallquist

Operations Manager

Teresa is often a first point of contact at Sagewater Financial. Before joining our team (then Gies Associates) in 2007 Teresa enjoyed careers in credit, banking and mortgage lending.  Her responsibilities at Sagewater Financial are vast and include general client services, scheduling, data maintenance, and client support.  Because of her exceptional organizational qualities and follow through, Teresa is a vital part of our seamless business flow. 

Teresa grew up in the Columbia Basin area, traveled and lived abroad for 7 years, then returned to the Tri-Cities to be near her family.  She enjoys being outdoors with yard work, fitness, cooking and is known for her candied walnuts at holiday time for family and friends.

Christina Brillowsky

Service and Operations Specialist

Christina provides day-to-day support, administrative assistance and exceptional client service in our Bellingham office. Prior to joining our team, Christina worked at an accounting firm where she handled client service needs and executive administrative duties. Her many years of professional service, along with the ability to perform multidimensional tasks are essential to the success of our family offices. 

Christina graduated from Oregon State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2000. She met her husband, Bobby (a Ferndale native), that same year and eventually migrated north in 2002 to plant some roots in Whatcom County. They have two sons and are often busy running them around to school functions and extracurricular activities including football, soccer, basketball and piano. In her “spare” time, Christina enjoys reading, bike riding and running when her knees aren't hurting. 

We are dedicated to providing investment management and strategic wealth planning to individuals, their families and businesses. Simply put, we strive to be our clients trusted advisor and our primary focus is provide unbiased options that are designed to achieve long term investment results.