John Cleveland, CLU
Mr. Cleveland cofounded The Cleveland Company in 1988.
John grew up in Burnsville. He earned his Bachelor of Science Business Degree at the University of Minnesota and earned his Chartered Life Underwriters Degree from the American College.
He has served on many boards through the years. John began his career right out of college as a life insurance agent for Lincoln National. Several years into his career he began focusing solely on employee benefits. After working with Alexander and Alexander and a Wayzata Financial Planning Firm, in 1988 John along with his father, Sam Cleveland formed The Cleveland Company.
The firm has grown to several hundred clients, many of which date back to the company’s founding. Influenced by his life insurance and financial planning background, as well as his extensive employee benefit background, John believes that the most important part of employee benefits is the careful design and effective communication so as to mitigate the financial exposure of everyday families, while being financially affordable to the employers. Compliance and Human Resources Support are also critical in this highly regulated industry.
John lives in Victoria with his wife. His three children and eight grandchildren all live nearby. In his spare time, you may find him on skis, a bicycle, a windsurfing board, or a sailboat. He is also known to swing a golf club every now and then.
Ms. Maher graduated from the University of St. Thomas with double majors in Accounting and Financial Management. She spent the first 12 years of her career working for a small life insurance company‘s Home Office as a Business & Systems Analyst.
Michelle made the transition to Employee Benefits in 1996 and as the COO and a partner of the firm, she utilizes her multitasking personality, in-depth knowledge of insurance, benefits and small business needs, plus extensive experience in practices, policies, and procedures, to resolve client’s problems. When there is a question and it is not crystal clear which department should handle it, Michelle is the go-to person and solution finder. Michelle also enjoys collaborating with our clients to help them and their employees financially thrive.
Ms. Maher was recognized three times as a Twin Cities Business Magazine Five Star Health Insurance Professional for overall customer satisfaction.
Michelle and her husband live in Burnsville, and have two adult children. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys reading, golf, walking and watching baseball.
Chris Schneeman, CLU, ChFC, RHU
Mr. Schneeman is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a BBA in Finance, and is the third generation of family insurance professionals in Minnesota.
He has built a stellar reputation in the life insurance and employee benefits industry as an expert, innovator, and client advocate. Chris is involved in a variety of professional association leadership roles, serving as chair of the “Agents Coalition for Health Care Reform,” which advocates for responsible health insurance reform in Minnesota and various other industry leadership roles. He has been appointed to and served on Health Care Advisory task forces by both Governors Tim Pawlenty and Mark Dayton.
Chris holds designations as a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Registered Health Underwriter (RHU). Nationally, the life and health insurance industries recognize his professional achievements as a Life and Qualifying member in the Million Dollar Round Table, and as a “Soaring Eagle” member of the Leading Producers Round Table. Chris is a recipient of the Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters John J. Symanitz Award, in recognition of lifetime professional and personal achievement.
Chris lives in Mendota Heights. He and his wife have 5 children and 6 rambunctious grandsons. In his spare time, he enjoys golf, the cabin, and an occasional triathlon.
Nicole Dodge Klitzke
Nicole holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Communications from St. Cloud State University and a Master of Business Administration, with a concentration in Human Resource Management and Leadership Development from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.
She has significant experience in executive and managerial feedback and coaching. In addition to her time as Director of Human Resources she served as an Adjunct Instructor at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota teaching Strategic Management for the Masters of Organizational Leadership Degree. She is also an Organizational Development Certified Professional (ODCP).
She has over fifteen years of extensive business management and human resources experience and specializes in the design, development and implementation of strategic Human Resources solutions integrated with the mission, vision and values of the business.
Nicole lives in Chaska with her husband and three children. In her spare time, you may find her on a walk or a bicycle ride with her family. She loves the outdoors and enjoys traveling. She looks forward to more road trips throughout the United States to explore National Parks and US History with her children as they continue to grow.
Tony Black, CPFA, AIF, RPA
Tony Black is a CEFEX-Certified Retirement Plan Advisor of SevenHills Cleveland Benefit Partners, A Pensionmark Retirement Firm based in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Mr. Black provides specialized retirement plan support and advisory services for Defined Contribution and Defined Benefits clients. He has been working as a Qualified Plan Consultant since 2005, and has experience working with hundreds of different employers’ plans.
Tony advises plan sponsors in the development and management of their retirement plans to make sure the goals of the organization are in line with the design and operation of the plans. Tony helps employers manage their fiduciary obligations to participants with concentrated focus on efficient plan design, regular plan review and documentation, and strategic and direct participant communications.
Mr. Black graduated from The Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota with degrees in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management. While in college, he had active leadership roles in the Professional Business Fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi. He remains an avid Gopher fan and active Alum.
Tony resides in Eden Prairie with his wife and two daughters, and enjoys playing golf, softball, basketball and football when he has spare time.
Matt Voecks, CPFA, AIF, RPA
Matt Voecks is a CEFEX-Certified Retirement Plan Advisor of SevenHills Benefit Partners, A Pensionmark Retirement Firm based in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Matt has been consulting with qualified retirement plans since 2004 providing a comprehensive customized approach for plan sponsors wanting to take advantage of his experience, knowledge of plan design and investment process. As a Qualified Plan Consultant he has experience working with hundreds of different employer plans across all industries ranging from retail, manufacturing and professional service firms.
Matt’s primary role is to provide custom plan design consultation, investment monitoring and analysis, fiduciary services and education for plan sponsors and participants. Matt is uniquely suited to be an advocate for his clients with his down to earth, personalized approach and willingness to defy the status quo.
Matt is originally from Thief River Falls in northern Minnesota. He went on to study and graduate with a Finance and Economics degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead. While in college, he had an active leadership role in the Financial Managers Association. Matt currently holds an Accredited Investment Fiduciary Designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies along with a Retirement Plan Associate designation from the Wharton School of Business.
Matt currently lives in Mendota Heights and enjoys working out, playing golf, snow skiing and traveling in his spare time.
Joe Baldwin, CSFS®
Joe Baldwin is an Employee Benefits Consultant with SevenHills Cleveland Benefit Partners, based in Bloomington, Minnesota. He specializes in transparent, low cost, high quality healthcare solutions that employees understand and utilize. Joe works closely with business leaders and decision makers to strategize ways they can maximize the return of their considerable investment in health care. He focuses his efforts on employers who are looking to attract and retain millennial talent but finds these solutions fit great for all employer demographics.
Joe began his career in the insurance industry in 2014 with a regional managing general agency where he was responsible for writing business and developing relationships with more than 2,000 brokers and agents. Joe currently holds a Health and Disability license. His expert product knowledge and years of experience working in a sales environment enable him to provide the best customer experience to his clients.
Joe graduated from Metropolitan State University with a degree in African American Studies. While in college full-time he also held three jobs. Immediately after college he worked for Junior Achievement and coached High School Girls’ Basketball at the Convent of Visitation before making his way into the insurance industry. He is an Ambassador for the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, an organizer of 1 Million Cups Saint Paul and still volunteers for Junior Achievement.
Joe, his wife, and son reside in the Mounds Park neighborhood of Saint Paul which they consider a “hidden gem”. He thoroughly enjoys soul music, cooking, a good book, movie, or T.V show as well as playing basketball and golf when he has spare time.
Mr. Cleveland is a native of Shorewood, Minnesota, and attended St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN, studying Elementary Education. He taught at the elementary level for 5 years and joined the Cleveland Company full time in 2016.
Tony likes educating people about insurance benefit programs and taking exceptional care of clients and their employees via affordable, comprehensive benefit plans.
Tony enjoys spending time with his family and is married with 4 boys. A sports fan, Tony is wild about the MN WILD and the MN TWINS. In the summer, you can find him boating on one of Minnesota 11, 842 lakes.
Mr. Schneeman is a fourth generation insurance professional, following Great Grandfather Lambert, Grandfather Daniel, and Father Chris. Daniel graduated from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin in 2006 with degrees in Religious Studies and Business.
Mr. Schneeman has extensive experience with individual products such as health, life, disability and identity theft insurance. He advises on these products as well as serves as an advisor for employer-sponsored group plan options. He is actively involved in the St. Norbert Alumni program in Minnesota.
Mr. Schneeman is also involved in the community. He is a graduate of the prestigious Leadership St. Paul (LSP) program through the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. LSP objectives center on building future community leaders by training, challenging and engaging emerging and existing leaders to better strengthen the Saint Paul/East Metro region. Dan serves on the Board of Trustees for Merrick, Inc. since December 2016. Merrick offers a variety of meaningful work options and life enrichment activities to over 375 adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Daniel lives in West St. Paul with his wife and two children. He enjoys cooking, baking bread, and making homemade beer.