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About Our Firm

Whether it's more rounds of golf or more time with those grandkids, we're here to develop and implement a plan for the lifestyle YOU want.

Blue Ridge Wealth Planners

At Blue Ridge Wealth Planners, we plan for YOU.

Our mission is to empower retirees and pre-retirees in East Tennessee and beyond to lead fulfilling and financially confident lifestyles, and we do this by providing guidance to help you develop an overall strategy for the different aspects of your retirement. We lead and coordinate a strong team of professionals in a variety of industries who work together to help ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement strategy but also in maintaining it for decades to come.

We believe it’s important to plan for everything, and that means creating a strategy that allows you to get the things you really want out of your retirement. Whether it’s more rounds of golf or more time with your grandkids, we’re here to help develop the best plan for the lifestyle YOU want.

Meet Our Team

Bob Fugate Founder, Wealth Planner

As the founder of Blue Ridge Wealth Planners, Bob Fugate is focused on helping clients work toward their retirement dreams with a comprehensive and personalized strategy.

After balancing a long career in agriculture with his part-time work in finance, Bob began working full time in the financial services industry in 1998. Because of the limitations he encountered within the captive brokerage industry and a genuine desire to work for the best interests of his clients rather than a specific company, he became an independent advisor in 2003. Bob focuses on coordinating the efforts of financial professionals in various fields in order to create comprehensive and personalized financial plans for retirees and pre-retirees in East Tennessee and beyond.

Bob holds his life and health insurance licenses in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia as well as Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, and Texas. He is a Certified Financial PlannerTM, a Chartered Financial Consultant, a Chartered Life Underwriter, and a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow Recipient, and he has passed the Series 6, 7, 63, and 65 securities exams. Bob also has a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural business and economics from the University of Tennessee and has completed 36 hours of post-graduate work in finance and economics.

Bob has been seen on or quoted in several media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox as well as local stations including WBIR, WVLT, and 98.7 WOKI.

John Vandergriff Wealth Planner

As a former football player for the University of Tennessee under Coach Phillip Fulmer and high school state champion wrestler, John Vandergriff brings an important team mentality to Blue Ridge Wealth. John worked in various ministry and coaching positions for five years before joining the team in 2012.

Combining his ministry experience and his financial training from Bob, John has worked with many clients in his time at Blue Ridge Wealth. He is a dually licensed Insurance Agent and Investment Advisor Representative and is currently working to earn his CFP® Certification. John also holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from The University of Tennessee.

In addition to working at Blue Ridge Wealth, John continues to actively teach in his church, and he enjoys filling his extra time golfing, exercising, watching sports, and enjoying marriage with his wife, Ashley, Bob’s youngest daughter.


Brad FugateManaging Director

Bob’s son Brad has been working full time as the managing director at Blue Ridge Wealth since completing his Master of Business Administration degree in finance from the University of Tennessee in 2014. He oversees Blue Ridge Wealth’s marketing efforts and handles the design and implementation of various systems and procedures within the company.

Brad earned his undergraduate degree in audio production and enjoys writing and recording music with his wife, Rachel, and the rest of their band.


Carolyn SherritzeInsurance Planner

Carolyn Sherritze joined Blue Ridge Wealth Planners in 2009. Having served in the banking industry since 1973, Carolyn is a licensed Insurance Agent, and her unique and valuable experience is an important asset to the team.

Carolyn enjoys traveling, shopping, and spending time with her husband, Bill, as well as her children and grandchildren.



Chris Gee Wealth Planner

Chris Gee leads our Chattanooga team. He began his career in financial services in 2003 and is currently working to earn his CFP® Certification. Having passed the Series 7 and Series 66 exams and holding his Life, Health, Variable and Long-Term Care insurance licenses, Chris is fully equipped to utilize the entire range of investments available to our clients. Before beginning his career in finance, Chris was a U.S. Marine and Navy Chapel Candidate Officer in the United States military. He decided to make Chattanooga, Tennessee his home in 2001 and now enjoys spending time with his wife and seven children, playing golf, and cheering on our Tennessee Vols!


Bill HunterTransfer and Service Specialist

Bill Hunter leads the service department for the team. He is exceptional at finding answers for clients and remembering the details of their investments. Bill has been in the financial services industry since 1994 and a member of our team since 2006.

In addition to playing organ at his church, Bill enjoys spending time with his wife, Pam, and their two children, Sarah and Andrew.


Jeannie BullardAdministrative Coordinator

Jeannie Bullard is the first person you will meet when you walk into our Knoxville office. She is a great listener, and she genuinely cares about the interests and needs of others above herself. Jeannie joined our team in 2009 after moving to Knoxville from Waycross, Georgia. She enjoys spending time reading, walking, going to church, and cooking for her family.




Dixon PotterBookkeeper

Dixon Potter is responsible for the internal financial accounting functions at Blue Ridge Wealth Planners. He has over 20 years of experience in corporate and public accounting and holds a master's degree in accounting from Western Carolina University. He is originally from Virginia and spent his youth in Nashville before deciding to call Knoxville home 25 years ago. In his free time, Dixon enjoys watching movies, reading financial news websites, and going to sporting events.


Will HoustonTechnical Director

Will Houston's role is to oversee the design and management of the various technical aspects of our business, including our case design software, database, and various internal tracking systems. After working as a software engineer in a Fortune 500 company in Silicon Valley, Will decided to move back to his native home of Tennessee.

Will was Brad’s college roommate and the best man in his wedding. He enjoys hiking, traveling, and cooking.




Stephanie McKenzie Marketing Assistant

Stephanie McKenzie is the first person you will see when you walk into our Chattanooga office. She is an upbeat personality who has come to our company after moving from Atlanta, Georgia. She comes to us with a strong background in design and digital marketing, and her ability to create and edit content for the Blue Ridge Wealth brand is an exciting and extremely valuable addition to the team. Aside from loving all things marketing and design, Stephanie enjoys traveling every chance she gets and spending time with her family.




Rachel Fugate Administrative Assistant

Rachel Fugate works part time at Blue Ridge Wealth Planners in the administrative department and is the face behind all our fabulous staff photos. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2016 with a marketing degree. She loves traveling and cooking when she isn’t working as a brilliant wedding photographer. She is originally from Memphis and went to high school in Nashville before deciding to call Knoxville her home. She and Brad have been married since 2015.




Ashley Vandergriff Administrative Assistant

Ashley Vandergriff wears many hats at Blue Ridge Wealth and can be found working at a seminar, helping with events, or scanning papers at the office. She loves to help wherever she is needed, both personally and professionally. She has called Knoxville home since she was very young and earned her undergraduate degree from University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in education focused on audiology/speech pathology in just three years.

When she’s not working, Ashley loves being outdoors, getting involved with her church, and enjoying her life with her husband, John, and their adorable dog Couver (named after Vancouver).  




Travis Bigwood New Business Processor

Travis Bigwood joined Blue Ridge Wealth Planners in the summer of 2017 as a member of the New Business Department. His professional career has been centralized around customer service. He is a Knoxville native who spends his leisure studying music and American history.




Sarah Swenson Administrative Assistant

Sarah Swenson works part time at Blue Ridge Wealth Planners in the Administrative Department. She is a Louisville, Kentucky native and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Science with an emphasis in Psychology, and a minor in Business from Kentucky Wesleyan College in 2017. Sarah is currently a graduate student studying Kinesiology at the University of Tennessee. In her free time, she loves watching and playing sports, spending time with her family, and drinking lots of coffee.



Kristian Bucker New Business Processor

Kristian came to Blue Ridge Wealth Planners with several years of financial services experience behind him, making him a great asset to the New Business Department. He is a Knoxville native, and he graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Theatre. Kristian enjoys discussing film, television, and literature with friends, making short films, and performing in plays around town when he can find the time.




Elli Edwards Service Assistant

Originally from Orlando, Florida, Elli fell in love with East Tennessee after graduating from Carson Newman University in 2013 with a Bachelor's degree in Photography. Elli joined the Blue Ridge Wealth Planners team in late 2017 and enjoys building relationships with clients. When she's not at the gym or drinking coffee, she's pursuing her passion for photography.




Securities and investment advisory services can only be solicited in the states where a financial professional is licensed and registered to do business in. Please inquire as to which states the financial professional is licensed and registered in before engaging in a business relationship

By providing your contact information, you may be offered information regarding the purchase of insurance and investment products.

Any comments regarding safe and secure investments, and guaranteed income streams refer only to fixed insurance products. They do not refer, in any way, to securities or investment advisory products. Fixed Insurance and Annuity product guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing company and are not offered by Blue Ridge Wealth Planners or Madison Avenue Securities, LLC (MAS).

Investment advisory services offered through Blue Ridge Wealth Planners, a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC (MAS), member FINRA/SIPC. MAS and Blue Ridge Wealth Planners are not affiliated companies.

Blue Ridge Wealth Planners’ Chattanooga location at 1200 Premier Drive, Suite 270, Chattanooga, TN 37421 is an office of convenience for meeting with clients only. All business records and services are held and conducted from the main address at 9725 Cogdill Road, Suite 101, Knoxville, TN 37932.