Associates

The success of our financial representatives is important to us. We foster an environment that allows our representatives the opportunity for planned and continuous growth because we know that our success as a group is a direct reflection of their individual success. We take great pride in their accomplishments and share in their enthusiasm and drive.

 
 Bruce J Pope

Bruce J Pope, CLU®, ChFC®, CASL®

Financial Advisor
bruce.pope@nm.com

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Bruce Pope attended Florida State University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Risk Management and Insurance. Bruce was a College Financial Representative with Northwestern Mutual from 1980-1984 and has been an Advisor with Northwestern Mutual since 1988. Bruce has received the professional designations of Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) and Chartered Advisor for Senior Living (CASL®) from the American College. Bruce is involved with many different associations around the area, including Midlands Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, South Carolina Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Learning Ally, and National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Bruce is also a member of The Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Grace Church of Columbia, and is a Boy Scout Leader-Troop 10. Bruce lives in Columbia with his wife, Nancy, and his three children, William, Rebecca, and Robert Allen.

 
 Chad Dowdy

Chad Dowdy, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, CLTC®

Managing Director
chad.dowdy@nm.com

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Chad Dowdy started with Northwestern Mutual as a college intern in November of 2002.  In 2003, he was featured in Time Magazine as the company’s top intern in the South.  He became a College Unit Director in 2005, and later went on to become the youngest Managing Director in 2007. He runs a successful Wealth Management practice, earning his CFP, CLU, CHFC, and CLTC and has been a qualifying member of MDRT every year since 2010.

Chad has grown Northwestern Mutual's Columbia office to be one of the best in the system through recruiting and development. In addition, he works with his clients as a Wealth Management Advisor on creating sustainable holistic financial plans.

Chad resides in Columbia, SC with his wife, Lauren, and two children, Charlie and Kate. He is a proud alumni and supporter of the University of South Carolina and serves as a board member for the Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands

 

 
 Daniel Rush Scurry

Daniel Rush Scurry, CLU®

Financial Representative
daniel.r.scurry@nm.com

Daniel Scurry graduated from Winthrop University in the fall of 2002, at which time he joined Northwestern Mutual as a Financial Representative. A little over a year later, Daniel put his career on hold and joined the U.S. Army as a Deep-sea Diver. After his service, Daniel went to the University of South Carolina and earned his Master's degree in Sport and Entertainment Business. Daniel enjoys spending time with his wife and their children. Daniel and his wife have three children, a son born in 2009, and twins, a son and a daughter born in 2014.

 
 David J Van De Water

David J Van De Water, CLU®, ChFC®

Financial Advisor
david.vandewater@nm.com

David Van De Water has been a part of the financial services industry since 1982 and has served as president of both the Society of Financial Service Professionals as well as the Columbia Estate Planning Council. David received his CLU® in 1990 and his ChFC® in 1991 from the American College. Throughout his career, David has earned numerous awards, including:

  • Million Dollar Round Table: Life Member 1992, Qualifying/Life member 1990 - 1991, 1993 - 2008, Qualifying Member 1985 - 1989, 2010, Provisional Member 1984
  • National Quality Award 1984-1991, 1993, 1995-2000, 2006-2010
  • National Sales Achievement Award 1984-1994 

 David is a lifetime resident of Columbia. He and his wife, Lynne, are the parents of four adult children.

 
 Drew Stevens

Drew Stevens, CFP®, CLU®

Field Director
drew.stevens@nm.com

My Networks: LinkedIn

Drew Stevens joined Northwestern Mutual as a College Intern in 2008 while attending the University of South Carolina. Upon graduating in 2010, he joined the Columbia District Agency as a full time Financial Advisor where he continues his work with his clients in creating sustainable holistic financial plans.

Drew is an integral part of our leadership team as well as he has run a successful college internship program and most recently began recruiting and developing full time financial representatives as our first Recruiting Field Director.

 
 Emily Brooks Howard

Emily Brooks Howard

Financial Representative
emily.howard@nm.com

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

Emily Howard joined Northwestern Mutual in 2015 as a Financial Representative and focuses her financial planning practice primarily on attorneys, law offices, small businesses, and the families of Columbia.  Prior to joining Northwestern Mutual, she practiced law in the Columbia and Lexington areas of South Carolina and draws heavily on this experience as she works closely with each client to diagnose and solve both offensive and defensive needs.  A Columbia native, Emily is determined to see the Midlands area flourish and strongly believes that proper financial planning alongside the right strategist is the key to such success.

Emily received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina, where she majored in Journalism and Mass Communications.  From there, she attended the University of South Carolina School of Law and graduated in 2006.  Currently, Emily serves on the Board of Directors for the Columbia Kiwanis Club and also volunteers as a youth arbitrator in the Richland County Youth Arbitration Program.  As an attorney, Emily also remains an active member of the South Carolina Bar and the South Carolina Women Lawyer’s Association.

 
 Erin A Freize

Erin A Freize, CFP®, CLU®

Financial Advisor
erin.freize@nm.com

My Networks: LinkedIn

Erin Freize, CFP®, CLU® launched his career with Northwestern Mutual in 2001 after graduating from the University of South Carolina with his B.S B.A. in Finance and Management   Erin's primary role is client relationship building, and working with other advisors to enhance their existing client relationships. He does this by helping clients gain clarity around their unique definition of Financial Security and building individual financial plans to help realize that vision.  After determining where they stand relative to their goals, he provides recommendations for risk management and investment solutions, then structuring service models for ongoing client maintenance. 

Following his return to South Carolina, Erin would like to help USC develop a Financial Planning Curriculum while building Financial Literacy.

Erin holds his Series 7, Series 63, Life and Health Insurance Licenses and is registered in NY, SC, NC, NV, CO, VA & FL.

Erin was previously involved with the Suffolk County Chapter of the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, and he participated as a committee member for the annual Ride and Walk held in September.

Upon his relocation to South Carolina, Erin joined COR, the Columbia Opportunity Resource, and he is a member of the Capital City Club.

 

 
 G. Marion Zeigler

G. Marion Zeigler

Financial Representative
marion.zeigler@nm.com

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

 
 George R Starnes III

George R Starnes III, MSFS, AEP®, ChFC®, CLU®

Wealth Management Advisor
george.starnes@nm.com

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

George Starnes, CLU®, ChFC® , AEP® , MSFS, is a graduate of Lander University and serves his Alma Mater as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. George is past recipient of that institution's Young Alumnus of the Year Award. George is a leader in the industry and is a Life Member of the Million Dollar Round Table (Qualifying/Life Member 1989-2008 & Qualifying Member 1985-1988, 2010-2013). George has obtained the prestigious Masters of Science in Financial Services (MSFS) designation from the American College. He has also obtained the Accredited Estate Planner (AEP® ) designation.

 
 Jarrod L. Stokes

Jarrod L. Stokes, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®

Financial Representative
jarrod.stokes@nm.com

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

Jarrod Stokes earned his Bachelor's Degree in Retail Management from the University of South Carolina in 2006. Jarrod has also earned his CLU® (Chartered Life Underwriter) and ChFC® (Chartered Financial Consultant) designations from the American College. Jarrod has been with Northwestern Mutual since 2006. Jarrod has been married to his wife Caitlin, who is a teacher at Seven Oaks Elementary School, since June of 2007. They have a daughter, Bennet, who was born in June of 2013. Jarrod and Caitlin attend Ashland United Methodist Church and are both devoted Gamecock fans.

 
 Kenneth Lee DeHart III

Kenneth Lee DeHart III

Financial Representative
ken.dehart@nm.com

My Networks: LinkedIn

 
 Kurt D Cowan

Kurt D Cowan, CLU®, RHU®

Financial Representative
kurt.cowan@nm.com

Kurt Cowan is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago and has obtained the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) and Registered Health Underwriter (RHU®) designations. Kurt specializes in Long Term Care Insurance.

 
 Kyle Erik Rasmussen

Kyle Erik Rasmussen

Financial Representative
kyle.rasmussen@nm.com

My Networks: LinkedIn

Kyle Rasmussen is originally from Great Falls, Virginia. He attended the University of South Carolina and majored in Investment Finance. Kyle has been with Northwestern Mutual since December of 2012.  In his free time, Kyle enjoys playing golf, fishing, working out, listening to Bruce Springsteen and being outdoors with his dog, Buddy. He also coaches a U8 boys soccer team in Columbia and participates in a co-ed kickball and dodgeball league.

 

 

 
 Mario Christopher Melendez

Mario Christopher Melendez

Financial Representative
mario.melendez@nm.com

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

 
 Marshall West McGowan

Marshall West McGowan, CLU®, ChFC®, CFP®

Financial Advisor
west.mcgowan@nm.com

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

West McGowan is a native of Laurens, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2006 with a degree in Finance and Risk Management. He began his career at Northwestern Mutual as a college intern in 2005.

West believes financial planning happens by design, not by default. He helps his clients align their goals with reality, serving as both their compass and accountability partner. West holds his CFP®, CLU®, and ChFC® designations.

West and his wife, Kate, live in downtown Columbia with their four-legged children, Tanner, a mini Schnauzer, and Latti, a Welsh Springer Spaniel. Outside of work, West enjoys spending time with his friends and family, traveling to new places, and soaking up the latest USC athletic news. You can usually find him on the golf course, working out at Carolina Crossfit, or enjoying a glass of wine at his favorite restaurant, Baan Sawan.

 
 Norman Scott Gupton

Norman Scott Gupton

Financial Representative
scott.gupton@nm.com

My Networks: LinkedIn

Scott Gupton is originally from Hartsville, SC. He attended the University of South Carolina and graduated in 2009, at which time he joined Northwestern Mutual. Scott is married to Kayla Hildreth Gupton. He is actively involved with his alma mater, serving as Vice President of the Young Alumni Council for My Carolina.

 
 Philip Michael Sox

Philip Michael Sox

Financial Representative
philip.sox@nm.com

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

 
 Samuel Boan

Samuel Boan

Financial Representative
samuel.boan@nm.com

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

 
 Taylor Wooten

Taylor Wooten

Financial Representative
taylor.wooten@nm.com

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

Taylor Wooten graduated from The Citadel in 2010. After graduation, Taylor served in The United States Air Force as a Logistics Officer from 2010 to 2014. Taylor joined Northwestern Mutual in July of 2014. He currenty lives in Irmo with his wife, Rachel.

 
 Wayne Catoe

Wayne Catoe, CLU®, ChFC®

Financial Advisor
wayne.catoe@nm.com

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

Wayne Catoe, CLU®, is retired as Head Football and Golf Coach at West Florence High School Florence South Carolina. Wayne is an active member of the Florence Community and is a member of numerous Charity and Civic organizations. Wayne has a BA degree from the University of South Carolina and a Master's degree from Winthrop University.

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