News & Views

November 25, 2022


5 Outstanding Gifts a Grandparent Can Give

By Meri Grogan, Director of Administration and Finance

What words accurately encompass the place grandparents hold in their grandchildren’s lives? Unique. Influential. Priceless. Such a relationship can hardly be reduced to a few words, but we know in our hearts…

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A Give-Back Mindset: How Nonprofits and Humanity Benefit

By Matt Roberts, MFM, CFP®, CAP®, Chief Planning Officer

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” At Syverson Strege, we agree, and we have created a culture with a give-back mentality.


This is the time of year that many people are considering…

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Inside Look

Honoring Debbie Richards

It was a joy for our team to get together to honor Debbie Richards and celebrate her 20th work anniversary! We enjoyed a yummy breakfast and hearing Debbie tell some interesting stories. Debbie is a valued member of our team and we appreciate her 20 years of service to our clients! Debbie will be retiring on December 7. We wish her well and will miss her dearly!

Staff Thanksgiving

Our staff enjoyed a full Thanksgiving dinner and fellowship followed by David Strege’s life-size “Game of Life.” David invented this version of The Game of Life that he uses to provide financial literacy to young students at Wildwood Hills Ranch. The game comes complete with a financial statement with assets and liabilities along with a check register to record expenditures and income. Debbie Richards was the big winner at the end of the game with a pretend net worth of $599,000!


It’s a Wrap!

Date: Friday, December 9 

Time: 10 AM – 3 PM 

Location: Syverson Strege office

Join us for “It’s a Wrap!” – a new holiday gift wrapping event at Syverson Strege! Little elves will be standing by, ready to wrap your holiday gifts!

As a service to our clients, we’ll be delighted to wrap your holiday gifts!

  • Bring your holiday gifts to be wrapped (please bring your gifts already boxed and ready to wrap).
  • The elves (Syverson Strege employees) will wrap your gifts! 
  • Refreshments will be served. 
  • This free event is for clients only.

If you don’t have gifts to wrap, stop by anyway to join in the holiday cheer!

Please register for this event so we’ll know how many elves and how much wrapping paper to have on hand!

Register by clicking the button below or emailing Deb Longseth or calling at 515-225-6000.


Southeast Iowa Client Appreciation

Syverson Strege hosted a regional client appreciation event in West Point, Iowa. Wayne Johnson, Lance Knaack, Deb Longseth, and Julie Summa from Syverson Strege greeted and thanked our many clients in Southeast Iowa!

Going Pro!

Attendees at the Going Pro! event were inspired by Moulaye Niang’s story of how key people encouraged him to succeed in basketball, his career in investments, and in life! He shared six coaching principles (guidance, vision, experience, focus, objectivity, and investments) and related them to basketball and financial planning. Syverson Strege presented him with a special Iowa basketball jersey with his former University of Kansas number. Moulaye works for Dimensional Fund Advisors who performs portfolio research and analysis and manages equity investments for Syverson Strege.

Good News for Iowans - Important Iowa State Income Tax Updates

Iowa passed legislation on March 1, 2022, that will overhaul the tax system beginning in 2023. It will fully be phased in by 2026. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The top tax bracket will be reduced to 6% in 2023 and will gradually reduce to a tax rate of 3.9% by 2026. Please note that state income tax deduction for Iowa taxes paid will go away in 2023.
  • Beginning in 2023, Iowans 55 and older are exempt from state taxes on retirement income. This includes distributions from IRAs, pensions, and annuities. Please note that Iowa already does not tax Social Security, so many retirees will not be subject to Iowa income tax.
  • Similar to the exemption on retirement income, farmers who are 55 and older can elect to be exempt from state taxation on farm rent/crop share income (provided they farmed for at least 10 years) or exclude the capital gain on the sale of the farmland.

To learn more tax planning news and important tax deadlines, read our recent article, “10 Important Tax Planning Deadlines You May Need to Know About.”

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New Video

We’re not here just to make money, spend money, and die. There’s a bigger purpose! Find out from Johnne, David, and Lance how Syverson Strege’s “give-back” mindset helps people leave a lasting impact on their communities.

Out and About

MIPGC Conference

Syverson Strege was honored to be a sponsor of the Mid-Iowa Planned Giving Council Conference (MIPGC) to help support and advance the field of gift planning. Matt Roberts and Wayne Johnson represented Syverson Strege.


Also, at the conference, Johnne Syverson and colleague Don Ireland-Schunicht received lifetime service awards in appreciation of their contributions to the planned giving community. Congratulations Johnne and Don!

Iowa Christian Generosity Council Luncheon

With David Strege’s vast experience serving on local and national boards, he was asked to present at the November Iowa Christian Generosity Council (ICGC) meeting. His presentation, “From Benchwarmer to Board Member: Strategies for Effective Board Involvement and Governance,” helped nonprofit members understand how to engage their boards with their mission.


Johnne Syverson is in leadership with ICGC as Chairperson and Founding Member. Director of Marketing & Communications Julie Summa is a member of ICGC.


The purpose of ICGC is to inspire, educate, and motivate others to give generously of their time, talents, skills, and resources. Individual and nonprofit members come together on a regular basis to learn more about Kingdom-minded generosity.

2022 Themes in Equity Volatility

Chief Investment Officer Jason Gunkel attended the CFA Society of Iowa luncheon on the topic of equity volatility. As the Fed embarks on its most ambitious tightening cycle in recent decades, equity volatility has remained remarkably muted. Jason learned about what's driving the relative calm in the VIX against a backdrop of unprecedented macro volatility, and how investors should navigate this new volatility paradigm.

Unconventional Business Network

It’s a blessing to partner with and sponsor the Unconventional Business Network luncheon! Employees and friends enjoyed hearing former Clemson football coach and ESPN/Fox Sports host Tommy Bowden encourage and inspire businesspeople toward biblical principles in the workplace!

Impact 2022 Conference

Chief Investment Officer Jason Gunkel and Senior Associate Financial Planner Ben Geiger networked with fellow Schwab and TD Ameritrade professionals and heard top keynote speakers at the Schwab Impact 2022 Conference.

Holiday Notice


The Syverson Strege office will be closed Friday, December 23, and Monday, December 26 for the Christmas holiday. We will return to the office on Tuesday, December 27.


DMARC Food Drive

Syverson Strege held a fund and food drive for the DMARC Food Pantry Network! DMARC assists 11,000 people every month through its Network of 14 partner food pantries and 30+ Mobile Food Pantry locations. They are committed to providing healthy food options and fresh fruits and vegetables. That’s why we’re excited to support their work with our fund and food drive!


We collected a total of 138 items of food and raised $495 to help those who are food insecure.

Syverson Strege
4125 Westown Parkway, Suite 104
West Des Moines, IA 50266
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