Our Team

Our Team

The people who work at the Pinnacle Financial Group not only have the knowledge and experience to help you pursue your financial goals, but they also happen to be extremely great folks. Our staff is always ready to address your concerns, answer your questions, and put you at ease.

Click on the photos below to learn more about our team members.

Jim Santos

Financial Advisor, ChFC®, CLU®

Jim has worked as a financial advisor since 1983, beginning his career in financial services with Merrill Lynch. He moved on to MassMutual, where he spent the next 15 years assisting his clients in both investment management and insurance services. In 2000, along with Tim Brennan, he founded the Pinnacle Financial Group and adopted Commonwealth Financial Network® as the firm's Registered Investment Adviser–broker/dealer. Its services include financial planning, investment management, and the placement of life, disability, and long-term care insurance.*

Jim’s clientele includes business owners, professionals, executives, and retirees. His business philosophy is very simple—treat every client situation as if it were his own.

Jim has an economics degree from Princeton University and holds the professional designations of Chartered Financial Consultant® and Chartered Life Underwriter® from the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

Jim has been married for 30 years to his wife, Suzanne, and they have three children. He has been active in charity boards throughout the course of his career, including the Emergency Fund, Boys and Girls Clubs, Saints Peter & Paul Greek Orthodox Church, and the Princeton Alumni Association.

*Fixed insurance products and services offered by the Pinnacle Financial Group.

Tim Brennan

Financial Advisor

Early in life, Tim was interested in the intricacies of finance and enjoyed meeting new people. He began working in the financial services industry in 1989 at MassMutual, advising clients on insurance matters. In 2000, he co-founded the Pinnacle Financial Group to bring a complete financial service to the variety of clients he served across the country.

Tim's specialties are investment portfolio management, insurance planning,* and corporate benefit plans. He takes a personal interest in working closely with clients in helping them achieve their goals.

He holds the FINRA Series 6, 7, 63, and 65 securities registrations as an Investment Adviser Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network® and is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a BBA in finance.

Tim; his wife, Deneen; son, Liam; and daughter, Grace, stay very active. He coaches Liam’s baseball and basketball teams, and the whole family enjoys traveling. Tim also plays competitive softball and basketball and serves on the board of the Wilmette Theatre. 

*Fixed insurance products and services offered by the Pinnacle Financial Group.

Joan Scheeter

Office Manager

Joan earned her journalism degree at the University of Missouri. She worked in media buying and client service for May Company, Philip Morris, and advertising agencies for 15 years before switching to the financial services industry. She worked primarily in the account management and retirement areas for MassMutual and ABN AMRO, North America, before joining the Pinnacle Financial Group. Joan has also earned her Series 7 securities registration and her Certified Retirement Services Professional designation.

She has owned a 3-flat directly behind Wrigley Field for the last 29 seasons and finally saw her Cubs win the World Series. Joan has a green thumb, and her vibrant garden stands out in the neighborhood. She volunteers as a docent with the Glessner House Museum to satisfy her interests in architecture and Chicago history.

Melinda Vajdic

Marketing/Communications

In her marketing/communications role at the Pinnacle Financial Group, Melinda puts her background in financial journalism to good use on behalf of our clients.

While her early, formative work years were spent at two of the major financial newswires (AP-Dow Jones and Knight-Ridder), she later shifted into marketing and communications. Melinda brings a passion for providing exceptional, responsive service to our clients.

Melinda attended the University of Missouri and Johns Hopkins University, where her degree included a concentration in international economics.

Two of her sons are in college, and one still remains at home. In the meantime, a Portuguese water dog keeps things from getting too quiet. Melinda also serves on the board of the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra, where she is a flutist.