About Our Team

Meet the Creath Financial Services Team

Our services at Creath Financial Services cover all areas of financial management, from investment and retirement planning to risk management and estate conservation strategies. We focus on helping our clients develop a customized, cohesive financial strategy that fits their unique needs and enables them to meet both short- and long-term objectives.


Meet Tim Creath

Timothy G. Creath, CLU, ChFC, Investment Adviser Representative and Insurance Professional

As the CEO of Creath Financial Services, Tim Creath is focused on helping clients work toward their retirement dreams through a well-thought-out strategy for retirement income.

Tim grew up about 30 miles southwest of St. Louis, Mo., between the suburbs and the farms. He moved to the big city to go to the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in fall of 1967 on a Navy ROTC scholarship. After graduation in 1971 he was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and went to flight school in Pensacola, FL. After he finished flight training in 1972, he was designated as a Naval Flight Officer (NFO). During his 20 year career he was assigned to the “World Famous Hurricane Hunters” in Jacksonville, FL., served 2 tours of duty with anti-submarine warfare squadrons, went to graduate school, had 2 tours of duty as executive officer of shore commands, and was the director of the Navy’s school for training personnel to maintain and repair the survival equipment on all Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. He and his family lived in Florida, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Sicily, and New Jersey. He received the Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal among his awards.

After retiring from the U.S. Navy in 1991, he moved to Schaumburg, IL. and began his career in the financial services industry. He works with individuals and privately held businesses to assist them with their insurance and investment needs. He establishes mutually beneficial long-term relationships with his clients which enables them to work together over the years. Tim is focusing on retirement planning and is furthering his education in the areas of social security and retirement income distribution.

He has made presentations on various insurance and investment subjects for the Addison Trails High School, Alexian Brother Medical Center, the Yellow Ribbon Program, the Elgin City Employees Credit Union, the First Baptist Church of Melrose Park, the Realtor Association of Northwest Chicagoland, and the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors.

Tim is an avid sports fan who closely follows the St. Louis Cardinals, the St. Louis Blues, the Chicago Bulls, and the Chicago Bears. He has two grown children, Jennie and Nick, and a 19 year old grandson, Tristan. He lives in Schaumburg with his wife Myra, a registered nurse.

BS Marketing Illinois, Institute of Technology, 1971

MS Telecommunications Management, Naval Postgraduate School, 1983

Completed 20 years of service in the United States Navy on June 30 1991

Financial services industry designations, Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)

Investment services designations, Series 6, Series 63, and Series 65


Meet Valerie Petrova

Valerie Petrova, Account Executive

Val joined Creath Financial Services in 2016. Having over 10 years of banking, financial services, and business operations, Val brings a wealth of personalized service to our clients. She is a natural problem-solver and enjoys helping clients find the answers they need, as the success of the company is based on building and nurturing lasting relationships! Her genuine approach and personal commitment to excellence are designed to provide clients with attentive and personalized assistance. Her role includes calling, scheduling, and following up with workshop attendees and clients. She also assists with managing advisor’s calendar to maximize time with clients. Val holds a degree in International Economic Relations and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to provide clients with outstanding service and foster advisor’s success. A finance professional with a mindset of a marketer, Val has helped shape the team’s approach on client acquisition. She actively supports and promotes various organizations in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, including Center for Economic Progress, Uncharted Learning, and Wings Program.

In her free time, Val enjoys reading, painting and practicing yoga. She loves traveling and exploring new destinations with her family.

Meet Our Strategic Alliances


Meet Wayne Schmidt, CFA®

Chief Investment Officer of Gradient Investments, LLC

In 2008, Wayne brought 30 years of institutional investment experience to the private clients of Gradient Investments. During his tenure at AXA Investment Managers, Wayne served as senior portfolio manager for the U.S. Investment Grade Fixed Income Team. As the lead portfolio manager, he managed $9.5 billion of fixed income assets with a variety of mandates ranging from aggregate, corporate and government bond portfolios. Wayne has been quoted on the subject of the global economy in numerous nationally and internationally recognized investment publications such as Bloomberg, Reuters, and The Los Angeles Times. He is a Chartered Financial AnalystTM and a member of The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute and the Twin Cities Society of Security Analysts.


Meet Michael Binger, CFA®

Senior Portfolio Manager of Gradient Investments, LLC

Mike brings over 24 years of institutional equity investment experience to Gradient Investments and its affiliated advisors and clients. He has extensive experience working directly with financial advisors designing and actively managing portfolios. Mike has successfully invested in numerous market and economic cycles giving him a level and depth of experience that is rare in this industry. He spent more than 20 years at Thrivent Financial where he managed numerous equity funds through various economic cycles. Mike’s media highlights include numerous appearances, providing market insight on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg Radio. Mike has also been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Smart Money, Reuters, Business Week and numerous other local, national and global investment publications.


Meet Mariann Montagne, CFA®

Senior Investment Analyst of Gradient Investments, LLC

Mariann has 20 plus years of working with both institutional and high net worth clients and has amassed a strong breadth of investment experience in her tenure. This experience includes company and industry sector analysis, risk monitoring and portfolio management in both the equity and fixed income markets. She is highly attuned to economic and market conditions, and has extensive experience selecting individual stocks, ETFs and mutual funds. In addition to being a CFA, she is a member of both the CFA Society of Minnesota and the CFA Institute. Mariann’s media highlights include quotes in Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, NPR, Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on Bloomberg TV and Fox Business News.