Evan Gower is a partner with us here at GCES and is constantly working to help our postal clients and his clients at Wood Family Financial with their retirement plans.
Together with his wife, Chase, Evan is co-owner of Wood Family Financial, and they work with retirees all throughout the South preserving the legacy of Houston Wood. Houston was Evan’s father-in-law and mentor and the reason he first entered the business. “Houston provided me with the tools and guidance I needed to succeed as a financial planner. Chase and I are carrying on the family business as co-partners and partners in life,” Evan says.
Evan is most proud of the client relationships they retain at Wood Family Financial. Houston Wood’s father, Jasper, started the firm, eventually bringing in his two sons, Houston and Mike. Not only do Evan and Chase still help Jasper’s clients, but they serve the children and grandchildren of those clients. “This is very much a family-run business with a goal of helping families over multiple generations. That’s one of the things people absolutely love about us,” Evan says.
Wood Family Financial works with postal employees, schoolteachers and state employees in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky, but Evan spends equal time with employees from private companies. He approaches financial and retirement planning as a teacher, fully embracing the educational aspect of his job.
The firm places a majority of their focus on overseeing the existing clients, and they think that’s the best way to ensure that each person who trusts them is properly taken care of. “Our clients are hyperaware of what’s going on with their finances because we put a lot of energy into giving them the tools to understand what’s happening,” Evan says, adding, “Houston liked to say that anyone can make an informed decision if they have the right material to do so. We teach our clients how something works, then we can make an educated decision about whether or not it’s the right choice for them.”
The personal relationships are another aspect of Evan’s job that keep him motivated. If a client calls Wood Family Financial and Evan and Chase are unable to pick up, they make it a point to return the phone call the same day. They also place equal importance on every client, and Evan believes that clients with $10,000 need just as much attention as clients with a million dollars.
Though he enjoys the work that goes into the process of guiding his clients to retirement, his favorite part of his job is when someone gets to retire and spend the rest of their life chasing their own goals. “If anyone gets it, it’s me. I want to go fishing 24/7, too, so getting someone to the finish line is the most gratifying thing. I love watching them retire knowing that they’re properly set up for everything they worked all those years for,” Evan says.
Evan attended the University of Tennessee Knoxville for three years where he studied business administration and botany. He finished his education at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. Evan also has an extensive background in the security industry. As a financial advisor, he holds a life and health insurance license, and he works to ensure that client questions about insurance and retirement are answered completely and thoroughly. Evan is currently working toward his Series 65 license, which he expects to open even more doors and opportunities for his clients and their investing and retirement potential.
On the personal side, growing up in the South has turned Evan into an avid outdoorsman, and he spends the majority of his free time hunting, fishing and trapping. He and Chase have a son named Van and a daughter named Everleigh, and the four share a love for camping, using their free weekends to take their 1976 Airstream camper to new lake destinations.
The family uses part of their travel time to hunt down new additions to their collections. Every time they go to a new town, they hit flea markets, antique stores and any other shops that might sell old collectibles. Evan collects flags, and his personal travels and visits to small Southern towns help him add rare, unique pieces to his collection that he likely wouldn’t find anywhere else in the country. Some of his favorites are flags from the Lincoln era, local post offices or aircraft carriers in World War II.
Though Evan and Chase plan on letting their children choose their own path, Evan would love to see one of them take up the family mantle. Both Van and Everleigh have great heads on their shoulders, and Van effortlessly answers questions about what his parents do for a living. Just as it has been for the three generations, it’s in the Wood and Gower blood.