"They are like a silent partner in our business!"  - Dr. Mark & Kay Knight


Steve J. Persons, MAAA, MSPA, CPA, PFS – Chief Executive Officer

Steve earned his degree in Accounting from Kent State University and began his career in the pension field in 1977. Steve co-founded CBS in 1995.

Steve’s Designations and Licenses include:

  • Enrolled Actuary (EA)
  • Member, Society of Pension Actuaries (MSPA)
  • Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Member, American Academy of Actuaries

Steve is based in our Ohio office. Email link to Steve.

Max E. Wyman, MSPA – President

Max earned his degree in Business Administration from Michigan Technological University and has been in the pension field since 1979. Max joined CBS in 2010.

Max’s Designations include:

  • Enrolled Actuary (EA)
  • Member, Society of Pension Actuaries (MSPA)
  • Certified Pension Consultant (CPC)
Max is based in our Minnesota office. Email link to Max.

Jennifer L. Bufe, QPA – Vice President

Jennifer earned her degree in Business from Michigan State University and has been in the pension field since 1993. Since starting with CBS in 1995, she has worked in nearly every position of the company and currently supervises the Defined Benefit department.

Jennifer’s Designations include:

  • Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA)

Jennifer is based in our Ohio office. Email link to Jennifer.

Brian S. Secrest, ERPA, QPA, QKA – Vice President

Brian earned his degree in Business/Finance from the University of Akron and has been in the pension field since 1998. In 2002, he joined CBS and currently supervises the Defined Contribution department.

Brian’s Designations include:

  • Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPA)
  • Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA)
  • Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA)

Brian is based in our Ohio office. Email link to Brian.

Donald A. Hanke, ERPA, QPA, QKA – Vice President, Lafayette Office

Donald earned his Bachelor’s degree from Cleveland State University and has been in the pension field since 2000.  In 2007, he joined CBS and currently supervises the Lafayette, Indiana office.

Donald’s Designations include:

  • Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPA)
  • Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA)
  • Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA)

Donald is based in our Indiana office. Email link to Donald.

Catherine A. Persons, ERPA, QPA, QKA – Senior Pension Administrator

Catherine earned her Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. In 2007, she joined CBS and is a Senior Pension Administrator in our Defined Benefit department.


Catherine’s Designations include:

  • Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPA)
  • Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA)
  • Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA)


Catherine is based in our Ohio office. Email link to Catherine.

Nathan A. Ausel, ERPA, QPA, QKA – Senior Pension Administrator

Nathan earned his degree in Corporate Finance from the University of Akron. In 2007, he joined CBS and is a Senior Pension Administrator in our Defined Benefit department.


Nathan’s Designations include:

  • Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPA)
  • Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA)
  • Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA)

Nathan is based in our Ohio office. Email link to Nathan.

Terry M. Davis, ERPA, QPA, QKA – Senior Pension Administrator

Terry earned her Bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and has been in the pension field for over 20 years. In 2012, she joined CBS and is a Senior Pension Administrator in our Defined Contribution Department.


Terry’s Designations include:

  • Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPA)
  • Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA)
  • Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA)

Terry is based in our Ohio office. Email link to Terry.

Jodie L. Hanke, QPA, QKA – Senior Pension Administrator

Jodie earned her Master’s degree from Valdosta State University and has been in the pension field for 15 years. In 2013, she joined CBS and is a Senior Pension Administrator in our Defined Contribution department.


Jodie’s Designations include:

  • Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA)
  • Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA)

Jodie is based in our Indiana office. Email link to Jodie.

Cory J. Petek – Pension Assistant

Cory earned his degree in Mathematics with a concentration in Actuarial Mathematics from Kent State University. In 2013, he joined CBS and is a Pension Assistant in our Defined Benefit department.


Cory is based in our Ohio office. Email link to Cory.

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All written content on this site is for informational purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Creative Benefit Strategies, Inc., and our editorial staff. Material presented is believed to be reliable sources, however, we make no representations as to its accuracy or completeness.





  In 2015, Creative Benefit Strategies, Inc. celebrates 20 years of "Building Futures"!

We extend our gratitude to everyone who made this possible!