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Our team of financial advisors is based out of our Ogden, UT, and Logan, UT, offices and provides comprehensive fee-only financial planning and investment management to clients throughout the Greater Salt Lake City area.


Paul Norman, CFP® Photo
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Paul Norman, CFP®

Financial Advisor

Paul Norman, a Senior Financial Advisor with Ascend Investment Partners, has offices in Logan and Ogden and has been helping clients in these communities meet their financial objectives for more than 30 years.

Having begun his financial services career in 1983 with Summers Insurance Agency in Logan, Paul then joined First Security Bank Investor Services in 1990 and worked there for ten years. Paul then spent nine years working at UBS Wealth Management, and he proudly moved his investment management practice to Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network in 2009.

Paul attended Utah State University and received his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP ) designation in 1996. He also holds the series 3, 7, 31, 63 and 66 securities registrations.

In his free time, Paul enjoys hunting, fishing, running, hiking, and snowmobiling. He and his wife live in Paradise, Utah, and they have four daughters.

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Kevin Kesler

Financial Advisor

Backed by more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, Kevin Kesler has diligently served Ogden-area investors and looks forward to helping them meet their financial goals for many years to come.

Kevin began his financial services career in 1984 as a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch. Then, in 1993, he relocated to First Security Bank Investor Services, where he worked for seven years, and he then worked for nine years at UBS Wealth Management. In 2009, Kevin moved his financial practice to Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, and his son, Chris, joined him as a registered representative three years later in order to help service his growing client base.

Kevin earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University, and he also holds the Series 3, 7, 31, 63 and 66 securities registrations.

Away from the office, Kevin enjoys fishing, bicycling and golf, and he is an active member of the Ogden Golf and Country Club. He and his wife, Diane, live in North Ogden, and they have three children and nine grandchildren.

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Darcy Wride

Financial Advisor

Darcy Wride has a wealth of experience built on 26 years of service in the industry. He enjoys building relationships with clients throughout Utah and around the country.

Darcy began his financial services career in 1993 with First Union Securities, and then joined UBS Wealth Management in 2000. Five years later, Darcy moved his financial practice to Wachovia Securities Financial Network, the predecessor firm of Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network.  In July of 2020 he joined his partners from Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network in forming the Registered Investment Advisory Firm Ascend Investment Advisors 

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in 1991.  He also holds, the series 63, 65, and 66 securities registrations. 

Away from the office, Darcy enjoys many activities with family and friends. He and his wife, Kellie, have four sons, two daughters in law, and two precious grandchildren.

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Garrett Smith

Financial Advisor

In 2013, Garrett G. Smith joined the team at Ascend Investment Partners as a Financial Advisor. He completed a Master of Science degree in Financial Economics from Utah State University as well as a Bachelor's degree in Physics.  He focuses on helping individuals and families prepare for and excel in retirement by explaining complex topics clearly, putting the clients interests first, and utilizing The CLIMB Process™ to simplify financial planning.  

He enjoys skiing, golfing, rock climbing, biking, running, camping, and astronomy. Garrett is married, has two children with one on the way, and lives with his family in Cache Valley.

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Chris Kesler

Financial Advisor

In 2012, Chris Kesler joined his father, Kevin, to provide additional service to current clients and begin serving new clients of the firm. Chris has been integral in helping to implement advanced service models and run new, sophisticated portfolio analyses for clients.

Prior to joining Ascend Investment Partners, Chris attended Brigham Young University, where he earned both a Master of Information Systems Management and a Bachelor of Information Systems. While in school, he was a project manager at BYU and a Global Field Engineer for Intel Corporation.

Since joining Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, Chris has obtained the Series 7 and 66 securities registrations and the Life and Health Insurance license. 

Chris is married, has three children, and enjoys running, biking, and spending time with his family.

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Brent Keller

Financial Advisor

Brent joined Darcy Wride at Ascend Investment Partners in 2019. At 12 years old, Brent gained a passion for the markets as he bought his first mutual fund with his grandfather.

Brent earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in Economics and International Business from Utah State University. After graduation he began his professional career at Fidelity Investments in 2011. 

Brent speaks fluent Spanish and has a background in construction and commercial real estate development. 

Brent enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife and five children. He loves sharing his passions with others that include aviation, riding motorcycles, sports, traveling the world, and the outdoors. 

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Donna Rodriguez

Senior Account Administrator

Donna Rodriguez has accumulated more than a decade's worth of experience working in the financial services industry and is now a Senior Registered Account Administrator with Ascend Investment Partners.

Before joining the team in 2005, Donna worked in government contracting and office administration. She started her financial services career at UBS, where she worked with Darcy Wride, Kevin Kesler, and Paul Norman, and then moved with their team to Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network in 2005.

Donna holds the Series 7 securities registration and manages compliance and office operations. She is also a Notary Public for the State of Utah.

Away from the office, Donna has three children and seven grandchildren, she enjoys being with family and extended family, hiking, walking, skiing, shopping, and shooting- and target-practice.

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Shannan Stauffer

Senior Account Administrator

Shannan Stauffer began helping clients at Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network in 2010. 

She began working at a financial services firm in 2008 with UBS, where she performed account servicing work. Shannan also has an extensive background in accounting. 

Shannan is a Registered Account Administrator, and she holds the Series 7 securities registration.

Shannan enjoys golfing and playing in competitive associations, working out, shopping, spending time with her family and her two goldendoodles.

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Jessica Larsen

Administrative Assistant

After several years of office administrative experience, Jessica spent a number of years staying home raising her two awesome boys, then a few years working and volunteering in their schools. She is excited for this new opportunity assisting clients of Ascend Investment Partners and improving the financial services industry.

Jessica loves living in Cache Valley and enjoys hiking, fishing, camping, concerts, yoga and spending time with her friends and family.