Meet Mike

Mike Cummiskey CLU®, ChFC®, RICP®, CFF®, CPFA




I left corporate life in 2011 after spending nearly 17 years with The Hartford Financial Services Group and Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., as a Regional Vice President. I managed as many as 48 financial planners and advisers, in three states, from my home office in Paradise Valley. Woodbury Financial is a great firm, and still acts as my broker/dealer, and I continue to work and collaborate with a select handful of advisers.

Like many corporate workers, I made a change and returned to my prior 13 years of experience working directly with individuals, professionals, and business owners as their financial adviser. This is where I can have the greatest impact on people's lives, including:

  • Fee-based financial planning
  • Thoughtful and lower cost investing and income strategies
  • Sophisticated life insurance transactions: valuations, purchasing, and reselling

Now, instead of coaching financial advisers on their best practices, I help clients enjoy their financial service experience. Thankfully I have an excellent administrative assistant, Debbie Farstead, who helps me stay on top of client service needs.

My Professional Background

After college, I returned to Phoenix, and received excellent training at a major life insurance company. After a couple years, I left to form my own independent life and disability income insurance brokerage company, Medical Staff Insurance Services, Inc. which was primarily focused on physicians and hospital employees.

I have earned three major professional designations from The American College of Financial Services in Bryn Mawr, PA. All require rigorous courses of study and continuing education requirements:

  • The Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®),
  • The Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®),
  • The Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®)
  • Certified Financial Fiduciary® (CFF®)
  • Certified Plan Fiduciary Adviser (CPFA)

My membership in the Phoenix Chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, (NAIFA) was longstanding. After serving on the Board for many years, I was elected President for 2000 – 2001.

As a hobby, I have published financial articles in national industry publications, Broker News, and Life Insurance Selling magazine. My planning approaches and product knowledge stay sharp through product wholesalers, industry news and other financial planners with whom I collaborate to gain alternative points of view. In addition to the two attorneys at the Advanced Markets Team at Woodbury Financial, local attorneys, CPAs, TPAs and alliance partners also provide me - and my clients - valuable support.

In addition to professional education and training, I hold several licenses and registrations which also require continuing education. These include:

  • General Securities Principal - Series 24
  • General Securities - Series 7
  • Investment Adviser Representative - Series 65
  • Life and health insurance licenses and continuing education for clients in several states (see below)

Personal Information

I grew up here in Phoenix and today still enjoy my closest relationships with my friends from preschool and elementary school. Following high school, I achieved my goal of attending a fine liberal arts college, Kenyon College, in Gambier, Ohio, where I enjoyed a Great Books program and studied Political Science.

My wife Wendy and I have resided in Paradise Valley since 1991, where we raised our two daughters. Wendy returned to work in 2005, teaching kindergarten at Cherokee Elementary.

I was a member of the Phoenix Active 20-30 Club for years, chaired the Noche de Gourmet Event one year and was a Board Member on the Children in Need Foundation. I met a lot of good friends at that time.

My avid design and desert gardening interests have expanded over the years. Our remodeled home landscape was published in Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine in 2009 and featured in the PHG 2010 Grand Tour of Gardens. I do believe that good design applies to financial planning as much as in architecture or landscape design.

I have been a patient volunteer with Hospice of the Valley (HOV), since 2004. HOV is a fantastic organization which depends on volunteerism.

In addition, I serve on the Town of Paradise Valley's Advisory Committee (ACOPs), and helped create a new non-profit in 2018 to benefit the police and public safety needs in Paradise Valley. I am currently serving as President of the Paradise Valley Public Safety Foundation, Inc.


I received a certificate for 15 years of volunteering at Hospice of the Valley from, Stacia Ortega, Director of Volunteer Services, and Executive Director, Debbie Shumway.