There are many levels to Derek Podolak. You see him as a Financial Advisor today however there have been many life experiences that have shaped his life to bring him to this point. He is a committed Father and Husband and strives everyday to help those around him achieve their goals not only financially but professionally and personally as well.
He comes from a humble upbringing as the son of Steelworker from Pittsburgh. His Father Edwin Podolak retired from the LTV Pittsburgh Works Plant in 1997 when the plant closed. His mother Mary was primarily a homemaker and entered the workforce later in life and rose the level of a Human Resources manager in Giant Eagle Grocery Stores in Pittsburgh.
Derek graduated from South Park High School in 1990 where he was a three-sport athlete in Football, Hockey, and Baseball. Earning multiple letters and awards in each sport. Following his graduation, he went on to attend West Virginia University earning a Liberal Arts Degree and being the first in his family to graduate from college. While attending WVU he worked for LTV Steel in the summers and was hired full time following his graduation from college. In 1997 The Pittsburgh Works Plant closed leaving him unemployed as a young man and contemplating his future.
Derek decided to return to school at Robert Morris University and start work on his MBA. While attending he played on the Hockey team as a graduate student for 2 seasons. It became increasingly difficult to remain a student as a young man and in 1999 returned to the Workforce for Mellon Bank. He rose to the level of Branch Manager and started work on earning his securities licenses all while finishing up his MBA at night and on the weekends.
In 2001 Mellon Bank was purchased by Citizens Financial Group and advanced through the system and rose to the level of Regional Sales Manager for Western Pennsylvania.
In 2003 he met his wife Carly and had 2 children Nathan and Rayna. They reside in South Park where he grew up. He also returned to become the Head Coach of the South Park High School Hockey team for 5 seasons where he guided them back to the playoffs and rebuilt the program to a Championship contender while advancing players on to the next level. Derek has donated countless hours to local hockey organizations as a Board Member, Coach, and Mentor. He enjoys working with young athletes and seeing them achieve their full potential.
These life lessons and experiences have helped shape his philosophy and how he deals with clients. He takes great pride in helping his clients utilize the various financial products available to them in the proper manor. He prides himself on making the complex world of financial services understandable.
On paper and in Google searches, Scott Bradley Swinchock is a managing partner, wealth advisor, consultant, and entrepreneur. In his free time, he is an avid golfer, foodie, and world traveler. However, when people ask Mr. Swinchock to describe himself, he doesn’t hesitate to say first and foremost, he is Janel’s husband and Emily and Ella’s dad.
But before he was a husband and father – or a successful businessman – he was the firstborn son of Richard and Marie Swinchock. The Swinchock’s lived in a humble, single-family home in Clarksville, Pennsylvania. Richard was a hard-working steelworker employed by Allegheny Ludlum, and despite the rigorous athletic and extracurricular schedule that both his children had, he took pride in punching the clock day-in and day-out so that his family never wanted. Marie stayed home to raise Scott and his younger sister Haylee until they started school, skillfully managing an extremely busy household filled with love, laughter, and important life lessons.
A product of the Pennsylvania public school system, Scott Swinchock graduated Bethlehem Center High School in May of 1997 and continued his education at Allegheny College where he graduated Cum Laude in May of 2001 with a degree in Managerial Economics. The work ethic instilled in him by his parents allowed him to balance both academics and athletics. He was a decorated baseball player who was named 2000 Mid East Regional MVP, 2000 All World Series First Team, and 2001 All American.
After graduation and a few, of what he considered to be, “jobs,” Mr. Swinchock decided that his true calling was to assist and instruct local families and businesses through financial education and planning. He passed his Series 7, Series 66, and PA Life & Health Exams in the spring of 2009 and started his career as a financial advisor. In January of 2013, he joined Waddell & Reed as an advisor and after passing his Series 24 Exam, he was promoted to District Branch Manager in February of 2014 and then Executive Director of Practice Development in January of 2016. He is now the founder and Managing Partner of Affinity Wealth Management Group (AWMG). AWMG is a national firm that is headquartered in Canonsburg, PA, and focuses on the financial needs of individuals, business owners, and professional athletes/entertainers.
Mr. Swinchock takes extreme pride in his role as husband, father, businessman, and community leader. He has and always will continue his efforts to support and inspire his family, friends, colleagues, and clients.
If you were to ask Scott Somma who he was, he would immediately tell you that before anything that he is the son of Rande and Georgia Somma, proud husband of Courtney Somma, and dedicated father of Jameson and Luka Somma. He is an avid golfer, is passionate about his health, and loves using his pellet smoker and Blackstone griddle to cook any protein you put in front of him. Professionally, he is the managing partner of AWMG and AIP where he provides valued financial counsel to individuals, families, and businesses.
Scott was born in Columbus, OH was raised in Rochester Hills, MI and moved to Pittsburgh, PA in November of 2009. He played many sports growing up and loved playing local golf tours. He attended Central Michigan University and began his career in finance at Quicken Loans/Rock Financial as a mortgage loan officer. He was swiftly recruited by a local brokerage firm where Scott managed and originated loans until 2009.
While on vacation in Pittsburgh, Scott took an interview with Citizens Bank. Moving to Pittsburgh wasn’t the plan for him, but life experiences taught him that you never know what relationships could form from a meeting. As it turns out, Scott was offered a management position at the regional bank and decided to take on a new life adventure. Having some roots in Pittsburgh made the transition a little easier than it may have otherwise, however, building a professional network in a new city was going to be a challenge. Scott was anxious to further develop his career and he started by managing local branches until he was approached by the Investment division. They recognized his talent, dedication, and passion for his clients. Naturally, Scott was propositioned by the division to take on a role of working with the bank’s high-net worth customers as a Client Relationship Manager.
After eight years of commitment to his clients at the bank, Scott knew that he would best be able to prepare his clients their financial future outside of the confines of the bank. Scott, along with two partners, took a leap of faith and established their own firm in 2017.
Presently, Scott is the Managing Partner of Affinity Wealth Management Group and Affinity Insurance Partners who’s partners alone have over 50 years of combined industry experience. The firm operates nationally but is headquartered in Pittsburgh PA where they focus on wealth strategies, estate planning, wealth transfer and protection, and insurance for personal and business needs.
Last but not least, Scott also takes pride in giving back to the community and has served as a donor and participant it the Miracle League of South Hills, PA. He is also currently a donor, active participant, and board member for the Pittsburgh chapter of Best Buddies.
Scott has a lot to be thankful for, especially for his family, friends, and clients that have supported him along his life’s journey. Every morning before he leaves for the office, he sees his family and is reminded that they are his prime motivation to build a successful firm with integrity and core values he grew up on as the cornerstone of everything he does.