Our Team

suzanne-buska

Suzanne M. Buska

President, Buska Retirement Solutions, Inc.
Licensed Insurance Professional

Outside of the office, Sue enjoys spending time with her husband, Tom, their grandchildren, and their dogs. In addition to family time, Sue also enjoys cooking, decorating, golfing, boating, camping and being active in the community.

Sue’s career in the insurance and financial service industries is extensive and spans over 35 plus year. Sue began her career working for her father, Joseph Buska Jr., at the family firm in 1980, selling life insurance and annuities. She opened her own firm in 1992 to offer a wider variety of insurance products to her clients. Ultimately, she shifted her firm’s focus to retirement planning as a whole. Today, Buska Retirement Solutions, Inc. is a leader in Central Wisconsin in providing retirement education and solutions.

Sue’s peers view her as a dedicated leader in the industry and her hard work has helped thousands of families in the Central Wisconsin area. She has been presented with several awards and honors, including being featured on the cover of YOU magazine as a local successful businesswoman, being selected as one of five finalists for the 2013 Senior Market Advisor of the Year Award, and being ranked among the Top 50 agents, out of a group of 25,000+, for the past several years. Sue was proud to be ranked #6 in the nation in 2012. She has most recently been selected as a Finalist for the Athena Leadership Award by the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce.

 


 

cole-bruner

Cole J. Bruner

Vice President, Buska Retirement Solutions, Inc.
Licensed Insurance Professional,
President, Buska Wealth Management, LLC
Investment Advisor Representative

Cole enjoys spending time with his family and their two dogs. He also enjoys golfing, bowling, downhill and skiing. Additionally, Cole like being involved in the community through such things as the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce, where he has been selected to serve a 3 year term on the board of directors.

Cole’s career in the insurance and financial services industries began in 2007 when he joined his family’s firm in order to continue the family tradition of service. Cole is the oldest of Sue’s 3 children.  Cole has excelled in his career and has been recognized by many of his peers in the industry.  He has dedicated a great deal of his time over the past few years studying a variety of critical retirement topics, such as Social Security income maximization, in addition to becoming a Fiduciary as an Investment Advisor Representative and now President of Buska Wealth Management, LLC.  Cole has presented educational workshops and spoken at events all over Central Wisconsin. He has been recognized as one of the Top 75 agents in the past few years out of a group of 25,000+. He has been an American Equity Gold Eagle Member, among other recognitions for his service. When the day comes where Sue decides to retire, Cole will transition his role to lead Buska Retirement Solutions for the next 30+ years.

 


 

sandee-shafer

Sandee Schafer

Director of Client Development

Sandee was born and raised right in Central Wisconsin, now calling Edgar her home. She has been married to her husband John for 33 years. Together they have 2 married children, Nikandra (Matthew) Glause and Matthew (Tabitha) Schafer. In addition to Nikandra and Matthew, Maryn completed the Schafer family in 2007. Maryn is entering Middle School in Edgar. Sandee is also a proud step grandma to Maddyson Lorbecke Schafer, also an Edgar student. In her free time, Sandee enjoys bargain shopping as well as thinking up home improvement projects for John. Eventually she would like to become a snowbird and winter someplace South.

Sandee’s 32-year career before joining Buska was primarily retail management based in Rice Lake, WI. Sandee has enjoyed working with customers in both direct, phone, and retail sales. She is a certified Shrock & Medallion Cabinetry Kitchen Designer as well. Up until 2013, Sandee was actively pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Health Care Management through Concordia University. Sandee holds her life insurance license as well as her health insurance license. In October of 2014, Sandee was promoted to Life & Health Insurance Consultant, having previously served for over a year as the Client Relationship Manager. She became our Director of Client Development in 2017. Sandee’s ability to relate to our potential clients and their needs, based on a long career of service, has been a tremendous benefit to our firm and the new clients whom she serves.

 


 

Sara Wimmer

Director of Operations and Service
Licensed Insurance Professional

Sara was born and raised in the Abbotsford area, but currently resides in Weston. She has a husband, Brian, three daughters, and grandson, who she enjoys spending time with. Sara also enjoys attending her youngest daughter’s sporting events, gardening and traveling. Sara joined Buska Retirement Solutions in October, 2014, as the Client Relationship Manager.

Prior to joining the team at Buska, Sara earned an Associate Degree in Marketing from NTC. She has held various roles in the greater Wausau area over the past 20 years. Sara has added significant value to the firm due to her experience in the Insurance, Banking, and Communications industries. Sara holds a Wisconsin Life Insurance License. She is always looking for ways to expand her knowledge to be able to provide even better service to our clients.

 


 

zachary-kyhos

Zachary Kyhos

Private Wealth Advisor

Zach was born and raised in Central Wisconsin, a place he will continue to call home. Outside of work, Zach enjoys spending time with his wife Paige and black lab Paisley. When he can escape, he can be found either in the woods hunting or on a lake fishing. He also enjoys playing a round of golf or a pick-up game on a ball diamond.

Zach joined Buska Wealth Management in December of 2015. He graduated from UWSP in May of 2015, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate. He takes great pride in his education, he is currently working on his MBA, with an emphasis in Finance through the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. And looks forward to achieving his CFA designation soon. Zach has a unique perspective on the importance of finances for organizations due to the different roles he has held throughout his young professional career. Spending almost six years in the manufacturing world, allowed him to get a strong sense on the importance of controlling costs, delivering products and services beyond customer’s expectations, all while working as a team to deliver those services. Which is why he takes great pride in working with business’s on developing sound Retirement Plans. He also carries those same principals forward when working with individuals. Zach takes a strong focus on working with individual(s) to improve their financial situation and meeting both short-term to long-term goals.

 


 

ryan-connor

Ryan Connor

Private Wealth Advisor – Eau Claire Office

Ryan was raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. In his free time, Ryan spends his time with family and friends, coaching baseball, and supporting his favorite teams.

Ryan was raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout where he was a student-athlete for four years. He majored in Business Administration with a focus in Finance as well as a minor in Economics, all while competing for Stout’s baseball team. It is through sports that Ryan developed a passion for economics, analyzing how teams were able to maximize their resources available. In college, he became interested in the economics of financial markets and received a recommendation for the Koch Fellowship for Policy Research and Analysis in Washington, D.C. After spending his entire life in the sports world, Ryan is excited to be a part of the Buska Team and to be able to serve the community he grew up in.

 


 

Carl Van Setters, EA

Director of Accounting, Enrolled Agent

Carl was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and raised from coast to coast as one of 5 children to a military family. He later joined the military himself where he served over 20 years in the US Air Force. He married a Wisconsin gal and has been enriched with 5 boys. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family outdoors, bowling or enjoying movies and sports.

Carl earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Upper Iowa University in 2011 and has worked in the accounting field within the Wausau area ever since. Carl also recently passed his final examination to become an Enrolled Agent. Carl joined Buska Retirement Solutions in June of 2016. He is excited to utilize this new designation to benefit the clients of the firm.

 


 

michele-foley

Michele Foley

Client Relationship Manager

Michele was born and raised in the Wausau area. Her and her husband William, have 4 adult children and 5 grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, cooking, farmers markets and spending time with family.

Michele join the Buska Team in September of 2017 and serves as our Client Relationship Manager and currently holds a WI Life Insurance License. Michele is tasked with ensuring our client’s stay up to date with regular communication from our firm. She assists our clients in setting up their Generational Vault accounts, reviewing policies and assisting them in better understanding the ways that we can assist them in meeting their goals. Her primary responsibility is to ensure a seamless client experience. She brings over 20 years of customer service and management experience.

 


 

suzanne-buska

Kendra Wheaton

Administration Assistant – Eau Claire Office

Kendra was born and raised in Northern Illinois, but now calls Eau Claire her home. Her and her husband Jim have three children and two grandsons.  In her free time, Kendra enjoys spending time with family, cooking, reading, knitting and cheering on her favorite team, the Chicago Cubs.

Prior to joining Buska Retirement Solutions, Kendra has spent over 20 years in the customer service industry from jobs ranging to a receptionist to a traffic director for a local radio station. Each of her past experiences has helped Kendra grow into the friendly and customer service oriented individual that she is. She truly enjoys working with clients and finds it very rewarding.

 


 

stephanie

Stephanie L. Grauden

Director of Marketing

Stephanie was born and raised in Southeast Wisconsin and currently resides in Mosinee. She and her husband, Darren, have one adult child. Outside of the office, Stephanie enjoys, making wine, traveling, camping, gardening, and spending time with family, friends, and her dog.

Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UWSP and has held various graphic design and marketing roles in the Central Wisconsin area ever since. Stephanie joined Buska Retirement Solutions in June of 2019. As a Director of Marketing, her responsibilities include advertising, public relations, event planning, and brand management. She is excited to be part of the Buska team.

 


 

douglas

Douglas E. Wendt

Health Insurance and Medicare Consultant
Licensed Insurance Professional

Doug was born in Marshfield Wisconsin and moved to Wausau in 2015. He is married to the love of his life Tammy and has two “bonus” sons, Tyler and Nicholas. He enjoys playing golf, traveling, watching the Packers, relaxing with his family, and hibernating in the winter.

Before joining our team at Buska, Doug worked in labor organizations for 25 years with the last 15 years traveling the country consulting manufacturing facilities in a broad range of industries. In 2014 he decided to make a career change and work with people making the transition to retirement. He holds Wisconsin insurance licenses in Life, Health/Accident with certifications in Annuities and Long-Term Care. He has extensive experience working with people problem solving and finding solutions to best meet their needs. His wealth of knowledge in Medicare and Health Insurance options serve as a tremendous resource for our clients. Doug views himself more as an educator to help look at all options available and simplify was seems to be an overwhelming amount of information.

 


 

Mandi Bird

Administrative Assistant

Mandi was raised mostly in Greenwood, WI, but spent all her childhood summers in Florida and moved there for a few years after high school. She ultimately came back to Wisconsin and settled in the Wausau area. Mandi has three children and a fiancé, Chris. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, attending Brewers games, and attending as many concerts as possible.

Mandi has worked over the past several years in the medical field doing accounts receivable, collections, insurance verifications, and billing. Part of her roles included assisting patients and families with applications for Medical Assistance and Financial Aid. The information that she assisted in gathering and assessing for these applications gave Mandi a great deal of knowledge of the services we offer here at Buska. She is very excited for the new adventure outside of the medical world.