Our Story

It started when two guys shared a commitment to what seemed to them like some pretty obvious ideas about money – how client relationships, trust, and guidance were more important than “selling” for short term gain. Put simply, “If we take care of our clients, our business will take care of itself.”
It struck a nerve.

Lytle Rather and Chris Kittrell launched RK in 2000. Based on the steadfast belief that “people come first,” a two-desk business has grown into an SEC registered investment advisory firm that serves successful individuals, families, and businesses managing the transitions that inherently come with money.

Our Team

Any business is only as good as its people. These folks get it. They not only share the core values that make RK so special, they helped define them.

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Ph: 865-218-8404

Lytle is the co-founder of Rather & Kittrell and has worked in the financial services industry since 1988. He is a graduate of The University of Tennessee with a degree in Finance. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Accredited Investment Fiduciary®, FINRA Series 24 Registered Principal, FINRA Series 7 Registered Representative (licensed with Securities Service Network, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC), and holds life, health, and variable contract licenses. He is also a member of the Financial Planning Association and The Knoxville Estate Planning Council. Lytle has served as a board member of The University of Tennessee Finance Department Advisory Council.

Lytle was the proud recipient of the 2007 Steven Coffey Award from Securities Service Network, Inc. This award goes to the financial advisor who best represents Mr. Coffey’s values and the founding principles of SSN: a focus on personal relationships and a core commitment to integrity. “The Steven L. Coffey Award recognizes the very best representative in the SSN family,” stated Wade Wilkinson, President and CEO. “We are thrilled to be associated with Lytle and think he and his firm should be held up as an example for other financial professionals to emulate.”

Lytle is currently the President of the Farragut High School 6th Players Club.  He has been involved many years in the CBFO youth sports program as a basketball coach and is involved with the TN Fury AAU Program. He and his wife, Susan, live in Farragut, Tennessee, with their three children. They attend Two Rivers Church in Farragut.

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Ph: 865-218-8405

Chris is co-founder and principal of Rather & Kittrell and has worked in the financial services industry since 1995. He is a graduate of East Tennessee State University with a double major in Finance and Human Resource Management.

Chris has served on the board of Helen Ross McNabb, Fellowship of Christian Athletes & Kalu Grace Foundation. He currently serves on the board of the Tennessee Theatre and Knoxville Leadership Foundation.  Chris and Rather & Kittrell were the 2014 recipient of the “Invest in Others” Foundation’s Volunteer Team of the Year for their work with Mission of Hope.

Chris enjoys writing and is a regular contributor to the Knoxville News Sentinel’s finance section. He was honored in 2008 as a member of “40 under 40,” which honors under-40 business people who are leaving an impact on the Knoxville community. In 2009, Chris was nominated for “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” at the Pinnacle Business Awards.

He and his wife, Tami, live with their two daughters in Farragut, Tennessee.

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Ph: 865-218-8406

In 1999, Jeff began his investment career with a regional brokerage firm after a successful four years as a student athlete at the University of Tennessee where he was a captain of the 1998 National Championship football team. While at UT, he was a four-time All-SEC placekicker as well as a four-time Academic All-SEC student athlete and was named SEC kicker of the decade for the 1990s. He continues to hold the career scoring record at the University of Tennessee as well as the longest field goal made in the state of Tennessee at 62 yards.

Jeff will be the first to tell you that success in one area of life does not automatically translate to success elsewhere. His transition to the real world was filled with failures and disappointments. Thankfully, Lytle Rather and Chris Kittrell made him the first employee at Rather & Kittrell in 2002, and as a result of their belief in him he dedicated his professional career to helping others avoid the same financial mistakes he had made and instead, be good stewards of their time, talents, resources, and relationships. Almost 10 year later, Jeff became a partner at Rather & Kittrell which solidified a succession plan for the firm.

Jeff holds a BS in Business Administration with a major in marketing and minor in speech communications from the University of Tennessee. He has earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification as well as the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) certification after completing coursework at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

In 2014, Jeff authored Beyond the White Coat to help physicians and the professionals that serve them navigate the financial challenges in the midst of a rapidly changing healthcare environment.
Jeff has the privilege of speaking to various groups about the importance of sound money management and contributing to the Sunday edition of the Knoxville News Sentinel, and he is passionate about serving a select group of clients who have entrusted him with over $300 million in assets.

He has the honor of being married to his best friend, Stacey, and he is the proud father of three of the happiest kids you’ll ever meet, AJ, Hadley and Olivia. They live in Farragut, Tennessee, and are actively involved in local and overseas Christian ministries.

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Ph: 865-218-8407

Chad is a Senior Advisor with Rather & Kittrell.   He helps individuals and families achieve what is important to them with their money by developing a structured plan to guide them on their journey. He values an ongoing, collaborative partnership with his clients so they can feel reassured they are on track and are well informed to make smart financial choices as their journey evolves over time.

Chad takes seriously the trust clients place in him and the firm and believes that requires a commitment to professional education. In addition to his professional designations and credentials, Chad enjoys staying on top of the latest trends and research in the profession.

He has been interviewed and quoted in Investment News, Financial Planning Magazine, Boomer Advisor, Knoxville News Sentinel, and various news outlets. He has spent time as a professional moderator for Financial Planning Interactive, which has won a Gold Award from The American Society of Business Publication Editors and is a leading online forum for financial planners worldwide. Chad has also been invited to speak to numerous organizations on various financial topics.

A long-time advocate of advancing the profession, he has served on the boards of the East Tennessee Chapter of the Financial Planning Association (FPA), and is a member of the Knoxville Estate Planning Council.

Chad was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, by two wonderful parents. He played college golf for Clemson University with current PGA Tour stars Lucas Glover, Jonathan Byrd, and Charles Warren (who were so good Chad decided to get a real job). He pulled off a major coupe when his now wife, Wendy, agreed to marry him. Together they are the proud parents of twin boys, Mason and Carter, and daughter, Presley Ann.

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Ph: 865-218-8408

Tim Eichhorn manages corporate and personal assets for clients of Rather & Kittrell. Tim is a graduate of Frostburg State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Tim is a FINRA Series 7 and Series 66 registered representative (licensed with Securities Service Network, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC) and holds life, health, and variable contract licenses.

Tim joined Rather & Kittrell in 2004 after spending the first eight years of his career as an officer in the United States Marine Corps and then nine years in consulting and non-profit work,

Tim participates in Maryville Little League, as a church officer, and also serves on the Board of Directors of the East Tennessee Veteran’s Memorial Association. He spent nine months in 2005 as an active duty US Marine advisor to Iraqi forces in the city of Fallujah.

Tim, and his wife, Beth, have three grown children: Catherine, Caroline, and Blake.

Tim was recently featured in this article in Knoxville’s CityView Magazine.

Tim-Eichorn

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Ph: 865-218-8409

Rus joined Rather & Kittrell in 2007 and works with individuals, families, and retirement plan clients. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He is a Registered Investment Advisor and holds life, health and variable contract licenses. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Tennessee Society of CPAs.

Rus is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in Accounting. After working in public accounting for two years, he spent the next six years in financial management with Phillips Electronics. For the next twenty years he worked for Sea Ray Boats, first as a plant controller and then operations manager.

Rus is a long-time supporter of Crown Financial Ministries and traces his interest in financial planning to Larry Burkett’s books and radio ministry.

Rus and his wife, Amy, live on a small farm in Louisville, Tennessee. They have a son and daughter who are each married and live in Knoxville. They also have three grandchildren and a fourth expected in September 2015.

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Ph: 865-218-8413

Amanda joined Rather & Kittrell in May 2012 and assists families and individuals as they navigate financial decisions related to every day life and major transitions. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ since 2009.

Amanda grew up in Dallas, TX, and moved to Lubbock, TX, to attend graduate school. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a Master of Science in Personal Financial Planning and Master of Business Administration in General Business. While at Texas Tech, she volunteered with the Red to Black financial planning program.

After graduating from Texas Tech, Amanda spent the next year working as a research assistant for the Peer Financial Counseling Program at the University of Georgia. In 2006, she moved to Atlanta, GA, and spent the next 5 years working for Homrich Berg Wealth Management as an associate advisor. Since 2006, Amanda has been involved with the local Junior Achievement programs, the Georgia Consortium for Personal Financial Literacy (2006-2011), and the Financial Planning Association. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the FPA’s East Tennessee chapter as the Pro Bono Director.

Amanda met her husband Neil, a native to East Tennessee, while living in Atlanta. After the birth of their daughter, Grace, in 2011, they moved to Maryville to be close to extended family. Together they enjoy college football, traveling as a family, and playing church league softball. Each fall, Amanda also tries to recruit Neil and her siblings to join her in running a half-marathon.

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Ph: 865-218-8403

Jay is an Advisor with Rather & Kittrell where he works with individuals and families to accomplish their financial goals..  He began with the company in 2012 as an Associate Advisor.

Jay is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and a FINRA Series 7 and Series 66 registered representative (licensed with Securities Services Network, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC). Jay received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee where he majored in Public Administration and Political Science. Upon graduation, he took part in the Knoxville Fellows Program, a residential leadership development program that provides the opportunity to serve the community as well as grow spiritually and professionally. After the Fellows Program, Jay returned to the University of Tennessee to complete a Masters degree in Business Administration where he concentrated in Finance.

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Ph: 865-218-8416

Wes is an outstanding blend of kindness and pragmatism, and is the newest member of the Rather & Kittrell team. Originally from New England, he spent nearly six years in tax planning before moving into comprehensive financial planning in 2007. Wes relocated his family to East Tennessee in 2009 and joined Rather & Kittrell in the fall of 2014. He completed his undergraduate studies in music, business, and psychology and is a Certified Financial Planner™.

Wes is a member of the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) and serves on the Board of Directors for FPA’s East Tennessee chapter. As a member of Rather & Kittrell’s advisory team, Wes works directly with clients to construct and implement a financial plan built upon their values and goals. “I really enjoy the personal interaction I have with our clients. Being able to give them the confidence of knowing exactly where they are and what they need to do to achieve their goals – for me, that’s what it’s all about.”

Wes is married to his high school sweetheart, Brandie, and together they have a growing family. Having already had two biological sons, Emerson and Owen, they completed the adoption of their daughter, Mary Alex, from Malawi in 2013. In his spare time, Wes enjoys spending time with his family, wrestling with his kids, and running with his black lab, Jack.

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Jo joined Rather & Kittrell in the fall of 2015 as an Associate Advisor and works with individuals, families and retirement plan clients. “My passion is to educate and to help people reach their full potential. I love to help families and individuals reach their long dreamed-of goals through diligent hard work and planning.”

Jo received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte in 2007, and upon graduation, started her career in the financial services industry in a support role. After almost 8 years of working behind the scenes in operations, Jo decided to take a more active and involved approach to working with clients to help them achieve their financial goals.  She is a FINRA Series 7 and Series 66 registered representative (licensed with Securities Services Network, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC) and holds life and health contract licenses.

Jo and her husband, Rob, are originally from Greensboro, NC and moved to Knoxville in 2013. They have fallen in love with the East Tennessee outdoors and can often be found hiking or playing outside with their dogs, Marley and Flearoy. Jo and Rob also serve in multiple ministries at Providence Church. They particularly enjoy working with the college students.

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Nathan Smith

Nathan being a natural analyst at heart, became interested in applying his skill through finance at a young age. When he was in just 8th grade he participated in a stock market game that sparked a fascination that hasn’t gone away. He says “I have always been drawn to analysis work, and have always enjoyed the markets.  This marries my two passions in a unique way.” Nathan Joined Rather & Kittrell in the fall of 2015 as an associate advisor providing information to help clients make smart decisions with their money.

Nathan is FINRA series 65 certified. He attended Purdue University where he studied Business Mathematics and Industrial Management. He worked for Vectren Corporation conducting risk analysis and after moving to Knoxville in 2008 Nathan got into the financial world that had always intrigued him by working for PYA Waltman Capital where he started trading for clients.

Nathan was born and raised in Evansville, Indiana but he and his wife Candice have built a life here in Knoxville. They have two young children, Elliott and Lydia. Nathan and his family are members at Two Rivers Church where he serves in the Children’s Ministry. In his spare time he enjoys putting his carpentry skills to use and gardening outside with his family.

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Lissie Miller

Client Service Manager

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Ph: 865-218-8401

Lissie Miller has over 20 years of progressively responsible experience directing client service and retirement plan operations in the financial planning and investment industry. With a strong knowledge of both client relationship management and resource allocation, she leads other members of the Rather & Kittrell operational staff in a combined dedication to service excellence and increased client confidence.

Lissie holds a Masters of Business Administration degree and is a FINRA Series 7 and 63 registered representative (licensed with Securities Service Network, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC). She also provides Notary services to our clients.

Lissie and her husband, Brian, live with their two sons in Farragut, Tennessee.

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Crystal Johnson

Client Service Manager

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Ph: 865-218-8402

Crystal is a Client Service Manager with Rather & Kittrell. She has worked in the financial services industry since 2000 and joined Rather & Kittrell in early 2005 after starting her financial career at a regional brokerage firm. Crystal is a Series 7 & 63 Registered Assistant (licensed with Securities Service Network, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC). Crystal’s role within the firm has evolved over the years and she now focuses on Client Relationships and Process Management in order to assure that our clients receive the most efficient, cost effective, and accurate services the Rather & Kittrell team can offer.

Crystal and her family are life-long residents of Blount County in East Tennessee. Away from work, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters, family, and friends. She also enjoys many forms of athletics. For many years she has been heavily involved in youth basketball programs and high school exposure teams. Basketball serves as a way to connect with both of her daughters and keeps her very active and on the go. She also enjoys the many relationships she has built with coaches, administrators, and parents. Crystal values personal connections and genuinely likes people, which helps her to achieve success within her role at Rather & Kittrell.

Crystal thrives in a team environment like Rather & Kittrell where she can serve people and see the results of knowledge, process, patience, and determination as it becomes evident through the lives of many clients and their families. Crystal says, “It is very fulfilling to know our clients say they trust us and they know we are working hard to make their financial futures as bright as possible.” She enjoys the success of her teammates and clients and celebrates with them as she uses her skills to coach them through the wealth management process. Crystal describes her role at Rather & Kittrell as “diverse, rewarding, and personally challenging” and states “no two days are the same, but I get to help someone every single day,” which she believes is the most rewarding job of all.

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Morgan Townsend

Client Service Specialist

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Ph: 865-218-8414

Morgan began her job as a client service specialist at Rather & Kittrell in the spring of 2010. She provides operational support to the advisors and client service directors as well as other members of the operations team. Working behind the scenes is what Morgan enjoys most about her job.

After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University in 2008, Morgan lived in Argentina for fourteen months and worked with Campus Crusade for Christ.

Born and raised in Cedar Hill, Tennessee, Morgan moved to East Tennessee at the end of 2009. Morgan married her husband David in February 2011. They have two small children, Luke and Anna, and are hoping for more! David and Morgan live in Maryville and are active members of Lionheart Restoration Ministries.

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Karen Pence

Client Service Specialist

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Ph: 865-218-8400

Karen joined R&K in February 2011. She is a graduate of  ETSU and has worked in the financial industry for over 20 years.

Karen and her husband, Dan, are natives of  Johnson City, Tennessee.Their two sons attend school in Farragut and keep their parents busy attending sporting events.

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Lisa McDonald

Lisa is an Client Service Specialist here at Rather and Kittrell. Two of the main things Lisa’s parents taught her growing up was to always strive to do her best in anything she does and to always think of others before herself.  She truly enjoys working with people, making them comfortable, and providing assistance wherever she can.

After graduating from Carson Newman University Lisa worked at ITT Financial Services both in South Carolina and here in Knoxville. While raising a family and going through a move, Lisa’s career decisions led her down a variety of paths. She worked 15 years as a Church Administrative Assistant and over 10 years as Day Care Director. But no matter what she was doing, she has always enjoyed helping people. Lisa joined Rather and Kittrell in the fall of 2015 and says “I find it very fulfilling to be a small part of Rather and Kittrell where I can again help people in making beneficial financial decisions for their future”.

Lisa was born and raised in Morristown, Tennessee. Lisa lives in West Knoxville with her husband Chris and three children Caleb, Sara and Libby. She is an avid reader and has assisted in writing a book with a local business woman that was later published. Lisa is currently in the process of writing her own devotional book.

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Debbie Spencer

Debbie joined Rather and Kittrell as a client services specialist in the summer of 2015. She had worked in the financial industry for over 15 years before she came to Rather and Kittrell and has had years of experience handling client transactions, paperwork, and making sure clients needs come first. Debbie said “I enjoy working with clients and helping them in any way that I can.  It’s very gratifying to be able to put peoples mind at ease over their finances and answer their questions that they may have.”

Debbie grew up in East Tennessee, her and husband Tony now live in Jacksboro, Tennessee. In their free time they enjoy exploring the Smoky Mountains and traveling around to different fly fishing spots.

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Greg McMurry

Chief Operating Officer

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Ph: 865-218-8410

Greg is the Chief Operating Officer of Rather & Kittrell . He began working with the company in 2007 and is responsible for client service, marketing, human resources, operations, and compliance.

Greg is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a BS in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He has over twenty five years experience in operations, marketing, and brand management.

Greg is involved in a variety of recreation programs throughout the community and is an active part of the development of girls basketball in the East Tennessee area. Greg is co-founder and serves on the board of the Tennessee Fury AAU basketball program. He is also Tennessee Fury Program Director.  Greg also serves on the board of the Willayne Towe Foundation, which supports small local charities that serve children.

Greg and his wife, Missy, are life-long Knoxvillians and currently live in Farragut.

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