Broker Check

Academy Financial Team

Elizabeth  Updike - Financial Advisor

Elizabeth  Updike - Financial Advisor


• Business Succession Planning 

• Retirement Planning 

• Estate Planning Strategies

• Investment Planning and Asset Protection Strategies 


• FINRA Registrations: Series 7, 63, & 65 


• Bachelors in Business, Georgia State  University

Our team approach adds perspective to all we do and provides increased benefits to our clients.

Advisory Support Team

Susan Beeman

Customer Service Manager

Susan is the Customer Service Manager for Liz Updike in the Vienna, VA office. She has over eight years of experience in the  financial industry and joined Liz's staff at the end of 2021. Her career began as a legislative...

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Academy Shared Team

Stephen McNear

Chief Operating Officer

Steve is the Chief Operating Officer at Academy and located in the Lutherville, MD office. Steve is focused on the day-to-day operations at Academy, how to build the team, delivering excellent client service, and the strategic growth...
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Blake Gaulden

Chief Investment Officer

Blake is the Chief Investment Officer of Academy Financial Inc. As CIO, Blake is responsible for overseeing all functions of the investment department including asset allocation, risk management, and security selection. Prior to...

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Ashley Vest, MBA

Operations Manager

Ashley is the Operations Manager for Academy Financial, Inc. She is responsible for assisting the Chief Operating Officer with day-to-day operations, strategizing process improvements, and maintaining and increasing the efficiency of...

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Phyliss Warlick

Insurance Specialist

Phyliss is the Insurance Specialist for Academy Financial, Inc. Phyliss has 40 years of experience in the insurance industry with  Lincoln Financial Advisors and Academy Financial combined. She has had many different roles over...

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Patrick McCabe

Investment Processor

Patrick is the Investment Processor for Academy Financial, Inc. Patrick manages the new account process including preparing  required documents, distributing them to clients or planners, submitting business through the Lincoln AAO...

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Josie Kim

Office Administrator

Josie is the Office Administrator for Academy Financials’ Lutherville location. As the Office Administrator, she is responsible for  maintaining the office and assisting all staff with their duties. She works closely with...

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Judy Gentry

Staff Account

Judy has been with Academy Financial Inc. for over 20 years. She records financial transactions and generates reports from that information, while also handling accounts payable, accounts receivable, and planner and staff payroll. Judy...

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Client Focus


  • $250,000 Minimum
  • IRA, Rollovers, Investment accounts
  • Insurance needs, Long Term care considerations
  • Estate Planning Strategies
  • Cash Flow Planning
  • Accountant, Legal, and Family coordination
  • Tax Consideration
  • Health Consideration
  • Social Security

Business Owners

  • $1,000,000 Minimum estimated valuation
  • Buy/Sell Agreements
  • Business planning assessment
  • Business valuation
  • Stock concentrations and Options
  • Family, Accountant, Legal coordination
  • Estate Planning Strategies
  • Tax Consideration
  • Cash Flow Planning


  • Investment Management
  • Administrative Coordination
  • Tax Strategies
  • Accountant, Legal, and Family coordination
  • Estate Planning Strategies

Corporate Services

  • Employee Benefits
  • 401(k), 403(b)
  • Integration with Business Owner planning
  • Administration
  • Network benefits

Together, we can help you evaluate, envision,  and execute all of your financial goals with  confidence and certainty.

Academy Financial, Inc. is an independent wealth management firm that uses a holistic planning  process to identify value and opportunities for our clients. It is our uppermost desire that you become  a long-term client whose goals and needs have been fully achieved through your trust and confidence  in us. Most of all, as our valued client, you will know how much we care.