Michael Jon Byers
Michael Jon Byers is President & Founder of LoneStar Wealth Management & Texas Alliance Financial Services PLLC. Michael is co-author of the book, “Planning a Secure Retirement”, & hosted a radio talk-show for seven years called “The Money Talk”, providing financial planning tips and instructions. He has additionally aired on Fox News on numerous occasions as a financial analyst. Coupled with over 22 years of experience, Michael excels at translating complex financial matters into understood dialect for readers & audiences around the country. It is Michael’s mission to educate & equip everyone for the financial life of their dreams, while avoiding the volatility of the greater economy. As the proud son of an Army Veteran, Michael grew up in Korea, Okinawa Japan, Germany & the United States. While growing his financial practice, he is also an involved parent alongside his wife Sarah, raising seven wonderful children; Kimberlee, Ethan, Caden, Bri, Sky, Seth, & baby Jon.
Mark Groom is an Investment Advisor Representative, assisting clients with retirement planning, wealth management services, & estate planning. He has been featured as a financial expert on local radio & television talk shows, offering his insight, opinions, & financial analysis. He is also Co-Author of the book, “Planning a Secure Retirement”. Mark understands the complexity of federal employee benefits & having studied under the Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant (ChFEBC) program for several years. While he is attentive to his client’s needs, that does not keep Mark from being a loving husband, father & his favorite role, a grandfather!
Maria Richburg is our Operations Manager. Having joined the firm in 2011, Maria quickly became the strong foundation needed to allow this company to flourish. She developed an organized workflow that allowed for additional personnel as the business grew. Today, she oversees account processing and maintenance for both new and existing clients. Maria’s background includes a B.S. in Education and Interdisciplinary Studies, along with a vast experience in office management.
Lee Fortenberry is our Marketing Director. Since 2019, Lee has helped bring our office into the modern age! Lee brings with him a B.A. in Advertising from Texas Tech University, prior work experience in both advertising/marketing and business retail management, plus five years of service in the U.S. Coast Guard. While he loves what he does here at LoneStar Wealth Management, his true passion will always be (as it should) a supportive and loving husband and father! He understands the importance of family, which is one of LoneStar’s core values.
Gabriela Alvarado is our Accounts Analyst and a licensed insurance agent. In 2013, Gabriela moved to Lubbock to attend college as a first-generation college student. Gabby graduated from Texas Tech in 2017 with a B.A. in Marketing and Management, and in 2019 obtained an M.S. in Personal Financial Planning. As a student, she was a Research Analyst for the North West Texas Small Business Development Center. There she assisted with the research to illustrate the risk and advantages of starting-up businesses. Gabby brings to the table an eager approach to retirement planning.
Kimberlee Byers is our Client Relations specialist and a licensed insurance agent. Kimberlee graduated Utah Valley University in 2019 with a B.S. in Behavioral Science, with an emphasis in Family Studies, and a minor in Psychology. Kimberlee moved back to Lubbock shortly after graduation and joined the firm. LoneStar is thankful to experience her enthusiasm, passion, and terrific problem-solving skills!
Ben A. Mercado, AFC®
Family Financial Planner
Ben Mercado is our Family Financial Planner. Ben joined the Lonestar Wealth Management team in 2013 and loves helping people achieve their investment and financial planning goals. He is an ACCREDITED FINANCIAL COUNSELOR® and is an AFCPE® Member. Ben received his Bachelor of Science in Personal Financial Planning from Texas Tech University. He understands the importance of family financial planning and how financial literacy will impact legacies for many generations. As a financial literacy and benefits instructor across the country, Ben’s focus is on helping others easily understand financial planning concepts. Ben serves his local, Lubbock community, and is a proud father and little league coach to his son Lincoln.
New Accounts Coordinator
Mandi Melville is our New Accounts Coordinator. Mandi graduated from Wayland Baptist University in 2018 with a Bachelors in Business Administration and a minor in Management. Since early 2021, Mandi has provided a background in Customer Service as well as a thorough attention to detail. She believes in our customer comes first attitude, while at the same time knows we support her personal life as a caring mother and wife!
Affiliated Specialists through LoneStar Financial Services
Reed graduated from Texas Tech with a B.S. in Engineering Technology in 1985. A few years later he found his true calling in helping seniors. For the past 17 years, Reed has been helping people with their insurance needs, providing insight, trainings, and has guest appeared on radio talk shows. Even though Reed makes an effort to be there for his clients, he still ensures his family is his top priority! Happily married for over 34 years, he and his wife have five wonderful children and one “spoiled” grandchild.
Having mentored under the late Jerry Hernandez, Justin stepped up to take on the task of helping educate and enroll clients into suitable life insurance plans. Justin graduated from Delta State University with a M.S. in Finance. Married in 2011, he and his wife have since had four beautiful children. Justin brings to the team an eager mentality of serving his community and demonstrates this not only at work, but also as a high school sports coach!