Beth Vulopas is founder and managing principal at Chestnut Street Investment Counsel, where she leverages over 30 years of experience in financial services and banking to create and grow wealth for her clients. Prior to founding Chestnut Street in 2019, Vulopas spent over 20 years at Wheatland Advisors, an independent investment advisory in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
At Wheatland, Vulopas developed deep insight into all aspects of personal investment, from administration and operations to client relations. Her knowledge of fiduciary investment services is comprehensive and based in direct experience, with her expertise expanded by formal studies at Millersville University and the American Institute of Banking (AIB).
She began her career at Bank of Lancaster, now PNC, where she spent nearly a decade in roles including management and operations; Vulopas also worked as a personal money manager who oversaw the daily finances of older adults. As a result of working extensively one-on-one with clients who possessed varied levels of knowledge about their personal finances and investments, clarity and transparency are guiding principles at Chestnut Street Investment Counsel.
Chestnut Street Investment Counsel creates personal equity portfolios for each client based on a proprietary system focused on finding undervalued stocks selling beneath their value. “We have many layers we go through before we decide to add a stock to our portfolios,” says Vulopas. “The amount of analysis we do is well beyond that of any other firm.”
As an independent investment advisory, Chestnut Street Investment Counsel is also a true fiduciary, meaning they are bound to invest only in the best interest of their clients. “There aren’t a lot of investment firms that call themselves a ‘counsel,’” points out Vulopas.
Unlike traditional investment firms, Chestnut Street Investment Counsel,s not allowed to sell investment products or be in coordination with firms that do so. “Our only focus is to counsel you as a discretionary advisor,” Vulopas explains. “We are beholden to no one but our clients because we want to make sure they are always empowered and know exactly what they own—and why.”
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Beth Vulopas is a native and lifelong resident of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. When not at the offices of Chestnut Street Investment Counsel, located in a historic red-brick building on East Chestnut Street in Downtown Lancaster, she can be found training for her next power-lifting competition, reading the Wall Street Journal or spending time with her husband and two grown daughters.
Richard “Rick” Heilig is a seasoned finance professional who has spent the last five decades focused on investment analysis and individual portfolio and trust management. At Chestnut Street Investment Counsel, his experience is concentrated on analyzing capital market investments and creating custom equity portfolios with the goal of optimizing long-term wealth for his clients.
It’s a significant point of differentiation for the Lancaster, Pennsylvania based investment firm, which continues the same high-touch portfolio management approach of Wheatland Advisors, which Heilig initially founded in 1987 with Raymond Starr after their respective 20-year careers in investment and trust banking.
“What we’re doing now is an extension of Wheatland,” he says of Chestnut Street Investment Counsel, “it’s just a new name.” At the heart of the firm’s investment approach is a proprietary valuation model, originally created by Ray Starr, that focuses on identifying common shares whose price is selling at a discount when compared to normalized profitability. “What we have is a very unique process that you won’t find anywhere else,” Heilig points out.
A former Marine officer, Heilig began his career as a stockbroker at investment firm Hornblower & Weeks, Hemphill, Noyes in the early 1970s. He then moved to banking, becoming a Trust Officer at Commonwealth National Bank before serving as Vice President and Senior Trust Officer at New Holland Farmers National Bank, where he worked for nearly a decade.
A half century of helping hundreds of clients accumulate wealth gives Heilig a well-seasoned perch to advise on investments, and has earned him the position of trusted steward for those who rely on him to reduce risk while shepherding their portfolios through the ups and downs of the market’s life cycle. “We have enough history and background so there isn’t much we haven’t dealt with or seen,” says Heilig. “Even during down cycles we’ve done well, and clients are comfortable with how we manage their investments.”
Rick Heilig graduated from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania with a degree in political science. He is also a graduate of the National Trust School at Northwestern University and a member of the CFA [Chartered Financial Analyst] Society of Philadelphia.
A former Marine captain, Heilig was born and raised in western Pennsylvania, but decided to re-locate to Lancaster when visiting one beautiful day many decades ago. “I walked up Orange Street,” Heilig recounts. “It was springtime and the flower boxes were bright. I thought to myself, ‘This would be a great place to settle.’ And it has been. I love this city.”
Matt Atlasik is a portfolio manager focused on investment research and overseeing the design and growth of individual stock portfolios at Chestnut Street Investment Counsel.
He began his career nearly a decade ago in wealth management at Peoples Bank before moving to Ameriprise Financial and then Vanguard Group, where as a personal advisor Atlasik applied a zeal for financial research, data analysis and hands-on client service to grow his clients’ investment portfolios.
“It was important to get a sense of the different parts of the industry,” Atlasik says of his background, “but what I enjoy at Chestnut Street is being very specified, and meeting with each person to build out an individual portfolio that makes absolute sense for them so they’re in the best position possible to accomplish their goals.”
As a portfolio manager, he continuously gathers data across a range of sources and industries, distilling them into insights he applies to investment decisions on behalf of his clients. “It’s a science, and an art as well,” Atlasik says of his method: “It’s forming the bigger picture of individual companies and the market and tying it all together, so it makes sense for clients.”
His appointment as portfolio manager at Chestnut Street Investment Counsel ties in nicely with the focus of the Lancaster, Pennsylvania firm. As an independent investment advisory—versus a traditional investment firm selling products or charging commissions—Chestnut Street is bound to serve only the best interests of their clients.
Personalized portfolios are custom built for each person based on a proprietary valuation system that includes approximately 700 individual companies—and clarity and transparency are emphasized in its high-touch service approach.
“We want you to be invested,” the portfolio manager explains, “but we also want you to know what you’re invested in, and why.” To that end Atlasik applies a well-honed client service system—developed over years engaging with hundreds of investment and banking clients—to learn about each person’s financial objectives before creating a custom investment roadmap to attain them.
Matt Atlasik is a native of central Pennsylvania with a finance degree from Pennsylvania State University. His interest in personal finance and planning began in childhood, and his curiosity about the equity market was officially sparked when he joined the investment club at his high school. (Fun fact: He still follows but has no position in his very first high school stock, Taiwan Semiconductors.)
He lives in Lancaster with his wife and two pets (a dog and a cat). He enjoys a broadened global perspective from his travels and the several-year stint he spent as a teenager living in Poland, the homeland of his parents, who were also pivotal to his career in finance.
Linda Husted has spent nearly 25 years in business development, marketing and operations. At Chestnut Street Investment Council, she focuses on the firm’s general operations, as well overseeing its strategic visibility in the community and its scalability.
A longtime small business entrepreneur, Husted helmed her own decorative arts business (The Decorative Painter) for 17 years before managing sales and marketing for five years at Home Instead, a senior at-home care company. At Chestnut Street, she applies traditional and non-traditional marketing methods to communicate the distinctive brand of this Lancaster, Pennsylvania based independent financial advisory, with a special emphasis on building one-on-one relationships.
“Chestnut Street Investment Counsel is a boutique experience,” she describes. “Investments are well cared for and there’s a lot of attention given to clients. Plus it’s very easy for a client to understand how their portfolio is doing because it’s presented to them in an easy to understand way, which is unique to this firm.”
The values of Chestnut Street are a positive match for Husted, who always looks to emphasize the service aspect of any business she works with. “Sharing information and helping people on their journey is my focus,” she states. “This aligns very well with Chestnut Street, which is a place where one can grow financially and also a place where there’s a willingness to freely share information.”
She recounts a recent example where she was encouraged to take as much time as needed to assist a 90-something-year-old client navigate a complex personal finance matter unrelated to her investments at the firm. “Working through systems that might be more complicated is one of the benefits of working with Chestnut Street,” Husted points out. “They take the extra time to make sure they’re doing the very best for their clients: As people it’s who they are.”
Linda Husted graduated from James Madison University with a fine arts degree before starting her business. A native of central Pennsylvania, she has lived for many years in Lancaster, where she enjoys the local culture. “Anything having to do with art always has my attention,” she remarks, “and the food scene is exciting.”
A lifelong student of professional development, Husted has completed two rounds of the online entrepreneur program B-School, and she’s particularly fond of the following saying—originally a compliment coined for William Shakespeare’s broad-brush mastery of writing and the theater: A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.