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North Star advisors garner national recognition on Forbes’ Top Financial Security Professionals list

MINNEAPOLIS — July 26, 2023 — Forbes and SHOOK Research today announced their Top Financial Security Professionals, including five North Star financial advisors who have been instrumental in helping clients meet life’s goals, including saving for retirement and emergencies.

This annual list features the top financial industry professionals across the country who lead practices entirely devoted to offering a high level of service, determination and commitment to their clients.

First on the list was Shaun McDuffee , AEP, CLU, ChFC®, CEPA, who placed #21 nationwide and #4 in Texas, after ranking #12 nationwide and #5 in Texas on the 2022 list. He began his career with North Star in 1990 and is a founding member of North Star affiliate firm Twin Oaks Advisors in Austin, Texas.

The second advisor who made the list, Marshall Gifford, CLU, ChFC, ranked #67 nationwide and #3 in Minnesota. Gifford started at North Star in 1993 and founded North Star affiliate firm Gifford Financial in 2017 in Minneapolis.

The third advisor on the list, Damon Lichtenberger, CLTC, previously made this list in 2021, when he ranked #195 in the nation. Lichtenberger became an advisor with North Star in North Carolina in 2004 and ranked #11 in the state this year.

Fourth up was Jon Ylinen, who ranked #13 for the state of Wisconsin. Ylinen joined North Star as a financial advisor in 2008 and is now a member of the North Star Medical Division.

Finally, Craig Molldrem ranked #30 in Texas after a 2022 ranking of #38. He became a financial advisor with North Star in 2002 and is another member of the North Star Medical Division.

The Forbes ranking was determined based on a comparison of business practices based on both qualitative and quantitative elements in a survey conducted by SHOOK Research. Qualitative elements including production/premiums death benefits and assets under management, client-related trends and data were analyzed. Additionally, quantitative elements such as meetings with professionals, use of team and team dynamics, level of community involvement, credentials and years of service and other elements were analyzed as well.

To learn more about Forbes’ Top Financial Security Professionals list or to view the rankings on a national and state level, please visit

About Forbes and SHOOK Research

Forbes boasts 6 million readers and 116 million unique monthly visitors who rely on their research and content to plan their financial futures. SHOOK does not receive a fee in exchange for rankings.

About North Star Resource Group
North Star Resource Group is a Minneapolis-based financial services firm that provides both individuals and businesses with the resources to help create, preserve, and protect their wealth. North Star has more than 160 full-time advisors and over 165 employees. In a network of 41 offices in over 20 states, they have contributed to the financial security and well-being of over 140,000 individuals and small businesses**. To learn more about North Star Resource Group, visit

**Data as of December 2021


If you would like more information about this topic, please call Ian Rich at 612.617.6076 or email him at

Shaun, Marshall, Damon, Jon and Craig are Investment Advisor Representatives offering advisory services through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC, a registered investment adviser. Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. Registered Branch Phone # 612-617-6000

Forbes America’s Top Financial Security Professionals, developed by SHOOK Research is based on last year’s data. The algorithm is designed to fairly compare the business practices of a large group of financial service professionals (FSPs) based on quantitative and qualitative elements. Data is weighted to ensure priorities are given to dynamics such as best practices, business models, recent business activity, among others. Each variable is graded and represents a certain value for each measured component. The algorithm measures thousands of FSPs against one another. The listing is prepared by SHOOK™ Research and is based primarily on commissions and premiums generated from insurance products and other criteria relative to years of experience, credentials, client retention and servicing, business model, community involvement, financial professional and peer interviews, and compliance background. Listing in this publication and/or award is not a guarantee of future investment success. This recognition should not be construed as an endorsement of the financial professional by any client. No compensation was provided directly or indirectly by the recipient for participation or in connection with obtaining or using the third-party rating or award.