Our Team

Our Team

Karl Mundt, MBA, CFP®, APMA®

Financial Advisor

strawberry picking

Karl was born in Durham, North Carolina, and grew up in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Karl returned to North Carolina to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  There, he studied political science with a focus on international political economies.  After graduation, Karl pursued opportunities to manage stores for Kinko’s across the country.  Kinko’s provided the opportunity to live and work in New Orleans, LA; Knoxville, TN; Lexington KY; Boston, MA; and ultimately back to Raleigh, NC.  Along the way, Karl met his wife, Jennifer, who now works for the State of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality as the Director of Energy.  Together, they have two elementary-aged children.  They are also members of Beth Meyer Synagogue in Raleigh, where Karl also serves on the Board of Trustees.


Outside of work and family, Karl is an avid runner and trains for and participates in Ultramarathons across the country.  These races focus on distances ranging from 30 to 100 miles and take anywhere from 5 to 30 hours to complete.  Always the goal-oriented planner, Karl enjoys participating in these events as they require discipline, commitment, and preparation for the unexpected.  For Karl, being rooted in the long view to optimize performance and maximize potential is an everyday reality that provides him with a unique perspective in advising his clients.

french alps

Education has always been an important core value for Karl in the work he does for himself and others.  Karl learned first hand the value of education as his mother worked full time, took graduate school classes at night, and earned her PhD in education while he was still in grade school.  Her hard work ultimately led her to become a Dean of Nursing at three public universities; recently retiring from Michigan State University.  Karl left Kinko’s and returned to school to earn an MBA from North Carolina State University in 2004.  After beginning his career as a financial planner in 2004, Karl earned his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification in 2009 and later earned his Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor (APMA®).  In 2018, Karl joined Commonwealth Financial Network® and started Trail Ridge Financial to provide independent advice in helping facilitate his clients in realizing their greatest aspirations.



Briana Smith, CFP®

Financial Planning Coordinator | CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional

As the Financial Planning Coordinator, Briana supports Karl in developing customized financial advice to assist clients in realizing their most important goals and dreams. For clients, Briana helps to facilitate the financial planning process; answer questions about clients’ financial plans and accounts; and is available to help with various types of financial transactions. Briana became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM Professional in April of 2020 and values continuing her education to stay current on emerging issues in financial planning. 

A native of Westford, MA, Briana earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wheaton College (MA) with a minor Sociology.  While at Wheaton, Briana was a varsity athlete, playing basketball for four years.  Her hard work and leadership afforded her the opportunity to be recognized as the team captain for her junior and senior seasons.  Passionate about her desire to help others, Briana started her career in financial services in 2011 as a Financial Advisor.  She then joined a senior financial advisor’s practice as the Financial Planning Coordinator in 2013. After a lifetime of New England winters, Briana and her wife, Leigh, decided to relocate to the Raleigh in 2019 to be closer to their nieces and nephews.

Briana Smith 1
Briana Smith 2











Outside of work, Briana is very interested in getting involved with local charities as charitable planning is one area of financial services that she finds extremely rewarding. In the future, Briana hopes to blend her desire for helping others with her and Leigh’s love for travel; one of her goals is to spend some time volunteering in developing countries. At home, Briana strives to live and promote an active and healthy lifestyle.  Her hobbies and activities include:  running, basketball, yoga, spinning, hiking, and indoor rock climbing.

Catherine Harman

Office Assistant


Catherine is a recent graduate of William Peace University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Communications. She is a Raleigh native who enjoys spending time with her dog, a German Shorthair Pointer Hound, named Genevieve.

Outside of work, she enjoys reading and shopping at local thrift stores and flea markets.