Packard Wheeler Succession

Working from one generation to the next.

Our Team

When you become our client, you place your trust in us to help make your vision a reality. We honor that trust with the help of our team. Together, we make a strong commitment to customer service. If at any time you have a question, concern or need, please let us know.

Packard Wheeler Succession Representatives

Bret M. Wheeler photo
Bret M. Wheeler
Mike Welch photo
Mike Welch
Debbie Hamilton photo
Debbie Hamilton
Pat Clevenger photo
Pat Clevenger
James Noel photo
James Noel

Packard Wheeler Succession Team

Katie Doty photo
Katie Doty
Sherri Dilley photo
Sherri Dilley
Sterling Treacy photo
Sterling Treacy
Desirae Kivett photo
Desirae Kivett
Travis Webb photo
Travis Webb
Jessica Mueller photo
Jessica Mueller
Cody Lewis photo
Cody Lewis
Kate Blevins photo
Kate Blevins
Karla Olsen photo
Karla Olsen
Marisa Wade photo
Marisa Wade
Jason Johnston photo
Jason Johnston

Packard Wheeler Succession History

Packard Wheeler Succession was founded by original members Bret Michael Wheeler, and former Financial Representative John Packard, who recently retired from Northwestern Mutual after 19 years in the business. The team was built on the foundation of providing excellent succession planning and customer service for all clients focusing on the needs of corporations, businesses and high net worth families. Bret and John have spent their careers perfecting their business plan to ensure their clients are given the best experience with their succession planning and retirement transitioning needs. John Packard leaves behind a professional legacy to be lived out through Packard Wheeler Succession’s mission to serve clients to the highest ability possible.

John A. Packard Jr photo
John A. Packard Jr

John joined Northwestern Mutual in 1998, after a successful 26- year career in the oil industry. Building on his industry experience, John soon began joint work with Bret Michael Wheeler as they focused on the needs of many small businesses in the greater Spokane area. Within six months, a team approach was developed which led directly to the founding of Packard Wheeler Succession in 1999 by John and Bret.

With the expert guidance of Northwestern Advance Planning attorneys and their excellent seminar series, John and Bret enhanced their practice to provide clients with detailed succession planning and retirement transitioning.

John qualified for Forum in 2005 and 2011. In 2011 he was the Western Region Senior Representative Leader and Runner- up for the company-wide Senior Representative Leader.

John qualified for Forum in 2005 and 2011. In 2011 he was the Western Region Senior Representative Leader and Runner- up for the company-wide Senior Representative Leader.

Beyond Northwestern, John is an active Board Member and Investment Committee Chairman for the National Smokejumpers Association. He is a Rotary District Representative on the Waterton- Glacier Lake International Peace Park Committee in Alberta, Canada, and Montana and serves as a member of the Rockwood Residents Association Investment Advisory Committee.

After 19 years with Northwestern Mutual, John retired at the end of 2017 with an amazing career behind him. John and his wife, Diane, are enjoying the opportunity to spend more time with their five grandchildren in the Seattle and San Francisco areas. Additionally, they participate in Bible Study Fellowship, and international organization. A passion for adventure draws them to visiting far-flung and fascinating destinations abroad and in the USA.

Bret developed his acute business acumen while working as the General Manager at Harvey’s Clothing Store. His mentor, Clair Jones provided him with a common sense business approach, that he was able to directly translate to his career with Northwestern Mutual. Bret has consistently been an industry leader with Northwestern Mutual since 1989.

Early in Bret’s career he realized that there was a level of expertise missing in the financial services industry when advising business clientele. In order to fulfill this need, Bret and his partner, John Packard Jr. founded Packard Wheeler Succession to provide expert guidance in the succession planning of corporations, businesses, and high net worth families. As the founders of Packard Wheeler Succession, Bret and John built the infrastructure to succeed by recruiting and training the representatives and staff that comprise Packard Wheeler Succession.

Bret enjoys spending quality time with his wife and four children. He enjoys reading about his favorite subjects; history and politics. In the summer, you can find Bret and his family relaxing at their river home on the Pend Oreille River.

Mike grew up in Spokane, Washington surrounded by a family of professionals who believe in service. Mike founded his business with this servant mentality at Northwestern Mutual in 2001. He quickly joined the Packard Wheeler Succession team shortly after starting his career.

Mike knows the benefits of working with families, business leaders, and companies that are looking for strong advice, good stewardship, and time tested principles to help protect their loved ones and assets. He is dedicated to making sure the needs of his clients are met and he is devoted to guiding them in the right direction.

Outside the office, Mike enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. What precious free time Mike has, is devoted to coaching youth sports, spending time at the family cabin at Priest Lake and sneaking in a great CrossFit workout.

Debbie joined Northwestern Mutual in 1973 as an Associate Financial Representative. In 1991, she transitioned into a full time Financial Representative role. Over the next several years she obtained her LUTCF and CLU professional designations bolstering her already robust industry knowledge.

In 2015, Debbie celebrated her 25th anniversary as a Financial Representative with Northwestern Mutual, and is proud to have represented such a fine company. She has had the privilege to help thousands of families and businesses protect their hard earned assets, build retirement assets for their future, and help build generational financial stability for families and businesses. Debbie specializes in Long Term Care Insurance, Employee Benefit Planning, and succession planning for businesses and individuals, including those age 65+.

Debbie was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. Outside the office, she loves spending time with her husband, their 5 children and 7 beautiful grandchildren! They enjoy golfing, boating, travelling, and camping with the grandkids.

Pat started his career with Northwestern Mutual in January of 2000 as an intern while in his final year of college earning his Engineering Degree. Identifying that he enjoyed relationships and consulting more than being purely analytical, Pat decided to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps of running his own business.

In 2013, Pat took the opportunity to join the Packard Wheeler Succession team to experience a different outlook on the industry. He brought along with him his emphasis in helping businesses and individuals achieve financial peace of mind using his 16 years of individualized experience. Pat now has the support of Packard Wheeler Succession with a 159 years of combined experience.

Loyalty, commitment, and perseverance can be identified as traits of his by examples of his marriage to his wife since 1998, and his affiliation with Northwestern Mutual since 2000. Pat, Shannon, and their two children love spending time together snow skiing, camping, playing on the water, and supporting youth activities. Pat enjoys supporting his community in ways that align with his values, and enhance the organizations or activities he or his family are involved with.

James contracted with Northwestern Mutual in the spring of 2011 in Coeur D Alene, Idaho. Shortly after starting his career, he joined the Packard Wheeler Succession team. James has a passion for working with business owners with succession planning and is inspired by helping others secure their financial dreams and goals through the financial planning process.

James and his wife were married in the summer of 2015 and had their first child in January 2017. Since 2010, James has coached the boy's high school basketball team at North Idaho Christian School. His family, friends, and faith are the most important reasons he and his wife love being part of the Coeur D Alene community.

Katie began her career with Packard Wheeler Succession in January of 2012 as an Administrative Assistant and has since been promoted twice and now holds the title of Office Manager. She holds her Life and Disability Insurance licenses for the state of Washington. Katie oversees the day to day operations of the office which includes but is not limited to overseeing underwriting, marketing campaigns and staff coordination. Katie has big goals for both the office and herself which she pursues with daily determination. In her free time she enjoys maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle and spending quality time with both her friends and family.

Sherri started her career with Northwestern Mutual in 2002 and joined our team at Packard Wheeler Succession in April of 2010. She has obtained her WA Life and Disability Insurance licenses and is in charge of processing all application input and underwriting for insurance and investment products for the six producing agents in our office. Sherri’s accuracy, efficiency, and attention to detail are traits that make her critical to the success of our team. She loves spending time at her cabin in Montana with her husband and two daughters.

Sterling joined the Packard Wheeler team in 2015 as an intern. She is now an Administrative Assistant who serves as backup for our insurance and investment application input and underwriting. Sterling is also part of the in force marketing team, and is an advocate for client needs. Her caring personality connect immediately with clients and her exceptional follow through never lets them down. Sterling graduated from Eastern Washington University where she is received a major in Communication Studies.

Desirae joined the Packard Wheeler Succession office in June of 2016. Her primary focus is in force marketing and client service. She graduated with honors from Carroll College earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science with a minor in Constitutional Studies. When not in the office supporting clients and agents, Desirae enjoys volunteering in the classroom, fly fishing, reading the latest bestselling novel, and searching for new recipes involving basil.

Travis is a relationship builder and has created strong bonds between himself and the firm’s clientele. He is a graduate of Eastern Washington University and spent 8 years playing professional baseball. Travis is busy with a young son, and another on the way. He enjoys bird hunting and fly fishing whenever he can slip away.

Jessica is highly organized and brings skill and systemization to her work with clients. She is a graduate of Eastern Washington University with a degree in Business Administration. Jessica is a transplant from Seattle, WA and we are thankful to have her on our team. She enjoys hiking, spending time with her pets, and traveling to new places.

Cody will be drawing on his background in personal and business planning as he focuses on small group and individual accounts. Cody is an alumni from the University of Idaho with a degree in Business Administration and emphasis in Human Resources. Cody's motivation comes from his desire to help business owners protect their employees and assets. In his free time, Cody enjoys bowling, frisbee golf, and most outdoor activities.

Kate started as an intern at Packard and Wheeler Succession in May 2017. Her primary goals are to help agents maintain relationships with clients and help with other daily operations to ensure the office runs smoothly. Kate currently studies at Eastern Washington University and will be graduating June 2018 with a degree Interdisciplinary Studies. In her free time, she likes to spend time with friends and dance.

Karla is dedicated to bringing her best work to the table. She is a graduate of Gonzaga University with a degree in Business Administration and Communications. Karla has spent the last four years working in the seafood industry in Seattle, we are excited to welcome her to the financial services industry and to the Spokane area. While not in the office, she enjoys staying active while spending time with her husb, her young son and and their two German Shorthair Pointers. Depending on the season you will find them in the outdoors hunting, fishing, boating and snowmobiling.

Marisa joined the Packard Wheeler team as an Administrative Assistant in 2015. Her primary focus is assisting agents in preparing proposals, in force marketing and servicing clients. She is highly motivated to learn and grow within the company. Prior to starting at Packard Wheeler, Marisa worked in the hospitality field. In her free time, she enjoys getting a great work out in and spending time with her two sons.

Jason enjoys working in a fast paced, dynamic setting, and looks forward to the challenges associated with managing multiple clients . Jason will graduate Gonzaga University having earned a dual degree in Psychology and Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management. Most of Jason’s free time is absorbed trying to tire out his two Border Collies, but he enjoys playing tennis, traveling, and floating the river whenever he gets the opportunity.

To learn more about Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC and its financial representatives, visit: FINRA BrokerCheck

Our Process

Packard Wheeler Succession specializes in strategies and advice to assist corporations, closely held businesses, and high net worth families transfer wealth from one generation to the next.

Learn more about the Packard Wheeler Succession Approach.

Community Involvement

We believe strongly in giving back to our local community organizations that support children, poverty, education, and other passionate undertakings aimed to enhance the region in which our families live and do business.

Packard Wheeler Succession is pleased to support the following:


Investment Strategies

Your goal to achieve financial security will undoubtedly include investing for your future.

We can offer you the expertise you need to ensure your investment strategy is aligned with your goals, time horizon and tolerance for risk.

Northwestern Mutual offers investment advisory services, private client services and trust services. Within these levels of service, we may recommend that your portfolio include one or more of the following investment tools.

  • Signature Choice is an investment advisory program that allows your wealth management advisor to provide advice concerning asset allocation, security selection and rebalancing. Your advisor can utilize a wide range of securities, including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and individual equity and fixed income investments, to help implement your investment strategy.

  • Signature Managed Accounts is an investment advisory program that utilizes third-party asset management and portfolio manager selection to assist in providing you with a comprehensive investment solution.

  • Signature Retirement is an investment advisory program and integral part of the Northwestern Mutual Retirement Strategy planning process. It is designed to manage your assets and income streams in accordance with your overall retirement plan to provide a balanced and reliable source of income throughout your lifetime.

  • Signature Portfolios is an investment advisory program that utilizes select mutual funds and/or exchange-traded funds to construct well-diversified portfolios for your needs.

  • Signature Annuities is an investment advisory solution that utilizes investment options available within the NM SelectTM Variable Annuity to construct comprehensive, well-diversified investment portfolios for your needs.

  • Private Client Services (PCS) is a fully discretionary, flexible portfolio management solution for high-net-worth individuals that uses a combination of individual securities and other investment vehicles to manage client assets. The wealth management advisor serves as the investment advisor and relationship manager, while Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company’s PCS investment team provides the investment management.

  • Trust Services: Whether the goal is estate tax exclusion, spendthrift protection or multi-generation investment management, Northwestern Mutual can serve as professional trustee for a variety of trusts.

We also are able to offer you the following products and services through Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS):

  • Bonds
  • Cash management services
  • CDs
  • Money market funds
  • Mutual funds
  • Stocks
  • Treasury bills
  • UITs

Trust Services

Trusts help you ensure that your assets are managed according to your wishes and pass to your beneficiaries intact. As part of a tax strategy, trusts can also be used to help you keep more of the assets you’ve worked so hard to accumulate.

Northwestern Mutual can serve as trustee, co-trustee or successor trustee in a wide range of situations, providing services to help you:

  • Manage, supervise and provide regular reports of investments and their performance.
  • Preserve family harmony when carrying out your intentions.
  • Ensure continuity of stewardship that can endure for generations.

Our trust services cover a range of trust types, including:

  • Revocable Living Trusts

    A revocable trust allows for the professional management of your assets during your lifetime and following your death. This type of trust often permits your assets to be managed without the need for a court-ordered guardianship if you become incapacitated, and it allows your assets to pass to beneficiaries outside the potentially costly and time-consuming probate process after your death.

  • Irrevocable Trusts

    An irrevocable trust allows for the professional management of your assets and allows you to make gifts to the trust – free of gift tax, up to certain limits – so that assets can grow and pass to your beneficiaries without being diminished by estate taxes.

  • Charitable Remainder and Lead Trusts

    These irrevocable trusts are designed to provide income to beneficiaries and to charitable organizations, often at a lower tax cost than gifts made outside these trusts

  • Generation-Skipping Trusts

    These are irrevocable trusts that endure for multiple generations, so that assets can be managed for and distributed to grandchildren and generations beyond. This strategy frequently avoids estate and gift taxes that would apply if assets were transferred outright to each generation.

  • Marital and Credit Shelter Trusts

    These trusts take advantage of state and federal estate tax exemptions so that property can pass to a surviving spouse and other beneficiaries while minimizing the impact of estate taxes.

By choosing Northwestern Mutual as your trustee, you’ll benefit from objective trust administration and expert investment management that can provide financial growth and security for your family.

Risk Management Solutions

When your financial plan includes wealth protection and risk management, you'll be helping to ensure your family - and your vision for the future - is secure.

I'll work with you to develop strategies to:

Provide for your family in the event of death. Life insurance policies can be designed with different needs in mind. They can provide temporary protection, cash accumulation or may be utilized as part of an estate plan. Through my association with Northwestern Mutual, I have access to Northwestern Mutual's high-quality, competitively priced life insurance products, including permanent, term, combination and variable policies.

Provide for you and your family in the event of a disability. Disability income insurance helps to protect your most valuable asset, your ability to earn an income. But what if the unexpected happened and you suddenly weren’t able to earn a living because of illness or injury? Not only would you have the stress of meeting everyday living expenses, but you might also have to put other goals, like saving for a child's college or for retirement, on hold.

Provide for long-term care. Long-term Care events can have a significant impact on your financial security. Planning for long-term care events can help provide options on how to fund and receive care, should you need it.

Employee Benefits Planning

One of the biggest challenges faced by business owners today is the need to recruit, retain and reward talented employees.

Employee Benefits

We can help you design a quality, affordable benefit plan that may include features such as:

  • Group health insurance.
  • Group life insurance.
  • Group disability income insurance.
  • Dental insurance.
  • Vision insurance.
  • Flexible spending accounts.
  • Qualified retirement plans such as SEP IRA or 401(k) plans.

To learn more about Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC and its financial representatives, visit: FINRA BrokerCheck

Site Description

Packard Wheeler Succession is a financial planning and wealth management firm in Spokane. At Packard Wheeler Succession we are committed to making sure our clients have a customized financial plan that best suits their needs and the needs of their families.