Meet Team Empower

Meet Team Empower

I am proud of my team, who work hard every day and genuinely care for the families we serve.

"We’re more than just co-workers, we’re a team. Each of us possess different strengths but have one thing in common: we are passionate about helping our clients. We understand not everyone fits into the same box; rather, your situation is unique." — Kat

We get to know you, your family, and your dreams so we can empower you to reach them. We are blessed to be a part of the lives of some amazing families, and we look forward to sharing in many more of their unforgettable life events.

You share so much of your life with us, we thought it would be appropriate to share a little about our lives. 

Click a photo to learn more about each of us. 

Christopher (Chris) Powers

Owner/Wealth Advisor

About me....

I was born in San Diego, California, but consider myself a Texan.  Let me explain. 

After my dad finished numerous carrier deployments as a Naval aviator, his post-service career required our family to move to multiple cities across this great nation. We grew up in Richardson & Houston, TX, Nashville, TN, Jackson, MS, Rochester, NY then back to Texas for college.  My amazing mom helped my sister and I adjust and adapt to new schools and new homes while dad kept us in line and supported me through soccer and scouts, all the way to Eagle Scout. Periodically leaving friends behind and having to forge new ones every few years was tough.  One of my dad’s favorite phrases was, “Son, it builds character.”  After a while, I responded with, “I think I have enough character now, thanks Dad.”

After completing high school in Rochester, NY, I accepted an Air Force scholarship and chose to attend Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.  After four years in the Corps of Cadets (more character building...) I graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor’s degree and an Air Force Commission.  Immediately after college, I worked as a field engineer for a water well drilling company drilling wells on leased land for the big oil rigs. After that, I served five years as an officer in the United States Air Force.  During my service, I attended night school and completed my Masters from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1998. 

In 1999 I was blessed with my first daughter, Laurel.  A mere 363 days later I was blessed with my second daughter, Avery.  Raising my two daughters with Godly values is my most important charge in life and they are the light of my life. We have been members of Community Bible Church in San Antonio since 2002.  I currently support Real 4 Christ ministries and served as a founding board member, whose mission is reaching East African lives for Christ. If you’re interested in knowing “Moore”, visit www.Real4Christ.com.  “Moore” is a play on words, Chris & Lisa Moore are the founding missionaries, friends and former Sunday school friends before they sold everything and moved to Kenya.  Now that’s a leap of faith!

In 1999, after achieving the rank of Captain, I separated from the Air Force to plant my family’s roots in San Antonio.  Honestly, I was tired of moving and we all liked San Antonio, so we made it our home.  In May of 2000, my career as a Financial Advisor began. 

After several years of professional development courses covering topics on financial planning, investment planning, insurance planning, tax planning, and estate planning and passing the comprehensive CFP® Board examination, I achieved the certification of Certified Financial Planner Professional™ (CFP®) in 2004.

To better help people get their estates in order to protect their spouse, children, or grandchildren, I furthered my expertise in estate planning by becoming an Accredited Estate Planner (AEP®) in 2006.  The AEP® designation is a highly respected credential governed by the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils.  I served as President of the San Antonio Estate Planners Council for the 2013-2014 organizational year. 

When I’m not working, I cherish my time with Laurel and Avery and enjoy fishing at the coast, hunting, scuba diving, and travel.  Over the last several years, my travel adventures have taken me to South Africa, Zambia, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Greece, Germany, Croatia, Montenegro, Italy, Spain, Brazil, The Czech Republic, Iceland, Austria, Hungary, the US Virgin Islands and in October 2019 the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador where I proposed to my beautiful fiancée, Kiran. 

Our original plans to hold our wedding in Destin, Florida, had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than wait until life returned to normal, we decided to go ahead and get married.  We married on June 7, 2020, at La Cantera Resort. Two amazing friends and members of Team Empower joined us.  Regina, our operations director, officiated the ceremony while Kat, our marketing director, took pictures.  We plan to have another ceremony and celebration in the fall to celebrate with family and friends. I’m blessed to have Kiran as my wife along with a couple of new family members: her daughter Maya and son Ethan. 

Our family of pets has grown too. Laurel and Avery’s cats, KISS (like the rock band) and Angel were less than excited when Ricky Bobby, my not-so-miniature Australian shepherd joined the crew in February 2018.  Not long after Ricky Bobby arrived, Laurel and Avery “adopted” (fed daily) a rather vocal outdoor cat they named Peaches. After the name took, we realized Peaches is actually a male cat, it doesn’t seem to bother him though. You’ll know it’s him when you hear a very distinct “MECH-HOW”.  Our most recent addition is Snickers, Kiran’s Shorkie. He’s little but it’s obvious he doesn’t know or just refuses to recognize it. 

Oh yeah, why I consider myself a Texan…  Well, I’ve lived in Texas 70 percent of my life, I’m a Texas Aggie, I have five pairs of boots (technically three pairs of ropers, one pair of boots, and one pair of senior boots from the Corps of Cadets), I cook a mean brisket, I hunt and fish, worked in the oil field, worked cattle...  As the saying goes, I wasn’t born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could.

Now you know a little about me.  If you decide you’d like to work with Team Empower, we look forward to getting to know you and your family. 

Sincerely,

Chris

 

Ryan Canales

Wealth Advisor

Born in the West Texas town of El Paso…

I grew up with an appreciation of the diverse cultures that make up the city of El Paso. Where one of the largest military bases in the United States, Fort Bliss, juts up against the beautiful and majestic Franklin Mountains and the Rio Grande serves as the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

I still miss the views of the mountains and the “world’s best Mexican food!”

It was a blessing to have instilled in me at a young age, the spirit of entrepreneurialism along with the values that hard work and an honest day’s labor can provide. As a kid, my godfather would let me hang around his shop where he installed CB radios, auto alarms, and stereos. While there I would help run wire, do small errands, and sweep up the shop.

I am the only son of my mother, Noella, and the oldest of five from my father Johnny. I love my siblings: Jana, Jamie, Johnny, and Laurita!

After graduating from Eastwood High School, I moved to San Antonio to attend St. Mary’s University on an academic scholarship. I was able to walk onto the Men’s Soccer Team and I also honed my writing as a staff writer for the school newspaper, The Rattler.

I fell in love with San Antonio, and it’s been home for me since college. I graduated from St. Mary’s University in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in English communication/arts. In college, I started a technology company that originally involved building custom computers and eventually grew to offer web design as well as online and offline branding.

While still in college, I learned first-hand how important both tax planning and financial planning were. My technology business enjoyed greater success than expected, which left me with a large, unexpected tax bill. My marketing professor introduced me to his CPA, who worked closely with a financial advisor, together they helped me put in place some tax reduction strategies. That learning experience and the advice I received stuck with me and led me to want to learn more about investments and financial planning.

From that initial meeting with the CPA and financial advisor in college, I was inspired to start my career in the world of financial planning and advising, in 2002. After 10 years in business, I was made an incredible offer to sell my business, which allowed me the opportunity to pursue other career opportunities.

The time away from the financial planning world expanded my horizons and allowed me to see a different perspective of other businesses. Ultimately it made me long to come back to what I loved doing: helping business and individuals make good financial planning decisions.

In 2016, I came back to financial planning. In early 2019, I was introduced to Chris from Empower Wealth Advisors through a mutual business associate and shortly realized that we shared a common philosophy on how clients should be cared for. In September 2019, I joined Empower Wealth Advisors.

On a personal level, I married my long-time girlfriend, Irene, in 2014 and we combined our families into one. In 2015, our youngest child, Ethan Joel (“EJ”) was born into this world. My oldest daughter, Gabriella currently attends Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, where she is pursuing a degree in human resources. My oldest son, Nathan recently started his career in the trades as an apprentice electrician. We are expecting another son, Logan Jaxon, in October 2020!

We attend Church at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Stone Oak and I am part of the “That Man Is You” men’s ministry.

When I am not working, I enjoy golfing, fishing, kayaking, and anything that has to do with cars.  

My area of expertise is with the compliance and efficiency of qualified retirement plans. I am passionate about helping clients. After many years of serving clients, I am glad to say I have been an integral part of several clients leading happy and fruitful retirements. I have also helped a number of successful businesses to be passed to children and/or grandchildren. I have also been there to provide monetary relief to a family after a loved one’s unexpected passing.

I was once told that being a good advisor to your clients means this is not about having a job, its about having a passion.

If you’d like to see that passion in person, please let me know how I can be of service.

Regina Bell

Operations Manager

I was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, yes home of the Whataburger!

My mom raised my sister and me to go above and beyond any limits. She always told us “You can do anything you want to do, as long as you set your mind to it.” She supported us through our academic achievements and was there cheering us on in every sport we played. She was the best role model and set a perfect example for us.

With the encouragement and support of my parents, I moved to the “Alamo City” in 2009 so I could attend the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).  After a long road of studies in management science, I proudly became a Roadrunner graduate on Mother’s Day 2015. That day was one of my proudest moments, not just for me, but for my family.  I still continue to attend UTSA football games as a loyal fan, avid tailgater, and UTSA alumna. Birds up! 

San Antonio is not only where I received my higher education, and found my career, but also where I met my husband, Mike. He says I caught his eye first but who could miss those captivating green eyes of his? He asked me on our first date for ice cream and just a walk in the park and I agreed. I had never met a kinder person with a heart of gold.  Just a year and four months later he asked me to marry him. I would say the thing we love to do the most together is serving at our church, Church Unlimited. Every Sunday is like a party with family! My husband plays the electric guitar on the worship team, I’m a campus host in the front tent, and my son serves with the third graders in the childcare center, it is utterly amazing. In the evening, I also serve with our middle and high school students who definitely keep me active! We also enjoy visiting my hometown of Corpus Christi and my husband’s hometown in South Carolina. With so much going on, we still make time for family and continue to grow closer. We anticipate our annual family trips and I cannot wait to see what is next!

I have a wonderful pair on my hands, a caring son, and a loving daughter. Although they are 8 years apart they are two peas in a pod. My son Jairen (pronounced like Aaron with a J… I had to make it different right?) has the kindest heart I know and always amazes me with the numbers he can do in his head. He keeps me up to date on all the “rad” slang and I guess every now and then he has a good joke (Just kidding, he’s pretty funny, he gets it from his mama). My daughter Bria is a sweet soul with such a huge personality.  She’s growing fast and becoming a feisty, smart, and amazing little girl. She enjoys doing mama’s make-up and playing the guitar with her papa. We enjoy spending time with our four-legged family members, Daisy and Alli. Alli is my big teddy bear, I mean look at her, she looks like teddy bear! She just loves people and has so much energy she does not know what to do with it. Now Daisy, she is as sweet as they come. Some even argue she always has a smile on her face. She is your typical dog who loves a great game of fetch!

I started at Empower Wealth Advisors as an intern in February of 2015. After I completed my internship in May 2015, I was offered a full-time position. I started with an eagerness to grow and learn as much as I could. Working here has opened my mind to multiple worlds. We not only work together, but we challenge and encourage each other to grow. I thank Chris for being a mentor and giving me the opportunity to enhance my abilities while teaching me so many things along the way. Not too many people find a job right out of college but I was blessed with an awesome opportunity. I can also say, without hesitation, that Team Empower is more like family. I not only enjoy coming to work every day but have a blast doing it.

Katherine (Kat) Gonzalez

Client Relations

Oh, hi there!

I was born in a small California town nestled in the suburban outskirts of the “City of Angels” called Covina.  When I was 14, my family moved to San Antonio in search of a bigger home. I hated the idea of moving. I knew I would be leaving friends I grew up with, as well as most of my family. Looking back, it was a much-needed change of pace and a blessing in disguise. I have grown to love San Antonio, but don’t get me wrong, I still can’t acclimate to the humid summers and during those few months, I wish desperately I could move somewhere else for a little while…

My family roots trace back to Guatemala. My parents immigrated to the United States about 10 years before my time, in hopes of achieving the “American Dream”. I have to say, it is through them that I developed a strong work ethic and value living in this country. I’m extremely close to my dad who has shown me that a hard day's labor is still honest work. Both of my parents have taught me courage, culture and family are key (and also thanks for teaching me Spanish!) I appreciate that despite our differences my mom has coached me to become a great mom as well, and that we have a strong familial bond that I get to carry over to my kids.

After high school, I continued my education at the University of Texas, San Antonio.  In 2015 I graduated with my bachelor’s of science in biology. My older sister and I are the first in our family to graduate from both high school and college. Post-college, I was stuck with a newfound decision, now what? San Antonio isn't exactly a hub for research, but as much as I enjoyed my research in undergrad, I really couldn’t see myself stuck inside of a lab with not much human interaction 40+ hours a week. So I decided to try business, I knew I’d eventually want to pursue a master’s so why not dabble in something different and see if I was any good at it?

I was hired as an intern in June 2015, and was offered a full-time position that December. I have to give a huge shout out to Chris for taking the chance he did with me. I was a STEM major after all, with literally zero experience in business and marketing (in math technically there are infinite numbers smaller than zero, and that about sums up my business experience). All I had was an eager go-getter mentality. I like challenges… I have to say it’s been the greatest transition and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Team Empower has allowed me to grow and diversify my skill set and continue to push myself to grow professionally. Thanks for believing in me y’all, I love you guys!

I also have this boy: his name is Javier, so let me brag (or nag… you know what I mean?). We met in college while we were both drowning in the world that is junior/senior year. He was an electrical engineering major with big goals; I was a biology major, with more studying to do than there are hours in the day. Yet he figured out the right words to make me like him. He said to me: “On your most stressful day during the semester let me take you out for your favorite treat… coffee. You don’t have to tell me right now.  Whenever you are ready, the offer stands.” He had me at FREE COFFEE y’all! (I have physical proof of this exchange, ask me about it…). 

Now here we are, what started as a great friendship evolved into a wonderful relationship. He makes life brighter and growing up more enjoyable. We’ve watched each other transition from college to work and graduate school and now into the whirlwind of parenthood. We welcomed our oldest son Eliel on September 19, 2017, and our youngest, Levi on May 19, 2019. I’m one girl in a house full of boys, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My two boys just add a whole new level of adventure, laughter, and joy that I never knew I needed. With a long and exciting journey ahead of me, I couldn’t think of anyone else I would rather share the adventure with.

I have, and will always have an obsession with dogs (that is not an understatement). Javier and I are the proud paw-rents of three: Rockie a Shih-Tzu and two (yes, two!) rambunctious Siberian Huskies: Gaea (Guy-UH), and Kronos (K-rown-os). My life is always full of muddy paw-printed tile floors, annoying squeaky toys, and dog hair (dog hair EVERYWHERE, except the kitchen), but it’s also full of kisses, affection, and unconditional, unselfish, puppy love… and for that I wouldn’t change a thing. We are quite literally, a full house.     

I’m a big fan of adventures, so I often try to dabble in new things. I like spending time outdoors and eventually traveling. I enjoy running and have a goal to someday run a major marathon. If you’ve got any tips, I’m all ears!

I look forward to sharing all of our fun stories when we meet!

Kat

Nick Rodriguez

Financial Planning Assistant

Howdy!

I was born and raised in the San Antonio/Shavano Park area where I attended elementary through high school. While active in high school with my studies, I also played on the golf team and participated in outside organizations including the Boy Scouts, from which I am proud to say I am an Eagle Scout. After high school, I had the opportunity to attend Texas A&M and become a member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2018, WHOOP! There, I obtained my bachelor’s degree in business with minors in economics and psychology. I had considered many different degree paths while in college: business, architecture, economics, and psychology were among my top choices. I ultimately decided to go with my top choice in business, thankfully I was also able to get minors in economics and psychology, and to this day I still hold a strong interest in both fields of study. During my senior year of college, I was introduced to the financial planning program by one of my closest friends, turned accountant. I enrolled in the program where I was soon fascinated by the industry and I decided to pursue financial planning as a career.

After graduating and coming back home to San Antonio, I reached out to Empower Wealth Advisors to gain experience and knowledge in the financial planning industry. I had initially come across Chris Powers and Empower Wealth Advisors after he visited my class in college and talked about his experience in the industry and how he ended up as a CFP© and business owner. I started off as an intern in October 2019 and was then brought on full-time on January 1, 2020! With help from Empower Wealth Advisors, I am also pursuing my CFP© certification and obtaining necessary licenses to gain further knowledge in the industry to better help clients.

Outside of work, I enjoy hanging out with my family, and friends. I am a die-hard fan of the San Antonio Spurs and of Texas A&M football. I also enjoy playing golf when I find the time. You can find me on the weekends hiking trails throughout the Texas Hill Country or cooling off in the rivers of central Texas. I enjoy reading books, listening to music, and binge-watching movies on my downtime. Eventually, I would really like to go skydiving, scuba diving, and bungee jumping.

I hope one day to travel around the world, the first places on my travel bucket list: Australia, South Africa, Europe, and South America.

I look forward to working with y’all and Team EMPOWER! 

Nicholas (Nick)