Our Story

Local History And Values

The firm traces its origins to 1987, when James LaFleur and Richard Godfrey began serving individuals and families in the West Michigan area with professional money management services.

They knew there was a need to provide customized portfolio management – and few firms in the area were able to deliver this level of personalized attention and advice.

Jim Lafleur and Rick Godfrey Founders of the firm
James LaFleur and Richard Godfrey

“Our investment philosophy was simple and still holds true today— identify quality companies with good growth prospects that are run by ethical and competent managers. Buy them at a reasonable price and, importantly, be patient.”

– James LaFleur, Founder

National Footprint And Global Perspective

The firm has grown over the years but still maintains the focus, integrity and values that motivated our founders to launch it 35 years ago. Dan VanTimmeren, John Koczara, and John Dice lead the firm which has grown to approx. $800 million in assets under management (August 2022). We still meet with clients face-to-face across the country in the same tradition that Jim and Rick did in years past. As Rick Godfrey used to say, “We’re the doctor that still makes house calls!” This level of personal client service has been instrumental in graduating from a local firm to one with a national presence today.

Daniel VanTimmeren

Dan is a Partner and Senior Portfolio Manager at Lafleur & Godfrey, having started his journey with the firm in early 2007. Dan has more than three decades of experience in the financial services industry in the Michigan area – previously managing money at a private family office.

John Koczara, CFA

John is a Partner and Senior Portfolio Manager at LaFleur & Godfrey, having joined the firm in 2013. John has been in the investment management industry for over 30+ years experience on both the sell-side and buy-side servicing high net worth private clients and institutional relationships. Prior to joining LaFleur & Godfrey, he co-managed two large cap equity portfolios at a local registered investment advisory firm.

John Dice, CFP®, CEBS, MBA

John is the Chief Operating Officer at LaFleur & Godfrey, LLC. He is a lifelong resident of West Michigan. With more than 30 years in numerous leadership roles in the fiduciary and investment management industry, John leverages his experience to help elevate and improve the overall client experience.

Chris Walker

Chris is a Senior Portfolio Manager and President of Investment Counsel a Division of LaFleur & Godfrey LLC.  Chris joined the firm as a result of the May 2021 merger between Investment Counsel, Inc. and LaFleur & Godfrey LLC (“Firm”). He is a member of LaFleur & Godfrey’s investment committee and continues to service client relationships. Chris has more than 35 years of investment experience. During the last 20 years, Chris managed the predecessor to the current Focused Blue Chip Equity Strategy.

Aaron Ritsema, CFP®

Aaron is a Senior Portfolio Manager and joined the Firm in April 2022. He has nearly 20 years of investment and financial planning experience having previously served as a financial advisor at Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. He is a member of the investment committee and is also responsible for servicing and growing client relationships. Aaron  obtained his Certified Financial Planner™ designation in 2014.  

Todd Fridline, CFP®

Todd is a Portfolio Manager who joined LaFleur & Godfrey as a result of the merger with Investment Counsel, Inc. in May 2021. He is a member of the investment committee and services key client relationships. Todd graduated with honors from the University of Michigan-Flint and is currently working towards earning his Certified Financial Planner™ designation.

Our Client Service Team

Over 50 years of collective experience.

Kelli Hoogerland

Assistant Portfolio Manager & Head Equity Trader

Kimberly Hauenstein

Senior Client Services & Trading Associate

Kristen Armock

Senior Operations Associate

Our Focus Partnership

Joining the Focus Partnership Has Given Us a Deeper Bench

LaFleur & Godfrey Private Wealth Management joined the Focus partnership in 2013 – a leading international partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management firms.

This partnership provides LaFleur & Godfrey with unrivaled access to the investment knowledge base, operational expertise and industry best practices of independently managed fiduciary wealth management firms.


To Help Our Clients Realize Their Financial Dreams


To establish multi-generational peace-of-mind by delivering proven wealth and investment solutions


As a Fiduciary, we will always put the interests of our clients ahead of the firm and ourselves, while maintaining privacy and transparency in all that we do