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Our Team

Atlanta Planning Group is a full-service financial group committed to helping people pursue their financial goals. We offer a wide range of financial products and services to individuals and business owners. By our providing sound information, we believe you will be better able to identify your goals. The sooner you identify them, the sooner we can help you reach them.

Please call if you have any questions about my group or the range of financial products and services I provide. My group has a relationship with a variety of financial services companies. This relationship enables us to help build comprehensive solutions to your challenges.

At our firm, our teamwork approach adds a broader perspective to all we do. We believe this approach only provides increased benefits to our clients.

We can help you address:

  • Investing principles and strategies
  • Retirement investing and distribution strategies
  • Estate conservation issues
  • Risk management analysis

We also can answer your questions, including:

  • Can I retire early?
  • Are my investments working hard enough?
  • What’s a good approach for college savings?
  • What are the elements of a sound estate strategy?
  • Do I have enough life insurance for my family?

Our experienced professionals have helped many people just like you with similar issues and concerns. We can help you create an approach designed to address your individual situation.

Buddy Hicks

Financial Advisor

Since 1985, Buddy has provided asset protection and growth services to his esteemed clientele. With almost 40 years in the business, Buddy places immense value on his profession. His time is dedicated to understanding each client's unique risk tolerance, financial objectives, and time horizons. He holds a distinguished academic background, having earned a Bachelor's degree in Classical Culture from the University of Georgia, followed by a Juris Doctor from the same institution. He was born and raised in Lavonia, GA. 

Beyond his professional commitments, Buddy cherishes time with his family, friends, and pets. He also holds a profound appreciation for historical facts surrounding World War II. 

Debra Cantrell

Executive Administrative Assistant


Debra serves as our esteemed Executive Administrative Assistant at Atlanta Planning Group, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to our organization for over 15 years. With extensive experience spanning more than two decades in administration and operations, she excels in managing crucial paperwork, resolving intricate administrative matters, and providing adept technical support. Notably, Debra showcases a genuine passion for football, devoting her spare time to avidly following games, especially if the Falcons are playing!

Grace Hayden

Financial Advisor

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Grace brings a fresh perspective to the esteemed team of advisors at Atlanta Planning Group. With over 10 years of experience in the financial industry, she has worked for some of the largest asset managers in the country, including JACKSON National and Invesco. She has served thousands of individuals, families, and businesses with a wide range of backgrounds and needs.

Grace specializes in Socially Responsible Investing and Small Business Planning. She diligently crafts comprehensive wealth management strategies tailored to each client's unique financial journey. By fostering strong connections with her clients, she structures portfolios to align with clients’ distinct objectives, upholding Atlanta Planning Group's unwavering standard of excellence. 

In addition to her contributions at Atlanta Planning Group, Grace is a familiar face in the area. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Georgia State University, earning her undergraduate degree in International Economics & Modern Languages in 2015. During her time at Georgia State, she received the Atlantis Programme Grant, enabling her to earn a second Bachelor's degree in Economics & Management from the renowned University of Venice – Ca’ Foscari.

Grace has been recognized as a leader in her field and community. In 2020, 2021, and 2022, she was the recipient of the prestigious Circle of Excellence designation within her broker dealer's channel. In 2023, Grace had the honor of being the keynote speaker at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Honors Day Award Ceremony. She has been honored with the 2023 5-Star Wealth Manager Award. 

Being an Atlanta native, Grace has a passion for helping the local community. In 2021, she founded the Grace Hayden Impact scholarship at Georgia State University, becoming the youngest donor to ever establish a scholarship fund at the university. She collaborates with Global Growers, a local non-profit organization to host annual fundraising events. Moreover, Grace has utilized her platform as the host of Atlanta Cares Radio to spotlight local businesses and non-profit organizations making a positive impact in the community.


Sheridan Connell

Client Relationship Manager


As the Client Relationship Manager, Sheridan has an aptitude for communicating, organizing, and problem-solving. After graduating from Flagler College in 2021, her affinity for personal interactions and her adeptness for addressing challenges led her to Atlanta Planning Group. She schedules a wide range of meetings with clients and financial institutions and ensures administrative matters are resolved with accuracy and efficiency. Behind the scenes, she spearheads marketing efforts and event planning. In her spare time, she enjoys writing and reading with her cat by her side.

Travis Haines

Licensed Sales Assistant

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Travis is the most recent addition to Atlanta Planning Group and is our Licensed Sales Assistant. He handles client trade requests and operations, bringing a wealth of dedication to our financial services team. He spent twenty-three years at Merrill Lynch, fine-tuning his skills, adapting to all aspects of Operations, Client Services, and Internal Branch Systems. His commitment to client satisfaction and ability to simplify complex tasks make him an invaluable asset.

Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and their three children, taking to the North Georgia mountains to hike, camp, and fish whenever possible.

Client Centered

Client Centered

Whether you are investing to build wealth, protect your family, or preserve your assets, our personalized service focuses your needs, wants, and long-term goals.

Our team of professionals have years of experience in financial services. We can help you address your needs of today and for many years to come. We look forward to working with you.