Our Team

We Believe in Doing What's Right

At Core Financial Group, we take pride in being more than just financial professionals. We're builders, educators, and trusted advisors, committed to creating a better financial future for our clients. As fiduciary money managers, our top priority is to manage your money in a way that serves your best interests, not ours. We strive to create a welcoming and stress-free environment for you, where you feel heard, understood, and empowered.


We cherish our community and are always looking for ways to be more involved. Our partners are both proud members of the Kiwanis Club of Yuba City. We also sponsor a free annual community Shred Day event.

Michael Critchfield, CFP&#174;<br/>

Michael Critchfield, CFP®

Emeritus Founder

As the sun sets on an illustrious career spanning decades, we pay tribute to the remarkable journey of Michael Critchfield, a visionary leader and esteemed CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional With a steadfast commitment to excellence and a passion for empowering others, Michael leaves behind a legacy that will not be soon touched by another.

Michael embarked on his professional odyssey with a determination to make a meaningful impact. Graduating magna cum laude with a degree in business administration from University of California, Riverside he laid the foundation for a career marked by expertise and unwavering integrity.

Joining Blackburne & Brown Mortgage Company as a young professional, Michael mastered helping individual clients invest money in commercial first trust deeds. His journey led him to Edward Jones Investments as a Financial Advisor where he quickly distinguished himself as a trailblazer in the field of financial planning. Finally, Michael’s life goal was realized when he became an independent financial advisor and joined forces with Woodbury Financial Services and his business partner Matthew DiGiacomo to begin Core Financial Group. In January 2023, Michael and his team made the move to Commonwealth Financial Network®. Michael has propelled the firm to new heights, earning him a reputation as a trusted advisor and industry luminary.

Michael assumed leadership roles earning the respect and admiration of colleagues and clients alike, As Managing Partner, he steered the firm through times of growth and uncertainty, guiding his team with wisdom and foresight.

In the realm of financial planning, Michael stands out not only for his expertise but for his distinct approach centered on building relationships akin to family bonds. With a deep understanding that financial aspirations are deeply intertwined with personal dreams, Michael fosters an environment of trust and camaraderie, where clients are cherished members of an extended family. By cultivating genuine connections and taking the time to truly understand the hopes and aspirations of each individual, Michael creates a safe space where clients can openly discuss their goals, fears, and dreams. In this nurturing environment, barriers are broken down, and clients feel empowered to pursue their aspirations with confidence, knowing that Michael is there every step of the way, like a trusted family member to support and guide them towards realizing their dreams.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Michael is a dedicated husband (23 years) to his wife Robin and a very proud father to his daughter Samantha who is currently working towards her degree at Chico State University. They reside on a 20-acre ranch in Browns Valley, CA. As Michael embarks on the next chapter of his journey in retirement, he leaves behind a legacy that will endure for generations to come. His leadership, mentorship, and unwavering dedication to excellence have set a standard of excellence that will continue to inspire all who follow in his footsteps.

In the annals of financial planning, the name Michael Critchfield will forever be synonymous with integrity, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Though he may be retiring from his role as Managing Partner, his influence will continue to shape the business he helped to define, ensuring that his legacy endures for years to come.

Michael Critchfield, CFP&#174;<br/>

Matthew DiGiacomo, CFP®

Wealth Advisor

Matthew grew up in the VERY small town of Taylorsville, CA. After high school, Matthew attended Feather River College for two years and transferred to California State University, Chico, to finish his degree. At CSU, Chico, Matthew worked on-campus in a computer lab to help finance his way through school. In 2001, he earned a BS in business with an emphasis in finance. Matthew had a long-term goal of working as a professional in some area of personal finance, and today he is furthering this goal as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional and co-owner of Core Financial Group in Yuba City. He holds his FINRA Series 7, 63, and 66 securities registrations and CA insurance licenses.

Before starting Core Financial Group with Michael Critchfield in 2011, Matthew spent nine years as a financial advisor with Edward Jones, where he gained industry experience working with clients from around the country and in the Yuba/Sutter area. Today, Matthew helps a wide range of clients with many different personal financial planning issues. He is particularly focused on helping clients generate predictable retirement income.

Matthew and his wife, Shanna, have two daughters, Angelina and Isabella, who were born in 2013. Matthew enjoys traveling, tennis, hiking, and movies.

Michael Critchfield, CFP&#174;<br/>

Matthew Debiase

Wealth Advisor

Matthew grew up and attended high school in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA. He studied economics at the University of Pittsburgh.  After graduation, Matthew moved to Sacramento to live with his girlfriend and began looking for work in the field of personal finance.  Today, Matthew works as a paraplanner at Core Financial Group.  He has been a member of our team since December 2020.

As a paraplanner, Matthew assists the firm's financial advisors to organize and assemble information they use to build a customized financial plan. This involves attentive listening and detailed research designed to help ensure every plan prepared by the advisors is constructed to accomplish each client’s financial goals.

Outside of the office, Matthew enjoys golf, movies, basketball, and traveling with his girlfriend, Natalie. He will continue his financial education with the intent of becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

BA in Economics, University of Pittsburgh
Licenses: FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities registrations

Michael Critchfield, CFP&#174;<br/>

Evan Pugh, CFP®

Wealth Advisor

Evan Pugh, a dedicated professional at Core Financial Group, brings a blend of experiences and a commitment to helping others achieve their financial goals. His roots in Rocklin, California, have instilled in him a practical and grounded perspective.

Evan's path was shaped by his early engagement in coaching water polo and swim throughout high school and college. These experiences ignited his desire to support others in achieving their goals, and this passion ultimately led him to the field of personal finance.

With a Bachelor's degree in Finance, Evan established a strong foundation in the realms of monetary matters. Seeking to augment his experience, he pursued and successfully earned an MBA from CSU Chico. This educational trajectory enriched his understanding of strategic financial management. Committed to professional growth, Evan is actively working towards obtaining the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. Evan is an integral part of the Core Financial team, collaborating to assist clients in securing their financial futures. His dedication to guiding individuals through savings, investments, and retirement planning is underpinned by a shared commitment within the company.

When he’s not delving into the world of finance, Evan finds solace in the great outdoors. During summer weekends, you'll likely find him water skiing on the glistening lakes, embracing the rush of the wind and water. As winter blankets the mountains, he trades his water ski for snow skis, carving his way through the snow-covered slopes.

BA in Business Finance, CSU Chico
MBA, CSU Chico
Licenses: Series 7 and 66 securities registrations

Michael Critchfield, CFP&#174;<br/>

Jen Wilson

Office Manager

Jen is responsible for the day-to-day operations at Core Financial Group.

Jen was born in Yuba City and raised in Live Oak with a view of the Sutter Buttes from her back window.  Farm animals, mud pies, and all things outdoors were the setting of her childhood, and she couldn’t be more grateful.

After dabbling in college and earning an associate degree in early childhood education and an associate degree in paralegal studies, the stars aligned for Jen to start a family.  She was blessed with two wonderful sons: Wade who is 11 and Wyatt who is 8.  They are the lights of her life, and she loves being their mom. As the boys grew older, Jen decided it was time to go back to school, not only to achieve a goal of hers but also to show her sons that hard work and perseverance pay off.

In November 2020, Jen received her bachelor's degree from National University. Although Jen has an extensive background in teaching preschool, she felt the desire to make a shift in career paths while maintaining a connection with the people in her community.  Jen is a caretaker by nature and enriching life is a passion she carries.  She comes to Core Financial Group looking forward to learning a new industry and providing the best possible service to our Core family.

In her free time, Jen enjoys exploring new places or old favorites with her boys, reading, watching movies, learning, and trying new things and anything that involves her family.  Jen also enjoys supporting her community by volunteering at different events and leagues when the opportunity arises.

BA in Early Childhood Education, National University
AA in Paralegal Studies

Michael Critchfield, CFP&#174;<br/>

Brenda Lucht-Thomas

Client Services Associate

Brenda was born and raised in a small rural town in Minnesota. During high school, she got a job at the local bank. This is where the dream of being involved in finance came to be. Once she graduated, Brenda moved just a couple of hours away to go to St. Cloud Technical College where she received her AS in Credit and Finance.

Life took Brenda in several different directions, but she continued working at banks and credit unions. Various positions taught her many things about finance, and it continued to pique her interest. Later, she ran into her high school sweetheart and moved to California to be with him

While starting off in California, Brenda got married and decided to follow a different passion in childcare. After several years, her mind and heart kept going back to finance, so she decided to go back to school at Western Governors University. She worked extremely hard and graduated over a year early with her Bachelor of Science in Business Management.

Brenda is now working as a Client Service Associate at Core Financial Group. While she is not at work, she spends her time watching NASCAR and movies, reading, and spending quality time with her husband, dogs, family, and friends.

BS in Business Management
AS in Credit and Finance

Our Extended Team

Our affiliation with Commonwealth Financial Network® gives us access to teams of investment research specialists, retirement professionals, and advanced financial planning specialists, to help us better serve your needs. Use the link below to learn more about our support teams.

Our Broker/Dealer

Our Broker/Dealer

Commonwealth Planning Team

Commonwealth Planning Team

Our Broker/Dealer

Commonwealth Research Team

Commonwealth Planning Team

Commonwealth Retirement Team

Take the Next Step

Core Financial Group uses a sophisticated set of tools to measure your comfort level with risk. Contact us today to speak with an advisor.