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OUR TEAM

Tom Alf Photo
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Tom Alf

CFP®, CPA

Tom Alf

CFP®, CPA

Tom got his start in accounting and business as a CPA, controller and CFO before moving into financial planning. He discovered the corporate world was not a good fit for him.  He wanted to help people, not corporations, improve their financial well-being. To earn his CFP® designation, he decided to pursue financial planning at the Carlson School of Management.

When the firm was founded over ten years ago, Tom chose the name Clerestory because financial planning, like architecture is an equally analytical and creative process.  He feels passionately that client interests always come first. Clients appreciate informed, unbiased guidance during the decision making process.  Clerestory provides true comprehensive planning which is far more than just managing investments. 

Tom and his wife, Karen, have lived in St. Paul since graduating from the University of Illinois, Champaign/ Urbana. They both enjoy an active lifestyle of biking, walking, swimming and travel, especially visiting their adult children. Their oldest, Liz, lives in Chicago and joined Tom in the summer of 2015 at Clerestory as a financial planning professional.  Liz’s passion is helping others whether they are the high school science students she taught for the past nine years or helping Clerestory clients.  Their son David works in Los Angeles as an architect for a large architecture firm.  His passion is designing buildings and photography.

Tom is still trying to talk his wife Karen into getting a dog.  In the interim, Tom’s brother Bob has graciously allowed him to have his dog Isabel, a tri black Australian Shepherd, for weekend overnights.  Tom will keep trying for that new dog to give Isabel a playmate.

Liz Alf Photo
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Liz Alf

Liz Alf

Liz earned a B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior, summa cum laude, from Columbia University - Barnard College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She decided to pursue her passion for the sciences and teaching others by joining Teach For America. She also earned a Masters of Teaching in Secondary Science at Pace University. Throughout her nine years of teaching high school science in various cities around the country, Liz truly enjoyed certain aspects of being an educator. She loved the ability to form positive relationships with her students and to help them grow the key skills they would need for their life in college and beyond.


As she looked to transition out of the classroom, Liz wanted to be able to put these skills to use in her new career.Complementing her passion for helping others, Liz brings to Clerestory proven organizational, analytical and problem solving skills. She is excited for the opportunity to begin helping her father continue realizing his vision of providing people with the ability to improve their lives through financial education and working each year to realize their life and financial goals. Liz began the Financial Planning Certificate program in July 2015 at DePaul University’s downtown Chicago campus. Once the program is completed, Liz will have satisfied the CFP Board’s education requirement to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination. The CFP® mark is the financial planning industry’s most widely recognized professional designation.


Liz, her husband Scott, and Arya (the dog) live in Chicago. Although they all enjoy exploring the city and appreciating the fabled Chicago summer, Liz will always consider the Twin Cities as one of her homes. She enjoys running outside with Arya, learning to cook new types of foods, and reading as much as she can.