Justin Samples

Experience the incredible path of Justin Samples, a Crater High School alumnus from 2021, immortalized in the Achievement Hall of Fame.

A 2001 Crater graduate, Justin distinguished himself in both athletics and academics. He was a three-year letterman in football, wrestling, and track, was an All-Conference football selection, received the Harvey Tonn Crater football award his senior year, and was a District Champion in wrestling, as well as a three-time state placer. He was honored as a Student-Athlete in 1999, 2000, and 2001 and received a Central Point Rotary Scholarship his senior year.

Upon graduation from Crater, Justin attended Linfield University where he played football and served as President of his Theta Chi fraternity where he made a name for himself in the McMinnville community after his leadership skills were featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education and he received the McMinnville Citizen’s Police Medal for his work in turning around campus community relations with the McMinnville police department. Even with all these activities, Justin earned Dean’s List recognition all four years at Linfield.

Graduating from Linfield in 2005, launched his career in the financial planning arena, and it has been quite a ride. He is the founder and CEO of Fulcrum Wealth Management Group, a franchise of American Financial. He works as a private wealth advisor with offices in four Pacific Northwest states and has received local and national recognition from Forbes, Barrons, and The Financial Times as one of the top financial advisory practices in America.

Justin’s wife, Cara, is his business partner, and they have two sons, Jackson (7) and Elliot (5), so they have a busy life. Even with a demanding multi-state business and an active family, Justin relates, “Our family is dedicated to giving back through involvement in Linfield’s Presidents Leadership Team, Oregon Make a Wish Association, Vancouver’s Children Home Society, and Children’s Justice League.” In addition, Justin is a thirteen-time Ironman Triathlon finisher and in 2016 was a World Championship qualifier.

While it might appear that Justin has led a charmed life, this is not the case, for his early years were challenging as he explains, “I grew up in a low-income apartment complex as the oldest son of a single mother of two. She raised us to the best of her abilities, working two full-time jobs and trying to keep my brother and me away from the substance abuse that was prevalent in our neighborhood.”

The efforts of his mother were assisted by School District 6 staff and Justin says it best, “One of the things I consistently reflect on was how lucky I was to have the mentors and leaders I did in my time at Scenic and Crater. During my Scenic years, I was fortunate enough to have people like Mike and Kandee McClain looking out for me, checking in, and allowing me the opportunity to earn money working weekends instead of getting caught up with friends and drug use. At Crater coaches like Jay McRoberts, Greg Haga, and Nathan Winters helped me understand what was possible in life through hard work, discipline, and determination. And then there were people like Dan Speasl, Tom Purdue, Ed Taucher, Julie Gillette, Mike Meunier, and others who demonstrated immensurable patience and compassion dealing with a troubled hormonal teen.”

This spring, Mr. Samples was invited to deliver a Keynote Address at Linfield College. While the title, “Outlast the Bastards” was a bit daunting, it was really about embracing the process of hard work and diligence over time. He spoke, “Begin with the end in mind, develop a plan of causal activities and behaviors necessary to accomplish those goals, and work relentlessly to carry them out.” Wonder where he got all this wisdom?