Speakers

Bella Loykhter Allaire

Executive Vice President of Technology and Operations, Raymond James & Associates

As executive vice president of technology and operations for Raymond James Financial, Bella Loykhter Allaire oversees the firm’s technology and operations functions, including client service and the technology platforms for our advisors and capital markets professionals.

Previously, she was managing director and chief information officer of UBS Wealth Management Americas, where she developed and executed the strategic road map to transform legacy Paine Webber technology into a differentiating wealth management platform.

She began her career at Prudential Securities, where she worked for 26 years in a variety of capacities in its technology area before being promoted to executive vice president and chief information officer in 2000.

During her tenure as CIO, managing a team of more than 2,000 professionals with a budget of more than $500 million, she was recognized for her leadership in establishing the firm’s technology platform as a model for best practices in supporting financial advisors and their clients.

After Wachovia’s acquisition of Prudential Securities in 2003, Ms. Allaire became a technology strategy consultant to Morgan Stanley and served as CEO of Wealthigen, initiating a securities line of business for Exigen Group, a software development firm.

Her professional affiliations include Fortune magazine’s 500 Most Powerful Women in Business, Wall Street Technologists Board of Directors and the NASDAQ Technology Group.

Born and educated in Ukraine, earning her bachelor’s degree from Lviv University, she immigrated to the United States in 1977.

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Tony Barrett

Senior Vice President, Managing Director – Delaware Valley Complex Raymond James & Associates

After earning his degree in economics from Colgate University, where he also was an all-conference player and captain of the football team, Tony Barrett entered the financial industry as a Mergers & Acquisitions Analyst. He quickly realized that his love was for people and problem solving, not simply crunching numbers. He soon joined Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor trainee, and after a successful start to his advisory career, entered the management ranks at UBS. Tony served as in several leadership roles, including launching a diversity training program that sought out new and creative methods to hire and train a more diverse Financial Advisor population.

In 2009, Tony joined Raymond James to lead their wealth management efforts in Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland. He has since assumed responsibility for the greater Philadelphia marketplace. In addition to his role leading the Delaware Valley Complex, Tony co-founded the Raymond James Black Financial Advisors Network in 2013, and maintains his position as the Chairperson of this group today.

During his tenure with Raymond James, Tony has been recognized as being a Top 100 Branch Manager by “On Wall Street” in 2017 and 2017, and earned the Raymond James Complex Manager of the Year award for 2017.

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Cameron Barsness

Principal, Kutscher Benner Barsness & Stevens, Inc.

Cameron is a principal and shareholder of the firm, a Certified Financial Planner ® and the lead planner on many client engagements.

Drawn to the “financial coaching” aspect of the business, Cam leads the conversion with many clients around values, goals and the integration of these facets into their investment portfolios and financial lives. This work includes discussions of charitable giving, impact investing and “Environmental, Social and Governance” (ESG) issues. Based on these discussions, she works to develop a tax-advantaged giving plan and with the investment committee to identify suitable investments.

Cam is an active attendee at the Seattle Philanthropic Advisors Network (SPAN). She is passionate about women in the workforce and volunteers with the CFP WIN (Women's Initiative) mentor program in order to help other female CFPs and aspiring CFPs gain confidence and navigate their careers in finance. She is also a regular attendee at the Seattle Ellevate Invest In Women and Seattle Mother’s In Finance events.

Cameron joined the firm in 2006 as an associate and became a shareholder and principal in 2015. Prior to moving to Seattle and joining the firm, Cam was the banquets & catering manager and finance assistant for a restaurant in Red Lodge, Montana. Before that, she was the project manager for an initial capital fundraising campaign for a community Bank in Dallas, TX. She graduated magna cum laude from Santa Clara University in 2004 with a degree in marketing.

Cam and her husband Erik live in Renton, WA with their daughter Reece and sons Thymer and Ollie. Cam was born and raised in Montana and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2006. In her free time, Cam volunteers as the Council President for Sammamish Hills Lutheran Church and is an active participant in her children’s classrooms at Renton Christian School. She is a competitive athlete at her core, and is happiest when coaching anything from volleyball and basketball to Little League baseball.

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Colleen Bell

First Vice President Fiduciary Services, Cambridge Investment Research, Inc.

Colleen Bell joined Cambridge in 2006 following her experience as a securities examiner for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Bell is responsible for leading Cambridge’s Fiduciary Services Department, which focuses on providing service support for Cambridge’s fee-based programs, retirement plan platforms, and compliance solutions. She dedicates her time to developing and executing innovative strategies that assist Cambridge’s retirement and wealth advisors in achieving their business objectives. Additionally, she focuses on expanding Cambridge’s Retirement Center, WealthPort®, and related consulting, education, and technology resources for Cambridge advisors. In 2016 she was selected as a member of the IA 25 by Investment Advisor magazine. Bell earned a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and holds FINRA Series 7, 24, and 66 licenses, along with the AIF® (Accredited Investment Fiduciary®) designation.

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Becky Bell, CFP®

Vice President, Alternative Channels, Longbridge Financial

Becky Bell, CFP®, MBA is Vice President of Alternative Channels for Longbridge Financial, LLC, a reverse mortgage firm that specializes in working with financial advisors. As a Certified Financial Planner® with a unique perspective on the role of home equity in financial planning, Becky has spent the last 10 years delivering focused training to advisors on how and when to compliantly use reverse mortgage strategies in retirement income and longevity planning. Becky also has over 20 years of financial product experience and has held executive roles with Fortune 50 companies including GE and Metlife.

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Wendy Benson

Head of Wealth Management, MassMutual Financial Advisors

Wendy joined MassMutual in October of 2009 as the Assistant VicePresident of Infrastructure and Architecture for MassMutual’sBroker Dealer.

In April of 2011 Wendy was promoted to Vice President and ChiefOperating Officer of Sales and Distribution Operations. In this role, Wendy is responsible for Sales Operations, Field Compensation, Field Technology and other distribution related functions.

In May of 2016 Wendy assumed the role of Head of Wealth Management for MassMutual Financial Advisors, which includes oversight of MassMutual’s Broker Dealer and Trust Company.

Prior to joining MassMutual, Wendy was with John Hancock Financial Services. She began her career there in 1991 and held various positions in the Mutual Fund, Annuity, Life Insurance, and Broker Dealer areas. Her most recent position there was President and Chief Operating Officer for Signator Investors, Inc., John Hancock's career agency Broker Dealer. Prior to joining John Hancock, Wendy worked for six years at Boston Financial as a Call Center Manager.

Wendy is originally from Upstate NY and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Brockport. She currently lives in Braintree, MA.

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David Blanchett, PhD, CFA, CFP®

Head of Retirement Research, Morningstar Investment Management LLC 

David Blanchett, PhD, CFA, CFP® is head of retirement research for Morningstar Investment Management LLC. In this role, he works to enhance the group’s consulting and investment services and serves as the chair of the Advice Methodologies and Automated Strategies subcommittee, which is the working group responsible for developing and maintaining all methodologies relating to wealth forecasting, general financial planning, automated investment selection, and portfolio assignment for Morningstar Investment Management LLC. His research has been published in a variety of industry and academic journals and received a number of awards, most recently the Journal of Financial Planning’s 2014 and 2015 Montgomery-Warschauer Award, the Financial Analysts Journal’s 2015 Graham and Dodd Scroll Award, and the best paper in investments award at both the 2017 CFP Board Academic Research Colloquium and the 2017 Academy of Financial Services Annual Conference. He is currently an Expert Panelist for the Wall Street Journal and an Adjunct professor of Wealth Management at The American College. He holds a master’s degree in financial services from the American College, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a doctorate in personal financial planning program from Texas Tech University.

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Eleanor Blayney

Consumer Advocate, Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards

Eleanor Blayney, CFP® is the Consumer Advocate for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, reaching out to consumers to help them understand how financial planning and CFP® professionals can improve their lives.

The author of Women’s Worth, a book about how women can make the most of their financial lives, Eleanor worked with individual clients for more than twenty years to help them articulate and plan for their financial goals. As the only woman partner in a four-partner firm, Eleanor drew upon her female intuition, communication strengths, and facility for sustaining relationships to help build a wealth management firm that has served hundreds of clients in the Washington, D.C. metro area and around the country.

Passionate about finding ways to foster gender parity in the financial planning profession, Eleanor helped to spearhead CFP Board’s Women’s Initiative (WIN) to address the industry’s “feminine famine.” On behalf of the WIN Advisory Panel – comprising leaders in the area of women in financial services – Eleanor authored Making More Room for Women in the Financial Planning Profession, a 2014 white paper which presents the findings of a comprehensive research study on why there aren’t more women CFP® professionals and offers the WIN Advisory Panel’s recommendations to help attract more women to the profession.

Eleanor holds a number of degrees and designations. She earned an MA in English Literature from the University of Cambridge UK and an MBA from the University of Chicago. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Well-known as a conference speaker and frequently quoted in the news media, Eleanor has played a pioneering role in building and shaping the financial planning profession. She has taught for the College of Financial Planning, and has helped to develop practice standards and ethical requirements for CFP® professionals in the U.S.

Visit Eleanor on CFP Board’s website at http://www.cfp.net/learn/advocate.asp or follow her on Twitter at @EleanorBlayney.

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Erin Botsford

Founder of Botsford Financial and Author of "The Seven Figure Firm"

Erin Botsford of Seven Figure Firm teaches financial advisors what she did to 10X her business and create a self-managing company. Her vast experience and authentic personality allows her to relate to advisors at all levels. She struggled for the first 7 years without taking a day off but then she learned the 5 Keys of Business Success that catapulted her into becoming a Barron’s Top 100 Independent and Barron’s Top 100 Women Advisor.

Having been raised in poverty, Erin rose to the top of her industry, building her business from zero in 1989 to a $5 million/year+ self-managing business with offices in Frisco, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia. Erin’s personal rags to riches story has been featured in numerous articles and publications, including the cover story of Financial Advisor magazine’s January 2010 issue, Investment News, Kiplinger magazine, the Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Business Journal. Her business success has resulted in her appearing numerous times in Barron’s magazine’s Top 100 Women Financial Advisers and Barron’s Top 100 Independent Financial Advisers lists. Her television appearances include being a guest on “Wealth Track with Consuelo Mack,’ CBC’s “Power Lunch” and “Squawk on the Street.” Erin is the author of two books; recently published Seven Figure Firm: How to Build a Financial Services Business that Grows Itself and best-selling book: The Big Retirement Risk: Running out of Money Before You Run out of Time.

Erin’s abilities to teach, train and motivate other producers are well known in the industry. She has given key notes and breakout sessions every year for the past twenty-five years at various industry conferences, including the prestigious Barron’s conference for Top Female Producers. She has been hired by broker/dealer and insurance companies to train their top producers. As an example, Erin was asked to train the twenty-five top producers of a major insurance broker/dealer. They documented the sales production of all twenty-five. In the following year, the average production was up more than twenty-five percent. Her speeches are not only informative and entertaining; they get results!

In addition to speaking at industry conferences on the topics of practice management, business leadership and building a self-managing company, Erin shares her business building acumen with advisors all over the country by inviting them into her office for her “Spend the Day with My Team” program.

Erin is married to Bob Botsford, an American Airlines pilot. She has one son, Kevin who is married to Kristin. She has three grandsons, Cooper, Carson and Christian. Erin loves reading, dancing, Zumba and snow skiing. Her two greatest passions are supporting our military veterans and her orphans in Africa.

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Tonia Bottoms

Managing Director and Managing Counsel, BNY Mellon’s Pershing

Tonia Bottoms is a Managing Director and Managing Counsel for BNY Mellon’s Pershing, in the Legal Department. Tonia specializes in the areas of retirement plans and financial products. In this role, she provides advice and guidance regarding the compliance and oversight of retirement and education savings products, including traditional and Roth individual retirement accounts (IRAs), savings incentive match plan for employees (SIMPLE) IRAs, simplified employee pension plan (SEP) IRAs, qualified retirement plans and 529 college savings plans. She advises all aspects of Pershing’s retirement business which spans individual and plan markets.

Prior to joining Pershing in May 2010, Tonia was a director and senior counsel at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She was previously a vice president and assistant general counsel for Prudential Securities Incorporated. Tonia also worked as an assistant district attorney for the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. Tonia is a member of the Global Governance Committee of IMPACT, a global resource for BNY Mellon and its employees, with a specific emphasis on the recruitment, retention, professional development and advancement of multicultural employees. Previously, she was the co-chair for the Jersey City chapter of the firm’s Women’s Initiative Network.

Tonia is a member of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s Retirement and Education Savings Committee and currently serves as its co-chair. She also is a member of the Insured Retirement Institute and SPARK’s Government Relations Committee. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Maryland.

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Dr. Bill Breen

Senior Product Research Specialist, Horizon Investments

Dr. Breen brings the rm decades of fundamental, economic, and quantitative research with the ability to innovate his experiences with today’s current investment problems. Before Horizon, Dr. Breen was chairman and a founding director of Disciplined Investment Advisors, an equity manager with over $2 billion under management.

Dr. Breen is Emeritus Professor of Finance at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, where he was also chairman of the Finance Department and head of Doctoral Studies. He has published more than 40 articles and academic papers and has coauthored several books on investment strategy, corporate nance, asset pricing, and econometric theory. He has served on the boards of The LaSalle Trust Company, Barton-Ashmann, X10ion Inc., and the Evanston Community Foundation. Dr. Breen received a BA in economics and mathematics from Ripon College, completed graduate work at the London School of Economics as a Rotary International Fellow, and received a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University.

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Sheryl Brown

Director of Social Media Development, Sigma Financial Corporation and Parkland Securities, LLC

Using her bionic strength and amplified-listening strategies in social and digital marketing, Sheryl Brown has made it her mission to change how the financial services community is represented and doing business online. Sheryl serves as Director of Social Media Development at Sigma Financial Corporation and Parkland Securities, LLC, where her passion lies with helping their independent financial advisors amplify their thought leadership through social media and digital marketing strategies. Sheryl focuses on making Sigma and Parkland advisors hip, fresh, and relevant to today’s consumers through their use of social media. (She speaks compliance, too!) An international speaker, writer, and trainer, Sheryl has spoken at more than a hundred industry events and moderated panels with executives from Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more. You can find her most anywhere online as “BIONICsocialite” where she flexes her message of being bigger, better, and more BIONIC to Sigma and Parkland advisors across the United States.

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Hannah Buschbom

Co-Founder, The W Source

Hannah Buschbom, CFP®, CDFA, has nearly a decade of experience in the financial services industry. During her career, she noticed the lack of a dedicated local female-centric network that could help her serve her clients and grow her business. Her search quickly developed into a passion to further the success of women in professional fields around the country. As both a Co-founder of The W Source and a Chapter Head for the Santa Barbara Chapter, Hannah is part of a growing nationwide network of female professionals. The company, which launched in September of 2017, is a referral network in which female professionals are able to connect, engage, and collaborate with other female professionals in their local area.

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Bradley Camden, CFA

Director, Fixed Income Strategy Northern Trust Asset Management

Brad Camden, CFA is the director of fixed income strategy for Northern Trust Asset Management. Brad's main responsibility is to head the taxable active long duration strategy team. He has oversight and portfolio management responsibilities across a variety of both active and passive strategies.

He is chair of the Fixed Income Credit Strategy Committee and a member of the firm's Tactical Asset Allocation and Investment Policy Committees.

Prior to joining Northern Trust Asset Management in 2005, Brad was a member of Northern Trust's Global Opportunities in Leadership Development (GOLD) program where he completed rotations in Tax Advantage Equity, Equity Research, and Fixed Income. Brad began his career with Northern Trust in 2002.

Brad received a B.A. in Economics from DePauw University. He is an active CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society Chicago.

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Robbie Cannon

CEO, Horizon Investments

Robbie Cannon is the President and CEO of Horizon Investments, an asset management and consulting rm that specializes in active asset allocation, risk mitigation and generating a steady stream of retirement income. During his tenure, which began in 1999, Horizon has grown from a small retail RIA rm to a multi-billion dollar third-party investment management group with a national footprint based on its strong relationships with independent advisors, independent broker/dealers and institutional clients.

His career in nance began in 1994, and has encompassed various aspects of portfolio management including asset allocation, equity analysis and risk management. He graduated from Furman University and lives in Charlotte, NC. Robbie is a national speaker on topics ranging from asset allocation and risk management to market dynamics.

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Lance K. Carlson

Head of Sales Distribution, Great-West Financial

Lance Carlson is a divisional sales manager at Great-West Financial. In his role, Lance is responsible for managing a team of professional wholesalers providing life and retirement income solutions. Lance, who joined the organization in 2016, has extensive experience in sales/marketing, operations, and P&L general management.

Lance earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia. He holds the following qualifications: FINRA Series 7* and 24*; State Securities Series 63; State Life and Health Insurance Licenses.

*Registered as Series 6 and 26 to coincide with sponsoring broker dealer’s registration.

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Jason Carroll

Managing Director, Live Oak Bank

Jason Carroll launched the Investment Advisory Lending team when he joined Live Oak Bank in 2012. As the former manager of a multi-million-dollar loan portfolio at a major custodian, he is a seasoned lender in this industry. As of April 2017, the Investment Advisory lending team has financed more than $450 million in loans to Independent Investment Advisors. The Live Oak Bank team has received several industry awards, including the Wealth Management Industry Awards in 2015 (Industry Innovation) and 2016 (Succession). Jason has also been listed among Investment Advisor Top 25 Most Influential People, Wealth Management Magazine’s Top 10 People to Watch in Financial Services Industry, Cover Story “Angel Investors” in Investment Advisor Magazine and Wall Street Top 50 in Irish America Magazine.

Jason started his career with First Union National Bank (Wells Fargo) in 1996. He has held several strategic roles within large banking and financial institutions designing, developing and executing lending programs and products. Jason has a Bachelor of Arts from Clemson University, as well as Series 7 and 63 licenses.

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Marie Chandoha

President and Chief Executive Officer

Marie Chandoha is President and CEO of Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. (CSIM), the investment advisor to Schwab Funds®, Laudus Funds® and Schwab ETFs™ and one of the largest money market and index fund providers in the industry.

Ms. Chandoha has more than 30 years of investment industry experience. Prior to joining CSIM, she spent three years as head of the global fixed-income business at BlackRock (formerly Barclays Global Investors). She previously served as co-head and senior portfolio manager in charge of the Montgomery fixed-income division at Wells Capital Management, senior bond strategist at Goldman Sachs, and managing director responsible for the global fixed-income research and economics department at Credit Suisse First Boston. Earlier in her career, Ms. Chandoha held research positions at Morgan Stanley and The Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Ms. Chandoha earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Harvard University. She serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Governors for the Investment Company Institute is a Trustee of the Schwab Funds, Laudus Funds and Schwab ETFs, and a Director of the Charles Schwab Worldwide Funds. She is also a trustee of the California chapter of The Nature Conservancy.

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Marie Chandoha

President and Chief Executive Officer, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc.

Marie A. Chandoha is president and CEO of Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. (CSIM), the investment advisor to Schwab Funds, Laudus Funds and Schwab ETFs and one of the largest money market and index fund providers in the industry.

Chandoha has more than 30 years of investment experience. Prior to joining Schwab in 2010, she spent three years as the global head of the fixed-income business at BlackRock (formerly Barclays Global Investors). She previously served as co-head and senior portfolio manager in charge of the Montgomery fixed-income division at Wells Capital Management; a senior bond strategist at Goldman Sachs; and managing director responsible for the global fixed-income research and economics department at Credit Suisse First Boston. Earlier in her career, Chandoha held research positions at Morgan Stanley and The Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Chandoha earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Harvard University. She serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Governors of Investment Company Institute, is a trustee of the Schwab Funds, Laudus Funds and Schwab ETFs and a Director of the Charles Schwab Worldwide Funds. She is also a trustee of the California chapter of The Nature Conservancy.

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Natalie Choate, Esq.

Attorney, Nutter, McClennen & Fish

Natalie Choate is an attorney with the Boston law firm of Nutter, McClennen & Fish. Her practice is limited to estate planning for retirement benefits. Her two books, Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits and The QPRT Manual, are leading resources for estate planning professionals.

Ms. Choate is the founder and former chair of the Boston Bar Estate Planning Committee; a former chair of the Boston Bar Employee Benefits Committee; and a member and former officer of the Boston Probate and Estate Planning Forum. She is a fellow and former Regent of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and former chairman of its Employee Benefits Committee. Named "Estate Planner of the Year" by the Boston Estate Planning Council, Ms. Choate is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. The National Association of Estate Planners and Councils has awarded Natalie the "Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner" designation.

Her articles on estate planning topics have been published in ACTEC Notes, Estate Planning, Trusts and Estates, Tax Practitioners Journal and Tax Management. She is a contributing author and co-editor of the book Drafting Wills and Trusts in Massachusetts published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., and an editorial advisor for Trusts and Estates magazine. She writes a monthly web column and "podcast" for MorningstarAdvisor.com.

Ms. Choate has taught professional-level courses in estate planning in 45 states, and has spoken at the Heckerling, Notre Dame, Heart of America, New England, Southern California, Mississippi, Tennessee, Washington State and Southern Federal Tax Institutes. Her comments on estate and retirement planning have been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Money, Bloomberg Wealth Manager, Newsweek, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Forbes, Financial Planning and Financial World.A Boston native, Ms. Choate is a graduate of Radcliffe College and Harvard Law School.

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Robert Cirrotti

Managing Director, BNY Mellon’s Pershing

Robert Cirrotti is a Managing Director for BNY Mellon’s Pershing, and head of Retirement and Investment Solutions. In this role, he oversees all aspects of Pershing’s retirement business as well the development and enhancement of investment offerings and platforms for broker-dealer and registered investment advisor clients. Pershing’s retirement offering spans individual and plan markets and includes insured solutions. The investment offering includes FundVest®, Pershing’s no-transaction fee (NTF) mutual fund platform, FundVest 200®, a research-driven list of NTF mutual funds, the Alternative Investment Network, 529 College Savings platform and Exchange-Traded Funds Center.

He is a board member of the SPARK Institute and a member of several trade associations and committees including the SIFMA Retirement Committee, American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries, Insured Retirement Institute and the SPARK Institute Advisor Committee.

Robert is an active member on numerous firm committees including Pricing, Asset Based Pricing, Mutual Fund Steering and Mutual Fund Strategy. He recently jointly established a BNY Mellon Retirement Steering Committee intended to guide enterprise retirement strategy and currently chairs the firm’s DOL Steering Committee.

Robert has over 20 years of industry experience including prior roles as head of Product Management and chief operating officer for Prudential Retirement. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Administration from Rutgers College and completed the Securities Industry Institute® program, sponsored by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Sarah Deasy

Loan Officer, Live Oak Bank

Sarah joined Live Oak Bank in 2011 as a Credit Administration Analyst, eventually transitioning into roles with both our Special Assets group and the Investment Advisory team. Sarah has underwritten over $131 million in loans in the investment advisory industry and as a Loan Officer she now specializes in inside sales. Prior to working at Live Oak Bank, Sarah worked with lobbying firms in Washington DC and a well-respected bank. Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the College of William and Mary, a Master of Business Administration in Finance from George Washington University, as well as Series 7, Series 66 and life and health insurance licenses.

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Sarah Deasy

Loan Officer, Live Oak Bank

Sarah joined Live Oak Bank in 2011 as a Credit Administration Analyst, eventually transitioning into roles with both our Special Assets group and the Investment Advisory team. Sarah has underwritten over $131 million in loans in the investment advisory industry and as a Loan Officer she now specializes in inside sales. Prior to working at Live Oak Bank, Sarah worked with lobbying firms in Washington DC and a well-respected bank. Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the College of William and Mary, a Master of Business Administration in Finance from George Washington University, as well as Series 7, Series 66 and life and health insurance licenses.

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Robert DeChellis

President and Chief Strategist, Allianz Exchange, and Chairman of the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) Board of Directors

As president and chief strategist for the Allianz Exchange, a division of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®), Robert DeChellis is responsible for uniting strategic relationships, technology, and intellectual capital to identify uncommon financial solutions and thought leadership. In this role, DeChellis collaborates with the global family of Allianz companies as well as outside partners to address the growing demand for holistic financial advice.

Most recently, DeChellis was president and CEO of Allianz Life Financial Services, LLC. Prior to joining Allianz Life in 2006, DeChellis was EVP of Travelers Life & Annuity's retail annuities division. Before that, he served as EVP and national sales manager for Jackson National LIfe DIstributors Inc., managed sales for a broad range of product lines and distribution channels at Goldman Sachs, and was a regional manager for Lord Abbett & Co.

DeChellis earned a BS in finance from the University of Colorado Boulder and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. He is also serving as Chairman of the Insured Retirement Institute.

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Robert DeChellis

President and Chief Strategist, Allianz Exchange

As president and chief strategist for the Allianz Exchange, a division of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®), DeChellis is responsible for uniting strategic relationships, technology and intellectual capital to identify uncommon financial solutions and thought leadership. In this role, DeChellis collaborates with the global family of Allianz companies as well as outside partners to address the growing demand for holistic financial advice.

Most recently, DeChellis was president and CEO of Allianz Life Financial Services, LLC. Prior to joining Allianz Life in 2006, DeChellis was EVP of Travelers Life & Annuity’s retail annuities division. Before that, he served as EVP and national sales manager for Jackson National Life Distributors Inc., managed sales for a broad range of product lines and distribution channels at Goldman Sachs, and was a regional manager for Lord Abbett & Co.

DeChellis earned a BS in finance from the University of Colorado Boulder and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. He is also currently serving as Chairman of the Insured Retirement Institute.

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Lule Demmissie

Managing Director, Investment Products and Guidance, TD Ameritrade

Lule Demmissie is responsible for the product strategy, development and management of TD Ameritrade’s investment products and financial guidance services, along with the development of the digital experiences that accompany these products and services.

During her tenure at TD Ameritrade, Lule has lead the development and the launch of financial guidance services, tools and products for long-term oriented retail investors. Her commitment to the firm’s Agile/Lean approach to product development has resulted in the launch of many innovative firsts for the firm including the Investment Management Services solution, Essential Portfolios and Selective Portfolios, the retail Goal Planning experience and the long-term investor-focused mobile application—TD Ameritrade Portfolios, to name a few.

Lule is committed to cultivating a culture with diverse perspectives and talents and was the recipient of TD Ameritrade’s 2015 Impact Award for Diversity & Inclusiveness, which recognizes a leader who is paving the way in building, developing and retaining a diverse group of associates — while continuing to foster a culture where all associates feel valued, respected and challenged. She is a regular contributor to various blogs on topics related to goal planning and behavioral insights that can help drive strong financial choices among retail investors.

Prior to working at TD Ameritrade, Lule worked for leading investment firms such as Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, and Merrill Lynch as a product manager, product developer and a financial advisor. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Smith College, an M.B.A from Columbia Business School, a CIMA designation from the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) and the 7, 66 and 24 securities licenses.

Prior speaking experience: Industry panels; internal speaking engagements on lean/agile product development and Diversity and Inclusion matters; regular media interviews on behalf of TD Ameritrade

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Glenn A. Dial

Managing Director and Head of Retirement Strategy, Allianz Global Investors

Mr. Dial is a managing director with Allianz Global Investors, which he joined in 2011 as Head of Retirement Strategy. Mr. Dial has 22 years of retirement-industry experience. He previously held senior-management positions with JPMorgan and Ceridian. Mr. Dial is a co-inventor of the “method and system for evaluating target-date funds” and is also credited with developing the target-date fund category system commonly referred to as “To versus Through.” He is the author of a monthly newsletter titled, “Dialed In to Retirement.”

Glenn is one of the 40 Most Influential People in the Defined Contribution industry according to the 401kWire.com survey in 2015, 2014, 2013. He has a B.S./B.A. in finance from the University of Central Florida and an M.B.A. from Rollins College.

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Dr. Mike Dickson

Director, Structured Financial Solutions, Horizon Investments

Dr. Dickson joined Horizon Investments in March 2015. He focuses on new product development and innovation, with an emphasis on retirement income strategies. He also supports Horizon’s investment process through the development of quantitative methods and strategies.

Dr. Dickson specializes in the areas of return predictability, portfolio optimization, and factor models. Previously, he taught undergraduate nance at UNC Charlotte and worked in nancial analysis support roles at Premier, Inc., and Global Compliance. Dr. Dickson received his BS in Chemistry from Winthrop University and both an MS in Economics and Ph.D. in Finance from UNC Charlotte.

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Jan Dik

Financial Advisor, Edward Jones Investments

Jan Dik, CFA® joined Edward Jones as a Financial Advisor in 2004. Her branch is located in Topsfield, MA.

In her time at the firm she became a member of the Grassroots Task Force, which is the securities industry’s only volunteer advocacy organization on Capitol Hill. Established in 1985, this task force has been dedicated to remain informed on legislative and regulatory issues impacting individual investors.

In 2018, Jan qualified to attend the Edward Jones Women’s Conference, an honor reserved for the firm’s top 250 female financial advisors.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Grinnell College while also taking courses at the London School of Economics. She also attended the University of Chicago where she received an MBA in finance and statistics.

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Chuck DiVencenzo

Vice President, Advanced Markets, Allianz Life Insurance of North America

As vice president of Advanced Markets for Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®), Chuck DiVencenzo helps financial professionals and their clients with the complexities of retirement, estate planning, business continuation, and developing possible solutions to tax issues. In this role, he works extensively with financial products, including annuities and life insurance.

Prior to joining Allianz Life in 2013, DiVencenzo led the advanced market team at Hartford Life. Before that, he was a practicing tax attorney, a tax consultant at Ernst & Young, and chief operating officer at Paradigm Capital Management, Inc.

DiVencenzo earned his BS from Canisius College in New York and JD from the University of Pittsburg School of Law in Pennsylvania. He holds a CPRC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) designation and FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities registrations. In addition, DiVencenzo is a member of the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, Investment Company Institute, and Securities Industry Association.

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Robert C. Doll

Senior Portfolio Manager, Chief Equity Strategist, Nuveen Asset Management

Bob Doll is Senior Portfolio Manager and Chief Equity Strategist at Nuveen Asset Management. Bob manages the Large Cap Equity Series, which includes traditional large cap equities, specialty categories and alternative strategies. He is a highly-respected authority on the equities markets among investors, advisors and the media. As the author of widely-followed weekly commentaries and annual market predictions, Bob provides ongoing, timely market perspectives.

Prior to joining Nuveen Asset Management, Bob held similar roles at other large asset management firms, including serving as chief equity strategist at BlackRock, president and chief investment officer of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM) and chief investment officer of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. He has 37 years of portfolio management experience, received a B.S. in accounting and a B.A. in economics from Lehigh University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the CFA Institute. Bob appears regularly on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and Fox Business News discussing the economy and markets. He has also been quoted in major business publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Financial Times.

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Lisa Dolly

Chief Executive Officer, Pershing, a BNY Mellon company

Lisa Dolly is the Chief Executive Officer for Pershing, a BNY Mellon company, providing leadership for the Pershing family of companies in 23 locations worldwide. Pershing provides global financial business solutions to advisors, broker-dealers, family offices, hedge fund and ’40 Act fund managers, registered investment advisor firms, and wealth managers, helping them to run their business efficiently and serve their clients effectively. Lisa is the chair of Pershing’s Executive Committee and a member BNY Mellon’s Senior Leadership Team. She is a passionate advocate for developing talent and bringing diversity and multiple voices to build the best teams.

Lisa has been with Pershing for over 25 years and brings rich experience to this role. She was most recently the chief operating officer of the firm, sharing leadership for all Pershing affiliates. As COO, she was responsible for ensuring that the firm has the operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people and systems in place to effectively grow and maintain financial strength and operating efficiency.

Previously, Lisa was responsible for the firm’s managed investment business and Lockwood Advisors, Inc. and has held leadership positions in nearly every area of the firm, from Account Management and Client Service to Global Operations. She was also the firm’s chief administrative officer with leadership responsibility for Legal, Compliance, and People Services. She began her career in the Corporate Trainee program.

Lisa has served as chairperson of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Operations and Technology Steering Committee and has served on cross-industry committees with DTCC. In addition, she volunteers her time with the 30% Club mentoring aspiring professional women. In 2016, Lisa was named to the “Women to Watch” list by InvestmentNews and the “50 Most Influential Women in Private Wealth” list by Private Asset Management magazine.

Lisa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Rutgers University and completed the Securities Industry Institute® program, sponsored by SIFMA, at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Sonya Dreizler

Founder/ Consultant, Solutions With Sonya

Sonya Dreizler, the founder of Solutions With Sonya, is a former financial services CEO with 15 years of industry experience. She enjoys helping financial services executives to grow their businesses and tackle complex business issues. She is an expert in the rapidly growing field of Impact Investing and writes a popular weekly educational newsletter covering the latest developments in Impact and ESG investing, as well as terminology, interviews, and business tips.

Sonya is a respected leader, practical thinker, and consensus-builder with excellent communication skills and deep experience in Independent Broker Dealer and Investment Adviser management. Her areas of expertise include sustainable and impact investing, streamlining operations, business development & oversight, BD/RIA regulation & financial reporting, and small business marketing strategy.

Sonya previously spent 13 years at Protected Investors of America, a boutique Broker Dealer and SEC registered Investment Adviser. She started at the firm as an executive assistant and took on increasing roles in the firm, eventually rising to COO, and then CEO. For in depth details on her work experience, please see her LinkedIn profile.

She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and holds the Series 7, 66, 24, and 28 securities licenses. She is a recipient of the InvestmentNews 40 Under 40 award, speaks frequently at conferences and has published articles and interviews in numerous trade publications.

She is the board chair of CUESA, a sustainable agriculture and education non-profit and also volunteers with Friends of the Urban Forest and JVS. Sonya earned a BA from UCLA in English Literature and speaks fluent Spanish. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and their two sons and she enjoys travelling with her family, learning martial arts, and fruit and vegetable gardening.

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Marie E. Dzanis, CIMA®

Head of Intermediary and Wealth Distribution Northern Trust Asset Management

Marie is Head of Intermediary and Wealth Distribution. She is responsible for establishing Northern Trust’s presence in the intermediary market, recruiting and retaining talented sales professionals, as well as developing significant relationships across important industry channels including FlexShares which is currently ranked as the 11th Top ETF Sponsor.

Recognized with a “Top Women in Asset Management” award by Money Management Executive in May 2015, and voted “Top Women to Watch” by InvestmentNews in 2017, Marie has more than 25 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Northern Trust in June 2011, she held executive and leadership positions at iShares/Blackrock, JPMorgan Asset Management, and Smith Barney. She has managed multiple channels and has grown several lines of businessin the institutional and intermediary space including securities lending and trading, product development, product sales, sales management and branch management. Marie started in the industry as a nancial advisor.

Marie is a graduate of The Catholic University of America (B.A. in Political Theory), the Stanford University Executive Education Program, and the Chicago Booth School of Business Executive Education Program. Holds her CIMA®, is a member and was Chairwoman of the Specialty Conference Committees for IMCA®. She also is on committees for Money Management Institute, Womenin ETFs and currently holds her FINRA Series 7, 24 & 66 Licenses. She serves on the Women’s Board of the University of Chicago Cancer Foundation, and isthe Founder of the Emergency Champagne Women’s Leadership Group. She is a member of Northern Trust’s Business Leadership Committee, serves on the Northern Trust Asset Management Operating Committee, Is an officer for FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds Trust and is on the Northern Trust Securities, Inc. Board of Directors.

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Martha Macken Elliott

Financial Advisor, Cetera Advisor Networks

Martha Macken Elliott is a Financial Advisor with Cetera Advisor Networks located at Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union in Rochester, Minnesota. Martha focuses on a thorough process with the aim of building wealth for her clients, while taking into account the need for preservation of their capital, growth for investments and income when needed.

Martha has been awarded the MVP Club in 2010, Chairman’s Club 2011, 2012 and “Top FID (Financial Institution Division) Representative” in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 for Cetera Advisor Networks. She was also honored as one of “Financial Times” 400 Top Financial Advisors in 2016.

A life-long resident of Rochester, when Martha isn’t working, you will see her and her husband Brian and their two daughters boating or at sporting events.

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Heather R. Ettinger

Founder, Luma Wealth Advisor

Heather Ettinger has devoted more than 25 years to the financial services industry. She specializes in helping clients and their families create strategic financial plans to guide them through life transitions, such as the loss of a spouse, divorce and job changes. She is widely recognized for her unwavering dedication to helping other women build their financial acumen and philanthropic legacy.

 

Heather co-authored two studies about women and their unique needs entitled “Women of Wealth: Why Does the Financial Services Industry Still Not Hear Them?” and “Women of Wealth: What Do Breadwinner Women Want?” Heather has been featured in many publications including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Bloomberg and is a frequently-requested speaker for both industry associations and company women’s initiatives. For her impact on the financial industry and demonstrated willingness to share her experiences, she was honored on InvestmentNews’ inaugural “Woman to Watch” list in 2015.

 

Heather remains an ardent supporter of her alma maters including Dartmouth College, where she earned a B.A., and Laurel School for girls, where she now serves as an Emeritus Trustee. She is active with In Counsel with Women and the nationally recognized wealth management study group, Family Wealth Advisors Council. Currently, Heather serves on the Board of Directors of University Hospitals Health System and The Private Trust Company.

 

Heather lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio, with her husband, Jeff, and considers raising her three kids as her greatest accomplishment. In her free time, she can be found playing ice hockey, snow skiing and hiking.

 

An authentic change-maker and advocate, Heather’s theme song is "You Will (The OWN Song)” by Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Nettles.

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Heather EttingerChicago

Founder and CEO, Luma Wealth Advisors

Heather Ettinger has devoted more than 25 years to the financial services industry. She specializes in helping clients and their families create strategic financial plans to guide them through life transitions, such as the loss of a spouse, divorce and job changes. She is widely recognized for her unwavering dedication to helping other women build their financial acumen and philanthropic legacy.

Heather co-authored two studies about women and their unique needs entitled “Women of Wealth: Why Does the Financial Services Industry Still Not Hear Them?” and “Women of Wealth: What Do Breadwinner Women Want?” Heather has been featured in many publications including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Bloomberg and is a frequently-requested speaker for both industry associations and company women’s initiatives. For her impact on the financial industry and demonstrated willingness to share her experiences, she was honored on InvestmentNews’ inaugural “Woman to Watch” list in 2015.

Heather remains an ardent supporter of her alma maters including Dartmouth College, where she earned a B.A., and Laurel School for girls, where she now serves as an Emeritus Trustee. She is active with In Counsel with Women and the nationally recognized wealth management study group, Family Wealth Advisors Council. Currently, Heather serves on the Board of Directors of University Hospitals Health System and The Private Trust Company.

Heather lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio, with her husband, Jeff, and considers raising her three kids as her greatest accomplishment. In her free time, she can be found playing ice hockey, snow skiing and hiking.

An authentic change-maker and advocate, Heather’s theme song is "You Will (The OWN Song)” by Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Nettles.

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Paul W. Ewing, CFP®

President, Prosperity Advisory Group

Paul Ewing, CFP® is an Advisor to Advisor… as well as to clients. He serves as the CEO of a Branch Office of over 150 members that are registered with Cetera Advisors. The everyday experiences Ewing encounter as an accomplished advisor help drive value to his members. Ewing is the Principal of an advisor ensemble practice that is responsible for $400 in AUM. Prosperity Advisors has been recognized in the Financial Times 400 in 2015, 2016 and again in 2017.

Ewing is also an innovator as the author of the on-line tool Fit To Retire, MyDucks.org and the ENGAGE, Client Service Offering Tool.

Ewing is a father of four young men, Husband to one incredible wife and involved in the community through Boy Scouts, as founder of Living Waters Canoe Ministry, part of the founders of Mission Southside, President of UP Global in addition to a number of community Board positions.

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Amy Florian

CEO, Corgenius

Amy Florian is the CEO of Corgenius, and she combines the best of neuroscience and psychology with a good dose of humor in training professionals to build strong relationships with clients through all the losses and transitions of life.

An acclaimed speaker and expert, she is author of over 100 articles and the book “No Longer Awkward: Communicating with Clients through the Toughest Times of Life”. She was recently named one of the 20 Most Creative People in Insurance and Financial Services for her groundbreaking work, and she also was honored as an “Influential Woman in Business” from the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Amy is a former columnist for the Journal of Financial Planning who has been quoted or featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, MSN Money, Barron’s, On Wall Street, ThinkAdvisor, Investment News, Wealth Management, Financial Planning, and Huffington Post.

Amy holds a Master’s Degree and is a Fellow in Thanatology (the highest level of certification in the field of grief studies).

She taught a graduate class at Loyola University of Chicago for almost 10 years, she has worked with over 2,000 grieving people, and she consults with firms, corporations, and individuals nationwide.

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Amy Florian

CEO, Corgenius

Amy Florian is the CEO of Corgenius, and she combines the best of neuroscience and psychology with a good dose of humor in training professionals to build strong relationships with clients through all the losses and transitions of life.

An acclaimed speaker and expert, she is author of over 100 articles and the book “No Longer Awkward: Communicating with Clients through the Toughest Times of Life”. She was recently named one of the 20 Most Creative People in Insurance and Financial Services for her groundbreaking work, and she also was honored as an “Influential Woman in Business” from the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Amy is a former columnist for the Journal of Financial Planning who has been quoted or featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, MSN Money, Barron’s, On Wall Street, ThinkAdvisor, InvestmentNews, Wealth Management, Financial Planning, and Huffington Post.

Amy holds a Master’s Degree and is a Fellow in Thanatology (the highest level of certification in the field of grief studies).

She taught a graduate class at Loyola University of Chicago for almost 10 years, she has worked with over 2,000 grieving people, and she consults with firms, corporations, and individuals nationwide.

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Sasha Franger

Head of Content, Great-West Financial®

Sasha Franger is the Head of Content for Great-West Financial where she leads the strategy and execution of marketing programs that help build demand for retirement income from both advisors and their clients. Sasha believes that we do not just want to live longer but that we want to live well longer, and an important aspect of this is to have a plan for financial stability in retirement. Seizing the opportunity to build a thought leadership content program from the ground up, Sasha moved to Great-West Financial in April 2016.

With over 10 years of experience, Sasha started her career as an analyst with Lipper, a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters, where she created reports for Mutual Fund Company Boards. Just prior to joining Great-West, Sasha was a Marketing Manager at Jackson National Life Distributors. Sasha got her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University. She also has a Master’s degree in Political Science from Michigan State University. She holds a Series 7* and Series 63 licenses.

When she isn’t building new content for Financial Advisors, Sasha is a busy mom of two who enjoys going on family hikes. She is also known for constantly recruiting members of her team to join her at Toastmasters meetings.

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Sasha Franger

Director of Thought Leadership, Great-West Financial and Empower Retirement

Sasha Franger is the Director of Thought Leadership for Great-West Financial and Empower Retirement where she leads the strategy and execution of marketing programs that help build demand for retirement income from both advisors and their clients. Sasha believes that we do not just want to live longer but that we want to live well longer, and an important aspect of this is to have a plan for financial stability in retirement. Seizing the opportunity to build a thought leadership content program from the ground up, Sasha moved to Great-West Financial in April 2016.

With over 10 years of experience, Sasha started her career as an analyst with Lipper, a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters, where she created reports for Mutual Fund Company Boards. Just prior to joining Great-West, Sasha was a Marketing Manager at Jackson National Life Distributors. Sasha got her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University. She also has a Master’s degree in Political Science from Michigan State University. She holds a Series 7 and Series 63 licenses.

When she isn’t building new content for Financial Advisors, Sasha is a busy mom of two who enjoys going on family hikes. She is also known for constantly recruiting members of her team to join her at Toastmasters meetings.

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Gabriel Garcia

Managing Director, Pershing Advisor Solutions, a BNY Mellon company

Gabriel Garcia is a Managing Director for Pershing Advisor Solutions, a BNY Mellon company. He is head of the Relationship Management and Consulting group. Gabriel and his team engage with registered investment advisors (RIAs) to grow their businesses and make informed decisions regarding how to evolve their firms to serve their clients more efficiently and manage their business more effectively. His team consults with advisory firms to maximize Pershing’s resources to become more scalable, profitable and productive.

Prior to joining Pershing Advisor Solutions in 2010, Gabriel was with Charles Schwab & Co., where he held several leadership positions in sales, training and consulting, including working directly with RIAs. Gabriel has consulted with hundreds of firms with assets under management ranging from $50 million to $8 billion. He is a frequent speaker at industry and national conferences. Gabriel has 24 years’ experience in financial services.

Gabriel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Business Administration from Radford University.

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Amir Ghannad

Leadership Development Specialist and Culture Transformation Catalyst, The Ghannad Group, LLC

Amir Ghannad is a widely recognized authority in the field of Organizational Development, a frequent and highly sought after keynote speaker at leadership summits in the US and abroad, and the founder of The Ghannad Group, which offers speaking, training, and consulting services in the area of leadership development and culture transformation.

For over 31 years, Amir has held leadership positions of increasing responsibility and scope in multiple locations in the US, Southeast Asia, and Europe with Procter and Gamble (19 years), Sunny Delight Beverages (8 years), and Campbell Soup Company (4 years). Amir has consistently demonstrated his mastery in leading the process of designing and implementing High Performance Organizations (HPO) and transforming groups of talented people into effective teams that deliver breakthrough results. He has effectively led multi-national and multi-functional teams in transforming their workplace culture and delivering superior results.

Amir has had the good fortune of having traveled extensively around the world and having lived in four countries. He has conducted training sessions and facilitated workshops in various locations in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. As a professional facilitator, Registered Corporate Coach, and an accomplished trainer of courses such as Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, The Speed of Trust, The Mind Gym, and many others, Amir has successfully led the development and implementation of organizational design in a variety of business situations, including start-ups, JV partnerships, acquisitions, divestitures and ERP system implementation.

Amir is proficient in using an array of tools and methodologies to facilitate teams through the process of strategy development and deployment, organizational assessment and design, high performance organization development, transition management, and leadership development.

In October 2015, Amir Published his first book titled The Transformative Leader, which has received rave reviews from award winning authors and leading experts in the field of Operational Excellence and leadership development. His book, which has been shipped to over 18 countries, is available on Amazon and at www.amirghannad.com, where his weekly blog posts on leadership and culture transformation can also be found.

Amir holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA with emphasis on Organizational Behavior from Wilmington University. He and his wife of 35 years, Connie, live in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Shelley Giordano

Chair, Funding Longevity Taskforce

Shelley Giordano earned a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Old Dominion University. In a 15 year career in HECM lending, Shelley has participated as a panelist in the White House Conference on Aging, and served as a speaker for the ABA, NAHB, CNN financial, and numerous other financial groups. She writes regularly for the industry and participates as a subject matter panelist for housing wealth in retirement.

She is an instructor with the American CE Institute. She founded the Funding Longevity Task Force and serves as Chair. Shelley leads the Home Equity Retirement Specialist program at Security 1 Lending and has developed a series of calculators to help planners assess housing suitability in retirement.Shelley lives in Washington, DC and advocates there for financial literacy with Women in Housing and Finance.

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Yonhee C. Gordon, CFP®

Principal and Chief Operating Officer, JMG Financial Group, Ltd.

As Chief Operating Officer, Yonhee is responsible for employee development and the day-to-day operations of the firm.  She focuses her efforts on organizational development to ensure the sustainability of JMG's long-term operations.  Since starting at JMG in 1986, Yonhee has presented at various industry conferences on topics ranging from career development to business management strategies, in addition to being featured in numerous leading industry publications.  Prior to her current role, she served as financial advisor and focused on cash flow management, retirement planning, investment strategies, and income and estate tax minimization.  Yonhee is a Principal of the firm, a member of the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and spearheads JMG's involvement in community service.  She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional, a member of NAPFA and Financial Planning Association, and a board member of both the Youth Symphony of DuPage and Almost Home Kids.  She holds a BA in Communication from Dominican University.  

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Rosemary Gray

Director, TPD Retail Annuities, New York Life

Rosemary joined New York Life MainStay Investments in 2009. She is currently the head of the Retail Annuities Sales Desk and the Retirement Income Wholesalers. Rosemary and her team are responsible for promoting annuity products with advisors at broker dealers, banks and independents and sharing New York Life’s thought leadership in the retirement income space. Previously, Rosemary was a Senior Sales Consultant with New York Life MainStay Investments, where she was responsible for promoting the New York Life suite of products such as Deferred Fixed Annuity, Immediate Annuities, and MainStay Mutual Funds. Prior to that, Rosemary was an Internal Wholesaler with AIG SunAmerica Mutual Funds where she focused on domestic and international equity and fixed income markets. Before that, she was an Internal Retirement Specialist with AllianceBernstein providing consultative retirement solutions to financial advisors and outside and inside wholesalers.

Rosemary graduated with a degree in Marketing from William Paterson University. She holds her Series 6, 26, and 63 registrations, and New Jersey Life Insurance license. She currently resides in Glen Ridge, New Jersey with her husband, Caley and daughter Simona.

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Laura Guerrero, AAMS®

Financial Advisor, Edward Jones

I began my career as a financial advisor with Edward Jones in 2002. I built my practice in Whittier where I work with clients to help build, protect and distribute wealth through customized strategies. My passion lies in understanding what’s important to my clients, and using an established process to build a personalized plan to help them achieve their goals.

I earned my BA degree from Columbia University in New York City, and hold the Accredited Asset Management Specialist designation. The College for Financial Planning awards the AAMS® designation to individuals who successfully complete a 12-module professional education program, pass a final examination, commit to its code of ethics and agree to pursue continuing education.

I became a limited partner of the firm in 2010 and have served on the regional leadership team in many different capacities, including Recruiting Leader, Client Solutions Leader and New Financial Advisor Support Specialist. Currently, as Area WINGS Leader (Women’s Initiative For New Growth Strategies), I am responsible for the recruitment, retention and development of women financial advisors in Southern California.

In 2018 I was asked to serve on the Edward Jones Investment Advisory Task Force, which consists of a group of financial advisors informing and influencing the firm’s vision of its Advisory programs and platforms.

I have attended the firm’s Women’s Conference since its inception in 2016. The event recognizes the success of the firm’s top 250 women financial advisors across North America. I have also been invited to attend Barron’s Diversity Summit which recognizes the top diverse financial advisors across the country.

I give back to the community by serving on the Advisory Council of Dress for Success, a global nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help them thrive in work and in life.

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Michelle Brennan Hall

Founder & Wealth Advisor, Brennan Wealth Advisors

Michelle Brennan Hall is a veteran wealth advisor and a top producer with FSC Securities Corporation, which is part of the Advisor Group broker-dealer network. Her specialty is in personal wealth strategies for executives, physicians, business owners and retirees. Known for creating the Financial Life Map Strategy™ that fosters investor financial strength and well-being, Michelle understands the importance of clarity about the road ahead. Dedicated to her clients’ success, constant attention and deep expertise are hallmark characteristics of her approach. The Brennan Hall team has a strong commitment to responsiveness, innovative thinking and expert guidance.

Recognizing the uniqueness of each investor, Michelle delivers specifically designed strategies to achieve individual life dreams. Hundreds of families look to Michelle to navigate their financial future, care for the many aspects of wealth and to anticipate the very unpredictable and complex capital markets.

Noted for her dedication to women’s financial independence, her most recent endeavor is to improve the financial confidence of women. She authored the pivotal “Women and Money” report in 2016 after sponsoring a national survey on the modern female’s experience with finances. The objective is to promote a generational shift in women’s attitude with money by encouraging their participation in long-term financial planning.

As a recognized financial advisor and featured speaker, Michelle frequently shares her expertise in the media. She has contributed to local ABC affiliate WFAA-TV, The Wall Street Journal, Investment News, The New York Times, New York Newsday, The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Business Journal, Huffingtonpost.com, Next Avenue and Forbes.com.

Giving to others through local community involvement is another of Michelle’s passions.Serving alongside her sons at local charities and supporting many national causes with her husband is an annual family commitment. She is involved in multiple professional organizations including the Financial Planning Association, Financial Services Institute and Executive Women of Dallas. She serves on the Advisor Group Tech Council and the Women’s Advisory Board.

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Renee Hamlen

Vice President, Retail Annuity Marketing, New York Life

As Vice President and Head of Marketing for Retail Annuities, Renee oversees marketing for one of the largest and most diversified annuity businesses in the industry. In this capacity, she also manages the Advanced Income Solutions team, which provides competitive intelligence and case design for New York Life’s Agents and distribution partners.

Passionate about enabling employees, consumers, and friends and family to make the most of their life choices, Renee’s version of #livemybestlife isn’t about having it all, but about having the ability to pursue the things in life that are most important to you.

Renee holds a BA and MBA and has served a member of the IRI editorial board, VISION meeting planning committee and LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute Women’s Business Resource Roundtable. Together with her husband and their two children, Renee manages work, school, and family adventures from the ski slopes of Vermont to a roadtrip through the UK in pursuit of #livemybestlife.

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Michael R. Harris

Senior Educatin Advisor, Alliance for Lifetime Income

Michael R. Harris, CFP, CLU, ChFC, is a senior education advisor for the Alliance for Lifetime Income, a nonprofit organization founded to help Americans address the risk of outliving their retirement income. For almost 30 years, he worked as a senior executive in the life insurance industry, collaborating closely with financial advisors, insurance agents, CPAs, attorneys and their clients to help design financial strategies and solutions for the “new” American retirement.

As an Alliance senior education advisor, Michael provides strategic guidance, thought leadership and educational resources and speaks at industry events to help increase awareness among financial professionals and consumers of protected lifetime income solutions, including annuities, and how they fit into a comprehensive retirement plan.

In his previous role as vice president and head of the Advanced Solutions Group at Lincoln Financial Distributors, Michael was a key member of a team tasked with supporting Lincoln’s extensive network of wholesalers, helping contacts all over the country develop creative, holistic financial strategies to meet the goals of distributors, advisors, agents and their clients.

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Kate HealyBostonSan FranciscoNew York City

Managing Director, Generation Next, TD Ameritrade

Kate Healy is Managing Director, Generation Next, focused on advocacy for sustainability issues facing the RIA industry. Healy leads TD Ameritrade Institutional's NextGen and Women's Leadership Initiatives, which support the future of the profession through programs designed to raise visibility, provide support and resources to guide professional development of the next generation of advisors. She is a member of the Company’s Diversity & Inclusion committee.

Healy is widely recognized as a leading advocate for the next generation of financial planners, for women advisors and for the financial planning profession. Wealthmanagement.com named her to the 2018 “10 to Watch” list. In 2016, Investment Advisor magazine named Healy as one of the industry’s 25 most influential people. Healy was named to InvestmentNews' inaugural "Women to Watch" in 2015. Additionally, she was TD Ameritrade's 2014 Impact Award winner for Diversity and Inclusiveness.

She is a trustee for the Foundation for Financial Planning and a member of the Invest in Others board. Kate also is a founding member of the CFP Board's Women's Initiative (WIN) Council, the Center for Financial Planning's Advisory Council and a founding member of the Center’s Diversity Advisory Board.

Healy has spent more than 20 years in a variety of roles supporting the program development and marketing of financial and estate planning services in the financial planning industry.

Before moving to her full-time advocacy role in July 2017, Healy was managing director of marketing for TD Ameritrade Institutional, responsible for the development of marketing strategies and programs to help increase awareness and deepen relationships with nearly 5,000 independent RIAs that custody with TD Ameritrade Institutional.

Healy, who joined TD Ameritrade in 2008, previously served as a director of marketing responsible for promoting the firm's technology and investment products offerings, as well as supporting the firm's advocacy and client loyalty efforts.

Healy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Rutgers College and has completed the Securities Industry Institute program, sponsored by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) at the Wharton School of Business.

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Tom Hegna

Keynote Speaker, Economist Author Retirement Expert

Tom Hegna CLU, ChFC, CASL, is an author, speaker, and economist. He has been an incredibly popular industry speaker for many years and is considered by many to be THE Retirement Income Expert! As a former Senior Executive Officer at New York Life, retired Lieutenant Colonel, and economist, Tom has delivered over 5,000 seminars, helping Baby Boomers and seniors retire the “optimal” way. He has condensed a large chunk of his considerable knowledge into four of his books: (1) Paychecks and Playchecks: Retirement Solutions for Life, which is in the top 1% of any book ever sold, (2) Retirement Income Masters: Secrets of the Pros that compiles the very best practices from the top retirement experts in the country. (3) Paycheques and Playcheques, Retirement Solutions for Canadians, And most recently, (4) Don’t Worry, Retire Happy! Seven Steps to Retirement Security, which is based on his popular Public Television Special that has played in over 40 million homes in the US and Canada. Tom specializes in creating simple and powerful retirement solutions based on math and science – not opinions. He has the unique ability to pump up a crowd, make people laugh, and solve complex financial problems using easy-to- understand words, ideas and stories. He is available to speak to businesses, government organizations, professional associations, financial professionals, and their clients all across the globe.

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Kyle Hiatt

EVP Institutional Business Development, Orion Advisor Services, LLC

Kyle Hiatt has been an integral part of the Orion team since joining the firm 20 years ago. His experience at Orion - Accounts Receivable, Inside Sales, Team Management, Vice President of Operations, Key Accounts Manager, and Business Development - has provided Kyle with a wealth of knowledge that he utilizes to help advisors transition to Orion’s back-office service. Kyle also spent time as an advisor and knows first-hand the tools that advisors need to run a more efficient, client-centered practice. Kyle now oversees the Orion Sales and Technology Consulting teams. Kyle’s diligence, focus, tenacity, and consistency provide those who work with him an example as they serve our advisors.

Kyle’s passion is working closely with Orion’s partners to create and strengthen efficiencies for our advisors, and delivering these solutions to them.

Mr. Hiatt holds a Bachelor of Science Business Administration from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and a Master of Business Administration from the Bellevue University. He currently holds NASD Series 6, NASAA Series 66, and NASAA Series 26 securities registrations.

When he is not working, Mr. Hiatt enjoys running, golfing and spending time with his family.

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Allei Holway

Financial Adviser

Allei Holway joined AXA Advisors as a Financial Professional in 2015. As a member of AXA’s Retirement Benefits Group, Allei works closely with local school districts, municipalities and nonprofit organizations to help their employees work towards their retirement goals. In addition, she has many individual and business clients whom she assists with college planning, risk management, retirement and estate planning. In 2016 Allei was recognized as the AXA Advisors Boston Branch New Agent of the Year, as well as being nationally recognized as a Top 10 New Advisor in the Retirement Benefits Group.

Allei holds a Bachelors of Science in Marketing and Global Perspective and Management from Bentley University. While attending college she was active in the community all four years a volunteer at the Dana Court After School Program. She was also a Certified Bentley Leader and contributing member of the Center for Women and Business Leadership Program. Allei is currently working towards her Masters in Financial Planning at Bentley University, and her office is located in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

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Jamie Patrick Hopkins

Associate Professor of Taxation, The American College of Financial Services

Jamie P. Hopkins, ESQ., MBA, LLM, CLU®, ChFC®, RICP® is an associate professor of taxation at The American College of Financial Services in the Retirement Income program, and he is the co-director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income. Professor Hopkins has helped co-author three text books and has two ebooks on Retirement Planning, is a regular contributor for InvestmentNews, Forbes, and MartketWatch. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors of a technology company that helps serve the retirement income and housing industry, ReverseVision, which was recognized as a Deloitte’s 2015 Technology Fast 500 Company.

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Katie Horton

Financial Planner at HC Financial Advisors

Katie Horton is a Financial Planner at HC Financial Advisors, a Fee-Only Investment Advisory firm, in Lafayette, California. Katie has been working in the financial planning profession for the last 6 years. She began her career as a tax accountant at Ernst & Young in San Jose. It didn’t take long to realize that she did not love corporate taxes, but that she was passionate about making a real difference in the lives of others. With financial planning she found the perfect blend of her interest in finances and her desire to help others. Katie enjoys being involved in developing the profession and is currently serving on the NAPFA West Region board. She has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in Personal Financial Planning from Texas Tech University. She is a CFP and a CPA.

Katie has an adventurous spirit. When she isn’t making plans for other people’s money, she loves to be active outdoors. She enjoys going for a run after work, and escapes to the mountains for a backpacking trip whenever she can.

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Finka Jerkovic

Leadership Empowerment Coach, Personal Development Mentor, FINKA Communications Inc

Finka Jerkovic is a speaker, leadership coach and owner of FINKA Communications Inc. She works with professionals and organizations to help them discover their “signature leadership brand” using the Fascination Advantage® system. She is the Certification Program Director for How to Fascinate® and featured guest on Breakthrough Radio. Finka is the founder of The Daring Introvert, which offers programs that teach introverted leaders how to turn up the volume on their quiet ambition so that they can be heard in the boardroom, valued for their strengths and recognized for big assignments and promotions. She is lead creator of the Leadership and Loyalty Program at one of Canada’s largest financial services organizations. She spent 25 years in corporate Canada in the financial services industry, with roles in sales, leadership, human resources, strategy, training and development.

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Maz Kamaruddin, MBA

Head of Diversity Markets, AXA

Based in New York City and with over 20 years’ experience in financial services industry, Maz Kamaruddin is the Head of Diversity Markets for AXA Advisors. Maz’s AXA Advisors career began in 2004 when she joined the Sales Implementation and Support team as its Chief of Staff. Since then Maz holds several positions working closely with AXA field force providing support and guidance for their practices.

Prior to joining AXA Maz spent five years at the MONY Group as the Marketing Manager and Director of Business Operations. In her current role Maz is responsible for the development and implementation of diversity strategies to penetrate and establish AXA as a key financial protection and wealth management provider in diverse markets. Maz also plays an important role in the retention of AXA advisors through diversity and inclusion (D&I) educational programs.

Maz is a member of AXA Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council (DIAC) which guides the D&I strategy and drives the agenda for change. DIAC supports the strategic alignment of D&I to talent, culture, and marketplace. Maz is a member of various AXA Employee Resource Groups (ERG) such as the PARC ERG (Pan Asian Resource Council Employee Resource Group), HERO (Hispanic Employees Resource Organization), BLACC (Building Leadership And Cultural Connections), PRIDE (a LGBT resource group), CARES (Veterans resource group), AXA ABLE (group supporting employees/caregivers to individuals with disabilities/special needs), WOW (Women’s Outreach at Work), DPN (Developing Professionals Network) and AXA Family.

Maz is a member of the InvestmentNews Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board whose mission includes a commitment to creating awareness around the importance of D&I in four key areas: recruiting, training, culture and communication. Maz is also an active member of LIMRA’s Diversity Marketing Committee and held the Chair position of the Committee in 2016.

Maz holds an MBA from University of New Haven, CT and a Bachelor of Science in Management Science from SUNY Binghamton, NY.

On a personal note Maz enjoys gourmet cooking and crafting. She, her husband Abdul, and daughter Liyana travel outside of continental United States every year to experience other cultures. As a family, they volunteer at the local soup kitchen and support the local small businesses.

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Maureen Kerrigan

Senior Vice President, Financial Adviser, RBC Wealth Management

Maureen graduated from the University of Hartford with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and later obtained an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

She began her career as an SEC Analyst for Northeast Utilities in CT, and spent time as a small business owner before joining Tucker Anthony (now RBC Wealth Management) in January of 2002.

Maureen is an Accredited Wealth Manager. The AWM designation recognizes an advanced knowledge of the wealth management process, concentrating in the areas of business and retirement planning, and estate planning strategies for high net-worth clients.

She and her husband live in Narragansett, RI and are the parents of four grown daughters. Her eldest daughter, Courtney Mahoney, joined her mother’s team at RBC in 2014. Maureen enjoys time with her family, playing golf and entertaining.

She currently serves as the President of RBC Wealth Management’s Women’s Association of Financial Advisors (WAFA), serves on the Executive and Finance committees of the StarKids Scholarship Program in Newport, RI, is an Emeritus Trustee of the Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Schools (FACS) board in the Archdiocese of Hartford, and has served as a member of the East Regional board for the RBC Foundation. She also enjoys participating as a judge for the SIFMA Student Essay Contests.

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Kathleen Burns Kingsbury

Wealth Psychology Expert, Author and Founder, KBK Wealth Connection

A wealth psychology expert, founder of KBK Wealth Connection, host of the Breaking Money Silence® podcast, and an internationally published author and speaker. Breaking Money Silence: How to Shatter Money Taboos, Talk Openly about Finances, and Live a Richer Life is Kathleen’s fifth book.

Named one of nine amazing conference speakers in 2017 by InvestmentNews, Kathleen is a sought-after keynote speaker and consultant on the topic of women and wealth and couples and money. Her mission is to empower women, couples, and families (and the advisors who serve them) to shatter money taboos and communicate more effectively about financial matters.

As an expert on financial psychology, Kathleen has appeared on television and written for consumer and trade publications. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, PBS News Hour, Money Magazine, TODAY Money, Forbes, and CNBC.

Kathleen is an adjunct lecturer at the McCallum Graduate School of Business at Bentley University and a guest lecturer at the Personal Financial Planning program at Texas Tech University. She received an Undergraduate Degree in Finance from Providence College and started her career in retail banking before becoming a commissioned Bank Examiner with the FDIC. Due to her desire to coach executive management on improving performance, she attained a Master’s Degree in Psychology, became a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, and founded her consulting firm, KBK Wealth Connection.

When she is not working, Kathleen is an avid alpine skier who lives for the next powder day. In the off-season, she enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, and laughing with her friends. She lives with her husband and her cat Avery, in the Mad River Valley of Vermont.

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Jeffrey Kleintop, CFA

Senior Vice President, Chief Global Investment Strategist, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Jeffrey Kleintop analyzes and discusses international markets, trends and events to help U.S. investors understand their significance and financial implications. In this role, Kleintop provides research, commentary and actionable insights to Schwab’s client-facing teams and the firm’s Investor Services and Advisor Services clients through written reports, video content, conference calls, webcasts and in-person events.

Kleintop is frequently cited in a range of national media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Barron’s and Financial Times, and he is a regular guest on high profile news networks including CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business News, PBS and ABC News. Kleintop has been cited in The Wall Street Journal as one of “Wall Street’s best and brightest,” and he has been a featured or keynote speaker at dozens of industry events annually including the Barron’s Top Financial Advisor Summit and the Financial Planning Association annual conference.

Prior to joining Schwab, Kleintop served as chief market strategist at LPL Financial. Earlier in his career he was chief investment strategist at PNC Wealth Management and senior investment strategist at ARIS Corporation of America. Kleintop is the author of Market Evolution: How to Profit in Today’s Changing Financial Markets, which was published in 2006.

Kleintop earned his B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of Delaware and received his M.B.A. degree from Pennsylvania State University. He also studied at the London School of Economics and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

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Maribeth Kuzmeski

President, Red Zone Marketing

Dr. Maribeth Kuzmeski is President of the consulting firm, Red Zone Marketing founded in 1994. Maribeth and her firm personally consult with some of the nation’s top financial professionals managing from $300 million to over $1 billion in client assets. Maribeth got her start in the financial services industry as the 5th client in her firm happened to be a financial advisor. This advisor had only $10 million in money under management that Maribeth helped grow into $200 million in under 5 years through niche-based marketing strategies. Today the firm is fully focused on the financial services industry.

Maribeth has written 7 books including the bestseller The Connectors. She is an international keynote speaker rated as a Top 25 C-Suite Speaker by Meetings & Conventions Magazine, has spoken at The Million Dollar Round Table, and is a regular presenter at Barron’s Top Producer conferences.

Maribeth in an instructor on marketing at Columbia University, is a media contributor appearing on Fox News, USA Today, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and hosts a popular podcast featuring inspiring businesswomen. Maribeth also has her own charitable foundation supporting women in business, The Red Zone Leadership Foundation.

Maribeth has a bachelor’s degree from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, an MBA from The George Washington University, and a PhD in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University. Maribeth and her husband live in the Chicago, IL area and have two children threatening to be adults.

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Daniel Latham

Account Manager, MoneyGuidePro®, Created by PIEtech

With over 16 years of experience in financial planning, Daniel Latham brings meaningful industry knowledge to PIEtech, Inc., the creators of the industry leading financial planning software, MoneyGuidePro.

Daniel’s background in banking, financial planning, and fintech software creates a valuable resource to advisors and firms looking to create a client centered financial planning practice. 

Prior to joining PIEtech, Daniel spent over ten years as a financial planner with two local community banks in Richmond, VA.  Daniel graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and currently resides in Richmond, Virginia with wife and children.

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Kim Laughton

President, Schwab Charitable

Kim is President of Schwab Charitable, a non-profit donor-advised fund provider established with the support of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. to make charitable giving simpler and more tax-efficient for clients. She is responsible for the general management of Schwab Charitable and the fulfillment of its charitable mission, setting strategy and priorities and ensuring all contractual obligations and goals are met. Prior to joining Schwab Charitable, Kim held a variety of leadership, strategy and general management positions at Charles Schwab & Co. Earlier in her career, Kim was a Vice President for Citibank-Asia/Pacific and a Consultant for Bain & Company. She also has served onthe board of the Educational Foundation of Orinda and as the head of its investment committee. Kim has been recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the most influential women in Bay Area business and by Inside Philanthropy as one of the fifty most powerful women in U.S. philanthropy. She holds a BA in Economics and a BS in Biology from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Phil Lubinski, CFP®

Partner, First Financial Strategies LLC and Strategic Distribution Institute, LLC

Phil began his financial planning career nearly 40 years ago. He has been called the "father of buckets" dating back to 1984 when he developed his first segmented retirement income strategy. As an advisor, he built both a successful personal practice and a large OSJ in Denver specializing in retirement income planning. He has been a contributing editor to Investment News, Kiplinger Magazine, the Retirement Income Journal, Bottom Line and has appeared on CBS Nightly Business Report. In 2014 he sold his practice and OSJ to his transition partner. Since then, Phil has co-developed the 3rd version of his signature segmented strategy, called IncomeConductor. Several large independent B/Ds have approved its use. Last year, the IncomeConductor technology underwent a due diligence review by Jason Roberts and was deemed "DOL compliant". Phil's message to advisors and clients has consistently been to bring value with "plan management", not "asset management". In a time of fee compression and "robo" competition, his message couldn't be more timely.

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Michelle Lynch

Vice President, Raymond James Network for Women Advisors

As vice president of the Network for Women Advisors, Michelle is responsible for helping to retain the nearly 1,000 existing Raymond James women advisors through education, practice management and coaching initiatives. In addition, she works with regional directors, branch managers and recruiters to help attract experienced women advisors to Raymond James. One of her primary objectives is to increase the number of women advisors in the industry.

She’s developed several programs to attract women to the profession and works closely with the firm’s training program to help ensure the success of the new women advisors.

Prior to this role, Michelle served as a marketing director, overseeing all marketing initiatives for the firm’s Private Client Group (PCG). She joined the Raymond James marketing department in 2004 and then went on to be vice president and director of marketing & communications for Eagle Asset Management in 2006. At Eagle, she was responsible for overseeing all functions of marketing, public relations and internal communications, but was also involved in business acquisition strategy and new product development.

Prior to joining Raymond James, Michelle was a marketing and public relations manager at AAA Auto Club South working with their retail, insurance and financial services business units. She’s also held marketing and public relations roles at Busch Gardens and United Landmark advertising agency.

Michelle is a cum laude graduate of the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and a master of business administration (MBA) degree, with honors, from Emory University, Goizueta Business School. She sits on the Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund board, the Raymond James Diversity Council and was a member of the Financial Services Institute’s (FSI) Marketing, Growth and Development Council. She is also a graduate of the Wharton Executive Education Securities Industry Institute program.

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Christopher Mayer

CEO, Longbridge Financial

Chris has been with Longbridge Financial since its founding in 2012, serving as CEO since 2013. Longbridge is a reverse mortgage lender committed to working with financial planners and advisors to help seniors responsibly utilize their home equity for a more financially secure retirement. The company has a suite of materials and webinars to educate advisors and consumers, and has developed highly compliant programs with its partners. Chris earned a PhD in economics from MIT and serves as Paul Milstein Professor of Real Estate at Columbia Business School. Previously, he served as Senior Vice Dean at Columbia and as a professor at the Wharton School. Chris has spent more than 20 years writing on housing and mortgages, testifying six times before Congress during the financial crisis, and has frequently appeared in the media, including: The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio.

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Kathleen McQuiggan

President, Catalina Leadership LLC

Kathleen McQuiggan is Founder and President of Catalina Leadership a Boston based consulting firm focused on Investing in Women. Prior to this role, Kathleen was Sr. Vice President, Global Women’s Strategies at Pax World Management and Managing Director, Pax Ellevate Management. In these senior management roles, she was responsible for their Invest in Women platform: including sales, marketing and product management of the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s index Fund, and managing and running the Women & Wealth practice management program, which was a value add offering for advisor on how to better engage and serve their female clients. In 2015, Kathleen was named to InvestmentNews’ inaugural Women to Watch list, which honors female financial advisors and industry executives who are distinguished leaders at their firms. Kathleen has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, having spent her entire career in a producing sales role, including 13 years at Goldman Sachs. She resides in Boston and Dartmouth MA and is an active member of the CFP WIN advisory board, SheGives and Dartmouth Natural Resource Trust.

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Kathleen McQuiggan

Special Adviser on Gender Diversity, Center for Financial Planning Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, INC

Kathleen McQuiggan is the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning’s Special Adviser on Gender Diversity. A longtime advocate for advancing gender diversity in the financial services industry, she helps guide the Center’s Women’s Initiative (WIN) which undertakes efforts and campaigns to address the shortage of women in the financial planning profession. In this role, she works with the WIN Council and collaborates on existing programs, including the WIN-to-WIN mentoring program, WIN Advocates, “I am a CFP® Pro” and the Financial Planner Reentry Initiative. Kathleen is also a wealth advisor at Artemis Financial Advisors.

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Melinda S. Mecca

Senior Vice President, Director of Investment Solutions Northern Trust Asset Management

Melinda Mecca is Director of Investment Solutions at Northern Trust Asset Management, a leading global investment manager with more than $1 trillion in assets under management. The firm serves some of the world’s most-sophisticated investing clients – from sovereign wealth funds, pension plan sponsors and financial intermediaries – to wealthy families and individuals, and the advisors who serve them.

Ms. Mecca leads the firm’s investment solutions activities, including the design and delivery of research-driven, risk-managed, multi-asset class model and custom portfolios. Her team employs a consultative approach to portfolio construction and fulfillment, supporting the development of holistic, outcome-oriented solutions that are tailored to meet diverse client needs. Previously, Ms. Mecca served as Head of Managed Accounts where she was responsible for the delivery of investment solutions and portfolio construction expertise to wealth management and financial intermediary clients.

Ms. Mecca began her career at an independent asset management firm where she served in multiple capacities over the course of several years, including Director of Marketing and Chief Operating Officer. She joined Northern Trust in 2000 when the firm acquired the assets of Carl Domino Associates, LP, where she served as a partner and member of the senior leadership team. Ms. Mecca is a member of the Northern Trust Asset Management Operating Group and serves on the Board of Managers for 50 South Capital, LLC.

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Sacha Millstone

Senior Vice President, Investments, Millstone Evans Group of Raymond James & Associates

An investment manager with over $500 million in assets under management, 31 years’ experience and clients in 45+ states, Sacha Millstone is dedicated to helping her team’s clients attain their financial goals with a minimum of worry. As Senior Vice President, Investments with the Millstone Evans Group of Raymond James & Associates, she is a specialist in life transition planning.

She has developed areas of particular expertise working with families, women, LGBT clients and recipients of inherited wealth. An early advocate of socially responsible investing (SRI), now frequently referred to as environmental, social and governance (ESG) or Impact investing, Sacha is proud to be considered an expert in this worthwhile niche.

Sacha has offices in Boulder and Denver, Colorado and Washington, D.C. She is a member of the Raymond James Chairman’s Council, and Global Top 50. She is an honored recipient of the Investment News Women to Watch award 2018.

Sacha received her M.B.A. in Finance from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and her B.A. in Economics from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.

A dedicated volunteer leader, Sacha is President of the Board of Funding the Future, an organization dedicated to teaching students about financial literacy through the unique delivery mechanism of live bands. Students first experience a live mini-concert followed by the artists describing their path to success, including rough patches, touching on important financial concepts such as budgeting, saving, credit scores, interest rates, compound interest, student loans and the dangers of predatory lending. Because of the ‘cool factor’ of the artists as speakers, students listen intently and absorb the lessons. Well over 100K students in 34 states have been served to date.

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Michael Natale

Head of Intermediary Distribution, FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds

Michael Natale is head of Intermediary Distribution. He is responsible for establishing Northern Trust Asset Management’s presence in the intermediary market and driving the adoption of our investment expertise and strategies across North America.

An experienced investment industry professional, Michael has successfully built, developed and managed sales teams for more than a decade, focusing on diversity, process and qualitative results. He has experience across channels and products, including ETFs, mutual funds and managed solutions.

Prior to joining Northern Trust, Michael spent seven years with Deutsche Bank and five years with Morgan Li where he managed and developed internal sales teams with more than 50 professionals.

Michael earned his BBA and MBA from Stetson University (Deland, FL). He is a former professional golfer and a four-time Chicago City Amateur Champion. Michael holds the FINRA series 7, 24, and 63 securities licenses.

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Nag Odekar

Vice President, Marketing – Individual Markets, Great-West Financial

Nag Odekar is Vice President and Head of Marketing for individual markets for Great-West Financial®. Nag began his financial services career at Fidelity Investments in 1999. From there, he held leadership roles in brand management, market research, advertising and marketing strategy at The Hartford and Northwestern Mutual. Nag also has prior experience as the cofounder and COO at ForeverCar.com, an online retailer that enabled consumers to purchase and finance automobile warranties. Prior to ForeverCar, Nag was Vice President of Consumer Marketing at Aviva (now Athene), a leader in indexed life and annuities, where he led the company’s innovation pipeline and brand strategy.

Nag holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Oberlin Conservatory and an advanced certificate from the Juilliard School. He also earned a double master’s in composition and conducting at the University of Michigan.

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Debra Ohstrom

Senior National Account Manager and Director, Allianz Global Investors

Debra Ohstrom is senior national account manager and a director with Allianz Global Investors, which she joined in 2008. As a member of the RIA & Private Bank Advisory Sales team, her area of coverage includes private banks and the retail bank channel. Ms. Ohstrom has 24 years of investment-industry experience. Before joining the firm, she had third-party manager research and asset allocation responsibilities at Citigroup Trust and Citi Private Bank. Ms. Ohstrom has a B.A. in accounting and an M.B.A. in banking and finance from Hofstra University. She is a CFA charterholder and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts.

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Abraham Okusanya

M Sc., Founder and Director, FinalytiQ

Abraham is founder of investment and retirement research consultancy, FinalytiQ and creator of Timeline.co, an innovative online application for illustrating sustainable withdrawal strategies in retirement portfolios. He has authored several industry papers and delivered talks to the FCA, Chartered Insurance Institute, Personal Finance Society and several conferences across the country. He holds a Master’s degree from Coventry and an alphabet soup of designations, including the IMC, CFP, Chartered Financial Planner and Chartered Wealth Manager. But of course, no one really cares.

Abraham was one of 5 finalists for the Professional Adviser Personality of Year Award 2015, alongside the then Pensions Minister Steve Web but the award went to a more deserving winner, obviously!

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Philip Palaveev

Chief Executive Officer, The Ensemble Practice LLC

Philip Palaveev is an industry expert and highly sought-after consultant focused on creating team-based financial advisory businesses aimed for sustained growth, profitability and value.

Philip is the owner and CEO of The Ensemble Practice LLC, a business management consulting firm that defines the evolution of growing a multi-professional advisory practice. He specializes in helping independent financial advisors grow their business from a solo practice into a thriving and profitable ensemble firm. Palaveev also works with broker-dealers and custodians on creating impactful practice management services for their advisors.

Prior to launching The Ensemble Practice, Philip served as president of Fusion Advisor Network, a network of independent advisors that changed the way broker-dealers deliver business management and camaraderie to their clients. As president, Palaveev was responsible for the strategy of the firm and led its growth from a fast-growing start-up to one of the industry’s most innovative and successful firms. He helped increase the firm’s revenue by 50% in three years. From 2003 to 2008, Philip was a principal at Moss Adams LLP, an accounting and consulting firm with industry-leading expertise in practice management. Philip led the market research for Moss Adams and consulted with hundreds of advisors and several top broker-dealers.

Philip recently authored The Ensemble Practice, a book dedicated to the process of building a multi-professional enterprise. He is also known for his industry research papers and articles, is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and contributes regularly to industry blogs.

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Craig D. Pfeiffer

President & CEO, Money Management Institute

Craig Pfeiffer is the President & CEO of the Money Management Institute. MMI is the leading voice for the global financial services organizations that provide advice and professionally-managed investment solutions to individual and institutional investors.

In 2012, Craig founded and continues today as Chairman of Advisors Ahead llc. pursuing a passion to continuously elevate the professionalism of the investment advice industry and the successful development of Financial Advisors.

Additionally, Craig is engaged as the Executive Chairman of the Board at Inlet llc, a joint venture between Broadridge (NYSE:BR) and Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI), and a Board Director for Westfield Group’s Ohio Farmers Insurance Company. Previously, Craig was an Advisory Board member at Snowden Lane Partners and served as a Board Director for PriceMetrix.

Craig is a proven senior financial services executive, following 29 years with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and predecessor firms. He transitioned from MSSB in 2012 where he was Vice Chairman and a member of the Executive Committee. From 2003 to 2011, he held a progression of senior leadership positions at MSSB, including the National Sales Group and responsibility for marketing strategy and client communications, desktop technology solutions, and brokerage-based banking. From 1982 to 2003, Craig advanced through field management roles, starting as a Financial Advisor and transitioning into field management at all levels.

Active with industry and community organizations, Craig is a member of the Board and the Executive Committee of Citymeals-On-Wheels serving New York City and President of Bright Seed Foundation. He serves on the Dean’s Council for Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

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Brooke Pinney

Senior Manager, Marketing, TD Ameritrade Institutional

Brooke has worked in the financial advisory business for over 20 years, focused mostly on helping advisors better understand their clients and build a strategic marketing program that drives new business and client loyalty. Since joining TD Ameritrade in 2011, she has focused on helping RIAs understand their unique business needs and leverage the tools and resources necessary for them to bring their business to the next level. Mostly recently she has turned her efforts to helping build awareness and adoption of the RIA model in the financial advisory space. This includes educating the next generation of financial advisors and their centers of influence on the benefits of the RIA model. Alongside her marketing career, she has committed herself to changing the face of the financial industry. She’s enthusiastic about almost everything but mostly about challenging this industry to become more flexible, authentic and transparent; a trend she thinks will elevate the advisor profession and attract new talent.

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Stephen Resch

Vice President of Retirement Strategies, Finance of America

Stephen brings more than 20 years of experience incorporating home equity into retirement planning as a managing partner and investment advisor at both S. J. Resch Company and ProEast Asset Management. At Finance of America Reverse, Stephen is responsible for developing programming and resources for financial advisors that help them integrate home equity into their clients’ retirement planning and wealth management discussions. Stephen also leads educational sessions with financial advisors, tax and estate attorneys and CPAs across the country. Stephen is a frequent speaker on leveraging home equity in retirement and has been quoted in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Reverse Review and other media outlets.

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Rita Robbins

President, Affiliated Advisors

Since founding Affiliated Advisors in 1994, Rita Robbins’ focus has been helping advisors grow strong, effective and efficient businesses. Rita has broken barriers for women in the financial services industry and is a constant force for innovation. She combines extensive industry experience with a proactive, personalized approach toward working with independent financial advisors.

 

Affiliated Advisors is the among the largest advisor networks at Royal Alliance, a subsidiary of Advisor Group,  with more than 110 advisors in 15 branch offices nationwide, managing over $2 Billion in assets. Affiliated Advisors offers creative ways for advisors to expand their services, with extensive solutions in wealth transfer and intergenerational planning.

 

In private life, Rita is highly engaged with her community. She currently serves as a Board Trustee for New York City’s Town Hall, an important cultural center and historic landmark. She is an avid New York City Ballet fan as well as a proud proprietor of Lavender Hill Farm in Boyne City, MI.

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Tiana Ronstadt

Financial Advisor, Power Women Investing

Tiana Ronstadt is a vibrant lecturer, workshop facilitator, and educator with over 25 years of financial planning experience. Her mission is to empower individuals to gain financial independence and help them reach their most ambitious dreams. Tiana is a top producer at Woodbury Financial, which is part of the Advisor Group broker-dealer network.

Through One-on-One Consulting, as well as speaking engagements, Tiana has earned the respect of thousands who have benefited from her services. Ms. Ronstadt has expertise on serving her clients through times of serious change in their lives, including pre- and post-retirement strategizing, pre- and post-divorce financial counseling, income planning, and estate planning.

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E. Jeffrey Roof

President, Roof Advisory Group

Jeff Roof is president of Roof Advisory Group, a fee-only investment management and financial advisory firm he founded in 1998 to meet the needs of high net worth clientele. In his current executive role, Jeff provides strategic leadership for the firm, guides the firm’s Senior Management team and helps direct Roof Advisory Group’s comprehensive and disciplined investment management process.

Since the firm’s de novo start, Roof Advisory Group has been regularly recognized as a top performer among registered investment advisory firm peers in terms of growth in assets under management and revenue, firm profitability and overall management excellence.

He has worked with a diverse range of clients nationwide providing investment management and financial advisory services since 1982. Immediately prior to originating the firm, Jeff was Executive Vice President at Fulton Bank, heading that organization’s Investment Management and Trust Services division. As a member of the bank’s Senior Management team, departments under his direction included Portfolio Management, Retirement Plan Management, Foundation/Endowments, Corporate Trust, Personal Trust, and Private Banking.

Previously, he spent nearly a decade in various management positions with Mellon Bank’s Institutional Trust group, primarily focusing on providing investment management and retirement plan solutions for a diverse group of national organizations.

Jeff has a BA from Rutgers University and an MA from Lehigh University. He is an active contributor with several large community not-for-profit organizations in his Harrisburg, PA area home.

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Shannon Rosic

Multimedia Manager, InvestmentNews

Shannon Rosic is the Multimedia Manager at InvestmentNews. She serves as a specialist who helps drive the development and implementation of integrated content projects. She assists in creating content, both internally and externally, such as interviews, Q&As, event programming, supplements, whitepapers, scripts, and webcast descriptions that helps to extend and expand multimedia and integrated content programs. You will often find her dressed in a purple trench coat and fedora interviewing financial technology firms as her alter ego: Gadget Girl.

Prior to joining InvestmentNews, she was an Account Coordinator at Return Path, an industry-leading email intelligence solutions platform.

Shannon holds a B.A. in Mass Communication from Miami University of Ohio (never to be confused with Florida). She recently relocated to Denver, Colorado from Connecticut, with her husband and miniature Australian Shepherd. All three of them enjoy horseback riding, hiking, and all the outdoor activities the west has to offer.

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Barry Sacks, J.D., Ph.D.

Longevity Funding Task Force

Barry Sacks, J.D., Ph.D., is a practicing tax attorney in San Francisco, California. He has specialized in pension-related legal matters since 1973 and has published numerous articles in legal journals.

Barry Sacks, Ph.D. has also published his retirement analysis research in the Journal of Financial Planning. Barry earned his bachelors in Electrical Engineering and Political Science from M.I.T. in 1961. Then he went on to earn his Ph.D. in Physics from M.I.T., thus establishing that he's got mad skills when it comes to math. He worked as a professor for a number of years, teaching at U.C. Berkeley during the late 1960s. In 1973, Barry earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, he's been a member of the California Bar since 1973, and since 1980, he's also held the designation, Certified Specialist, Taxation Law, from the California Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, he's been selected by professional peers for listing in "Best Lawyers in America," and "Super Lawyers of Northern California," 2004 to present.

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Abby Salameh

Chief Marketing Officer, Private Advisor Group

Abby Salameh joined Private Advisor Group in August 2013 as chief marketing officer. Abby has spent over 20 years building top-line solutions for independent advisors, starting her career at Sanford C. Bernstein and moving on to become a founding member of the team that launched InvestmentNews, the weekly newspaper for financial advisors.

In 2001, Abby joined TD Waterhouse as head of marketing for institutional services, where she was responsible for running all marketing, advertising, conferences, events, practice management and client communications. She continued in this capacity through the merger of TD Waterhouse and Ameritrade, resigning in 2007 to have more time at home with her small children.

Abby spent the next five years conducting both strategic and tactical consulting for large broker-dealers, custodians and financial publications, including Pershing, InvestmentNews and Fusion Advisor Network. In 2011, she joined Fusion Advisor Network as chief marketing officer. After successfully selling Fusion to NFP, Abby stayed on as SVP of NFP Advisor Services Group and managing director of Fusion Advisor Network.

An active member of her children’s school in the PTA and a regular volunteer in the local animal shelter, Abby leads a very full and busy life. She resides in Scotch Plains, NJ with her husband, three children and her dog.

Education: BA in finance and economics, Hofstra University; MBA, NYU Stern School of Business

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Mark Schoeff, Jr.

Reporter, InvestmentNews

Mark Schoeff Jr. is a senior reporter for InvestmentNews, a business magazine published by Crain Communications. He covers legislation and regulations affecting retail investment advisers and brokers.

Prior to joining InvestmentNews in April 2010, Schoeff served for nearly five years as the Washington correspondent for Workforce Management, a former Crain publication, writing about employment and labor law. He has contributed regularly to Howey Politics Indiana, a weekly political newsletter based in Indianapolis, since 1997.

Schoeff came to Workforce Management in June 2005 from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank where he was director of external relations for eight years.

A native of Ft. Wayne, Ind., Schoeff also worked on Capitol Hill for Sen. Richard Lugar. He was Lugar’s press secretary from 1995-97 and deputy press secretary from 1992-1994. During that time, Lugar was chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a presidential candidate.

Schoeff began his career in New York City, where he was managing editor of community paper in Manhattan and an assistant project director for Brecker & Merryman, a human resources consulting firm. He also wrote for the Fort Wayne (Ind.) News-Sentinel during high school and college.

Active in the National Press Club, Schoeff is currently co-chair of the Publications Committee, an editor of the Wire, the Club’s daily electronic newsletter, and a member of the Headliners Committee. He also has served as chairman of the Newsmakers and Awards committees.

In college, Schoeff was an editor and reporter at his daily campus newspaper, The Purdue Exponent, an independently owned publication. He was named outstanding student in Purdue's Krannert School of Management and at the Institute for Political Journalism, a program at the Fund for American Studies.

Schoeff earned an undergraduate degree in management, with a minor in English, from Purdue University. He has a master's degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. As part of the ICP program, he studied at Oxford University in England during the summer of 2002.

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Jack Sharry

EVP, Strategic Partnerships, LifeYield

Jack Sharry, LifeYield’s EVP, Strategic Partnerships, has been a financial industry innovator for nearly 30 years as an executive at Morgan Stanley, Putnam Investments and The Phoenix Companies serving as a senior leader in sales, marketing, product development and distribution strategy. While at Phoenix, Jack led a team which developed the first multi-manager wholesale distribution model for advisory platforms and the first income guarantee on an advisory program. Jack is Chairman of the Money Management Institute's (MMI) Digitally Enhanced Advice Committee. He is the author of a series of research papers on Goals-based Wealth Management. Jack has been recognized as an MMI Pioneer, a select group of industry leaders and was awarded the 2013 MMI Chairman's Award for retirement income thought leadership. Jack has a B.A. from the University of Connecticut.

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Clara Shih

CEO and Founder, Hearsay Systems

Clara Shih is CEO and founder of Hearsay Systems, whose predictive analytics technology helps salespeople reach out to clients at the right time with the right message while staying in compliance with industry regulations. A pioneer in the social media industry, Clara developed the first social business application in 2007 and subsequently authored the New York Times-featured best-seller, The Facebook Era. Her latest book, The Social Business Imperative: Adapting Your Business Model to the Always-Connected Customer, was released in April 2016.

Clara has been named one of Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs,” Fast Company’s “Most Influential People in Technology,” BusinessWeek’s “Top Young Entrepreneurs,” and both Fortune’s and Ad Age’s “40 Under 40.” She was also named a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, InvestmentNews’ “40 under 40,” and “5 to Watch” in ThinkAdvisor’s 2015 IA 35 for 35.

Clara is a member of the Starbucks board of directors and previously served in a variety of technical, product, and marketing roles at Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce.com. She graduated #1 in computer science at Stanford University, where she also received an MS in computer science. She also holds an MS in internet studies from Oxford University, where she studied as a U.S. Marshall Scholar.

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Leigh Shimamoto, JD, CFP®

Director of Wealth Management at Vernal Point Advisors

Leigh is a principal and Director of Wealth Management at Vernal Point Advisors. As Director of Wealth Management, Leigh oversees the financial planning processes the firm implements for each client and serves as an advisor on client teams.

Prior to joining Vernal Point Advisors, Leigh was an advisor at Aspiriant, a $12+ billion independent wealth management firm in San Francisco. She worked with high net worth individuals and their families, most of whom are corporate executives of companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs and professionals. Much of her focus was on assisting executives with concentrated stock positions, implementing 10b5-1 stock sales plans and executive compensation. While at Aspiriant, she also managed one of their corporate engagements with a Fortune 500 company, overseeing the firm’s wealth management services to the Company’s C-suite and other top level executives.

Leigh graduated with a B.A. from University of California, San Diego and J.D. from Santa Clara University, School of Law. She also attended Oxford University and received an International Law Certificate in Comparative Law. Leigh is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).

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Margaret C. Starner

Senior Vice President, Financial Planner, Raymond James & Associates

Margaret Starner is widely recognized as a pioneer in the financial planning industry. For nearly four decades, she has led the Starner Group of Raymond James & Associates, an invitation–only wealth management practice with over $1 billion in assets under management.

A graduate of Stanford University with a degree in economics, Margaret has been extensively quoted in various leading publications, including Barrons, Financial Times, Money, Fortune, and The Wall Street Journal. In January 2005, Margaret graced the cover of Financial Advisor magazine, which identified her as a "trailblazer" in the financial planning industry. Barron’s has identified Margaret as one of America’s Top 100 Women Advisors (2007-2018) and one of America’s top 1200 Advisors (2009-2018). Also, in 2008, Margaret was inducted into Research Magazine’s Advisor Hall of Fame. Margaret was also named to the Financial Times’ inaugural list of Top 400 Advisors in April 2013 and continues in 2018. In 2016-2018, Margaret was named to the Forbes list of America’s Top Wealth Advisors. Investment News honored Margaret with award to 2016 “Women to Watch”.

Throughout her career, Margaret has been a strong advocate for women in the financial services industry. In 1992, she helped found the Raymond James Women’s Advisory Board, an internal organization focused on fostering opportunities for women at Raymond James. In 2006, Margaret was recognized as the Raymond James Woman of Distinction. She is the Founder and Board member of the Women Leadership Alliance, organization to attract more women to be financial advisors.

Margaret is also a member of the Financial Planning Association, serves on the Executive board of John T. MacDonald Foundation since 1996 and as Chairman of the Board in 2008-10, and is a past member of the board of Trustees for the Securities Industry Institute. Prior to joining Raymond James in 1981, Margaret developed long-range plans for the Stanford Research Institute, the Ford Foundation, and United Airlines.

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Marlo Stil

Managing Partner, Personal CFO The Wealth Consulting Group

Marlo began her financial services career in 1984. As an investment advisor/branch manager for a Fortune 500 company, she was their first and only female top securities producer. Marlo strives to make a life-changing difference for her clients, helping empower them through education, planning, coaching, strategy implementation and review. She is a frequent contributor for industry publications, seminars and panel discussions around ESG Investing, Business Development and Practice Management best practices.

As a Managing Partner for The Wealth Consulting Group, she is one of the firms many female top producers, assists with Advisor Development and sits on the Investment Strategy Committee which manages models for over 1 Billion in portfolio assets. Marlo’s progressive thinking and commitment to excellence has recently led her to design, build and manage the WCG High Impact Portfolios focused on Sustainable Investing for the future.

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Kristi Straw

Wealth Management Advisor, U.S. Bancorp Investments

Kristi Straw is transforming the client experience through connection, compassion and arming clients with the ability to make effective financial decisions. Her practice consists of a holistic approach to wealth planning through all stages of life. Kristi’s trademark is genuine care, hands-on attention and personalized solutions to meet even the most complex needs of her clients.

Women In Transition (WIT) is a brand she created several years ago and now amasses one-third of her advisory practice. Her ability to relate to clients experiencing challenging life events creates a unique space that embodies the value in vulnerability. She is an avid promoter of continued enrichment and often acts in the capacity of ‘financial therapist.’ Her exclusive approach has led to consistently being asked to speak via public platforms where her topics focus on self-awareness, wealth-life balance and approaching obstacles whole-heartedly.

Along with running a successful advisory practice, Kristi and her husband live in South Olathe with their three children and she enjoys playing volleyball and traveling. She has been serving clients in the financial services industry for over 15 years and earned her MBA from Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas.

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Ryan Sullivan

VP, Head of Investor Education

As Head of Investor Education, Ryan is responsible for content development and delivery for myMoneyGuide®. A 20-year veteran of the financial services industry, he draws on his experience of having presented to groups of investors, advisors, attorneys, and accountants in 46 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. Topics have included investments and insurance, income and estate planning, retirement plans, college savings, charitable giving, and financial planning issues for women.

As a former Vice President of Advanced Markets at a major financial services company, Ryan specializes in translating complex tax and financial planning concepts into simple, actionable ideas. He also previously led marketing teams who created print, web, and continuing education content for financial advisors, as well as client-focused material on a variety of financial subjects.

Ryan has earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM (CFP®), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), CRPC®, and CMFC® designations; he is also a Fellow of LOMA®’s Life Management Institute.

He lives in Charlotte, NC, where he holds volunteer leadership roles with the American Cancer Society and Hands On Charlotte. Ryan is a graduate of Bucknell University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

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Michelle Thetford

Vice President Advisor Services Client Strategic Solutions, Charles Schwab

Michelle Thetford is Vice President Client Strategic Solutions for Schwab’s Advisor Services business which provides custody, practice management and consulting services to nearly 7,500 independent investment advisory firms with $1.6* trillion under management. *Year-End 2017

In this role, Michelle is responsible for client support and managing complex issues while considering risk implications for Schwab and our clients.

Michelle and her team also lead the Complex Account Solutions Team, the Business Acceptance Team, the Premier Consultant team and Advisor Enrollment along with Alternative Investments and the internal supervision and risk management functions.

Michelle began her financial services career after graduating from Michigan State University when she moved to Minneapolis to join a regional brokerage firm.

During her time with this group of independent advisors, Michelle learned every facet of wealth management including corporate finance and hedge fund administration, along with the intricacies of a custodian platform. Most importantly, she learned the nuances of serving high net worth clients in a multi-family office.

Michelle joined SunAmerica Securities Inc., an AIG Financial broker dealer, in Phoenix in 1999 as Managing Director of Operations. She was promoted to Vice President of Operations in 2002 where she served three AIG broker dealers and had responsibility for operations while providing leadership to both the service and trading teams.

Michelle joined Charles Schwab in 2003 as Senior Manager of Compliance for Advisor Services. Michelle was promoted to Vice President, Compliance to lead the Advisor Services Compliance team in 2012. While leading the Compliance team she focused on fundamental compliance program elements, surveillance and fraud investigations related to advisors for the Advisor Services enterprise. Michelle joined the Advisors Services enterprise in May 2015 to assume her current role.

A problem solver by nature, Michelle credits much of her success with spending the first half of her career working directly with advisors. Having invested time early on working within a client-facing business gives her a unique perspective and guides much of how she leads today. Known for her ability to simplify complex issues, Michelle focuses on finding ways to serve clients in a world of increasing complexity and risk management.

Michelle’s credibility stems from her vast knowledge and experience, but what is most important to her is the fact that people trust her to always do what is right for the client. Michelle is proud to serve at Charles Schwab, where she finds it easy to surround herself with great people.

Michelle has a B.A. in Advertising from Michigan State University and holds the Series 24, 7 and 63 licenses. Michelle lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Michelle Thetford

Vice President Client Strategic Solutions, Charles Schwab

Michelle Thetford is Vice President Client Strategic Solutions for Schwab’s Advisor Services business which provides custody, practice management and consulting services to nearly 7,000 independent investment advisory firms with $1.26* trillion under management. *As of Q2-2015

In this role, Michelle is responsible for client support and managing complex issues while considering risk implications for Schwab and our clients.

Michelle and her team also lead the Complex Account Solutions Team, the Business Acceptance Team, the Premier Consultant team and Advisor Enrollment along with Alternative Investments and the internal supervision and risk management functions.

Michelle began her financial services career after graduating from Michigan State University when she moved to Minneapolis to join a regional brokerage firm.

During her time with this group of independent advisors, Michelle learned every facet of wealth management including corporate finance and hedge fund administration, along with the intricacies of a custodian platform. Most importantly, she learned the nuances of serving high net worth clients in a multi-family office.

Michelle joined SunAmerica Securities Inc., an AIG Financial broker dealer, in Phoenix in 1999 as Managing Director of Operations. She was promoted to Vice President of Operations in 2002 where she served three AIG broker dealers and had responsibility for operations while providing leadership to both the service and trading teams.

Michelle joined Charles Schwab in 2003 as Senior Manager of Compliance for Advisor Services. Michelle was promoted to Vice President, Compliance to lead the Advisor Services Compliance team in 2012. While leading the Compliance team she focused on fundamental compliance program elements, surveillance and fraud investigations related to advisors for the Advisor Services enterprise. Michelle joined the Advisors Services enterprise in May 2015 to assume her current role.

A problem solver by nature, Michelle credits much of her success with spending the first half of her career working directly with advisors. Having invested time early on working within a client-facing business gives her a unique perspective and guides much of how she leads today. Known for her ability to simplify complex issues, Michelle focuses on finding ways to serve clients in a world of increasing complexity and risk management.

Michelle’s credibility stems from her vast knowledge and experience, but what is most important to her is the fact that people trust her to always do what is right for the client. Michelle is proud to serve at Charles Schwab, where she finds it easy to surround herself with great people.

Michelle has a B.A. in Advertising from Michigan State University and holds the Series 24, 7 and 63 licenses. Michelle lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

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William Thomas, Jr.

National sales manager for mutual funds and separately managed accounts, Northern Trust Asset Management

Bill Thomas is the national sales manager for mutual funds and separately managed accounts. He is responsible for growing Northern Trust’s presence in the intermediary market. He does this by developing the sales team through motivation, mentoring and product knowledge and skills development.

Prior to joining Northern Trust in 2014, Bill was the head of distribution for DSC Quantitative Group over seeing all sales and marketing related activities of the firm’s operations. From November 2011 to July 2013 he was CEO, head of sales for SIP America, a distributor of structured investments to the retail and institutional markets. At SIP America he was responsible for all aspects of the firm including sales, marketing, product build out and development. Before joining SIP America, Bill was managing director, national sales manager at Allianz Global Investors and in addition, served on the executive committee and global product committee responsible for firm strategy and product development. at Allianz, he oversaw the internal and external sales efforts that lead to increases in annualized sales from $9 billion to more than $60 billion in sales. Bill also worked as a divisional sales manager for Allianz Global investors and PIMCO Funds. Bill began his career at Thomson McKinnon securities as a financial advisor.

Mr. Thomas graduated with a B.S. degree from Michigan State University and served on the Board of Governors of the Money Management institute. Bill currently holds the FiNRA series 7, 63, 65, and 24 securities licenses.

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Maureen Thompson

Vice President of Public Policy, CFP Board

As Vice President of Public Policy, Maureen Thompson works to advance the mission of CFP Board by advocating its public policy positions before Congress, the executive branch of the federal government, state legislatures and other state governmental offices.

Prior to coming to CFP Board in 2017, Thompson was known around Washington, D.C. and nationally as a champion for consumers and investors. She was often cited by policymakers and the media as a highly-regarded advocate for working families, the elderly and other groups that do not often have a voice on Capitol Hill or in the White House.

Previously, Thompson was a senior principal in The Hastings Group for over 26 years. There she built a highly successful government relations and coalition building practice and was involved with a wide-variety of high profile public policy issues including the Dodd-Frank Act and bankruptcy reform. She also led and managed the Save Our Retirement coalition of 75 organizations in support of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule to protect American retirement savers from conflicts of interest.

Prior to founding The Hastings Group, Thompson served as a legislative and policy adviser to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), working on a variety of financial services reforms to benefit the American public.

Thompson is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Skidmore College, earning Bachelor’s degrees in history and government.

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Christina Townsend

Director, Pershing Advisor Solutions, a BNY Mellon company

Christina Townsend is a Director for Pershing Advisor Solutions, a BNY Mellon company and Head of Advisor Solutions Platform Strategy. She, and her team, work collaboratively across the enterprise to develop, implement and support the strategy, solutions and platforms available to wealth managers, registered investment advisors, multi-family offices and trust companies. She also is responsible for the relationships with the consultants and vendors who support our target market segments.

Most recently, she led the Managed Investments product and transition teams and served on the Managed Investments Executive Committee. Prior to that, she oversaw the Managed Investments project management office responsible for large-scale technology and new client conversion projects.  

Prior to her current role, she oversaw the project management office supporting Managed Investments, leading a team that handled large-scale technology and conversion projects. Christina is the North America Co-Chair BNY Mellon Women's Initiative Network and is a member of the BNY Mellon WIN Operating Committee.

Christina joined Pershing in 2000. She started her career in the corporate intern program and then worked transitioning registered investment advisory firms to the Pershing platform.

Christina earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Bates College. She completed the Securities Industry Institute® program, sponsored by Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Claire Veuthey

Director of ESG & Impact, OpenInvest

Claire has worked to help investors better integrate environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors into their decisions for the last decade. She has held research, investment, product development, and business development roles in London, Toronto, Singapore, Amsterdam, and San Francisco. Before joining OpenInvest, she led the Wells Fargo Social Impact Investing team’s ESG research and corporate engagement work. Claire also served as an advisor to the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board during its inaugural year, and was part of the first cohort to earn the FSA (Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting) credential. Claire is currently pursuing her MBA at Berkeley-Haas, where she was awarded a Dean's Fellowship. She holds an M.A. From King’s College London and a Licence from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

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