Director, Political Affairs
Claudia Salinas will serve as FSI’s Political Affairs Director. In this role, she will work closely with the advocacy team to engage FSI’s members with key members of Congress and state legislators.
Prior to joining FSI, Claudia worked for USAA with their political action committee and with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in external affairs. Claudia also, worked on numerous political campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels in Texas.
Claudia holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Texas State University in San Marcos, where she graduated with a Major in English and Mass Communication.
Regulatory Affairs Counsel
Katanya is one of FSI’s Regulatory Affairs Counsel. Prior to joining FSI, Katanya was Counsel in FINRA’s Litigation and Policy section where she supervised a team of attorneys in providing interpretive guidance to FINRA’s examination staff and its executive leadership. Katanya also processed statutory disqualification (“SD”) applications and litigated matters arising from denied SD applications. Prior to FINRA, Katanya held various positions of escalating responsibility with several broker-dealers, including Deputy General Counsel for a busy proprietary trading firm and Vice-President, Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary for an interdealer broker. Katanya has also held FINRA series 7 and 24 licenses.
Katanya earned her B.A. in Liberal Arts from the University of Rochester and her J.D. from Rutgers School of Law-Newark. She is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Andress comes to FSI with a background as an Executive Assistant and a Certified Paralegal. Prior to joining FSI, Andress worked in the General Counsel’s Office for Children’s National Health System both as an Executive Assistant and Risk Management Paralegal.
Andress attended University of Maryland Baltimore County and Catholic University for her undergraduate studies.
Executive Vice President & General Counsel
David Bellaire works to prevent unintended consequences. As the Financial Services Institute’s executive vice president & general counsel, David leads FSI’s team of lawyers and lobbyists in pursuit of a business environment that frees its member broker-dealers and financial advisors from the unintended consequences of federal and state legislation and regulation. David has more than 25 years of broker-dealer advocacy, compliance, legal, and operations experience. Prior to joining FSI, he served as vice president of operations and general counsel at Securities Service Network, Inc. He also previously served as special investigations attorney and regional compliance manager with InterSecurities, Inc. (now known as Transamerica Financial Advisors), assistant director of compliance at Commonwealth Financial Network, Inc., and assistant to the executive director at the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (ICFP). David earned a B.S. in business management from Providence College and a J.D. from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. He is admitted to practice law in the states of Massachusetts and Tennessee. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, reading and spending time with his wife Sara and their two children.
Senior Vice President, Membership & Marketing
Chris is a veteran of Capitol Hill, spending more than a decade in presidential and congressional campaigns, working as a spokesman and strategic advisor for both U.S. House and Senate leadership offices, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Bush administration. After directing the communications department for U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Chris ended his public service as Senior Advisor to former U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich of Ohio. For the last two years before joining FSI, he served as Senior Vice President of Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs for the Insured Retirement Institute. Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in communication and journalism from The Ohio State University.
Director of Financial Strategies
Craig joins FSI with over 20 years of experience in the Finance and Accounting profession. After beginning his career in public accounting, Craig worked at Nextel Communications, the Internal Revenue Service, and Clark Enterprises, before joining Robert Half Salaried Professional Services (SPS). During his eight years as a consultant with SPS, Craig worked in a diverse set of roles and industries at an experienced or management level. During that time, he worked with not-for-profits in the healthcare, religious, and municipal industries, including Howard University Hospital, Virginia Theological Seminary, and ICMA-RC.
His most recent role was with FSI as interim controller, before joining FSI as a full-time employee in 2014.
Craig graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor’s in Accountancy from George Washington University, and passed the CPA exam in 1996.
Hanna is one of FSI’s Regulatory Affairs Counsel, focusing on federal regulation. Prior to joining FSI, Hanna worked on policy issues related to financial services and health care at a leading government affairs law firm. Additionally, she worked for several years as an E-Discovery attorney during the various phases of class action litigation.
Hanna earned her B.A. in English and French from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio and her J.D. from Northern Kentucky University’s Chase College of Law. She is admitted to practice law in Ohio and the District of Columbia.
Director of Legislative Affairs
J. Maurice joins FSI with over 16 years of Washington, DC public policy and government affairs experience. Early in his career he worked for Maryland Governor Parris Glendenning and Senate President Thomas Mike V. Miller. After his State of Maryland experience, he transitioned to Capitol Hill working 5 years for Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick who represented Detroit, Michigan working on her Appropriations committee agenda items.
Upon leaving Capitol Hill he spent 7 years working for three separate boutique lobbying firms including former US Congressman JC Watts’ firm, Watts Partners. While working at the lobbying firms he served as a Senior Associate, Principal, and Partner. Most recently, he spent a year at the United States Department of Labor’s Education and Training Administration in their Office of Policy Development and Research of working on Workforce Innovation.
J. Maurice is a 2000 graduate of Howard University with BBS in Marketing.
Accounting & Customer Relations Systems Specialist
Jeremy joins FSI with a background in scientific research, IT and accounting. Prior to joining FSI, he worked for seven years as a database programmer at the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) followed by working in accounting for a few different for-profit companies. He is also President of the Board of Directors of the Parents Place of Maryland (PPMD), a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower families as advocates and partners in improving education and health outcomes for their children with disabilities and special health care needs.
Jeremy earned his B.A. in Cognitive Science from Northwestern University in 2001 and his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Maryland University College in 2009. He is licensed as a CPA in the state of Maryland.
Director of Corporate Relations
Kathryn has over 16 years’ experience developing strategic relationships with independent broker-dealers and independent financial advisors through her prior roles on the National Accounts and Sales teams at Wells Real Estate Funds. Previously, she was a Senior Relationship Banker and Licensed Financial Specialist with Wachovia Bank, where she worked with consumers and businesses to proactively capture full client relationships that included deposits, lending, treasury services, and investments. Kathryn earned a B.S. in Accounting from North Georgia College and State University.
Vice President, Corporate Relations
Kevin is responsible for FSI’s member and sponsor relationships. He entered the financial services industry in 1991 as a financial advisor and obtained the CFP® designation in 1993. Prior to joining FSI in 2007, he was the Director of National Accounts for the AXA Enterprise Funds. He also served AXA Enterprise as Director of College Planning, and acted as product manager of the Texas 529 plan from 2002-2007.
Kevin earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University. In his spare time, he does volunteer work for the Institute of Biblical Leadership, Reasonable Faith and Torch of Hope Haiti.
Matt joins FSI with a background in both research and IT. Prior to coming to FSI he worked doing research for a media company located in Washington, DC and has also previously worked at a healthcare software company.
Matt earned his B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University in 2013.
Vice President of Meetings, Marketing & Education
Michelle brings more than 20 years of association management experience specializing in events and education to FSI. She has spent her career working for various associations responsible for overall strategy and choreography of various size events. Michelle is credentialed in the meetings industry as Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and Global Certification in Meeting Management (CMM). She also holds the Business of Meetings Certification (BOM) and is a Certified Association Executive (CAE). Michelle is an active member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and is currently serving as the Conference Attendee Mentor Task Force Chair. She is the Past President of the Potomac Chapter of MPI (PMPI), having served the chapter in a number of leadership roles and is a past recipient of the President’s Award. Michelle is also currently serving on the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau Customer Advisory Board. She received her Bachelors of Science with a minor in Business from Ithaca College, NY.
Director of State Legislative Affairs
Michelle joins FSI with a wide variety of experience in state government relations. Prior to joining FSI, Michelle worked for Stateside Associates where she assisted clients in their state lobbying and government relation efforts. Ms. Carroll identified, monitored and provided information about viable legislation to clients which help them navigate through the different state legislative processes. Michelle gained her state legislative experience working for a former Virginia State Senator.
Michelle earned her B.A. in Criminal Justice from Virginia Union University and her M.P.A from George Mason University.
Director of Corporate Relations & Culture
Nicki joins FSI with a broad range of experience in project management and member services. Prior to joining FSI, Nicki worked at the Association of Clinical Research Professionals as Membership Administrator, where she managed the Association’s 60+ chapter affiliates and special interest groups. Before that, she was a Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, providing project management and communications support to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Nicki earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2007.
Meetings & Program Coordinator
Rachel comes to FSI with experience in conferences, events, and office administration. In college, Rachel worked as a Conference Manager for George Mason University’s Office of Housing and Residence Life, coordinating housing logistics for over 25 summer conference and orientation groups. She also worked with Catholic Charities, USA as a Convening and Events Intern, where she was the project lead for their events app selection process, in addition to assisting with their annual conference and regional gatherings. She served in administrative roles at Burdette Smith & Bish, LLC, an accounting firm in Northern Virginia, and at GMU’s Honors College.
Rachel earned her B.S. in Management with a minor in Tourism and Events Management from George Mason University in 2014.
Manager, Financial Industry Relations
Richard joined FSI after spending 4 years on Capitol Hill handling Financial Services issues for a member of the House Financial Services Committee and the Capital Markets Sub-Committee, which has jurisdiction over both FINRA and the SEC. Prior to Capitol Hill Richard worked in Ernst & Young’s Financial Planning Division, advising clients on a range of personal finance issues. Richard earned a BA in Political Science from Boston College and a Certificate in Financial Planning from NYU.
Vice President, Legislative & Political Affairs
Robert joins FSI with over 10 years of Washington, D.C., experience. He spent four years working on Capitol Hill for Senator Zell Miller (D-GA) on the Senate, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. After Senator Miller’s retirement, Robert joined Financial Executives International as Manager of Government Affairs, focusing on Pension and Retirement issues. He left to attend Catholic Law School and was a Law Clerk for U.S. House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) while in law school. Most recently, Robert was Manager of Federal Affairs for Community Financial Services Association of America.
Robert is a 2001 graduate of Morehouse College with a B.A. in Political Science and 2010 graduate of The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs & Associate General Counsel
Robin comes to FSI with over ten years of diverse experience in the financial services industry where she has held legal, compliance and regulatory roles. Most recently, Robin lead a team of regulatory analysts in FINRA’s Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence. Prior to her regulatory experience, Robin worked as the Agency Supervisory Officer for the mid-Atlantic regional office of MML Investors Services where she served as the agency’s Registered Principal. Robin also served as in-house Legal Counsel for the broker-dealer Thrivent Investment Management, where she counseled the firm’s Compliance and Field Force divisions. Robin is a 1998 graduate of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida where she received a B.A. in Political Science and a 2002 graduate from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is admitted to District of Columbia bar as well as the state bar of Illinois. Robin has held the Series 7, 24, 53, and 66 licenses and was formerly a Certified Fraud Examiner..
Manager, State Legislative Affairs
Shawnda comes to FSI with state legislative experience. While in law school, Ms. Martin worked with the North Carolina General Assembly, where she assisted the office of a state senator and its’ policy efforts. Shortly after leaving this position, Ms. Martin joined the North Carolina League of Municipalities as a Government Affairs Intern. Shawnda tracked and analyzed legislation, monitored Senate and House committees, and organized briefings on legislative proposals.
Shawnda earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law. She is admitted to the state bar of North Carolina.
Thomas joins FSI with over 16 years of Information Technology and Cyber Security experience. He spent 5 years contracting for government agencies such as DOD, DOT and DOJ. While administering Sharepoint, Alfresco, Vignette, Drupal, WordPress and Joomla platforms, he customized j-query, java and html5 web applications focusing on consistant functionality and security. Thomas has designed and developed security awareness training modules for FAA and DHS using User Interaction technology. He has also designs and devloped mobile apps for Dell and The Smithsonian.
Thomas spent 10 years in the U.S. Marine Corps serving in Desert Storm and is a graduate of San Diego State University with a B.S. in Telecommunications and graduate of the University of Phoenix with a B.S. in Information Technology.
Manager, Accounting & Customer Relations Systems
Wanda comes to FSI with an extensive background in association operations. Prior to joining FSI, Wanda worked at the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) in its membership department, and in a variety of positions at the American Coatings Association (ACA).
Wanda earned a B.A. in Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia.
Senior Vice President, Finance & Operations
Brett joins FSI from another 501(c)6 Washington D.C. based association where he served as the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Operations for 6 years. In this role he managed the day-to-day finance and operations, including business and strategic planning, the Board’s finance committee that oversaw budgeting and audits, and several member outreach programs. He was successful in improving internal operating processes, strengthening the balance sheet, and creating a 9 month reserve. Prior to that, Brett worked for a world-wide management consulting firm specializing in transportation, and as a partner or the firm managed several lines of business including financial planning, commercial development, organizational reviews, and preparation of official statements to accompany bond issuances. Brett has over 24 years of business and finance experience. Brett received a B.A. in Economics and Finance from Carleton University.
Director, Marketing & Communications
Allison joins FSI with a broad range of experience in the communications field. Prior to joining FSI, Allison worked at the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) as a Communications & Marketing Specialist. She has also worked as a Weekend Reporter at Lakeshore Public Radio in northwestern Indiana and was the News Director at WVUR-FM from 2008-2010.
Allison graduated with honors from Valparaiso University with a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science in 2010.
President & CEO – Ex Officio
Dale E. Brown, CAE, is the founding president and CEO of the Financial Services Institute (FSI). Established in 2004, FSI is the only organization advocating on behalf of independent broker-dealers and their affiliated independent financial advisors. FSI’s mission is to create a healthier regulatory environment for their members through aggressive and effective advocacy, education and public awareness. FSI represents more than 100 independent broker-dealers and more than 35,000 independent financial advisors, reaching more than 15 million households.
Dale brings more than 25 years of association management experience to FSI with broad leadership in government relations and constituent advocacy. He leads FSI’s advocacy strategy, interacting frequently with regulators and policymakers in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining FSI at its launch, Dale guided the government relations, corporate and broker-dealer programs for the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the International Association for Financial Planning (IAFP). Dale led the successful fight in the mid-1990s against the IRS’s attempts to force broker-dealers to re-classify independent contractor representatives as statutory employees.
Dale was named a Certified Association Executive (CAE) in 1995. He is a past president of the Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE), and a recipient of GSAE’s President’s Award in 1995 and 2001. In May 2002, Dale received GSAE’s highest honor, the Clifford M. Clarke Award, given annually to an association executive who has demonstrated exemplary personal leadership and service to his or her own association, the association community and the general community.
He serves on the board of the Business & Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC).
Dale has been recognized by Registered Rep magazine as one of “Ten to Watch” in 2005; included in Boomer Market Advisor’s “Forward Thinking Five” in 2006; and was named for seven consecutive years as one of Investment Advisor magazine’s 25 most influential individuals in and around the planning profession. He was named by Investment News as one of the Power 20 for 2012.
Dale attended the University of Georgia and graduated from Georgia State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
As President of Kestra Financial, Mr. Poer is dedicated to helping independent financial advisors fulfill client goals through a unique integration of technology and service. Kestra Financial serves independent financial advisory firms with varying business affiliations, including independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) and hybrid advisors.
Mr. Poer joined Kestra Financial in 2003 and has served as President of Kestra Financial since September 2008. Under his leadership, the business experienced unparalleled growth, increasing annual gross revenue by over $209 million in the past seven years. Through his support of the open architecture platform, Mr. Poer continues to position Kestra Financial as a leader in the independent financial services space. Prior to joining Kestra Financial, he held marketing and product development roles for two asset management companies and served as Director of Advisory Services for two AIG RIAs.
Mr. Poer received his Bachelor of Science from Texas Christian University and completed the Securities Industry Institute at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School. He served on the advisory boards of the Financial Planning Association and the Investment Management Consultants Association, and is a licensed registered representative holding FINRA Series 7, 24, 63 and 65 licenses.
Seth Miller currently serves as the CEO of Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. (TFA). Prior to working with TFA, he served for four years as President of Life Investors Financial Group (LIFG), an AEGON marketing group focused on the middle- and upper-income market, headquartered in Cedar Rapids, IA. Prior to his role with LIFG, Mr. Miller led AEGON’s Independent Producer Marketing Group, working with various national independent marketing organizations. Mr. Miller’s first position with AEGON was as Director of Business Development for AEGON Direct Marketing Services in Baltimore, MD. He came to AEGON from General Electric, where he graduated from GE’s Financial Management Program and is also a graduate of the University Notre Dame. Mr. Miller is also a retired Captain, United States Air Force Reserve. Mr. Miller, his wife Kelley, and their three young daughters reside in Tampa Bay, FL where they are active in their local school, parish, and United Way.
Shawn McLaughlin serves as president and CEO, McLaughlin Ryder Investments
With more than 30 years of investment experience, Shawn specializes in helping individuals, businesses and associations achieve their investment goals through careful and thorough financial planning. He began his career with a major regional brokerage firm where he spent 20 years building his practice. Shawn has established a reputation for delivering customized retirement plans for both medium and small businesses, as well as not-for-profit organizations and associations.
Shawn holds an Accredited Investment Fiduciary™ (AIF®) designation. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Georgetown University and remains active as a mentor to students in Georgetown’s business school. He also regularly speaks to local honor students through the Alexandria Summer Economic Institute.
Shawn has been active in the Northern Virginia business and civic communities for over 28 years, including serving on the Inova Health System Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors of Burke & Herbert Bank, the Board of Visitors of the School of Business at Marymount University. He is also the past chairman of the Inova Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Virginia College Savings Plan (VCSP). In 2014, he was appointed to the Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority by Gov. Mark Warner.
In 2003, Shawn helped establish the Alexandria Police Foundation and continues to serve as the foundation’s first Chairman. He also served on the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for over 12 years. Shawn was elected Chairman of the Board of the Chamber in 1994, and was named the 2005 Business Leader of the Year.
Shawn holds Series 7, 9 and 10, 24, 63 and 65 licenses along with his Virginia Life, Health, and Variable Life annuity insurance licenses.
Tony LaJeunesse is the founder of TL Financial Group, an independent financial planning firm where he also serves as president and chief executive officer. His firm, located in Southgate, Michigan, specializes in retirement planning for those who are about to retire or have already retired.
As a full service investment services firm, Tony and his team provide dedicated assistance to helping enrich the lives of individuals, families and business owners at every stage of life. They are committed to providing a superior level of service by developing retirement income strategies that align with their clients’ lifestyle goals and desire for financial independence. Through this commitment many of their client relationships have grown to become cherished friendships and have expanded to encompass multiple generations of the families.
Tony is licensed as a General Securities Represenatative, Investment Advisor Representative and also maintains a life and health insurance license. He is a senior partner and acts as a director on the board for Advantage Financial Group (“AFG”) a privately held partnership that also manages Advantage Investment Management, a wholly owned subsidiary. He serves on many other boards, community councils and is active in his community and charitable organizations.
Kimberly Kropp is owner/partner of Moylan Kropp Retirement Planning in Omaha, NE. She will celebrate her 20th year as an independent business owner in February 2016. She began her financial career in 1982 managing and directing two unique Financial Advisory Services including two different banks in Omaha, Nebraska in the first 14 years of her career. In 1996 she moved on to create the firm Moylan Kropp Retirement Planning which she owns today. She graduated from Wayne State College with a BA in Elementary Education and Learning Disabilities. Since starting her financial career, she has earned designations including the CFP, CHFC, CLU, and CASL. She is insurance licensed and holds the 7, 24, 63, and 65. She is a member of the Financial Planning Association, The National Association of Professional Women, and The Society of Financial Professionals. She serves on the Financial Services Institute Advisory Council, and serves as a board member on the Iowa School for the Deaf and Immanuel Charitable Council Board. Kim is married to her husband Bob and they have one daughter and one son, Chelsea and Andrew. Kim’s greatest passion – people. She loves serving others in the best way possible whether it is on the job or in her free time.
Joe Himelick MSFS, CHFC, CLU, has worked as a Financial Planner with individuals and businesses for over three decades. As the President and Co-Founder of the Himelick Financial Group, the firm’s primary focus is assisting in the realization of their clients financial objectives. The evolution and range of services provided is exemplified by Joe’s average client tenure of over 20 years, and the firm views the financial planning process as a lifelong event that includes multiple dimensions and interrelated parts.
Within the financial services industry, Joe has been engaged in a range of issues that are intended to both improve the client’s experience, while maintaining a lens that is holistic in its view of the clients evolving needs. His peers have referred to Joe as a “thought leader”, while others in the industry describe him as “driven”.
Joe has spoken at multiple national meetings, mentored various advisors and individuals, and provided training to his industry peers as well as those individuals and businesses who are interested in expanding their financial knowledge. He has also served in leadership positions in various industry associations with a keen interest in the regulatory environment.
Joe has been a recognized multiple years by Texas Monthly as a 5 Star Wealth Manager. In a larger sense, Joe appreciates the long term relationships that his clients and their families represent as part of his life.
Bill Dowell serves as Founder & President, Vision Financial Group.
Bill is a graduate of Birmingham- Southern College. After his graduation in 1978 he began his career with Protective Life Insurance Company. In 1983 he was a co-founder and principle of First Financial Center of Birmingham, Inc., serving as its President from 1987-1996. In 1996 Bill formed Vision Financial Group, Inc.
Bill is active in industry and community affairs. He was a Board member of the Birmingham Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors from 1985-1996 and served as its President in 1993 and 1994. He has served on Birmingham-Southern`s Alumni Board since 1980 and was its president from 1990-1992. He is also a charter member of the Endowment Builders Society for Birmingham-Southern. Bill was a board member of the Alabama Planned Giving Council from 1993 to 1999 and served as its President in 1997. He has served in various PTO Board positions at Inverness Elementary, Oak Mountain Middle and Oak Mountain High School. In 2001 Bill was the Shelby County chairperson for the United Way campaign, helping raise over $600,000 for the various agencies of United Way in Shelby County.
Bill and his wife Sandra have been married since 1979 and have two daughters, Logan and Crawford. They attend Asbury United Methodist Church. His hobbies include traveling with family and friends, golf, hunting and fishing.
As president of Raymond James Financial Services, Mr. Curtis directs Raymond James’ independent contractor and financial institutions businesses that combined include 3,250 retail financial advisors and generate over $1.3 billion in annual revenues. He was promoted to his current position in January 2012 following six years as senior vice president of Raymond James & Associates Private Client Group where he was responsible for directing numerous initiatives focused on revenue growth, margin enhancement, service improvement, and risk mitigation. Scott joined Raymond James in February 2003 as president of Raymond James Insurance Group. Scott spent the prior thirteen years of his career with GE Financial Assurance in a variety of senior leadership roles – including as national sales director for mutual funds and annuities and as president of the firm’s FINRA-registered broker/dealer.
Kent Christian serves as president of Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, where he sets strategic direction for the management, satisfaction, retention and organic growth of Wells Fargo Advisors’ independent financial advisor business.
Kent spent the majority of his professional career at Bank of America Corp., serving in various leadership and management capacities in capital markets, retail securities and private banking for the company and its predecessors. He then moved on to become executive vice president of Sales and Marketing for Plan Member Financial Corporation, and then became national sales director at Raymond James Financial Services, where he managed the activities of more than 4,300 independent advisors nationwide. In 2005, he joined Wachovia Securities (now Wells Fargo Advisors) to serve as president of the firm’s Independent Brokerage Group, and, three years later, was asked to lead the Financial Services Group, where he provided executive leadership for the firm’s investment, advisory and banking products, research and advice, as well as the client and FA platform.
Kent is a graduate of Duke University with a degree in Economics and holds Series 7, 24, 53 and 63 registrations.
Kent currently serves as a board member for the Financial Services Institute. He has also served on the executive committee and board of directors for SIFMA. Kent is a prior board member of the United Way of Greater St. Louis and the United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg.
Co-founder of the Capital Investment Companies and has served as an executive officer and principal of the companies since 1984. He has been in the financial services industry since 1982 and graduated from NC State with a BA in Business Management. Richard is married with two children and enjoys traveling, sports, music and cars.
Valerie G. Brown is Executive Chairman, Advisor Group, Inc., one of the nation’s largest networks of independent financial advisors with over 5,000 independent advisors and approximately $160 billion in client assets under management. Advisor Group provides comprehensive broker-dealer services, technology, and advisory programs through its four registered broker-dealers and Registered Investment Advisors: FSC Securities, Royal Alliance Associates, SagePoint Financial, and Woodbury Financial Services. Before assuming her current position, Ms. Brown served as Chief Executive Officer of Cetera Financial Group from the company’s formation in 2010 until its sale in 2014. In 2009 she led the spin out of the Cetera companies from ING to Lightyear Capital. Prior to Cetera, Ms. Brown was chief executive officer of ING Advisors Network, having previously served as its president for five years.
Ms. Brown currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Financial Services Institute. She has previously served on the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Board of Directors, the membership and District 7 committees of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the Blackrock Equity/Bond Funds Board of Directors. Ms. Brown has been honored with a number of industry awards. She is actively involved in charitable arts organizations and a member of C200, an invitation-only membership organization of the world’s most successful women business leaders. Ms. Brown holds a bachelor’s degree with high scholarship in chemical engineering from Oregon State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University.
Adam Antoniades is President of Cetera Financial Group. Prior to this role, Mr. Antoniades was President and CEO of First Allied, where he was instrumental in driving the strategic direction of the firm. As one of First Allied’s founding members, he also spearheaded several strategic acquisitions including the 2002 sale of First Allied to Wells Fargo.
Prior to First Allied, Mr. Antoniades held senior management positions at major financial institutions around the globe including Berkeley Administration Inc., a foreign currency retail trading organization, in Belgium and A. J. Bekhor and Company, an independent financial services company, in the United Kingdom.
David Knoch, CIMA serves as President and Chief Operating Officer for 1st Global. After joining the company in 2000, Mr. Knoch was promoted to his current role in 2008, with a focus on continuing the growth of the company’s capabilities for its affiliated CPA firms, as well as for the CPA profession as a whole. In his role, Mr. Knoch has direct oversight for 1st Global’s Wealth Management, Consulting, Investment Management, Research, Marketing, Service, Operations and Technology Services organizations. In his life, Mr. Knoch stands for creating better outcomes and fostering in others the courage to do the same.
Mr. Knoch is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and currently serves on the board of its North Texas Chapter. He is also a member of the Financial Services Institute (FSI) and served on its Board of Directors in 2009. Mr. Knoch has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is a Certified Investment Management Analyst professional.
John came to Commonwealth in 1988, after spending five years as a vice president at Moseley Securities in Boston. Arriving to work in the Product department, he handled mutual funds, partnerships, commodities, variable annuities, qualified plans, and individual issues. Over time, he has helped to engineer the growth of not only the Product department, but also of Commonwealth as a whole. He is relied upon by all parties for his advice and perspective on the direction of the firm.
John opened and now manages Commonwealth’s West Coast office in San Diego. He has been a guest on numerous television shows and nationally syndicated radio programs, and he is regularly called upon for his expertise by the financial industry’s trade publications. John is a graduate of Colby College with a BA in government, and he attended Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program. He also holds FINRA Series 3, 7, 24, 63, and 65 registrations.
Immediate Past Chair
President and CEO of Cambridge Investment Research with over 25 years of industry experience, Amy Webber’s commitment to independent rep-advisors is demonstrated in her passion for delivering high level personal service and leading management solutions.
Amy’s personal interest lies with continually refining the independent broker-dealer model to best support the next generation of the financial services industry – including the creation of innovative programs such as the Cambridge Source outsourcing program, Cambridge’s New Century Council group, and the Cambridge Next Step™ internship program. In addition to the next generation, Amy’s profile showcases her passion for supporting women advisors in the financial services industry including the annual Cambridge Women Advisors Forum.
Her executive accomplishments include significant initiatives – such as the current development of WealthPort, Cambridge’s strategic integration of the managed account experience for advisors and their clients; the implementation of an industry-leading social networking pilot program; the introduction of BEST Service Standards and a white-glove Partner Support Center; as well as the ongoing commitment to helping advisors successfully navigate the ever changing regulatory landscape.
Amy’s management expertise includes leadership in compliance, finance, human resources, marketing, operations, service, and technology. In May 2012, she was recognized as a member of the IA25 by Investment Advisor magazine and in 2011, 2010, and 2009 as one of the “Top 50 Women in Wealth Management” by Wealth Manager. Amy holds FINRA Series 79, 24, 6, 62, 63, and 99 licenses.
Dean Harman, CFP® has been practicing in the financial services industry since 1994. He operates Harman Wealth Management, Inc. LLC. in The Woodlands, Texas. Harman Wealth Management Inc. LLC. specializes in working with clients who are business owners, executives and sports coaches.
In 2006 Dean purchased Estate Resources, a financial planning, RIA and asset management firm in Houston, Texas, which he merged into Harman Wealth Management Inc. LLC. In 2010 he purchased ETF Plan, Inc., and asset management, RIA firm which also merged into Harman Wealth Management Inc. LLC. He serves on the Advisory Board’s of Genworth Financial , Sagepoint Financial, The Financial Services Institute and The College of Business and Behavioral Sciences at Clemson University .
Dean is regularly quoted in the media and has been featured in: The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Newsweek, Kiplinger’s, Smart Money, CBS Market Watch, Men’s Health, Yahoo Finance, Google Financial News, Retire Smart, The Players Club, The Journal of Financial Planning, Investment News, Investment Advisor, H-Texas and local media. He also had an appearance in the movie Tin Cup.
He is a graduate of Clemson University where he played football from 1987-1991. Following college he had a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1992 and 1993 before starting his career in financial planning.
Chair of the Board
Dick has 30 years of experience in the financial services and legal fields. He has served since 2006 as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. (NYSE MKT: LTS), headquartered in Miami, Florida and has been instrumental in guiding that firm’s evolution into a leader in the independent broker dealer and advisory space. Ladenburg engages in independent brokerage and advisory services, investment banking, equity research, institutional sales and trading, asset management services and life insurance brokerage through its principal subsidiaries, Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc., Investacorp, Inc., Triad Advisors, Inc., Securities America, Inc., KMS Financial Services, Inc., Securities Service Network Inc. and Highland Capital Brokerage Inc., which together have approximately 4,000 financial advisors and approximately $125 billion in client assets.
Dick also serves as Executive Vice President of Vector Group Ltd. (NYSE: VGR), a holding company that is engaged through subsidiaries in the real estate, tobacco and investment businesses, and as President and Chief Executive Officer of Castle Brands Inc. (NYSE MKT: ROX), a developer and marketer of premium branded spirits. He is a director of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc., Castle Brands Inc. and Douglas Elliman Realty, LLC. Dick is a member of the Florida Bar and has served as Chairman of its Securities Law Committee.
Previously, Dick was an investment banker at Salomon Brothers Inc, where he was a Managing Director in the Leveraged Finance Group, and a partner and co-chairman of the Corporate Department at the Steel Hector & Davis law firm.