Conference Presenters


Nicholas Gregory, ChWE, CEBA, ChCCA, ChFWA — Founder, Managing Partner and CEO of The Financial Engineering Institute, LLC
Having founded The Wealth Engineering Institute back in 1996, Mr. Gregory and his colleagues have utilized the Institute’s WealthEngineeringTM Platform and a plethora of other resources to engineer the core entities that make up the Wealth Engineering Family of Companies as an ecosystem for families and their businesses and their advisors. In addition to The Wealth Engineering Institute, this consortium of entities includes The Charitable Capital Design Center, The Wealth Engineering Hub, The Family Business Hub and EBenefits Hub. The vast array of services of our Family of Companies are harmonized to surround the ever-changing needs of managers of wealth and their clients. Nick and his colleagues have also founded Give Back Nation, a non-profit organization, which functions as a national community foundation to create even bigger waves of giving across the nation. Mr. Gregory holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Ball State University with minors in Economics and Finance. Mr. Gregory is a member of the Financial Planners Association, The Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, The Charitable Capital Advisory Council and is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Give Back Nation.

Howard W. Neiswender, J.D., LL.M., CFP®, TEP, CEPA — Shareholder of Dentons Sirote
Howard provides comprehensive legal services for individuals and businesses throughout the United States and internationally, using creative and innovative tax strategies and a multi-faceted coordination process between business and personal planning. Howard combines the areas of income tax planning, estate planning, charitable planning, business planning, asset protection planning, insurance planning, legacy planning and retirement planning to achieve the goals of his clients. He has been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Trusts and Estates and Tax Law. Howard is also a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Exit Planning Advisor. Howard has served as both an Adjunct Professor at the University of Alabama School of Law in its LL.M. in Taxation Program and as an Instructor with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He has a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in Taxation from New York University School of Law.

Jeff Ahola — CEO of Ahola HR Solutions and Payroll
Jeff holds the primary responsibility for charting the strategic direction of the company his parents founded over 50 years ago, while fulfilling its mission to help other family businesses succeed. Under Jeff’s leadership, the company has secured its marketplace position as a top provider of family-focused payroll and human capital management systems. Jeff has a keen interest in family enterprises, a passion going back in the early 1980s when he attended family business study groups, led by the late Dr. Léon A. Danco, considered the founder of this field. Jeff himself led retreats for the former National Center for Family Business. More recently, he participated in the award-winning, internationally accredited executive MBA program for Families in Business at Kennesaw State University. He has also earned the Family Business Advisor Certification from the Galliard Family Business Advisor Institute. In addition Jeff has collaborated with CRAIN’S Cleveland Business to create a Family Business Forum, webinar series, and a newsletter called Family Company. He holds professional affiliations with the Family Firm Institute, Family Enterprise USA, and Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises. Jeff holds a bachelor’s in Marketing and Computer Information Systems from The Ohio State University and an MBA in Finance from Pepperdine University.

Andrew Lane MBA, BSME — Managing Partner of Tri-Merit
Since co-founding Tri-Merit in 2007, he has been responsible for managing the execution of hundreds of R&D tax credit studies across a broad range of industries, as well as overseeing the rest of the firm’s specialty tax services. His experience includes defending R&D tax credit audits at both the federal and state levels, and he regularly presents to CPAs on IRS requirements related to the R&D tax credit, 179D deductions and cost segregation. Prior to founding Tri-Merit, Andy spent over 13 years directly involved in various engineering and manufacturing roles within a broad range of companies and industries including General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Delphi, Intel and more. He holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University).

Robert Merl — National Business Resource Network Director at BDO USA
Rob leads the Business Resource Network practice of the BDO Alliance USA which provides consulting and business services to the Clients of BDO USA and its 260+ alliance firms across the country. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Economics Ursinus College and an MBA from the University of Maryland.

Brad West — Chief Operating Officer at Alternative Investment Exchange (AIX)
As COO of AIX, Brad arbitrates possibility and change across the alternative investments arena. His role is to help firms and advisors see the benefits of authentic data and process connectivity, understand why it matters and realize their true potential for growth. The reward is helping every AIX partner become stronger, and more vital by creating a connected ecosystem for alternatives, for the first time in history. With stints as Chief Information Officer at FS Investments and President and CEO of BankersEdge, he has made a career of leveraging technology to re-engineer and restructure businesses to enable commercial product strategies, streamline operations, and drive scale and profitability.

Korey Erb — Co-Founder and CRO of Learn Your Worklife
As brand ambassador, Korey leads the national sales efforts and strategies behind the Learn Your Worklife Platform. As a video-first benefits education and engagement platform, the LYW team produces exciting digital web and mobile content and solutions thru Benefits Advisors; allowing Advisors and their employer clients, regardless of size, to provide innovated web and mobile education and engagement. Prior to founding LYW, Korey formed and led a nationally award winning interactive communication company that worked closely with HR Consulting Companies, TPAs, health Care Providers, Financial Service Companies, Banks and SaaS companies. Korey holds a Film/Video degree from Full Sail University.

Brian Gezella — Co-Founder and CEO of Learn Your Worklife
Learn Your Worklife is a video-first benefits education and engagement platform for any size organization. The LYW team produces exciting digital web and mobile content and solutions specifically for the employer market thru Benefits Advisors; allowing Advisors and their employer clients to provide innovated web and mobile education and engagement at an affordable price. Prior to founding LYW, Brian filled roles of CFO, COO and strategist consultant for multiple startup technology companies and businesses. As a Certified Public Accountant, Brain has also filled diverse roles in public accounting, consulting, technology, and organizational development as well. He holds an Accounting Degree from Minnesota University – The Carlson School of Management.

Jim Sopha — Partner of Magis Capital Partners
As past President at Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Jim formed Magis Capital as a venture capital firm to satisfy his burning desire to transform the rather stag net financial services industry. In coordination with Envestnet, the current Magis portfolio includes six innovative digital financial services solutions that act as dynamic exchanges for wealth management firms as they harmonize their “practice ecosystems" with the “wealth ecosystems” of HNW families and their businesses.

Rich Romano — Chief Executive Officer of FIDx
As Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of FIDx, Rich is responsible for the company's strategy, vision, and growth. Passionate about helping advisors deliver better outcomes to their clients, Rich is leading his team to revolutionize the way insurance products are used to achieve client retirement goals within wealth management. With 30 years of financial services consulting experience and deep domain expertise in the brokerage and insurance industries, Rich has built and managed IT consultancies and provided enterprise consulting services and subject matter expertise to the industry leaders in insurance, retirement, and asset management. Rich holds bachelor's degrees in Actuarial Science and Economics from Rider University and the London School of Economics.

Peter Stanton — Chief Executive Officer of Advisor Credit Exchange
At the Advisor Credit Exchange (ACE), our mission is to support the full cycle of wealth management to include the need for financing that builds and maintains net worth to achieve overall financial goals and wellness. ACE technology is a breakthrough solution that empowers advisors to present pre-qualified credit opportunities to their clients. Benefits may include lower risk of decline, confidence in competitive rates and accelerated speed-to-approval. These solutions are core components of advised-client portfolios— integrated within the same wealth management platforms advisors already use every day.

Lisa Kottler — Chief Growth Officer of Sallus Retirement
As a 25-year veteran of the retirement plan industry Lisa reimagines retirement savings through emerging technologies and fresh business models. She has spent the last few years immersed in the FinTech and startup communities, including meeting Fintech leaders in Latin America (one of the world's fastest growing FinTech communities); obtained a Master of Science in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas at Austin and a FinTech certification from Harvard. I'm an entrepreneurially-minded executive and strategic advisor with demonstrated, measurable successes building new corporate initiatives and key partnerships. An authentic leader, who helps organizations get ideas from conception to commercialization. Advocate for the retirement plan industry through speaking engagements, writing for industry publications and, in the past, through direct involvement with NAPA and its government relations efforts.

Dave Francis — Chief Executive Officer at Healthpilot
Dave is CEO and board member of Healthpilot. He is passionate about transforming health care using information technology, and empowering the forgotten health care Consumer. Dave is proven high growth and turnaround executive with extensive experience in organizational transformation, operations and finance/capital markets. Having fun while helping people achieve their best — personally and professionally. He is a Wharton grad.