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The Advanced Planning Group Team

Collective Experience. Insightful Solutions.

Through your New York Life financial professional, you’ll have the opportunity to consult with the Advanced Planning Group—a nationally‐recognized team of knowledgeable professionals who are specially trained to listen to your goals and objectives, evaluate your current planning strategies, and offer thoughtful, researched suggestions and solutions to help you optimize your financial goals. Their collective experience supports a variety of wealth strategies and business planning objectives. 

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Business protection and succession

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Nonqualified executive benefit strategies

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Wealth transfer and distribution strategies

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Transnational planning (non-U.S. citizen)

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Estate tax mitigation

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Charitable planning



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Stephanie Bagwell, J.D

Stephanie is an Advanced Planning Consultant with New York Life Insurance Company, supporting agents as a member of the Case Design Team. Stephanie came to New York Life with substantial experience in the areas of estate planning, taxation, and trusts providing her with a keen understanding of various sophisticated estate planning strategies and their most effective and lucrative applications. Stephanie obtained her Juris Doctor from Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas. She studied Japanese and received her Bachelor of Science from Texas Christian University, also in Fort Worth, Texas. Stephanie is admitted to the State Bar of Texas and is a member of the Trusts and Estates, International Law, and Securities sections of the Dallas Bar Association.



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Jaehong “Jake” Choi, J.D.

Jake is a Corporate Vice President and Advanced Planning Consultant with New York Life Insurance Company, supporting agents as a member of the Korean Cultural Market. Jake came to New York Life with over 20 years’ estate and business planning experience. His areas of focus include advanced estate planning strategies, business succession planning, estate taxation, and various tax savings vehicles for both individual and business owner clientele. Jake earned his J.D. from Boston University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts, and a B.A. in Economics from the University of California in Berkeley. He is admitted to the State Bar of California. Jake is fluent in both English and Korean.




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Christi Cottrell, J.D.

Christi is a Regional Manager and Advanced Planning Consultant for the Northeastern and South Central Zones. Christi’s experience includes collaborating with agents, their affluent and business owner clients, and other professional advisors in the implementation of optimal estate and business planning strategies. She is an energetic presenter and experienced author with an expertise in designing creative insurance-based planning solutions. Christi received her law degree from Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas.

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Dale T. Facey, J.D.

Dale leads the Compliance and Marketing efforts for New York Life’s Advanced Planning Group and oversees compliance on major projects of The Nautilus Group®, a service of New York Life. Dale collaborates with agents and staff on solutions that address their goals and objectives, meet regulatory requirements, and protect the Company’s clients and their interests. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Human Resources Management from Western New England University in Springfield, MA, and his law degree from Villanova University School of Law in Villanova, Pennsylvania. Dale holds Series 6, 7, 24, 26 and 66 FINRA registrations.






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Filka Forkin, J.D.

Filka Forkin is a Corporate Vice President and Advanced Planning Consultant with New York Life Insurance Company, supporting agents as a member of the Field Team. Filka joined New York Life as a dynamic and disciplined professional, collaborating with agents and their clients on sophisticated estate, business and insurance planning cases. As a practicing attorney with a concentration in estate planning, Filka helps clients realize their overall financial goals by implementing optimal estate planning strategies for wealthy individuals and business owners. Filka earned his law degree from Barry University School of Law, Orlando, Florida and his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Florida International University. Filka served in the United States Air Force and is fluent in English and Spanish.



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Jesus O. Garcia-Briales, J.D., LL.M.

Jesus is a Corporate Vice President and Advanced Planning Consultant with New York Life Insurance Company, supporting agents working in the Latino cultural market. Jesus has significant experience in the areas of retirement, financial, and estate planning having served as an insurance professional and financial advisor, as well as a practicing attorney with an emphasis in estate planning, immigration, and litigation. Jesus earned his J.D. from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico School of Law; his LL.M. in Financial Services Law from the Chicago-Kent College of Law; and his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. He is admitted to the State Bar of Illinois and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Jesus is a Series 6 and 63 FINRA registered representative and is fluent in Spanish and English.



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J.D. Harness, J.D.

J.D. supports the agents of New York Life as an Advanced Planning Consultant on the Case Design Unit. J.D. is a skilled consultant, coaching agents on the identification and presentation of sophisticated insurance-based advanced planning solutions for affluent individuals and business owners. J.D. applies his experience and expertise in the areas of business and estate planning; and, executive benefit arrangements. J.D. started with New York Life as a Case Development Consultant with The Nautilus Group® in 2000; and, later helped manage the Coaching Series. Earlier in his career, J.D. was a Tax Auditor for the Internal Revenue Service. J.D. earned his law degree from the University of Houston and his Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Elizabeth Hill, J.D.

Elizabeth is a Corporate Vice President and Advanced Planning Consultant with New York Life Insurance Company, supporting agents as a member of the Case Design Team. Elizabeth came to New York Life with substantial experience in trusts, estate planning, and estate settlement matters. She worked for a prominent national trust company where she managed the wind down of complex estates and trusts. Prior to that, Elizabeth established and successfully grew her own law practice focused on estate planning, probate administration, and business litigation, among other areas. Elizabeth obtained her J.D. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and her B.B.A. from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. She is admitted to the State Bar of Texas.


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Jeanmarie Holm, J.D.

Jeanmarie is a manager at the Advanced Planning Group. She oversees the team of advanced planning professionals on the Case Design Unit. Jeanmarie joined New York Life in 2009 with more than 23 years’ experience in estate planning, business planning, executive benefits, qualified plans and charitable planning. Jeanmarie has been a featured speaker at industry-sponsored meetings and has been published in The Journal of Financial Service Professionals. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science (cum laude), from Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ, and earned her law degree from Western New England University School of Law in Springfield, MA, where she served as the Research Editor of the Law Review.


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John Irvin, CLU®, ChFC®, CPA

John is a manager at the Advanced Planning Group. He is dedicated to helping agents understand complex legal and financial techniques that may help clients accomplish personal and financial goals. John has an extensive professional background in corporate and personal taxation and debt restructuring. With more than 23 years at New York Life, he has had the opportunity to work closely with the best agents in the industry. John graduated from Mississippi State University.





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Amine M. Khater, J.D.

Amine is a Corporate Vice President and Advanced Planning Consultant with New York Life Insurance Company, supporting agents as a member of the Field Team. Amine came to New York Life with significant experience in wealth management, wealth transfers, taxation, and insurance matters. His experience provides Amine with an acute understanding of how to utilize insurance products to effectuate sophisticated estate and business planning strategies for New York Life’s agents’ affluent clientele. Amine obtained his J.D., with an emphasis on Tax Law, Securities Law, and Estate Planning from Delaware Law Widener University in Wilmington, Delaware; he received his B.S. in Finance from Kean University in Union, New Jersey.

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Jeff Klein, CFP®

Jeff provides agent development resources, services and training as a member of Agent Development. A skilled and thoughtful project manager, Jeff shepherds major sales and marketing initiatives from creation to implementation. Jeff joined New York Life with 27 years’ technical and practical experience. He managed a variety of business units including recruiting and marketing for a prominent financial services firm; and, as a licensed life insurance agent, worked exclusively with affluent individuals and business owners. Jeff is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in economics; and, is a Certified Financial Planner®.





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Tony Li

Tony is an Advanced Planning Consultant working with agents and clients in the Chinese cultural market.  Tony’s broad advanced planning experience and product expertise make him as a knowledgeable and skilled resource for agents working with high-net-worth individuals and business owners. Tony collaborates with agents on the use, selection, and presentation of life insurance products. He also designs customized proposals offering advanced and popular insurance-based solutions. Tony received his B.A. in Finance from Baruch College in New York, New York, and he holds a Series 6 FINRA registration.

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Joel S. Liu, J.D.

Joel is an Advanced Planning Consultant for New York Life Insurance Company, serving agents working in the Chinese cultural market. Joel came to New York Life having served as an agent and registered representative, as well as a practicing attorney with an emphasis in business planning. Joel has a unique acumen for collaborating with agents, their affluent clientele, and their professional advisers in identifying and implementing sophisticated insurance-based solutions for estate and business planning. Joel earned his J.D. from Creighton University School of Law and his B.A. in Speech Communication from the University of Nebraska. Joel is admitted to the State Bar of Nebraska.



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Antoinette Marshall, J.D., LL.M, CPA

Antoinette supports New York Life agents as an Advanced Planning Consultant with the Case Design team. Antoinette came to New York Life with substantial experience in corporate, estate, and tax planning having worked as an estate planning attorney for two prominent law practices, as well as having owned her own firm. She has also served as a tax consultant and wealth planner for high-net worth clientele. Antoinette obtained her J.D. from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana; her LL.M. in Tax Law from the University of Denver; and her B.S. in Accounting from Loyola University. She is also a licensed CPA in California and Virginia. She is admitted to the State Bars of Nevada and Virginia and is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Tax Court.

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Richard C. Martin, J.D., LL.M, MBA, CLU®, CHFC®, CFP®

Richard supports New York Life agents as an Advanced Planning Consultant. With over 20 years of experience in law, life insurance and estate planning, Rich has worked with professional advisors and agents consulting in the areas of estate, tax, retirement, and business succession planning to identify and apply sophisticated insurance-based solutions for high-net worth clientele. Rich obtained his Bachelor of Science from West Point Military Academy; MBA from Oklahoma City University; law degree from Seton Hall University Law School; and his Master of Laws in Taxation from Boston University Law School. Rich is a member of the State Bar of Connecticut and the State Bar of New York.




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Brad Penny, LUTC

Brad is a Corporate Vice President and Manager of the Virtual Consulting Team for the Advanced Planning Group, as well as the Large Life Sales Coordinator. Brad brings 20 years' insurance and financial services experience to the Advanced Planning Group. After graduating with a degree in financial planning from the University of North Texas, Brad began his career in the life insurance and financial services industry in 1996 as an agent and fee-based advisor. In 2000, he transitioned from personal production to sales management and joined New York Life as a Life Product Consultant in 2002. 

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Geoff Pfeiffer, J.D., CLU®, ChFC®, AEP®, FLMI®

Geoff supports New York Life agents in his role as an Advanced Planning Consultant on the Case Design Unit. His areas of expertise include estate planning, executive benefit plans, and business exit strategies. Geoff is active in industry organizations, including the General Agents and Managers Association, NALU, NAIFA, and NAECP. He served as a member of the National Board for the Society of Financial Services Professionals and is past-president of the Greater Phoenix and Rocky Mountain chapters. Geoff obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati and his law degree from Cincinnati Law School.




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Glenn Plotkin, J.D., CLU®, CHFC®, CFP®, CTFA®

Glenn is a Corporate Vice President and Advanced Planning Consultant with New York Life Insurance Company, supporting agents as a member of the Virtual Team. Glenn came to New York Life with over 30 years’ experience in estate and business planning law, as well as substantial experience in the insurance and financial services industries. Glenn obtained his J.D. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He received his M.S. in Business and his B.A. in Economics and Political Science, with honors, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is admitted to the State Bar of Kansas. Glenn has also earned the Chartered Life Underwriter®, Chartered Financial Consultant®, Certified Financial Planner®, and the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor® designations.

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Rick Popper, J.D.

Rick is a Corporate Vice President and Regional Manager for New York Life Insurance Company, serving General Offices in the Pacific and West Central Zones. Rick leads a team that works with top agents, their clients, and their clients' professional advisors to develop estate planning, business succession, and tax planning strategies. With 20 years' industry-related experience, Rick's past professional accomplishments as a practitioner, consultant, and business owner enable him to bring a unique perspective to his agents and their clients. Rick is a graduate of Auburn University, Alabama, and received his law degree from the University of Mississippi.




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Amanda Sarp, J.D.

Amanda supports New York Life agents as an Advanced Planning Consultant and member of the innovative Virtual Consulting Team. An engaging and thoughtful consultant, Amanda collaborates with agents, clients and other professional advisors in the area of estate planning, with an emphasis on the intricacies of trust planning and, resolving estate planning gaps for wealthy individuals. Amanda earned her law degree from Texas A&M University School of Law, Fort Worth, Texas; and, her Bachelor of Arts degree (summa cum laude) from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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Ross Sims, III, J.D.

Ross is an Advanced Planning Consultant serving agents working with wealthy individuals and business owners. Ross collaborates with agents to identify and implement optimal estate planning strategies and business solutions using complex insurance-based solutions. Earlier in his career, Ross worked as an agent for New York Life. This experience has given him a keen aptitude for developing planning techniques for large estates, successful businesses, and executive compensation. Ross earned his law degree from the Paul M. Herbert Law Center at Louisiana State University, where he received numerous academic awards, and his Bachelor of Business Administration from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.



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Ari Shah Singh, J.D., M.A.

Ari is an Advanced Planning Consultant with New York Life Insurance Company. A diligent and thoughtful specialist, Ari collaborates with agents and their affluent clients to develop customized estate and business planning options. As a legacy agent, Ari is skilled at assessing client needs and implementing sophisticated insurance-based solutions. Ari researched and authored scholarly papers working with a renowned Washington DC think tank; and, drafted legal documents and analyzed business contracts as a practitioner. Ari earned his law degree from The Pennsylvania State University, The Dickinson School of Law; and, his Master of International Affairs degree from The Pennsylvania State University. 

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Carlos Soto Raynal, J.D.

Carlos Soto Raynal is a Corporate Vice President and Advanced Planning Consultant with New York Life Insurance Company, supporting agents working in the Latino Cultural Market. Carlos came to New York Life with substantial experience in financial services, having served in a senior leadership role for two prominent wealth planning and asset management firms. Specifically, his background includes considerable experience in both domestic and international estate and business planning for ultra-high-net worth clientele across the Americas region. This focus on creating complex tax-efficient wealth strategies has provided Carlos with a keen understanding of how to assist in developing holistic and sophisticated insurance-based solutions for agents’ affluent clientele. Additionally, he has also worked as an attorney and educator on both estate planning and corporate legal matters in the United States and Mexico. Carlos obtained his J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and his LL.B from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Chihuahua, Mexico. He is admitted to the State Bar of Texas. Carlos is fluent in English and Spanish.




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Kirrupan Theivakumar, J.D.

Kirrupan is an Advanced Planning Consultant serving agents in the Asian-Indian cultural market. Kirrupan collaborates with agents to develop sophisticated and personalized insurance-based estate and business planning solutions for affluent individuals and business owners. Previously, Kirrupan worked as a case design consultant for the Case Design Team. This experience provided him with the acumen to develop effective strategies to handle in-depth estate planning matters, retirement planning concepts, business planning, and complex tax issues. In addition to receiving numerous prestigious academic awards in law school, Kirrupan also earned an advanced Corporate and Business Law Certificate. Kirrupan received his J.D. from Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey and his B.A. in Economics from Drew University.

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Sarah M. Trevino, J.D., LL.M., MBA

Sarah is the peer review specialist assisting with the Compliance and Marketing efforts for New York Life’s Advanced Planning Group and serving as editor of the Advanced Planning Library. Prior to coming to New York Life, Sarah worked as a Trust Compliance Officer for a prominent national trust company. There, she monitored compliance in trust administration and complex estate settlement matters to ensure appropriate fiduciary conformity with federal securities laws, state laws, and internal bank policy. Sarah earned her J.D. from Texas A&M University in Fort Worth, Texas; her LL.M. in Estate Planning and Trusts from the University of Illinois at Chicago; her MBA from Regis University in Denver, Colorado (summa cum laude); and a B.A. in Business Communications from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas (summa cum laude). Sarah is admitted to the State Bar of Texas.



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Brad Trevino, J.D., LL.M, MBA, MS

Brad Trevino is a Corporate Vice President and Advanced Planning Consultant with New York Life Insurance Company, supporting agents as a member of the Field Team. Brad came to New York Life with a strong background in the life insurance industry having served as both an agent and sales manager earlier in his career. Additionally, Brad worked as an attorney and litigator in private practice where he provided complex tax, business, and estate planning advice to ultra-high-net worth clientele. Brad eventually combined his expertise in estate planning and taxation with his significant knowledge of insurance products and started with New York Life as a case design consultant for the prestigious Nautilus Group®, a service of New York Life. He later moved to the Advanced Planning Group where he skillfully served as a member of the Virtual Team before joining the Field Team. Brad earned his J.D. from Louisiana State University; his LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Alabama; an MBA and MS from Indiana University; and a B.S. in Marketing from Santa Clara University.

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Beady B. Waddell III, J.D., LL.M, MBA, CLU®, CHFC®

Beady is an Advanced Planning Consultant serving agents working in the African American cultural market. Beady joined New York Life as a seasoned professional with solid credentials, blending knowledge and experience with planning and practice. Beady has trained and coached wealth advisors and life insurance agents on insurance, estate, tax, and retirement planning. Working with top-producing agents and other professional advisors, he helps tailor customized planning strategies for affluent clients and business owners. Beady received his Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degrees from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.




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Angela M. Wethor, J.D., CPA

Angela is a Corporate Vice President and Advanced Planning Consultant supporting agents as a member of the Field Team. Angela has over 20 years of experience working with money managers and their clients to help plan and implement strategies designed to meet their life insurance needs. Angela earned her J.D. (magna cum laude) from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. Angela attended undergrad at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where she earned a B.A. (summa cum laude) in Business and a second B.A. (summa cum laude) in Accounting. Angela is a member of the State Bar of Minnesota.

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Adam M. Zack, J.D.

Adam is a Corporate Vice President and Advanced Planning Consultant with New York Life Insurance Company, supporting agents as a member of the Virtual Consulting Team. He joined New York Life with significant experience in complex estate planning matters and wealth management strategies. Adam spent several years working as a consultant in the financial services industry, as well as over ten years working with high-net worth clientele for a prominent national trust company. Adam earned his J.D. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He also received a B.B.A. in Finance and a B.A. in Philosophy from The University of Texas at Austin. He is admitted to the State Bar of Texas and is a member of the Dallas Bar Association




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Gina M. Zippilli, J.D.

Gina is a Corporate Vice President and Advanced Planning Consultant with the Virtual Consulting Team. Lending her expertise in the area of advanced estate and tax planning strategies, Gina collaborates with agents to provide thoughtful skillful guidance in the identification and application of insurance-based solutions for affluent clients and business owners. Gina has significant experience in the financial services industry and legal field, having worked for two prominent national trust companies and several respected law firms. Gina obtained her Juris Doctor from Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (cum laude) from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Gina is a member of the State Bar of Texas.

















New York Life Insurance Company and its affiliates, Agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Individuals should consult with their own tax, legal, or accounting advisors before implementing any planning strategies.