Advanced Planning Group.
Collective experience. Insightful solutions.
The Advanced Planning Group consists of a team of over 30 professionals with more than 300 years’ combined experience in law, taxation, business, insurance, finance, and philanthropy, with advanced degrees and designations including Chartered Life Underwriter®, Certified Financial Planner®, Chartered Financial Consultant®, AEP®, Juris Doctor, and Certified Public Accountant.
Through your New York Life agent, you have the opportunity to consult with this nationally‐recognized group 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.
No matter where you are, your New York Life agent can bring you and your advisors together with our consultants by phone, face‐to‐face, or in a virtual environment.
Caroline K. Akers, J.D., LL.M.
Caroline is a skilled Advanced Planning Consultant supporting agents of New York Life as a member of the innovative Virtual Consulting team. She has significant legal experience counseling high net worth clients and business owners in the implementation of sound and creative business and estate planning strategies. Caroline collaborates with agents and other professional advisors on all phases of estate, business and wealth transfer planning for affluent individuals. Caroline earned her law degree from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law and her Master of Laws from Western New England University School of Law. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, graduating magna cum laude.
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.
Alan Chew, J.D., CPA, CLU®, ChFC®
Alan supports the Chinese cultural market in his role as Advanced Planning Consultant. He has been providing tax and consulting services to the financial services industry since 1995 with prestigious private sector companies and the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board. Serving New York Life since 2004, Alan started as a Case Development Consultant with The Nautilus Group®. Alan earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (with honors) and a master’s degree in professional accounting from The University of Texas at Austin; and, a law degree (cum laude) from Southern Methodist University. Alan is fluent in Mandarin and other Chinese dialects.
Walter Y. Choi, J.D., CLU®, CFP®, ®, ChFC®
Walter is a skilled and thoughtful Advanced Planning Consultant, supporting New York Life agents working in the Korean cultural market. An esteemed professional with impressive credentials and professional experience, Walter is uniquely qualified to customize actionable planning strategies for affluent clients and successful business owners. Walter is an engaging and knowledgeable speaker, and former columnist for Korean publications on estate and business planning topics. Walter received his Master’s degree in economics from The John Hopkins University and his Juris Doctor from Chapman University School of Law, Orange, California. Walter is a Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Life Underwriter.
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.
Jeremy Curtis, J.D., M.S., CFP®
Jeremy is a skilled Advanced Planning Consultant, collaborating with New York Life agents, their clients and their clients’ professional advisors in the identification and implementation of sophisticated, insurance-based estate and business planning solutions as a member of the Case Design Unit. Jeremy is an engaging speaker, prolific writer, and author. He has written significant marketing and training material; and, authored a book focused on estate planning, life insurance, and advanced planning techniques. Jeremy received his law degree (cum laude) from Texas Tech University School of Law, Lubbock, Texas; and his Master of Science in Financial Planning from Texas Tech University with an emphasis in retirement planning, life insurance and investments.
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.
Filka Forkin, J.D.
Filka is a skilled and thoughtful consultant supporting agents working in the Latino cultural market. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Mark Jansen, J.D., CPA, CLU®, ChFC®
Mark is the Advanced Planning Consultant for New York Life Insurance Company. With 23 years in the financial services industry, Mark brings a creative and comprehensive approach to using insurance products in estate and business planning. He is known for his insightful teachings and conversational-style presentations. Mark graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School (cum laude).
Sergio Jimenez, J.D., ChFC®
Sergio is an Advanced Planning Consultant working with agents and clients in the Latino cultural market. Sergio is a seasoned professional with solid credentials, blending knowledge and experience with planning and practice. He collaborates with select producers and Council agents in the Latino market across the United States, developing and coordinating insurance-based estate and business planning strategies for their clients. Sergio earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and his law degree from Concord Law School. Sergio is a member of the State Bar of California and holds a California life insurance license. He is proficient in Spanish and English.
Lynn R. King, J.D.
Lynn is an Advanced Planning Consultant for New York Life Insurance Company. In her role, Lynn collaborates with agents and their high net worth and business owner clients on actionable estate and business planning strategies. Lynn joined New York Life as a seasoned professional with solid credentials. She specializes in succession planning, asset preservation and wealth transfer techniques. Lynn received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance and Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and, received her law degree from The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois.
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®.
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 position 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; and, designs customized proposals offering advanced and popular insurance-based solutions.Tony received his Bachelor of Arts degree in finance from Baruch College, New York, New York; and, holds a Series 6 FINRA registration.
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.
Sarah L. Murphy, J.D., 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 a Bachelor of Arts in Business Communications from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas (summa cum laude); her MBA from Regis University in Denver, Colorado (summa cum laude); and her Juris Doctor from Texas A&M University in Fort Worth, Texas. Sarah is a member of the State Bar of Texas.
Lillie Nkenchor, J.D.
Lillie supports New York Life agents in her role as an Advanced Planning Consultant.She has written articles for various insurance and legal publications. Lillie also serves on several committees dedicated to trust and tax planning. She is currently the President of the National Bar Association's Tax Section. Lillie obtained her Bachelor of Science in Public Health/Biology from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey; and her law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law, New Jersey.
Pratik Patel, J.D.
Pratik is an Advanced Planning Consultant for New York Life Insurance Company, serving agents working in the Asian-Indian cultural market. Pratik handles complex tax issues and planning strategies with ease as he counsels agents and their clients in the areas of estate, retirement and business planning. Pratik received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from the University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois; and, earned his law degree from Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis, Indiana.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kirrupan Theivakumar, J.D.
Kirrupan serves New York Life agents as an Advanced Planning Consultant and member of the Case Design Team. Kirrupan collaborates with agents to develop sophisticated and personalized insurance-based estate and business planning solutions for affluent individuals and business owners. In addition to receiving numerous prestigious academic awards in law school, Kirrupan also earned an advanced Corporate and Business Law Certificate. Kirrupan received his law degree from Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey and his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Drew University.
Brad Trevino, J.D., LL.M, MBA
Brad is an Advanced Planning Consultant with the Virtual Consulting Team. Brad served as both an agent and sales manager earlier in his career. Additionally, Brad previously worked in private practice providing thoughtful tax and estate planning advice to ultra-high-net worth clientele. Brad eventually combined his expertise in estate planning and taxation with his considerable knowledge of insurance products joining the Company as a case design consultant for The Nautilus Group®, a service of New York Life. Brad earned his law degree from Louisiana State University; his LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Alabama; an MBA from Indiana University; and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Santa Clara University.
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.
Angela M. Wethor, J.D., CPA
Angela is a Corporate Vice President and Advanced Planning Consultant supporting agents as a member of the Virtual Consulting 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 juris doctor (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 Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude) in Business and a second Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude) in Accounting. Angela is a member of the State Bar of Minnesota.
Melissa Winn, J.D., LL.M.
Melissa supports New York Life agents in her role as an Advanced Planning Consultant. Melissa is a skilled specialist, collaborating with agents and their high net worth and business owner clients in the areas of succession planning and wealth transfer techniques; qualified plans and executive benefits. Melissa earned her law degree from William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia; and received her Master of Laws in Taxation from New York University School of Law with a concentration in the taxation of trusts and estates. She earned her Bachelor of Arts (magna cum laude) in English literature from Wellesley College, Massachusetts. Melissa is fluent in French and conversational in Japanese.
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.
Neither New York Life Insurance Company nor its Agents provides legal, tax, or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal, or accounting professionals before making any decisions.