Our Team

  • Kenneth R. Smith, CFP®, MS Chief Executive Officer | Principal

    Kenneth R. Smith, CFP®, MS

    Ken is the Chief Executive Officer of Empirical Wealth Management. He guides the firm’s long-term strategy and is a senior financial advisor.  Ken is passionate about educating individuals on how to become smarter investors. He hosted an informative financial radio show titled “Empirical Investing Radio” on VoiceAmerica and has designed a proprietary program “Empirical Income Planner” to help individuals plan for retirement.
    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    Education
    • College for Financial Planning
      • Master’s in Financial Analysis
    • University of Arizona
      • Bachelor’s in Finance and Accounting
    Personal Interests
    • Ken is a 1st degree Black Belt in the Kajukenbo martial arts system.
    • Writing a book on personal finance
  • Lindsay Farnsworth, IACCP® Financial and Operations Manager

    Lindsay Farnsworth, IACCP®

    As Chief Compliance Officer, Lindsay oversees the development and execution of Empirical’s policies and procedures to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations. Lindsay is an integral part of Empirical’s operations, and works diligently to maintain billing, bookkeeping, and client greeting in addition to her compliance duties.
    Professional Designation
    • Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional®
    Education
    • University of Montana
      • Bachelor's in Business Administration
        • Major in Marketing and Management
    Personal Interests
    • Running
    • Golfing
    • Photography
  • James A. Jones II, JD, CPA, MPAcc Director of Tax and Wealth Transfer | Principal

    James A. Jones II, JD, CPA, MPAcc

    As Director of Tax and Wealth Transfer, Jim applies his tax and legal expertise to guide the firm’s tax planning and wealth transfer strategies. He provides proactive tax planning solutions to high net worth individuals, families, and their businesses. Jim works with clients to develop estate plans and applies advanced estate and gift tax planning techniques in accordance with each client’s needs. Jim also provides his expertise as a member of the Financial Planning Committee, which develops innovative planning solutions for clients.
    Professional Designation
    • Certified Public Accountant
    Education
    • University of Washington School of Law
      • Juris Doctor (JD)
    • University of Washington
      • Master's in Professional Accounting (Auditing and Assurance)
      • Bachelor's in Business Administration
    Community Involvement
    • Player Agent and Executive Board Member, Issaquah Little League
    • Youth Soccer Coach, ISC Gunners FC
    • Youth Basketball Coach, Issaquah Parks and Recreation
    • Youth Baseball Coach, Issaquah Little League
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with wife, Katie, and their two sons, James and Liam
    • Reading
    • Playing basketball
    • Sports Coaching
  • Taylor M. Larson, CPA Senior Tax Manager

    Taylor M. Larson, CPA

    As a Tax Manager with Empirical, Taylor works with high net worth individuals, families and businesses to formulate and implement tax strategies to reduce their tax burden. With her extensive background in tax preparation and strategic tax planning, Taylor brings a depth of knowledge that can be coordinated with clients’ cash flow and retirement planning.
    Professional Designation
    • Certified Public Accountant
    Education
    • Central Michigan University
      • Bachelor's in Business Administration
    Community Involvement
    • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
    • Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants
    • Saturday Academy - Board Member
    Personal Interests
    • Playing soccer
    • Hiking with her dogs
    • Board games
    • Exploring new restaurants
  • Ethan Broga, CFP®, MS Director of Financial Planning | Principal

    Ethan Broga, CFP®, MS

    As a partner with Empirical Wealth Management, Ethan works to develop, implement and monitor sound financial strategies designed to grow and protect the wealth of individuals, families and non-profit organizations. Ethan is the head of the Financial Planning Committee which oversees the development and expertise of Empirical’s financial planning recommendations. Rather than just another “financial advisor,” Ethan describes his primary role as that of a trusted “Personal Financial Advocate” who weighs the impact of each financial decision within the unique context of each client’s overall financial plan. Ethan is a Northwest native and has been in the financial industry since 1998. He lives in the West Seattle neighborhood of Seattle with his wife Corie and his two children Carsen and True.
    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    Education
    • College for Financial Planning
      • Master's in Financial Planning
    • Washington State University
      • Bachelor's in Finance
    Community Involvement
    • The Skagit Land Trust
    • Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association
    Personal Interests
    • Playing guitar
    • Playing soccer
    • Paddle boarding
    • Golfing
    • Trivia
  • Maggie Chi Liu, MBA, MS Financial Advisor | Director of Asian Client Services

    Maggie Chi Liu, MBA, MS

    As a Financial Advisor with over 17 years of experience, Maggie spent 12 years in brokerage branch management and 5 years in financial planning and investment management. She guides her clients through each financial decision and dedicates her passion in leading her clients to accomplish financial goals. Maggie is well-versed in working with Chinese speaking clientele, retirement planning, tax efficiency strategies, and executive compensation plans. She is a military spouse sustaining 4 active duties with her husband and one son over the past 10 years, which is another devoted cause of hers to support military families in the Family Readiness Group.
    Education
    • Golden Gate University
      • Master's in Taxation
    • Seattle City University
      • Master of Business Administration in Financial Management
    • Washington State University
      • Bachelor's in Business Marketing
    Community Involvement
    • 361st PSYOP Family Readiness Group
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with family
    • Traveling
    • Building LEGO
    • Visiting museums
    • Attending live performing arts
  • Shan Zubair, CFP®, MS Financial Advisor | Principal

    Shan Zubair, CFP®, MS

    Shan has been with Empirical Wealth Management since 2007 and has extensive knowledge in the implementation of the firm’s investment management, tax minimization and financial planning strategies. A native to the Pacific Northwest, Shan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance and a Master of Science in Finance from the Albers School of Business at Seattle University.
    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    • Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor
    Education
    • Seattle University
      • Master's in Finance
      • Bachelor’s in Finance
    • University of Washington
      • Certification in Business Development
    Community Involvement
    • Former Member of the Business Leadership Council of Washington DECA
    • Former Board of Trustees at KidsQuest Children’s Museum
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time outdoors with his wife, kids, friends, and family
  • Jaime Paris, CFA®, CAIA®, MA Senior Portfolio Manager

    Jaime Paris, CFA®, CAIA®, MA

    As a Senior Portfolio Manager, Jaime is dedicated to providing clients with customized portfolio solutions. She carefully implements and monitors each strategy to ensure they cater to her clients' investment objectives. Jaime also works closely with the Investment Management team to conduct research, monitor market developments, and execute daily trading processes. Jaime has 6 years of prior experience in financial services, and her career includes working at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and a hedge fund, King Street Capital Management.
    Professional Designation
    • Chartered Financial Analyst
    • Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst
    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Master's in Economics
    • Pennsylvania State University, Honor College, Summa Cum Laude
      • Bachelor's in Finance and Economics
    Personal Interests
    • Traveling
    • Running, having completed 3 marathons
    • Fitness and teaching fitness classes
  • Lorne Enquist, CPA/PFS, MPAcc Chief Financial Officer | Principal

    Lorne Enquist, CPA/PFS, MPAcc

    As a partner with Empirical, Lorne manages portfolios and shares his tax consulting experience for strategic tax planning for Empirical clients. Lorne has a combined 20 years of experience advising his clients on their tax and financial affairs. Lorne is a member of the financial planning committee which develops innovative planning solutions for clients. Lorne works with clients to prepare customized financial plans based on their unique needs, resources and goals. He helps them implement the plan with practical strategies, in order to navigate the complexities of their financial lives, building on strengths and addressing weaknesses. He provides ongoing monitoring and revising to meet their goals as well as their lifestyle.
    Professional Designation
    • Certified Public Accountant / Personal Financial Specialist
    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Master's in Professional Accounting in Taxation
      • Bachelor's in Accounting
    Community Involvement
    • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with his wife Tyera, daughter Maggie, and son Jackson
    • Spectating his children's sporting events
  • Jaime White Chief Operating Officer

    Jaime White

    As Chief Operating Officer, Jaime manages the firm's daily operations and its strategies to implement its long-term growth objectives. She returned to Empirical after founding a consulting firm that focused on media relations, partnerships, growth strategies and business operations management. Jaime encompasses the unique combination of linear and creative thinking skills, allowing her to think disruptively while still minding the fundamentals of running a profitable business. She is committed to creating an environment that facilitates the best possible experience for our clients, business partners, and employees.
    Education
    • Seattle University
      • Bachelor's in Finance
    Community Involvement
    • Seattle Humane Society
    Personal Interests
    • Fitness and Nutrition
    • Cooking
  • Simon Liu, PMP®, CMFC® Chief Marketing Technology Officer | Principal

    Simon Liu, PMP®, CMFC®

    As Chief Marketing Technology Officer, Simon manages the technology and marketing needs for Empirical. He works to maintain and develop efficiencies with the tools our advisory team uses and ensures that our clients’ personal data is kept private and secure. With a keen eye for design, Simon works closely with the partners to develop and improve the Empirical brand. Through the use of technology, they work to enhance each client’s experience with his or her advisor, building trust and clarity. With a background in portfolio management and as an associate advisor, Simon has a clear understanding of what is required to stay at the forefront of our clients’ needs.
    Professional Designation
    • Project Management Professional ®
    • Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor ℠
    Education

     

    • University of Washington
      • Bachelor's in Economics
    Personal Interests
    • Cooking
    • Traveling
    • Exercising
    • Dining
    • Technology and Gadgets
  • Tassie Medlin, CFP®, CMA®, MBA Financial Advisor

    Tassie Medlin, CFP®, CMA®, MBA

    As a financial advisor, Tassie helps clients make the world a better place, one informed financial decision at a time. Teaching financial fundamentals and goal-focused planning to individuals of all ages and entrepreneurs at all stages is a vital part of her life work. Tassie especially enjoys helping professionals and business owners who are committed to using wealth to accomplish their passion projects through comprehensive financial planning.
    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    • CERTIFIED MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANT
    • Life and Health Insurance Licensed in
      • Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Idaho, and Kansas
    Education
    • College for Financial Planning
      • Certificate in Financial Planning
    • University of Oregon
      • Master's in Business Administration
    • Colorado Mesa University
      • Bachelor's in Computer Science
      • Bachelor's in Business Administration
    Community Involvement
    • Financial Planning Association
    • Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance
    • Institute of Management Accountants
    Personal Interests
    • Exploring new worlds, real and imagined
    • Creative and artistic endeavors
    • Seeking joy in games and technology
  • Michael Kelly, CFA®, CFP®, EA, MS President | Chief Wealth Strategist | Principal

    Michael Kelly, CFA®, CFP®, EA, MS

    As the President and Chief Wealth Strategist, Michael is responsible for overseeing the execution of the firm's long-term vision and strategy. He leads the investment committee and oversees the creation and design of Empirical's investment strategies. Michael works directly with institutions and individual clients to design custom solutions to achieve their financial goals. Michael previously served as Empirical's Chief Investment Officer. Prior to Empirical, he worked as an Institutional Portfolio Specialist serving governments, corporations, non-profits, and other organizations around the world. In this role he reviewed and counseled on investment policy statement design, communicated portfolio strategy details, and led the team’s client servicing efforts. He was a Senior Equity Research Analyst and part of a team that managed over $100 billion of assets across 20 active equity strategies. He covered the Health Care, Financials, Consumer Staples, Utilities, Communication Services, and the Real Estate sectors. He co-authored a book discussing the details and complexities of investing in Health Care equities.
    Professional Designation
    • Chartered Financial Analyst
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    • IRS Enrolled Agent
    Education
    • Saint Xavier University
      • Master's in Finance
    • Illinois State University
      • Bachelor's in Finance and Marketing
    Community Involvement
    • Board Member - Multnomah Athletic Foundation
    • CFA Society of Portland
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with his wife, Megan, and two sons.
    • Listening to live music
    • Hiking
  • Cristina Campbell, CFP® Financial Advisor

    Cristina Campbell, CFP®

    Cristina brings over thirteen years industry experience, with an emphasis in helping her clients develop, implement and monitor the success of their financial plans. Through comprehensive planning, Cristina partners with clients to develop tax efficient investment strategies that best align with their lifetime goals. Prior to joining Empirical, Cristina worked for Fidelity Investments, serving as a Financial Consultant. In this role she helped high net worth households achieve their financial objectives through comprehensive planning. Cristina began her career in financial services in 2008, working at Charles Schwab serving as subject matter expert in retirement products and strategies.
    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    • Life Insurance Licensed
      • CA Insurance License #0J02065
    Education
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Certificate in Financial Planning
    • Sonoma State University
      • Bachelor's in Business Administration
    Community Involvement
    • Fundraiser and participant, Boston Marathon for Ellis Memorial
    • Food delivery to chronically ill, Project Open Hand
    • Financial education and literacy, Local Community
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with family and friends
    • Snowboarding
    • Playing tennis
    • Hiking
  • Erik Lehr, CFA®, CAIA®, MS, MA Chief Investment Officer | Principal

    Erik Lehr, CFA®, CAIA®, MS, MA

    As Chief Investment Officer, Erik oversees portfolio research, investment strategy execution, and the Portfolio Management team. He works directly with clients to develop and maintain their investment portfolios. Additionally, Erik is the Portfolio Manager of the Empirical Alternative Income Fund, LP. Outside of work, Erik is an active member of his community and serves on several city boards and commissions.
    Professional Designation
    • Chartered Financial Analyst
    • Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst
    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Master’s in Computational Finance and Risk Management
    • University of Oregon
      • Master’s in Economics
      • Bachelor’s in Economics and Mathematics

     

    Community Involvement
    • Chapter Executive - CAIA Society (Seattle Chapter)
    • Board Member – Beaverton Urban Renewal Advisory Committee
    • Board Member – Five Oaks/Triple Creek Neighborhood Association Committee
    • Board Member – Beaverton Committee for Community Involvement
    • CFA Society of Portland
    • Portland Alternative Investment Association
    • City Club of Portland
    Personal Interests
    • Scuba diving
    • Traveling
    • Spending time with his three dachshunds
  • Grace Kammeyer, JD, LL.M Tax Manager

    Grace Kammeyer, JD, LL.M

    As a tax manager, Grace works closely with clients to identify tax saving opportunities and implement coordinated tax planning strategies that complement her clients' overall financial plan. As a Tucson, AZ native, Grace moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where she earned her California State Bar and her Masters of Law in Tax Law and Estate Planning. Outside of work, Grace loves to spend time outdoors, whether it be skiing, running, or paddle boarding on Lake Tahoe.
    Professional Designation
    • California State Bar
    Education
    • University of Arizona
      • Bachelor's in Classics
      • Bachelor's in Political Science
    • Golden Gate University School of Law
      • Juris Doctor (JD)
    • University of San Francisco
      • Master's in Taxation Law  (LL.M)
    Personal Interests
    • Skiing
    • Water skiing
    • Traveling
    • Animal Rescue
  • Mark B. Umek, CFP® Financial Advisor

    Mark B. Umek, CFP®

    As a financial advisor with 15 years of experience, Mark is dedicated to providing clients with sound financial advice and exceptional service. He guides his clients through the financial planning process to create a plan that acts as their financial road map. Plans are then monitored on an ongoing basis to identify any necessary adjustments. Mark hopes his clients will consider him their most trusted advisor and advocate. He lives in Camas, WA with his wife Jenna and their two boys.
    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    Education
    • San Diego State University
      • Executive Financial Planner Advanced Certificate
    • California State University, Long Beach
      • Bachelor's in Business Administration
    Community Involvement
    • Financial Planning Association of Oregon & S.W. Washington
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with his family and friends
    • Watching movies and sporting events
  • Jessica Roks, CFP® Financial Advisor

    Jessica Roks, CFP®

    A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Jessica has over 12 years of experience working with high and ultra-high net worth individuals and families in the areas of investments, employee benefits, retirement planning, tax planning, risk management, estate planning, and education planning. Jessica is passionate about helping clients attain financial peace of mind and achieve their objectives through customized, goals-based financial planning.
    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    Education
    • University of California, San Diego
      • Bachelor’s in Economics
      • Bachelor’s in Psychology
    • College for Financial Planning
      • Certificate in Financial Planning
    Community Involvement
    • Orange County Audubon Society
    • Girl Scouts of the USA
    Personal Interests
    • Attending live music events
    • Travel and sightseeing
    • Spending time with friends and family
  • Thomas Boyer, CFP®, MS Financial Advisor

    Thomas Boyer, CFP®, MS

    As a financial advisor with over 20 years of experience, Thomas spent 10 years working exclusively with fortune 500 corporate executives to provide advice on executive retirement benefits, financial planning, and investment management. He enjoys partnering with clients to provide unbiased investment advice tailored to help them achieve and preserve their financial freedom. Thomas lives in San Rafael, CA with his wife, son, and their two dogs.

    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    Education
    • San Diego State University
      • Master's in Finance
    • Northern Arizona University
      • Bachelor's in Economics
    Community Involvement
    • Northern California Financial Planning Association
    • FINRA Arbitrator
    Personal Interests
    • Hiking
    • Biking
    • Golf
    • Hanging out with the family
  • Tanya E. Rhodes, CFA®, CFP® Portfolio Manager

    Tanya E. Rhodes, CFA®, CFP®

    As a Portfolio Manager, Tanya applies her extensive investment industry experience of over 30 years to Empirical client portfolios to ensure that they are managed in accordance with the specific client’s risk and return objectives and that the portfolio investments will support their financial goals into the future. Her career includes positions with investment advisors serving institutional and high net worth clients, trust companies, consultants, and The Washington State Investment Board. Tanya holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional designations, which in combination gives her a holistic perspective to portfolio management.
    Professional Designation
    • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®)
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP®)
    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Bachelor's in Economics
    Community Involvement
    • Member of the Financial Planning Association of Puget Sound
    • Member of the CFA® Society of Seattle
    • Member of the Seattle Alternative Investments Association
  • Jason Sulkosky, CFP® Financial Advisor

    Jason Sulkosky, CFP®

    As a financial advisor for over 18 years, Jason is committed to building close relationships with his clients. He values a pleasant wealth management experience that is built on a foundation of clear communication, trust and setting proper expectations. Having worked with both individual clients and 401k plan sponsors, Jason is well versed with formulating investment and planning strategies to successfully meet his client’s goals.
    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Bachelor's in Business Finance
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with his wife, Arianna
    • Playing a round of golf
  • Courtney Campbell Associate Financial Advisor

    Courtney Campbell

    Courtney manages and supports the Portland office to ensure a positive experience for both client and employee alike. She brings with her a tenured experience in administration and project management, working closely with C-Suite executives. Courtney is passionate in promoting social and environmental sustainability and has served on committees that support these initiatives.
    Education
    • Grand Canyon University, Summa Cum Laude
      • Bachelor's in Psychology
      • Bachelor's in Justice Studies
      • Paralegal Certification
    Personal Interests
    • Travel
    • Outdoor Activities
    • Indulging in Portland's food scene
  • Jordan Edwards, CFA®, CFP® Financial Advisor

    Jordan Edwards, CFA®, CFP®

    Jordan is a financial advisor with over 12 years of experience helping clients achieve their financial goals. Jordan has worked closely with tech executives and business owners, implementing strategies to minimize their taxes and diversify concentrated positions. Jordan is passionate in helping clients grow and protect their wealth while being mindful of the impact taxes have on their long-term financial plan. Jordan moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2016 after living in Texas most of his life and is an avid winter sports enthusiast. Jordan has a passion for helping those with special needs and volunteers with Outdoors for All to teach people with disabilities how to adapt and enjoy the amazing outdoor activities the Northwest offers.  
    Professional Designation
    •  Chartered Financial Analyst
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    Education
    •  Texas A&M University
      • Bachelor’s in Economics
    Community Involvement
    •  Outdoors for All – Stand Snowboard Instructor
    • CFA Society of Seattle
    Personal Interests
    •  Winter sports
    • Hiking with his dog, Dakota
    • Being on the water
  • Joseph C. Mercado Director of Business Development

    Joseph C. Mercado

    Joe is the Director of Business Development and Strategic Initiatives. He is responsible for growing the firm through the maintenance and expansion of current business relationships, mergers and acquisitions, and opening new markets for expansion. Additionally, he works closely with the Advisory team to ensure all clients are provided the best service and works to continually improve the client experience.
    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Bachelors of Art
    • Harvard University
      • Strategic Business Management
    Community Involvement
    • Orphans of Asia
    Personal Interests
    • Golf
    • Tennis
    • Basketball
    • Camping
  • Wendy Dai, MS Senior Tax Associate

    Wendy Dai, MS

    Wendy works closely with Empirical Tax Managers to provide tax planning and compliance for high-net-worth individuals, families, and their businesses. With her extensive background in tax, finance, and risk management, Wendy is dedicated to helping clients identify tax saving opportunities and implement tax strategies that complement clients’ overall financial plan.
    Education
    • University of San Francisco
      • Master's in Financial Analysis
    • Golden Gate University
      • Master's in Taxation
    Personal Interests
    • Yoga
    • Hiking
    • Traveling
    • Cooking
    • Restaurants
    • Museums
  • Brian Reed, CFP®, MS Financial Advisor

    Brian Reed, CFP®, MS

    As a financial advisor at Empirical Wealth Management, Brian works to develop personalized financial planning strategies for our clients focusing on tax minimization, wealth management, and cash flow analysis. Brian is passionate about learning each client’s retirement goals and values to create a comprehensive financial plan while maximizing and protecting their wealth. With his prior experience as a portfolio manager, Brian is well versed in the relationship between financial planning and investment management and how to best implement each client specific strategy.
    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    Education
    • Seattle University
      • Master's in Finance
    • University of Washington
      • Bachelor's in Economics
    Community Involvement
    • Humane Society
    Personal Interests
    • Fly fishing
    • Camping throughout the great Northwest
  • Maria Healey Operations Specialist

    Maria Healey

    With over 15 years of experience in the finance industry, Maria is passionate in providing a world-class experience for her clients.  She works closely with the Advisory teams to provide operational and administrative support. Maria strives for continuous improvement not only in the work she performs but also between the teams she works with.
    Education
    • Philippine School of Business Administration, QC, Philippines
      • Bachelor's in Business Administration
    Personal Interests
    • Bowling
    • Volleyball
    • 80's Music
    • Movies 
  • Gili Hadari Office Manager

    Gili Hadari

    Gili provides support to the Seattle office and helps manage the day to day activities to ensure a positive experience for both clients and employees.  She comes to Empirical with a background in project management, administration and hospitality where she developed her propensity for applying creative solutions to complex problems. Gili is passionate about her community and has an affinity to build relationships and create meaningful experiences.
    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Project Management Certificate
    • Hebrew university of Jerusalem
      • Bachelor's Latin American Studies
    Personal Interests
    • Traveling
    • Yoga
    • Music
    • Spending time with friends & family
    • Learning new languages
  • Shannon Bene, CFP®, MBA, ECA Financial Advisor

    Shannon Bene, CFP®, MBA, ECA

    With over 20 years of experience, Shannon is committed to helping his clients and their families implement and maintain strong financial planning, investment management, tax minimization strategies, and estate planning. His passion started as a young adult, having always been interested in understanding personal finance and how to optimize one's wealth, Shannon dedicated himself to learn through formal education, leading organizations, and knowledgeable individual. Seeing his clients realize their financial goals, achieve a peace of mind about their finances all the while developing a great working relationship is what drives him further in his craft. Along with his wife, Ellen, and two children, Shannon enjoys playing in the forests, mountains, and waters of the Pacific Northwest.
    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    • Equity Compensation Associate (ECA)
    Education
    • Boston College
      • Master's in Business Administration
    • Southern Methodist University
      • Bachelor’s in Arts
    Community Involvement
    • Northwest Trail Alliance
    Personal Interests
    • Mountain biking
    • Bicycle restoration
    • Soccer
  • Chance Leiseth, CFP® Financial Advisor

    Chance Leiseth, CFP®

    As a financial advisor, Chance has over 10 years of experience working with high-net-worth individuals and families. He enjoys partnering with his clients to identify and create a roadmap to their financial goals. Chance is skilled in tax-efficient wealth planning and enjoys simplifying complex financial strategies to his clients.

    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    • Life and Health Insurance Licensed in
      • CA
    Education
    • University of Idaho
      • Bachelor’s in Business Marketing
    Community Involvement
    • Solano County Search and Rescue
    Personal Interests
    • Surfing, skiing, and hiking
    • Traveling the world and experiencing new adventures
    • Spending time with my wife and pets
  • Robert Thomas, CPA Financial Advisor

    Robert Thomas, CPA

    As a financial advisor, Robert is passionate about helping clients navigate important life decisions and building lasting relationships. He brings a wealth of knowledge when it comes implementing tax reduction strategies into client’s financial plans.  Robert takes a proactive planning approach to ensure strategies are implemented timely and accurately.  He is a Wisconsin native and now lives in Coto De Caza with his wife Trina.
    Professional Designation
    • Certified Public Accountant
    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Bachelor’s in Accounting

     

    Personal Interests
    • Skiing
    • Golf
    • Tennis
    • Cycling
    • Guitar
    • Reading
  • Justin Buller, IACCP® Chief Compliance Officer

    Justin Buller, IACCP®

    Justin has over 22 years of experience in the investment management industry, with a deep knowledge of investment operations, trading and served as CCO to a Seattle-based registered investment adviser for over 10 years. His thorough understanding of the investment adviser regulatory landscape helps ensure Empirical maintains the highest level of ethical business practices and upholds its fiduciary obligation of always placing our clients’ interests first.
    Professional Designation
    • IACCP® – Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional
    Education
    • Seattle University
      • Bachelor's in Finance
    Personal Interests
    • Enjoys spending time with his wife and four children
    • Owns horses and goats on their property
    • Accomplished amateur golfer
  • John Miller, CPA Associate Financial Advisor

    John Miller, CPA

    As an Associate Financial Advisor, John collaborates with advisors and clients to assist in developing and implementing financial plans. John has previous experience as an associate portfolio manager. He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in business administration with an accounting and HR management double major from the University of Washington. John is a Certified Public Accountant and is pursuing the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional designation.
    Professional Designation
    • Certified Public Accountant
    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Bachelor’s in Business Administration
        • Major in Accounting and HR Management
    Community Involvement
    • Youth Group Leader for Saint Teresa of Calcutta
    Personal Interests
    • Hiking and Climbing
    • Traveling
    • Cooking
    • Jiujitsu
  • Paul Kim, CPA Tax Manager

    Paul Kim, CPA

    As a tax manager at Empirical, Paul provides tax planning and compliance for high-net-worth individuals, families, and their businesses. With his extensive background in tax preparation, planning, and compliance, Paul is dedicated to helping clients implement tax strategies according to each individual client's needs.
    Professional Designation
    • Certified Public Accountant
    Education
    • California State University, Fullerton
      • Bachelor's in Accounting and Finance
    Personal Interests
    • Golf
    • Tennis
    • Cycling
    • Traveling
    • Playing the guitar and bass
  • Ming Chou Operations Manager

    Ming Chou

    With over 20 years of experience in the finance industry, Ming is dedicated to helping clients achieve their financial goals. He supports Financial Advisors by facilitating the client onboarding process, maintaining documents throughout the client journey and various other internal processes. Ming strives to provide an exceptional client experience and is always working to make improvements.
    Education
    • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
      • Bachelor's in Business Administration
    Personal Interests
    • Watching sports
    • Watching movies
    • Traveling
    • Spending time with family and friends
  • Kevin Fitzsimon Associate Financial Advisor

    Kevin Fitzsimon

    As an Associate Financial Advisor, Kevin works alongside Empirical's financial advisors to assist in the execution and implementation of the various aspects of clients' financial plans and investment strategies. He is eager in helping clients reach their financial goals and is committed to providing an exemplary client experience.
    Education
    • Chapman University
      • Bachelor's in Economics
      • Minor in Nutrition
    Personal Interests
    • Cooking
    • Baseball
    • Fishing
    • Golf
    • Movies
  • Jake Larson Associate Financial Advisor

    Jake Larson

    As an Associate Financial Advisor, Jake collaborates with Financial Advisors and clients to assist in the development and implementation of financial plans. Before coming to Empirical, Jake held positions working directly with individuals to understand their goals and guide them towards future success. These experiences have cultivated and shaped his ability to be a mindful listener. He is passionate about behavioral finance and helping clients learn how they can make better financial decisions to improve their lives.
    Education
    • George Fox University
      • Bachelor’s in Mathematics
    • Adams State University
      • Master’s in Education
    Community Involvement
    • Volunteer for Foster Parents’ Night Out
    Personal Interests
    • Tennis
    • Watching Sports
    • Outdoors
    • Time with wife, Crystal, and golden retriever, Ellie
  • Charles Cheung Associate Financial Advisor

    Charles Cheung

    As an Associate Financial Advisor, Charles works closely with lead Financial Advisors during the implementation process and provides on-going maintenance of client relationships. With 20 years of financial industry experience, he has cultivated the foresight to recognize the importance of a trusted financial advisor that always acts in the best interest of their clients. Charles strives to provide exemplary, honest service and is eager to build lasting relationship with clients.
    Professional Designation
    • Life & Health Insurance Licensed in
      • California & Washington
    Education
    • Arizona State University
      • Bachelor’s in Business Finance
      • Minor in International Business
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with friends & family
    • Travel and outdoor activities
  • Kevin Byrd, MS Associate Financial Advisor

    Kevin Byrd, MS

    As an Associate Financial Advisor, Kevin works closely with Financial Advisors and clients to assist in tailoring a financial plan specific to each client’s unique situation and goals. Kevin’s passion for helping others achieve financial freedom and stability began with helping friends and family during his time in the U.S Army. Prior to Empirical, Kevin worked with student Veterans to guide them along their educational path and assist with any financial hardships they may have experienced.
    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Master’s in Business Analytics
    • Pacific Lutheran University
      • Bachelor's in Business Administration
    Personal Interests
    • Backpacking throughout the PNW
    • Drag Racing
    • Woodworking
  • Mustafa Binns Associate Financial Advisor

    Mustafa Binns

    As an Associate Financial Advisor, Mustafa works closely with financial advisors to assist in the development and implementation of financial plans and investment strategies. He enjoys building meaningful relationships with clients and is passionate in providing clients peace of mind. Prior to Empirical, Mustafa held positions in the wealth management, retail banking and even as an entertainment business manager.
    Professional Designation
    • Life Insurance license in Washington
    Education
    • Bellevue College
      • Bachelor's in Data Analytics
    Personal Interests
    • Dancing
    • Traveling
    • Weight Training
    • Dining
    • Music
  • Jack M. Mazzera Associate Portfolio Manager

    Jack M. Mazzera

    As an Associate Portfolio Manager, Jack works hand in hand with Advisors and Tax Managers to build and manage customized investment allocations for our clients. His affinity for numbers and attention to detail lends naturally to optimizing, monitoring, and trading client portfolios. Prior to joining Empirical in 2021, Jack worked as an Investment Specialist at a Bay Area R.I.A. firm, and as an Associate at First Republic Bank. He began his investment career at Morgan Stanley.
    Education
    • San Francisco State University
      • Bachelor's in Business Administration
    Community Involvement
    • Alameda Food Bank
    • SF Burrito Project
    Personal Interests
    • Love anything and everything outdoors – camping, mountain biking, skiing, golfing, biking
    • Traveling to new places
    • Spending time with family & friends
    • Poker and chess
  • William Chan Tax Manager

    William Chan

    As a tax manager with over 16 years of experience, William works directly with individuals, families, and businesses to prepare taxes and identify tax minimization opportunities. He works together with clients and their advisors to develop and implement strategies to help reduce their tax burden. Prior to joining Empirical, William worked at an affluent family office as a member of their tax team.

    Education
    • San Francisco State University
      • Bachelor's in Economics
    Community Involvement
    • Hiking
    • Traveling
    • Basketball
    • Cooking
    • Spending time with family
  • Samuel Platcow Associate Financial Advisor

    Samuel Platcow

    As an Associate Financial Advisor with Empirical Wealth Management, Sam works closely with Financial Advisors to assist clients in achieving their short and long-term financial goals.  He enjoys developing relationships and is passionate about always trying to exceed client expectations.  Prior to Empirical, Sam has held positions in Wealth Management as an administrator, Customer Service Associate, and Insurance agent.
    Professional Designation
    • Life and Health Insurance Licensed in Washington
    Education
    • Reichman University
      • Bachelor’s in Business Administration (Specialization in Finance)
    Personal Interests
    • Weight Training
    • Cooking
    • Collecting Vinyl Records
    • Coffee
  • Scott Budgell Operations Specialist

    Scott Budgell

    With over 25 years of financial services industry experience, Scott is dedicated to helping clients achieve their financial goals. He supports Financial Advisors by facilitating the client onboarding process, maintaining documents throughout the client journey, and various internal processes. Scott strives to provide an exceptional client experience and is always looking to improve the process.
    Education
    • Salem State College
      • Business Administration – Concentration Management
      • Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Business Management
    Personal Interests
    • Weight resistance training
    • Cardio Boxing
    • Nutrition and supplementation
    • All Boston sports teams (Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, Bruins, New England Revolution)
    • Travel to Nassau, Bahamas and Cancun, Mexico
  • Mia Zhao, CFP® Financial Advisor

    Mia Zhao, CFP®

    Mia began her career in the financial services industry in 2012. She believes that every individual and family is unique in their dynamics and goals. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Mia works with clients in cash flow planning, retirement planning, education planning, risk management and estate planning. She strives to bring her clients peace of mind by working together to develop customized, comprehensive financial plans and implement advanced planning strategies. She is fluent in Chinese Mandarin.
    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    Education
    • University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China
      • Bachelor’s in Business English
      • Minor in Spanish
    • Bryant University – Executive Development Center
      • Certificate in Financial Planning
    Personal Interests
    • Instructing Zumba classes
    • Drawing, sketching (dogs specifically)
    • Exploring new restaurants and cool shops
    • Advocating for achieving better health through nutrition and lifestyle
    • Movies, music, and stand-up comedy
    • Karaoke
  • Dustin Rue, CFP® Associate Financial Advisor

    Dustin Rue, CFP®

    From a young age Dustin had a passion for all things investment. He’s worked as a financial advisor for over 12 years and has been a practicing CFP® certificant since 2018. Dustin enjoys getting to know his clients personally and financially as he develops financial strategies to grow and protect their wealth. He is a Portland native and has called the Pacific Northwest home for the last 40 years. He enjoys spending time with friends and family and all things outdoors.
    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    • Life and Health Insurance Licensed in Oregon
    Education
    • Oregon State University, Magna Cum Laude
      • Bachelors in Psychology
    Personal Interests
    • Skiing
    • Golf
    • Traveling
    • Fitness
  • Isaiah M. Paul Associate Portfolio Manager

    Isaiah M. Paul

    As an Associate Portfolio Manager, Isaiah helps create and manage client portfolios for Empirical. Isaiah joined Empirical in 2022. Prior to joining Empirical, Isaiah worked in the alternative investment space, working in Tech and Real Estate Private Equity. Isaiah began his career working at CWS Capital Partners in Newport Beach, California.
    Education
    • New York University
      • Bachelor’s in Philosophy
      • Minor in Mathematics
    Community Involvement
    • Chabad Jewish Center of Tustin
    Personal Interests
    • Racquetball
    • Golfing
    • Cooking
  • Stephanie Abate Associate Financial Advisor

    Stephanie Abate

    As an Associate Financial Advisor with Empirical Wealth Management, Stephanie works closely with Financial Advisors to assist clients in achieving their short and long-term financial goals. Prior to Empirical, Stephanie held positions as an administrator in Commercial Real Estate Lending, Investment Banking, and Wealth Management.
    Education
    • California State University, Fresno
      • Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Marketing
    • Notary Public
    Personal Interests
    • Attending live music concerts
    • Hanging out at the beach
    • Enjoying the Los Angeles food scene
    • Wine tasting
    • Travel and sightseeing
    • Stand up paddle boarding
    • Spending time with family and friends
  • Mallori Pryse Marketing Associate

    Mallori Pryse

    As Marketing Associate, Mallori executes all marketing efforts to accomplish Empirical's growth goals. She collaborates with the team to develop and expand Empirical's digital marketing, communications, branding, and business development objectives. With her background in graphic design, communications and program management, Mallori is passionate about telling powerful stories through strategic marketing.
    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Master of Social Work
    • University of Redlands
      • Bachelor's in Sociology and Anthropology
    Personal Interests
    • Hiking and backpacking
    • Photography
    • Plant-based cooking

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